Category Archives: Support the Troops

Rebuttal of leftists’ attacks on AirSea Battle

The AirSea Battle (ASB) concept – designed to allow the US military to defeat the anti-access/area-denial threats posed by the advanced weapons of China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, and other countries – has been under a vicious attack by the anti-defense Left ever since its inception – as has been every crucial and successful battle concept, strategy, and defense program in modern US history. As usual, anti-defense Leftists claim that ASB is too provocative, will trigger a nuclear war, will be “ineffective”, etc. In short, the standard claims of the anti-defense Left about every crucial defense program in modern history.

So it is also with AirSea Battle.

In a recent article in the so-called “National Interest” magazine, two anti-defense leftists, Thomas X. Hammes and Richard Hooker (sic!), have attacked ASB on totally spurious grounds. This article will refute their lies.

1. Firstly, Hammes and Hooker falsely claim that ASB is both “provocative” and “ineffective” and “could escalate the conflict uncontrollably.”

That is completely false. We’ll deal with the question of ASB’s effectiveness in a few minutes. As for ASB supposedly being “provocative” and a potential escalator of the conflict, let’s not forget that ASB would be activated against China ONLY if Beijing were to commit aggression against the US or its treaty allies – or against US troops in Asia (and one is essentially homonymous with the other, because thousands of US troops are stationed in Japan and South Korea, with others rotating through the Philippines and USN warships destined for Singapore).

If China does attack the US, or its troops deployed in Asia and its treaty allies, it is hard to claim that the conflict could be significantly escalated any further – for China would’ve already have killed thousands of US troops – deaths the US public would demand be quickly avenged, just like it demanded a speedy payback for Pearl Harbor.

And honestly, from a purely moral standpoint, if China does attack the US, its troops serving abroad, or America’s treaty allies – none of whom pose a threat to Beijing – it deserves whatever it gets.

I’ll repeat: China has nothing to fear from AirSea Battle (or from the US or its allies at all) if it does not start shooting wars in Asia. If, however, it does commit aggression against anyone, it SHOULD fear strikes on its soil – and a credible threat of such strikes is the ONLY thing that can deter Asia, as I’ll explain later.

 

2. Secondly, Hammes and Hooker falsely claim that:

“When you bomb China it becomes a passion over politics issue, making it harder to get China to negotiate a peaceful settlement. Bombing makes it so much harder to return to the status quo before the conflict. You are not going to have a decisive win with China without going nuclear, so you need to engage them and walk them back from the edge.”

All of that is balderdash, too. Firstly, the US CAN defeat China decisively without going nuclear if it applies AirSea Battle (as I’ll explain below). Secondly, it would be utterly unacceptable, and very dangerous, to try to restore the “status quo.”

By the way, what exactly is the current status quo? Unclear and unresolved sovereignty over numerous islands in the Pacific, large chunks of that ocean, and large deposits of natural resources therein; East Asian countries squabbling amongst each other; and China arming itself to the teeth and fielding a military rivaling the US in conventional (if not nuclear) weapons – as well as fielding some weapon types the US doesn’t even have.

That is ABSOLUTELY not the status quo the US should seek to restore. Restoring it would only lead to more wars, death, and destruction.

What the US needs is to defeat China so thoroughly that the Chinese will have no doubts that they will have been defeated, just like the Germans and the Japanese had no such doubts in 1945. When Allied troops entered their capitals in 1945, they had no doubt whatsoever they had been thoroughly trounced.  It is time the Chinese learned what does that feel like. Only then will a durable peace be built.

For a durable peace is impossible without a complete victory. If you achieve it, you will usher in a Pax Britannica/Americana. If you fight only half-heartedly and achieve mixed results – if you don’t fight for a complete victory – you will eventually invite more war.

 

3. As for “negotiating a peaceful settlement with China” and “walking them back from the edge” – don’t make me laugh. The Chinese are not interested in any negotiated, peaceful settlement over the territorial disputes in Asia nor over America’s role in that region. They seek nothing short of total control of the Western Pacific (with its rich natural resources) and America’s total expulsion from Asia – exactly as the Japanese did in the 1930s and 1940s. It’s absolutely crucial to understand the potential America is dealing with here.[1] China isn’t interested in limited gains; like Japan in WW2, it seeks total control of the Western Pacific (and payback to Japan for WW2) and America’s total expulsion from the region (just like Japan did). China is not interested in dividing the Western Pacific nor in compromises.

So China is seeking total, imperialistic objectives, and is prepared to use any means to achieve them. By Hammes’ and Hooker’s admission, China is even likely to attack US satellites and cybernetworks (not just US bases and troops in Asia) with space and cyber weapons.

When one side seeks total objectives and uses total war means to achieve them, while the other side seeks only limited objectives and utilizes only limited means to accomplish them, the latter side will inevitably lose. For nothing can stop a nation (or another entity) which is totally determined (and prepared to do anything) to get what its wants. It’s that simple.

To defeat a China that seeks imperialistic hegemony and control over all of the Western Pacific and is prepared to do anything to achieve it, the US must likewise be prepared to do anything to deny China those aims – or be prepared to lose.

 

4. Hammes and Hooker also falsely claim that

“Air-Sea Battle is ineffective against China’s dense and capable air defense network” and “also cast doubts on whether the US military could locate and destroy China’s mobile missile-launch systems. China has an abundance of man-made caves and hidden facilities.”

Those are such blatant lies that it’s mindboggling anyone has even attempted them. Have they even READ the AirSea Battle concept? Obviously not. Had they read it, they wouldn’t have written such garbage.

One of the key tenets – if not THE central tenet – of AirSea Battle is developing very stealthy, very capable, long-ranged strike weapons (most notably, a new very stealthy long-range bomber) that will allow the US Air Force to evade even the most advanced air and missile defense systems in the world – including those fielded or planned for purchase by China.

What’s more, both the Pentagon and the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, where the ASB concept was born, have long advocated the development of such systems – especially that all-important stealthy bomber. The Air Force’s nuclear deterrence guru, Maj. Gen. Garrett Harencak, has just spoken yet again on the need for that stealthy bomber.

As for dealing with its man-made caves, hidden facilities, and tunnels – they can easily be destroyed by USAF bombs such as the Daisy Cutter (now retired, but it could be produced again), the Massive Ordnance Penetrator, and the new, smaller, lighter bomb with the same effect, but less size and cost, of the MOP. All of these can be carried by the B-52, the B-2, and the next generation bomber.

Those bombs easily destroyed Taleban caves in Afghanistan; in fact, Daisy Cutter bombs cause small earthquakes when detonated. They’d destroy Chinese caves, bunkers, and tunnels just as easily.

 

5. Hammes and Hooker also falsely claim that ASB

“is provocative in that China’s Second Artillery Corps controls its land-based ballistic missiles and nuclear arsenal. Attacking these facilities, while China has not or cannot attack comparable US facilities, could escalate the conflict uncontrollably.”

Like their other claims, these are blatant lies – and they’re illogical. If the US can bomb Chinese missile fields and nuclear weapon storages, but China cannot attack comparable US facilities, there is no risk of “escalating the conflict uncontrollably”, because the US would then be able to deal China a blow that Beijing couldn’t respond to in kind.

 

6. All of which brings us to the central reason why ASB is NOT provocative, does NOT invite the risk of nuclear war, and is the ONLY battle concept whose implementation can deter China from wrongdoing – and defeat it should it commit aggression anyway.

China has nothing to fear from the US, its allies, or the ASB concept if it behaves peacefully. If, however, it commits aggression against anyone, it has every reason to fear ASB. Chinese leaders probably understand that – and if they don’t, it’s high time they did.

The ONLY way the US can deter China – or any other potential aggressor, for that matter – from attacking others is to promise (and have the means) to unleash lethal, massive strikes against that potential aggressor’s territory and his military and economic assets in case of aggression on his part. Nothing else will deter those who prey upon their neighbors.

This is, indeed, the promise and the principle on which ALL deterrence strategies are based: that the aggressor will pay a huge price for his actions, disproportionate to the gains he might achieve by perpetrating aggression. Only that can deter China.

 

7. The so-called “Offshore Control” strategy, which Hammes and Hooker promote as their “alternative” strategy to ASB, is a recipe for America’s total defeat in a future war with China. Under their “strategy”, the US would have to completely swear off any strikes on China and only fight a purely defensive war in the Western Pacific’s islands.

US troops would thus be fighting with both of their hands tied behind their backs. It would be both practically suicidal and morally repugnant to ask them to fight that way – yet it is PRECISELY what Hammes and Hooker advocate.

Contrary to their blatant lies, the US stands no chance whatsoever of “denying China access to the seas inside the First Island Chain[2]”, let alone “dominating the Second Island Chain”, if Chinese mainland – and all the military bases and weapons plants on it – are left untouched. China will, in such a scenario, be able to continually launch hails of ballistic and cruise missiles at US bases and warships within the First and Second Island Chain – and China can produce literally hundreds of such missiles every year. China can also affordably build large numbers of ultra-quiet submarines, naval mines, and fighters to control the sea and the airspace inside the First and Second Island Chain – and the US would have to expend a large amount of its own fighters and ASW and demining assets to counter these.

A defensive war against China would be an exhausting, bloody, uber-costly war of attrition for the US, whereby dwindling numbers of US and allied defensive systems would have to counter an ever-growing Chinese arsenal of cheaper, offensive weapons. This is what Hammes’ and Hooker’s pseudo-strategy would lead to. It is both militarily suicidal and morally repugnant.

By contrast, AirSea Battle aims to destroy China’s military bases and weapon plants – and thus its offensive war-waging capability – ASAP, so that China cannot exhaust US defenses with too many missiles and aircraft.

8. Moreover, it is Hammes’ and Hooker’s pseudo-strategy, not ASB, that has zero deterrence value. Does anyone really think Beijing will be deterred by a US promise of leaving the Chinese mainland alone and telling China, “we’ll only be on defense against you in the Pacific islands; don’t worry, your mainland is safe” ?

Of course not. Such a statement would only embolden Beijing.

Meanwhile, a firm promise of devastating strikes on the Chinese mainland is the ONLY way Beijing can be deterred from committing aggression in the first place – thus defeating China without a fight, which, according to ancient Chinese strategist Sun Tzu, is “the acme of generalship.”

Historical Experience

Last, but not least, history teaches that those who wage war with total means win, while those who try to play solely on defense lose.

Virtually no war in history (except the 480 BC Greek war against the Persians) has been war by playing solely on defense. Victory has almost always required going on offense.

This is not surprising: when you play solely on defense: you cede the initiative and the control of the war’s tempo to the enemy. While not 100% impossible, victory is EXTREMELY hard to achieve when the enemy has the initiative and controls the war’s tempo. What’s more, when you play on defense, the enemy chooses where and when he’ll fight you (because he’ll decide where and when to attack you).

The only chance you have of winning purely defensive wars is if 1) your military is MUCH stronger than the enemy’s, and 2) your positions are fortified from all sides. Even then, victory is not guaranteed.

And that won’t work in the Pacific, anyway, because 1) China’s military is already almost as strong as the US military, and 2) there is zero chance of turning the Pacific Islands into impregnable fortresses – China will always have more than enough offensive weapons to overwhelm their defenses. Especially given that defensive systems cost several times more than offensive ones.

Confederate_Rebel_Flag_svg

As stated, the Civil War and WW2 were won by carrying out massive, successful offenses against the enemy. As retired Army officer and historian Bevin Alexander observes, the key reason why the Confederacy lost the Civil War was its failure to successfully attack the North.

President Jefferson Davis wanted to play solely on defense. He believed that if the South won a series of battles on its home front, European powers would recognize the Confederacy and intervene against the Union. That never happened, despite King Cotton’s power; and after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, it was out of question.

General Robert Lee attempted two offensives against the Union, in 1862 and 1863, but they both failed, because Lee sought a decisive battle against the much stronger Union Army, a battle the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia didn’t have the strength for.

By contrast, General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson sought to destroy the Union’s industrial centers, railroad hubs, farmlands, and population centers, so that the Union would learn – to borrow words from Jackson – “what it would cost them to keep the South in the Union at a bayonet’s point.”

While the US should not attack Chinese population centers, it must destroy China’s warfighting capability and industrial centers, so that China learns what it will cost them to grab the Western Pacific, and subjugate its nations, at a bayonet’s point.

Hammes and Hooker still object, however, on the grounds that no president has ever authorized the bombing of China, not even during the Korean Wars, so obtaining such authorization is unlikely, they say. But that is pure speculation – and a truly commonsense President knowledgeable about military affairs WOULD authorize the bombing of China IF that country perpetrates aggression against the US or its allies. Not to do so would mean accepting such Chinese aggression.

By the way, the US lost the Korean and Vietnam wars PRECISELY because it sought to play solely on defense and renounced any strikes on the enemy’s warfighting capability and base of operations. That is why the US lost – despite American troops’ unrivalled heroism and skill and despite the able leadership of Generals MacArthur and Ridgway.

In Vietnam, President Johnson completely prohibited the US military from destroying any strategically important targets, relegating it to bombing only secondary ones – thus wasting a lot of American aviators’ lives, aircraft, and munitions. He personally selected the targets to be bombed at White House luncheons – and these were the ONLY targets allowed to be attacked.

Johnson and the Left falsely claimed – like Hammes and Hooker do now – that striking important targets (like airfields and munition storage facilities) would provoke the USSR and China to retaliate with nuclear weapons. This blatant lie was exposed as such in 1972, when President Nixon bombed every important target in North Vietnam except the Red River dykes.

In Korea, General MacArthur wanted to strike Chinese industry to strip China of its ability to wage offensive war, and to ferry Chinese Nationalists from Taiwan to recapture the mainland, but President Truman rejected that. Consequently, China was lost to the Communists permanently and the Korean War became a bloody stalemate. By 1952, the American people were so sick and tired of it, they elected a President who pledged to end it.

And he did – by threatening to escalate against China and the rest of the Communist bloc with nuclear weapons if the Communists persisted in fighting. This, coupled with Stalin’s death, allowed an armistice to be signed.

But it was only an armistice. It restored the dangerous status quo – of the kind Hammes and Hooker want to keep – which, in time, allowed China and North Korea to become grave threats to US national security. Such are the results that purely defensive strategies produce.

As retired Air Force Colonel Thomas Snodgrass writes, purely defensive “limited war” strategies, such as the one proposed by Hammes and Hooker, have three fatal flaws that guarantee a US defeat:

“First, this kabuki dance of attacking non-vital targets conveys a message of indecision and weakness, and most certainly neither a message of strength nor that the situation will get worse for the enemy if the war continues. There is simply no incentive for the enemy to forego his efforts to obtain his strategic objective.

Second, and related to this first fallacy, is the fact that “kabuki bombing” does nothing to diminish the enemy’s capability to carry on the war, so there is no material progress toward ending the conflict. In other words, the enemy grows suspicious that the implied threat of a ratcheting up of the destructive force of the war will never occur in fact.

Third, indefinite escalation implies open-ended war and an ability to sustain casualties over a long period of time, presumably on the side utilizing this doctrine. This third fallacy is transparent in its failure when viewed from the underlying assumptions of the doctrine itself.

Thus, the ‘limited war’ doctrine is based upon three fundamental assumptions.

Assumption one is that there is some limit to the casualties and destruction the enemy is prepared to suffer. Assumption two is that the enemy has an implicit understanding that the adversary utilizing the ‘limited war’ doctrine is fully prepared to continue ratcheting up the war while sustaining casualties until the enemy has had enough. And assumption three is that the side pursuing the doctrine does in fact have the stomach (i.e., motivation) for an indefinitely prolonged war with mounting casualties.

Consequently, when any of these three assumptions is wrong, the ‘limited war’ doctrine will actually become a doctrine the enemy uses to defeat the advocate of the doctrine. Specifically, we understand this quite intuitively: when the U.S. engages in limited war against an enemy that does not value its soldiers’ lives with the same high regard as does the U.S., the outcome of the war suddenly becomes dependent on the American public’s will to sustain seemingly unending casualties. With this change in warfare focus, the decisive battlefield shifts from enemy targets to the U.S. homefront where the enemy’s principal weapon is the American news media.”

Thus, if Hammes’ “Offshore Control” strategy is ever adopted (God forbid), the US will inevitably lose the war, because mainland China will be completely off limits to American strikes. Thus, China will be left free to wage wars of aggression and attrite American and allied defenses – and to shift the key battlefield to the US itself, where its principal weapon will be the leftist US news media.

Hammes’ “Offshore Control” strategy is, in sum, a recipe for a total US defeat.

He and Hooker are showing that not only do they know nothing about China, they also don’t understand US politics and the American society (with its ever-smaller, and already very limited, tolerance for war casualties).

