Sunday, June 5, 2016

Rumors Of War...Again

It's hard to go one day without seeing several "rumors of war" - ranging from the South China Sea, to Syria, to the Middle East, tensions between Russia and the U.S., the threat of EMP weapons, the threat of nuclear weapons, North and South Korea, Ukraine and on and on that list goes. Jesus told us that this phenomonon would be one of our signs and indeed it is; there is nothing special about today's news, but it serves to remind us of just how often we see these threats of war. 

Washington has recently increased reconnaissance flights near Russia's and China's borders, while accusing Moscow and Beijing of intercepting US spy planes that are "violating their national security."

Last week Chinese military aircraft interceprted US reconnaissance planes near the island of Hainan and the upcoming conference on mechanisms of maritime military security on June 24-25 is thought to prove the "capabilities of military channel as well as good relations between Washington and Beijing."

However, on May 22, US Air Combat Command Commander Gen. Herbert Carlisle in an interview with USA Today newspaper criticized the increasing "aggressiveness" of Russian and Chinese combat aircraft intercepting US military planes.

He added that the concerns are caused by attempts by Moscow and Beijing to expand their influence in Eastern Europe and the Pacific region.

Chinese military expert Zhang Junshu said in an interview with Global Times newspaper that the increased number of US spy planes near Chinese and Russian borders is a serious violation of their state security.
Gen. Carlisle also said that the number of Russian long-range bombers in Eastern Europe and near the US west coast is increasing while China wants to take control over the South China Sea.

"Our concern is a resurgent Russia and a very, very aggressive China," he said.

While the US accuses Russia and China of "aggressive" actions the US is in fact deploying the largest military actions against Russia and China since the time of World War II, according to Iran News.
The majority of interceptions of US spy planes took place near the borders of Russia and China, the analyst said.
The US admitted that last year the Pentagon conducted over 700 patrols in the South China Sea, including over 100 spy flights.
According to the expert, this violates Russian and Chinese national security. Moscow and Beijing have the right control such activities.

The US guided missile destroyer Porter will enter the Black Sea as part of preparations for combat and employment of military forces, military expert Viktor Murakhovsky told radio Zvezda. He is a member of the advisory council of the Russian Military-Industrial Commission.

The USS Porter, a guided-missile destroyer, will enter the Black Sea on Monday for bilateral exercises with partner navies, the US Naval Forces press office said Saturday. The office also stated that the ship's operations are aimed at enhancing maritime security, readiness, and naval capability.
"Permanent deployment of US destroyers in the European theater of war is already a provocation," Murakhovsky said during the broadcast, noting that there are four other such vessels permanently deployed in a naval base in Spain.

The analyst believes that such actions by the US, including the deployment of Porter, should be regarded as part of preparations for combat employment of the country's military forces.

The USS Porter will support Operation Atlantic Resolve, which covers all US Department of Defense action in Eastern Europe. The ship is also expected to make port calls on the way.

As Mark Twain once said “History may not repeat, but it sure does rhyme”. And what is going on in the South China Sea rhymes with happened in America, in the 1960’s.

During the Cuban Missile Crisis, surveillance photographs demonstrated that the Russians were embedding nuclear weapons into Cuba, thus reducing American response time from 27 minutes to 3 minutes.
President Kennedy responded by blockading Cuba and Russia backed down and World War III was averted.
Presently, in the South China Sea, China is preparing to limit access to the South China Sea and use their military to achieve this aim.
China’s actions clearly threaten the viability of the Trans Pacific Partnership and the present form of the American government. In fact warmonger, Senator John McCain, is calling for more US troops to be sent to the South China Sea which will clearly push the present situation to a crisis point.

Adding fuel to McCain’s fire, comes from Secretary of State John Kerry as he stated:
China said last month that frequent US Navy patrols in the South China Sea were forcing Beijing to boost its defense capabilities in the area. This month, Kerry warned China to not increase their surveillance and air capabilities in the South China Sea.

The New and Emboldened China

China’s economy, no matter how many times they try to restructure is failing. The Chinese government faces disenfranchised opposition from extremely poor peasants living in the outlying provinces. To add salt to these wounds, the Chinese have been left out of a monumental trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Subsequently, Chinese foreign policy is guided by these two principles:

  1. Disrupt the TPP so no nation gains an economic advantage over China. It is an agreement that China derives no value.
  2. Isolate Taiwan geographically and militarily. Closing down the South China Sea moves China in the direction of accomplishing this kind of action. The short-term goal is to economically diminish Taiwan. The final goal is the take-over of Taiwan.

China is increasingly aggressive, almost to the point of forming a quasi-naval blockade in and around the disputed territories which are a point of disagreement between China, her neighbors and the United States. In fact, China’s actions within the last few days are clearly indicative of a nation determined to defend its claims.
It is critical to keep in mind that every dispute in the region, for China, begins and ends with Taiwan and Taiwan lies just north of the disputed area. These unfolding events in the South China Sea is also about the unfolding of the new Chinese hegemony, or, the establishment of the most recent flavor of the New World Order.

