Some of the Marine Corps operations now at its Futenma Air Station are moving to the Air Force's Kadena Air Base this month. There has to be some comedy in this. The U.S. Government has spent the better part of the last three months explaining to the Government of Japan that this is operationally not possible, feasible, or reasonable. Then, in a December 28th press release the Marine Corps punched a hole that argument.
In fairness, only fixed-wing aircraft are involved and their moving to Kadena on January 10th is only temporary. The Futenma runway is to undergo three months of routine repairs and maintenance. The press release was also quick to note: "The temporary movement of Marine Corps fixed-wing aircraft from MCAS Futenma to Kadena Air Base in no way supports or implies the feasibility of consolidating Futenma aviation operations at Kadena Air Base."
My first question is "when was the last time Marine operations moved to Kadena?" And my second is what happens if suddenly within the next three months there is a "contingency"? For example, North Korea, which is always problematic, is closer to turmoil than ever before.
Pyongyang's recent currency reform and banning of foreign currency is a sure fire formula to antagonize and dispossess the very few who have some stake in preserving the totalitarian system. Taking away privileges from North Korea's elite can have consequences. Now that they have nothing else to lose, all bets are off.