May 2, 2006


Troop pact takes alliance with U.S. into new era: SDF will be handed a bigger role in operations (REIJI YOSHIDA, 5/03/06, Japan Times)

The final bilateral accord reached Monday in Washington on realigning the U.S. forces in Japan is not just about moving military units from one place to another.

It is an epoch-making agreement to achieve greater integration of the Self-Defense Forces into U.S. military operations, allowing Tokyo to play a bigger role in support of the U.S. forces beyond the scope of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, senior Defense Agency officials said.

"The Japan-U.S. (military) alliance has already become more than what the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty (stands) for," said a senior Defense Agency official who engaged in the realignment talks, asking that his name not be used.

It's possible to believe that the Realists who make up the foreign policy crowd are so locked into their narrow Atlanticist worldview that they genuinely don't realize what's going on around them, but you have to have at least a sneaking suspicion that if a JFK, Nixon, or even Clinton were forging an Axis of Good as sweeping and powerful as the one that George Bush is putting together it would be hailed as the historic achievement that it is.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 2, 2006 11:31 PM

Sometimes I am grateful for such an insular press, since it keeps them off Bush's back while he is bringing about monumental changes in foreign policy. They just nitpick at all the little things, while missing the big picture of what is actually happening across Asia and Africa.

While the media is focusing on POLLS! Bush is working on surrounding China and Russia, and preparing America for the next big threats. Like Reagan, they will come to an awakening about all the huge stories they missed while focusing on the little things.

Posted by: Stormy70 at May 2, 2006 11:51 PM

Stormy 70: well, actually, Japan has been a loyal ally for quite some time. Since the end of the late great Second Global Unpleasantness, in fact. Some people have the good grace to know when they've been licked fair and square, and behave accordingly.

Posted by: HT at May 3, 2006 12:36 AM

It will be recognized when W finally shows some good taste and dies, thus allowing a few grudging crumbs of praise from the Annointed at his funeral.

Posted by: Mikey at May 3, 2006 8:31 AM

Bush's moves here are good, but I don't see any ground breaking actions that OJ's rhetoric implies. Our relations with non-European countries and the Atlantic Alliance is not "either/or", but "and". These moves are part of the natural tide of history and have their origins in the Clinton years. There is no break in continuity between what was happening before, although I'll give Bush the benefit of the doubt and say he's sped things up.

Posted by: Chris Durnell at May 3, 2006 1:48 PM


That's the point. There is no Atlantic alliance. The French are the enemy.

Posted by: oj at May 3, 2006 1:52 PM