So let's talk about this. Japan has been flirting with shitcanning article 9 for about 10 years now, and just yesterday announced (in an extremely coy, misleading way) that they were converting a couple helicopter carriers into F-35 carriers. Before carriers, they had an effective mayhem distance that allowed them to hassle most of coastal China, bits of the Philippines and the Koreas. Give 'em a carrier and suddenly they can project force from the Aleutians to Australia in 48 hours.
Gimme a sub and a silkworm and I can hit forty percent of the population of the United States from international waters. I mean, sure, I roll up on San Francisco and the whole of the Pacific Fleet is gonna take an interest but then, that's the whole point. The Pacific Fleet is going to take an interest and I only had to roll a sub and a silkworm.
You've probably seen more threatening guys rolling through the Ballard Locks.
But that's just the thing: Yeah I can bomb the shit out of stuff half a world away. But that means I can't ever be about to bomb the shit out of stuff half a world away. Every time we conduct a naval exercise in the Sea of Japan we're sending a very clear message: "we have lots of guns and bombs and planes and shit right up in your grille." Which means fisticuffs are right there.
Foreign policy without sea power just ain't the same.