Brett Stephens of The Wall Street Journal looks back on the "Great White Fleet," the round-the-world cruise by 16 American warships in 1907 that signaled our arrival as a sea power. Mr. Stephens notes that the lessons of that historic voyage still resonate today, a century after the American battleships weighed anchor and set sail. As he writes:
Whatever the procurement problems or tactical issues, a supremely powerful Navy is not a luxury the U.S. can safely dispense with. In September, ships of the People's Liberation Army Navy made their first-ever port calls in Germany, France, Britain and Italy, and Chinese admirals are frequent guests on American warships. "The Chinese Great White Fleet is not too far off on the horizon," says a senior Navy official in a recent conversation.
China's current rise, like America's a century ago, is not something anyone can stop. It can be steered. Making sure our vision for the Navy stays true to Teddy Roosevelt's is one way of ensuring the Chinese don't make the mistake of steering it our way.
China's current rise, like America's a century ago, is not something anyone can stop.
Not quite true. The Chinese can stop it--and, IMNHO, they are likely to do just that, and to do it in a particularly violent fashion that leaves us to clean up the mess.
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