Troop pact takes alliance with U.S. into new era: SDF will be handed a bigger role in operations (REIJI YOSHIDA, 5/03/06, Japan Times)
The final bilateral accord reached Monday in Washington on realigning the U.S. forces in Japan is not just about moving military units from one place to another.
It is an epoch-making agreement to achieve greater integration of the Self-Defense Forces into U.S. military operations, allowing Tokyo to play a bigger role in support of the U.S. forces beyond the scope of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, senior Defense Agency officials said.
“The Japan-U.S. (military) alliance has already become more than what the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty (stands) for,” said a senior Defense Agency official who engaged in the realignment talks, asking that his name not be used.
It’s possible to believe that the Realists who make up the foreign policy crowd are so locked into their narrow Atlanticist worldview that they genuinely don’t realize what’s going on around them, but you have to have at least a sneaking suspicion that if a JFK, Nixon, or even Clinton were forging an Axis of Good as sweeping and powerful as the one that George Bush is putting together it would be hailed as the historic achievement that it is.