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Thursday, March 07, 2019

Imperial overstretch

Perhaps you may recall the discussion of when and where the late-stage imperial US military is going to meet its inevitable debacle that finally signifies to the world that the empire is fully in decline. This proposed scenario would appear to be an excellent candidate in the unlikely event it should come to pass.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel is prepared to throw the power of its naval force – and urges the world to join in – to block the Iranian oil shipments circumventing unilaterally imposed US sanctions against Tehran.

“Iran is trying to bypass the sanctions on it through the covert smuggling of petroleum via the sea. As these attempts expand, the navy will have a more important role in efforts to block these Iranian actions,” Netanyahu said at a navy cadets’ graduation ceremony in Haifa on Wednesday.

Failing to explain how exactly Israel’s relatively small naval force would impose the suggested blockade against Iranian oil tankers, Netanyahu only emphasized that Israeli sailors are well-trained and adept at carrying out sea missions against adversaries.
The scenario would be bad enough if it was only the Israeli Navy putting itself at risk of being sunk, but there is no way the Israelis would make such a move without expecting the US Navy to come to its rescue once it found itself in well over its head.

And getting into a green-water naval war would arguably be the worst possible scenario for the dominant blue-water navy and conjures up images of the French Navy at the Battle of the Nile, only in this case, it would be the sea power that would be at a serious disadvantage from land-based missiles and torpedoes despite its air superiority.

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78 Comments:

Blogger Nate March 07, 2019 8:02 AM  

This would be spectacularly stupid. While the LTS's were designed and built for this kind of work in the gulf... its still begging for a disaster.. at a time when we are in position to accomplish similar effects by simply producing even more oil and forcing price drops.

Blogger Daniele Grech Pereira March 07, 2019 8:04 AM  

Mare Nostrum!

Blogger rognuald March 07, 2019 8:06 AM  

The Navy better get those F-35C's up to speed quickly.

Blogger Nate March 07, 2019 8:14 AM  

gah.. I said LTS... I meant LCS... the littoral combat ships.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan March 07, 2019 8:18 AM  

I'm sure the Israeli navy serves its country well, but the last time I heard of them they were off the shores of Lebanon in 2006 with a small corvette (cool looking ship I want) and the Hez those dastardly anti-semites shot it with a anti-ship missile and that was that ship sailed back home.

FTR I volunteer the American Navy's sailors of color to go fight the dastardly Iranian anti-semites to prove once and for all that POCs just plain rule, Captain Marvels every last one of them.

Blogger Stilicho March 07, 2019 8:20 AM  

Run silent, run deep. Naval strategy will, of necessity focus on the ability to deny the seas to an enemy rather than "freedom of the seas" or even just keeping the sea lanes open for yourself. Though the latter will be an important mission, but will be limited to the more important sea lanes that are suffciently distant from enemy shores to make it feasible.

Blogger Johnny March 07, 2019 8:27 AM  

>>Naval strategy will, of necessity focus on the ability to deny the seas to an enemy rather than "freedom of the seas"...

Yeah, that is right. Used in that manner our navel power makes sense. Against land targets, more questionable. Military overreach.

Blogger Gettimothy March 07, 2019 8:29 AM  

"Remember the Maine!" moment coming right up!

Blogger Nate March 07, 2019 8:32 AM  

the LCS take a lot of crap.. but in this scenario... this is what they were made for. Minesweeping.. sub hunting... small boat engagement. Boys the independence can cruise at 44 knots and we don't even know what her top speed is when she really opens it up.

The first big war game the independence participated in... she played OpFor alone against 4 other ships for 4 hours. she kicked their asses. it took them over 2 hours to even find her.

So again... this is what the LCS is made for. They could do this mission. Plus... if we did lose one... I don't think it would be that huge a deal as people think they are pieces of junk anyway. So the navy wouldn't take the hit as much as the ship itself.

Blogger ZhukovG March 07, 2019 8:34 AM  

Hmmm, war with Iran. What could go wrong?

Iran - Huge manpower pool. Culturally capable of sustaining heavy casualties without becoming politically destabilized. Russia and China happy to supply all the easy to use and maintain equipment they need.

USA - Politically, a severely limited manpower pool. Culturally incapable of sustaining even light casualties without political ramifications. A military procurement system so corrupt and wasteful it makes 19th century China look good.

Yeah, let's go for it.