Any “strategies” offered by such people should be rejected completely. For, as Sun Tzu, who will have the last word here, said:

“If you know the enemy and you know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.

If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will suffer a defeat.

If you know neither yourself nor the enemy, you will succumb in every battle.”

Obama Executive Order: Girlfriends, associates and just about anyone else to be buried in National Cemeteries

Arlington National CemeteryToday, President Obama signed an executive order allowing those not legally married to deceased veterans to be buried with them in national cemeteries.

Bowing to the progressive constituency, the President’s desire is to let unmarried gay couples to be buried together. As usual, the unintended consequences could make that choice look foolish.

By law, veteran’s benefits are conferred to those legally married to a service member or born from such a legal partnership.

But, as AOL.com puts it, the President seeks to circumvent that problem:

“Aiming to circumvent that issue, the Veterans Affairs Department will start letting gay people who tell the government they are married to a veteran to be buried alongside them in a national cemetery, drawing on the VA’s authority to waive the usual marriage requirement.”

Can high-school flings, that girl at the bar, some guy at the dance club or an ex-wife now be eligible to haunt that brave soldier, marine or airman in the afterlife? Under Obama’s policy – absolutely.

That’s right – simply tell the VA that you’re “married” to a service member and you get benefits. What could go wrong?

Just like the the obviously terrible strategy of enticing hundreds of thousands of diseased Central American children to rush across the American border, this decision shows a complete lack of forethought.

The better way to handle this is allow gay couples who are engaged in a civil union to be buried together. Opening veterans’ benefits to anyone who “claims” to be married is dangerous and insulting to those spouses who actually supported their service members prior to their sacrifice.

This is obviously a gay rights ploy. Unfortunately, it affects more than same-sex couples.

The President didn’t think through the repercussions of his choice before pushing more “transformational change” on America – once again.

The Air Force is Right: Time to Retire the A-10

Because the DOD is still under the obligation to cut tens of billions of dollars from its budgets every year through FY2022, something has to go. It has to make tough choices – and so does the Congress.

This necessitates that weapon systems that can do only niche jobs, or cannot survive in today’s (let alone tomorrow’s) unforgiving high-tech environments where the US will have to fight hard for control of the air and the sea, must go, as do unneeded bases and costly pay and benefits packages for the troops.

Otherwise, the DOD will have to cut the meat and bone of the military: training, maintenance, and those weapons that the military needs to protect America and win future wars.

Therefore, the Air Force, for its part, has decided to retire its fleet of 230 old, obsolete A-10 Warthog attack jets, designed in the 1960s and fielded in the 1970s to fight Soviet tank armies in Germany.

These aircraft have proven quite good at supporting ground troops in fights against opponents who cannot contest (or have already lost, thanks to other US systems) control of the air. But they cannot do anything else. Supporting ground troops in completely benign environments is the only thing they can do.

If the Air Force cannot retire them, it will have to retire other aircraft – ones that can do a much wider range of missions.

Yet, parochial Congressmen and Senators on the Armed Services Committees have passed bills that would bar the USAF from retiring the obsolete, redundant A-10. And while House Appropriators have voted to retire the A-10, some weak-defense advocates, including professional blowhards Pierre Sprey and Winslow Wheeler, are spreading lies to slander the USAF and to defend the obsolete A-10.

The myths most frequently uttered in the A-10’s defense are that:

1) Only it can do the “close air support for ground troops” mission.

2) It does that mission cheaper than any other aircraft.

3) It had a better survival record in the 1999 war against Yugoslavia than the stealthy F-117.

4) It can do many missions, including air interdiction, combat search and rescue, and suppression of enemy air defenses.

5) The Air Force and the House Appropriations Committee want to retire the A-10 while funnelling money to their special-interest pet projects.

6) The recent friendly fire accident where a B-1 bomber mistakenly dropped a bomb on five US ground troops is a justification for keeping the A-10 in service.

All of these claims are myths, plain and simple. And refuting them is very easy.

Ad. 1: The A-10 is hardly the only aircraft that can do the close air support mission, and not really the one that does it best. There is a reason why, in Afghanistan and Iraq, 80% of close air support missions in defense of troops on the ground have been flown by aircraft other than the A-10. The vast majority of these were flown by the F-16.

Ad. 2: Actually, the cheapest combat aircraft operated by the US military are its combat drones, most notably the Predator and the Reaper, and they do the close air support job for ground troops cheaper than any manned aircraft. Per amount of ordnance expended, the cheapest, most fiscally efficient performant of the close air support mission is the B-1 bomber.

Ad. 3: Only on paper. The only reason why the A-10 SEEMS, on paper, to have a better survival record is because it has never been allowed to operate in airspace that the enemy could contest with anything – for it is utterly unsurvivable in such airspace, being completely unmaneuverable, easy to see and shoot down, and vulnerable to anything bigger than small arms fire, even to anti-aircraft artillery. It can easily be shot down by even the most obsolete enemy air defense systems.

By contrast, the F-117, the world’s pioneer stealth aircraft, always flew the most dangerous missions – into airspace heavily defended by enemy air defense systems. Airspace into which no other aircraft (other than the B-2 and the F-22, which joined the fleet later) could venture. Airspace such as that over Baghdad, which, under Saddam, was heavily defended. It flew such dangerous missions in Panama, the First and Second Gulf War, Afghanistan, and Yugoslavia.

During that latter war, one F-117 was shot down by the Serbs, during a 79-campaign, after having flown a myriad of missions over Yugoslavia over the same route again and again, in a very repetitive pattern. That means A SINGLE F-117 being shot down throughout the aircraft’s over two decades of service flying into the world’s most dangerous, most heavily defended airspace.

That is a FAR better record than the A-10’s, which has flown only in perfectly safe airspace, sanitized by other aircraft. Such airspace will be increasingly scarce, if nonexistent – unless the only opponents the US will fight in the future will be insurgents or primitive nation states unable to contest control of the air.

Ad. 4. Sprey’s and Wheeler’s claim that the A-10 can perform air interdiction, combat search and rescue, and suppression of enemy air defenses, is downright laughable.

The A-10 is NOT a combat search and rescue platform at all. CSAR platforms are aircraft which can go to heavily defended airspace and, most importantly, take off and land vertically and take troops on board. The A-10 has NONE of those capabilities. Helicopters and the V-22 Osprey do.

Air interdiction requires an aircraft which can detect and engage the enemy from a long range – preferrably the F-15 or the F-22. Again, the A-10 has NONE of the capabilities required – it has no long-range radar or weapons. Its pilots need to see the enemy VISUALLY in order to detect and engage them.

As for suppression of enemy air defenses, don’t make me laugh. The A-10 is so slow, sluggish, unmaneuverable, easy-to-detect, and vulnerable (to anything greater than small arms fire) that it is the easiest fixed-wing aircraft in the world to shoot down. Which is precisely the reason why the military has always kept it out of any airspace where the enemy could put up a fight for its control. The A-10 is vulnerable to everything, even the most outmoded enemy air defense systems, including AAA. It can fight enemy ground troops only in completely sanitized, perfectly safe airspace.

The problem is that – as the DOD and many think-tanks have recognized – the USAF is unlikely to ever again fight in such airspace. Modern Russian and Chinese fighters and air defense systems are available cheaply to anyone with the money to pay for them. But you don’t need them to shoot down the A-10 (or other nonstealthy aircraft): legacy Soviet air defense systems will do just as well. The only thing you have to remember is to move them around frequently, and not use them in a static manner.

Ad. 6: In a perfect world, there would be no friendly fire accidents and no one but the enemy would suffer casualties. But we don’t live, and will never live, in that kind of world. The A-10 itself has been involved in a number of friendly fire incidents resulting in the deaths of several US troops and even one British soldier, Matty Hull (see here, here, and here).

This COMPLETELY BELIES Sprey’s and Wheeler’s blatant lie that the recent friendly fire incident in Afghanistan, in which 5 US troops were killed, would’ve been prevented if the A-10 was used instead of the B-1.

Which brings me to my final point:

Ad. 5: The reason why the Air Force wants to retire its A-10 fleet is because doing so would save $4.2 bn per year over the next five years, i.e. $700 mn, as one of the many, many savings measures the military is undertaking to cope with Congressionally-mandated budget cuts.

As demonstrated above, the USAF has solid reasons for retiring the A-10. It is hopelessly obsolete, was designed for a totally different era and threat environment, can do only ONE niche mission, and do it only in completely sanitized airspace – when the US military is unlikely to ever again have the luxury of operating in such benign airspace.

The A-10 is completely and utterly redundant. There is nothing it can do that cannot be done better and cheaper by other aircraft. It cannot even do the original job it was designed to do – smashing Russian tank armies – well enough because of its huge vulnerability to air defense systems.

When the A-10 was originally designed and fielded, it was assumed the Russians would not deploy mobile, short-range field air defense systems to protect their ground armies on the move. This was dead wrong, as the Russians did deploy such systems in the 1970s – and even better ones in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s (the Tunguska, Tor-M1, and Pantsir-S1).

So even against threats like Vladimir Putin’s tanks rolling into Ukraine and possibly Central Europe, the A-10 would be useless.

The REAL wastrels of defense and supporters of defense pork are Winslow T. Wheeler, Pierre Sprey, and other defenders of the A-10, including the House and Senate Armed Services Committee members who voted to keep the A-10 in service.

The most vocal defenders of the A-10 have been Arizona Congressman Ron Barber and Arizona Senator John McCain. Their states host A-10 squadron, and should the aircraft be retired, would lose these squadrons, a large military base, and in consequence, several thousand jobs.

Like many other members of Congress, Barber and McCain are nothing but parochial porkers who don’t care about anything other than getting reelected and funneling pork money to their home states. If it hadn’t been for wastrels like them, the A-10 would’ve already been retired.

Shame on them for wasting taxpayers money and promoting an utterly obsolete aircraft.

Veterans Are the Healthcare Canary in a Coal Mine

JeffDarcy VA scandalBetween today and June 6th’s 70th anniversary of the D–Day landing I want you to find a veteran and talk to him. This doesn’t mean cornering some unsuspecting vet and ambushing him with the latest insipid leftist cliché: ‘Thank you for your service,’ which manages to be both pretentious and condescending.

(However, it is an improvement over the left’s former greeting for vets: ‘How many babies did you kill today?’ But it’s still rote trivialization.)

Ideally your vet should be a veteran of either the Korean Conflict or the Vietnam War. Not because the fighting was far enough in the past be non–controversial, but because this vet has had plenty of time to experience the tender mercies of the Veterans Administration health care system.

And that system should be the main topic of conversation, because if the left has its way, everyone will experience this type of health care under the coming Obamacare regime. Don’t make the mistake — encouraged by the cheerleading mainstream media — of believing the VA is a problem unto itself and has no relation to civilian health care and certainly no relevance to the future of Obamacare.

That is spin and it is completely untrue. The VA hospital system is essentially the pilot program for Obamacare. It’s been a single–payer system from the beginning and single–payer is the ultimate goal for Obamacare. The VA system was designed to accommodate a smaller subset of the population and it was immune to competition from the private sector. Think of it as the United States Postal Service with syringes.

The theory is after the bugs have been worked out of the pilot program, then a benevolent government can expand it to accommodate the entire country. Unfortunately with leftist big government, when a pilot program fails the verdict is always the failure was due to a lack of resources. The cure is to take the same program, bulk it up with taxpayer dollar injections and make it mandatory for the entire country.

So the VA is very relevant to Obamacare

Our veterans have been used as guinea pigs since 1930 when the VA was founded. One would think 84 years is long enough to get the kinks worked out of the program, but one would be wrong. VA hospital horror stories have been a staple of government scandal coverage for years.

If you fall for the ‘it’s just the VA and won’t affect civilians’ cover story then you are believing what the Obama administration wants you to believe. The goal of the White House is to keep the VA scandal bottled up in a silo off to one side. Obama wants you to think it’s just a rogue VA hospital in Arizona that cooked the books.

But it’s not just Arizona. It’s Florida, it’s West Virginia, it’s Missouri, it’s all over the country. And the problem can’t be solved because there is no real penalty for failure and no competitive pressure to excel. And the same government that runs the VA will soon be running Obamacare if the left can expand it into a single–payer system.

My family has it’s own story of an encounter with the Oklahoma – Texas VA administration. One of my uncles — a WWII veteran — fell ill and went to the VA for treatment in the 50’s. The good doctors said he had suffered a nervous breakdown and they hospitalized him in the mental wing.

Today suffering a nervous breakdown means you are forever immune to negative job performance reviews and the Angel of Downsizing will probably pass over you, too. But in the 50’s a mental problem was the kiss of death.

My uncle lost his career, his wife and his future. He was in and out of VA hospitals for two decades trying to find a cure so he could reassemble the shards of what had been a normal life. And then one fine day he got a new VA doctor. This doctor announced that my uncle had never had any mental problems and that all his difficulties had been caused by an undiagnosed and untreated brain tumor that had been growing in his skull since the first time he saw the inside of a VA hospital.

So my uncle went home to the bedroom he’d inhabited in my grandmother’s house since he lost everything he held dear. And he thought about his life. And he thought about what he had lost. And he carefully took a blanket off his bed, went over to the gas space heater, sat down on the floor, covered his head with the blanket and turned on the gas.

So my family knows all about VA medical care and we want no part of it.

These poor vets were promised first–class health care in return for going to war. Instead they received secret waiting lists, bureaucrat cover-ups, buck passing and incompetent care.

On the other hand the rest of us, that haven’t gone to war, have been promised we could keep our doctor and our insurance.

So find a veteran and ask him how the government keeps its promises.

The continual problems of the VA health care system are what the rest of the country will face if Obamacare isn’t stopped in its tracks. Government can’t run a smaller health care network and it certainly can’t run universal health care.

Our veterans have been the canary in the health care coalmine for decades, but Uncle Sam just keeps replacing the dead canaries with new ones.

Honoring Those Who Died for Us

Honoring those who served and died for us… or are we? A good number of Americans can’t tell you what Memorial Day is all about. While some will tell you it’s about a long weekend, others will say it’s another BBQ day. The real Americans will tell you that it is a day to honor those Americans who died to give us the FREEDOM to forget what the day is about, or to remember what the day was about. The freedom to go out on the lake or to the park with your family. The freedom to do just about anything you want.

The Freedom to call former President Bush a Liar, President Obama a dictator and for former President Clinton to say “I never had sexual relations with that woman” several times. It is the freedom to openly ridicule our President, Government officials and troops to all the world without fear of becoming a political prisoner or being taken out back and being shot. (not as of yet)

I will tell you what I will be remembering… I will remember that it was American soldiers that freed my mother and her family from Italy in WWII, so that she could come here and we could have a better life. By today’s standards America would probably have been told they should have stayed out of that war also because the oppressed people didn’t actually ask for their help.

I will be remembering all the dead American soldiers that died for others all around the world so they could be free from communism or oppression from dictators so that others could enjoy the freedoms that we have.

I will remember how American lives were given on foreign soil, twice, to liberate France so they could have the freedom to come against us in many ways during these last few wars with terrorism. I will remember the how American lives were also given to liberate Germany so they could also have the freedom to come against last few wars with terrorism.

Some may say that we Americans think that we are so good and righteous that we need to be the “Policemen of the World”. I don’t think that is it at all. I think it’s no different than when most good Americans who aren’t wrapped up in their own lives or agendas see another person in real need, stop and help, without any need for repayment.

What I will be trying to forget is all the bitterness that I hear in the news. I read in the paper how the world is outraged at the way we Americans think we have the right to go into any country and occupy as we see fit.
Yet there is virtually nothing written about the many DEAD Americans fighting for the freedom of citizens being oppressed in many of those countries and at the request of those countries leaders. Maybe we should back off and let the world go the way of the Ukraine.

I will be trying to forget all the pictures the media shows us of the destruction being caused by the Americans soldiers oversees, Instead I will remember some of the articles I have read about Americans rebuilding schools, hospitals, and homes and the children having places of education, with electricity and hot running water, and the AMERICAN soldiers who put themselves in harm’s way to protect others who can’t protect themselves.

I will be remembering the 9/11 tragedy. Not simply because of all the innocent victims, but because we can’t let it happen again… here or anywhere else.

I will remember those victims, Americans, oversees that were there to help that were tortured, beaten, burned, and God knows what else, Then hung up for all the word to see, again I say, where was the outrage?.

And for all those who say we should not be in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria or anywhere else. Talk to those survivors or the children of those survivors of the Holocaust, there were many who said we didn’t belong there either, and how many would have been saved if we got involved earlier.

I will remember and thank the leadership of that time for getting involved.
A sincere thanks to all the AMERICANS that selflessly gave their time and in some cases their lives, to make this country a safer place for me and my family. I can only try to repay the debt by honoring them ALL year long..

