The perils of occupation

Occupation is never easy. Even the most successful of military occupations under the best possible circumstances have their troubles. This is a factor to keep firmly in mind when considering the situations in Iraq and Afghanistan.The American occupation of Japan has to be counted as a spectacular success - maybe the greatest success in the world's history of occupations -  in retrospect. Fifty-five years later, a country that was once a brutal militaristic and racist imperial power is now committed to democracy.But at the time, it was often dicey. I wrote my first graduate dissertation on the American occupation of Japan and the emergence of a modern ideology of management there. As part of my research on the topic, I spent endless days reviewing the dusty archives of the American occupation forces in a federal document depository, and got a strong sense of how dangerous, dicey, and difficult the occupation was for the people carrying it out.To be sure, there were no insurgents...(Read Full Post)