Back in WWII ("The War to End Wars to End Wars"), Winston Churchill said very much the same thing, only he said it better in his "Never Surrender" speech:
Wars are fought for many reasons: the purported reason is often "land".
The true reason is more often "Culture".
The American Civil War was supposedly fought because one group of people wanted to secede from a larger body .... the South from the North. But it was because one group wanted to keep its culture (agrarian, economically effected by slavery) while the rest of the nation had decided that slavery was an abomination. The South considered their people ... land-rich but resource-poor and people-poor ... to be culturally superior to the industrial North. Pride and Money and Slavery ... let's call it a Culture War.
WWI ... was previously lost by Germany, and it was more likely a "LAND" war; but the reparations demanded by the winning Allied nations were so cruel that it led directly to WWII in a single decade, because the German people felt much put upon by the peace terms which were imposed upon them.
But for a while, Germany conquered its neighbors and added their resources to its own coffers.
WWII was supposedly fought for land ("Lebensraum"), but in a large sense it was fought to impose the culture of one group of people upon another ... Germany oppressed the Jews, for "religious" reasons. Well, that was as good a reason as they could think of, although the real reason might have been economic. Greed, more likely. The Jews in Germany held an inordinate percentage of the national wealth, and every Jew who was killed or driven out of the country left behind the majority of their property, which was promptly seized by the German government (specifically, Hitler's henchmen.) GREED, in one form or another, may not have started the war; but it certainly defined it, in the end. The Jews were targeted because they better businessmen than other Germans ... who have since learned to be every bit as greedy, avaricious, and in all ways also very good businessmen
But the Germans began their war by seizing land (Norway, Austria, France, etc.) And they while the stole the riches of the conquered nations, they imposed their totalitarianism on those countries. In a sense, this was also a Culture War. AS for why Japan decided to drag America into that war ... I doubt even the Japanese remember the exact reasons, but they did have a difficult TRADE IMBALANCE which certainly led to their infamous "sneak attack" on American soil on December 7, 1941. Greed? Agreed.
Japan ran rampant through the East, conquering parts of China and many of the Island Nations of the Pacific region. They were fierce and ran cruelly amok among their neighbors, because their leadership had been usurped by an ambitious and greedy Military Junta which could not conceive of any major nation standing up for the small countries which they gobbled up and terrorized (See: Rape of Nanking)
The turning point of the war against japan had two parts: (1)The Battle of Midway, where the American Navy laid waste to the Japanese navy; and (2) Iwo Jima, where the Japanese Army was unable to deny to the Americans a final "stepping stone"; an island where an airfield could be built in support of the Bombers which pounded Japan into near-oblivion.
[The American Flag was raised by U.S. Marines on Mount Suribachi ,
the highest point on Iwo Jima, on February 23, 1945. My birth date.)
While the geography of Japan was known, the US military planners had to estimate the defending forces that they would face. Based on intelligence available early in 1945, their assumptions included the following:
"That operations in this area will be opposed not only by the available organized military forces of the Empire, but also by a fanatically hostile population."
"That approximately three (3) hostile divisions will be disposed in Southern KYUSHU and an additional three (3) in Northern KYUSHU at initiation of the OLYMPIC operation."
The American offer to accept a surrender was accepted by the emperor because almost any alternative would inevitably lead to the end of the Japanese people.
The Americans were subsequently instrumental in bringing their culture into the 20th Century, under the stern leadership of General Douglas MacArthur, and the Japanese are now one of the most fierce economic competitors of America ... to American dismay! The European War:
Winston Churchill was probably the single most important reason why America came into the European phase of WWII, especially his 1941 "Never Surrender" speech at Harrow:
Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. We stood all alone a year ago, and to many countries it seemed that our account was closed, we were finished. All this tradition of ours, our songs, our School history, this part of the history of this country, were gone and finished and liquidated. Very different is the mood today. Britain, other nations thought, had drawn a sponge across her slate. But instead our country stood in the gap. There was no flinching and no thought of giving in; and by what seemed almost a miracle to those outside these Islands, though we ourselves never doubted it, we now find ourselves in a position where I say that we can be sure that we have only to persevere to conquer.
No German soldier ever set foot on the English coast.