The Allies: Good Riddance To Arms

Why two economic superpowers, Germany and Japan, are such reluctant warriors

How unlike Teutonic Knights or samurai, mutter their critics, are these modern specimens of great powers. When the call to battle Saddam Hussein bugled forth, Germany and Japan begged off as conscientious objectors. Though they have flourished and grown rich behind U.S. defense cordons, both countries quailed at the call to arms. War with Iraq? The wolf that ate Kuwait was not at their door. Deterring aggression? Bonn's attitude amounted to "Let George do it." Standing fast by a security partner? Washington found it apt that Tokyo is ringing in the Year of the Sheep.

So stand the accused. Overlooked somehow...

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