Have a look at Asia, and take a look at Japan. Something interesting is happening there. 100 years ago, the great seafaring island nation of Britain ruled the seas, but was entering a century of that would be marked by fifty years of being bled white by wars, and fifty more years of enervation and decline. The great seafaring island nation of Japan was an insecure third-place naval power, but was entering a rapid rise to a power that could challenge Britain and the United States.
Today, Japan has a tiny navy that dare not call itself a navy; the Japanese Naval Self Defense Force guards the coasts of the islands, but depends on the big American brother for everything, right? Wrong.
Today, the Japanese Navy, which is on the brink of calling itself a Navy again, is larger than the still-declining Royal Navy, which no longer has the power to retake the Falklands, were Argentina to take them again. And the Japanese force is growing.
It has to. The US Navy has been declining since the twilight of the Reagan Administration, and the Japanese can count on no one to defend their islands quite so well as they can count on themselves. The US also is, for all intents and purposes, as bankrupt as Greece, although unlike Greece it still has credit. Like a check forger who keeps kiting paper as long as he still has blank checks, it doesn’t think about the reckoning. The reckoning, too, is unthinking, but it comes regardless. Smart American allies are arming up. Other American allies are looking around for new allies.
The Rising Sun rising again could be bad for the Pacific Rim (it sure was last time). On the other hand, the Rising Sun failing to rise could be even worse. We live in interesting times.