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Monday, May 13, 2019

Is the end of empire nigh?

Gunboat diplomacy doesn't work when the natives have anti-ship missiles:
A senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander warned on Sunday that the presence of a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf used to be a serious threat, but now represents a target, according to the Iranian Students' News Agency.

The U.S. has sent forces, including an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers, to the Middle East in a move that officials said was to counter 'clear indications' of threats from Iran to American forces in the region.

The USS Abraham Lincoln is replacing another carrier rotated out of the Gulf last month.

'An aircraft carrier that has at least 40 to 50 planes on it and 6,000 forces gathered within it was a serious threat for us in the past but now it is a target and the threats have switched to opportunities,' said Amirali Hajizadeh, head of the Guards' aerospace division.
Now, it's likely that Iran is just bluffing about its military capabilities, as Middle Eastern countries are wont to do. But it's not certain, which is why it could be a catastrophic mistake for the US Navy to be playing old school intimidation games with its most powerful and most symbolic warships.

The problem is that while the Iranians probably have not developed a missile capable of sinking a carrier, the Russians and the Chinese probably have, and what better way to puncture the notion of US invulnerability than arranging for the sinking of a US aircraft carrier with plausible deniability.

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127 Comments:

Blogger Snidely Whiplash May 13, 2019 2:44 PM  

The gulf is a narrow waterway for an aircraft carrier. There is no place to run, and every square foot of it is easily reachable from Iranian territory. A modern anti-ship missile could just get lucky. There are other tactics that could be deployed as well.
If we lost a CV threatening Iran, what would be the fallout?

Blogger Harry_the_Horrible May 13, 2019 2:46 PM  

Gunboat diplomacy works fine if your reach is longer than the ASMs, and if you're willing to lay your opponent waste.
However, while a F/A-18 has a longer range than most ASMs, I doubt we have the will to inflict the necessary damage.
Besides, what are we dong messing around in that cesspit anyway? Blow their oil terminals out of existence and go home.

Blogger dh May 13, 2019 2:47 PM  

The RAID (redundant array of inexpensive drones) theory of anti-ship combat is coming, and coming soon, to theatres of war near you. The idea of large quazi fixed targets that are protected by an array of other ships and aircraft seems almost quaint next to an array of 5,000 5lb drones each equipped with a 3lb paylod of TATB or another HE compound operating in quasi-autonomous seek and destroy roles. Especially with ships that are designed to evade fire instead of repeal localized damage the possibility of seriously damaging or hamstringing an entire carrier group with $150B+ of ships at the loss of an investment of a few million dollars worth of commodity drones should be a substantial and persistent concern for the command structure of Western navies.

Blogger Barbarossa May 13, 2019 2:48 PM  

I was last in the Gulf in 2006 aboard USS Enterprise, so adjust my remarks accordingly for passage of time. The greatest threat posed to any warship in those waters would be from a suicide ramming by the myriad Iranian craft wandering about. I would often wander up to the bridge to watch flight ops when not on watch and note that the Iranian craft were more numerous AND closer to us than our escorts. Seriously doubt much has changed in that regard, and just to head off the "Sink them!" enthusiasts, it's international waters. They had just as much as right to be there as we did, and they scrupulously avoided interfering with our flight ops, which often couldn't be said of the good ol' days when the Soviet AGIs would sometimes make a nuisance of themselves.

However, this sort of bellicose rhetoric was used by the Iranians when my battle group entered the Gulf back in 1989. I believe this is the type of boilerplate expected from Iranian politicians, just as American pols are expected to decry terrorism and human rights violations. Seriously doubt the Iranians would serve up such an easy casus belli.

Blogger Azimus May 13, 2019 2:52 PM  

I really don't understand why the US is blundering from one abortive military adventure to the next in short order lately. It almost feels like were intentionally emboldening our rivals to try something.

Blogger PJW Gent May 13, 2019 2:55 PM  

dh wrote:The RAID (redundant array of inexpensive drones) theory of anti-ship combat is coming, and coming soon, to theaters of war near you.

One EMP warhead would take out that complete flight of RAID drones.

Blogger cheddarman May 13, 2019 2:59 PM  

I wonder if the Iranians could use a swarming attack to overwhelm the USN. Lots of ways to do that if you have highly motivated suicide troops willing to die.

Blogger Steve May 13, 2019 3:04 PM  

Dunno, I reckon the sinking of a US carrier would be the worst thing to happen to Iran (can't see plausible deniability working if hundreds of American servicemen are sent to a watery grave - the Iraq war was started on a far thinner pretext).

It'd mean the Neocons instantly back in charge of US foreign policy, and possibly a tactical nuke on Tehran. No American president could afford to back down from something like that. John McCain is probably looking up from the afterlife and praying for something like this.

I also dunno if this is actually gunboat diplomacy in the Victorian sense of the term. Who is the flotilla meant to impress - the fuzzy wuzzies, or a domestic audience? I get the sense President Trump doesn't want a war, but does want to be seen as tough on Iran. Olden days empires would've just shelled them into submission.

Blogger Unknown May 13, 2019 3:05 PM  

Iran sabre rattling is nothing new, they have been doing it for more than 30 years. There is nothing unusual at all about this.

I was last in the Persian Gulf in 2013 on the Stennis. Anything that lifts off is tracked almost instantly. Like Barbarossa said, the biggest threat is small boat swarm attack, just because the sheer amount of traffic running around makes it easy for small surface contacts to hide.

-Unknownsailor-

Blogger VD May 13, 2019 3:12 PM  

I reckon the sinking of a US carrier would be the worst thing to happen to Iran.

You're completely missing the point. It would mark the end of US empire and probably start the process of US breakup.

Blogger Harris May 13, 2019 3:13 PM  

Long past time to bring back the credible threat of dropping a nuke. Tehran seems like a good place to make the world believe, once again, that America has the will to be the bully.

Blogger Avalanche May 13, 2019 3:14 PM  

@1 " A modern anti-ship missile could just get lucky."

Don't need an anti-ship missile. Hit a carrier carrying 6,000 sailors and a bunch of million-dollar aircraft with enough NORMAL missiles to ignore chaff launchers and defensive fire... and the military and Prez would have to cut and run because Americans would NOT stand for us to continue 'risking our young folks like that!"

Have you not seen photos of the U.S.S. Belknap? That was just jet fuel from a ruptured line on the carrier they hit/that hit them, I don't remember the sequence; but not an actual missile strike. The Belknap, after: http://cdrsalamander.blogspot.com/2016/05/fullbore-friday.html Aluminum and steel, jet fuel and bombs, make for a real hot fire!

From here: https://www.defensemedianetwork.com/stories/bt1-andrew-gallagher-risked-his-life-to-save-others-aboard-uss-belknap/"... when we hit, JP-5 fuel lines were cut up on the carrier, and fuel poured down onto our ship, and into the air supply for ventilating the engineering spaces. We had combination stacks and masts, called macks. All that fuel came down into the after mack. ... they estimated like 18 hundred gallons." I was at her recommissioning after repair... well, after rebuild!

Of course, the "let's poke angry Iran" folks completely IGNORE the young folks "we" are risking daily already -- and sending home dead, maimed, destroyed, and suicidal... but if the media doesn't bring it up "we" can pretend it ain't real... The media and its (((controllers))) would make VERY SURE we get swamped with horror and outrage pver an Iranian attack on 'us' cause they want a war there now!

Blogger Avalanche May 13, 2019 3:16 PM  

@6 "One EMP warhead would take out that complete flight of RAID drones."

And also the CIC on the U.S. warship controlling the EMP launch? OOPSIE!

Blogger Longtime Lurker May 13, 2019 3:17 PM  

As the Iranians blustered about striking the Lincoln, four oil tankers moored outside Fujairah reported serious punctures below the waterline.

Ship killers come in all forms, including semi-submersible varieties, which offer Iran plausible deniability in a way that striking any vessel with missiles and drones does not.

Gonna be a long hot summer said the Persian mouse to the American cat.

Blogger John Best. May 13, 2019 3:19 PM  

The large aircraft carrier is becoming outdated just like the battleship, anything created for 2nd generation warfare will be useless in 4 generation conflicts. Iran could sink the US carrier using the old reliable torpedo Dhow. The overall point here is US power isn't real, but based in intimidation. As soon as anyone stands up to the US navy they will have to fold and pull back, they can't win a war at sea against Iran, Russia or China anymore. These nations have been trying to find ways to defeat the US fleet for decades and they have built the capabilities to do so. The Americans can change because they have too much political and economic capital invested in carriers, cruisers, destroyers, aircraft they are too invested in 2 generation warfare. The entire west is.

Blogger Kilo4/11 May 13, 2019 3:26 PM  

It comes down to whether the Iranians want to risk giving us casus belli. Ramming by small craft may provide plausible deniability if the crew and weaponry can't be traced to Iran, but it's still a huge risk for them.

Blogger Kilo4/11 May 13, 2019 3:35 PM  

@15: "As soon as anyone stands up to the US navy they will have to fold and pull back, they can't win a war at sea against Iran, Russia or China anymore."

Have you heard of the U.S. Air Force? B-52s, etc? Cruise missiles and other stand-off weapons? A state sponsored attack on the U.S. military, anywhere in the world, is an invitation to that state's destruction. Russia and China won't do it because they know we'll go nuclear on them.

Blogger wahr01 May 13, 2019 3:35 PM  

Aircraft Carriers are a relic of a time when local launch points were required to wage remote warfare.

The US now has global-ranged, high-linger-time drones to do this.

Carriers exist to pressure targets confirmed by intel to be inferior and susceptible to rapid-dominance, such as pirates and tin-pot regimes.

I don't see carriers venturing close to rival powers in a real combat sceanrio beyond the "inward swoops" required to launch such drones.

Blogger Akuma May 13, 2019 3:37 PM  

This has bad written over it. Nothing usually comes of these threats, but what if this is the one bluff too far. The only good thing that comes of this is the eradication of the Ayatollah. The cucks win if war is declared. They will just try and turn Iran into a democratic republic which Muslims cant do. That leads to more immigration, massive debt, and acceleration of the death spiral we are in.

The Russians will not side with us despite the fact they should; the conflict truley being between Christianity and Islam. They will take Irans side. Things might go Nuclear this time. In the best case scenario Israel wiill run the slaughter with American troops running support once their main battle group arrives.

Blogger Fargoth May 13, 2019 3:39 PM  

Interesting that they made Jussie Smollett end 'Empire' trying to set off a race war.

Blogger IAMSpartacus0000 May 13, 2019 3:43 PM  

Problem with us going at Iran is we are not willing to kill their people where as they are willing to kill ours.

Their army could beat our rules of engagement.

Blogger Brett baker May 13, 2019 3:45 PM  

Missiles, pffft! All they need is one guy willing to die doing a ramming attack.

Blogger OneWingedShark May 13, 2019 3:45 PM  

Azimus wrote:I really don't understand why the US is blundering from one abortive military adventure to the next in short order lately. It almost feels like were intentionally emboldening our rivals to try something.
The way I read it: our elites, who typically have (((other loyalties))), really want to beat the war-drums in order to wring the last blood/dollars from us that they can. It's also possible that they simply don't realize how much most US people don't want more "foreign adventures" — also, it's likely there's a strong amount of favor for "domestic adventures" in order to rid ourselves of the ever-more-troublesome foreign invaders which is being kept from the mainstream…

Harris wrote:Long past time to bring back the credible threat of dropping a nuke. Tehran seems like a good place to make the world believe, once again, that America has the will to be the bully.
Absolute wrong country — Mexico City would be far more justified.

Blogger wahr01 May 13, 2019 3:49 PM  

@21

The idea someone like Bolton wouldn't be perfectly fine annihilating the whole place is ridiculous.

The problem is Iranians are not stupid and have designed their entire command infrastructure from day 1 to be resistant to all-out, unrestrained, cold-war-level bombardment.

You can't kill what you can't find or hit, and their bunkers were designed as such.

Blogger ZhukovG May 13, 2019 3:52 PM  

Iran doesn't need suicide boats, they have Supercavitation Torpedoes.

Personally, I think this all just geopolitical kabuki. No one really wants a war over there. Also, the Shia branch of Islam is by far the most civilized(for a given value of civilized). It is the Sunni, like our 'ally' Saudi Arabia, who hate Christians.

In Iran, Christianity, Judaism and Zoroastrianism are legal faiths. They do not pay 'Jizya' and are guaranteed representation in the Iranian Parliament.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan May 13, 2019 3:53 PM  

The Iranian is right, it's a joke to have that carrier there, sure it's good boob bait for the conservative clowns who cannot mentally leave the year 1945 and that is about it.

I believe Saker has recently written that the Russians are dealing with drones about their airspace around their airbase in Syria, but no one would dare hit a US airbase because hey they were invulnerable in 1945.

Blogger Chesapean May 13, 2019 3:53 PM  

It would mark the end of US empire and probably start the process of US breakup.

I can't disagree, but would note that Japan made a similar calculation in attacking Pearl Harbor. The question is whether our nation is sufficiently different now such that there is no sleeping Tiger to awaken.

If you believe the Fourth Turning hypothesis, a whole generation of archetypal "heroes" is just now entering adulthood, looking for grand puzzles to solve. I wouldn't put winning a world war with available U.S. military technology beyond them. Might even be a useful way to cull the herd of gammas.

Blogger John Best. May 13, 2019 3:57 PM  

@17 That stuff doesn't matter. What matters is morale, as soon as the American take any damaged they will pull back and try to cover it up. The Iranians have all kinds of ways to inflict damage and the Americans will pull back. Even if the American have a destroyer and a replenishment ship damaged they will retreat, it doesn't need to be a carrier and it doesn't need to be sunk. It just needs to be clear that the US ship and supply chain isn't secure. The American state is in a highly demoralized state anything which makes this clear will force the American state to back down. Happened to Britain and it will happen to the US.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash May 13, 2019 3:57 PM  

Kilo4/11 wrote:Have you heard of the U.S. Air Force? B-52s, etc? Cruise missiles and other stand-off weapons? A state sponsored attack on the U.S. military, anywhere in the world, is an invitation to that state's destruction.
And then what?

Blogger wahr01 May 13, 2019 4:01 PM  

@27

A "world war"?
Against Iran?
Pretty much the entire mideast is pivoting toward an alliance against them at this point and they have no power projection.

It's not necessary to attack their military targets.

Simply go after the infrastructure they use to bank and trade and that's it.

Blogger xevious2030 May 13, 2019 4:40 PM  

Saw a very tiny indicator the US side may be a bit more serious than usual about Iran. Not the big jumbo marker variety. Could be nothing though, general ancillary. Anyway, elsewise, Iran, Russia, neoCons, political machines, border issues, 2020 election, Obama deals. Fun times.

