It is such a common thing to hear complaints about the military and the US pushing people around. But the one time everyone manages to love us is when we show up at a natural disaster. The people of Japan just took a horrific blow and all decent people send thoughts and prayers their way. In addition the United States is sending the greatest Navy to ever roam the seas, which also happens to be the greatest agent for humanitarian relief in history as well.
Seapower exploits the fact that the sea represents the cheapest way to move vast quantities of material great distances. The US Navy, in particular, has developed ways of carting around its own airports, docks, field hospitals, communications facilities, barracks, warehouses and fuel depots — and maintaining them in the face of resistance. Originally conceived for the purposes of maritime warfare, these same capabilities are superlatively effective at providing assistance when the supporting infrastructure breaks down. The USN has been doing this so routinely since World War 2 that the world often forgets how prodigious this capability is.
The world has a short memory, but incidents like this remind us all of a couple of things- Number one, the planet can kick all of our asses and no one can predict when, where or how, Number two, there is still only one place where the phone gets picked up when the world dials 911, the Pentagon.