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What in the World?

US selling Japan Tomahawk missiles in military defense buildup

Dec 13, 2022


According to drafts of Japan’s security documents, the country will purchase Tomahawk cruise missiles from the U.S. to enforce its defense and long-range strike capabilities. This represents the pacifist country’s biggest military build-up since World War II. The Tomahawk is a long-range, all-weather, jet-powered, subsonic cruise missile that would allow Japan’s self-defense forces to deploy faster than its own domestically produced long-range cruise missiles. Straight Arrow News contributor Peter Zeihan argues that even more than the Ukraine War, this is the biggest strategic development of the year.

Excerpted from Peter’s Dec. 13 “Zeihan on Geopolitics” newsletter:

Japan is no slouch when it comes to national defense, just look at their navy. However, their defensive capabilities just got some fancy new upgrades from their American counterparts – we’re talking Tomahawk missiles baby.

Japan’s main concern is their islands’ proximity to China and a number of Chinese weapon systems, but these new gadgets will serve as a hefty deterrent.

As the US expands who they’ll sell their crème de la crème weapons to, China will have to face some new players who have the ability to threaten their economic links to the world.

Hey everyone, Peter Zion here coming to you from Colorado. The big news today is the Japanese defense ministry has announced that the Americans have agreed to sell Japan several 100 Tomahawk cruise missiles. Now this is not really by any measure. This is a really big deal because the Japanese are no slouch. When it comes to national defense. They do have the world’s second largest Bluewater Navy. And I have no doubt that in a knock down drag out fight against the Chinese navy that they would do just fine on the high seas. They don’t necessarily think that the theater for a future conflict with China is going to be on the high seas. China is a continental power. And Japan is part of what they call the first island chain, which separates the Chinese littoral from the rest of the world. And if there was a conflict, all of the Japanese home islands are in range of any number of Chinese weapons systems. And regardless of whether the Americans are involved or not. Chinese cities are less vulnerable than Japanese once the Japanese topography is a lot more rugged. And so you get a city on a little footprint of land surrounded by mountains, and then you have to get over those mountains gets mixed city. So all of Japan cities do double duty as energy centers and military centers and population centers. So in any sort of conflict scenario, the damage to the Japanese system would be extreme, unless they have some way of preventing that attack from happening in the first place. And that’s where the tomahawks come in. The whole idea of the tomahawks is you get a weapons system with a range of 1000 miles with the basic version with a 1000 pound warhead. And the missiles tend to fly just a few dozen feet above the ground, making them very difficult to detect much less intercept. So we’re not talking here about these 20 grand a pop, Iranian drones that only fly 100 miles an hour and only carry a warhead that’s 50 pounds or less. And so they have to throw dozens of them at any target to do any damage. No, no, these are things that use GPS location that can hit within a few feet of what they’re aiming for. And it just blow it to smithereens. And now, Japan is going to be the third country in the world to have them. And that’s probably the biggest takeaway here is that the United States has always had kind of a friends and family plan that it sells military gear to, but it is always reserved to the very top top top stuff for itself in the Brits. Well, in this calendar year, we have already seen the first two exceptions to that policy being made. The United States is sending air launch cruise missiles and nuclear submarines nuclear powered submarines, that is to the Australians. And now we’re giving tomahawks to the Japanese given both of these countries, the ability to independently destroy China’s economic links to the wider world without any additional help from the United States. And this sudden plural proliferation of countries that can now bring China to their knees independently. This is arguably the biggest strategic development of the year, even more so than the Ukraine war, because it takes what has become the world’s second largest economy and puts it completely at the mercy of the domestic politics of a third party, and now a fourth party. All right, that’s it for me. Until next time.

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