Could you imagine the handwringing by neoCons as to who to blame more, Russia or Iran, even if it was Iranians on rafts hitting it with axes made in Russia? Inane.

Blogger Blaidd May 13, 2019 4:41 PM  

All they need is one guy willing to die doing a ramming attack.

Given our track record lately, all they need to do is wait for the Lincoln to pilot itself into a freight ship of its own accord.

Blogger cecilhenry May 13, 2019 4:45 PM  

I don't want Iranians bombing American ships.

But I don't want the US fighting Isreal's war agenda.

And increasingly the American military has little to do with actually defending Americans.



Cognitive dissonance for sure

Blogger pyrrhus May 13, 2019 4:47 PM  

Iran may not have developed a missile, yet, that can sink a carrier...but they surely have missiles that could inflict an enormous amount of damage, and many deaths....

Blogger Mr Darcy May 13, 2019 4:52 PM  

" […] The USS Abraham Lincoln … ."


Comment would be superfluous.

Blogger OneWingedShark May 13, 2019 4:56 PM  

Blaidd wrote:All they need is one guy willing to die doing a ramming attack.

Given our track record lately, all they need to do is wait for the Lincoln to pilot itself into a freight ship of its own accord.

And nobody will comment on it being owned by Greatest Ally and named John Wilkes Booth.

Blogger CSAFarmer May 13, 2019 4:57 PM  

https://thesaker.is/book-review-twilights-last-gleaming-by-j-m-greer/

Read the book a couple years ago; from The Saker review:
"it begins by a supposedly “easy” military attack by the US military on a weak and more or less defenseless country which turns into a disaster due to a fundamental miscalculation. At that point, the USA does exactly what the opposing side predicts and doubles-down and that turns out to be a fatal mistake which, through a domino effect, ends up in the dissolution of the USA".

Thought it was a very plausible scenario.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan May 13, 2019 5:01 PM  

Per usual America will totally dominate tactically but flub strategically

Blogger wahr01 May 13, 2019 5:05 PM  

@38

Politically.

It's always the lack of political will.
Boomers and to a good degree exers are all cargo cultists of WWII who are not psychologically capable of committing to the brutality required for war.

You think people who are too spineless to stand up and say jihadi migrants aren't Americans are capable of actually killing the requisite number of people required to actually break another nation's will to fight?

Blogger Noah B. May 13, 2019 5:13 PM  

"Simply go after the infrastructure they use to bank and trade and that's it."

We don't hear much about the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in the US but the rest of the world has learned not to trust (((this government))). They are rapidly working to reduce their dependence on it and their vulnerability to US sanctions.

Blogger Goose May 13, 2019 5:13 PM  

Aircraft carriers dead meat? But why is China building them maybe because they think it is 1941 again. So we bring our Armed forces home and disband all but border security. Devote the entire military budget and sell the Navy for scrap to support the invaders then distribute all of the infantry stuff to local police to help control the right wing. Then spend all of the money you can print on the replacements for the Europeans so the FUSA can be the shit hole they want us to be. Maybe even let the UN take over our borders. Then all can float or come to the borders and demand the FUSA do as they say. The government can go disband and the Globalists will provide. Well I am glad to be a boomer as I will be joining the greatest generation shortly. You soy boys never confronted a bully because I learned that a bully will not stop for politically words or cutting his allowance. So a big stick well applied does work. It does not always stop the bully and many times you will get it back in kind, but normally he does not repeat. As an old man I sit here and watch all of the words but see little action. Do not provoke do not respond it is what they want. The problem here is that you are too afraid to lose your cushions for your backside and your comfy life. You accept debt slavery average 17% on your over used credit cards. Your student loans never to be paid off. Cowards all of you. Get out and face them down or not. Other than the POTUS not a leader out there in the street. Without a leader you are all going to be sodomites or castrated.

Have fun boys I will be leaving shortly the future for you looks like shit.

Blogger wahr01 May 13, 2019 5:16 PM  

@41

They can't "cooperate" with "shanghai" if the sea-side infrastructure they use to load their ships are rubble.

Blogger S1AL May 13, 2019 5:21 PM  

An "aircraft carrier" is not just an aircraft carrier. The comments on "how easy" this would be are pretty amusing.

Blogger Noah B. May 13, 2019 5:39 PM  

They can't "cooperate" with "shanghai" if the sea-side infrastructure they use to load their ships are rubble.

If the US decides to attack there's not much Iran can do to stop it. But at that point we can probably expect Hezbollah to throw everything they've got at Israel.

Blogger wahr01 May 13, 2019 5:50 PM  

@45

They tried to "mueller" Bibi, gave him the full "trump" treatment + corruption charges. He won re-election promising to ANNEX the West Bank in his campaign.

I certainly hope Hezbollah does throw everything they've got at Isreal, it'd become the pretext they use to flatten gaza with thermobarics.

Blogger God Emperor Memes May 13, 2019 5:50 PM  

"...if you're willing to lay your opponent waste."
I see this as the main reason why the West continues to have problems with tinpot dictators and Muslim shitholes. - The West has not had the will to win an armed conflict since WWII, with the possible exceptions of the Falklands and the Malayan Emergency.
CRUSH your enemies and make them afraid of the consequences of even THINKING of starting trouble. This is where Western liberalism causes problems, especially when dealing with the Arabs. - Arabs respect strength and only strength. The Omanis have a saying: "It is better to live 1000 years under a tyrant than to go 1 day without a ruler". That tells you everything you need to know about their political mindset.

Blogger kurt9 May 13, 2019 5:54 PM  

The problem is that while the Iranians probably have not developed a missile capable of sinking a carrier, the Russians and the Chinese probably have, and what better way to puncture the notion of US invulnerability than arranging for the sinking of a US aircraft carrier with plausible deniability.

Yes, this is the kind of sneaky deviousness that the Chinese are certainly capable of (LOL!).

Blogger Kilo4/11 May 13, 2019 6:00 PM  

@28 "What matters is morale ..."

This is a possibility, but IMO the importance of the Gulf oil route and the fact that the target would be Iran make this unlikely. There seems to be enough lingering hatred for the Ayatollah and mullahs to make an opportunity for vengeance irresistible to enough Americans for there to be political cover for harsh action. We had no similar personal grudge against Iraq and Afghanistan and look how long we have fought in those places.

Then there's the oil. I think enough Americans would approve of any and all means necessary to keep the Straights of Hormuz open and friendly oil related infrastructure safe to again provide political cover.

Blogger xevious2030 May 13, 2019 6:03 PM  

@42 (G) The future is always shit. So What

Blogger Avalanche May 13, 2019 6:04 PM  

@42 "Cowards all of you. Get out and face them down or not. Other than the POTUS not a leader out there in the street. Without a leader you are all going to be sodomites or castrated.
Have fun boys I will be leaving shortly the future for you looks like shit."

So how many invaders have YOU shot this week?! Driven a busload of 'em handcuffed to the border and chucked 'em over? Set up a machine-gun nest at an illegal crossing and piled 'em up?

Yeah, thought not. Tough words.

Blogger Avalanche May 13, 2019 6:12 PM  

@44 An "aircraft carrier" is not just an aircraft carrier. The comments on "how easy" this would be are pretty amusing.

