Category Archives: WMDs

China In The Sky With Bombs

Chinese Missiles
Chinese Missiles
First impressions are all over the board, but generally the idea that although China offers no present threat, the fear is that if there were a stand-off over Taiwan, the Chinese might be tempted by the option of destroying US satellites. Worry is also being expressed by China's near neighbors, Japan and South Korea.

Shinzo Abe, the Japanese prime minister, has stated the Japanese position that all nations must use space for peace.

Alexander Downer, the Australian foreign minister, while visiting New York, said Beijing's ambassador to Australia, Fu Ying, had been called in for an explanation with concern that to have a capacity to shoot down satellites in outer space is not consistent with the traditional Chinese position of opposition to the militarization of outer space.

China is militarily weaker than many people think, especially compared to the United States. This, despite lots of showy jet prototypes and plenty of other factory-fresh equipment. But Beijing has a brutally simple—if risky—plan to compensate for this relative weakness: buy missiles. And then, buy more of them. All kinds of missiles: short-range and long-range; land-based, air-launched and sea-launched; ballistic and cruise; guided and “dumb.”

Those are the two striking themes that emerge from Chinese Aerospace Power, a new collection of essays edited by Andrew Erickson, an influential China analyst with the U.S. Naval War College.

Today, the PLA possesses as many as 2,000 non-nuclear ballistic and cruise missiles, according to Chinese Aerospace Power. This “growing arsenal of increasingly accurate and lethal conventional ballistic and land-attack cruise missiles has rapidly emerged as a cornerstone of PLA warfighting capability,” Mark Stokes and Ian Easton wrote. For every category of weaponry where the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) lags behind the Pentagon, there’s a Chinese missile to help make up the difference.

The need is clear. Despite introducing a wide range of new hardware in recent years, including jet fighters, helicopters, destroyers, submarines and a refurbished Russian aircraft carrier, China still lacks many of the basic systems, organizations and procedures necessary to defeat a determined, well-equipped foe. Take, for example, aerial refueling. To deploy large numbers of effective aerial tankers requires the ability to build and support large jet engines—something China cannot yet do. In-air refueling also demands planning and coordination beyond anything the PLA has ever pulled off. As a result, “tanker aircraft are in short supply” in the PLA, Wayne Ulman explained.

That’s putting it lightly. According to Chinese Aerospace Power, the entire PLA operates just 14 H-6U tankers, each carrying 17,000 kilograms of off-loadable fuel. (The U.S. Air Force alone possesses more than 500 tankers, each off-loading around 100,000 kilograms of fuel.) So while the PLA in theory boasts more than 1,500 jet fighters, in reality it can refuel only 50 or 60 at a time, assuming all the H-6 tankers are working perfectly. In an air war over Taiwan, hundreds of miles from most Chinese bases, only those 50 fighters would be able to spend more than a few minutes’ flight time over the battlefield. Factoring in tankers, China’s 4–1 advantage in jet fighters compared to Taiwan actually shrinks to a roughly 7&ndash1 disadvantage. The gap only grows when you add U.S. fighters to the mix.

The PLA’s solution? Missiles, of course. Up to a thousand ballistic and cruise missiles, most of them fired by land-based launchers, “would likely comprise the initial strike” against Taiwan or U.S. Pacific bases, Ulman wrote. The goal would be to take out as many of an opponent’s aircraft as possible before the dogfighting even begins.

The PLA could take a similar approach to leveling its current disadvantage at sea. Submarines have always been the most potent ship-killers in any nation’s inventory, but China’s subs are too few, too noisy and their crews too inexperienced to take on the U.S. Navy. Once the shooting started, the “Chinese submarine force would be highly vulnerable,” Jeff Hagen predicted.

And forget using jet fighters armed with short-range weapons to attack the American navy. One Chinese analyst referenced in Chinese Aerospace Power estimated it would take between 150 and 200 Su-27-class fighters to destroy one U.S. Ticonderoga-class cruiser. The entire PLA operates only around 300 Su-27s and derivatives. The U.S. Navy has 22 Ticonderoga cruisers.

