I'm about 10% through Weinberg's A World At Arms. He discusses, as everyone
seems to, how leaders in Germany and Japan underestimated the military
potential of America. Americans were doing that as well, and undoubtedly
still do - at least according to a brief review I read in the
November/December 2018 issue of Foreign Affairs:
Unrivaled: Why America Will Remain the Word's Sole Superpower by Michael
Beckley, Cornell University Press:
". . . He does not dispute that the United States has its problems or that
misguided leaders often squander its advantages. But he points out the
United States' deep geographic, demographic, and institutional reserves give
the country unique resilience. The United States is the only great power
without regional rivals. Its companies and universities dominate the world.
And most important, Beckley argues that it has by far the best fundamentals
for future economic growth, thanks to its abundant natural resources,
favorable demographics, secure property rights, and lasting political
institutions. China's growth prospects, in contrast, are 'dismal.'. . ."
I recall being impacted by three "America's in decline. We are being
surpassed by nation X"
1. The USSR. When I went to work at Douglas Aircraft company in 1959,
Engineers were sincerely debating the "better red than dead" controversy.
The majority, if I remember correctly, were leaning toward "better red."
2. The Arabs, especially Saudi Arabia is buying up our nation. As rich
as they are we shall soon all be working for them.
3. The Japanese. Their work ethic is much better than ours. We went
through a number of mandatory courses learning the superior ways of the
Japanese so we could better compete against Boeing and the Europeans.
4. And now the Chinese . . . yawn.
I was watching a Youtube interview of Victor Davis Hanson in regard to his
The Second World Wars, How the first global conflict was fought and won
(published in 2017). Hanson is apparently somewhat worried about North
Korea having the capability of bombing our West Coast. He worried that
North Korean leaders probably didn't understand that we don't do "tit for
tat." "If North Korea bombs Spokane," be began, shaking his head. "They
might think we will bomb just Pyongyang in return, but it won't be just
Pyongyang . . ." He wore a worried expression. The audience got the
impression (or at least this viewer did) that if North Korea bombed Spokane,
North Korea would cease to exist.