Remember the U.S.S. Cole? Little bitty craft motored up next to her and KABOOM!? 17 American sailors were killed and 39 injured; and the Cole out of commission for 14 mos. Try to draw some lines between that, and the description above of the little bitty Iranian 'fishing' boats swarming around the carriers -- INBOARD OF her escort ships.... Wanna bet those little bitty craft can be full-up with jihadis and big explosives... and INBOARD OF HER ESCORT SHIPS?!

Ever heard of the legal concept of the free first bite? This could be a whole PACK of biters with very large teeth -- and BEFORE we can 'shoot' these rabid dogs, we have to let them get a whole pack of free first bites? Please do expand on your amusement -- how many sailors and big chunks of hull and internal spaces - are you willing to lose to a PACK of free first bites?!

Blogger Balam May 13, 2019 6:23 PM  

For people's amusement and very related, the Millennium Challenge 2002. A must read for anyone who is interested in US naval dominance in the current era.
https://infogalactic.com/info/Millennium_Challenge_2002

"Millennium Challenge 2002 (MC02) was a major war game exercise conducted by the United States Armed Forces in mid-2002.
...
Red, commanded by retired Marine Corps Lieutenant General Paul K. Van Riper, adopted an asymmetric strategy, in particular, using old methods to evade Blue's sophisticated electronic surveillance network.
...
Red used a fleet of small boats to determine the position of Blue's fleet by the second day of the exercise. In a preemptive strike, Red launched a massive salvo of cruise missiles that overwhelmed the Blue forces' electronic sensors and destroyed sixteen warships. This included one aircraft carrier, ten cruisers and five of six amphibious ships. An equivalent success in a real conflict would have resulted in the deaths of over 20,000 service personnel. Soon after the cruise missile offensive, another significant portion of Blue's navy was "sunk" by an armada of small Red boats, which carried out both conventional and suicide attacks that capitalized on Blue's inability to detect them as well as expected.

At this point, the exercise was suspended, Blue's ships were "re-floated", and the rules of engagement were changed; this was later justified by General Peter Pace as follows: "You kill me in the first day and I sit there for the next 13 days doing nothing, or you put me back to life and you get 13 more days' worth of experiment out of me. Which is a better way to do it?"[1] After the reset, both sides were ordered to follow predetermined plans of action."

What a badass name for a military officer, General Ripper. Ripped apart the idea that fancy technology is going to overcome the weaknesses of the carrier fleet.

Blogger Hammerli 280 May 13, 2019 6:39 PM  

Deploying the Lincoln CVBG to the area is not the same as transiting the Straits of Hormuz. Which IS a deathtrap...and we know it.

Iran is not Iraq. The smart move is to stay in the Gulf of Oman or the North Arabian Sea, set up your defense in depth, and start rolling up the Iranian forces as you move north.

Blogger Uncle John's Band May 13, 2019 7:02 PM  

"Have fun boys I will be leaving shortly the future for you looks like shit."

Buh bye!

Blogger S1AL May 13, 2019 7:03 PM  

R"the U.S.S. Cole? Little bitty craft motored up next to her and KABOOM!? 17 American sailors were killed and 39 injured; and the Cole out of commission for 14 mos."

Did the Cole sink? Setting aside all extenuating circumstances that don't apply to a CSG, *Did the Cole Sink*??

The rest is irrelevant to the point in question.

--

"What a badass name for a military officer, General Ripper. Ripped apart the idea that fancy technology is going to overcome the weaknesses of the carrier fleet."

*Riper

While the war games *may* have shown that, reality turned out quite differently. The US crushed the world's fourth-quarter largest military without meaningful losses.

There's a reason the US Civil War is the only extended traditional war this country ever fought.

Blogger John Best. May 13, 2019 7:08 PM  

@55 Iran has every right to try to stop you squeezing them. So does DPRK, China, Russia and ISIS. So you need to be measured and use your power wisely. The British Empire never learned how to do that and America still hasn't. The difference is the British had a nation to fall back on, the Americans no longer do. So when your state is overthrown things will get very violent and you will implode.

Blogger wahr01 May 13, 2019 7:13 PM  

@53

I suspect they reset the rules because Riper's tactics had proven effective, and it was time to go to the drawing board on countermeasures and try others. (that is the point of those war games)

I wonder what countermeasures they thought up?

Blogger Ominous Cowherd May 13, 2019 7:16 PM  

Hammerli 280 wrote:The smart move is to stay in the Gulf of Oman or the North Arabian Sea, set up your defense in depth, and start rolling up the Iranian forces as you move north.

No, the smart move is to steer clear entirely and let the goat humpers kill each other. It is certainly always meet and proper to kill mohammedans, but we have plenty over here.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd May 13, 2019 7:19 PM  

wahr01 wrote:@53

I suspect they reset the rules because Riper's tactics had proven effective, and it was time to go to the drawing board on countermeasures and try others. (that is the point of those war games)

I wonder what countermeasures they thought up?


Very possibly the only countermeasure implemented was to change the rules to prevent that. Showing weakness in the status quo is a direct threat to the military procurement system, which is the system of graft that enriches admirals and re-elects congresscritters.

Blogger Avalanche May 13, 2019 7:21 PM  

@57 "Did the Cole sink? Setting aside all extenuating circumstances that don't apply to a CSG, *Did the Cole Sink*??
The rest is irrelevant to the point in question."

The Cole was 100% out of action for 14 mos. I don't know if that included towing her home too... Okay-so, let's take the swarm of little bitty iranian boats and spread them around between the carrier and the escort ships they're inboard of. Let's kill "just" 17 sailors and wound 34 on EVERY ONE of the carrier and her escorts, and put them ALL out of commission for 14 months. Will the war even still be going on when they return to the line?! And where are 'we' going to get the shipyards to REPAIR that bunch of ships all in the SAME 14 months?

Is the point in question ONLY is there or is the not a carrier-killer missile? Pretty pointless question if you can knock out a whole carrier GROUP with little bitty boats, isn't it?!

Blogger Ominous Cowherd May 13, 2019 7:22 PM  

It's interesting how everyone focuses on the possible harm to Iran, and no one is focusing on the point of our host's little post, which is the potential harm to the US from a serious misstep.

Do we really all believe that our diverse navy, which can't dodge freighters, is incapable of making a mistake?

Blogger Doktor Jeep May 13, 2019 7:25 PM  

Perfect.
The efforts and results of Abraham Lincoln was the US becoming an empire that did whatever it wanted out of force. The first customers of the new empire being the native Americans and the treaties with them broken.

So the sinking of the USS Abraham Lincoln would be Tolkien-level symbolic. It would set in motion things that any accellerationist would dream of.

I only regret that it would happen on Trump's watch. But it's not like we didn't warn him. President Kushner will scurry away without consequence.

Blogger S1AL May 13, 2019 7:36 PM  

"Very possibly the only countermeasure implemented was to change the rules to prevent that. Showing weakness in the status quo is a direct threat to the military procurement system, which is the system of graft that enriches admirals and re-elects congresscritters."

The guy Riper beat went on to implement red team testing in 20 locations around the globe. The problem was Rumsfeld.

https://warontherocks.com/2015/11/millennium-challenge-the-real-story-of-a-corrupted-military-exercise-and-its-legacy/

--

Is the point in question ONLY is there or is the not a carrier-killer missile? Pretty pointless question if you can knock out a whole carrier GROUP with little bitty boats, isn't it?!