May God continue to bless you and your families.

How Britain Achieved – And Lost – Economic Preeminence – And Lessons For The US

In the mid-19th century, and in the first few decades afterwards, Britain was an unmatched military, economic, colonial, and thus geopolitical colossus, by far the most powerful country in the world. There was no country that was even close to matching the military or economic power of Britain, which had the largest empire in the world, spanning all continents.

So vast was the empire that it was one on which the sun never set – because no matter where the sun was shining at that moment, it was shining on British colonies, dominions, and possessions. So powerful was Britain that she was able to exert influence all around the world and act as the arbiter of world affairs. Thus, the world experienced an era of Pax Britannica.

Why? Because Britain was by far the world’s most powerful country, both economically and militarily.

In the middle of the 19th century, around 1850, Britain was by far the world’s largest producer of coal, pig iron, steel, and warships, consumed the most cotton and coal, and her industrial machines were the most modern and most powerful in the world. This enabled Britain to have a Navy that was far larger than the combined navies of the US, France, Japan, and Russia. Whether the measure was total fleet tonnage or the number of any class of warships, the UK Royal Navy had far more of them than any other Navy in the world.

Britain Loses Her Economic, Military, and Geopolitical Preeminence

Fast forward half a century to 1900, and then to 1913, the eve of World War I, and we see a completely different picture. Britain had, by then, lost its first place in the world, both economically and militarily. The US, Japan, and Germany began building navies rivalling the Royal Navy. The US and Germany also overtook Britain economically by all key metrics. As a result, Britain had to assemble a coalition of countries, the Entente, and enlist the US as an Associated Power to win World War 1 – and contracted a huge debt to win that war, because Germany proved to be a very tough enemy to beat.

Even before then, before WW1, Britain had lost its economic preeminence. Consider:

  • In terms of coal production, Britain dominated the pack in 1870, producing 125 mn tons of coal vs 41 for the US and 42 for the German states (mostly Prussia). By 1900, it was producing 185 mn tons, but the US wasn’t far behind at 143 tons and Germany was at 89 tons. By 1913, the UK was producing only 292 tons, while America’s annual coal output was 517 tons and Germany’s was 277.
  • The UK producted 6.7 mn tons of pig iron in 1870, while the US produced only 1.9 mn tons. But in 1900, the US produced 9.4 tons vs 8.0 mn for Britain. In 1913, the US produced 31.5 mn tons, and Germany 19.3 mn tons, versus only 10.4 mn tons for Britain.
  • The US overtook Britain in terms of steel production even earlier, in 1886, and Germany did so in 1893.
  • In 1871, the efficiency and output of British steel mills was two times that of US steel mills, but by 1891 it was only 50% of America’s steel output.
  • In 1890, the power of steam machines in the US industry was 45% higher than those in the British industry.
  • In 1870, Britain’s share of the global industrial production was 32%; by 1913, it was only 14%. America’s share during the same timeframe rose from 23% to 35.8%, and Germany also overtook Britain, from 13.2% in 1870 to 15.7% in 1913. The US and Germany were simply producing – and earning – more. Period.

Thus, the country that was essentially the world’s biggest coal mine, steel mill, and factory in 1850 was, by 1913, only in third place – not even in the second place – by the key economic metrics of the time! In terms of industrial production, it was lagging behind Germany and far behind the US.

The military consequences of Britain’s economic decline followed, though not immediately or quickly. But inevitably, eventually, they did follow – and they weren’t pretty.

In 1883, Britain had 38 pre-dreadnought battleships, while the US and Japan had zero, Russia had but three, Italy had only 7, Germany 11, and France 19. This means Britain had more battleships – the key weapons of the day – than the next three countries combined!

In 1897, the gap was narrower, though Britain still led the pack: it had 62 battleships in service or construction, but France had 36, Russia had 18, Germany had 12, Italy also 12, the US had 11, and Japan had seven. The next three countries (France, Russia, and Germany or Italy) had more of these warships than the UK.

Matters grew even worse for Britain when she launched HMS Dreadnought, the most powerful battleship in the world at the time, in 1905. The British thought these warships would guarantee them naval supremacy. But they were wrong. Just three years later, the Germans had only three dreadnoughts fewer (9) than the British (12). And other nations were building such warships as well.

Moreover, at Tsushima in 1905, the Japanese Navy showed that a heavily outnumbered fleet can still trash a larger one. Despite being outnumbered two-to-one and not having any significant mineral resources, the Japanese still trounced the Russians in what was one of the biggest military victories in human history, a naval version of the Battle of the Cannae. The Japanese barely lost 3 torpedo boats and 117 men, while the Russians lost their ENTIRE fleet in the Far East – 21 warships – and over 5,100 KIA.

This showed that a smaller, heavily outnumbered fleet, could, in an individual battle, beat a twice larger navy if better led, manned, and equipped.

So Britain’s unquestionable naval supremacy was a thing of the past – ESPECIALLY since the Germans had only slightly fewer dreadnoughts than the British.

As a result, Britain needed to appease the US in the Western Hemisphere, court Japan to make it Britain’s ally in the Far East, and enlist former rivals France and Russia – with whom the UK nearly went to war just years before – as allies to counter growing German power.

By 1914, one hundred years ago, the three countries went to war together – and still couldn’t beat Germany, by now Europe’s preeminent economic and military power. Russia was driven out of the war, and the US had to be enlisted to help win the war. Britain itself was too weak to defeat Germany, even in an alliance with France and (until 1917) Russia.

In the course of World War I, Britain contracted such a huge war debt that it had difficulties paying it down later, and from the world’s banker became America’s debtor.

How Did It Come To Pass?

How did it happen? How did Britain lose its economic and military preeminence?

To some degree, this was because of the obsolete structure, growing technological obsolence, and the conservative mindsets of the leaders of, British industry. And partly it was due to the reunification of Germany, which produced a formidable rival for Britain.

But these obstacles could have easily been overcome. None of these were fatal illnesses.

The REAL cause of Britain’s economic and military decline was its embrace of the poisonous, suicidal, pernicious ideology of “free trade” and the consequent policies.

Until the mid-19th century, Britain – like every country that ever rose to economic preeminence – protected and nurtured its industry with protectionist laws and customs duties.

But beginning in the 1840s, the Parliament began repealing them. In 1846, it repealed tariffs on imported grain (the Corn Laws); in 1850, it got rid of the Navigation Act; and in 1860, it scrapped protective tariffs completely. That’s it – there were no more customs or tariffs on imports to Britain. Anyone was free to export to Britain free of any tariffs.

British industry was thus left without ANY protection against foreign competitors – because no other country had done such a thing. All other countries continued, to various degrees, to protect and nurture their own industry with tariffs as well as non-tariff barriers.

This was especially true of… the US and Germany, the two countries that overtook Britain and took away her crown. The US had high protective tariffs since the 1860s, and Germany since the times of the Customs Union, established in 1834.

Thus, Britain effectively committed unilateral disarmament in the trade arena, which is just as suicidal as disarmament in the military arena.

The problem was simple: US and German companies were protected by these countries’ tariffs and non-tariff barriers to imports, while British companies were left without ANY protection against foreign competitors.

Thus, the US and Germany began flooding the world – including Britain herself – with their products – and achieved greater shares of the world’s industrial production and trade than Britain.

This is not surprising to anyone knowledgeable about economics. For protectionism is the policy of RISING economic powers, while free trade is the policy of DECLINING ones.

Protectionism is the road to wealth, prosperity, and national power, while free trade is the road to deindustrialization, unemployment, and economic stagnation.

Contrary to what free trade ideologues may tell you, NO nation in history has ever risen to economic preeminence by indulging in free trade.

EVERY country that ever became an economic powerhouse did so by protecting, nurturing, and supporting its industry against foreign competition – England under the Acts of Navigation, Britain until 1860, France under Colbert and Napoleon, Germany under the Customs Union and Bismarck, the US from the 1860s to 1960s, postwar Japan, China today .

America Is Losing Her Preeminence – And Fast

In today’s world, America is losing her economic and military preeminence even faster than Britain did in the late 19th century – and America’s edge over the world was never as great as Britain, except the late 1940s and early 1950s.

Just recently, the World Bank predicted that China would overtake the US in GDP by the end of this year. In 2012, the IMF predicted China would leapfrog the US by 2016. The Economist predicts it will happen by 2019.

China is already the world’s top exporter, having surpassed Germany a few years ago, which itself surpassed the US in the early 2000s. China is also the world’s top maker of many goods of all sorts, and also has trade surpluses with many other countries in the world. For example, its trade surplus with France runs at over 30 bn euros per year!

In 2013, the US trade deficit with China – thanks to free traders’ suicidal policies – was the largest annual trade deficit EVER recorded between any two nations, at $315 bn.

The US is also running trade deficits with almost every other country in the world: with crisis-stricken Italy, at $20 bn per year; with Ireland, at $25 bn per year; with Germany, $60 bn per year; with Canada, $32 bn per annum; with Mexico, $61 bn; with Japan, $88 bn per year; with South Korea, $16.6 bn per year.

This is because the US has almost completely disarmed itself unilaterally in terms of trade. Foreign countries exporting goods to the US pay little in the way of tariffs, while US companies trying to export to foreign countries face steep tariffs – and heavily-subsidized competitors – abroad.

Also, many foreign countries, including China and Japan, manipulate their currencies by devaluing them, thus making their exports cheaper abroad (e.g. in the US). Yet, Japan plans to devalue its currency still further, making its exports still cheaper.

Yet, American free trade ideologues oppose taking ANY action against such blatant cheating and such uneven playing field, and demand that the last vestiges of protection for the US industry be scrapped: Buy American Laws, the Export-Import Bank, and the few tariffs that remain.

When, in 2012, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney pledged to designate China as a currency manipulator, free trade ideologues from the left and the right accused him of wanting to start a trade war… not realizing China has ALREADY been waging a trade war on the US for decades.

The Military Consequences

And just like Britain’s loss of economic preeminence was followed by her loss of military superiority, so is the US losing its last vestiges of military superiority over China (and Russia) as a consequence of committing economic suicide.

The US no longer has a monopoly on any military technology. Its military has always been smaller than China’s – the latter is the world’s most populous country after all – but China’s military is now also much more modern than a decade or two ago.

The PLAN, the Chinese Navy, is already larger than the USN and has more submarines. Their surface combatants are as good as American ones, and their diesel-electric submarines are far quieter than anything the USN has. Their anti-ship missiles are much faster and longer-ranged than America’s sole anti-ship missile, the Harpoon. China also has 100,000 naval mines, against which the USN is nearly helpless as it has only 13 minesweepers – none of them in the regular Navy.

The PLA Air Force has hundreds of modern Generation 4+ fighters, including Flankers and J-10s, plus 389 old but highly agile and fast J-7 fighters. And what does the USAF have? 180 top-notch Raptors and around 300 F-15C/Ds, I’ll give you that much; but its F-16s would not stand a chance against Chinese fighters other than the old J-7. And the F-35, the most expensive, heaviest, and most sluggish “fighter” in the world, will be such a heavy pig it will be inferior to EVERY fighter on the planet.

The PLAAF is now developing TWO stealthy fighters – the J-20 and the J-31 – which, when inducted into service, will make every other fighter in the world, except the F-22 and the Russian PAKFA, obsolete, useless, impotent, and irrelevant.

The PLA’s Second Artillery Corps now has 66-75 ICBMs capable of reaching the US, plus 140 medium- and over 1,600 short-range ballistic missiles and hundreds of ground-launched cruise missiles – weapons which the US does not have and is prohibited from developing.

PLA_ballistic_missiles_range-590x362

The PLA also has a lopsided edge over the US in cyber and space warfare. Its hackers routinely penetrate US government networks with impunity, and it has an arsenal of anti-satellite weapons capable of shooting down all US satellites anytime.

Similarly, China’s anti-ship missiles are so fast, so long-ranged, so numerous, and so cheap that China could easily saturate USN warships with them – and USN defenses are incapable of intercepting supersonic, sea-skimming cruise missiles.

China also has many, many more nuclear weapons than the US DOD and American arms control afficionados are prepared to acknowledge: at least 1,600 (according to Russian General Viktor Yesin), and up to 3,000 (according to Dr Philip Karber, the top nuclear strategist in the Reagan Administration).

And, of course, China’s military has not been infected with political correctness and the open celebration of homosexuality and feminism – unlike the US military.

Let’s face the facts: America’s economic and military dominance is already largely a thing of the past. The US retains an advantage only in a few categories and on a few metrics – and China is now working hard on closing those few gaps as well.

China is now doing to the US what the US itself and Germany did to Britain in the late 19th and early 20th century: overtaking it economically and militarily.

The difference is that, unlike Britain, the US has no friendly power to whom hand over the torch.

So either the US will break free of its “free trade”, “noninterventionism”, “let’s mind our own business”, and “let’s cut the military” fantasies, or it will completely lose its preeminent status to China, with all the consequences stemming from that.

Rebuttal of Tom Collina’s blatant lies about US nukes

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Last week,the leftist Breaking Defense website published an utterly ridiculous screed by one of the most strident advocates of America’s unilateral nuclear disarmament, Tom Collina, the “research director” of the Arms Control Association, which advocates disarming the US unilaterally and foregoing the deployment of any missile defense systems. (The ACA is funded by several grant-awarding organizations which also advocate America’s unilateral disarmament.

In his screed, Collina makes a lot of lies, all of which, of course, are designed to smear nuclear weapons and mislead the public into supporting that treasonous goal.

Here’s his biggest lie:

“However, at a time of increasingly tight budgets, the more we spend on excess nuclear weapons the less will be available for what Ukraine and NATO need most: economic aid and conventional military assistance.”

Total garbage. Firstly, America does NOT have “excess nuclear weapons” – if anything, it has too few. Russia has a (slightly) BIGGER nuclear arsenal than the US, totalling 2,800 strategic and up to 5,700 tactical nuclear weapons. In fact, Russia has more nuclear weapons (8,500) than the US, Britain, and France combined (8,200). Sources: the Federation of American Scientists and SIPRI’s 2013 Military Balance.

Russia’s strategic nuclear arsenal alone rivals America’s in size, and is complemented by “tactical” nuclear weapons, many of which (the warheads of Russian cruise missiles) can be delivered to the US (because the aircraft and nuclear-powered submarines carrying them can travel intercontinental distances). And these warheads are NOT subject to any arms limitation treaty.

Russia’s ICBM fleet alone can deliver at least 1,684 warheads to the US; Russia’s submarine fleet, another 1,400; and Moscow’s bomber fleet (Tu-95s, Tu-22Ms, Tu-160s), another 2,000 if need be.

On top of that, the US has to deter China, North Korea, and Iran. China alone has at least 1,600 nuclear weapons and continues to build that arsenal up.

Not to mention the fact that Russia, China, NK, and Iran are threats to many but protectors to nobody, while the US has to provide a nuclear umbrella to itself and to over 30 allies around the world, many of whom will go nuclear if the US fails to provide an adequate umbrella. (Already 66% of South Koreans want to do that; meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has ordered nuclear weapons in Pakistan and DF-21 ballistic missiles in China.)

No, Mr Collina, the US nuclear arsenal is not excessive at all – if anything, it is too small.

As for economic aid, that is an obsolete, socialist idea. Ukraine needs to revive its economy by implementing free market policies, NOT begging for handouts.

“Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned recently that “tough, tough choices are coming” if the Pentagon is forced to make deep spending cuts, as required by law. He may slash about 30,000 soldiers and retire an aircraft carrier.”

Excuse me? Those are supposed to be “tough choices”? Are you kidding me? Reducing the active duty Army to levels roughly equal to those of 9/11 and retiring a single carrier is not tough – it’s a no-brainer. It’s like picking the low-hanging fruit. (After Hagel’s cuts, the Army will be just slightly smaller than on 9/11, and the American people will have NO appetite or stomach for any more ground wars for a long time to come.)

Aircraft carriers are hugely expensive and extremely vulnerable, and their a/c have very little range. Flattops essentially provide NO return for the huge taxpayer investment they cost. I have already submitted an article dealing with this issue to Proceedings; it awaits the Editorial Board’s review.

It would be far better for the DOD to invest seriously in the single most reliable deterrent against aggression – the US nuclear umbrella – instead of blowing money on oversized land armies and very vulnerable flattops.

“As Crimea shows, these priorities are backwards. We must not allow our increasingly important conventional military forces to be undercut by excessive investments in nuclear weapons.”

