MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘aircraft carrier’

The Illusion of Control, by Robert Gore | STRAIGHT LINE LOGIC

Posted by M. C. on September 28, 2019

If the US can’t defeat insurgents in smaller countries despite its overwhelming advantages in conventional military power, what would happen in a match with someone its own size, another superpower?

https://straightlinelogic.com/2019/09/27/the-illusion-of-control-by-robert-gore/

by Robert Gore

The illusion of control that has sustained the US’s nominal government and its behind-the scenes power since World War II is fading both at home and abroad. In many areas the US military is no longer unquestionably superior and in some is demonstrably inferior. As military prowess goes so goes the American empire. Amplifying the decline and compounding its severity are the US’s perilous finances, deteriorating economy, and mounting political unrest.

That US military power was never all it was cracked it up to be was apparent to astute observers after the Korean War, and was obvious after Vietnam. Possible escalation and humanity’s extinction precluded use of nuclear weapons. However, in both Korea and Vietnam local populations, with assistance from outside allies, withstood mind-boggling barrages of conventional bombs and munitions to gain in Korea a stalemate and in Vietnam a victory.

Vietnam demonstrated the difficulty for invaders of fighting determined insurgents using guerrilla tactics—usually labeled terrorism—defending their home territory. The insurgents know the territory and the language and often enjoy the covert support of the local, ostensibly non-combatant population. In Vietnam they also received covert and overt support from China and the USSR.

The insurgents extracted such a price that eventually the American invaders, plagued by protests and political opposition back home, decided conquest wasn’t worth it. Vietnam illustrated a stark reality, never publicly stated by US military or political leaders: to win the war would have required genocide—essentially wiping out the population. Or to paraphrase the saying popular at the time, to save the country the US would have had to destroy it, inflicting far more damage than the gruesome toll it actually exacted.

Fiascos since Vietnam further confirm that guerrilla insurgency remains problematic for the US military. It stymies one of the US’s main geopolitical objectives—forcing smaller countries to toe the US line. Fighting the insurgencies that objective elicits goes hand-in-hand with subversion, propaganda, intelligence skullduggery, and regime change—whatever’s necessary to extract compliance…

On March 1 2018, Vladimir Putin announced new Russian weapons that had either been deployed or were in advanced states of development. Collectively, the new weapons’ most striking features are hypersonic speeds (ability to travel at five times the speed of sound, Mach 5, or faster) and nuclear power.

The Kinzhal missile has a top speed of Mach 10, and the Avangard hypersonic-glide projectile Mach 20. Both can be conventionally or nuclear armed, and are maneuverable throughout their flight trajectories, making defense against one such weapon problematic, a swarm impossible. The Kinzahl has a range of 2000 kilometers (over 1200 miles), while Putin said the Avangard’s range is “intercontinental.”

Putin claimed Russia has also developed nuclear-powered underwater drones and cruise missiles. The drones are faster than any currently deployed surface ship or submarine, have a range of 10,000 kilometers (over 6,000 miles), are cloaked by underwater stealth technology, and can carry both conventional and high-yield nuclear warheads. They can be deployed against surface naval assets like aircraft carrier groups, or placed in a coastal area, armed with a nuclear warhead, and detonated, generating a massive, radioactive tsunami wave.

The nuclear-powered cruise missile can carry conventional and nuclear warheads, is low-flying and highly maneuverable, and has virtually unlimited range. Like the Kinzahl and Avangard, stopping one would be problematic, a swarm impossible. If Putin’s claims about Russia’s nuclear-powered missiles and drones are true, they have achieved state-of-the-art advances in the miniaturization of nuclear power.

The US political establishment and its mainstream punditry, devout believers in American military superiority, either ignored or dismissed Putin’s announcement. Those that addressed it said he was lying without specifying their factual basis for saying so…

To date, no prominent US political figure, even those who reluctantly acknowledge that the Russians may actually have what they claim, has delineated the vital implications of such an arsenal. Most disturbingly, the US has no effective defenses. Russia can also render much of the US’s offensive capabilities irrelevant. Martyanov persuasively makes both cases.

While the US still has its nuclear arsenal to fall back on, Martyanov argues that in conventional warfare, the US has deluded itself. The US’s vaunted air power is increasingly vulnerable to Russian anti-aircraft systems, notably the S-400, the world’s best. Stealth air technology is overrated, its cloaking ever more easily penetrated. High-powered communications, computer, and networking technologies upon which US air power relies are subject to disruption that would leave missiles and jets figuratively flying blind.

Aircraft carrier groups—along with submarines the heart of US naval strategy—are floating dinosaurs. While their proponents claim they can be protected from anti-ship missile clusters, there is no real world validation and given recent improvements in those missiles’ range, maneuverability, and power, reason to believe just the opposite. Demonstrations of antimissile artillery knocking out a single missile on a defined path under ideal conditions are risibly remote from what would be real world conditions in a confrontation with another major power: swarms of maneuverable missiles on random flight paths amidst the general chaos of war. It is foolish to assume carrier invincibility and to base naval strategy or foreign policy on that assumption…

This set of facts is plainly incompatible with the control the US establishment believes it can and should exercise around the world. Russia and China appear to have no such hegemonic aspirations, concentrating their efforts in their own backyards and letting the US waste its blood and treasure on imperialistic adventures…

This is Part One, Part Two will be posted next Tuesday.