Blogger Gettimothy March 07, 2019 8:39 AM  

@10 "Let's go for it"

For Israel!

Blogger Avalanche March 07, 2019 8:45 AM  

"Netanyahu only emphasized that Israeli sailors are well-trained and adept at carrying out sea missions against adversaries."

U.S.S. Liberty: thirty-four AMERICAN SAILORS killed, 171 AMERICAN SAILORS injured, ship massively massively damaged (nearly sank).


(Didn't know the jews could tell the truth. Oh right, they can to EACH OTHER!)

Blogger tc March 07, 2019 8:45 AM  

Learn to swim.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd March 07, 2019 8:47 AM  

Avalanche, I thought the attack on the Liberty was the Israeli airforce, not their navy.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan March 07, 2019 8:47 AM  

LCS "designed", but how about on this planet at this time, where we at?

Israeli election is coming up, and all sorts of goofiness is being ginned up, hell I even heard a rumor that some Arab parties might even be invited into the government if the Likud Trumpist faction is defeated instead of the usual fluff of being the Eleanor Holmes with bad BO fig leafs.

Blogger tz March 07, 2019 9:04 AM  

The Persian Gulf? The other problem is Saudi Arabia exports via the same sea-lanes. And as we found out in Yemen, one small boat can blow a big hole in a big boat.

And Iran can only wish to be attacked by Israel, proving that they are the tail wagging the US dog. But Israel has nukes. What happens if Netanyahu is stupid enough to threaten using them, even sotto voce?

Blogger Meanoldbasterd March 07, 2019 9:07 AM  

Israeli gunboats took part

Blogger Nate March 07, 2019 9:08 AM  

"LCS "designed", but how about on this planet at this time, where we at?
"

At this time in that place... the LCS could do that job. now.. how long could it do that job? Any blockade in this a game against the clock. your ships have to win all day every day. the longer it lasts.. the better your chance at failure.

Look I'm not saying it a good idea. I think its a horrible idea. I don't think we should even think about talking about the possibility of doing it. I'm saying from a tactical perspective... these tools could actually do it.

We think of a blockade as a bunch of big ships looking a lot like missile magnets. That's not what these LCS do. They are fast as hell and stealthy. we don't call them corvettes but that's what they are.

Blogger Ken S. March 07, 2019 9:10 AM  

For all his weaknesses, Trump is smart enough not to get involved in this one. All the Kushners, the idiot daughter, the moronic secretary of State ect. will not persuade Trump into another middle-east wars.He has to keep the snake handling right happy, bit not at the risk of another major war in the middle-east/West Asia.

Blogger Nate March 07, 2019 9:31 AM  

"For all his weaknesses, Trump is smart enough not to get involved in this one."

I think you're right. Trump loves him some Israel but he's not gonna do this.

Blogger flyingtiger March 07, 2019 9:32 AM  

Please, Iran is not Nelson's royal navy. All the Israelis have to do is send in a submarine and torp a few tankers. That is if they are not bluffing.

Blogger VFM Bear March 07, 2019 9:32 AM  

So what's the under/over on the false flag that ropes the U.S. into this one?

Blogger Silly but True March 07, 2019 9:35 AM  

I woukd’ve said “almost as if on cue, the US Navy prepared for this with the development of the LCS.”

But unfortunately the US Navy pretty much just admitted last year the LCS is a massive piece of crap which may not ever deploy without additional billions thrown at the program...
https://www.businessinsider.com/us-navy-littoral-combat-ship-problems-2018-4

Blogger Don't Call Me Len March 07, 2019 9:49 AM  

@21 - Subs are their only option. Those pissy little corvettes, operating a looong way from home, aren't going to do any more than show the flag.

