Hell to Pay: Operation DOWNFALL and the Invasion of Japan, 1945-1947
by D.M. Giangreco
Naval Institute Press, 2009
HC: 416 pages
$36.95 ($24.39 on Amazon here)
This is two books woven together. The main theme as seen from the subtitle is a dissection of the command decisions leading up to the invasion plans for Japan and the detailed military reasons why Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not merely necessary but unavoidable. If this were still an issue subject to rational historical analysis and debate it would mark the effective end of the Revisionist critique that the bombs were aimed as a diplomatic statement to the Soviets.
HMS Sheffield heavily damaged in 1982 (BBC/IWM)
The recent flare-up between Argentina and Britain has many observers, including the Belmont Club, reminiscing about the Falklands War of 1982.
Four facts intersect here.
First, no Western power has faced a serious naval challenge at sea since the battle of Okinawa in 1945. Naturally, this has meant a reduction in the number of available ships.
Second, the navies of the world have relentlessly sought gold-plated ship specifications. The result is sacrificing the number of hulls available for high-tech mirages.
The Loyal Opposition (Reuters)
The Heritage Foundation convened a panel of foreign policy experts to discuss the Iranian regime, its nuclear program, and options for the West. Among them, Robert Kagan, whose remarks are bullet-pointed below:
- The Obama administration has done a “pretty good job” this year with respect to Iran–and “not entirely unintentionally.”
- Congressional Republicans are a “much more loyal, patriotic opposition” than were Congressional Democrats during President Bush’s tenure–and will be more willing to support a tough stance.
Not the Greece of Yore
The euro was always a gamble: one currency but no control over what the member states did on fiscal matters. It was an acceptable gamble for the Rhine Five — Germany, France, Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg — but France pushed to get Portugal, Italy, Greece, Spain, etc., involved. Now, adding mini-versions of Germany like Austria wasn’t a problem, but the PIGS lacked the fiscal discipline not to ruin a good thing; essentially, they were too weak politically to force austerity on their populations. Everyone knew it but until you had a bust this fact could be hidden.