How did dealing with Japanese Kamikazes prepare us to deal with modern day terrorists?
Con is for if you think it didn't prepare us.
Pro is for if you think it did.
Personally I think that it did not prepare us for terrorists, Kamikazes had a completely different nature to their suicide tactics. Terrorists strike with the intent to kill innocent people; Kamikazes struck with the intent to disable military personnel.
Fascinating topic. How do two drastically different eras of warfare, two cultures, two religions, different levels of technology, and two vastly different mindsets in the United States compare?
Finding differences between terrorists and Japanese Kamikazes will be an easy task for you. My burden of proof is significantly higher, but I also suspect my perspective is significantly more applicable.
The Art of War – Sun Tzu
The Art of Modern War – George Patton
Psychology plays a much greater role in understanding the suicide attack, in any form, than the actual tactics. While planners and leaders may glean insights and find commonalities between, a kamikaze pilot and a suicide bomber, the real value is understanding the motivations for such attacks. What conditions create the motivation to give one’s life behind enemy lines against an overwhelming military advantage?
Traditional military planning in the US war of Independence, the Civil War, and World War I had involved armies massing in superior numbers in a war of attrition. Tools of warfare prevented single combatants from inflicting meaningful damage in suicide attacks. Could a soldier in the Civil War sneak behind enemy lines, dressed as his for in clothing stolen from a corpse? It probably happened. However, neither knife nor bayonet nor musket would inflict meaningful damage on the enemy before capture or getting shot.
American military planning in the last three centuries had a distinctly European flavor. America could understand the German Blitzkrieg:
However, American Naval forces in World War II were completely surprised by the “Bushido Code”
This mentality manifested in the surprising decisions to accept suicide over defeat. European warfare had always been about terrain gained and superior firepower. Surrender was not seen as dishonorable, only cowardice. Surrender was an acknowledgement that the enemy had superior forces and that the land was conquered. Ever-shifting political boundaries in Europe meant that what was lost, may yet be regained, if only the loser lives to fight another day. Soldiers lay blame on their commanders for poor decisions, and not a personal sense of shame or dishonor.
The Bushido Code and kamikaze tactic created a challenge for naval commanders in defense. Japanese planes became guided missiles, willing to trade one man and one machine for many men and a larger machine. The kamikaze tactic was never designed to defeat the American Navy. It was only designed to delay the approach long enough for Japan to reorganize forces facing defeat or reinforce defensive positions in the mainland. As Japan’s military began to lose the war of attrition against the United States, experienced Japanese pilots were killed.
The history lesson brings me to this point.
As the availability of experienced pilots and military strength decreased, Japanese leaders turned to the “Bushido Code” to turn inexperienced pilots, sometimes children, into effective weapons.
In other words, when faced with facing an overwhelming military advantage, leaders appealed to psychological tactics to motivate naive or poorly trained warriors into sacrificing their lives.
The United States owes much to the kamikaze pilot for the understanding of the “terrorist”, in accordance with the principles of Sun Tzu. The second argument will go into the commonalities between kamikaze pilots and suicide bombers and formula for manipulative leadership to create willing, manned, guided munitions. Only by understanding the enemy, can we defend against these types of attacks.
CDuger34 forfeited this round.
It is remarkable how similar the psychological pressures are between the two cultures that suicide becomes an acceptable alternative to defeat.
|Agreed with before the debate:||-||-||0 points|
|Agreed with after the debate:||-||-||0 points|
|Who had better conduct:||-||-||1 point|
|Had better spelling and grammar:||-||-||1 point|
|Made more convincing arguments:||-||-||3 points|
|Used the most reliable sources:||-||-||2 points|
|Total points awarded:||0||3|