In which you once again demonstrate an inability to grasp the point. The *symbolism* of sinking the ship *with a weapon of war* is not even in the same vicinity as failing to sink a ship that's refueling in port.

--

"Do we really all believe that our diverse navy, which can't dodge freighters, is incapable of making a mistake?"

While we're on the subject of plausible deniability, what makes you think that was an accident?

Look, I'm certainly not saying the US military is invincible - history proves that sentiment is folly per se. What I am saying is that for all the talk of US military issues, none of them are anywhere near what a lot of the commenters here are making them out to be.

Blogger Daniel May 13, 2019 7:40 PM  

Arabs can't do democracy, these are different people.

Blogger justaguy May 13, 2019 7:46 PM  

Look, the Gulf is a very small, restricted area of water. Yes it says something if a carrier is there, but a carrier can do most of the same things from outside of the Gulf, leaving destroyers in the Gulf instead.

Can one of the new destroyers survive in the Gulf? yes, if it has the right ROE. Remember that one ship gets hit with a missile-- the CO screwed up, then one ship shots something down- oops an airliner off otrack-- another mistake.

The transition from peacetime to wartime ROE-- how to be able to survive a surprise attack-- is a tricky business. The Iranians might think less about launching at a destroyer than a carrier placed where it is in a barrel. A destroy can likely handle anything the coastal navies of the Gulf have also...

Yes, if the US leaves a carrier in the Gulf where it can be vulnerable to a swarm of missiles and one is sunk, it will be a blow to the US. But that blow will be basically self-inflicted. The US is not the starship Enterprise on Star Trek-- invulnerable to everyone else.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd May 13, 2019 7:48 PM  

While we're on the subject of plausible deniability, what makes you think that was an accident?

Do you think that the freighters are sneaking up on and outmanuvering diverse destroyers, or do you think our diverse navy officers are deliberately getting t-boned? Or are you proposing that the Navy has deliberately gotten some of its ships rammed to give the appearance of incompetence?

I suppose the last of those three would make the Navy look best. If they're faking corruption and incompetence, they are faking remarkably well.

Blogger S1AL May 13, 2019 7:53 PM  

I'm saying that it's an awfully convenient way for the Chinese to get some information and blame it on "miscommunication".

Blogger AdognamedOp May 13, 2019 7:54 PM  

I wouldn't put it past the deep state globohomo cabal to start a shtstorm leading into 2020. There's no question the swamp runs deeper than the intel agencies and those frieghter collisions were likely not all due to incompetence/diversity within the naval command structure. There are evil forces at work that have shown they cannot accept the results of an election. I dont think they would hesitate to light the World on fire at this point.

Blogger Primus Pilus May 13, 2019 7:55 PM  

Daniel wrote:Arabs can't do democracy, these are different people.

Exactly. Iranians are Persians. Persians are intellectually capable of constructing a democracy, but are probably smart enough not to.

KPKinSunnyPhiladelpia wrote:The Iranian mullahs are bad people, very bad. They think the messiah lives in a well.

The US Government is also very bad people, probably even worse. At least the mullahs aren't trying to spread sodomy worldwide and exterminate the nation they rule over.

Blogger wahr01 May 13, 2019 7:57 PM  

@61

"Showing weakness in the status quo is a direct threat to the military procurement system"


Wait WHAT?

How on earth does a new, pressing, severe hole in military readiness HARM the military industrial complex?

Sounds like a cash cow to me.

Blogger John May 13, 2019 7:58 PM  

@27 "I can't disagree, but would note that Japan made a similar calculation in attacking Pearl Harbor. The question is whether our nation is sufficiently different now such that there is no sleeping Tiger to awaken."

...

dude…

The Sleeping Giant isn't going to declare war on Iran.
We're going declare war on Fake America and its alien masters.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd May 13, 2019 8:08 PM  

How on earth does a new, pressing, severe hole in military readiness HARM the military industrial complex?

The hole is incompetence and diversity, and you can't fix those with another ship building program. Nobody can get rich off maintaining professional standards. Nobody can get promoted freezing out women and minorities.

Everyone is getting rich from the status quo, so nobody better threaten it.

Blogger wahr01 May 13, 2019 8:18 PM  

@74

Not as rich as they'd get selling a new wonder-radar that scans small boats for munitions.

Blogger Gettimothy May 13, 2019 8:36 PM  

"
The problem is that while the Iranians probably have not developed a missile capable of sinking a carrier, the Russians and the Chinese probably have..."

Do we have a carrier named USS Liberty?

A false flag would serve our enemies well.

Heck, blame Poland and Hungary for it to boot

Blogger SciVo May 13, 2019 8:37 PM  

Azimus wrote:I really don't understand why the US is blundering from one abortive military adventure to the next in short order lately. It almost feels like were intentionally emboldening our rivals to try something.

I would like to believe that it's part of some nefarious evil plot, because then at least we'd have an enemy worth respecting. But no, it's just how a manager over his head acts, jumping from one quietly-abandoned initiative to the next, in the hope that something will go right before he gets fired. You see it all the time.

We're ruled by incompetent boobs. With nukes.

Blogger Crew May 13, 2019 8:41 PM  

I think this might be appropriate:

Gott Mit Uns

Blogger Jandolin May 13, 2019 8:42 PM  

Jewish neocons, who have wanted the US to wage war against Iran for the last twenty years, are close to getting their wish. Pompeo, the bloated wop, is calling for “swift and decisive” US action in response to nebulously-defined “attack on American interests or citizens” by “[Iran] or their proxies”. Today Saudi Arabia claimed two of its tankers were allegedly sabotaged. Will ZOG determine the alleged sabotage of Saudi tankers as damaging to US interests?

Blogger Avalanche May 13, 2019 8:45 PM  

@65 "Is the point in question ONLY is there or is the not a carrier-killer missile? Pretty pointless question if you can knock out a whole carrier GROUP with little bitty boats, isn't it?!
In which you once again demonstrate an inability to grasp the point. The *symbolism* of sinking the ship *with a weapon of war* is not even in the same vicinity"

The symbolism to WHOM?! The vast vast majority of Americans -- both real and paperwork -- will not give a hoot if it was a "weapon-of-2nd-gen-war" that killed a bunch of our sailors without sinking a carrier or a bunch of little bitty boats fill with effective **4-gen warriors** using IEDs who did it! Who in much of American differentiates between a "weapon of war^TM" and a weapon that STARTS a war?! And I suppose a lot of military higher-ups, the perfumed princes, will not get the difference either, but will want to buy more 2nd-gen weapons to try to fight off a swarm of little bitty 4-gen WEAPONS!

Blogger Servant May 13, 2019 8:46 PM  

Sending American sailors toa watery grave would irreperably damage their relationship? They'd be ok. Just claim it was an accident.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd May 13, 2019 9:39 PM  

wahr01 wrote:@74

Not as rich as they'd get selling a new wonder-radar that scans small boats for munitions.


You're smart enough to think of that ...

Blogger Crew May 13, 2019 9:46 PM  

@79: The man has an awesome 'stache.

Isn't that enough to start a war. He cannot be a lesser Hitler!

Blogger nbfdmd May 13, 2019 10:24 PM  

There won't be a War (capital W) with Russia or China because they don't need or want one. A hot war would be a global conflagration, no matter how weak the US might be, and neither Russia nor China would escape the destruction. So instead, they're trying to gradually isolate and depower the US until they can ultimately use soft weapons, like immigration, to destroy it. Their best case scenario endgame is the US essentially becoming a Mexico or South Africa. Lots of people, fairly big economy, but no force projection whatsoever.

