Richard Armitage’s Views on Futenma: What was the Plan B?


Above, former Deputy Secretary of Defense Richard Armitage lays out his views about the Futenma US Marine Air Corps Station fiasco at a CSIS Pacific Forum conference earlier this year.
Armitage accepts blame on behalf of the elites who basically run US-Japan relations for “not explaining” deterrence well enough to Japanese citizens to help them understand how important Futenma is. But his comments are essentially a defensive ongoing articulation — offered on 19 January 2010 — of why Futenma was important to the U.S.
Armitage, who then thought that the Democratic Party of Japan leadership would not yield to the US, called for a “Plan B” regarding Futenma.
Well, Hatoyama did cave — and then resigned.
But my hunch is that the drama over Okinawa and Futenma is not over.
So, first question to Rich Armitage at the CNAS-sponsored conference on US-Japan security relations is what was the “Plan B” that he and his team developed after calling for it last January?
— Steve Clemons


2 comments on “Richard Armitage’s Views on Futenma: What was the Plan B?

  1. Don Bacon says:

    Those “stupid” Japanese just don’t understand US deterrence. See, China has been yearning to invade Japan all these centuries. . .no, that’s not it. This is it: The US needs to deter Japan from invading and occupying China again, and that’s why we need a US military air base on Japanese soil. Or is it to deter the Filipinos from invading Korea.
    It’s so confusing, but I’m sure that some past high poojah, some ex-deputy dog for the Pentagon, has a handle on it.
    Now if we can just get somebody to explain that to the Japanese people so they understand. But please, try it out on me first. I need a good laugh.


  2. Drew says:

    Seems pretty simple. If Japan doesn’t want us on Okinawa, why
    are we making it our problem?
    Seoul didn’t want us to be so visibly installed near the DMZ.
    Okay, fine. We’re relocated out of the way, way south. Now the
    Koreans are the going to be their own victims if the firestorm
    Plan B is “You guys deal with it, then.”
    We’re over-extended, the Japanese are doing us a favor, if they
    want to learn Chinese, that’s their business.
    It’s appalling the way these DC mandarins (Armitage) can’t
    imagine a scenario in which free countries are not dependent
    upon us. We are not going to dominate the Pacific as we did in
    1955, because we set in motion and nurtured democracies that
    now are acting like … democracies. This is a win.


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