Thoughts on a Rising Sunday

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.

3 thoughts on “Thoughts on a Rising Sunday

  1. Nick

    The fact we (Britain) no longer have a carrier task force to deploy to the falklands should the argies decide to kick off again, is the cause of some concern for those of us paying attention.

    Question is, are things bad enough politically & economically in Argentina for the regime to exploit it (you know.. like last time).

    alls i know for sure is what ever they’re paying the guys stationed there, it probably isn’t enough.

    1. Hognose Post author

      One big difference is that there are more guys stationed there. I believe in 82 there was a platoon of rifles with a lieutenant in charge. No ships, no aircraft. Now HMG has jets, radar, and usually a ship in the area (didn’t they send HMS Dauntless last year?). These forces have a real deterrent effect — the 82 plan was to present the UK with a fait accompli, and expect the Brits to negotiate from there. Nasty shock they got. Performance of their conscript units was another nasty shock. Argentines are intelligent people, their officers are pros, and they’ve been thinking about this for 30 years, though.

      Argetina’s economy is in a state of near collapse, and the rule of law is in question, which will damage the economy further. (Of course, you could say that about the EU or US as well these days). The economy is rather worse in Argy than it was when General Galtieri made his great miscalculation in the eighties.

      Another big change — in 1982, the US State Department wanted us (USA) to support Argentina or remain neutral, but the President backed Britain. The current one is hostile to Britain. So overall the situation is fraught with risk, but not lost. Yet.

  2. Nick

    That is true there is a lot more in terms of deterrent these days. 1 Rifle Company instead of 1 Platoon with engineers & signals. i believe even the FIDF are generally better kitted up than they were in 82. the fact that RAF Mount Pleasant has come into existence since 82 probably helps rather alot especially since that may end up being the only avenue of resupply / reinforcement (assuming the French are done with the C17’s by then).

    HMS Dauntless was deployed to the Falklands last year to replace HMS Montrose, of course the Argentinian government complained about that as they tend to do.

    for aircraft in terms of air defense 4 Typhoon’s from No. 1435 flight (assuming we can afford to keep them airworthy these days?)

    as for obama….. lets just say, it seems in recent years its become somewhat trendy to side with the Argentinians over the Falklands for some inexplicable reason thanks to the likes of sean penn gobbing off about what a bunch of assholes we (Britain) are, maybe its just me,

    so i wouldn’t expect him to be on our side either.

    Hypothetically speaking of course.

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