Again, missiles would compensate. A “supersaturation” attack by scores or hundreds of ballistic missiles has the potential of “instantly rendering the Ticonderoga‘s air defenses useless,” Toshi Yoshihara wrote. Close to shore, China could use the older, less-precise, shorter-range missiles it already possesses in abundance. For longer-range strikes, the PLA is developing the DF-21D “carrier-killer” missile that uses satellites and aerial drones for precision targeting.

The downside to China’s missile-centric strategy is that it could represent a “single point of failure.” Over-relying on one weapon could render the PLA highly vulnerable to one kind of countermeasure. In this case, that’s the Pentagon’s anti-ballistic-missile systems, including warships carrying SM-3 missiles and land-based U.S. Army Patriot and Terminal High-Altitude Air-Defense batteries.

Plus, missiles are one-shot weapons. You don’t get to reuse them the way you would a jet fighter or a destroyer. That means, in wartime, China has to win fast—or lose. “China’s entire inventory of conventional ballistic missiles, for example, could deliver about a thousand tons of high explosives on their targets,” Roger Cliff explained. “The U.S. Air Force’s aircraft, by comparison, could deliver several times that amount of high explosives every day for an indefinite period.”

The French Solution (Or The United Nations Rocks!)

Peacekeepers in the Big Apple
THE FRENCH SOLUTION LIVES! The French pride themselves on being French. The French Republic is a charter member of the United Nations and one of five permanent members of the UN Security Council. Jihadists worldwide love the UN. Muslims use the UN as a battering ram against Israel and the USA. The UN is less than worthless in its role as peacekeeper. Worthless would mean the UN would look the other way as both sides violate its resolutions. But as usual, they blatantly favor one side.

The routine goes like this. The media reports that the French UN forces almost fired on flyover Israeli jets in southern Lebanon, indicating once again that the UN peacekeepers will enforce nothing in the UN cease fire resolution that impacts on Hezbollah who is busy re-arming to match its strong vitriolic sloganeering, but they will go to "couragious" lengths in trying to enforce the restraints put on Israel as French officials announced yesterday that "thanks to the sangfroid of French soldiers...our troops barely avoided a catastrophe."

Really? I would have thought the French soldiers knew perfectly well the Israelis had no intention of firing on them, or indeed firing at all. If it took "sangfroid" to refrain from firing, rather than mere common sense, then someone is keeping a secret about French loyalties.

The self-congratuling statement was further reduced to comic relief when one online wit summed up the prevailing French attitude—as grotesque. The bravery of inaction. Awards ceremony forthcoming.

More response to the incident from a fellow who calls himself Ronin writes:

"This persitant problem actually has a very simple solution. The Palestinians want their own state and France apparently thinks they deserve it and are willing to risk their troops if necessary. All we have to do is declare France the New Palestine. I for one would kick in a few bucks in the name of world peace (to help move them). The French get their wish and become a Muslim safe haven. The Palestinians get their own state. Israel gets some much needed breathing room. The USA can take none of the credit. Everyone wins."

These French "peacekeepers" are so concerned about Hezbollah's ability to freely operate within Lebanon, to the point of claiming that they'll fire upon Israeli planes. Meanwhile, their OWN COUNTRY is being eaten from the inside by "angry, disenfranchised youths" (AKA freshly minted Jihadists).

Insanity is prevailing in France. They hate the US so much that they've rejected all aspects of our country, to the detriment of their own national and cultural self-interests. They've rejected the US to the point of embracing our enemies—who are in the process of weakening beyond all recognition their own nation.

The French leadership appear to have gone completely mad. At least they "fought like soldiers" in the early years of World War II. They were quite poorly led, using antiquated strategies leading to their quick defeat, but they fought for a few weeks against the Nazi blitzkreg.

Now, they won't even acknowledge that there's a war raging within their own borders. They're incapable of grasping their nation's future hangs in the balance, as it burns before their very eyes. They've gone stark-raving mad.

As I see it France has two possible futures—Sharia with bells or oppressive stage Communism crimped to a knuckle, both futures of their own making and with the latter following directly on the clicking heels of the former.