Blogger andrisf March 07, 2019 9:54 AM  

Here are some simple facts.
1)Nobody has even fraction of military capabilities of USA.
2)If and when USA choses to start a new war it can and will win it by default, unless it is a nuclear war.
3)Iran would be destroyed in same manner as was Iraq in both 1990s and 2003. No chance for Iran, not even in theory.
4)Anyone who says that, well look - USA failed to take care of Assad, so USA has lost some if not much of capabilities, is wrong for a simple reason. In Syria USA tried different strategy - war by proxy, by creating all sort of rag tag groups supported by different allied countries like Qatar and Saudis, Syria has very, very little to do with USA military at all. They did almost nothing there and when, if they wanted to do something they did it with 100% results. Syria was just an experiment in "can we get rid of this guy by doing practically nothing at all"...
5)Russia is incapable of any real war, Russian military industrial capacity is at AT BEST 3 - 5% of what USA has and all the best scientists, engineers have left Russia long time ago, theft is rampant and corruption beyond imagination.
I can tell you about few cases like new MBT "Armata", that was at first so promising and revolutionary, yet it turns out, that after over 6(!!!) years of development and signed contracts "UralVagon zavod" was EVEN incapable of producing enough tanks to EVEN start decent army trials!!! And best part of it is - company is almost bankrupt and has months long wage debts for its employees...Btw average employee gets there about 300 -400$.....
6)China has never had anything worth calling army. It is big, it is massive and it is as ineffective and outdated as it gets. Anyone who knows how first and last war in about 40 years went knows this, hint they got beaten very badly by ... Vietnam. If you think anything has changed, it has not. Just look at China air force. It is beyond laughable.
In conclusion. Times have changed and old theories do not work anymore, this is not Rome, Napoleon or Hitler. Capabilities of modern warfare allow for almost instant deployment of forces all around the world, with strike capabilities so fast, effective and without any actual limitations, that old laws do not apply now, as far as military is concerned.
Only real enemy of USA military is it SJWs and their ilk, but even with SJWs rampant it will take a long time for them to degrade USA military to the level where anyone is even willing to try and test them.

Blogger SAPPER March 07, 2019 10:00 AM  

All those Israeli firsters are idiots.

We send our sons to die for Israel? The welfare queen of foreign aid.

Those who support Israel are wrong. USA first!

Blogger SAPPER March 07, 2019 10:02 AM  

@ Andris Falks

The USA is still in Afghanistan after 20 years. Thanks for being clueless.

Blogger Johnny March 07, 2019 10:04 AM  

>>All the Israelis have to do is send in a submarine and torp a few tankers...

This is considering the military options without considering the political outcomes. And as modern wars are fought for political outcomes...

Blogger Nate March 07, 2019 10:12 AM  

"Those pissy little corvettes, operating a looong way from home, aren't going to do any more than show the flag."

Those pissy little corvettes are tools. The fact that you tiny brain can't comprehend what tool is good for what job is not my problem.

They are absolutely fantastic for this job and in this specific place. The shallow water of the gulf benefits them greatly.

Blogger Nate March 07, 2019 10:17 AM  

"This is considering the military options without considering the political outcomes. And as modern wars are fought for political outcomes..."

ding ding ding

Contrast that with having an LCS show up.. with a Blackhawk or two full of dudes with guns. They take the ship and either the crew agrees to take it home or the US navy confiscates the ship.

the best option of course is for the crew to turn away without a fuss... but either is far more politically acceptable that sinking the tanker with a sub.

Which is one more obvious reason that the independence would be running point on this.


Blogger Nate March 07, 2019 10:20 AM  

now.. will Russia tolerate it? If the US starts sinking ships... Russia is gonna retaliate. But if its passive as I stated above.. I don't think Russia will do more than bitch.

Blogger andrisf March 07, 2019 10:20 AM  

SAPPER wrote:@ Andris Falks

The USA is still in Afghanistan after 20 years. Thanks for being clueless.

USA is still in Germany after 70 years, your point? US army can annihilate state - command control systems, bases, industry, infrastructure, fortifications etc.
What USA politicians decide to do after is not a US army prerogative. US army is used as police in AF and that is both stupid and unnecessary, further more nobody can really answer why is USA there at all, considering that they went in for Osama.

Blogger Gettimothy March 07, 2019 10:33 AM  

@32 The American people are done with war. The U.S. Military without Americans is a shell. Fight your own damn wars. We. Are. Done.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd March 07, 2019 10:36 AM  

Andria, it's different this time. It's always different this time, but somehow it always ends the same.

Fighting against Arabs it won't take much to win. Persians aren't Arabs, though. The US has loads of fancy hardware, and that's not helpful against peasants with bicycles and old rifles. We've proven we won't win: not can't, but won't.

It's different this time. It's always different, but it always ends the same.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd March 07, 2019 10:39 AM  

@33 Gettimothy: that's the essence of the matter. Not our war, not our monkeys, not our military, either.

Blogger JG March 07, 2019 10:39 AM  

The USA is now a net oil exporter. Bring our boys home. Let the Middle East burn.

