The Lessons Today’s Leaders Should Take From Pearl Harbor

Brian Slattery of The Daily Signal reminds us of what happened on “the date which will live in infamy.” In his view, “America today may not face the same imminent danger it faced in 1941, but our leaders should still take lessons from the events that preceded Pearl Harbor. Many of those developments are what made the U.S. vulnerable to attack in the first place.”  Slattery writes:

At sunrise on this day in 1941, the Japanese launched a surprise attack on the American Naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, having sailed across the Pacific Ocean unnoticed. In addition to the 19 ships destroyed, 2,403 American soldiers were killed and 1,178 wounded in the attack.

While this attack was 75 years ago, there are pertinent lessons for today’s leaders to learn from how America handled it.

The Japanese were motivated by many factors in striking the U.S., among them deterring America from intervening in their imperial conquests in the Pacific. Though the Japanese succeeded in temporarily crippling the U.S. Navy, their gamble backfired and inadvertently facilitated America’s rise as a global military power and the defeat of the axis powers.

America responded to the attack quickly and decisively. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt addressed Congress on December 8, calling the attack “a date which will live infamy.” In that speech, he also declared that “all measures be taken for our defense.” The next day, the U.S. Senate voted 82-0 to declare war on Japan, while the House of Representatives approved the resolution 388-1, officially entering the United States into World War II.

View article →