As I still continue to mull over my thoughts about Operation Prism and Syria, I came across this article. The military capabilities of the Japanese SDF may come as a surprise to some. Back in 1989, I was stationed at Tyndall AFB going through the air weapons controller undergraduate course. Just a few weeks before, a Japanese F-15 had clipped the guy-wire of a radio mast. The mast subsequently smashed the F-15 out of the sky killing the pilot. It was the first time that I realized Japan had F-15s and their pilots were training right along with American fighter pilots. Flash forward to 2004 and while taking a tour of and airbase in Kuwait, I was surprised to see C-130s that were painted robin's egg blue with the Japanese red sun. Japan had quietly entered into Operation Iraqi freedom stretching the limits of their constitution even further. The British and Australians were fascinated to observe how the Yanks and Japanese would get along. The Japanese possessed the skills, training and equipment to be on par with American forces. They wanted to prove themselves and to my experience, they more than showed that they are a true military. As they continue to increase capabilities, I wonder though what unintended consequences there will be. For example, North Korean and China do not have the best experiences with imperial Japan and the modern day build-up may be seen as a return to the old days with a much more aggressive Japan.