Blogger qualitycontrol March 07, 2019 10:42 AM  

@32. Andris Falks
In case you are not a troll: It's not about the ability of the USA to kill and destroy. If they wanted to do that they could simply drop a hundert nukes on Iran and be done. It's about the costs of the following occupation or the losses of accomplishing said destruction. Napoleon could not be beat on the battlefield until he lost at Leipzig. But he didn't lose because of an inability to command an army. He lost because the meat grinder of Invasion and Occupation weakened him.

Blogger Avalanche March 07, 2019 10:44 AM  

@14 "Avalanche, I thought the attack on the Liberty was the Israeli airforce, not their navy."

I doubt Nettie intended to imply the navy is competent the airforce incompetent. I was more alluding to the Israelis [b]PERFECT WILLINGNESS[/b] to kill off american military folks to their own uses.

Blogger Avalanche March 07, 2019 10:45 AM  

@17 "Israeli gunboats took part"

But not in any 'law of the sea' RESCUE operations!

Blogger Avalanche March 07, 2019 10:51 AM  

@25 "Times have changed and old theories do not work anymore, this is not Rome, Napoleon or Hitler. Capabilities of modern warfare allow for almost instant deployment of forces all around the world, with strike capabilities so fast, effective and without any actual limitations, that old laws do not apply now, as far as military is concerned. "

Yeah, the Fitz did not EVEN have a watcher on each bridge wing! Do, please, read this article and get a good sense of how destroyed the US Navy is on the inside! https://features.propublica.org/navy-accidents/uss-fitzgerald-destroyer-crash-crystal/

And the McCain (dear GOD, how could they have named a ship after that effing traitor?!?!) crashed a week later! https://features.propublica.org/navy-accidents/us-navy-crashes-japan-cause-mccain/

Blogger Robert Pinkerton March 07, 2019 10:53 AM  

IF -- and that is a BIG IF -- a full ULCC got torpedo'd, would the resultant explosion be hot enough to ignite the crude?

Blogger andrisf March 07, 2019 10:53 AM  

@37
Thank you for reply. This will be my last post here, i do not want to spam.
Point is, that there is no need to occupy anything, and no nukes are necessary as this would be unacceptable to everyone.
If any power is threatening any USA interest via military i.e. Iran in that oil gulf, Iran can be destroyed with great speed, great ease and without even the risk of losing. Iran can be turned in to stone age civilization within 2 weeks with no nukes.
And every country understands that, that is why nobody will attack USA in foreseeable future in any way in any place.

Blogger Gettimothy March 07, 2019 11:07 AM  

"If any power is threatening any USA interest via military i.e. Iran in that oil gulf, Iran can be destroyed with great speed, great ease and without even the risk of losing. Iran can be turned in to stone age civilization within 2 weeks with no nukes. "

I remember "And the Iraqi people will be in the streets welcoming us with open arms...." back in the run up to the first Gulf war.

The U.S. FedGov has lost the trust of the American Nation (as distinct from a large chunk which are just U.S. Citizens here for the gibs-me-dats). You are "this close" to having that Nation take up arms against them. There is open talk among them of "when does the killing start". I will be completely surprised if a significant number of them consent to fighting another pointless war.

As for "nobody will attack the USA in foreseeable future in any way in any place" is complete bullshit. Like the Romans by the visigoths as Vox has referred to many times, America (Christendom) is under attack RIGHT NOW via (funded, planned) invasion of hostile nations into our shores and among our populace. This is far more effective and insidious than what you are talking about.

This "rah, rah" stuff doesn't work. Our people are preparing themselves to win this war at home against this this threat. We will not be distracted from it by a(nother) probable false-flag abroad.

Good luck. We. Are. Done.

Blogger Станислав Бартошевич March 07, 2019 11:14 AM  

@32

Generally the purpose of war is supposed to be achieving better conditions for yourself than in absence of war. USA certainly can cause a horrific damage to Iran. (Or indeed to good part of the entire planet, if going all not.) It's entirely unclear, how that is even theoretically can benefit USA. The theory that you can force population of a country to install government convenient to you merely by inflicting suffering on them has a failure rate comparable with communism. Unless you've carefully picked a country which already on the verge of implosion and has a severe separatist problems, which Iran doesn't seem to be, you will need to proceed with a conventional invasion and installing your chosen puppets directly. The examples of Iraq and Afghanistan demonstrate that when modern-day USA tried that, it has failed to keep its puppets under control, or ensure that they have any sort of authority beyond the line of fire from US garrisons, respectively. Despite the massive expenditure of money and considerable expenditure of lives, the invasions undertaken as a part of the War on Terror achieved the opposite of their stated goals and ultimately did not benefit USA. However shape an attack on Iran may take, it is difficult to see how it even theoretically can lead to a different result.