Blogger wahr01 May 13, 2019 10:35 PM  

@85

I disagree there.
The elites in China and Russia have use for the USA as an escape point for off-shoring money and if necessary themselves.

They can't have the US become too weak or their assets are no longer out of reach.

Blogger Crew May 13, 2019 10:57 PM  

@84: You might not be interested in war but war is interested in you.

The elites of the tribe need a war to maintain their dominant position, so it is likely to occur and it has been a long time since a really big war.

Blogger JaimeInTexas May 13, 2019 11:00 PM  

@42
Aircraft Carriers still have a role but as an extention of our coastal defense.
China ...
Look up China in a globe and then find China's roving eyes focus - Taiwan, primarily. It makes sence for them unless and until China decides to use ACs for far power projection. If China does that, they also will find ACs to be of diminishing returns.

Blogger CynicalMan May 13, 2019 11:16 PM  

When the gunboat is no longer seen as a threat but instead a target it is no longer a gunboat but instead a tripwire and a warning to watch your step.

Blogger Jay in DC May 14, 2019 12:08 AM  

How the fuck did half the commentariat here just go full retard in a single article?

This whole 'nuke Tehran' and F-18s have X strike range, and could we do this or that. Dafuq?

Suck any Neocon pole lately? How about WHY are we picking a fight w/ a country that is no threat to us? Bolton and Pompeo are running this whole show while Trump sits passively.

This is "Weapons of Mass Destruction" all over again and half you slobbering idiots are chomping at the bit to spill more American blood. Why don't you send YOUR kid to fight this next war for the Neo-Palestinians.

If you don't understand who benefits from throwing the US in another conflict in the sandbox you -really- haven't been paying attention. There is one State that would highly benefit from using it's puppet / proxy army once again just like they did during the other BS war they supported.

Mystified by the sudden IQ drop here...

Blogger wahr01 May 14, 2019 12:58 AM  

@89

"Mystified by the sudden IQ drop here..."

Yes, the post foisting a false choice of "Believe the known liars in Tehran or you're just warmongers" is the topper in this regard.

Blogger pyrrhus May 14, 2019 1:08 AM  

<Have you heard of the U.S. Air Force? B-52s, etc? Cruise missiles and other stand-off weapons?

Have you ever heard of the S-300 and its advanced radar and control system? Which is installed in Iran...Soon to be followed by the S-400....The US Air Force isn't willing to lose a lot of planes, nor can it afford to lose them with its ridiculous procurement costs and long lead times...And Russia will not tolerate another American puppet state on its border...

Blogger Thad Tuiol May 14, 2019 1:30 AM  

You Americans sure love spending blood and treasure for Israel. You really are their slaves.

Blogger Reziac May 14, 2019 1:36 AM  

Step one: tempt the enemy.
Step two: let the enemy provoke you.
Step three: turn their capital into a glowing crater.
Step four: casually remark to the rest of the Middle East: "Any questions?"

Okay, so maybe I'm not cut out for a career in diplomacy... tho I'm guessing this maneuver may have something to do with cutting off supplies to the Iranian subversives in Yemen, now that we're all buddy-buddy with the Saudis (at least this week).

Blogger JovianStorm May 14, 2019 2:50 AM  

Most of the comments here are complete justification for turning off chat during Darkstreams.

Blogger Ryan G May 14, 2019 3:49 AM  

I genuinely hope the Neocons don't get us into a war with Iran. I would never support such a war, forever vote against any politician who did, and urge all my friends and family to do the same.

That said, discussing the US military's efficacy is more dependent on the whims of politicians than it is capabilities. Before the days when politicians began micromanaging wars you could accurately draw predictions of war outcomes based on objective factors such as manpower, materiel, and strategy. Those days are gone, however.

However, IF the US military were let "off the leash" and given the simple order of "fight them until their government unconditionally surrenders", I haven't the slightest doubt in my mind the US would win.

As far as anti-ship missiles go, yes they're a threat. They also tend not to work when they're blown up on their launch pads in a preemptive strike from surprise submarine attack. Two SSGNs unloading their payload would put over 200 long range missiles inbound to precisely configurable targets. Even IF they got prior warning, and even IF their anti-ship missiles were all defended with anti-missile systems, there is no technology that would shoot them all down. Furthermore, they would be high priority targets for special forces. The bottom line is that carriers are not some obsolete, single point of failure for US force projection. There are countermeasures, yes, but there are also countermeasures for those countermeasures.

All of that is moot, however, since I'm sure that when and if the Neocons get their war they will ensure that it is done in the most retarded way possible so as to protract it into another multi-decade long conflict.

Blogger Primus Pilus May 14, 2019 4:05 AM  

Reziac wrote:Step one: tempt the enemy.

Step two: let the enemy provoke you.

Step three: turn their capital into a glowing crater.

Step four: casually remark to the rest of the Middle East: "Any questions?"


Iran not only isn't our enemy, Shi'a Islam is far less violent than the Sunni Islam of, say, our "ally" Saudi Arabia, and is responsible for practically no international terrorism by comparison. Talking about how cool it'd be for the US to murder millions of people who never posed a threat to us is pretty repulsive. Mexicans are invading us by the millions every year - why no talk about using the military against them?

On top of that, our attack on Iraq and proxy attack on Syria did far more harm to the Christian communities in those countries than they have to Islam. Any attack on Iran will likely have the same result, for the 100k to 300k Christians left there.

Americans have far more enemies in Washington DC than in Tehran.

Blogger Harambe May 14, 2019 4:12 AM  

Do they want to attack Iran because it's trying to free itself from Shariah?

Blogger Kilo4/11 May 14, 2019 4:13 AM  

@91Pyrrhus - My remarks were not directed toward regime change and the creation of another state, "puppet" or otherwise. I was replying to a commenter's speculation that an attack on U. S. Navy ships would cause a collapse of morale and a withdrawal. In my view, there is sufficient American popular and political support to retaliate to such an attack with enough force to: 1.) eliminate the possibility of further attacks; 2.) keep Hormuz open, s-300 and 400 notwithstanding. What Russia will "tolerate" has as little to do with this as my own wish for world peace.

Blogger ZhukovG May 14, 2019 5:06 AM  

I am clearly not a fan of Washington DC's imperialists maneuver's, and disagree with the US Armed Forces 'Über Alles' sentiment that some have, to a degree, displayed.

However, discussing the relative military capabilities of various powers does not constitute a desire that those capabilities be utilized.

There are very few people, who comment here, that actually think attacking Iran is a good idea.

Blogger Andrew Brown May 14, 2019 5:32 AM  

The West doesn't have problems with muzzie shitholes, it's the international banking cabal that does, and they're probably waiting for the right moment. Which is usually provoke your enemy into attacking first, then start the propaganda campaign.

Blogger Dark glasses Woody May 14, 2019 6:13 AM  

We will know the octopus is dead when his tentacles grow their own heads, and the Davos Men are all retired in Switzerland.

Blogger God Emperor Memes May 14, 2019 6:24 AM  

Is it not possible that a country can pose a threat AND a third party can benefit from that? Why do you think the two are mutually exclusive?

Blogger God Emperor Memes May 14, 2019 6:25 AM  

This.

Blogger English Tom May 14, 2019 7:11 AM  

Let's always remember ZOG will fight to the last goy to protect their interests. How many,more wars for that shitty little middle East country?

