In the May issue of the conservative monthly Foresight there is an endearing, unattributed article: Female US Defense Department Official Flournoy Seen as Holding Key to US-Japan Alliance.
The magazine says that Japan must pay attention to her "because Flournoy is in charge of the US Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), mandated to be issued in 2010, and the QDR will inevitably affect the formulation of Japan's own National Defense Program Guidelines, slated to be issued at the end of 2010.
Well, that is essentially true. But there must be more. Is the gender of a Defense official always mentioned? To bad the article missed the fact that she has participated in the drafting of previous QDRs.
Wait, she is a key supporter of US Defense Secretary Robert Gates. He "has already proposed "changes" that will cut part of the US missile defense program and cancel the additional procurement of the F-22, a candidate to be Japan's next generation mainstay fighter plane, setting a difficult path for the Japanese government. Flournoy is considered to be a leading supporter of Gates' vision for defense."
OMG, she is Gate's handmaiden from Hell!
Japan's Foreign Ministry and Defense Ministry have no choice but to work with Flournoy. However, a senior MOD official says: "Since Japan is low in America's priorities, the response of the US side has been sluggish."
Not only is Japan shunted aside, it is being done so slowly, by a women. Next thing you know, she is going to turn up in Tokyo wearing her version of Condi's stiletto boots.
A senior MOFA official could not conceal his anxiety and told Foresight that "Although her demeanor is soft and she does not seem like a strategist, if we make a mistake in how we deal with her, it could become an impediment in US-Japan negotiations."
Chicks, you just can't figure them out.
But I am now confused. What is it that will please those MOFA boys: stilettos or French maid?