Hillary Clinton and the Washington Naval Treaty

In the aftermath of the slaughterhouse that was World War I, one of the major causes of the war was seen by contemporary powers as the massive naval arms race before the war, particularly between Great Britain and the Kaiser’s Germany. You have to remember, battleships were the nuclear weapons of their day, capable of astonishing destruction, and a huge investment of national resources. Modern nuclear strategists know of the “use ‘em or lose ‘em” conundrum that surrounds the question of using nuclear weapons. Much the same issue faced naval powers with regards to battleships.

In the immediate aftermath of World War I, therefore, not a few people were quite alarmed at the fact that a new naval arms race was already underway. The US had passed a law calling for a massive increase in our own battlefleet. Great Britain, in spite of the appalling losses, both in lives and treasure she had lost in the Great War, was determined to maintain at least parity, if not superiority of the naval power that enabled Rule Britannia. Japan, a latecomer to the industrial revolution, nonetheless was economically growing at an astonishing rate, and saw itself as the rightful hegemon of the western Pacific, a role that obviously called for a world class navy, one they were quite busy building.

For reasons mostly of domestic politics, the Harding administration proposed a conference to limit the building of capital ships such as battleships, battlecruisers, and aircraft carriers.  The Washington Naval Conference was the first major arms control summit ever. And of course, it was a huge diplomatic effort. And where diplomacy goes, so goes espionage.

Do we need to review the rest of the history of compromised communications during World War II such as Enigma and the Fleet Radio Unit Pacific? How about the XX Committee? Suffice to say that the penetration of enemy communications during the war was an astonishing triumph of Allied intelligence operations, and materially affected the course of the war.

Hillary Clinton’s emails have already been compromised by a private hacker known as Guccifer. It simply must be assumed that the entirety of her email was also compromised by other foreign powers.

We’re hardly the only one to show concern about Hillary Clinton’s compromised communications.

Further, once one end of communications security is breached, it make it far easier to breach the other end, and then spread through the network. The entire point of having secure government networks is to, well, keep them secure. While the NSA is currently busy monitoring the emails and cellphone communications of vast swaths of our citizenry, it should be scrambling to determine if, and how far, the integrity of our nation’s networks have been breached.

And while no one expected much in the way of competence from anyone in the Obama administration in terms of foreign policy and negotiations, how much of the brazen contempt our opponents and adversaries have shown us is because they already know what the US response will be?

Many Democrats (and Hillary’s water carriers in the press) will be quick to defend her, claiming the political attacks are simply an attempt to derail her presumptive run for the presidency. But shouldn’t actions by a political figure that have negative national security implication invite political attack, and carry political consequences? Particularly since the only plausible explanation for Mrs. Clinton’s use of her unusual email system was to hide from discovery by the public and legitimate government oversight information that might be used against her politically.


5 thoughts on “Hillary Clinton and the Washington Naval Treaty”

  1. One part of me says, what does it matter if the bad guys have access to the stupid, crazy secret thoughts of our foreign policy establishment, which is desperate to give away the store anyway.

    Or as HRC would say, “what difference does it make?”

  2. Compromised communications jeopardizing lives? Ambassador Stevens could not be reached for comment…

  3. I can think of no other reason for her to do this, but to conceal information that would profit her, both monetarily, and in the accretion of power, that she wants to conceal from those who would stop her.

  4. If the bad guys could break into Clinton’s email, surely the NSA could too. Or would that be illegal?

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