The Forgotten Reason Japan Attacked Pearl Harbor

December 9, 2020 Topic: Security Region: Middle East Blog Brand: The Buzz Tags: IranSanctionsJapanPearl HarborMilitary

The Forgotten Reason Japan Attacked Pearl Harbor

Franklin D. Roosevelt had hoped that he could pressure Japan into accepting a diplomatic solution to the U.S. oil embargo. Instead, Japan found a military solution. Would any of America's current enemies make the same choice? 

For this reason, the United States must display political flexibility in its negotiations with the Islamic Republic. Rather than present the country with an ultimatum, America must seek to offer a range of possible outcomes. Sanctions, properly applied, can be used to provide motivation, but America’s end goal must be a grand bargain that restricts Iran’s ability to antagonize its neighbors yet still grants it some concessions and allows the regime to save face.  

Striking this delicate balance will not be easy. But it will be easier than going to war. 

Trevor Filseth is an editorial intern for the National Interest

Image: Reuters