Utter garbage as well. America’s conventional forces are not being undercut by the nuclear arsenal, whose total cost (ca. $32 bn per annum) is only 6% of the total military budget (roughly $600 bn in FY2014). Even eliminating it altogether would NOT save America’s conventional forces from sequestration. Sec. Hagel is absolutely right to make the nuclear deterrent a priority for the above reasons. As for conventional forces – don’t make me laugh. The unilateral disarmament movement, of which Collina is an active member, opposes BOTH America’s conventional and nuclear forces. The US nuclear deterrent is merely their first target on their way to disarming America unilaterally.

“And we don’t have to. The United States can stay at nuclear warhead levels set by the 2010 New START treaty and still save billions over the next decade by scaling back and delaying new delivery systems.”

Utter nonsense again. Firstly, New START levels are inadequate to deter Russia and China; second, New START is a worthless and treasonous treaty obligating only the US (not Russia) to cut its arsenal while Moscow is allowed to increase its own; and thirdly, Russia has cheated on EVERY arms control treaty it has signed, INCLUDING New START, as Bill Gertz has recently revealed in the WFB.

And “scaling back and delaying new delivery systems” would be utterly suicidal and a recipe for a Russian nuclear first strike. It would mean having far fewer systems (and thus a much less survivable arsenal), and NO new systems coming online for decades – at a time when existing delivery systems are already reaching the end of their service lives! This means, in practice, complete unilateral disarmament!

The Minuteman ICBM and air-launched cruise missiles will go out of service in the 2020s. The B-52 cannot operate in anything but friendly-controlled airspace. The Ohio class will start leaving service later this decade, and even under CURRENT funding projections, there will be a big gap in the SSBN fleet, with a low of just 10 boats in the early 2020s – unless the SSBN replacement program is hastened.

The cost of replacing them is not huge and will likely be far less than the $355 bn Collina falsely claims – but delaying it any further will significantly increase the price tag.

If a superior U.S. nuclear force did not restrain Moscow from annexing Crimea, how would an even larger force stop further Russian adventurism? It would not. The paradox of nuclear weapons is that they are too destructive to be used, so both sides are “deterred” from doing so.”

These are also blatant lies. The US nuclear arsenal, as proven above, is SMALLER and OLDER than Russia’s, and it was never intended or built to deter Russia from annexing… the Crimea, where it already had almost 30,000 troops and dozens of ships anyway. It was never intended to deter Russia from invading the Ukraine, which neither the US nor the EU had any intention of defending or supporting (and Putin knew it), a country the West has kept out of NATO and the EU and has essentially left to fend for itself.

Putin knew that the West would never offer more than verbal protests and tepid sanctions if he went into Ukraine. Which is why he did that. He knew that Ukraine was outside America’s security perimeter.

The US nuclear deterrent is intended to provide security for the US itself and for its NATO and non-NATO allies (e.g. SK, Japan) – and it has been doing that successfully, without any failure, ever since its inception in 1945.

And if nuclear weapons cannot deter Putin in the Crimea or elsewhere, conventional weapons – which have far less striking and thus deterring power – cannot do that, either. Is Collina suggesting the US deploy its soldiers in the Ukraine and used in a shooting war with Russia? Does he envisage US Army BCTs taking on Russian brigades? Because if he’s not, conventional forces are utterly useless in Ukraine.

As former US Strategic Command leader Gen. Kevin Chilton has stated, conventional weapons cannot replace nuclear arms as deterrents, because the former lack the overwhelming striking (and thus deterring) power of nuclear arms.

Collina also approvingly quotes former Australian foreign minister Gareth Evans, who has falsely claimed that:

“Nuclear-weapons enthusiasts seem to have an inexhaustible appetite for bad arguments.”

In fact, Western anti-nuke activists, the advocates of the West’s unilateral disarmament, seem to have an inexhaustible appetite for bad arguments, lying, and disarming their own countries unilaterally.

And while nuclear weapons might not be useful in Ukraine, there is little the US can do there anyway (who’s suggesting putting US conventional troops there?). But building up the US nuclear arsenal and accelerating missile defense deployment in Europe would do three good things:

1) Increase US and allied security by finally providing a bigger, more adequate, and modernized deterrent;

2) Finally showing strength to Russia after many years of appeasement and unilateral disarmament – which is what emboldened Russia to take one aggressive action after another, culminating in the invasion of Ukraine; and

3) Be a huge geopolitical, diplomatic, and prestige defeat for Russia, which strongly opposes both. It’s time to stop giving Russia what it wants. It would mean Russia has finally lost the veto on US and NATO security matters that Obama gave Moscow in 2009 by cancelling GBI missile defense deployment in Europe. Russia (and other aggressors and bullies) only understand the language of force, and they respect only those who are stronger than them. To deter Russia and have a better negotiating position vis-a-vis Moscow, the US needs to have stronger nuclear AND conventional forces.

BreakingDefense itself approvingly published Collina’s screed and falsely called him:

“Tom Collina, a respected expert in nuclear weapons and arms control…”

Balderdash. Collina is not a “respected expert” on anything, ESPECIALLY not nuclear weapons and arms control. He’s an ignoramus and an ideological advocate of America’s unilateral disarmament. Calling him an expert is an insult to every real expert out there. Being a longtime anti-nuclear activist does not make one an expert. And while I would not call myself one, I know far more about nuclear weapons than he ever will.

Shame on him for lying so blatantly and advocating America’s unilateral disarmament, and shame on BD for publishing his utterly ridiculous screed.

Rebuttal of arms control advocates’ lies about New START implementation

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Yesterday, the DOD announced it would continue to slavishly adhere to the treasonous New START unilateral disarmament treaty signed by Barack Obama four years ago, even despite Russia’s ongoing, rapid nuclear buildup and its illegal invasion and occupation of the Crimea.

In order to implement the treaty – which requires only the US, not Russia, to cut its nuclear arsenal – the DOD will eliminate 50 ICBMs, disable four launch tubes on each ballistic missile submarine and disable the nuclear weapon carrying ability on 30 of the USAF’s 66 B-52 bombers, rendering them only nuclear-capable. Thus, the USAF will have only 56 nuclear-capable bombers: the remaining 35 B-52s plus 20 B-2s, while Russia has 251 nuclear-capable Tu-95, Tu-160, and Tu-22M strategic bombers.

Yet, non-governmental disarmament advocates are not satisfied with these unilateral cuts and have called on the Obama administration to cut the US nuclear arsenal much deeper – and unilaterally – even as Russia, China, and North Korea are all rapidly building up and modernizing their nuclear arsenals, and as Iran is racing to reach nuclear weapon capability.

To justify such dramatic unilateral cuts, they falsely claim that a) the US has more nuclear weapons than it needs, and b) disarming oneself makes one safer – both lies that have already been refuted here on CDN many times.

The Arms Control Association’s executive director, Daryl G. Kimball, falsely claims that the Obama administration’s implementation of New START “is modest in the extreme and still leaves the US with far more nuclear weapons than the President and the Pentagon say they need for nuclear deterrence.”

FAS blogger and Danish pro-unilateral-disarmament activist Hans M. Kristensen, who has campaigned for the West’s unilateral disarmament, falsely claims that the Obama administration, in deciding to keep 450 ICBM siloes and not making deeper cuts, “was not driven by national security concerns” – as if disarming oneself unilaterally could make one more secure!

All of their claims are utterly false. Disarmament only makes a country LESS secure, and America does NOT have more nuclear weapons than she needs for deterrence; in fact, the US barely has enough of them. This is because Russia and China wield large nuclear arsenals, while North Korea is growing its and Iran is racing to build one.

Putin’s Huge Nuclear Buildup

According to US State Department diplomats in Moscow, who monitor Russia daily, Moscow is “vastly increasing” its nuclear arsenal and aims to reach “nuclear superiority over, not nuclear parity with, the US”, as Bill Gertz reports in his newest column in the Washington Free Beacon.

This is consistent with previous media and think-tank reports that Russia was building up its nuclear arsenal, was building additional strategic Tu-160 bombers, and had ordered 400 new ICBMs. The State Department and Bill Gertz have now simply confirmed this.

Thus, we have irrefutable evidence that a) Russia is dramatically increasing its nuclear arsenal, and b) its buildup is aimed at achieving nuclear superiority over, not parity with, the US. Which also proves that  New START is a treasonous treaty highly dangerous to US and allied security, because it requires nuclear arsenal cuts only of the US, while allowing Russia to dramatically increase its own arsenal.

Russia currently has:

  • About 414-434 ICBMs capable of delivering at least 1,684 (and probably more) nuclear warheads to the CONUS, with its fleet of 68-75 SS-18 Satan ICBMs alone being able to deliver 10 warheads each (750 in total);
  • 13 ballistic missile submarines, each armed with 16 ballistic missiles (20 in the case of the sole Typhoon class boat), each missile being itself capable of delivering 4-8 warheads (12 in the future, when Bulava and Liner missiles replace the currently-used Skiff) to the CONUS even if launched from Russian ports (Moscow has had such long-ranged missiles since the late 1980s), meaning over 1,400 warheads in total deliverable by Russia’s strategic submarine fleet;
  • 251 strategic bombers (Tu-95, Tu-160, Tu-22M), each capable of delivering between 7 (Tu-95) and 12 (Tu-22M) nuclear warheads to the CONUS. Russian bombers have, in recent years, repeatedly flown close to, and sometimes into, US airspace.
  • 2,800 strategic nuclear warheads in total, of which 1,500 are now deployed – and more will be deployed in the future – on the forementioned ICBMs, submarines, and bombers.
  • Over 20 attack and cruise missile submarines, each carrying nuclear-armed cruise missiles (one such submarine of the Akula class popped up last year near the US submarine base at King’s Bay, GA).
  • The world’s largest tactical nuclear arsenal, with around 4,000 warheads deliverable by a very wide range of systems, from short-range ballistic missiles to artillery pieces to tactical aircraft (Su-24, Su-25, the Flanker family, Su-34), to surface ships using nuclear depth charges.
  • Illegal (banned by the INF Treaty) intermediate-range nuclear-armed missiles (Yars-M, R-500, Iskander-M) that can target any place in Europe and China. (Nonetheless, despite these facts, the Obama administration and NATO are too afraid to recognize and name Russia as an INF Treaty violator.)

Russia is now dramatically increasing that arsenal, as the State Department and the Strategic Command’s leader have now confirmed. In addition to deploying more warheads and building more bombers from stockpiled components, it is:

  • Deploying new submarine-launched ballistic missiles (the Bulava and the Liner) that can carry 10-12 warheads each. Russia plans to procure around 140-150 missiles of each type; when these are fully deployed on Russia’s 13 ballistic missile subs, that fleet will be able to carry 2,000-2,200 nuclear warheads all by itself.
  • Deploying additional Yars-M, R-500, and Iskander-M IRBMs – in violation of the INF Treaty.

Russia is also steadily modernizing its existing nuclear arsenal and fleet of delivery systems. It is:

  • Developing and deploying a new class of ballistic missile submarines capable of carrying missiles such as the Bulava and the Liner. Two of them have already been commissioned and at least eight in total will be built.
  • Developing a next-generation intercontinental bomber, slated to first fly in 2020 – before the USAF’s planned Long Range Strike Bomber will.
  • Developing a new submarine-launched cruise missile, the Kaliber;
  • Procuring and deploying a new air-launched cruise missile, the Kh-101/102;
  • Developing and deploying three new ICBM types – the light Yars (RS-24, SS-29) to replace the single-warhead Topol and Topol-M missiles, the midweight Avangard/Rubezh (slated to replace SS-19 Stiletto missiles), and the Sarmat (AKA Son of Satan), intended to replace the SS-18 Satan heavy ICBMs.
  • Developing a rail-based ICBM type on top of the forementioned ICBM classes.
  • Developing a hypersonic missile that could carry nuclear warheads to any point on Earth in an hour and easily penetrate US missile defenses.

Note that the RS-24 (SS-29) Yars ICBMs will be able to carry 10 warheads each, whereas the missiles they’re replacing – the Topol (SS-25 Sickle) and Topol-M (SS-27 Sickle-B) – can carry only one warhead. Therefore, as these missiles enter service, the warhead carriage capacity of the Russian ICBM fleet will greatly increase beyond the (already huge) number of 1,684 warheads immediately deliverable to the CONUS.

By 2018, 80%, and by 2021, 100% of Russia’s ICBMs will be missiles of the new generation – the he Avangard/Rubezh, and the Sarmat heavy ICBM, as well as the forementioned rail-based ICBM.

By contrast, the US, under the Obama administration, has unilaterally retired and scrapped its nuclear-armed Tomahawk submarine-launched cruise missiles and their warheads, plans to kill the procurement of conventional Tomahawks, has no program to replace its ICBMs or air-launched cruise missiles, has delayed the induction of its next-generation bomber until the mid-2020s (and plans to procure only 80-100 of these crucial aircraft), has no plans to develop or deploy mobile ICBMs or medium- or short-range ballistic missiles, and has delayed its ballistic missile submarine replacement program. And even when these boats enter service, there will be only 12 of them, each carrying 16 missiles as opposed to the current Ohio class carrying 24 missiles each.

This is as simple as “Russia and China have nuclear-armed submarine- and ground-launched cruise missiles and IRBMs, the US does not.”

Which means that, even without further cuts, the US will be at a nuclear disadvantage vis-a-vis Russia (and China).

Russia would’ve been a huge nuclear threat necessitating the maintenance of the US nuclear arsenal at no less than its current size even WITHOUT this nuclear buildup. With it, it is becoming an even greater nuclear threat, thus necessitating that the US nuclear arsenal be increased, too.

The Dragon’s Huge Nuclear Teeth

China also has a large nuclear arsenal. How large, exactly? Retired Chief of Staff of Russia’s Strategic Missile Troops, General Viktor Yesin, based on Russian intel data, estimates it at 1,600-1,800 nuclear warheads and enough fissile material for another 1,800 warheads.

China’s delivery systems arsenal currently consists of:

  •  24-36 DF-5 ICBMs and an unknown number of DF-41 ICBMs capable of carrying 10 warheads each;
  • over 30 DF-31/31A ICBMs capable of carrying 4 warheads per missile;
  • 20 DF-4 ICBMs;
  • 120 DF-3 and DF-21 medium-range ballistic missiles, now being joined by the DF-25 and the DF-26;
  • over 1,600 DF-11, DF-15, and DF-16 short-range ballistic missiles, the vast majority of them stationed opposite Taiwan;
  • 440 nuclear-capable bombers and strike aircraft (H-6, Q-5, JH-7), each armed with a nuclear freefall bomb and many H-6K bombers being armed with air-launched CJ-10 and CJ-20 cruise missiles; and
  • 6 ballistic missile submarines (1 Xia class, 5 Jin class), capable of carrying 12-16 missiles each (JL-2 missiles in the Jin class’s case, each carrying 4 warheads); a new class of ballistic subs, however, the Type 096 Tang class, is due to begin strategic patrols this year, armed with 24 JL-2 missiles.

Of course, like Russia, China is now rapidly expanding and modernizing its nuclear arsenal. It is building additional ICBMs, shorter-ranged missiles, ballistic missile submarines, and strike aircraft. It is also:

  • Developing nuclear-capable hypersonic missiles;
  • Modifying more H-6 bombers to carry nuclear-armed cruise missiles;
  • Developing new, longer-ranged variants of the JL-2 submarine-launched missile that will be able to carry 12 warheads over a distance of 14,000 kms; and
  • Developing a nuclear-capable stealthy intercontinental bomber.

Yet, in the face of this huge nuclear buildup by both Russia and China, arms control advocates like Kimball and Kristensen continue to falsely claim America has more nuclear weapons than needed for nuclear deterrence – and leftist press agencies like Reuters and AP uncritically print their blatant lies!

The American people, and members of Congress, must not buy their blatant lies. No, America does not have more nuclear weapons than necessary for nuclear deterrence; it barely has enough. As Russia and China increase their nuclear arsenals, America will have to do the same if it wishes to be secure.

For it is military strength, not weakness, that guarantees peace and security, contrary to Kristensen’s and the ACA’s blatant lies.

On Foreign and Defense Policy, Rand Paul Is On The Far Left

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Last month, ConservativeDailyNews published an article debunking Senator Paul’s lies and attacks on his fellow Republicans and proving that Paul is no Reaganite on foreign policy, despite his desperate attempts to claim that mantle. After that, CDN debunked Sen. Paul’s false claims and policy prescriptions regarding Russia, the aggressor who illegally invaded and annexed part of Ukraine last month. Since then, we have uncovered additional facts about Sen. Paul’s foreign policy views which we believe the American people should know.

Rand Paul Supports America’s Unilateral Disarmament

Virtually all Americans, except strident liberals, know how foolish it is to disarm oneself, especially on a unilateral basis. Disarming one’s country, especially unilaterally, only invites aggression, death, and destruction, while a strong deterrent preserves those calamities.