Blogger Duke Nukem March 07, 2019 11:15 AM  

It'll be a repeat of Operation Praying Mantis.

Blogger dvdivx March 07, 2019 11:27 AM  

@ Andris Falks

It's beyond clueless. It's living in a dead past. The diversity mandates have caused an inner rot matched with politics tied to any losses and you have no real ability to win as you can't afford to have ships sank. Anti ship missiles from China and Russia have improved and will be in range from shore. 5he Israelis will only run like cowards once the shooting starts.

Blogger VD March 07, 2019 11:35 AM  

that is why nobody will attack USA in foreseeable future in any way in any place.

The USA has already been invaded and occupied. It is currently ruled by a foreign nation. Again you have demonstrated that you are far too short for this ride.

And yes, we all know how nominally powerful the US military is.

Blogger cheddarman March 07, 2019 11:39 AM  

The persian gulf is narrow enough in places that iranians could shoot at warships from the shore with anti tank missiles or lots of other land based missiles they have coppied from chinese russian and other designs. We would have to completely avoid the straits of hormuz or occupy the iranian side...

Blogger Nate March 07, 2019 11:43 AM  

"The persian gulf is narrow enough in places that iranians could shoot at warships from the shore with anti tank missiles or lots of other land based missiles they have coppied from chinese russian and other designs."

that is correct. however we've already seen that Russian tech without the Russians to run it is far degraded. Iranians are not Russians.

also you have to be able to find the ships. looking for a big slow carrier is very different than looking for an LCS.

Again.. not saying we should do this. It would be amazingly stupid. I'm saying its within our capability to do so on a limited basis.

Blogger CarpeOro March 07, 2019 11:51 AM  

Amazing how some comments are missing the point of the word "overstretch". It doesn't imply that nothing can be done, it points out that you reach a point where the resources at hand are stretched too thin. When everything is allocated robbing Peter to pay Paul means you decrease the chances of success in multiple locations. That is even allowing for the false idea that the USN of today stacks up with the USN of even 15 years ago.

Blogger Balam March 07, 2019 12:01 PM  

Andris Falks wrote:If any power is threatening any USA interest via military i.e. Iran in that oil gulf, Iran can be destroyed with great speed, great ease and without even the risk of losing. Iran can be turned in to stone age civilization within 2 weeks with no nukes.

And every country understands that, that is why nobody will attack USA in foreseeable future in any way in any place.


In case you were wondering why people are dogpiling you in this topic it is because Vox publishes a book about 4th generational war which directly and comprehensively addresses your arguments about military strength. It's like going onto a blog that published a book about the round earth and you hop on telling everyone that the earth is flat and don't understand why people don't agree with you. If you are interested in the topic Vox has many posts about it under 4th generational war for free or, if you want it straight from the horse's mouth you could give the book a try.

Blogger Nate March 07, 2019 12:04 PM  

"Amazing how some comments are missing the point of the word "overstretch". It doesn't imply that nothing can be done, it points out that you reach a point where the resources at hand are stretched too thin"

except you're missing a point yourself. the LCS was built for this and there is not a whole lot else it is good for. So.. we have rescourses sitting around doing nothing that would be very good for this.

This is the reason I am worried that it may happen. Because the people who pushed for the LCS program will see this as a way to vindicate it... and therefore push to make it a reality.

Blogger JohnofAustria March 07, 2019 12:14 PM  

People always underestimate the foundational nature of human capital and human factors.

Blogger JohnofAustria March 07, 2019 12:16 PM  

Never assume away enemy capabilities:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millennium_Challenge_2002

Blogger Balkan Yankee March 07, 2019 12:17 PM  

Israel has previously intercepted Iranian maritime shipments of arms in the Red Sea and in the Eastern Med. Israel is now aiming to cut Iranian oil shipments to Syria, which is well within its naval capability. Of course, by doing so, Israel might be putting its offshore natural gas infrastructure at risk of retaliation.

