Tag Archives: China

Why deep defense cuts MUST be avoided at all costs

I could just as well title this article “why defense must always be fully funded” or “why America must always maintain a strong, second-to-none defense”, but all three titles effectively mean the same thing, so I have chosen the above one.

We are being told from all directions by various kinds of people – from liberals like Clinton Admin official Gordon Adams to libertarians like Justin Amash and Mick Mulvaney to supposed conservatives like Rush Limbaugh that America can afford deep cuts in the defense budget and still have a strong military; or, in the case of other libertarians, like the Students For Liberty/Ron Paul crowd, that America doesn’t need a strong military, that it would only be a tool of oppression, and that America can safely retrench and hide behind oceans and nothing will threaten it.

But all of those claims are garbage, and in this article, I’ll show you why. They might’ve made some sense during the 18th century, when any attack on America would’ve had to be a seaborne invasion or one from Mexico or Canada.

But in the 21st century, when America has vital interests around the world, when its economy is deeply interconnected to those of its allies and friends (such as Japan and South Korea), and in the era of nuclear weapons, ICBMs, ballistic missile submarines, intercontinental bombers, EMP weapons, and cyber attacks, such beliefs are utterly ridiculous. Those who indulge them live in a kum-ba-yah world.

Let us start with this timeless principle taught by Sun Tzu in his Art of War (ch. 8, v. 11):

“The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy’s not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable.”

We should not delude ourselves that we will never be attacked, or not for a long time, or that America is somehow invincible or unassailable, or that its military is overwhelmingly superior when this is clearly not the case.

Providing for the common defense is not only necessary, it is the Federal Government’s #1 Constitutional DUTY. Art. IV, Sec. 4 of the Constitution clearly imposes this obligation on the government; the majority of enumerated powers granted to the Congress deal with military matters; and the Preamble to the Constitution – makes it clear that one of the reasons why the federal government was create in the first place is to “provide for the common defense”. Furthermore, the military is the ONLY significant expenditure authorized by the Constitution. Federal entitlement and welfare programs are utterly unconstitutional and thus illegal.

Furthermore, the claim – often made by proponents of deep defense cuts in order to lull Americans into a false sense of security – that the US military is still overwhelmingly superior to those of other countries – is completely false (although I wish it was true). The militaries of China and Russia, as documented in detailed analysis here, have already closed the vast majority of the gaps between their and the US military’s capabilities, and are now working hard on closing the remaining few gaps. Where those gaps still exist, as in aircraft carriers, for example, China and Russia have created asymmetric advantages of their own with anti-access/area-denial weapons such as aircraft carrier killing missiles.

For a detailed analysis of China’s and Russia’s military capabilities, see here.

Another oft-made false claim which is supposed to justify deep defense cuts is that they could supposedly be done safely if the military were just granted the flexibility to decide where to make the cuts and that if such reductions are made “strategically”, in a “targeted” manner, they can supposedly be done safely.

The “studies” produced by CATO, the “Project on Defense Alternatives”, the Center for American Progress, POGO-TCS,  the NTU, and Sen. Tom Coburn (RINO-OK) are often invoked as examples and as supposed “proof” that deep defense cuts can be done safely.

But I have read and analyzed virtually all of these “studies”, and ALL of them would, if implemented (God forbid), result in the utter gutting of the US military. Why? Because the vast majority of the cuts they call for would be directed at the muscle and bone of the US military – the force structure (i.e. the size of the military), its personnel, weapons, munitions, and forward deployments.

These “studies” call for deep personnel, weapon inventory, weapon program, and force size cuts across the board to all four Services (Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force) and to the already barely-adequate nuclear deterrent. They call for killing dozens of crucial modernization programs, including the Long Range Strike Bomber, the ICBM replacement program, the V-22 Osprey, the F-35, the Virginia class, and many others.

If one were to plan on how to completely gut the US military, one could not come up with a better plan than those produced by the above-mentioned leftist think-tanks (most of which, including CATO, POGO, and the CAP, are co-funded by George Soros) and by Sen. Coburn. These plans seem to be deliberately designed to gut the US military.

And NONE of these proposals or “studies” are really “strategic”, because none of them are underpinned by any strategy, only by a desire to gut the US military. Strategy is about setting priorities, funding them fully, and cutting back only on non-priority programs/objectives/activities; failure to set priorities and to fund them adequately is essentially the same thing as sequestration.

But in those “studies”, there are no priorities – like sequestration, they all call for deep, across-the-board cuts to everything the US military has and does – mostly to the muscle and bone of the military.

The first and only “priority” of these studies’ authors is to gut the US military, plain and simple.

I have refuted these ridiculous “studies” here, here, here, and here among other articles.

For his part, HumanEvents columnist Robert Maginnis wrongly claims that the US can make these cuts safely if it simply scraps a number of current missions.

But that is wrong. To make cuts on the scale of sequestration, the US military would have to jettison dozens of missions – including many crucial, necessary missions connected to America’s own national security (not just that of its allies). For example, air, naval, and ground superiority, nuclear deterrence, and missile defense.

Those who call for jettisoning many military missions and cuts on the scale of sequestration need to be made to say what exact missions they think the military should scrap and be forced to admit that doing so would mean not meeting America’s security needs and thus imperiling national security.

As then-SECDEF Robert Gates said in 2011:

“These are the kinds of scenarios we need to consider, the kinds of discussions we need to have.  If we are going to reduce the resources and the size of the U.S. military, people need to make conscious choices about what the implications are for the security of the country, as well as for the variety of military operations we have around the world if lower priority missions are scaled back or eliminated.  (…)  To shirk this discussion of risks and consequences – and the hard decisions that must follow – I would regard as managerial cowardice.

In closing, while I have spent a good  deal of time on programmatic particulars, the tough choices ahead are really about the kind of role the American people – accustomed to unquestioned military dominance for the past two decades – want their country to play in the world.”

Then there are those like Rush Limbaugh and Rand Paul who falsely claim that sequestration would be a mere cut to the growth rate of defense spending. But that is a blatant lie.

As the CBO has proven, and as I have documented here, sequestration would cut the base defense budget from $525 bn today to $469 bn in March and keep it well below today’s level (and even below $500 bn) for the next decade at least. By FY2022, the last year of the “sequestration decade”, the base defense budget would be at $493 bn – still below $500 bn and well below today’s level of $525 bn.

defensebudgetaccordingtothecbo2

Meanwhile, OCO (war) spending is shrinking annually from its FY2011 peak and is set to disappear in FY2016, once all US troops leave Afghanistan.

The DOE’s defense-related (nuclear) programs and the DOD’s unspent balances from previous years are also subject to sequestration, as are all other national-security-related agencies.

In other words, sequestration would be an IMMEDIATE, REAL, DEEP, and PERMANENT cut in defense spending. It would not be a mere cut in the rate of growth. In other words, Rush, Rand, and other sequestration pooh-poohers are blatantly lying. (And the people spreading that lie are children of the Father of Lies himself.)

President Ronald Reagan articulated the need for a strong military – and the case against defense cuts – well here and here.

Let Robert Gates – a man of whom I’ve been very critical – nonetheless have the last word here:

“Since I entered government 45 years ago, I’ve shifted my views and changed my mind on a good many things as circumstances, new information, or logic dictated.  But I have yet to see evidence that would dissuade me from this fundamental belief: that America does have a special position and set of responsibilities on this planet.  I share Winston Churchill’s belief that “the price of greatness is responsibility…[and] the people of the United States cannot escape world responsibility.”  This status provides enormous benefits – for allies, partners, and others abroad to be sure, but in the final analysis the greatest beneficiaries are the American people, in terms of our security, our prosperity, and our freedom.

I know that after a decade of conflict, the American people are tired of war.  But there is no doubt in my mind that the continued strength and global reach of the American military will remain the greatest deterrent against aggression, and the most effective means of preserving peace in the 21st century, as it was in the 20th.”

30-story building built in 15 days

China built a 30-story building in just 360 hours (15 days) over last Christmas and finished before New Years Eve of 2012.

The building is:

  • Resistant to a 9 magnitude earthquake (5 times more resistant than conventional buildings)
  • 5 times more energy efficient
  • 20 times purer air

 

Nuclear weapons are not relics of a bygone era

The Left, led by pro-disarmament organizations such as the Ploughshares Fund and stridently leftist “journalists” such as Robert Burns of the Associated Press, is currently trying to mislead the public into thinking that nuclear weapons are relics of a bygone era, the Cold War. Leftists such as Burns and 44 stridently liberal House Democrats have even gone so far as to claim that America’s nuclear arsenal makes the US less secure and that nuclear weapons are “liabilities rather than assets”. Ploughshares’ president Joseph Cirincione even claims that the benefits of America’s nuclear weapons are outweighed by the “threat” they pose.

But all of that is rubbish. And in this article, I will demonstrate why.

Firstly, I’ll demonstrate the need for nuclear weapons in general.

Contrary to the Left’s unceasing siren song that “we’re in the 21st century”, that nuclear weapons are “relics of the Cold War”, and so forth, there is actually a huge need for a large, diverse American nuclear deterrent. The mere fact that the Cold War is over and the Berlin Wall has fallen does not mean that nuclear weapons are no longer needed, or that America’s deterrent can be safely slashed further.

The need for that deterrent is, of course, generated by America’s potential adversaries and their military (especially nuclear) capabilities.

What are these?

Russia has a very large strategic nuclear arsenal (2,800 warheads, 1,500 of them deployed and 1,300 in reserve) and the means to deliver it:

  • Over 250 strategic bombers (64 Tu-95s, 16 Tu-160s, and 151-171[1] Tu-22Ms), each capable of carrying six nuclear-tipped cruise missiles and a nuclear freefall bomb;
  • 14 ballistic missile submarines (5 Delta III class, 7 Delta IV class, 1 Typhoon class[2], and 1 Borei class submarine[3]), which can carry 16 ballistic missiles each (the Typhoon class boat can carry 20); these missiles include the 12-warhead Liner SLBM and the 10-warhead Bulava SLBM;
  • 434 ICBMs, including (numbers in parentheses refer to the maximum warhead carriage capacity):
  1. 58 SS-18 Satan missiles (10 warheads and 30 penetration aids each);
  2. 136 SS-19 Stiletto missiles (6 warheads/missile);
  3. 171 SS-25 Sickle (RT-2PM Topol) missiles (single-warhead);
  4. 74 SS-27 Sickle B (RT-2UTTH) missiles (single-warhead);
  5. at least 18 SS-29 (RS-24) missiles (4 warheads/missile).

The Satan fleet alone can carry 580 warheads to the CONUS. Russia’s ICBMs are not currently loaded with the maximum possible number of warheads, but can be thus loaded at any time, if the Kremlin so orders.

Russia also has a huge tactical nuclear arsenal – far larger than that of the US. It is estimated to have at least 1,000-4,000 tactical nuclear warheads – by any measure, far more than the US has (about 500). These are warheads of various types: missile warheads, aircraft bombs, nuclear depth charges, nuclear torpedo warheads, nuclear artillery shells, etc. They are deliverable by a wide range of systems, including aircraft (e.g. the Su-24, Su-25, Tupolev bombers, and the Su-27/30/33/34/35 Flanker family; Russia plans to procure 200 Su-34s), short-range ballistic missiles (e.g. the SS-26 Stone), surface warships, submarines, and artillery pieces.

So Russia alone has a huge nuclear arsenal which America must defend itself and its allies against. It has, in recent years, made repeated threats (over a dozen in the last 4 years alone) to use these weapons against the US or its allies if they don’t succumb to Russia’s demands on various issues.

Thus, the Russian threat, by itself, is huge and justifies the retention of a large US nuclear arsenal.

But let’s also look at other nuclear threats to US security.

Despite the false claims of Western disarmament advocates (who make such false claims to lull the American public into a false sense of security)[4], China’s nuclear arsenal is far larger than they claim and than the DOD admits. How large is it? No one knows for sure – China refuses to disclose its size – but three very credible, impartial, objective studies have been conducted on this subject to date.

Georgetown University professor (and former chief DOD nuclear weapon strategist) Dr Philip A. Karber and his students have done a holistic, unbiased study which concluded that based on China’s 3,000 mile long network of military tunnels and bunkers for its missiles and warheads, China has up to 3,000 nuclear warheads. (Their length alone should tell us that China has far more than 300-400 nuclear warheads. You don’t build such a vast network of tunnels to hide only 300 warheads; such a huge construction project for such small purposes would’ve been financially unfeasible (in other words, a huge waste of money). The Chinese wouldn’t have built it for just 300 warheads (and the fact that they did is documented and has been publicly admitted by the DOD). You don’t build 10 miles of tunnels for one warhead. Common sense alone should tell you that such a network has been built for a far larger arsenal of warheads and missiles.)

Former Russian Strategic Rocket Forces chief of staff Col. Gen. Viktor Yesin (who has close ties to the Kremlin and is privy to classified information) has done his own study in which  he concludes that China has 1,600-1,800 nuclear warheads, if not more. He based this conclusion on current Russian estimates of China’s delivery system inventories and of China’s stockpile of fissile material (weapons-grade uranium and plutonium), which he estimates to be sufficient for 3,600 nuclear warheads (but says not all of it has been used so far to build actual warheads, only half of it). He also takes China’s vast tunnel network – called the Great Underground Wall of China – into account.

Yours truly has conducted his own study, based on the most accurate and up-to-date estimates of China’s fissile material stockpile size and delivery system inventories (or, where such estimates were unavailable, conservative assumptions), as well as targeting possibilities  and its underground tunnel network. Based on this, I have concluded that China has at least 1,119 intercontinental and medium-range delivery systems capable of delivering, at minimum, 1,274 warheads.

WRT delivery systems, China currently has:

  • 36 multiple-warhead DF-5 heavy ICBMs, at least 30 [5] DF-31/31A ICBMs (3-4 warheads each), and at least one DF-41 heavy ICBM (capable of carrying 10 warheads)[6];
  • 20-40 single-warhead DF-3 MRBMs, 20 DF-4 IRBMs (3-4 warheads each), and at least 80 DF-21 MRBMs;
  • Over 1,600 SRBMs plus hundreds of nuclear-capable Land Attack Cruise Missiles (although most of these are probably conventionally-armed);
  • 440 nuclear-capable strike aircraft and bombers (Q-5s, JH-7s, H-6s); and
  • 1 Xia class ballistic missile submarine (with 12 single-warhead JL-1 SLBMs) and 5 Jin class SSBNs (armed with 12-24 JL-2 SLBMs each; one JL-2 can carry 4 warheads over a distance of 8,000 kms).

Then there are North Korea and Iran. North Korea has ICBMs capable of reaching the CONUS (as demonstrated by its December 2012 test of such an ICBM and its announcement of a planned test of the KN-08 ICBM) and can mate nuclear warheads to them. It also has thousands of SRBMs and MRBMs, as well as some BM25 Musudan-ri IRBMs with a range of 4,000 kms – enough to strike Okinawa and Guam. North Korea is currently estimated to have ca. 12 nuclear warheads.

Iran does not have nuclear weapons yet, but it’s well on its way to the nuclear club.

Moreover, we must remember that while Russia, China, and North Korea are threats to many and protectors to nobody, the US has to provide a nuclear umbrella not only for itself, but also for 30 allies, many of whom would likely go nuclear if that nuclear umbrella was dismantled or taken away from them. That would make the nuclear proliferation problem worse, not better. In the past, several US allies, such as Japan, South Korea, and Poland, have repeatedly warned the US against further cuts in its nuclear umbrella and have reaffirmed the great importance they attach to it.

The question that the proponents of America’s nuclear disarmament should be forced to ask is: if nuclear weapons are really relics of the Cold War and liabilities for the US, why do so many allies attach such a great importance to America’s nuclear umbrella, and why are so many countries interested in acquiring nuclear weapons?

Answer: because they know that nuclear weapons, far from being relics of a bygone era, are useful and vital assets.

No, nuclear weapons are not relics of the Cold War, irrelevant weapons, or liabilities. They are vital, indispensable assets. America must not reduce its nuclear arsenal any further.

[1] Reputed analyst Sean O’Connor estimates Russia to have 171 Tu-22Ms; Wikipedia says Russia has 151 (93+58).

[2] Russia also has 2 additional Typhoons in reserve. It is not clear what it intends do to with these boats: scrap or recommission them.

[3] The first four boats of the Borei class will have 16 missile tubes each. All successive boats of this class, however, starting with the fifth, will have 20 missile tubes each, meaning that the Russian submarine fleet’s SLBM carriage capacity will increase as the 5th and every consecutive Borei class boat enters service.

[4] Among them are people such as longtime Danish pacifist Hans M. Kristensen, who has spent virtually his entire adult life campaigning for the West’s unilateral disarmament, having joined Greenpeace in 1982, during the height of the Soviet military buildup, at the age of 21.

[5] The figure of 30 DF-31/31A ICBMs comes from 2009. Almost four years have passed since then, so China has certainly increased its DF-31 inventory by a significant margin.

[6] The DF-41 was first photographed in 2007 and has been tested since then, and although the PLA did not parade it during the parade commemorating the 60th anniversary of the PRC’s founding, it’s reasonable to assume that the DF-41 is in service today.

Vindication for Romney? Jeeps to Be Built in China Come 2014.

Gratuitous Jeep

In case you’ve forgotten last Fall’s election (and, really, who can blame you if you’ve wanted to), Mitt Romney was called a liar for nearly every statement he made, this one included.  Last October, the former governor from Massachusetts said he’d read a story claiming that Chrysler might move production of Jeeps from the U.S. to China.  At the time, he was accused of trying to scare voters, but, as of this week, it turns out Chrysler does have plans to start building Jeeps in the world’s most populous nation by 2014.

Chrysler signed an agreement today with a Chinese automaker to build Jeeps in that country, part of worldwide expansion plans for the iconic American brand.  –ChinaCarTimes.com

Chrysler does claim, however, that while they will begin producing vehicles in China, they have no plans to cut the jobs currently held in the United States.  We’ll have to wait and see, but as of this moment, it looks like Romney didn’t pull the whole “build Jeeps in China” thing from thin air.

We’ll have to keep an eye on Chrysler and see how this plays out.  Until then, enjoy a gratuitous video of the Jeep Grand Cherokee from the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show.  (video below)

Free trade is for idiots

For decades, globalists and libertarian free trade ideologues have been telling us that free trade has been “good” for America, that it’s a traditional conservative/Republican policy, and that any suggestion that America should protect its industry – i.e. protectionism – is a Big Government policy and a betray of “free market principles”. Free trade is the religion of the CATO Institute, the Mercatus Center, the Heritage Foundation, and the so-called Club for (Corporate Profits) Growth, which should call itself the Club for Corporate CEOs’ Greed).