Nonetheless, some extremely leftist groups, such as Global Zero, seek to disarm the US unilaterally by advocating deep, unilateral cuts in the US nuclear arsenal, down to the low hundreds,  and foregoing any modernization of the few weapons the US would have left, while falsely claiming that Russia, China, and other nuclear powers will then be nice enough to follow suit.

This is of course utterly false: Russia, China, and North Korea are building UP and modernizing their nuclear arsenals, as countless reports from the Washington Free Beacon, the Washington Times, Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy, the State Department, the US Strategic Command, and this writer have demonstrated. As even Jimmy Carter’s own defense secretary, Harold Brown, has said, “When we build, they build. When we cut, they build.”

Not only that, but Russia has violated EVERY arms limitation treaty it has ever signed, including the INF Treaty banning intermediate-range missiles.

But don’t waste your breath telling that to Sen. Rand Paul. He thinks Obama’s “reset” (read: appeasement) policy towards Russia has been a success, does not oppose cutting the US nuclear arsenal, has no objection to Russia’s rapid nuclear buildup or arms limitation treaty violations, and his foreign policy advisor is… the chairman of US Global Zero, Richard Burt, a former New York Slimes journalist.

Yes, you’ve read that correctly. The man who advises Sen. Paul on foreign policy is the chairman of the leading group advocating America’s unilateral disarmament.

Indeed, Sen. Paul has no objection to Global Zero’s treasonous unilateral disarmament proposals and has not criticized Chuck Hagel for supporting them in the past or for being a member of Global Zero.

By contrast, during Hagel’s very contentious Senate confirmation hearing, many other GOP Senators, including Jeff Sessions, Jim Inhofe, Kelly Ayotte, and Ted Cruz, staunchly criticized Hagel for these and other extremely leftist views. Paul voted to confirm Hagel, while Cruz, Ayotte, Sessions, and Inhofe all voted no.

In fact, Paul was one of only four Republicans (alongside RINOs Thad Cochran, Richard Shelby, and Nebraska’s Mike Johanns) to vote to confirm Hagel. All other Republicans, including even Maine’s Susan Collins, voted no.

But again, Paul hasn’t merely voted to confirm a card-carrying member of Global Zero as Secretary of Defense; he has hired that group’s chairman as his foreign policy advisor. If Rand Paul were elected President (God forbid), that man (Richard Burt) would become a key foreign policy figure in his administration – perhaps even Secretary of State or Secretary of Defense. And then, you can be sure as hell he and Paul would disarm America unilaterally. Jen Rubin has elaborated on that here.

Which brings us to the second fact uncovered last week: that Rand Paul doesn’t believe in “peace through strength” at all.

Rand Paul Rejects Peace Through Strength

Peace Through Strength is not a mere bumper sticker; it’s a policy proven right time and again. And it is right because it’s based on the fact that military (and economic) strength guarantees peace and security, while it is weakness that provokes aggression.

But Rand Paul adamantly disagrees (though these days he doesn’t often say that, now that he has the White House in his crosshairs). Rand Paul believes strength – specifically, American strength and firmness – is provocative and that appeasement of aggressors and bullies like Russia is the right approach.

In the following 2009 video, then-Dr. Paul slammed the notion of deploying missile defense systems in Poland and of expanding NATO eastward to bring Ukraine and Georgia under NATO’s protection. He claimed this would be provocative and invite war with Russia.

This is, of course, utter nonsense; Russia has to fear something from such moves only if it plans to make war on Poland and to further attack Ukraine and Georgia. If Russia plans to continue its policy of aggression towards Ukraine, Georgia, and Poland, and attack the latter, then yes, Russia does have to fear something from the US.

But if Russia were to coexist peacefully with those countries, it would have nothing to fear.

In fact, Russia would have nothing to fear from US missile defense systems in any case. These systems are unable to intercept Russian missiles (mainly due to their inadequate speed), ESPECIALLY if deployed in Central Europe, because then, these missiles would be easily outflown by Russian ICBMs. If Russia fired an ICBM towards the US, it would be over Western Europe by the time a missile defense battery in Poland would launch its interceptor(s).

But Sen. Paul believes that American strength, not weakness, is provocative and would invite war with Russia.

Which also explains his choice of Global Zero chairman Richard Burt to be his foreign policy advisor: if one believes that American strength is provocative and America’s weakness is a good thing, it makes sense to disarm America unilaterally and to surround yourself with people who advocate doing exactly that.

But in the real world, American weakness is provocative and dangerous, disarming America is utterly suicidal, and all arms control treaties in history have done nothing but to constrain the defenses of Western countries while doing absolutely nothing to limit the armaments of rogue nations and aggressors like Iran, North Korea, Russia, and China – who spit on such treaties and on the very notion of a  “world without nuclear weapons” (a fantasy which will never exist).

Senator Paul also opposes US sanctions against Iran and Russia (he voted against a Russia sanctions bill even AFTER substitute language, not authorizing any funding for the IMF or aid to Ukraine, was offered), and has claimed that pre-WW2 sanctions against Japan provoked that country to attack the US; he has also claimed that after WW1 the US imposed some sort of a “blockade” of Germany that “provoked some of their anger” (in reality, the US imposed no such blockade on Germany after WW1, ratified a separate treaty of peace with Berlin, invested heavily in Germany, and tried to ease the reparations burden on Germany throughout the interwar period). For more on Sen. Paul’s odious views, see here and here.

In other words, Rand Paul Blames America First.

Which Is the Better Electoral Choice?

Finally, when all else fails, defense weaklings and isolationists like Rand Paul and his ilk claim the GOP must adopt their policies because “Americans are war-weary” and a neo-isolationist (“noninterventionist”), “restrained” foreign policy and deep defense cuts.

This is utter nonsense. Although a slim majority of Americans did tell Pew several months ago (before the Russian invasion of Ukraine) that the US should, internationally, “mind its own business”, over 60% of Americans told Gallup that the US spends either “too little” or “the right amount” of money on defense, meaning that over 60% of Americans oppose any further defense cuts (Pew has found similarly strong opposition to defense cuts).

This is in stark contrast to the 1970s (when Americans were really war-weary, after Vietnam, and supported deep defense cuts) and the 1990s (when the public wanted a “peace dividend”).

Also, President Obama’s approval ratings on foreign policy (like on other issues) are at an all-time low, Republicans are now considered the more competent party on foreign policy, and a solid majority of Americans considers Russia a threat to US national security and backs strong sanctions against that country.

Last, but not least, when Gallup asked Americans last year to list their disagreements with the GOP and reasons for voting against it, only 1% named “war issues” as their objection to the GOP. The rest of that list was related to domestic issues and the GOP’s methods of handling them and advancing its goals.

There is nobody in the US who currently doesn’t vote Republican who would somehow start doing so if the GOP agreed to deep defense cuts. Agreeing to such suicidal cuts would not win the GOP a single new voter, but it would alienate tens of millions of national-security-oriented GOP voters who have been with the party for decades.

The reality is simple. Everytime the GOP nominates candidates who strongly believe in Peace Through Strength, are knowledgeable about foreign policy, and are confident discussing it, it is consistently rewarded at the polls. Conversely, when the Republican Party nominates candidates who don’t believe in Peace Through Strength, or don’t know much about foreign affairs and are uncomfortable discussing them, these candidates lose.

One of the biggest reasons why Ronald Reagan was overwhelmingly elected and reelected was because tens of millions of pro-defense voters left the Democratic Party and voted for Reagan after that party abandoned and betrayed them.

Why did the Dem party do that to them? Because during the 1970s, it was taken over by the McGovern-Carter crowd – which has never relinquished control of that party since. Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Barack Obama, Rose Goettemoeller, Carl Levin, John Garamendi, Jim Cooper, and Ed Markey all come from that McGovern-Carter tribe.

In the 1970s, the Democratic Party abandoned and betrayed tens of millions of pro-defense voters – who then migrated to the GOP and dealt the Democrats a series of nasty defeats (1980, 1984, 1988, 2000, 2004).

If the GOP, however, nominates an isolationist, pro-appeasement, anti-defense candidate like Sen. Paul for the Presidency (or the Vice Presidency), it will also abandon and betray those national-security oriented voters – as well as tens of millions of longtime Republicans who also care about defense issues. In essence, tens of millions of pro-defense voters will be disenfranchised.

The American people deserve at least one party which supports a strong national defense and a muscular foreign policy – in deed, not just in word.

The next 2.5 years will show whether the GOP has learned from this history and will nominate a competent candidate for the Presidency or not.

Strategic Command and State Dept. confirm: Russia is building UP its nuke arsenal

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For many years, this writer has been warning against any reductions in the US nuclear arsenal, based on the fact that Russia was building up its own, China’s nuclear arsenal’s size was unknown and likely to be in the thousands of warheads, and North Korea’s nuclear capabilities were steadily increasing.

Accordingly, this writer has always consistently opposed any cuts in the US nuclear arsenal, including those mandated by the New START treaty, and has argued vocally against proposals by Obama admin officials and non-governmental arms control advocates like the “Arms Control Association” to cut the nuclear deterrent even further.

As time passed, more and more evidence emerged proving this writer’s claims – and proving nuclear disarmament advocates wrong.

But last Wednesday, the most powerful piece of evidence arrived: State Department cables from Moscow and Congressional testimony by Adm. Cecil Haney, commander of the Strategic Command, in charge of America’s entire nuclear commander.

According to US State Department diplomats in Moscow, who monitor Russia daily, Moscow is “vastly increasing” its nuclear arsenal and aims to reach “nuclear superiority over, not nuclear parity with, the US”, as Bill Gertz reports in his newest column in the Washington Free Beacon.

This is consistent with previous media and think-tank reports that Russia was building up its nuclear arsenal, was building additional strategic Tu-160 bombers, and had ordered 400 new ICBMs. The State Department and Bill Gertz have now simply confirmed this.

Thus, we have irrefutable evidence that a) Russia is dramatically increasing its nuclear arsenal, and b) its buildup is aimed at achieving nuclear superiority over, not parity with, the US. Which also proves that  New START is a treasonous treaty highly dangerous to US and allied security, because it requires nuclear arsenal cuts only of the US, while allowing Russia to dramatically increase its own arsenal.

Russia currently has:

  • About 414-434 ICBMs capable of delivering at least 1,684 (and probably more) nuclear warheads to the CONUS, with its fleet of 68-75 SS-18 Satan ICBMs alone being able to deliver 10 warheads each (750 in total);
  • 13 ballistic missile submarines, each armed with 16 ballistic missiles (20 in the case of the sole Typhoon class boat), each missile being itself capable of delivering 4-8 warheads (12 in the future, when Bulava and Liner missiles replace the currently-used Skiff) to the CONUS even if launched from Russian ports (Moscow has had such long-ranged missiles since the late 1980s), meaning over 1,400 warheads in total deliverable by Russia’s strategic submarine fleet;
  • 251 strategic bombers (Tu-95, Tu-160, Tu-22M), each capable of delivering between 7 (Tu-95) and 12 (Tu-22M) nuclear warheads to the CONUS. Russian bombers have, in recent years, repeatedly flown close to, and sometimes into, US airspace.
  • 2,800 strategic nuclear warheads in total, of which 1,500 are now deployed – and more will be deployed in the future – on the forementioned ICBMs, submarines, and bombers.
  • Over 20 attack and cruise missile submarines, each carrying nuclear-armed cruise missiles (one such submarine of the Akula class popped up last year near the US submarine base at King’s Bay, GA).
  • The world’s largest tactical nuclear arsenal, with around 4,000 warheads deliverable by a very wide range of systems, from short-range ballistic missiles to artillery pieces to tactical aircraft (Su-24, Su-25, the Flanker family, Su-34), to surface ships using nuclear depth charges.
  • Illegal (banned by the INF Treaty) intermediate-range nuclear-armed missiles (Yars-M, R-500, Iskander-M) that can target any place in Europe and China. (Nonetheless, despite these facts, the Obama administration and NATO are too afraid to recognize and name Russia as an INF Treaty violator.)

Russia is now dramatically increasing that arsenal, as the State Department and the Strategic Command’s leader have now confirmed. In addition to deploying more warheads and building more bombers from stockpiled components, it is:

  • Deploying new submarine-launched ballistic missiles (the Bulava and the Liner) that can carry 10-12 warheads each. Russia plans to procure around 140-150 missiles of each type; when these are fully deployed on Russia’s 13 ballistic missile subs, that fleet will be able to carry 2,000-2,200 nuclear warheads all by itself.
  • Deploying additional Yars-M, R-500, and Iskander-M IRBMs – in violation of the INF Treaty.

Russia is also steadily modernizing its existing nuclear arsenal and fleet of delivery systems. It is:

  • Developing and deploying a new class of ballistic missile submarines capable of carrying missiles such as the Bulava and the Liner. Two of them have already been commissioned and at least eight in total will be built.
  • Developing a next-generation intercontinental bomber, slated to first fly in 2020 – before the USAF’s planned Long Range Strike Bomber will.
  • Developing a new submarine-launched cruise missile, the Kaliber;
  • Procuring and deploying a new air-launched cruise missile, the Kh-101/102;
  • Developing and deploying three new ICBM types – the light Yars (RS-24, SS-29) to replace the single-warhead Topol and Topol-M missiles, the midweight Avangard/Rubezh (slated to replace SS-19 Stiletto missiles), and the Sarmat (AKA Son of Satan), intended to replace the SS-18 Satan heavy ICBMs.
  • Developing a rail-based ICBM type on top of the forementioned ICBM classes.
  • Developing a hypersonic missile that could carry nuclear warheads to any point on Earth in an hour and easily penetrate US missile defenses.

Note that the RS-24 (SS-29) Yars ICBMs will be able to carry 10 warheads each, whereas the missiles they’re replacing – the Topol (SS-25 Sickle) and Topol-M (SS-27 Sickle-B) – can carry only one warhead. Therefore, as these missiles enter service, the warhead carriage capacity of the Russian ICBM fleet will greatly increase beyond the (already huge) number of 1,684 warheads immediately deliverable to the CONUS.

By 2018, 80%, and by 2021, 100% of Russia’s ICBMs will be missiles of the new generation – the he Avangard/Rubezh, and the Sarmat heavy ICBM, as well as the forementioned rail-based ICBM.

By contrast, the US, under the Obama administration, has unilaterally retired and scrapped its nuclear-armed Tomahawk submarine-launched cruise missiles and their warheads, plans to kill the procurement of conventional Tomahawks, has no program to replace its ICBMs or air-launched cruise missiles, has delayed the induction of its next-generation bomber until the mid-2020s (and plans to procure only 80-100 of these crucial aircraft), has no plans to develop or deploy mobile ICBMs or medium- or short-range ballistic missiles, and has delayed its ballistic missile submarine replacement program. And even when these boats enter service, there will be only 12 of them, each carrying 16 missiles as opposed to the current Ohio class carrying 24 missiles each.

This is as simple as “Russia and China have nuclear-armed submarine- and ground-launched cruise missiles and IRBMs, the US does not.”

Which means that, even without further cuts, the US will be at a nuclear disadvantage vis-a-vis Russia (and China).

Russia would’ve been a huge nuclear threat necessitating the maintenance of the US nuclear arsenal at no less than its current size even WITHOUT this nuclear buildup. With it, it is becoming an even greater nuclear threat, thus necessitating that the US nuclear arsenal be increased, too.

This isn’t just Zbigniew Mazurak speaking; this is the State Department (through its diplomats in Moscow) and the Strategic Command’s leader, Adm. Haney (who is in charge of all US nuclear weapons), speaking. As Bill Gertz of the Washington Free Beacon reports:

“The blunt comments [by Adm. Haney – ZM] came in response to reports that Russian strategic nuclear forces recently held a large-scale nuclear exercise coinciding with saber-rattling conventional military deployments close to Russia’s eastern border with Ukraine.

Haney said the Russians conduct periodic nuclear war games and in 2013 produced a YouTube video that highlighted “every aspect of their capability.” (…)

State Department cables sent to Washington earlier this year included dire warnings that Russia is vastly increasing its nuclear arsenal under policies similar to those Moscow followed during the Soviet era. The cables, according to officials familiar with them, also stated that the Russian strategic nuclear forces buildup appears aimed at achieving nuclear superiority over the United States and not nuclear parity.

The nuclear modernization has been “continuous” and includes adding fixed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and mobile ICBMs, along with a new class of strategic missile submarines, Haney said in testimony.

“Russia has articulated their value in having strategic capability, and as such, each area they have invested in both in terms of nuclear strategic capability as well as space capability and cyberspace capability in terms of things,” Haney said.