Any thought of Israel's Navy trying to choke off Iranian oil exports through the Strait of Hormuz is ridiculous, unless Israel's aim is to start a war with Iran that only the United States has the capability to fight. But the United States is not looking for a fight with Iran. U.S. aircraft carriers are spending less time in regional waters. Because China. Because Russia. Because operational overstretch.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash March 07, 2019 12:25 PM  

Longtime Lurker wrote:unless Israel's aim is to start a war with Iran that only the United States has the capability to fight. But the United States is not looking for a fight with Iran.
This is precisely what is being attempted. Israel is saying "Let's you and him fight. He's defying your embargo you know! Don't you want to stop him? We'l distract him while you kick him." etc.
And there are lots of elements within the US political and military elites that would love a war with Iran. A good old-fashioned 3rd Generation war with tanks and bombers.

Blogger JohnofAustria March 07, 2019 12:26 PM  

The case Vox is making isn't that we don't have big old missiles that will explode real good, but that the organization that have to do these things are corroding rapidly as human capital is diluted and then mis-used. We have a lot of ships. But the people manning them are of worse quality in the aggregate by a long shot. And believe me, that matters.

Blogger JohnofAustria March 07, 2019 12:29 PM  

The other issue is that current American military strength is built on a vast and sprawling logistical network and unlimited access to nearly the entire world. This means we can effectively bring untouchable amounts of direct force anywhere we choose, but also that we are massively vulnerable to any unforeseen disruptions to that network.

And I have a deepening dread that those disruptions are lurking just beyond the horizon, if not already present and biding their time.

Blogger Don't Call Me Len March 07, 2019 12:35 PM  

that is correct. however we've already seen that Russian tech without the Russians to run it is far degraded.

Excuse my tiny little brain: "During the 2006 Lebanon War, INS Hanit was attacked by a Hezbollah missile as it was enforcing a naval blockade off Beirut. The resulting explosion caused the landing pad to cave in and be engulfed in flames that threatened the aviation fuel storage below, and the flames were not fully extinguished until several hours later. Four sailors were killed and the ship suffered some damage, but she stayed afloat, got out of the line of fire, and returned unassisted to Ashdod for repairs. The ship was repaired and resumed its combat role three weeks later.

An investigation into the attack by the Israeli Navy concluded that the missile was an Iranian version of the Chinese C-802, which hit a crane in the rear of the ship."

Blogger JohnofAustria March 07, 2019 12:36 PM  

Lebanese or Iranians > Iraqis and Arabs as far as capabilities for sure.

Blogger Northpal March 07, 2019 12:51 PM  

Is this a clear example of Israel being the bottom in that "special relationship" with the U.S.?

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries,Russia, cut oil output and U.S. sanctions against exporters Venezuela and Iran tighten oil markets, to support prices.
Washington has put pressure on other governments to gradually cut their oil imports from Iran to zero.
Mean while concerns about the European economy pushed Wall Street lower.
The European Central Bank pushed its rate hike to next year
U.S. production. U.S. crude oil production is at record high.

Hmmm........what does your banker have to say about this?

Blogger Balkan Yankee March 07, 2019 1:29 PM  

@59: "An investigation into the attack by the Israeli Navy concluded that the missile was an Iranian version of the Chinese C-802, which hit a crane in the rear of the ship."

That investigation also recommended punishment for two officers, including a junior officer for rendering the Hanit virtually defenseless against that Iranian reverse-engineered C802: "The junior officer who was punished had decided to shut down part of the defense system about one hour before the incident occurred, without notifying the commander. He also shut down the central radar which is mean to identify missiles and aircraft, without notifying his superiors."

https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3347191,00.html


The Navy made it clear that he was not acting out of malice, but that he truly believed that the ship was not in any sort of danger. The Navy also stated that the hard outcome of the event would have occurred even if the junior officer had not taken these actions.

Blogger Nate March 07, 2019 1:38 PM  

"An investigation into the attack by the Israeli Navy concluded that the missile was an Iranian version of the Chinese C-802, which hit a crane in the rear of the ship."

maybe US sailors shouldn't disarm their ships defensive systems without notifying their commanding officers.

Crazy thought.

anyway.. if you really think that shit is a real threat to an LCS than your brain is every bit as tiny as I first assumed.

Blogger Servant March 07, 2019 1:50 PM  

@nate weaponsman may god rest his soul thought those boats were shit, and I'm more inclined to agree with his and my brothers assessments than yours. Overpriced trash and we have no bullets for them.

