Eighty-one years separate 1942 and 2023. In that human lifetime, the technologies of war have changed, as have some of the regional and global actors. Great Power rivalry definitely isn’t ancient history in the Pacific and East Asia. However, communist China is now the expansionist power, not imperial Japan. The United States is still the challenged, but its allies now include democratic Japan, the independent Philippines, Singapore, and Taiwan.
The Pacific’s island geography hasn’t changed—the rocks and coral remain where they were in 1942. Despite the hype of the Space Age and the information age and now artificial intelligence, communist China’s 21st century diplomats and generals know geographic position matters….