“And as a result, we have seen them demonstrate their capability through a variety of exercises and operations. They maintain their readiness of that capability on a continuous fashion. And it’s a capability I don’t see them backing away from.”

By contrast, Haney testified to the committee that U.S. nuclear forces are in urgent need of modernization to update aging nuclear weapons, delivery systems, and support and production infrastructure, most of which were made decades ago. Under budget sequestration, which could be re-imposed in 2016, U.S. nuclear force modernization will be undermined.”

These facts utterly refute any claims – including those of Barack Obama, Congressional Democrats, and other nuclear disarmament advocates like the Arms Control Association and the Ploughshares Fund – that the US has too many warheads and can afford to cut its nuclear arsenal safely, or that this arsenal is a “Cold War relic” cutting which is “overdue and in the national interest.”

These despicable traitors wanted – and still want – America to cut its nuclear arsenal further and unilaterally, without Russian reciprocation. And for that, they should be severely punished with the maximum penalty foreseen by law for treason.

They have been blatantly lying. All of their claims, without any exception, are blatant lies. No, the US nuclear is not “too large”, “ripe for cuts”, nor a “Cold War relic.” No, its mission is not obsolete by any means – on the contrary, its mission (nuclear deterrence) is more important now than ever. No, cutting the US nuclear arsenal is not “overdue” nor “in the national interest” – it would be completely AGAINST the US national interest and utterly suicidal. It would invoke a Russian nuclear first strike on the US.

No, America cannot afford to cut its nuclear arsenal ANY FURTHER. It should increase, not cut, her nuclear arsenal.

Specifically, the US must:

  • Not enter into any more arms reduction agreements ever again, especially not with countries which routinely violate such treaties, like Russia.
  • Not reduce its nuclear arsenal by even one warhead and not retire any warheads except those whose service lives cannot be extended.
  • Begin quickly increasing its arsenal and the production of cheap, simple plutonium-based warheads. Ample plutonium for their production can be easily obtained from spent fuel from American nuclear reactors.
  • Resume nuclear testing.
  • Accelerate the development of the Long-Range Strike Bomber and procure 200, not 80-100, of these aircraft; and require that they be certified as nuclear-capable from the moment they enter service.
  • Quickly begin developing and procuring new, longer-ranged, stealthy replacements for the USAF’s cruise missiles as well as the Navy’s Tomahawk. The new cruise missiles should be of the same type, launchable from a wide range of platforms, and capable of delivering nuclear and conventional warheads. Their range should be at least 2,000 kms.
  • Accelerate the development of hypersonic weapons. The B-52, the B-1, and the B-2 should all be made capable of launching hypersonic missiles. The HTV and Blackswift programs should also be resumed.
  • Accelerate the Ohio class replacement program.
  • Develop and deploy a new ICBM for the USAF, which should come in rail- and silo-based variants.
  • Build more tactical nuclear warheads to reassure US allies around the world.

Once again, it must be repeated: THE US MUST NOT CUT ITS NUCLEAR ARSENAL ANY FURTHER, WHETHER UNI-, BI-, OR MULTILATERALLY. PERIOD.

Rebuttal of Guy Taylor’s garbage screed on missile defense

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This morning, the Washington Times published a ridiculous  article. Therein in reports that three GOP Senators want to revive the Bush administration’s plans (cancelled by Obama) to deploy missile defense systems in Poland and the Czech Republic… then attempts to paint those Senators and their proposal in the worst possible light by relying on the opinions of Obama administration officials and Kingston Reif, an ardent anti-military, anti-missile defense hack whose lies have already been refuted here on a few occassions. Reif claims that a) trying to punish Putin by deploying those missile defense systems in Central Europe would be “irresponsible” and pointless; and b) the Obama administration did not left Poland and the Czech Republic hanging out to dry when it cancelled President Bush’s plans (when it really did).

Obama admin officials, for their part, claim they didn’t leave Warsaw and Prague empty-handed and that their decisions were made based on supposed intelligence showing an evolving Iranian and North Korean threat. They also boast of their 2013 decision to deploy 14 additional interceptors in Alaska.

This is an utterly ridiculous screed whose purpose appears to be to tar GOP Senators while covering up for the Obama administration’s foreign policy failures. Shame on TWT for publishing it.

 

Here are THE FACTS:

 

1) The Obama admin cancelled the Bush administration’s plan to deploy missile defense systems in Europe SOLELY out of a foolish desire to appease Russia (which was adamantly opposed to those systems, and indeed to any US missile defense systems). As we know, and as I’ve been warning for over 4 years now, the Obama administration’s attempt to appease Russia has UTTERLY FAILED, as the Kremlin has given the US NO quid pro quo whatsoever.

 

2) Had the Bush administration’s plan been upheld and enacted, those missile defense installations would’ve been completed by 2012.

 

3) Both the Polish and the Czech governments of the time firmly supported the deal the Bush admin had struck with them, fearful of their countries’ security as the deal was signed literally days after Russia invaded Georgia. Milos Zeman has been President of the Czech Republic for only a few months. The Czech President of 2009 was the STAUNCHLY pro-American Vaclav Klaus.

 

4) When cancelling the Bush administration’s plans, the Obama administration left Warsaw and Prague with nothing but paper promises of an Aegis Ashore system that doesn’t exist and might never exist, and of deployment of such system that might or might nor occur many years from now (if ever)… unless, of course, Obama obtains even more “flexibility” to capitulate to Russia on missile defense issues.

 

So essentially, while cancelling Bush’s plans, Obama gave Warsaw and Prague nothing but paper promises. And as Obama has demonstrated recently to the Ukraine, America’s security promises are not even worth the paper it is printed on. America is now a country whose word counts for nothing, as it has utterly failed to protect Ukraine’s territorial integrity, in violation of its international obligations.

 

5) The Obama admin’s claims, made in 2009 and now, that in 2009 the threat was “evolving” is utterly false. At the time, they falsely claimed that the North Korean and ICBM threat was emerging less slowly than anticipated, which was (and is) not true; additionally, they falsely claimed there was a dichotomy and a zero-sum choice between defending against short-range and long-range missiles. Iranian short- and medium-range BMs, in any case, lack the range to reach Europe (let alone the US). The ONLY threat Iran could ever pose to Europe or the US is with long-range missiles. The DIA and the STRATCOM project Iran will test an ICBM next year.

 

6) Obama has promised Poland he will deploy SM-3 missiles in that country in 2018 – 4 years from now. That might (and likely will) never be honored, and in any case Obama cannot ensure that it will be, as he will no longer be in office by 2018. There will be a new President who will likely pursue a new policy.

 

7) As for the Obama admin’s decision to deploy 14 extra anti-ICBM interceptors in Alaska… this was originally planned by the BUSH Administration and cancelled by the Obama admin in its very first year in office, 2009. Their foolish cancellation was not reversed until last year, when the North Korean ICBM threat became so clear it could no longer be ignored. Had they gone forward with Bush’s plans in 2009, those 14 extra interceptors would’ve been deployed long ago.

 

8) Kingston Reif is not a missile defense analyst, he’s a longtime ANTI-missile-defense activist and an anti-nuclear-deterrence and anti-defense hack. Not one word he says is correct or credible. Quoting him as an authority is like quoting Cindy Sheehan.

 

9) Guy Taylor falsely claims that “most missile defense analysts agree with the Obama administration”… based on the opinion of just ONE person (Kingston Reif). Just ONE (leaving aside the fact he’s an anti-missile defense activist and not an analyst). ONE person is supposed to represent “most missile defense analysts”? Are you on drugs, Mr Taylor?

 

10) Deploying additional missile defense systems to Poland would be a GOOD policy. The purpose would be not just to poke Putin (not that it’s a bad thing, contrary to what Reif falsely claims), but above all to bolster Poland’s defenses against Russian ballistic missiles – and Poland is particularly exposed to that threat – and to punish Putin for his blatant aggression by striking where it would hurt him badly. Russia has done virtually everything it could’ve done to stop the deployment of these systems. Failing to prevent their eventual deployment would be a huge loss for Russia – and not just in the sense of prestige.

Tribute to Former SECDEF James Schlesinger

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It is with great sadness that ConservativeDailyNews must today report the death of former Secretary of Defense and Energy, Dr James R. Schlesinger, who passed away last night.

We conservatives have been losing prominent national security figures for a few years now, but we can especially ill-afford the loss of Dr Schlesinger, who had an especially great knowledge and memory of nuclear weapons, defense budgets, and other key defense issues.

Dr Schlesinger was appointed Director of Central Intelligence in early 1973 by President Nixon, but just a few months later he was appointed to an even more important position – Secretary of Defense, replacing caretaker Elliot Richardson, who moved on to become Attorney General. This was at the beginning of President Nixon’s second (and uncompleted) term.

At that time, the US military was in deep trouble. Having just withdrawn its last combat troops from Vietnam, where it lost 58,000 men, its budgets were steadily declining, Congress was eager to cut even more out of the defense budget, the prestige of military service was low, drug and alcohol problems in the military were rampant, and aging and worn out equipment needed to be replaced (sound familiar?).

Most worringly, though, the Soviet Union was in the midst of a huge military buildup, as a result of which it gained parity with and later military advantage over the US and NATO. It was fielding weapons of ever-greater quality in large quantities, and its nuclear arsenal was beginning to exceed that of the US in size and sophistication.

Meanwhile, the US was unilaterally cutting the size of its military, weapon procurement programs, and its defense budget while the Kremlin was arming to the teeth. Making matters worse, Washington was signing up to “arms control” agreements whose only practical effect (and real objective) was to limit and cut AMERICAN armaments while leaving Soviet arms programs and deployments largely unconstrained. And even then, the USSR violated these accords.

In these circumstances, Dr. Schlesinger, a man of encyclopaedic knowledge of defense issues, tried to rescue the situation. He opposed ludicrous arms control agreements such as the SALT treaties, knowing they would leave the US in an inferior position vis-a-vis the USSR. He sought to reverse the defense spending cuts implemented before he took office, pointing out that the FY1973 defense budget was already the smallest in a decade and way below the then-peak of FY1968. He sought funding for many crucial weapons programs, and some of them – like the Lightweight Fighter (AKA the F-16) and the A-10 Thunderbolt/Warthog, survived only because of his personal protection for them. He ensured that they were successfully continued to completion.

Yet, Dr. Schlesinger’s efforts were staunchly opposed, and undermined at every turn, not just by the Soviets and their Democratic sycophants who then controlled the Congress, but by his own President (Gerald Ford) and administration colleagues such as the chief architect of detente, Henry Kissinger. These men sought to disarm the US unilaterally and to appease the Kremlin at all costs. Dr. Schlesinger was a huge obstacle in this quest – so President Ford fired him. Thus, the McGovern wing of the Democratic Party took control not only of the Dem party, but also of the GOP and the US government.

In recent years, Dr. Schlesinger has, time and again, proven his expertise on defense issues. When, in 2008, Secretary Gates found the US nuclear deterrent had atrophied and was not being taken care of properly by the Air Force, it was Dr. Schlesinger to whom Gates turned to investigate the matter and provide expert advice on solving the problem.

Most importantly, Dr. Schlesinger has, for the last several years, been warning about the continued atrophy of the US nuclear arsenal through its careless neglect and the unilateral disarmament policies of the “We’re Not Modernizing” Obama administration.

Concurrently, Dr. Schlesinger was constantly warning against the Obama administration’s utterly ridiculous fantasy of “a world without nuclear weapons”, which the administration, with the aid of its Democrat allies and isolationist “tea party” Republicans in Congress, is attempting to enact by disarming America unilaterally. The Obama administration claims that if the US disarms itself unilaterally, others will follow “America’s moral example.”

Dr. Schlesinger was warning policymakers and the public that such an objective was neither realistic nor even desirable, because scrapping the US nuclear arsenal would deprive the US of the one advantage it has over adversaries who have huge, well-armed conventional forces (Russia, China).

Dr. Schlesinger, of course, knew – as others, including this writers, did – from the start that a world without nuclear weapons was utterly impossible in any event, because no one except the US (and perhaps Britain, if the Labour party returns to power) is willing to forego their nuclear weapons.

Not Russia, which considers them “sacred.” Not China, which has conducted a huge nuclear buildup up to a level of perhaps up to 3,000 warheads. Not North Korea, which just this week tested dozens of ballistic missiles. Not France, whose latest Defense White Paper prioritizes its force de frappe and ensures its service life is prolonged until kingdom come. Not India and Pakistan, which are at each other’s throats. Not Israel, which is surrounded by enemies who seek its destruction. Not Saudi Arabia, which, according to the BBC, has recently “ordered” nuclear weapons in Pakistan and DF-21C ballistic missiles in Pakistan’s ally, China.

The fact that there will NEVER be a world without nuclear weapons is becoming even more evident in the face of Russia’s invasion and annexation of the Crimea in Ukraine. By doing so, Russia has blatantly violated the 1994 Budapest Agreement, in which it swore to respect Ukraine’s independence and territorial integrity in return for Ukraine handing over its nuclear weapons to Moscow. And Crimea was, at the time (and still is), recognized by the entire world (minus today’s Russia, of course), as part of Ukraine.

In 1994, by signing the Budapest Agreement, Ukraine essentially surrendered its nuclear arsenal (the third largest in the world at the time) in exchange for nothing but paper promises to respect its territorial integrity. Promises which, like all arms control treaties in world history, were not even worth the paper they were printed on.

As a result, NOBODY ELSE in the world, except Democrat-run America and a Labour-run Britain, will ever again be foolish enough to give up their nuclear weapons. On the contrary, we will see more and more nuclear weapon states – and more nuclear weapons overall around the world, just not in the US.

Already 66% of South Koreans want their country to be a nuclear power. Japan, even after this week’s summit, still has enough fissile material for over 6,000 warheads, and a newly-opened facility for processing fissile material that could produce a further 3,600 warheads per year if necessary.

Look for South Korea and perhaps even Japan to acquire their own nuclear deterrent. Look for Saudi Arabia and Iran to strike each other preemptively.

(We may even see Southeast Asian countries threaten each other with nukes over uninhabited islets in the South China sea, and Morocco threaten to unleash VX gas onto Mauritania to resolve a dispute over when the Ramadan should start! :) )

As Dr. Schlesinger wisely recognized and warned us numerous times, the Obama administration’s “world without nuclear weapons” policy of unilateral disarmament will only result in an AMERICA without nuclear weapons and a world with far more nukes, and far more nuclear-armed states, in it than when he took office.

The US should heed Dr. Schlesinger’s wise advice and:

  1. Stop any further reductions – whether uni-, bi-, or multilateral – in its nuclear arsenal and start GROWING that arsenal.
  2. Fully modernize the entire nuclear arsenal, including the warheads, the delivery systems, and their support facilities and laboratories.
  3. Recruit more nuclear scientists.
  4. Withdraw from all “arms control” agreements, which  serve no purpose but to disarm the US unilaterally. This should include (and begin with) the New START and the CFE Treaty.
  5. Cut Russia off the Western economic system, and replace Moscow as Europe’s chief energy supplier, to punish Russia for its arms reduction agreement violations in the way that would hurt Moscow the most.
  6. Resume SM-3 Block 2B anti-ballistic missile development and deploy it ASAP.
  7. Build an East Coast missile defense site.
  8. Hasten the development and deployment of laser-based missile defense systems that can intercept any type of ballistic and cruise missiles.
  9. Change the goal, policy, and substance of the US missile defense program of record from one aimed only at defending from rogue states to one aimed at intercepting all Russian and Chinese ballistic and cruise missiles if necessary.
  10. Resume the Airborne Laser, Kinetic Energy Interceptor, and Multiple Kill Vehicle programs.
  11. Station nuclear weapons in the Korean Peninsula to reassure Seoul and deter Pyongyang.
  12. Publicly warn Iran that any attack by Tehran on Israel will result in a nuclear retaliation not just from Israel itself, but also from the US.

Rebuttal of Jack Matlock’s Blame America First lies

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The Washington Compost (not exactly a bastion of conservatism) has just published an utterly ridiculous screed by former State Dept. official and historical revisionist Jack Matlock Jr. Therein, Matlock blames the current crisis in the Crimea, and Russia’s entire hostility towards the United States, solely on America, falsely claiming that Moscow is hostile solely because “the United States has insisted  on treating Russia as the loser” since the Cold War’s end. Matlock falsely claims that since 1991, Russia has time and again tried to be a cooperative partner, only to receive “swift kicks to the groin” from the US.

(Only a congenital liar would make such claims.)

And like other liberals, Matlock also claims the US did not really win the Cold War or cause the USSR’s collapse. Furthermore, he claims in his book that Ronald Reagan’s sole (and secondary) contribution to ending the Cold War was supposedly abandoning the hawkish policies of his first term.

