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|The Imperial Japanese Navy's surprise attack on Pearl Harbor remains a popular, if somewhat tired, metaphor for the dangers of unpreparedness and overexposure to risk. For years analysts and policymakers have warned Americans about all kinds of new Pearl Harbors in space, cyberspace, the global financial markets, and even the earth's climate.
But the real possibility that U.S. bases in the western Pacific could once again be vulnerable to a bolt-from-the-blue military attack has occasioned little publicity or debate. Yet it should take no stretched metaphors to appreciate this emerging threat.
This time, China -- armed with a large and growing arsenal of ballistic and cruise missiles -- is poised to reprise Pearl Harbor. The People's Liberation Army (PLA) now possesses the means, the motives, and the opportunities to deliver disabling blows against U.S.