China’s rapidly growing perimeter which will protect Chinese invasion forces when they attack Taiwan.

Vietnam, Malaysia and most of all, the Philippines are impacted by aggressive Chinese action in the region in which the Chinese are constructing militarized islands which are serving as an impediment to free trade. The areas of Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam could provide the Chinese war machine with virtually unlimited supplies of oil, rubber and other raw materials needed to maintain a sustainable Chinese war effort if China is able to dominate the region.
In a very disturbing development, China stated on Saturday “that it will ignore the decision of an international arbitration panel in the Philippines’ lawsuit against Beijing’s sweeping territorial claims in the South China Sea”. This is clearly China’s line-in-the-sand comment.

Certainly, all the elements for a monumental confrontation are in play and the events are surely reminiscent of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
As they continue to militarize the South China Sea, the Chinese give no indication that they are going to back down.

I was tempted to restart the entire scenario, but I quickly realized that no matter how many times I played it, the result was just going to be the same. The Littoral Combat Ships as configured were completely outclassed by their Chinese counterparts.
The worst part — the Chinese didn’t even have to use missiles to defeat the Americans.
Although small for their size, the Chinese ships packed a significant punch.Changde’s design dates back at least 20 years and weighs 1,000 tons less than the LCS, but it has eight anti-ship missiles and a 100-millimeter gun. The corvette Quinzhou weighs less than half as much as LCS, but had four YJ-83 anti-ship missiles and a 76-millimeter gun.
The Littoral Combat Ships had plenty of firepower … theoretically. Each had a 57-millimeter main gun, but these were woefully underpowered for attacking surface ships.
Each had 15 Griffin missiles, but the Griffins had a range even shorter than the gun. The missiles’ 13-pound warheads, while probably useful against Iranian speedboats practicing swarm tactics, were practically worthless against the Chinese.
Worst of all, in order to bring what meager firepower each had to bear against the enemy, the LCS had to bring itself within range of multiple Chinese weapon systems.
In our simulation, the Littoral Combat Ships were defeated. Is this an indictment of the LCS? It’s not that simple.
The LCS as we configured them — as U.S. Navy currently plans to configure them — were defeated. But the LCS is modular in nature, and the loadout of the anti-surface warfare module they carried could be changed.
If I had, for example, a mix of Griffin and Norwegian-made Naval Strike Missiles, I could have quickly destroyed both Chinese ships without things degenerating into a sword fight — where I had only a knife.
The 57-millimeter gun wasn’t really a problem, because I wasn’t supposed to be using it to engage other ships anyway. The decision that led me to use it in desperation against other ships was the problem.
The speed of LCS was useful, as I was able to push both ships forward at more than 40 knots. But as I was doing so, I couldn’t help but think that the gain of moving an extra 10 miles an hour was not really all that useful when a Chinese YJ-83 missile had a range of 186 miles.
I would have gladly traded the speed advantage of the LCS for the ability to sense and destroy Chinese ships at 187 miles.
There’s an inherent danger in reading too much out of commercial wargame simulations. As much as the game designers try to model modern air and naval warfare as accurately as possible, and that is exactly what Command’s designers did, the unknown unknowns, as Donald Rumsfeld would probably put it, could tip the scenario either way.
Warfare is tragic and unpredictable. Any difference in training, maintenance or secret capabilities of both navies — things we wouldn’t know until the shooting starts — could have decisively impacted the scenario.
Still, as the U.S. defense budget grows smaller and hard choices are being made, the dismal performance of the LCS’s anti-surface warfare module in our simulation is food for thought.
Do we want the Littoral Combat Ship to be able to tackle ships less than half its size, and if so, how do we get there? Because we’re certainly not there yet.
The LCS is the Navy’s handyman, capable of doing all sorts of jobs with its mission module system. Like all handymen, it has its toolboxes to get the job done. And few handymen are really, really good at everything you might expect them to do.
With all the potential missions for the Littoral Combat Ship and a limited pool of money, what do we expect it to do really well?
One things for certain — the handyman’s hammer is too small.

The 1967 Six Day War is usually described as a series of swift and daring battles that decisively saved Israel from overwhelming enemies. But some historians claim that the incredible victory in Jerusalem which will be celebrated Sunday on Israel’s Jerusalem Day, was won almost by accident, against the expressed desire of the Israeli high command. Others see the unlikely victory as coming from a higher authority, as the clearest expression of the will of God.
In contrast to the highly detailed plans for Operation Focus, the precision airstrikes that wiped out the entire Egyptian air force in the first hours of the remarkably short war, there was no plan or intention to capture Jerusalem at the outset of the pre-emptive war. In his book The Battle for Jerusalem, historian and journalist Abraham Rabinovich describes how Jerusalem was absolutely not an objective at the outset. The Israeli government had political objectives in mind and Jerusalem was seen as a liability with no strategic worth.

Jerusalem Day is being celebrated across Israel on Sunday, marking 49 years since the capital's reunification in the Six-Day War. Memorial services will be held during the day for fallen soldiers of the six-day war.

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