Have been doing some writing about the 80th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack. On the impact that Pearl Harbor continues to have on the nature of the American national security state:
In the wake of the war, the United States government was determined to anticipate and prevent another surprise. Much else had changed. The Army and Navy remained at levels of mobilization unimaginable in the years before the war. In 1947 the National Security Act broke the Air Force away from the US Army, created the Department of Defense, and founded the CIA. Many of the intelligence reforms would focus on the process of aggregating and integrating intelligence collection.
On the decision matrix that the Japanese faced before the attack:
This put Japan in a precarious position. The Philippines sat astride what would become Japan’s lifeline to the oil and rubber in Southeast Asia. If the Philippines were left unmolested, the United States could strike against Japan at its leisure, building up air and naval forces at bases on Luzon until it felt it possessed local superiority. It might take the US some time to redeploy sufficient forces to the Philippines to take the offensive, but it would not take long at all to make the major islands in the archipelago effectively invulnerable to Japanese attack. The US could also fortify the island outposts of Guam and Wake Island. In effect, the United States could start the war at the jumping-off points it achieved in late 1944, with consequent devastating impact on Japan’s lines of communication.
And on twitter I’ve been blathering on about battleships: