Saturday, January 1, 2022

Let's Try Q & A And Whatever Else Sticky Post

Here is the post which I will try to keep sticky for people to ask questions and share their thoughts which are not on topic. This, I think is known as Open Thread. Fire away.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Boy, Haven't I Heard This Tune Before?

LOL. Of course, Russia is a "threat". She has been since the United States decided that it is the force for everything good against everything bad and that the war it is when the United States bombs weak defenseless nations into the stone age and then changes those hapless countries into shitholes, while profiting from it. But that is not a real war. 

Gen. Glen D. VanHerck, commander of U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command, said Russia remains the most urgent and immediate threat to the homeland even as China captures the attention of defense policymakers. “Russia is the primary military threat to the homeland today. It is not China—it is Russia,” VanHerck told Air Force Magazine on the sidelines of the Air Force Association’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference in National Harbor, Md. VanHerck explained that while China is the “long-term existential threat” to America, Russia is the stronger warfighting threat today. “From a kinetic standpoint—submarines, bombers, cruise missiles, those kinds of capabilities—Russia is the primary military threat,” VanHerck said, calling Russia and China “equals in non-kinetic—cyber, space.” “They have to both be feared,” he added.

Russians are strange people, they just don't like to be democratized. Especially when stand-off weapons are involved and, with a typical Russian cunning and perfidy, arrived to a conclusion that if they are getting bombed and invaded, they might as well respond in kind and do bombing of their own. You know, as in rearrange stones in the lands of those who bomb Russia, and in doing so destroy forces which bomb Russia. Yes, I know, this is such a treachery on Russians' part. How could they refuse all those benefits of "democracy" and the general even concluded: 

“If your only option to prevent an attack on the homeland is to nuke them, you’re not in a good place,” he said. “We have to create other capabilities and options to create doubt in their mind about ever striking our homeland.”

Right. Because we all know that the only thing Russians sleep and dream about is how to strike Skid Row or Detroit... ah, wait, I believe it has been bombed already by someone.

Well, you get my drift, after all, who said that Robocop movies were fiction? Communities like these are popping up around America like mushrooms after the rain. 

On a more serious note, however, it is clear that the United States militarily is in a bind and is undergoing a severe tactical and operational cognitive dissonance spurred by the decades of "transformation" which resulted in deluding itself with some very special "American way of war", while in reality nothing in warfare changed in terms of its main objective since the times of Clausewitz' truism that the main object of war "is to compel the enemy to do our will". Russians are not that kind of people who are compelled to do anyone's will (as many greatest military leaders in human history learned the hard way), and if they refused to do so on the insistence of Napoleon and Hitler and their largest armies in history in their time, they certainly wouldn't do it on America's account. 

Russia is certainly not going to attack the United States but if the United States attacks Russia, yes, Russia has means to obliterate the United States in response, no matter what efforts the United States undertakes to prevent such a response. Basically, VanHerck's main grievance is this: he doesn't want to be bombed back while bombing others. I know. But it is what it is--American generals do not know what it means to lose their families as a result of war, that is why they have such a cavalier attitude towards war. Russia, however, makes them uncomfortable and they don't like it. 

Russian verb, which Putin uses, сдохнуть, sadly, does not directly translate into English and it is not "drop dead", this verb is used when one describes the death of an animal--human dies, animal сдыхает. The nearest term is to croak. These are subtleties of Russian language which many in the West cannot grasp. VanHerck also expressed his opinions on Arctic, but I heard this tune before too. Sure, looking at the Rosatom fleet today I really cannot see what investment in time and treasure will be required on the US side to catch up. No, really.  
Sometimes people just have to stick to doing what they do best. Russians certainly did--they make best weapons and ice-breakers. And a couple of other things which are beyond the narrow scope of this post.

While On Topic. ASW.

Thanks to the excellent Periscope Film Channel which provides wonderful and easily understood archive footage, explaining basics. 

ASW basics.
 

Some Explanations.

 Some explanations by me talking into camera. 

FYI, definition of Navalism.


Russia Is Game.

Nikolai Patrushev already expressed himself (that means Russia's leadership position) on this AUKUS thing.  RT reports:

A new geopolitical deal that will see the US and UK team up with Australia to station nuclear submarines deep down in the Pacific Ocean is a hostile step aimed not only at Beijing, but at Moscow too, a top Russian official claims. Nikolay Patrushev, the secretary of Russia's Security Council, told the Argumenty i Fakty newspaper on Tuesday that the pact between the three nations, known as AUKUS, will inevitably be yet another military bloc aimed at containing and confronting the two strongest non-Western powers.According to the interview, Patrushev compared the pact to QUAD, a strategic dialogue format between the US, India, Japan, and Australia, designed to strengthen Washington's position across Asia. According to him, the group is “a military-political bloc with a pronounced pro-American character.”“Just the other day, another military bloc was formed in the region – the American-British-Australian AUKUS, which pursues the same goals,” the top official went on. According to him, the new deal, which will see London and Washington hand over the technical know-how for Canberra to develop and deploy nuclear-powered submarines, is a threat to “the entire security architecture in Asia.”
Of course, it is a threat and Russia, being Asian power, I am sure, will aid China in this matter but for now we can only speculate what will Russia do specifically. As I stated before, the immediate focus is on pr. 971 Schuka (NATO Akula-class) SSNs, many of which are being upgraded to SSGNs. China has cash, a lot of it, Russia has technology and it is totally conceivable to see China seeking Russia's assistance in developing advanced SSNs. What forms will it take? We will see soon enough. I will address some tactical and operational issues re: Indian Ocean SLOCs later--here, China, indeed, faces odds stacked against her, since the US Navy can support, at least initially, guerre de course of submarines, including through deployment of CBGs, which will preclude effective actions of China's ASW/Patrol aviation. Base in Pakistan (Gwadar) thus could get a serious boost in turning it into a full blown Chinese naval base and that will help address a serious vulnerability of Indian Ocean SLOCs which for China have an existential importance. 

Meanwhile, refresh your memory with this piece from more than 3 year ago:

Harry J. Kazianis Really Needs A Muscle Relaxant-II, Or China The Omnipotent. 

The issue is NOT new. 

Monday, September 20, 2021

It Is Only Natural.

Let's throw away emotions and feelings and recall what I stated in my video and in discussion several days ago: 

Thanks to Bernhard of Moon of Alabama who does, as usual, an excellent job of monitoring media and analyzing facts, I personally became aware of this by the way of MoA from The Guardian:

Let's take a look on what is at stake here.

1. This is an intensity of a marine traffic in the region around China.

 

As you can see, any kind of nukes (SSNs) based in Australia have an excellent and fast access to SLOCs both in Indian Ocean and into the deep areas of South China Sea. Operations on SLOCs are as old as navies themselves. China, obviously, depends on SLOCs and even 2-3 additional (Australian) SSNs with Harpoons and torpedoes on permanent patrol in the areas of interest can wreck a havoc on the flow of resources for China. They will also attract serious Chinese resources in terms of ASW. I am not going to discuss now purely tactical and operational issues, but in the minds of US planners this all makes sense.

2. Now, to the mechanics of all that. This is Chakra of Indian Navy. 

USSR/Russia and India have been at this "lease" thing since 1980s, with the first SSGN of project 670 officially joining the Indian Navy in 1988. So, nothing new, really, in leasing out state-of-the-art nukes to someone. If Russia and India can do that, US and Australia, who ARE brethren nations, certainly can. So, not really surprising in learning that the US will lease subs to Australia. In fact, emotions aside, it is the only natural way to increase the submarine force against China in such a way that it strains Chinese and PLAN's resources and, in case of war, helps to shut down SLOC's which are still crucial for China. Pure navalism, folks. 

3. Let's take a look at what is available in a short term. Granted, the Australian crews are getting ready or are already in training for running US nukes. I can tell you immediately--do not forget good ol' Los Angeles-class SSNs. Many of them are either in conservation, reserve or are about to be moved there. There are currently, if to believe WiKi 28 active Los Angeles class SSNs and 1 expecting decommissioning. SSNs 768 through 773 are reaching their 30 year old age but are still active and who knows what their fate will be with at least 8 Virginia-class SSNs being either under construction or announced. Those Los Angeles subs will need to go somewhere and this time it might not be to the scrap yard. Couple of early Los Angeles class subs SSN 719 and 723 are also planned for recycle in 2022

So, there are options. It doesn't make France's life easier, for sure, but purely on the military merit, from the shores of Potomac it makes perfect sense. I have to admit, all things considered, it does make at least some sense. Of course, such an approach does not guarantee a success for a number of reasons, but keep in mind that anything based in Perth, as an example, becomes impervious to Chinese medium-range ballistic missiles because neither DF-21 nor DF-17 fly at 5,800 kilometers even when launched from China's south-most point. So, this is another key to this decision. The main issue, however, is this--does the United States think that it can control possible conventional conflict with China that it does not accelerate to a nuclear threshold? That is a huge question to ponder. And yes, China's nuclear subs are not as good as American ones, it is a hard cold fact. What will China do? Ask this question: what will Russia do?  Believe me, it is no less important, if not more. Recall few years back my reaction:

And here is the news, PLAN, for now, doesn't have submarine force which is even remotely competitive both in numbers and quality with the US Navy's submarine force. All bravado on both sides apart, US submarines in the Pacific are overwhelmingly superior to PLAN's nuclear subs (SSKs are a separate issue). Currently the US Navy operates 32 Los Angeles-class + 3 Sea Wolf-class + 15 Virginia-class SSNs = 50 SSNs ALL of whom, including older L.A. class SSNs are superior to anything PLAN can deploy in terms of nukes, which is roughly 9 nuclear subs, only 6 of which could be considered relatively modern (Type 093). Period. Yes, PLAN does deploy a substantial number of conventional SSKs, but again, this fleet of subs is good only for a relatively short distance deployments in defense of own littoral. We are talking here about overwhelming advantage US Navy enjoys over any PLAN's surface or nuclear power submarine force beyond the First Island Chain. I am not even talking here about remote segments of SLOCs. Yes, Chinese are improving, yes, they are gaining both capability (such as destroying US aircraft carriers) and some operational experience, but it takes much more than that to command the seas. I will also avoid describing some info (very reliable one), I just mention it, that testifies against Chinese tactical and operational maturity, for now--I underscore that, for now. But namely for now PLAN, for all US Navy's huge institutional problems, is not a real competitor in one domain, which today defines command of the seas--underwater. US submarine force is simply better, much better and that's the reality, which Admiral Lou should have considered and James Holmes remembered when trying to respond to Chinese naval officer.
And don't tell me that I didn't warn you;)) I sure did, wink, wink. It was only natural for the United States to start leveraging its one of a few remaining and significant advantages in combat technology, submarines, and I am sure people in Beijing and Moscow expected it. I am sure Moscow did. 

Oh, No, No, No, No...

Ria publishes today the review of Le Figaro's article (in fact there are several of them, which is expected, given the circumstances) regarding this whole CLUSTERFAUKUS which discusses this whole issue. But Ria concentrates not on the article but on more than 1200 comments to it (in Russian). One of very many comments by French readers states this:  Une seule solution claquer la porte de l'OTAN ! Even without the translation it is obvious that he (or she) calls on slamming the door on NATO. Others call for distancing from Anglo-Saxondom and removing sanctions on Russia and joining her in whatever form. Well, I have some bad news for French audience of Le Figaro--Russia is not your rebound flick to ease the pain from being dumped by a long time lover who, in addition, promised to get married after many years of engagement. No, no, no, no, this is not how it works. As one Russian commenter summarized the overwhelmingly dominant sentiment on Ria's discussion board:

А оно нам надо? С такими друзьями никаких врагов не надо...  

Translation: Do we really need it? Who needs enemies with such friends...

Exactly. This is how overwhelming majority of Russians thinks today. 

1. Current France and current Russia have zero commonalities culturally and in terms of values cannot be further apart. France since long ago is a playground for alternative lifestyle, multiculturalism (a euphemism for Islamization) and suicidal cultural practices. French intellectual "elites" are much larger in scale likeness of what in Russia is a marginalized freak-show of Russian "liberals" and fifth column. Why would Russia, then, have any interest in "expanding" on these policies by associating herself in any way with a country which only nominally is France, while in reality is a ticking demographic and cultural time bomb? Russia, in French mind, is a backward country which builds Christian cathedrals, declares marriage between the man and the woman sacred in her Constitution, Russians are nationalists and do not allow LGBTQ ideology to roam freely. Russian also shoot to kill terrorists and feel no compunction about it.

2. Russians did not elect Macron, French people did. There are always consequences to actions. Russians hate globalists, French, evidently, make them their Presidents time after time. Each nation deserves the government it elects. If the French government is bad (well, it is--it is utterly globalist, neoliberal and anti-national) it is France's problems and in terms of possibility for any common political approach between Russia and France in case of France deciding to seek rapprochement with Russia (granted, Russia is interested, which I doubt)--well, probability of such an arrangement is approaching if not zero, at least a trivial value. 

3. Removing sanctions from Russia by France changes absolutely nothing because Russia is not suffering from those sanctions at all and if somebody in France still thinks that removing sanctions is a valuable political and economic gesture, they better study what modern Russia is. Here is how France is "important" for Russia economically

Come on people, let's be serious, yes--some Airbus planes, some Renault, some other French stuff, but in a larger scheme of things France barely registers for Russia as an economic partner but the main question is not even this.

4. I understand that French ego is badly hurt currently, but this too will pass and France will soon forget about Russia and will crawl back to her master, where she belongs because France cannot act otherwise--it is not in France's nature. Cultural, political and military DNA of France has been damaged since De Gaulle's departure so much that France my generation used to know is simply not there anymore. 

So, I don't think Russia is interested in any way in France's maneuvering and posturing at this time because Russia has a much much bigger fish to fry and she really doesn't care about being picked up on the rebound, especially by a date which, as Tolstoy noted: "A Frenchman is self-assured because he regards himself personally, both in mind and body, as irresistibly attractive to men and women."  Obviously, France's elites somehow missed this tectonic shift in global power-balance which was ongoing for the last 15 years at least, and did not recognize the fact that France is not that important for a titanic power struggle in the China-Russia-Anglo-Saxon triangle. France traded remnants of her sovereignty in in 2009 by reintegrating into NATO fully and she is not leaving NATO. For that, one has to have a set of balls--a doubtful proposition for current French political class. There are many politicians in France, zero statesmen. But that is the problem of the combined West, not just of France.

P.S. Among numerous comments in Le Figaro I stumbled upon one which proposed that, maybe, Putin will fork money for these French subs. LOL. This is an exhibit A of "irresistibly attractive" syndrome, which is similar to American exceptionalism. Evidently the reader who posted this has zero awareness of Russia's SSK and SSN/SSGN/SSBN programs which dwarf in scale and scope anything France ever did in this field. I hope he posted it in jest. I doubt though.