I say we pledge the support of the liberty.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash March 07, 2019 2:32 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash March 07, 2019 2:32 PM  

Nate wrote:maybe US sailors shouldn't disarm their ships defensive systems without notifying their commanding officers.
Maybe American sailors shouldn't run their warships into freighters. Yet, here we are.

Blogger 1Fury2@ March 07, 2019 2:36 PM  

Wrongo bongo on all fronts

1) Mathematically wrong. An appeal to emotion using logically incorrect words. By definition, If US is number 1 military power, then every other country internally owns a fration (<1) of that power in a direct comparison.
2)War is chaos. Even if your stronger, better trained, and have a better plan, timing and poor subordinates screw you.
3) Fail to understand terrain in land warfare. Iraq-desert with standing army; Afghanistan- mountains with militias. What happens when you combine mountains, armies, and a decent internal intel service? Answer- Iran and US failure.
4) the US will need war by proxy in Iran, and US forces were in Syria. Not just Special, but conventional fires and admin guys too. Read the news.
5) Saying Russia is incapable of war is lik3 saying Russia is incapable of winter. It just has its season.
6) Vietnam also defeated French and US. And the US no longer has the % of founding Anglo stock necessary for military victory and innovation. Will illegal immigrants fight the wars Americans wont do?
You are an idiot without strategic, holistic understanding of the US problem set, venting emotions due to your triggering. Start planning fights as if you were the last of your male line with only one chance to live and 2 others depending on you. That inversion is what every American faces now

Blogger cheddarman March 07, 2019 2:37 PM  

Forget suicide boats, Hajis will be paddling out into the gulf at night with logs filled with dynamite

Blogger MightyKevster March 07, 2019 3:18 PM  

I'm wondering if the 1991 Gulf War wasn't the overreach of the American empire, rather than OIF/OEF in 2001/2003. Mostly because it was after Desert Storm that the perception of American military invincibility sunk in...after all, we just trashed the fourth largest military in the world and took the country in a week.

I don't think a 'defeat' or 'stalemate' is necessary for American empire contraction, just an awareness that a military is no longer invincible. (I think claiming invincibility is one of the biggest mistakes a military can ever make. Demonstrate it with your actions, even allow your enemies believe it, but never believe it yourself.

In many ways, I think the 'defeat' has already occurred in Afghanistan.

Regarding the lack of a clear cut defeat/retreat scenario: If you aren't willing to take a certain number of casualties to achieve victory, I think your timer to irrelevance starts ticking. In other words, a once firmly held belief in your own invincibility is now burst, and your will to win is removed. Under these criteria, an argument can be made that American empire building ended with the close of the Korean War.

Regarding the 'defeat' having already occurred in Afghanistan: isn't the mere possibility of negotiating with the Taliban a signal that we don't have the stomach to finish the job? I admit I don't follow OEF closely, but the length of time seems to be more of a prolonged effort at empire building, without invasion (destined to fail), and the lack of resolution seems to be more admittance that we can't win (whatever winning originally was...).

I'm curious what any other vets think about the above. Are vets aware of the doom and its just the rest of the world waiting to also become aware? I could also be conflating a lot of my own opinion and bias with facts and logic on this topic, so feel free to correct assumptions I'm making.

Blogger Balkan Yankee March 07, 2019 3:26 PM  

@69: Sometimes we focus too much on capability and not enough on will.

https://thehill.com/policy/defense/432681-paul-udall-introduce-bill-to-end-afghanistan-war

Blogger Ominous Cowherd March 07, 2019 4:59 PM  

Maybe American sailors shouldn't run their warships into freighters. Yet, here we are."

The persons responsible weren't Americans, weren't sailors, or both.

Maintaining watch, and noticing something is on a collision course, isn't hard. Bearing isn't changing? It's on a collision course! But you do have to be watching. They weren't.

Blogger Francis Parker Yockey March 07, 2019 6:17 PM  

@14 Ominous Cowherd
Avalanche, I thought the attack on the Liberty was the Israeli airforce, not their navy.

As @17 noted, the sneak attack began with bombing and strafing by Israeli aircraft, but three Israeli torpedo boats were also involved. They launched a total of 5 torpedos, one of which hit the Liberty and caused most of the fatalities. They also raked the Liberty at close range with HMG and cannon fire. When USS Liberty, heavily damaged and listing badly, launched lifeboats, the Israelis moved in to closer range and machine-gunned the lifeboats.

