Pearl Harbor in Context: Article

Pearl Harbor in Context” is an extended article which was published in 2022, in the new De Gruyter journal, Open Military Studies. This is an abstract:

Objectively, Japan was under scarcely any compulsion to initiate the Pacific War. However, many Japanese themselves saw the conflict as made unavoidable by the West’s existential threat to the empire’s economic, physical, and spiritual essence. Such views commanded wide popular support and held profound appeal for many in the military, particularly among mid-grade officers of the elite general staffs of the army and navy. Many did recognize that the great economic and geostrategic imbalances between Japan and the West seriously lengthened the odds against Japan, but patriotic-religious fervor convinced them that the risk had to be run and moreover that if they were resolute the justice of their cause would bring heaven’s blessing to their arms. These convictions were strong enough to bridge the otherwise great gulfs among various nationalistic factions and unite them in pressing more cautious elements to plunge into war. Nazi Germany’s early military successes played an important role in persuading the hesitant of the need not to “miss the bus.” In this context, both the policies of appeasement and deterrence tried by the Americans and Europeans were foredoomed. Despite reasonably accurate strategic warning, the U.S. government could find no way to avert war.