The 5th century historian Herodotus taught that “the worst pain one can suffer is to have insight into much and power over nothing.” But the reverse—having power over much, but insight into nothing—can also have devastating consequences. The Japanese intelligence and security communities have experienced each kind of imbalance. During its imperial expansion Japan had great power, but limited insight, and during the American century—when it had to accommodate to US power and domestic antimilitarist sentiment—it had greater (often derivative) insight, but much more limited power. Not having struck an effective balance between power and insight has come at great cost to Japan and to its neighbors, no less than it has to its ally, the United States, during its own imperial moment. This presentation is based upon Professor Samuels’ forthcoming history of the Japanese intelligence community: Special Duty.
Jun 14, 2018 | 02:00 PM - 04:00 PM