Pearl Harbor, as previously noted, was not a big surprise to Americans who were keeping up with current events. It was a bg surprise to Americans who didn't, or who believed the Japanese could not build good warships and airplanes, or who believed Pearl Harbor was too shallow for torpedoes launched from airplanes.
What if the next world struggle was non-violent in nature? Would we even know when "war" had begun? Because it appears that the Chinese have already been successful in early campaigns to dethrone the US as ruler of the world.
What was their secret weapon? Not having an army- or, more precisely, having an army dedicated to the welfare of China, instead of a China dedicated to the welfare of the army. With a military budget running for decades at under $10 billion, it's easy to see how they could save money faster than us, with our current military budget of $653 billion.
And it's working well for them. They can confidently invest large sums in small countries, secure in the knowledge that the vast market that is China will not collapse because the Chinese army gets involved in a war in Peru.
The knowledge that so much change has already occurred can only come as a relief to those of us who have dreaded the apoplectic response of America to the impending collision with reality.