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Unused Militaries, by Fred Reed – The Unz Review

Posted by M. C. on September 11, 2019

I seem to recall when NATO was freeing Libya FOR human and drug traffickers NATO forces ran low of munitions.

NATO was lucky they weren’t dealing with a real country with a real military.

http://www.unz.com/freed/unused-militaries/

For a couple of decades I covered the military for various publications, as for example the Washington Times and Harper’s, and wrote a military column for Universal Press Syndicate. I was following the time-honored principle of sensible reporters: “Ask not what you can do for journalism, but what journalism can do for you.” The military beat was a great gig, letting you fly in fighter planes and sink in submarines. But if you take the study seriously, as I did, you learn interesting things. Such as that a war with a real country, such as Russia, China, or even Iran, would be a fool’s adventure. A few points:

Unused militaries deteriorate

The US fleet has not been in a war since 1945, the air forces since 1975. nor the Army in a hard fight since Vietnam. Bombing defenseless peasants, the chief function of the American military, is not war.

In extended periods of peace, which includes the bombing of peasants, a military tends to assume that no major war will come during the careers of those now in uniform. Commanders consequently do what makes their lives easy, what they must do to get through the day and have reasonable fitness reports. This does not include pointing out inadequacies of training or equipment. Nor does it include recommending large expenditures to remedy deficiencies. Nor does it include recommending very expensive mobilization exercises that would divert money from new weapons.

Thus an armored command has enough replacement tracks for training, but not enough for tanks in hard use in extended combat. When the crunch comes, it turns out that getting more track requires a new contract with the manufacturer, who has shut down the production line. The same is true for air filters, there not being much sand at Fort Campbell but a lot in Iraq. Things as mundane as MRATs and boots are not there.in real-war quantities.

GAU-8 ammo is in short supply because theory says the F-35 will do tank busting. The Navy runs out of TLAMs early on and discovers that manufacturing cruise missiles takes time. Lots ot it.

And of course some things simply don’t work as expected. Military history buffs will remember the Mark XIV torpedo, the Mark VI exploder of WWII, and the travails of the Tinosa.

Come the war, things turn into a goat rope. FUBAR, SNAFU.

The United States cannot fight a large land war, as for example against Russia, China, or Iran. Such a war would require conscription. The public would not stand for it. America no longer enjoys the sort of patriotic unity that it did at the beginning of the war against Vietnam. It will not accept heavy casualties…

The existing fleet has never been under fire and does not think it ever will be. Most of its ships are thin-skinned, unarmored. One hit by an antiship missile would remove them from the war. This is as true of the Tico-class Aegis ships as of the newer Arleigh Burkes.

An aircraft carrier is a bladder of jet fuel wrapped around high explosives.The implications are considerable. A plunging hypersonic terminally-guided ballistic missile, piercing the flight deck and exploding in the hangar deck, would require a year in the repair yards…

Through Vietnam, America’s wars were fought by tough kids, often from rural backgrounds involving familiarity with guns and with hard physical work. I know as I grew up and went to Marine boot with them...

Today America has a military corrupted by social-justice politics. Recruits are no longer country boys who could chop cordwood. Obesity is common. The Pentagon has lowered physical standards, hidden racial problems, softened training. The officers are afraid of the large numbers of military women who are now in combat positions. One complaint about sexism and there goes the career.

In times of extended peace the officer corps decays. All second-tour officers are politicians, especially above the level of lieutenant colonel. You don’t get promoted by suggesting the the senior ranks are lying for political reasons, as by insisting that the Afghan war is being won...

The military is not ready for a real war now because its focus is always on things down the road. For example, the Navy cannot now defeat hypersonic antiship missiles but will be able to, it thinks, someday, maybe, world without end, with near-magical lasers still in development. These will funnel lots of money to Raytheon or Lockheed Martin or somebody whether they work or not. Which isn’t important since nobody really believes there will be a serious war...

Men of incalculable stupidity and likely sexual inadequacy talk about nuclear war as winnable. Dream on. Reflect: American cities cannot feed themselves. Three days without food shipments and New Yorkers would clear the supermarket shelves. A week and they would kill for cans of tuna fish. Two weeks and they would be eating each other. A very few nuclear bombs on transportation hubs would prevent distribution of food for months. Even fewer cobalt bombs, designed to produce a maximum of lingering radiation, would make the farm belts lethally radioactive for a decade.

“Defense Intellectuals,” usually stupid enough that they ought to live in trees, chatter about escalation dominance and the intimidation factor and airtight missile defense. They are nuts. What they really need is a codpiece and a subscription to Pornhub Premium.

This is why it is a really, really, bad idea to have a psychopathic cockatoo, two loon Christians, and a pathologically aggressive momma’s boy in a position to start a war.

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