I will refute these other lies later. But first, I will utterly refute Matlock’s lies about the source of Russian hostility and about Moscow supposedly trying to be a cooperative partner.

Matlock: Blame America First

Matlock blames Moscow’s hostility solely on the US, claiming that the US invited it by bombing Serbia without UN Security Council Approval in 1999, invading Iraq without UNSC approval in 2003, withdrawing from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2001, expanding NATO to include Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, the Baltic Republics, Romania, and Bulgaria; with supposed “plans” for US bases in the Baltics and the Balkans; by somehow “supporting” the democratic revolutions in Ukraine and Georgia; and by passing the Magnitsky Act, designed to punish Russian officials who violate human rights.

Matlock is essentially saying, “Russia under Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin tried to be a good partner and to follow a pro-Western orientation, but we alienated it with our aggressive actions.”

That is absolutely false, just like the rest of Matlock’s anti-American screed, and it comes straight from Moscow’s and its liberal American sycophants’ propaganda playbook. Matlock is merely repeating the same old anti-American lies for the umpteenth time.

Russia Has No Legitimate Grievances Towards The West

So let’s look at the issues he claims invited Russian hostility:

  • Serbia: in 1999, that country’s then-dictator, Slobodan Milosevic, was murdering thousands and thousands of innocent, defenseless civilians in Kosovo (where over 80% of the population is Kosovan, not Serbian) for nothing but the fact that they were Kosovan – just like the Germans murdered 6 million Jews for the mere fact they were Jews. We were witnessing a repeat of the Holocaust in Europe (albeit on a much smaller scale). The US was ABSOLUTELY RIGHT to act to stop this, and it was supported in this by ALL of NATO and the entire civilized world (to which Russia does not belong). Milosevic was a war criminal wanted by a UN tribunal in the Hague, was eventually handed over to it after losing power, and was tried for war crimes. The fact that Russia supported such a bloody war criminal only shows what an immoral country it is. As for “UN Security Council approval”, apparently Mr Matlock believes that the US should not act anywhere in the world unless it receives permission from that august council… where his beloved Russia, of course, is a veto-wielding member.
  • Iraq: say what you want about the wisdom of invading Iraq, but any claim that that invasion somehow threatened Russia’s interests in the Middle East is utterly preposterous. What Russian interests did it threaten? None. It actually undermined US interests as it replaced a Sunni dictator with a Shia, pro-Iranian government.
  • The Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty: I guess Mr Matlock would’ve preferred for the US to forever remain vulnerable to even the smallest ballistic missile attack and for the US never to develop adequate defenses against such an attack… because that’s exactly what the ABM treaty prohibited. A treaty, by the way, signed with the USSR – a country that no longer existed by 2001. Considering how fast (despite all arms reduction treaties signed to date) ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons are proliferating (thus making a total mockery and failure of those treaties), the decision to withdraw from the ABM treaty was absolutely right. And it had no real impact on Washington-Moscow relations. Might I add that Russia – while strongly opposing America’s efforts to build ballistic missile defense systems – is quietly building such systems of its own?
  • NATO expansion: to say that this threatened Russia’s security is also a blatant lie. None of NATO’s new members (except Poland and the Baltics) even have a border with Russia; and all of them had and still have very good reasons to fear Russian subjugation and aggression. They spent half a century under the Soviet yoke; in the 1990s, Russia still tried to meddle in their affairs; and now Moscow is threatening them again. It was morally and strategically right to bring them under NATO’s defense umbrella. Moscow has something to fear from their accession to NATO ONLY if it intends to attack them. Moreover, the post-1991 NATO entrants (especially Poland and the Czech Republic) have proven to be among the staunchest allies America has anywhere in the world, participating heavily in operations in Iraq and Afghanistan (Poland sent thousands of troops to both countries). What’s more, Poland is one of the few NATO countries that spend the agreed benchmark of at least 2% of GDP on defense and has more mechanized Army brigades than the UK, France, and Germany combined. Romania and Bulgaria have access to the Black Sea and have recently held exercises with the USN. Such allies are worth having.
  • The early 2000s’ revolutions in Ukraine and Georgia saw utterly corrupt and criminal pro-Russian dictators (and in Ukraine, President Kuchma’s hand-picked successor Viktor Yanukovych) ousted by their people. Contrary to Matlock’s lies, the US did not extend anything but rhetorical support for those revolutions.
  • The Magnitsky Act: contrary to Matlock’s lies, the US did not single out Russia with this Act as the worst human rights abuser in the world. But Moscow is one of the world’s most egregious human rights violators, and this act, named by a whistleblower murdered in prison by Putin’s prison guards, instituted targeted sanctions against Russian officials who violate human rights.

So all of Matlock’s excuses for Russia’s hostility have been utterly refuted, one by one. They’ve collapsed like a deck of cards.

And so will, in a minute, Matlock’s myth that Russia has tried to be a cooperative partner whom the US has needlessly antagonized. In fact, since Vladimir Putin’s ascension to power, Russia has been increasingly arrogant and hostile towards the US and the West as its power has grown since the nadir of the 1990s. It has started a new Cold War against the West and is the biggest threat to US, European, and world security.

Russia Is Behaving Aggressively In Cold-War Style

In recent years, Russia has:

  1. Repeatedly flown nuclear-armed strategic borders into US, allied (Japanese), and even neutral (Swedish) airspace and said the Russian Air Force was “practicing attacking the enemy.” What on Earth have SWEDEN and JAPAN done to Russia? For that matter, what has America done to Russia? Nothing.
  2. Repeatedly (on 15 separate occassions) threatened to aim or even use its nuclear weapons against the US and its allies.
  3. Invaded two sovereign countries that dared to try to break out of Moscow’s sphere of influence and align themselves with the West (Georgia and Ukraine) and continues to occupy both countries.
  4. Repeatedly violated several arms reduction treaties, including the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty and the INF Treaty, the latter being violated by Russia by repeatedly testing and deploying nuclear-armed missiles banned by that treaty.
  5. Deployed nuclear-armed ballistic missiles in the Kaliningrad District, next to Poland, threatening that loyal ally of the US, while the US has no nuclear weapons anywhere in Eastern Europe.
  6. Backed America’s enemies around the world – North Korea, Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba – to the hilt, with diplomatic protection at the UN Security Council, weapons (including the advanced S-300VM air defense system), nuclear fuel (Iran), and nuclear reactors (Iran), thus also threatening the existence of Israel.
  7. Stationed a spy ship, the Viktor Leonov, in Cuba (it’s still there).
  8. Conducted, and continues to conduct, a wave of hateful anti-American propaganda in domestic and foreign (e.g. RussiaToday) media.
  9. Sent an Akula-class nuclear-armed submarine close to the US submarine base in King’s Bay, GA.
  10. Domestically, assassinated high-profile dissidents (Anna Politkovskaya, Alexander Litvinenko) and jailed hundreds of others.
  11. Just recently, began negotiations with Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela on opening bases for Russian ships and nuclear-armed bombers there.

Yet the US is somehow to blame for Russia’s actions? For Moscow’s hostility? Who is threatening whom with nuclear weapons, Mr Matlock? Who is flying nuclear-armed bombers close and sometimes into US, Japanese, and Swedish airspace? Who is stationing spy ships close to the other party’s shores? Who is now reopening naval and bomber bases on the other party’s doorstep?

Are you a paid pro-Kremlin propagandist, Mr Matlock? Or are you just on drugs?

Matlock also falsely claims that the current West-Russia spat we’re witnessing now is not a new Cold War but the result of “misunderstandings, misinterpretations, and posturing to domestic political audiences” – as if Russia’s ultra-aggressive behavior against the US, its allies, and even neutral countries like Sweden was the product of mere “misunderstading.”

He’s completely wrong. Russia’s behavior is the result of resurgent, renewed Russian imperialism, of the Kremlin’s imperial ambitions, and of the hatred of the West which Vladimir Putin and his fellow KGB thugs imbued when trained by the KGB.

We didn’t see that behavior in Putin’s first years because at that time Russia was still too weak to try such actions. But as Russia began to rebound militarily and economically under Putin, it also began to be increasingly aggressive towards the West and towards Moscow’s former Warsaw Pact vassals.

Matlock also falsely claims that Russia has cooperated with the US on Afghanistan, Syria, Iran, and North Korea.

This is also false. Moscow has backed, and continues to back, Syria, Iran, and North Korea to the hilt, affording them diplomatic protection at the UNSC, weapons (except North Korea, at least so far), and, in Iran’s case, nuclear reactors and nuclear fuel – which Iran will use to produce nuclear weapons.

Moscow has absolutely opposed any but the weakest sanctions against Iran, and continues to back the genocidal, anti-American dictator Bashar al-Assad.

Matlock also falsely claims the New START treaty was a significant achievement, but the converse is true: New START was an utter failure and a treasonous treaty. It requires unilateral disarmament on America’s part: only the US required by the treaty to cut its nuclear arsenal, while Russia is allowed to increase its own. Even worse, the treaty doesn’t count Russia’s 171 Tu-22M strategic bombers as such, contains a pathetically weak Potemkin-like verification regime, and imposes restrictions on US missile defenses.

As Congressman Trent Franks (R-AZ) has rightly said, the US should immediately withdraw from that treaty.

Finally, I will refute Matlock’s also utterly false claim that the US didn’t win the Cold War or cause the collapse of the USSR.

The fact is the US did both, no matter how hard Matlock and other revisionists try to deny it.

The Soviet Union lost the Cold War, and collapsed in 1991, because of the fatal blows Ronald Reagan dealt to it. In his eight years, President Reagan:

  • Dramatically increased US defense spending, to levels not seen in real terms before or since, and US defense programs to a pace the Soviet Union could not keep up with.
  • Began the development of a missile defense system the USSR could never match.
  • Convinced Saudi Arabia to increase oil output dramatically, thus cutting oil prices from $30/bbl to $12/bbl in 5 months, and thus dealing a fatal blow to Moscow’s oil-revenue -dependent economy.
  • Instituted a bevy of sanctions on the USSR, including an embargo on drilling, pumping, and construction equipment, and successfully pressured West Germany to reduce the planned Yamal Pipeline from 2 lines to one, and to delay that project by many years (as a result, it wasn’t completed until 1999).
  • Supported anti-Soviet proxies around the world, most notably in Afghanistan, where they defeated the Soviet Army in a war that cost Moscow hundreds of billions of dollars (if only the US had learned from Moscow’s mistakes and had not gotten mired in that country!).
  • Deployed Pershing and GLCM missiles in Europe to counter the USSR’s deployment of SS-20s.
  • Successfully used the tons of secret Warsaw Pact documents stolen by Col. Ryszard Kuklinski as leverage in negotiations with the Soviets.

These are the fatal blows that brought the Soviets back to the bargaining table, forced them to make major concessions, and eventually caused the Soviet Union’s collapse, as the USSR was unable to continue the Afghan War, the arms race, or counter US missile defense development with its sclerotic, stagnant economy, especially not after the Reagan-induced late 1980s oil glut. And not with the Yamal Pipeline delayed.

As Professor Robert G. Kaufman has rightly written, “the Cold War ended on Reagan’s terms, not Gorbachev’s.”

Matlock is wrong on all counts. All of his claims are utterly false. Not one of them is correct – not even one. Russia has NO legitimate grievances towards the West, it has never been a truly cooperative partner in the last 25 years, and its hostility is due to the revival of imperialist ideology and ambitions in Russian political circles (greatly enabled by KGB thug Vladimir Putin’s ascent to power). Russia is now waging a new Cold War on the West. How the West, led by the US, will respond to this challenge, remains to be seen.

G. Murphy Donovan and the American Thinker Badmouth America, Glorify Russia, And Thus Commit Treason

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Russian President Vladimir Putin and the (now-deceased) North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il. Photo by the Kremlin Press Service.

The pseudoconservative “American Thinker” e-zin has recently (on March 18th) published an utterly ridiculous anti-American, pro-Russian propaganda screed by well-known Russophile G. Murphy Donovan.

In his screed, Donovan falsely claims that Russia is not an enemy but an ally against Islamism (with which, in fact, Moscow is allied against the US); that American and European politicians are trying to resuscitate the Cold War to poke Russia; that the crisis in the Crimea is “manufactured”; and that the West, led by the US, bears sole responsibility for the breakdown in Western-Russian relations. In passing, Donovan makes a number of other utterly false claims about Russia designed to paint that country as a cultural brother and a friend of the US.

Below are Donovan’s nine most ridiculous lies and my rebuttals of them:

1)

“Harder still to believe that American politicians, Right and Left, are trying to resuscitate the Cold War — or something hotter.”

No, the West is not trying to resuscitate the Cold War; Russia has revived it, and it did so long before it illegally invaded the Crimea.

Already as of 2007, it was threatening to aim its nuclear-armed ballistic missiles at all of Europe. In 2008, it deployed Iskander ballistic missiles to the Kaliningradskaya Oblast. It has launched a series of cyber attacks and an arms race against the US, flush with oil and gas revenues sufficient for this. It has developed and deployed SEVERAL types of intermediate range ballistic missiles in flagrant violation of the INF treaty. It has repeatedly flown nuclear-armed bombers into US, Japanese, and even Swedish airspace. (By God, what has Sweden done to Russia?)

When asked what their bombers were doing flying so close to Alaska, the Russian Air Force said, “We were practicing attacking the enemy” – and that “enemy”, in their perception, is the US.

Russia is the one who has revived the Cold War, and it bears SOLE responsibility for that fact.

2)

“Russia, the EU, and America also share a common enemy, that insidious fifth column: domestic and global Islamism.”

No, the West and Russia do not share a common enemy in Islam; Russia is an ALLY of that enemy and thus an enemy of the US. It remains the chief weapons supplier, financial sponsor, diplomatic protector, and nuclear fuel and technology provider for Iran and (minus the nuclear parts) Syria. It has withheld from the US information that could’ve been used to prevent the Boston Bombings. It continues to arm and aid anti-American regimes (Islamic and non-Islamic alike) all around the world, from Syria, to Iran, to North Korea, to Venezuela, to Cuba. It also continues to demand that Israel give up its nuclear deterrent and withdraw to indefensible pre-1967 armistice lines.

If you are a friend of Russia, you are an enemy of Israel. You cannot support the appeasement of Russia and still claim to be a friend of Israel.

Had it not been for Russia, global Islamism would lose its only major sponsor, protector, and ally against the US. Syria and Iran would thus lose their only major patron besides China and would be forced to stop threatening Israel, stop building WMDs and stop sponsoring terrorist organizations.

3)

“And the American Right is not blameless; excusing terror, regime change folly, the recent litany of imperial failures. In the 2012 US election campaign, there wasn’t a dime’s worth of difference between candidates, Right and Left, on US foreign or military policy.”

Utter garbage! In the 2012 election, there was a WORLD of a difference between GOP and Democrat candidates, ESPECIALLY on foreign and defense policy. In a nutshell, Obama and the Democrats continued to advocate America’s unilateral disarmament and the appeasement of Russia, China, and Iran, with Obama famously mocking Romney that “the 1980s are asking to have their foreign policy back” (to which I’d reply, “the 1930s and Neville Chamberlain are asking for their foreign policy back”).

OTOH, Mitt Romney advocated rebuilding the US military, reviewing the New START unilateral disarmament treaty, and a tough approach to Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea, as well as Islamic terrorist organizations around the world. Also, Romney would NOT have tried to impose dangerous “peace accors” on Israel.

4)

“Yes, Russophobia! The pragmatic gains of the Reagan era have been set aside for an irrational fear of all things Russian.”

Utter garbage as well. The American people and the GOP are not plagued by Russophobia or any other irrational fear of Russia; they are merely critical of Russia’s BEHAVIOR – which is highly detrimental to AMERICA’S own national security interests, as well as the security of key US allies (incl. Israel) and the whole world. OTOH, Putin still lives in the Cold War era and he, like his KGB cronies, is still mired in his irrational hatred of the United States, which drives all his FP actions.

5)

“When demagogues like Hillary Clinton compare Russian behavior to Nazi Germany, she mocks Allied history and the sacrifice of 5 million Russians in WWII.”

Utter rubbish yet again! (And it proves that Donovan is well to the left of Hillary Clinton on foreign and defense policy.)

The Soviet Union STARTED World War II together with Nazi Germany in 1939 by signing the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact, invading Poland and conquering half of that country. Not only that, but it deported thousands and thousands of Poles in the conquered lands to Siberia and Kazakhstan (where most of them died in the gulag) and executed, for no reason whatsoever, FORTY THOUSAND Polish officers in Katyn – and then LIED about it for the next HALF-CENTURY. The Soviet Union then continued its imperialist binge by invading Finland and taking away one tenth of that country’s territory.