Blogger VD May 14, 2019 7:54 AM  

Is it not possible that a country can pose a threat AND a third party can benefit from that? Why do you think the two are mutually exclusive?

It is theoretically possible. It just happens to be entirely false. Iran is ZERO threat to the USA. You could make a better case for attacking Canada.

Blogger PJW Gent May 14, 2019 8:15 AM  

Avalanche wrote:@6 "One EMP warhead would take out that complete flight of RAID drones."

And also the CIC on the U.S. warship controlling the EMP launch? OOPSIE!


Except that some emp warheads are directional, e.g., primarily forward facing, thus producing nothing of note to the launching element.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd May 14, 2019 8:25 AM  

Ryan G wrote:However, IF the US military were let "off the leash" and given the simple order of "fight them until their government unconditionally surrenders", I haven't the slightest doubt in my mind the US would win.

The US military is no longer structured to do that kind of thing. Its primary focus is on diversity and social change, and on drug, suicide and sexual harassment training.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd May 14, 2019 8:36 AM  

Primus Pilus wrote:Iran not only isn't our enemy, Shi'a Islam is far less violent than the Sunni Islam of, say, our "ally" Saudi Arabia ...

The far less violent shiits were the ones who took over our embassy during Carter's misrule.

Primus Pilus wrote:... and is responsible for practically no international terrorism by comparison.

By comparison to what? All the rest of the mohammedans combined? That's nearly a billion mohammedans to compete with in the terror olympics, so we can't expect Iran to keep up, even though they're trying.

Primus Pilus wrote:Mexicans are invading us by the millions every year - why no talk about using the military against them?

It seems that messykins are aiding the globalists, and iranians are not.

VD wrote:You could make a better case for attacking Canada.

It's not like we'd have to fight our English cousins. Canada is overrun with mohammedans, if we're looking to slaughter some Middle Eastern satanists.

Blogger Brett baker May 14, 2019 9:16 AM  

And watch how much worse it will be for Hezbollah this time. The "Hezbollah won in 2006" crowd will have some truly entertaining BS to spew.

Blogger Brett baker May 14, 2019 9:18 AM  

Hey, I bet he OWNS us now, just like Benji!

Blogger OneWingedShark May 14, 2019 9:23 AM  

Ominous Cowherd wrote:wahr01 wrote:@53

I suspect they reset the rules because Riper's tactics had proven effective, and it was time to go to the drawing board on countermeasures and try others. (that is the point of those war games)

I wonder what countermeasures they thought up?


Very possibly the only countermeasure implemented was to change the rules to prevent that. Showing weakness in the status quo is a direct threat to the military procurement system, which is the system of graft that enriches admirals and re-elects congresscritters.

This.

There's a reason that the F-35 was continued even through massive problems and cost overruns plagued the program, in addition to failing many of the tests (or, rather, tests were changed to pass them).

Doktor Jeep wrote:So the sinking of the USS Abraham Lincoln would be Tolkien-level symbolic. It would set in motion things that any accellerationist would dream of.

I only regret that it would happen on Trump's watch. But it's not like we didn't warn him. President Kushner will scurry away without consequence.

Yep, that's the thing that really grates: there's so many treasonous people scurrying about in positions of power/influence that, very likely, would escape being brought to justice.

wahr01 wrote:@61 — "Showing weakness in the status quo is a direct threat to the military procurement system"

Wait WHAT?
How on earth does a new, pressing, severe hole in military readiness HARM the military industrial complex?
Sounds like a cash cow to me.

It would be a cash-cow, if the markets were fair; you're not thinking about how the "Yeah, we don't need the 20,000 units of Q-system (that were agreed on in a smoky-backroom deal), instead we need 30,000 units of X-system and aren't going to buy any Q-system." would impact the kickbacks… or the fact that many people in influence/power have loyalties to other than the US, and aren't shy about spilling the blood of US military for their causes.

John wrote:The Sleeping Giant isn't going to declare war on Iran.
We're going declare war on Fake America and its alien masters.

Amen.

Primus Pilus wrote:Mexicans are invading us by the millions every year - why no talk about using the military against them?
[…]
Americans have far more enemies in Washington DC than in Tehran.

The reason people aren't talking about using the military against the invasion is probably due to being so demoralized by the enemies in DC that using such military force in such a legitimate action is relegated to the realm of "pipe dream".

Blogger Brett baker May 14, 2019 9:26 AM  

Uh, Avalanche, that would work once. Then the ROE would allow sinking any boat that didn't get out of the way.

Blogger Brett baker May 14, 2019 9:30 AM  

Do you believe the Patriot is an effective system? A lot of people trash it, will then go on about muh S-300.

Blogger Unknown May 14, 2019 10:45 AM  

@Brett baker
You seem to have a fetish for the Neo-Palestinians based on your "Hezbollah won in 2006" jab. Did you know that the FBI recently declassified 10 photographs of the "Dancing Neo-Palestinians"?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNFyxLUDZIQ

Blogger Ominous Cowherd May 14, 2019 11:21 AM  

OneWingedShark wrote:There's a reason that the F-35 was continued even through massive problems and cost overruns plagued the program, in addition to failing many of the tests (or, rather, tests were changed to pass them).

The reason is that the cost overruns are the most important feature of the program.

Blogger Paul M May 14, 2019 11:55 AM  

Azimus wrote:I really don't understand why the US is blundering from one abortive military adventure to the next in short order lately.

It always has. WWII was an anomaly (and arguably the US effort there wasn't as decisive as Americans like to imagine).

Check out the history of the USA - over the last two centuries, there have been a total of only a few years of peace. The USA has always been at war, its economy and politics depend on it.

Blogger Balam May 14, 2019 12:00 PM  

Ryan G wrote:However, IF the US military were let "off the leash" and given the simple order of "fight them until their government unconditionally surrenders", I haven't the slightest doubt in my mind the US would win.

You are mistaken as to what 'winning' would be in today's era. The US 'won' against Saddam in Iraq but the entire affair was a disastrous loss for the US. A similar strike against the Iran government would be Afghanistan cubed in terms of how bad it would be for the US.

Ryan G wrote:The bottom line is that carriers are not some obsolete, single point of failure for US force projection. There are countermeasures, yes, but there are also countermeasures for those countermeasures.

This demonstrates a 2nd generational war mindset, which is state vs state combat where the heads of state send chess pieces at each other. "I can counter his rook with my knight, he can counter with this pawn, I can then.....". We are currently in the 4th generation of war which is decided by moral elements and is mostly state vs non-state elements. That means, in part, that smashing states and giving moral justification for terrorists to wage holy war on us is a bad thing.

In today's case we want Iran in charge because they help to stabilize the region, just as Saddam used to stabilize Iraq. We want China's government to be a success, we want Putin in charge. We can negotiate with Putin, Xi Jinping, Kim Jong Un. We cannot negotiate with Osama Bin Laden, or any number of local warlords we've never heard of.

In terms of military force we are also expecting fully asymmetrical warfare. Haven't you ever wondered, as per the book title, "Why Big Nations Lose Small Wars"? It's not because we didn't let the military off the leash in terms of sheer firepower.

"By the end of the war, 7 million tons of bombs had been dropped on Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia - more than twice the amount of bombs dropped on Europe and Asia in World War II."
https://libcom.org/history/1957-1975-the-vietnam-war

Vietnam is the size of California. If the overwhelming force of 7 million tons of bombs into a California sized state didn't win the war, then something about the conventional understanding of force, technology, payloads etc needed to change.