But they are wrong. Protectionism, not free trade, has traditionally been the policy of conservatives and Republicans, and it is the policy on which nations ascend economically; they descend on free trade.

Every nation which ever became a great power – from England under the Acts of Navigation, to Colbert’s France, to the US from 1861 to 1945, to postwar Japan, to China today – became such because it protected its economy (especially its industry).

Unlike Hamilton, Clay, and Lincoln, the free trade ideologues at the forementioned organizations never built a great nation.

Republicans won their first presidential election in 1860 (while also capturing the Senate) running on a pledge to institute tariffs to protect the industry. And they did. This nearly insulated America’s (or rather, the North’s) growing industry, allowing it to become the envy of the world. Successive Republican Presidents and Congresses continued these policies, shielding American industries with protective tariffs, thus allowing these industries to grow and leading America to overtake Britain (and the rest of the world) by all measures of industrial production (including coal mining and steel production) by the 1890s.

Protectionist tariffs on foreign products also allowed Congress to keep the books balanced and pay Civil War debts quickly while keeping taxes on Americans and American companies low. Before 1913, there wasn’t even any federal income tax.

America thus became the greatest industrial power on Earth, the envy of the world.

I said “successive Republican Presidents and Congresses”, because a protectionist economic policy proved itself to be not only economically successful, but also politically popular. From 1860 to 1924, the GOP – then known as the Party of Protection – put 12 presidents in the White House, versus only 2 Democrats.

By 1945, America, partially thanks to its protectionist policies and partially due to the destruction that WW2 inflicted on Europe and Asia, accounted for 42% of the world’s industrial production.

But then, something happened.

American political elites (including, increasingly, Republicans) caught the free trade virus and indulged in suicidal “free trade” economic policies.

The US joined the WTO organization, where it doesn’t have a vote, signed the GATT, and signed free trade agreements with many countries, opening its markets to their products while they kept their markets firmly closed to American goods and services.

Thus, the US stopped posting trade surpluses and, starting in 1971, began to run trade deficits which, since 1971, have been growing almost nonstop.

Big corporations, always greedily lusting for more profits and bigger salaries for their CEOs, began shipping jobs overseas.

By the 1980s, the situation was so dire that Ronald Reagan recognized the problem and asked the Congress to institute protective tariffs.

Yet, America’s slide towards the abyss on the skis greased by free traders was only slowed down, not stopped. In 1992, the US, at President Bush’s behest, suicidally signed NAFTA, opening its market to cheap Mexican products. In 1993, Republicans saved NAFTA from defeat by voting for it together with the pro-free-trade wing of the Democratic Party. Republicans literally rescued NAFTA from the dustbin of history (where it belongs) by voting for it – and thus own it.

The result? Millions of good-paying industrial jobs were lost, as factories were shipped to Mexico. Before 1993, the US had a trade surplus with Mexico. Since 1993, it has had a trade deficit with that country every single year.

In 1994, China began, on a large scale, its campaign to maximize its exports while closing its market to imports, and thus to steal Western industries, by devaluing its currency by 45%. Simoultaneously, tariffs on foreign products were hiked, and export rebates to Chinese exporters began to be provided, similarly to how they are provided in Japan.

(Japan has a 15% VAT rate on products sold on its soil, but it provides a rebate to its exporters for every product they sell abroad. So cars exported to the US face no American tariffs and are even rebated by the Japanese government, while American cars exported to Japan are taxed 15% as soon as they arrive at the Yokohama docks).

Yet, despite Chinese cheating on trade, the Congress – dominated by Republicans – gave China Most Favored Nation trade status, thus absolving Chinese products of most tariffs (while China did not reciprocate). In 2001, the Congress gave China that status permanently. In 2002, a Republican President allowed China to join the WTO. Thus, Chinese products enter America almost free of any tariffs or duties, but American products shipped to China are subject to steep tariffs.

Yet, Republicans, instead of learning from their mistakes, doubled down on their “free trade” policies. They gave Vietnam Most Favored Nation status in 2007. They gave President Bush an unconstitutional unilateral “expedited” negotiation authority to negotiate even more one-sided, unfair free trade agreements for dupes. They supported the FTAs Bush signed with Panama, Colombia, and South Korea late in his term.

In the 2008 election, all leading Republican candidates – McCain, Romney, and Giuliani – ran on free trade platforms.

The eventual Republican nominee, John McCain, even scaremongered people about “the siren song of protectionism” and went to a closed Ohio factory (which was closed because its owner shifted production overseas).

It didn’t endear him any voters, however. In the 2008 election, proud free trader John McCain was crushed 373-165, by the biggest margin of any Republican candidate since Barry Goldwater, losing even longtime Republican states like North Carolina, Indiana, and Virginia.

The election of Barack Obama probably gave some Americans hope that he would uphold his campaign promise to withdraw the US from NAFTA and to protect the US industry. He didn’t. He has barely been willing to impose tariffs on imported tires to save the tire industry.

With their own free trade mistakes costing them politically and the country economically, Republicans should have had, by 2012, learned that they were wrong and should have proposed a better policy, right? Wrong. Most Republicans continued to cling to their free trade ideology, as did the 2012 Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, who lambasted Obama for not signing any new FTAs for dupes (as if that were a bad thing), pledged to negotiate new FTAs, and firmly embraced free trade ideology. And although he pledged to designate China a currency manipulator if elected, and to enforce intellectual property laws, he wasn’t willing to do anything more than that, and even these half-measures earned him the ire of free trade ideologues such as the think-tanks and organizations listed above.

So, as the year 2012 begins to draw to an end, let us take inventory of 67 years of “free trade policies”.

They have destroyed the greatest industrial base the world has ever seen.

They have caused 55,000 factories to be closed and production to be shifted to countries where people work for slave wages and where there are no real environmental protection laws.

They have caused tens of millions of Americans to lose their well-paying manufacturing jobs and middle class worker wages to stagnate, in real terms, for over 2 decades.

They have brought about disastrous consequences for national security, as America is now dependent on foreign countries for essential things, even things essential for defense, such as Rare Earth Elements and the products made from them.

They have cost the Republican Party successive Congressional and Presidential elections, as former industrial powerhouses such as Ohio, Michigan, North Carolina, and Virginia – formerly red states – have turned against the GOP and become blue or purple states. Republicans have not win Michigan since 1984 and have lost both Ohio and Virginia in both of the last 2 presidential elections.

The GOP’s reputation as the Party of Protection has been tarnished and replaced by the reputation of a party that kowtows to big businesses and outsources jobs overseas.

America, formerly self-sufficient and producing everything in the world, now imports virtually everything it needs, from textiles and simple products to cars and Advanced Technology Products like computers and cell phones.

America lost her crown as the biggest exporter in the world to Germany in 2003, which itself was overtaken by China around 2010.

America’s trade deficits with Mexico, Japan, the EU, and the world at large are the highest they have ever been.

America’s trade deficit with China is the highest ever between any two countries.

And what were these trade deficits paid for with? Borrowed money. America is now the largest debtor in world history.

And to pay for lost revenue from abolished tariffs on foreign products, taxes are being hiked on Americans and American companies.

Can America be rescued? Yes, it still can, but there isn’t much time, and it will require a complete break with the free trade ideology and policies of the free trade ideologues running the CATO Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the Mercatus Center, and the Club for Corporate CEOs’ Greed. The US should:

  • Immediately implement the Export-Import Certificates proposed by Raymond, Howard, and Jesse Richman. This means that no country would be allowed to export more to the US than it imports from America.
  • Immediately impose a 25% tariff on all Chinese products imported into the US. China will then have a choice between letting American products into its market or financing the US Pacific Fleet.
  • Strictly enforce intellectual property laws.
  • Write, and strictly enforce, product quality standards on all imported products.
  • Terminate the useless Export-Import Bank.
  • Withdraw from NAFTA, the WTO, and the GATT.
  • Abolish all loopholes in the taxcode and use the resulting revenue (as well as the revenue coming from tariffs on Chinese products) to cut taxes across the board for all Americans and all American companies. The corporate income tax rate should be no higher than 12.5% (it’s 35% today).
  • Designate China as a currency manipulator.

Tens of millions of jobs will then be created and production will be shipped back to the US – because then, in order to sell products in the huge American market, you will have to produce things in the US. And foreign countries wishing to export to the US will have to open their own markets to American products on the basis of reciprocity.

Chinese Couple: We’re Not Moving. House Built Around Them.

Years ago there was a funny cartoon about Bugs Bunny who refused to leave his home even through it was in the path of a new super highway. In the cartoon Bugs managed to thwart all attempts  by the mean highway man to move him. In the end he stayed and the road was built around his little cabin. You can watch the video here.

Funny then. But in real life?

Here’s a true story about an elderly Chinese couple who refused to move for the new road. Chinese law does not allow for eviction of people from their home in cases like this. The couple felt the compensation offered by the highway department was not enough for them to rebuild a similar home elsewhere and refused to move. The end result, like in the cartoon, the road was build around their home.

Would this happen in America?

Dismissing China’s Jin SSBN class is wrong

Nuclear disarmament advocates like Hans Kristensen (a lifelong anti-nuclear activist) and Jeffrey Lewis both dismiss China’s Jin class of ballistic missile submarines as obsolete and comparable only to the Soviet Delta III class, with Lewis wrongly calling the Jin class “a good deterrent – for the 1960s”.

But they are wrong. And as advocates of America’s unilateral disarmament, they have an incentive to lie, specifically, to minimize and downplay the Chinese threat.

And the Jin class is hardly an obsolete deterrent fit only for the 1960s.

Kristensen and Lewis base their false claims on two false arguments: that the Jin class is noisy, and that the range of its SLBMs is sufficient only to reach Alaska and Hawaii. Lewis has even said that he’s willing to sacrifice Anchorage (where two of my friends live) for Taipei.

But they are wrong.

While the first Jin class boat was indeed noisy, as depicted by the Office of Naval Intelligence, this is not a problem for the Chinese Navy. If the Jin class patrols in constrained, congested waters like the Sea of Japan or the Philippine Sea, it’s quiet enough to avoid detection in these noisy, congested waters where it’s hard to distinguish it from other naval vessels or from civilian ships.

And if it patrols in the vast swathes of the open Pacific Ocean, as I suspect it does, the vast size of that ocean – the largest body of water on Earth – makes it extremely hard to find a Jin class boat, because you don’t know where to look for it. To find it, you’d have to search the entire ocean, and no navy will ever have the resources to do that.

Moreover, in the last 11 years, the USN’s anti-submarine warfare skills have atrophied disastrously as a result of the DOD’s previous, obsessive singular focus on COIN wars. The Navy’s P-3 Orion crews, for example, have spent little time training for ASW, and almost all of their time conducting ISR missions over Afghanistan and Iraq. The P-3 Orion fleet has also shrank disastrously in numbers, its replacement (the P-8 Poseidon plane) has been delayed and orders are insufficient, and the S-3 Viking carrier-borne ASW plane has been retired. The Chief of Naval Operations himself has admitted that the Navy’s ASW skills have atrophied.

Such skills and capabilities will take many years, if not decades, to regain.

As for the JL-2, multiple sources confirm that the JL-2 has a range of 8,000 kilometers. That gives the Jin class the capability to target all of America’s West Coast – from Alaska all the way south to San Diego, and all cities and military facilities there – while staying west of 160 degrees east, far from the CONUS and not far from their homeport. To be within range of the entire West Coast of the CONUS, including San Diego, they’d have to sail just slightly east of Japan, to slightly more than 150E. To be within range of Seattle, they can actually stay west of Japan, in the Sea of Japan. To hit targets as far as Houston, they’d have to sail just slightly east of Hawaii.

This is far better than “a deterrent suitable for the 1960s”. China’s navy already has submarines and missiles that can target America’s West Coast while being relatively close to their homeport, west of 160E, thanks to the JL-2′s 8,000 km range. This is a feat that the Soviet Navy did not achieve until the 1980s.

When the first Soviet ballistic missile submarines wre commissioned and went on patrol, they had to patrol relatively close to America’s coasts – just 300 kms away from them. This was due to their missiles’ short range.

But as the range of Soviet ballistic missiles significantly increased, their subs became capable of launching these SLBMs far away from America and close to their homeports, north of the GIUK gap. These areas far away from the US, close to their homeports, were considered “bastions” by the Russians.

The deployment of Typhoon class SSBNs armed with long-ranged SLBMs gave the Soviet Navy the capability to hit the US while being in their homeports.

Look at the maps here.

In the 1980s, the Delta I class, armed with the new SS-N-20 SLBMs, was able to target the CONUS while being far away from it and patrolling nearby Greenland and Alaska.

The deployment of even longer-ranged SLBMs gave Soviet submarines the ability to target the CONUS while being between Scotland and Greenland (the Yankee class) or north of Scotland behind the GIUK gap, as well as around Kamchatka and nearby Vladivostok in the Sea of Japan (the Delta II/III class). In other words, the Delta II/III class, with newer SLBMs, could stay close to its own homeports in the Pacific Ocean (Vladivostok and Petropavlovsk Kamchatsky), in home waters around Kamchatka and Vladivostok, and still hit the West Coast; or stay safely behind the GIUK gap and still hit the East Coast. The following map illustrates this.

But the Soviets didn’t achieve that feat until the late 1980s.

China has already achieved that feat. It has already achieved what the Soviet Union needed four decades to accomplish. As I stated earlier, the JL-2 SLBM’s range, 8000 kms, allows Jin class SSBNs to hit the entire West Coast of the US while still being relatively close to home, west of 160E. Here’s a map illustrating this. The area marked in red is the approximate area closest to China from where a Jin class boat could launch its SLBMs at any point on the West Coast. It’s just slightly east of 150E longitude.

In the 1980s, in the Soviet Union, newer, longer-ranged SLBMs such as the SS-N-23 and the R-29 Sinyeva gave the Russians even greater capability. By the late 1980s, their SSBNs could stay in homeport, or around it in home waters near the Kola Peninsula, and still hit the CONUS.

Of course, the Russian Navy’s even newer and longer-ranged SLBMs, the R-29M Sinyeva and the SS-NX-30 Bulava, have an even longer range. But the Russian Navy’s SSBNs can already hit most of the US while being in homeport or in Russian territorial waters.

In conclusion, the Jin class, which consists of 5 boats soon to be joined by a sixth one, is a very formidable deterrent, with the ability to hide in the congested, noisy waters nearby the Asian landmass and the vast swathes of the Pacific Ocean where the Navy wouldn’t know where to find it. Making the job even easier for China, the USN’s anti-submarine-warfare skills have atrophied and will take many years, if not decades, to regain. Moreover, the JL-2 SLBM’s long range (8000 kms) allows the Jin to target all of America’s West Coast while still being relatively close to home, west of 160E, just east of Japan.

And the further east, the further out to the Pacific Ocean the Jin class ventures, the more targets in the US its missiles can hit.

Furthermore, contrary to Hans Kristensen’s lie, the JL-2 can carry 3-4 warheads (or up to 8, according to MissileThreat.com), not just one. Each Jin class boat can carry 12-24 missiles, thus carrying up to 96 of them; so China’s 5-boat Jin class (soon to be joined by a sixth Jin) can carry at minimum 240, and up to 480, warheads.

In other words, Kristensen and Lewis have been proven dead wrong yet again. This is no surprise, because both of these anti-defense, anti-nuclear hacks have an agenda to lie (in this case, to minimize and downplay the Chinese nuclear threat), because any evidence that China is a greater threat than they admit would be a threat to their agenda of unilaterally disarming the US. Given that the Chinese nuclear threat is far greater than they admit, though, such an agenda would be downright suicidal and disastrous for the US.

Dismissing the Chinese fighter threat is dangerous and wrong

In January 2011, China first flew its first stealthy fighter, the J-20. Days before, Air Power Australia experts Dr Carlo Kopp and Peter Goonconducted a holistic technical analysis of it, followed by a more thorough techno-industrial-military-strategy analysis which assessed not only the J-20′s capabilities, but also its usefulness and potential missions in light of these capabilities. They concluded (emphasis added):

The Chengdu J-XX [J-20] thus represents a techno-strategic coup by China, and if deployed in large numbers in a mature configuration, a genuine strategic coup against the United States and its Pacific Rim allies. The development of the Chengdu J-XX [J-20] represents an excellent case study of a well thought out “symmetrical techno-strategic response” to the United States’ deployment of stealthy combat aircraft, which no differently to the United States’ play in the late Cold War and post Cold War period, elicits a disproportionate response in materiel investment to effectively counter.

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.

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.

Those last words were prophetic.

Shortly after the J-20 first flew, a large group of pseudo-experts – some supporters of deep defense cuts with an agenda to deny and downplay threats to America, others being delusional megalomaniacs who don’t believe America could ever lose its military edge to other countries – began an unyielding spin campaign (which continues to this day) of downplaying the J-20′s capabilities, utility, impact, and prospects for production, and thus downplaying it as a threat to US air superiority.

But in doing so, they displayed their ignorance of defense issues, including the facts about the J-20. So, using Kopp’s and Goon’s work as the primary source, I’ll state the facts here (in a condensed version compared to the lengthy analysis Kopp and Goon have written) and refute some of the false claims made by deniers to downplay the J-20.

What are the J-20′s characteristics?

Little is known for sure about the J-20 in open literature, but it is known that the J-20 is a 70 ft long, twin engined Mach 2 class capable aircraft with long wings, large weapon bays, and quite likely, a large fuel load and much room for capability growth. Moreover, as images and videos of it revealed, its designers followed all the cardinal rules of stealth design (including stealth shaping) – and, as experts like to say, stealthiness depends on “shaping, shaping, shaping, and materials”. There are no surfaces that allow an easy radar wave return, not even its canards, which improve its aerodynamic performance and make it even more efficient in supersonic flight than it would be without canards. It’s clear that the J-20 was designed in accordance with the stealth shaping rules employed by the Raptor’s designers.

What are its capabilities?

Based on what is known for sure and on the known capabilities and utilities of similar aircraft, the J-20 will be capable of a wide number of roles, including medium range bombing, long range interception, air superiority, escort of other aircraft, AWACS/tanker killing, long range recon, electronic attack, and anti-satellite attack. In other words, missions of which the F-15 and the F-22 are also capable (except EW, which they can’t do).

Basically, a fighter/attack jet with the fuel load, efficient engines and design, range, and payload as large as the J-20′s gives you the capability to strike a lot of targets out to the Second Island Chain and conduct the full range of the above-listed missions by virtue of that range and payload as well as the J-20′s stealthiness, albeit some of them, such as recon, would require a specialized variant.

What are the deniers’ claims?

The deniers claim, inter alia, that:

  1. The J-20 lacks engines sufficient to power this plane; Russian AL-31F engines, even their 117S variant, are insufficient, and the Chinese are not capable of producing sufficiently powerful engines themselves.
  2. The J-20′s canards are inconsistent with being stealthy (i.e. with a very low radar signature).
  3. The J-20 will be primarily a bomber, not a fighter.
  4. The J-20 is unlikely to enter service in the stated 2017-2019 timeframe because the F-22 took over 15 years to develop and field, and so will the F-35.
  5. It’s unlikely that more than a few hundred J-20s and more than a few hundred Sukhoi T-50 PAKFAs will be produced, while the US will, by the 2030s, have 2,600 F-22s and F-35s.
  6. The J-20 has traditional, round engine nozzles and no thrust vectoring places.
  7. The J-20 is 70 feet long, “big for a fighter”, claims defense issues ignoramus David Axe.
  8. Chinese fighters are low-grade copies of Russian fighters.

I’ll refute each of these false claims in turn:

  1. The J-20′s engines are sufficient to power this plane. How do we know? Because it already has flown multiple times and hasn’t crashed. It’s as simple as that. Moreover, the Russian AL-31F 117S engines (originally designed for, and used on, Su-35 fighters) that were probably supplied for it are sufficient to power it fully – just not to extract its full potential, as Kopp and Goon have stated. A single AL-41F117S engine provides 142 kN (31,900 lb) of thrust; since the J-20 is a twin-engine fighter, you can double that to 284 kN. But if you think that’s not enough thrust, fear not. Vladimir Putin, who seems to be hell-bent on harming the US in every we he can and to harbor irrational hatred toward America (he blames all of Russia’s problems on the US), will be quite happy to supply NPO Saturn (formerly Lyulka) AL-31F and AL-41F engines to the Chinese, who are now testing their own supersonic, thrust-vector-control WS-10G engine, and have pre-G variants of the WS-10 already in service on their J-10, J-11, and J-15 fighters*. By the time the J-20 enters service (2017-2019), the WS-10G will almost certainly be ready for use. A single WS-10G engine produces 155 kN (35,000 lb) of thrust; double that for a twin-engine fighter. (WS stands for Woshan, which simply means a “turbofan engine” in Chinese.)
  2. The J-20′s canards are not inconsistent with stealth performance, and neither is any part of the J-20′s planform. Moreover, the canards are only a stopgap measure used on J-20 prototypes and are unlikely to be used on final design aircraft.
  3. The J-20 will be every bit as much a fighter as it will be a bomber.  Its large size does not inhibit it in any way from being a capable fighter, and its large weapon and fuel loads will actually come in handy in A2A combat. They will also be useful for the interceptor role. The F-22 is a large fighter like the J-20, and larger than the F-35 – yet it’s the one optimised for air superiority, while the F-35 is optimised for ground attack.
  4. The long development time of the F-22 and the F-35 is the result of DOD bureaucracy, tons of overregulation, 40 committees setting (and changing) requirements, and, in the F-35′s case, misdesign and inefficiency of the US defense industry. The idea that China’s highly efficient defense industry is unable to quickly develop and produce next-gen weapons just because the US defense industry is so inefficient is absurd. Even Bill Sweetman admits that: “I would submit that the simplistic approach—comparing this aircraft to the YF-22 or X-35 and therefore projecting an (Initial Operating Capability) well beyond 2020—is philosophically wrong, dangerous and stupid.” Even David Axe admits that (and thus contradicts himself): “China has proved capable of producing new weapons quickly and in large numbers. Beijing’s Type 022 missile boat, designed for coordinated attacks on US aircraft carriers, first appeared in 2004. Just three years later, the Chinese navy possessed a whole flotilla of 40 Type 022s.”
  5. Any idea that the Chinese or the Russians, once they field their 5th generation stealth fighters, will suicidally stop producing them at a few hundred aircraft is absurd, ridiculous, foolish, and naive. The Russians, in fact, plan to produce hundreds of them, and India plans to produce further hundreds. China’s production figures are unknown, but Kopp and Goon – two credible analysts – say China will likely produce “hundreds”. Indeed, striking so many bases and shooting down so many aircraft in the Western Pacific will force China to produce many hundreds. Furthermore, the Air Force Association projects that the J-20 will be produced “in quantities rivalling F-35 production estimates.” China, India, and Russia can clearly afford to do so, because 1) in those countries, $1 can buy much more than in America; and 2) these 5th generation fighters will be relatively cheap, costing well below $100 mn per copy. Furthermore, both fighters will be exported and be available to anyone able to pay for them. Vietnam is likely to be the first non-Indian export customer. Meanwhile, what is America doing? It has killed the F-22 at just 187 aircraft. The F-35 has been delayed many times and won’t achieve IOC until the late 2010s – maybe 2016, maybe 2017, maybe 2018, maybe 2019, maybe never. The entire program may not survive the next few years (and will certainly be killed if sequestration goes through). Orders for it have been cut and may be cut further even if the program survives. Furthermore, America’s Pacific allies may withdraw from the F-35 program (if it isn’t killed), and they plan to procure no more than ~150 of them. (Only two are F-35 customers: Australia and Japan.) So it’s quite likely that when the PAKFA and the J-20 achieve IOC, America’s only 5th generation fighters will be its F-22s. Any projection of 2,600 fighters by the 2030s is wildly speculative and will likely be proven wrong.
  6. This is technically true, but only of the prototypes. It’s important to remember that the aircraft examples of the J-20 we’ve seen so far are prototypes, and that final design aircraft will likely have all of these problems solved. We should not delude ourselves that the Chinese won’t do that and don’t know about these issues.
  7. The J-20 is not too big for a fighter, although it is certainly large – about the size of an F-111. However, its size likely won’t prevent it from being a successful fighter; otherwise, the F-22 couldn’t be, as it is significantly larger than the F-35. The J-20′s size will likely be a strength, not a weakness: it will allow for a large fuel and weapon load, necessary for long range interception and air dominance missions, similar to an F-15, which has an unrefueled combat radius of 1,967 kms. The J-20 can serve as a long range interceptor, air superiority fighter, and theater strike aircraft without modifications, and its large size makes it “a natural candidate for lateral evolution” into the reconnaissance, electronic warfare, and ASAT missile-launching aircraft roles, as AirPowerAustralia rightly says.
  8. This is utterly false. Modern Chinese fighters are high-quality aircraft and are, in most respects, superior to the F-15, not to mention, of course, the F-16, the F/A-18 Bug, and the Super Bug. Once again, defense cutters are deluding the American people into a false sense of security. When the J-20 enters service, it will render every Western fighter except the F-22 and the F-35 irrelevant, impotent, and useless.

In sum, the deniers’ claims – like their other claims about the capabilities and weapons of America’s adversaries, also designed to downplay and deny threats to America – are a mixture of lies, speculations, rosy projections, delusions of grandeur and invincibility, and delusions of unchangeable inferiority of adversaries. During the Cold War, many people harbored similar views about the Soviets, claiming they were inferior people who couldn’t produce any high-quality weapons, even though they often designed and produced weapons superior to their American counterparts. Today, many people harbor similar views about the Chinese and the Russians, even though Chinese and Russian defense industries have already absorbed the most modern Western technology (freely available in this globalized economy) and have already produced high-quality weapons superior to their American counterparts.

David Axe mocks those of us who warn about the J-20 thus:

“(…) the Cope India incident marked the birth of a theme—that America could no longer reliably win battles in the sky.

It’s a theme that’s never fully faded. In the summer of 2009, Gates ordered the US Air Force to stop purchasing F-22s after the 187th copy, and instead channel funding into the planned fleet of 2,400 F-35s. This switch made the United States ‘less safe,’ in the words of Michael Goldfarb, a writer for the conservative Weekly Standard. ‘This is also a very good day for the ChiComs,’ Goldfarb wrote of the F-22’s termination, using a slang term for ‘Chinese Communist.’

Six months later, the T-50 flew for the first time. Once the plane is fully deployed in squadron strength, ‘the United States will no longer have the capability to rapidly impose air superiority, or possibly even achieve air superiority,’ Kopp and Goon wrote. Goldfarb, for his part, again declared the ‘end of air supremacy’ for the United States.

Yet a year later, the T-50 has flown only a few times and there are apparently no serious plans in place for mass production.”

Aside from the fact that there are plans for T-50 mass production in both Russia and India, with about 1000 aircraft to be ordered by those two countries alone, the fact is that the threat deniers have repeatedly been proven wrong, and they will likely be proven wrong again when the J-20 enters service; and the J-20 IS a gamechanger. The J-20 will, for the reasons stated here and here, be decisively superior to the F-35 and to all legacy aircraft, including the F-15, the F-16, the Bug, and the Super Bug.  So will the T-50. Thus, unless the US resumes the production of F-22s on a large scale, it WILL lose air superiority someday. So yes, killing the F-22 made the US less safe, and the day it happened was a good day for China and Russia. It’s no coincidence that the Kremlin’s propaganda network in the US, RussiaToday, hailed that decision and downplayed the J-20: the Russians gladly welcome everything that weakens America’s defense.

When you kill the weapon systems needed to win wars, that DOES weaken America’s defense, jeopardize US national security, and create the risk of losing wars – or, in fighters’ case, losing air superiority, which is the sine qua non of any successful war.

The fact is that Kopp, Goon, and Goldfarb were and are absolutely right, and the threat deniers are absolutely wrong. Instead of continuing to blather nonsense and further spout their ignorant garbage, they should stop pontificating on issues they know nothing about and admit they were wrong about the J-20 and the PAKFA.

The REAL size of China’s nuclear arsenal

How big is China’s nuclear arsenal?

This is a hotly-disputed issue today.

Liberal advocates of Western disarmament, such as Daryl Kimball, Tom Collina, Jeffrey Lewis and Hans Kristensen (a lifelong Danish pacifist who now lives in the US) and their organizations claim that China has only 240 warheads. US intelligence agencies still hold on to their obsolete estimate of 300-400 warheads (first made in 1984).

But there is a large and growing body of evidence that they’re dead wrong by a huge margin.

In addition to the study released earlier this year by Georgetown University’s Professor Philip Karber and his team of analysts, and a growing body of evidence that China has far more missiles of all classes than is usually estimated, retired Russian general Viktor Yesin, a former SMF Chief of Staff, estimated in his study several months ago that China has 1,800 nuclear warheads (with enough fissile material for another 1,800), of which 900 are deployed and ready for use anytime, and he gave specific estimates of how many warheads are attributed to how many delivery systems.

In total, he says, China has 50 tons of highly-enriched uranium and plutonium, half of it already used in warheads. General Yesin has recently completed a follow-on study that confirms his previous findings.

He says China has over 200 strategic warheads capable of reaching US soil, and almost 750 tactical (theater) warheads, deployed anytime, or about 950 warheads in total. He has now also given precise estimates of how many are deployed on what missiles, and what their yield (force) is. Yesin estimates China’s DF-11 and DF-15 SRBMs have warheads with a 5-20 kT yield, while DF-21 Medium Range Ballistic Missiles and DH-10 Land Attack Cruise Missiles have 350 kT warheads; JL-2 Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles have 500 kT warheads, and its ICBMs have warheads of varied yields: 300 kT, 500 kT, and 2 MT.

China’s 440 strategic and theater bombers, Yesin says, carry B-4 and B-5 nuclear bombs.

Yesin also confirms that China has developed multiple independently retargetable vehicles (MIRVs) and is fielding MIRVable missiles. This is actually an understatement – China has had MIRVable DF-4 IRBMs since the 1970s, and MIRVable DF-5 ICBMs since 1981. What Yesin means are the DF-31A and DF-41A ICBMs, both now in service. He confirms that MIRVs have been deployed for DF-5s, DF-31As, DF-41As, and JL-2s.

Overall, he writes: “China’s nuclear arsenal is appreciably higher than many experts think. In all likelihood, the [People’s Republic of China] is already the third nuclear power today, after the U.S. and Russia, and it undoubtedly has technical and economic capabilities that will permit it to rapidly increase its nuclear might if necessary.”

Yesin understates the number of warheads deployed on China’s ICBMs (48) and MRBMs (99), though. The Washington Free Beacon quotes him thus:

“For missiles, the retired general said that “all told, 207 missile launchers are deployed within the Strategic Missile Forces—48 with ICBMs, 99 with [medium-range ballistic missiles] MRBMs, and 60 with [short-range] SRMs.” Total strategic warheads—those capable of reaching the United States—include 208 nuclear warheads, Yesin said.”

This is an understatement: China has 30-36 DF-5, at least 30 DF-31A, and an unknown number of DF-41 ICBMs, all of them MIRVable. Assuming that there are 72 warheads for DF-5s, 90 for DF-31As, and 10 for a single DF-41, that makes 172 warheads for ICBMs alone. China also has 80 DF-21, 20 DF-3, and 20 DF-4 MRBMs. Even if all of them are single-warhead missiles, that still means 120 MRBM warheads.

In total, this means 292 ICBM/MRBM warheads, not merely 147.

Based on open sources, China’s delivery system inventories and their warhead delivery capacities are as follows:

Warhead delivery system Inventory Maximum warheads deliverable per system Maximum warhead delivery capacity
DF-5 ICBM 36 At least 2 72
H-6, Q-5, and JH-7 aircraft 440 1 440
DF-31 30 3-4 90
DF-41 1? 10 10?
DF-3 20 1 20
DF-4 20 3 60
DF-21 80 1 80
JL-1 12 1 12
JL-2 120 4 480
DH-10 nuclear armed LACM ? ? ?
DF-11/15 nuclear armed SRBM 1,600 ? ?
Total 1,119 Various 1,264

As you can see, China has at least 1,119 intercontinental and medium range nuclear delivery systems capable of delivering, collectively, 1,264 warheads. And that’s assuming, conservatively, that no LACMs or SRBMs are nuclear-armed, and that China has only 1 DF-41 ICBM on duty. If China has more, or if at least some of its LACMs and SRBMs are nuclear-armed, China’s warhead delivery capacity is even greater.

For his part, Professor Karber says:

“The Russian specialists quoted in the report have credibility because of Moscow’s past and current role in China’s nuclear program. Russia’s Strategic Rocket Forces also has good intelligence on China’s nuclear arsenal because it targeted China for three decades. This close proximity and long track record means that Russian ‘realism’ about Chinese nuclear force potential cannot be blithely ignored or discounted as ‘paranoia. Their warning against American ‘idealism’ [on China’s nuclear arms] needs to be taken seriously.”

The US -China Economic and Security Review Commission is now slowly (albeit too slowly) beginning to wake up, acknowledging that China may have more warheads than just 300, and saying that it may have as many as 500. It still, however, wrongly believes that 240 is the most likely size of China’s arsenal, despite a large and growing body of evidence to the contrary. Furthermore, it understates the threat from China’s sea-based nuclear arsenal, claiming that:

“China has had a symbolic ballistic missile submarine capability for decades but is only now on the cusp of establishing its first credible, ‘near-continuous at-sea strategic deterrent.’”

This is a huge understatement: China is not “only now on the cusp of establishing its first credible, near-continous at sea strategic deterrent” – it has already established a fully continous naval nuclear deterrent. It has 1 Xia class SSBN (with 12 single-warhead JL-1 missiles) and 5 Jin class SSBNs (with 12-24 multiple warhead JL-2 missiles each). Furthermore, while JL-1 has only a 2,400 km range, the JL-2’s range is 8,000 km, allowing the Jins to target the entire US West Coast from a position just slightly east of 150E longitude. (See the map below.) Six SSBNs, assuming 61 days of patrol per sub, give China a fully continous deterrence capability for 366 days/year.

 The Xia class boat is due to be replaced soon by a sixth Jin class boat. The Jins’ long-range missiles, as stated earlier, allow them to target the entire West Coast from places just east of Japan (and Houston from a position slightly east of Hawaii). That capability was not reached by the Soviet Union’s subs until the 1980s. So China has already accomplished what the USSR needed four decades to achieve.

Nonetheless, the Commission does warn against any further uni- or bilateral (with Russia) cuts in America’s nuclear arsenal, rightly admonishing the Obama government to:

“treat with caution any proposal to unilaterally, or in the context of a bilateral agreement with Russia, reduce the U.S.’s operational nuclear forces absent clearer information being made available to the public about China’s nuclear stockpile and force posture.”

Yet, disarmament advocacy groups and their spokesmen, such as those mentioned above, unrepentantly continue to falsely claim that China has only 240 warheads, and only 50 capable of reaching the US, and hasn’t expanded its arsenal since the 1980s; they furthermore deny that China will have 75 ICBMs capable of reaching the US by 2015 (when China already has more than that as of AD 2012). So why do they continue to minimize and downplay the Chinese threat?

Because they overtly advocate America’s unilateral disarmament, including deep unilateral cuts as a first step. They don’t care about the consequences; in fact, they believe (and falsely claim) that this would make the US more secure, even though disarmament and arms reduction have never made anyone who indulges in them more secure, only less.

They don’t care about Russia’s, China’s, and North Korea’s nuclear buildups and have no problems with that, or with these countries’ development of new strategic weapons such as Russia’s next generation bomber, the PAK DA, new RS-24 (SS-29) ICBM, or planned new heavy ICBM, the “Son of Satan”, planned for 2018. Meanwhile, they demand that the US cancel any plans to develop a next generation bomber or ICBM, dramatically cut its existing nuclear stockpile plus ICBM and ballistic missile submarine fleets, and cut orders for future SSBNs. They claim that if America makes these deep unilateral cuts, Russia will be nice enough to reciprocate, or at least stop the expansion or modernization of its own arsenal.

Similarly, during the Cold War, they had no problem with the Soviet Union developing new strategic weapons and producing them in large numbers – they objected only to America’s development and procurement of such weapons.

All they want is America’s total nuclear disarmament.

But in order to get the public to support such policy, they first have to mislead the public into thinking that this can be done safely, i.e. to lull the public into a false sense of security.

Thus, they shamelessly lie to mislead the public into thinking that the deep cuts they advocate can be done safely, because China supposedly has only 240 warheads. They claim this means that the US can safely cut its nuclear arsenal to the low hundreds.

And, predictably, they reacted furiously to facts-based, objective studies of China’s nuclear arsenal by Professor Karber and General Yesin, because these studies and the facts contained therein constitute a huge threat to their agenda of unilaterally disarming the US. (My own study, published on November 5th, hasn’t gotten much attention yet, but if it does, it will likely be attacked just as savagely. Which won’t change the fact that every statement made therein is true.)

These studies show that China’s nuclear arsenal is highly likely to be far larger than what these liberal pro-disarmament groups falsely claim, and by informing the public and presenting evidence to back these claims up – fissile material stockpile estimates, the length of secret tunnels for missiles, estimated numbers of missiles that China has – utterly refute the myth that China has only a few hundred warheads.

And US intelligence agencies? They continue to cling to their obsolete 1984 estimate of China’s arsenal for two reasons. Firstly, like other bureaucracies, they’re embarassed to admit being wrong. And secondly, they (like the rest of the US government) are run by pro-China officials who delude themselves that Beijing can be a great partner and thus don’t want to do anything to counter China, or even to tell the truth about its reali military capabilities.

But China is a foe of the US, and intellectual disarmament always precedes actual disarmament.

America cannot afford this.

Why the Next Generation Bomber is needed

There are some who question whether the Air Force’s planned Next Generation Bomber is needed.  An example is this article published by the liberal CPI, wherein David Axe asked many questions that are easy to answer. In this paper, I will answer them and thus show why the NGB is absolutely needed.

First, I’ll rebut his questions regarding the requirement for next-gen bomber, and then, explain why it can be developed and produced affordably.

The requirement is clear, and it’s undisputable. The air defense systems of China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, Syria, and even North Korea are dense, very deadly, and, excepting Iran and North Korea for now, very modern. Russian and Chinese air defense systems have proliferated and continue to proliferate globally.

Any notion that the B-52 or the B-1 could survive in such an environment is ridiculous and not supported by any facts. The B-52 and the B-1 would be useless in any defended airspace; nowadays, they’re useful only for COIN campaigns in very benign environments where the only opponents are insurgents unable to contest control of the air. David Axe touts these bombers’ upgrades, but these “upgrades” won’t make them viable in any contested airspace. These bombers are not stealthy, due to a lack of both a stealthy shape AND radar-absorbent materials. No amount of upgrades or even RAMs can overcome this huge deficiency. It’s inherent in these bombers’ nonstealthy design with perfect radar wave reflectors. Even legacy Soviet SAM systems like the SA-2, SA-3, SA-4, SA-5, and SA-6, with upgraded radar, could easily detect and shoot down these aircraft – and they were widely exported. Matters are even worse if you’re facing the S-300 (which Russia, Belarus, China, and Venezuela all have), China’s HQ-9 and HQ-16, or Russia’s S-400.

For purposes of any campaigns in any contested airspace, the B-52 and the B-1 practically do not exist, leaving the USAF with just 20 B-2s. But B-2s’ stealth technology is 1980s’ vintage. They won’t remain stealthy forever. Even if they did, 20 stealthy bombers are insufficient for campaigns against anyone but a trivial opponent. Bombing campaigns against the forementioned countries would require a huge number of sorties, and consequently, a LARGE number of stealthy bombers.

Cruise missiles are no substitute for the NGB. Even buying 50,000 of them would not help, as they are easily detectable and easy to shoot down. So if the USAF bought 50,000 cruise missiles, the vast majority of them would be easily shot down by the opponent’s air defense systems, and only a tiny minority of them would reach their targets. Now THAT would be a real waste of money – NOT buying a needed next-gen bomber.

Cruise missiles are also TOO EXPENSIVE to be used en masse, which is what Axe and others seem to be proposing. The reason why so few Tomahawks have been used in past wars is because… they’re too expensive. In 1996, CENTAF commander Gen. Chuck Horner was ordered to stop launching Tomahawks after just 100 were used because of their cost. Moreover, once you expend a cruise missile, you can’t use it again. It’s gone. Money is thus blown. By contrast, a bomber, once you buy it, can fly for 50 years or more. It’s an investment you make that pays off many times over during several decades.

Bombing campaigns over China – if the PRC starts a war – are viable and would be necessary to break the PRC’s back (and thus to win). The point of wars is WINNING, not achieving a draw. What Wayne Hughes (cited by Axe) is proposing is self-limiting, which would lead to self-defeat. He’s proposing a limited war doctrine of the same kind that caused defeat in Vietnam and nearly caused defeat in Korea.

Winning in war requires breaking the enemy’s capability and/or willingness to make war. Winning any war against China (or any other adversary) requires breaking its warmaking capability, which requires large-scale strikes against its military bases, nuclear/ballistic missile stockpiles, weapon factories, bunkers, and military units/SAM batteries/missile regiments. That can only be done by bombers.

Secondly, can the USAF deliver the bomber on budget?

If it pursues it in a no-frills manner as promised, it can. There are BIG differences between this program and the B-2. The B-2 was designed from stratch, and used mostly new parts. The NGB will have very few new components and will mostly use parts already used for other aircraft – from mission computers, to engines, to radar, to bomb bay and landing gear bay doors, to the landing gear itself.

The CSBA’s Mark Gunzinger has estimated that such a bomber, with a 20,000 lb payload, would cost only $440 mn dollars, not $550 mn, so the USAF has probably planned for a large MOE. He furthermore listed several ways in which the DOD could achieve the low $440 mn unit cost, including reusing existing aircraft parts, fully funding the EMD phase, and purchasing enough test vehicles to weed out any bugs.

Furthermore, the total projected program cost – $55 bn – is the cost of the TOTAL program over its duration over many decades. Even if it lasted only one decade, it would be only $5.5 bn per year. If it’s done over 2 decades, it will cost only $2.75 bn annually.

Removing a pilot cockpit would save only a pittance. It would reduce the aircraft’s weight, and thus cost, only by 4%, as it wouldn’t make a meaningful difference in the weight of a large, heavy plan like a bomber. The DOD buys planes by the pound, so no large weight savings mean no large cost savings. Yet, a drone would be VERY vulnerable. Its comm links could break down or be jammed by the enemy, who could also commandeer a drone; or it could somehow else go haywire. The capture of a Sentinel drone by the Iranians proved this.

BTW, Axe is contradicting himself. He repeatedly underlines the risks related to an unmanned plane’s development (let alone as large as a bomber), yet, he claims that making the bomber unmanned would yield savings which Robert Gates and Gen. James Cartwright dreamed about. So he’s contradicting itself. Which is it, Mr Axe? Would an unmanned bomber be less or more costly and risky than a manned one?

And if an optionally manned bomber – the solution offering the USAF maximum flexibility – becomes too risky to develop, the Service can make it purely manned. Problem solved.

Thirdly, the article by Axe contains many false claims about how the B-2 and NGB sagas unfolded.

The B-2 did NOT cost $3 bn dollars to purchase, not even including R&D funds. It cost only $1.2 bn to buy, and only including research and development costs. Even then, it would have cost significantly less if the DOD had bought the 132 bombers originally planned (as it should have), instead of a puny 21. Unfortunately, the hunt for the “peace dividend” was already underway, so the B-2 was killed along with many other crucial weapon programs. As a result of these idiotic decisions, America’s long-range conventional strike capability is now limited to 20 stealthy bombers.

The NGB was not killed because the USAF overloaded it with pricey gizmos. It was killed for purely political reasons, due to Obama’s desire for defense cuts (to fund his unconstitutional domestic programs), and of course, Cartwright’s meddling, as the defense weakling and strident liberal who was then the VCJCS didn’t want America to have any weapon that could challenge China or Russia. (Cartwright, as the leader of the “Global Zero” group, has recently proposed that America essentially unilaterally disarm itself while Russia, China, and others are building up their nuclear arsenals. That should tell you a lot about his leftist ideology.)

But Gates endorsed a new bomber program in 2010 – while Cartwright was still VC of the JCS still the frontrunner for Chairman. He did so after the DOD’s 2010 QDR, in a holistic analysis, found a real need for the NGB. Gates consequently requested 200 mn for the NGB in the FY2011 defense budget – a year earlier than Axe claims. Meanwhile, the CSBA, which Axe likes to quote, found in its own holistic, impartial analysis, that 100 NGBs are indeed very much needed, and that without them, the USAF will lose its long range penetration capability when the B-2 loses its.

Gates has reaffirmed the need for the NGB several times since then, as has his successor, two successive CSAFs, Air Force Secretary Michael Donley, multiple retired USAF generals, and analysts from the CSBA, the Heritage Foundation, the National Defense University, and other entities.

And if Leon Panetta, faced with a $487 bn (and potentially $1 trillion) cut to his department’s budget took care to find money for the NGB, it must be worth it.

No, the NGB will not be on the chopping block in the 2020s. This program is too important for the USAF, and there’s a clear requirement for it. If anything gets cancelled, it will be the F-35, which can’t do long range strike and is not truly stealthy.

The Next Generation Bomber is needed, and fast.

Chinese ‘Angel’ Rescues 30 Abandoned Babies

Translationg: ‘It is forbidden to discriminate against, mistreat or abandon baby girls’

The story of a Chinese ‘angel’ has come to the international stage after details of her rescue of 30 abandoned Chinese babies came to light.

Hailed as a hero, Lou Xiaoying, now 88 and suffering from kidney failure, found and helped raise 30 abandoned Chinese babies in the Eastern China as she struggled to make a living recycling rubbish.

The first child was found in 1972. She and her husband kept four children and passed others on to family and friends. Her youngest son Zhan Qilin, now 7, was found when Lou was 82.

DailyMail: “Even though I was already getting old I could not simply ignore the baby and leave him to die in the trash. He looked so sweet and so needy. I had to take him home with me,” she said.

I took him back to our home, which is a very small modest house in the countryside and nursed him to health. He is now a thriving little boy, who is happy and healthy.

My older children all help look after Zhang Qilin, he is very special to all of us. I named him after the Chinese word for rare and precious.”

China introduced its ‘policy of birth planning’ in 1978 to slow the country’s population explosion. Married couples are restricted to having one child. Those who follow the rules can receive an additional month’s salary every year until the child turns 14. The Chinese government claims that the policy has probably prevented more than 400 million births and in 2010 it was reported that for every 120 boys born there are 100 girls.

Critics inside China and around the world have condemned the policy and accused the government of enforcing abortions. Despite the fact that it is illegal to kill newborn babies in the country, female infanticide and the failure to report female births is widely suspected, especially in rural areas. Faced with governmental punishment many newborns are thought to be abandoned in dumpsters.

DailyMail: One fan of Lou explained: “She is shaming to governments, schools and people who stand by and do nothing. She has no money or power but she saved children from death or worse.’

‘In the local community she is well known and well respected for her work with the abandoned babies. She does her best. She is a local hero. But unfortunately there are far too many abandoned babies in China who have no hope of survival.”

This woman, poor by most standards, found the ability and means to give these 30 abandoned babies a second chance.

For more pictures visit: Whatsonshenzhen.

Capitalism and Hard Work Helped China, But Occupiers Don’t Know That

With the rise of the Occupy Wall Street movement permeating the American political landscape like a virus, we see a visceral hatred of free markets and capitalism.  We see signs that say “F your unpaid internship” and “Eat the Rich” displayed by people on the far left who seek to destroy out current form of government and implement a socialist progressive state.  For some, these misguided individuals can hardly be blamed.  The United States government did spend $700 billion dollars bailing out the banks to save them from their alleged reckless risk taking.  At the end of the day, TARP remains one of the most unpopular pieces of legislation in American history.  However, capitalism is not immoral.  In fact, it’s very amoral, but when used properly can be a mechanism to bring a state and its citizenry to a better state of living.

The occupiers should only look across the Atlantic, when they aren’t updating Facebook or Twitter about the evils of corporations, and see the crumbling socialist model the European nations have adopted to see that  they’re peddling failed economics. It’s wrong and it’s immoral. It’s immoral that socialists de-incentivize hard work, regard citizen money as the state’s, and use it to pay for lavish programs that eventually leaves succeeding generations in a state of economic despair in the form of debt so astronomical that services previously provided are drastically cut or dissolved leaving millions destitute.  Is that the end result of the progressive utopia?  I fail to see equality of outcome as anything, but dismal.  I mean wouldn’t you go crazy of every ice cream shop just had one flavor.  I feel occupiers don’t see that the end result of their agenda, if you could call it one, would turn America into a monolithic, poorly tasting, and dull country high on “sameness.”

What the free market has done for this country is to allow an entire generation of Americans, namely our parents’ generation, to achieve a level of success that was beyond their education background.  My grandfather built a manufacturing company from scratch, which at its height, supplied windows as far south as Savannah and as far west as Chicago.  It employed 400 people and allowed my family to reap the benefits of its success.  Grandpa Vespa only had a sixth grade-level education. That’s just one story.

Deng Xiaoping

Let’s go to the far east, in my old neighborhood, to China.  China was decimated by the communist policies of Mao Zedong.  The Great Leap Forward was a calamity with millions starving due to a failed industrial initiative, namely steel production, that diverted resources from rural farmers.  In the end, the Chinese ecnomy was on the brink of destruction by the time Mao died in 1976.  It was only after Deng Xiaoping took power, that China’s economy flourished with his market-oreinted reforms.  As Michael Elliott of Time Magazine wrote:

The reforms that Deng blessed started in the countryside, where farmers were allowed to sell surplus produce and, in time, were allowed to farm their own land on long leases rather than as part of a commune. “Township and village enterprises” — small firms, many of which grew rapidly in size — sprang up. Prices were freed. As the success of reform became evident in the countryside, it was gradually extended to the cities. Deng endorsed the creation of Special Economic Zones, islands of capitalism in a communist society. (The most famous SEZ, Shenzhen, just north of Hong Kong, knows whom to thank for its prosperity; Deng’s statue graces a square in the city.) So China started that long run of supercharged economic growth that has made it the workshop of the world

Furthermore, The loosening of regulations on private business allowed them to flourish and outpace state-run enterprises.  The Special Economic Zones,  attracted foreign direct investment and culminated with China being the economic tiger it is today. In all, the middle class of China grew from 5-15 million to nearly 300 million during this period of economic restructuring.  Yes, these are the horrible results of capitalism and free markets.  Occupiers are either jealous, idiotic, or blissfully ignorant. I think it’s a Frankenstein creature composed of all three. However, what is clear is that capitalism works.

 

 

 

Democrats Undermining Defense for Over 200 Years

24's Chloe O'Brian can tell you about the problems with drone technology.

Stephen Budiansky — author of Perilous Fight: America’s Intrepid War with Britain on the High Seas, 1812–1815 ­— has written an excellent book that inadvertently reveals Democrat politicians — in feverish pursuit of imaginary utopias — have been busy undermining our national defense for the past 200 years.

It began with Thomas Jefferson, whose fantasy was the noble agrarian. The rural, independent farmer who was vastly superior to the menial paid worker found in urban areas up North. Jefferson’s was a corrupt vision built on a foundation of parasitical slavery and human degradation that allowed the “massa” at the top to pursue his noble life of the mind, while the overseer drove the slaves.

The fact that Jefferson, and many of the planter aristocracy, was chronically in debt because he couldn’t even make a slave economy produce a profit does not in any way detract from his fantasy. And he wasn’t concerned that many of the devices that made large plantations feasible — notably the cotton gin, invented by a Yankee — and life in the manor house comfortable were manufactured by those same Northern wage slaves.

During his term Jefferson was faced by an arrogant Britain that seized US merchant ships, impressed US sailors into the Royal Navy and blockaded US ports. Ignoring reality, Jefferson believed a strong navy was somehow a threat to agrarianism and liberty.

The rational response would have been to start building frigates. Jefferson’s response was to cut $ 1.1 million from the Navy’s proposed $ 2.1 million budget. Budiansky writes Secretary of the Treasury, Albert Gallatin, asserted that the cost of building a navy always exceeded the value of the commerce it saved. And Gallatin claimed US merchant ships had no right to government protection once they sailed outside the US territorial three–mile limit.

Jefferson’s solution was to build a fleet of 50 small gunboats. These would have done nothing to protect merchant shipping or break the blockade since the overgrown rowboats were so unseaworthy the slightest storm made using the guns impossible. Gunboats would have been ideal if the Royal Navy could have been persuaded to engage us in a swimming pool, but otherwise his gunboats were totally unsuited for naval warfare.

Replace gunboats with drones and you are close to current Democrat thinking on naval and defense policy. Jefferson starved the Navy in the belief he was protecting his fellow slaveholder’s liberty. Obama protects his fellow Democrat politicians by starving the military so he can use the money to keep voters on the government dependency plantation.

Obama has already signed off on defense cuts that total nearly $800 billion over the next ten years and this total does not include the $500 billion cut looming in January if sequestration takes effect.

These cuts mean that while Obama claims the military will be “pivoting” toward the Pacific in an effort to counter Chinese influence, they may as well be performing a “plie” for all the good it will do. Obama’s “pivoting” Navy will have fewer carrier groups than it does today. Which brings us to the drones. Leading Obama advisors advocate buying fewer carrier–based fighters and shifting the emphasis to unmanned combat drones.

Unfortunately, there is a significant difference between using a drone to incinerate a handful of jihadis careening about the countryside in a VW bus and using drones to establish air superiority. Anyone who has ever watched 24’s Chloe O’Brian lose a suspect after the car drives into a tunnel knows there are limits to drone technology today, just as there were limits to gunboats in Jefferson’s day.

Obama’s fantasy is even more dangerous than Jefferson’s. In a world where Iran wants nuclear weapons, North Korea is trying to build a way to deliver its atom bomb, and Pakistan is playing hide–the–nuke, Obama dreams of a nuclear–free world and believes the best way to achieve it is for the US to drastically reduce its nuclear deterrent and ignore missile defense.

This is the open–mic flexibility he was talking about during his second term in his meeting with Russian President Medevev.

You may be surprised to know that the mission of the Department of Defense under Obama does not include defending you from a missile attack. Obama big thinkers truly believe missile defense is “destabilizing” and actually serves to increase the danger of nuclear war. Of course in the event of a miscalculation on their part and resulting nuclear attack, elected officials, appointees and assorted hangers–on will be whisked away to protective bunkers while the rest of us watch the sky for really bright lights.

A reality–based defense policy would put a priority on protecting Americans from potential missile attacks and offering a credible deterrent to would–be attackers. Much like Israel does for its citizens today.

But that would mean Obama has to abandon a 200–year Democrat tradition: short–sighted defense cuts in pursuit of impossible goals.

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