And you know, folks, why the USSR was so surprised by the German invasion of June 1941?

Because the Soviet Army was, at that time, in OFFENSIVE positions, awaiting Stalin’s order to invade Germany and German-occupied Poland. Hitler simply preempted Stalin by a few weeks. Had he not done so, Stalin would’ve invaded first.

6)

“Russian blood chits, we might add, that made the Allied victory over Nazis possible in 1945.”

No, they did not. It was US involvement, war production, and financing of the war (the US alone bore 50% of its cost on the Allied side) that made the Allied victory over Germany (and Japan) possible. And in retrospect, it was a foolish mistake to aid the USSR in defeating Nazi Germany; the US should’ve let Berlin and Moscow duke it out among themselves, just like it’s allowing Assad and Al-Qaeda to duke it out among themselves in Syria today. It’s too bad that someone had to win. It’s a pity the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany could not BOTH lose.

It was more foolish still for FDR and Churchill to insist that the Wehrmacht surrender unconditionally on all fronts. This left the Germans with no choice but to fight bitterly to the very end. Had the Germans been given honorable surrender terms on the West front, they would’ve turned all their resources against the Soviets – and the Soviet occupation and subjugation of half of Europe might’ve been avoided.

7)

“Never mind that the difference between Putin’s Russia and Gorbachev’s Soviet Union is like the difference between caviar and carp.”

Again, a blatant lie. If anything, Gorbachev’s Soviet Union, at least in its latter years, was actually better than Putin’s Russia today. Gorbachev significantly loosened repression in the USSR; Putin has reinstated it. Gorbachev closed the gulag camps; Putin has reopened them. Gorbachev agreed to Germany’s unification, the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, and to allowing Eastern European countries to choose their own paths of development. Putin has, for the last several years, been constantly meddling in European affairs and threatening European countries – esp. those that broke off the Russian yoke in 1991 – with nuclear weapons and warning them not to ally themselves with the EU or the US and has deployed nuclear-armed ballistic missiles on Poland’s doorstep.

Gorbachev signed the INF treaty banning intermediate range missiles and dutifully dismantled them before the USSR collapsed; Putin has resumed their development, production, and deployment, in flagrant violation of the INF treaty.

8)

“Yet, Americans have much in common with Russia: history, religion, art, literature, sports, dance, dogs, music, science, space travel, adult beverages, recreational sex, and almost all things cultural”

Again a blatant lie. The US and Russia could not be any more different. For starters, the US is based on a culture of the rule of law (hence the huge backlash against Obama’s refusal to enforce federal law); Russia, on the rule of men. The US is based on individual and economic liberty; Russia, on a culture of utter and unlimited submission of all to the current ruler (Tsar/General Secretary/”President”). In the US, church attendance is disproportionately high among Western nations (and conservative churches’ membership has SURGED in recent years); in Russia, it hovers around 10%.

The HUGE cultural differences between the US and Russia are best illustrated by this fact: had Donovan been a Russian, writing in Russia, and criticizing RUSSIA’S foreign policy, he would’ve been either assassinated by Putin’s KGB thugs or, at best, imprisoned in a gulag camp.

9) The reason why Ukrainian ex-President (and Putin puppet) Viktor Yanukovych has been ousted from office is because he was an utterly corrupt kleptocrat who was preparing to slaughter en masse his own citizens protesting his policies, as documents found in his former residence have revealed. He was preparing to quell the protests by force, just like Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro is doing today. The US and the EU did not, in fact, lift a finger to support the Ukrainian resistance at that time, and are barely doing anything to help Ukraine today. So for Donovan to claim that the US and the EU orchestrated that coup is a blatant lie – just like everything else he writes.

Shame on you, Mr Donovan, for lying so blatantly, for badmouthing your own country, and for being an apologist for the most dangerous dictator in world history since Stalin.

The J-20 Gets More Stealthy And Lethal; The F-35 Is Already Obsolete

Chengdu-J-XX-VLO-Prototype-35S

The Chinese J-20 stealth fighter during one of its first flights in 2011. Photo credit: Dr Carlo Kopp, AirPowerAustralia.

When the Chinese J-20 (J-XX, XX-J) fighter first flew in January 2011 – during then Defense Secretary Robert Gates’s visit in China – Western “analysts” and defense bureaucrats, including Gates himself, dismissed that aircraft as a non-threat. They claimed it would not be a threat, was not a surprise to the US, and would not enter service until the late 2010s or even the early 2020s.

But they were wrong then, and they are wrong now. Back then, credible analysts such as IASC’s Richard Fisher and AirPowerAustralia’s Dr Carlo Kopp and Chris Mills warned that the J-20 was a very low observable (i.e. extremely hard to detect) plane, owing to its designers’ strict adherence to the rules of designing stealth aircraft; and that further, the aircraft, owing to its large size, would be able to carry a very large fuel and weapon load and thus carry out air superiority and theater strike missions throughout the First and Second Island Chain in Asia – that is, as far as Guam and the Marianas (with aerial refueling).

It is this second camp, of those who were very concerned about the J-20 threat, who have been proven right.

By now, three years after it first flew, the J-20 has been developed into an even deadlier, more survivable fighting machine.

Newer radar-absorbing coating has been applied, and engine exhaust nozzles have been hidden, to reduce the J-20’s already small radar signature even further, thus making it virtually undetectable by radar. New, more powerful and more reliable engines, have been added. And most worrisome, an electro-optical targeting system – stolen from the F-35 program, whose computers were hacked and designs stolen in 2007 by Chinese military hackers – has been added, giving the J-20 a new, powerful sensor.

This was made possible by a theft of F-35 technology from Lockheed Martin and DOD networks by Chinese hackers. The most serious attacks of this type, compromising the F-35 along with dozens of other top-drawer US weapon systems, occurred in 2007 and 2013. Crucial missile defense systems, such as the THAAD and the PATRIOT, have also been compromised, which will enable the Chinese to defeat these systems. The Washington Free Beacon‘s Bill Gertz has documented this theft meticoulously here.

As a result, not only does the J-20 possess an Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS) of the same kind as the F-35, it physically resembles that aircraft (and the F-22) in appearance.

However, the J-20 will be far, far more capable than the F-35, and a serious rival for the F-22. It will have a max speed well in excess of Mach 2, have a ceiling of up to 65,000 feet, have a low wing loading ratio, a high thrust/weight ratio, and will be able to carry large weapon and fuel loads. Thus, it will be something the DOD has long dreamed about – a high-speed, high-altitude, maneuverable fighter which will also serve quite ably as a theater strike jet (a la the F-111 Aardvrark) at thousand-mile ranges.

The J-20 will be capable of carrying out the following missions:

  • National Air Defense: In this role, the J-20, having access to dozens of semi- or fully hardened, and a number of super-hardened, airbases throughout China would defend the country’s airspace, intercepting nonstealthy US aircraft and cruise missiles like the JASSM and the Tomahawk.
  • Expeditionary Air Superiority: In this role, the J-20 would gain air superiority over foreign air forces in the skies above foreign countries (e.g. Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan) and contested territories (e.g. the Senkaku and Spratly Islands) in the early hours and days of a conflict, allowing the PLA to operate in the warzone freely.
  • Expeditionary Theater Strike: In such a role, the J-20 would serve as a one-for-one equivalent of the proposed FB-22 stealthy theater attack jet, i.e. as a stealthy regional striker designed to surpress enemy air defenses and destroy an opponent’s vital assets. US and allied airbases, naval stations, supply depots, command centers, and ground bases would all be targets for the J-20.
  • Electronic Warfare Aircraft: In this role, the J-20 would jam and defeat the radars of an opponent’s aircraft, ships, and ground air defense systems in a manner similar to that of the EF-111 Raven, the EA-6B Prowler, and the EA-18G Growler, but with a huge range and endurance the latter two aircraft lack, and with stealthiness that all three of those aircraft lack.
  • Long Range Reconnaissance/Intelligence Aircraft: In this role, the J-20 would be used to collect radar, imagery and electronic intelligence, emulating aircraft such as the RF-111C/D, the RF-4, the RA-5C, and F-14 TARPS but with the advantages of a) range and endurance (lacked by the latter three aircraft types) and b) stealthiness (lacked by all of these legacy aircraft types).
  • Anti-Satellite Weapon Launcher: The J-20 could also be used to launch anti-satellite missiles to loft them into the Low-Earth Orbit and kill US satellites there. Aircraft can be used for this purpose – the USAF experimented with such missiles in the 1980s under the Reagan administration; however, since then, the USAF’s ASAT weapon program has been killed.

A “standard” multirole variant of the J-20 could execute the first three missions easily. The latter three could be easily performed by specialized variants. Such variants could be developed on the J-20’s basis easily, with only slight modifications to the aircraft’s design, as was done with the F-111 and the F-4, both of which have spawned several different designs.

So the J-20 will be capable of executing all the above missions, although some of these will be performed by specialized variants into which the J-20 will certainly evolve.

But its primary mission will likely be that of delivering air superiority – in Chinese as well as foreign airspace. That being said, what aircraft does the US have at its disposal to stop this highly capable Chinese fifth generation fighter (and its smaller 5th generation cousin, the J-31)?

The only Western (not just American – WESTERN) aircraft capable of competing with and defeating the J-20 is the F-22 Raptor, or to be more precise, evolved and enhanced variants of the existing model of this aircraft.

The F/A-18E/F Super Bug is not, has never been, and will never be even close to competitive with the J-20. Designed and built as a naval strike jet, it is too heavy and sluggish, too slow, too low flying, and armed with too weak a radar to compete with the Chengdu stealth fighter.

The F-16 and the Eurocanards (the Typhoon, the Rafale, the Gripen) will be totally outclassed by the Chengdu aircraft, being too slow, too low-flying, and in the F-16’s and the Gripen’s case, equipped with pathetically weak radars.

The F-35 will be similarly so outclassed… assuming, of course, that this failed project even progresses to any kind of large-scale production and operational status.

Which is a big if. For the F-35 program has seen such dramatic cost overruns, delays, and design flaws being uncovered, that this utterly failed, budget-busting aircraft will not enter service for many years, if ever.

But even if it suffered no cost overrun or delay, even if it entered service tomorrow, it would STILL be decisively inferior to the J-20, the J-31, the Flanker family, the J-10, and even obsolete, third-generation Chinese fighters like the J-7 and the J-8.

The F-35 Junk Strike Fighter is a heavy, sluggish, unmaneuverable, underpowered, and underarmed flying pig which is decisively inferior to virtually all other fighters in the world – those in service and those in development – contrary to the gloating Lockheed Martin paid propaganda being spewed by 60 Minutes.

That ridiculous programme – which routinely spews garbage nonsense on military (and nonmilitary) affairs – recently hailed the F-35 as exactly the right aircraft for the military, which, we are told, will utterly defeat the Chinese and the Russians in any air war with them.

But 60 Minutes is dead wrong. It will be the F-35 that will be utterly defeated in a future air war with the Chinese or the Russian air force.

Why?

Because the F-35 is decisively inferior to all fighters operated or being developed by Beijing and Moscow (as well as the Typhoon, the Rafale, the Gripen, and legacy US fighters such as the F-15 and the F-16).

And how is it inferior?

In the Beyond Visual Range (BVR), i.e. long-range, combat regime the F-35 cannot fly fast enough or high enough to propel its missiles beyond their nominal range. It can eke out only Mach 1.61 and climb to no more than 43,000 feet. (Lockheed Martin claims its ceiling is actually 60,000 feet, but the F-35 has never been tested at that altitude; and even if it were, that is still a lot less than what Russian and Chinese fighters, as well as the F-15 and the F-22, can perform.)

By contrast, the F-15, F-22, and the PAK FA can fly as high as 65,000 feet; the J-11 Sinoflanker and the Su-27 at up to 62,523 feet; the carrier-capable J-15 Flying Shark, at up to 65,700 feet; the MiG-31 high-altitude fast interceptor can climb even higher, to 67,700 ft!

As for speed, the MiG-31 again beats all other contestants, as it can fly at up to Mach 2.83 (nearly three times the speed of sound) at high altitudes; the F-15 at Mach 2.5; the carrier-capable J-15 at Mach 2.4; the Su-27, MiG-35 and J-11 at Mach 2.35; the Su-35 and the MiG-29 at Mach 2.25; the J-7 and the Su-30MKK at Mach 2.0.

In addition, the F-35 is stealthy only from the front and only in the S, X, and Ku radar bands. In any other radar band, such as the L-band or Very High Frequencies (at which most Chinese AWACS aircraft operate), the F-35 can be detected just as easily as legacy aircraft.

To make matters worse, the F-35 can carry only four air-to-air missiles in its stealthy mode. That’s the maximum it can carry in its internal weapon bays (thus enabling it to be somewhat stealthy). Add any external stores to it – missiles, bombs, or fuel tanks – and it becomes even more radar-transparent than it already is.

This will force F-35 operators into a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” choice:

a) Use the limited space in the internal weapon bay of the F-35 solely for long-range AMRAAM missiles, thus not taking any short-range, infrared-guided Sidewinder missiles and forcing the F-35’s pilot to rely solely on his 20 mm gun in close-range combat (in which F-35 is also decisively inferior – see below); or

b) Take a combination of AMRAAMs and Sidewinders into the bay (say, two of each), bearing in mind the fact that the AMRAAM has a less than 25% effectiveness rate (Probability of Kill), so you need four AMRAAMs just to shoot down one hostile aircraft.

In short, the F-35 is a non-player in the BVR combat regime.

In short-range (Within Visual Range) combat, the F-35 will be similarly so outclassed by foreign fighters. In this type of combat, the most important factor is an aircraft’s agility and maneuverability – how easily and how quickly can the aircraft turn and evade enemy fire. That determines whether the aircraft will be a constantly ducking, turning, running-away player or a straight, level-flying target.

And the F-35 will certainly be the latter.

For it is so heavy and sluggish that even without weapons, it cannot turn smoothly.

Its wing loading ratio (the burden that the aircraft’s wings must carry) is a horribly high 529 kgs/sq m. That is, every square meter of its wings has to carry a burden of more than half a ton!

All of its competitors have a much lower wing loading ratio. For example, the lightweight J-10B has a wing loading ratio of just 381 kg/sq m, while the J-11 and the Su-27 have an even lower one at 371 kg/sq m. Similarly, typical USAF air superiority fighters also have low wing loading ratios: the F-22’s is just 375 kg/sq m, while the F-15’s is even less at ust 358 kg/sq m!

Thus, in any close-range air combat, which is by far the most frequent type of air warfare, the F-35 would be easily out-turned, out-maneuvered, out-flown, and shot down by Russian and Chinese aircraft, be they J-10s, J-11s, Su-27s, Su-30s, or J-7s.

As Dr John Stillion and Scott Perdue – both veteran USAF pilots – rightly wrote in 2008, the F-35 is “double inferior. (…) Can’t climb, can’t turn, can’t run.”

Or, as Dr Carlo Kopp rightly wrote in 2011, shortly after the J-20’s emergence:

The only US design with the kinematic performance, stealth performance and sensor capability to be able to confront the J-20 [J-XX] with viable combat lethality and survivability is the F-22A Raptor, or rather, evolved and enhanced variants of the existing configuration of this aircraft.

The US Navy F/A-18E/F Super Hornet is outclassed in every respect, and would be as ineffective against a mature J-XX [J-20] as it is against the F-22A Raptor.

All variants of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter would be equally so outclassed, assuming this failed project even progresses to any kind of actual production.

All US Air Force, US Navy and allied legacy fighters are outclassed in much the same manner, and are ineffective kinematically and in sensor capability against this class of threat system.

The extant IADS technology base of the US Army and Navy and their sister services in Pacific Rim allied nations will be largely ineffective, requiring the replacement of most if not all acquisition radars with VHF-band AESA technology replacements designed to defeat S/X/Ku-band stealth capabilities.

From the perspectives of both technological strategy and military grand strategy, the J-XX [J-20] is the final nail in the coffin of the utterly failed “Gates recapitalisation plan” for United States and allied tactical fighter fleets. Apologists for the “Gates fighter recapitalisation plan” will no doubt concoct a plethora of reasons as to why the J-XX [J-20] should be ignored, as they did exactly one year ago when the Russians unveiled the T-50 PAK-FA stealth fighter.

The material reality is simple. If the United States does not reverse course in its tactical air fleet and air defence recapitalisation planning, the United States will lose the Pacific Rim to China, with all of the practical and grand strategic consequences which follow from that.”

As WGCDR Mills rightly wrote, Defense Secretary Robert Gates’s decision to kill the F-22 Raptor’s production at just 183 aircraft in 2009 was an utterly foolish and suicidal mistake.

That mistake MUST be reversed IMMEDIATELY.

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