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Blame Alfred Thayer Mahan for Pearl Harbor (and Thank Him for Its Failure)

Blame Alfred Thayer Mahan for Pearl Harbor (and Thank Him for Its Failure)

Skip parts of a treatise and you garner only part of its wisdom—and maybe not the part most relevant to your cause.

Military folk join the service to do battle, a tactical pursuit. Ultimately, though, senior military folk must take account of larger things—lest they suffer the same fate Japan suffered after its failure at Pearl Harbor. That means digesting more than just the good parts.

James Holmes is J. C. Wylie Chair of Maritime Strategy at the Naval War College and coauthor of Red Star over the Pacific (second edition due out December 15). The views voiced here are his alone.

Image: Reuters