Blogger DonReynolds May 14, 2019 12:48 PM  

How many pallets of American currency would it take to buy a very modern anti-ship missile or two or a dozen from the Chinese to give those pesky American ships a black eye....far from the South China Sea?

The Russian anti-ship missiles may be better than the Chinese, but I suspect the Russians are more anxious about putting their best technology on display for the Americans to study. The better deal may come from the Chinese.

Russian and Chinese workers in weapons plants must be praising the Americans for converting oil money in the Mid-East into paychecks for them.

The circular flow again....oil to money, money to weapons, weapons into dead Americans, dead Americans into more oil money. Who cares about the American sanctions?

Shucks, they can do this all day.

Blogger Primus Pilus May 14, 2019 1:17 PM  

Ominous Cowherd wrote:The far less violent shiits were the ones who took over our embassy during Carter's misrule.

This is a historical fact, but not a relevant one. These were natives fighting on their own soil against a meddling foreign power in the midst of the Cold War, where the US had been using the Iranians as their pawns for some decades.

Persians and Arabs are different, and Shia and Sunni sects are different.

Ominous Cowherd wrote:By comparison to what?

By comparison to Sunni Islam, as I said. Islamic terrorism is essentially a Sunni phenomenon. The shiites aren't anywhere close to trying to compete. Sunni Islam is responsible for 33% of terror attacks worldwide, Shia 1%. Shia and all other non-Sunni sects combined comes to 2%.

And yet, we are staunch allies of Sunni Saudi Arabia.

Iran is neither an enemy nor a threat to the US or the West in general. We are the evil empire rattling our sabers at them.

Blogger Stan_qaz May 14, 2019 1:32 PM  

Iran doesn't need to sink a carrier, they just need to make an effective attack and publicize it well.

Something I'd be tempted to do in their place is employ cluster munitions from a missile platform. Launch a bunch of them, aim high and deploy high, hopefully above much of the air defense system and accept the fewer hits you get by doing that. Even a few of the cluster munitions landing on a carrier's deck with planes sitting there is going to do a lot of damage. If they manage to spill fuel and get it burning or set off any munitions waiting on deck it will be even more impressive.

Think of the shock of seeing hours of video featuring a massive column of fire and smoke rising from a US carrier. Even if they get it out and back in operation in a few hours the propaganda damage is done.

With the carrier out of the plane launching business, even for a few hours the possibilities for other mischief abound.

The only counter move I can see the US making is what they did with the Liberty and trying a cover-up. Not likely these days with Al Jazeera and the like pushing coverage.

Blogger JaimeInTexas May 14, 2019 1:39 PM  

ominous coejeard;

Was Operation Ajax a fiction?
Kermit Roosvelt and Shwarkopf fictional characters?

I do know the spelling of Shwarkopf, I do not remember his first name. He was Gen. Shwarkopf's (of gulf war fame) dad or grand-dad.

Blogger S1AL May 14, 2019 3:34 PM  

"Think of the shock of seeing hours of video featuring a massive column of fire and smoke rising from a US carrier. Even if they get it out and back in operation in a few hours the propaganda damage is done."

This sentiment, right here, tells me that the commentators here aren't thinking like normal people. Remind me, please, what the "propaganda damage" of 9/11 was.

Maybe Pearl Harbor?

This is why I made the point earlier about weapons of war versus sneak attacks. The latter just pisses people off.

Blogger Balam May 14, 2019 4:11 PM  

S1AL wrote:This is why I made the point earlier about weapons of war versus sneak attacks. The latter just pisses people off.

The best use of carriers would be as coast guard, they are well suited to that and the likelihood that someone lugs weapons that can sink them all the way over to US waters is small. Otherwise, in a cynical mind, a good use would be to deliberately sacrifice them to give the US a leg up on the moral war. Instead of retiring them or 'stepping down' our perceived strength let them get blown up like Pearl Harbor was. Then we can play victim again.

A terribly evil idea but I'm sure someone in Washington had the same thought.

Blogger Stan_qaz May 14, 2019 4:25 PM  

S1AL - I never advocated a sneak attack, I think one would be a bad idea for the very reasons you mention. Both examples you give were attacks on US soil where this is us being in their back yard. Also a large portion of the government and media will be spinning any incident hard as a Trump failure.

The Iranians should continue as they are doing and keep warning us that we are in their back yard and subject to attack.

Waiting for an incident that they could use as justification wouldn't be bad either. Even go the extra mile and tell the UN they are going to respond to our attack on them if our ships don't vacate their area in X hours or days.

We are the ones giving them this chance for a propaganda victory by nattering on about invulnerable carriers and such. We double down on the error by putting our ships in areas where their natural advantages are constrained and attacks are easier.

I'm sure folks will be mad that we got a black eye in the deal but that reaction will be tempered by just how much fault can be laid at the administration's feet by all hostile parties.

---

Balam -- As to using our carriers open to attack to have a justification for open war being unthinkable today... The 2ND Infantry Division is still crammed into the tiny sliver of South Korea between the NORKs and Seoul for just that reason.

Blogger God Emperor Memes May 14, 2019 6:25 PM  

*Shi'a Islam is far less violent than the Sunni Islam....*

"Won't you have a slice of this cake that's laced with strychnine? - Sure, it's deadly poisonous but just try a *small* piece..."

Blogger Brett baker May 14, 2019 8:28 PM  

In the end, they're all just goat******s to me.

Blogger PJW Gent May 15, 2019 8:22 AM  

Balam wrote:Ryan G wrote:...Vietnam is the size of California. If the overwhelming force of 7 million tons of bombs into a California sized state didn't win the war, then something about the conventional understanding of force, technology, payloads etc needed to change.

Actually this is wrong. According to Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap, the US ‘Almost Won’ Vietnam War In 1975. It was noted in an article in https://www.duffelblog.com/2013/10/vietnam-war-winning/ "The legendary general had made headlines recently with his revelation last spring that the government of North Vietnam was literally days away from quitting the Vietnam War, even as its troops overran Saigon in 1975. He was interviewed by Duffel Blog in April 2013 at his private residence in Hanoi, on the anniversary of the Fall of Saigon.

“As our tanks were rolling into the presidential palace [in South Vietnam], if America had conducted just one more air strike we would have thrown in the towel,” Giap admitted. “And thank god they didn’t,” Giap added, “because, let me tell you, that tank was running on fumes.”

So much for air strikes not having a strategic effect and for the modern reality that politics, ROE, and the media and protestors do more to determine outcomes than what the military could actually do and did.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd May 15, 2019 12:01 PM  

God Emperor Memes wrote:*Shi'a Islam is far less violent than the Sunni Islam....*

"Won't you have a slice of this cake that's laced with strychnine? - Sure, it's deadly poisonous but just try a *small* piece..."


That's it in a nasty little nutshell. It is always proper to kill mohammedans.

Blogger Bee May 16, 2019 4:20 AM  

Regarding the vulnerability of US warships to small boat swarms etc. (USS Cole), after that incident the US Navy took several countermeasures. Aside from numerous exercises in anti-swarm tactics (one of them is "kill them with helicopters") a more practical approach was to add multiple stabilized 25mm chain guns (same type as mounted on the M2 Bradley) to practically everything that floated. These can turn a small boat into flaming wreckage without too much trouble.

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