The initial strafing run destroyed the Liberty's radio antennas, and the Israelis were jamming frequencies used by USN throughout. Liberty's crew was eventually able to jury-rig a setup that allowed them to get a distress call out during a gap in the jamming.

USS Saratoga and USS America each launched aircraft to come to the aid of USS Liberty. The reported attacking aircraft were declared hostile and the rescue aircraft were authorized to destroy them upon arrival. The rules of engagement, authorizing destruction of the attackers, were transmitted to the rescue aircraft "in the clear" (i.e., they were not encrypted).

Shortly after the Sixth Fleet transmission of the rules of engagement to its dispatched rescue aircraft, the Israeli torpedo boats suddenly broke off their attack and transmitted messages asking if USS Liberty required assistance.


LBJ personally intervened to abort the rescue mission.

http://www.gtr5.com/summary_of_events.htm

Blogger Bobiojimbo March 07, 2019 6:34 PM  

IDK what the US Navy's current concern over the Iranian Navy is, but 6 years ago it was swarm attacks. The Iranians have numerous small, fast boats equipped with rockets, missiles, and machines. Their tactic is simple: overwhelm US Naval ships' defenses. It's actually quite the effective tactic as shipboard defenses are limited. Once the defenses are depleted, it wouldn't be hard to sink ships with shore based missiles, larger naval vessels, and air force.

The Navy's solution at the time was high speed maneuvers, manning the guns, and letting CIWS loose. Even then, they expected to take significant damage.

IDK what an effective counter would against a swarm for a much smaller battlegroup or task force.

Blogger Cluebat March 07, 2019 7:03 PM  

Totally agree.

Blogger Cluebat March 07, 2019 8:08 PM  

As VD said. Blue Water Navy. Most of the problems we have had result from proximity to sovereign territory. Historically our Navy is tasked in keeping the sea lanes open for American trade. China seems intent on denying that, and that is where I believe our conflict will begin. I believe that we perceive China as an ascendant hegemon bent on dominating all of Asia at a minimum. I believe we are preparing for that conflict, and that we are not nearly as weak as we pretend to be. Manpower problems can be fixed quickly, if there is willpower. I joined the Navy when Reagan became President and he whipped those laggards into shape. I don't see that willpower yet and if war is thrust upon us in this sorry state of preparation we will likely take losses, but I don't think a prepared battle group is very vulnerable. I expect when things start getting hot the weaklings will bail. Officers unable to make the hard decisions will lose their commands, assuming they are not vaporized- but I don't see it happening that quickly.
F-35 was pricey, but in the end will not seem so costly for their effectiveness. They bring quite an edge to the party. And soon they will have drone wingmen that can be made more observable than manned stealth aircraft, and avoid enemy fire with maneuvers that would kill any human.
I believe the W76-2 was designed for far more than just our Trident systems. Those could be used in the hyper-velocity guided sabot rounds that have been developed to be used in our 155mm artillery to our 5" deck guns.
I also believe that we will have a LEO constellation with thousands of AI-enhanced vision sensors. I think that is why crony Musk is guaranteed to have spectrum and real estate at that altitude. Low-latency warning system to interface with our CCC in a tiny package stowed away on Starlink.
Thoughts?

Blogger Hammerli 280 March 07, 2019 9:05 PM  

@75: Generally, I concur.

OK, folks. Several points:

1. The Persian Gulf isn't that big. And the islands (there are some) are Iranian territory. The Iranians are known to have significant numbers of land-based antiship missiles. And mines. Anything inside the Gulf at the beginning of hostilities will have a very hard first day of the war.

2. For the USN, the real trick is to set up in the Gulf of Oman and/or the North Arabian Sea. Set up interdiction there...and a defense in depth. It pays to study the First World War, the British figured out how to do this.

Blogger CarpeOro March 08, 2019 11:21 AM  

@52 Nate
I disagree. Anytime there is conflict there is the chance for it to spread beyond whatever box the planners try to frame it in. Last I checked, Iran borders two nations where the USA has boots on the ground. If your not taking that into account there is a hole in your assessment.

Blogger Clay March 10, 2019 11:17 PM  

Say what you will. The Israeli's have six or seven of the finest subs, (Dolphin-class, built in Germany, in this world)

Don't think for a second they aren't nuke-capable.

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