Japan should ignore hawkish Rand advice

the japan times

According to Jeffrey Hornung of the Rand Corporation, Japan’s prime minister “should consider making strike capability a top priority” (“U.S. experts urge Japan to gain strike capability” in the Nov. 8 edition). The titular character of the 1964 movie “Dr. Strangelove,” who is modeled partly after a former Rand strategist who promoted “winnable” nuclear warfare, refers to the Rand Corporation as the “Bland Corporation” in the film.

Dr. Strangelove is fictional, but the Rand Corporation’s close ties to the U.S. military industrial complex, and to the Pentagon, are not.

Rand and its board members and shareholders, and its various friends, will benefit greatly from a massive military buildup on Japan’s part. Note that G.W. Bush administration hawks Condoleezza Rice and Donald Rumsfeld were intimately involved with Rand before worming their way into the White House and initiating the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Rice was an intern and trustee at Rand, and Rumsfeld (to whom the first Abe administration awarded the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun in 2015) was chairman of the board in the 1980s.

Now, do we really want to pay attention to what someone at Rand says about Japan arming itself for a possible strike on North Korea? Missiles lobbed from Japan to North Korea, under any circumstances, would be met with a variety of projectiles coming from the continent to Japan. Japan has a lot more people, and a number of nuclear power plants that would make excellent targets. The only winnable solution to the North Korea problem is one that does not involve warfare.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

Latest