How do you say “I’m on a boat” in Chinese?
There’s been mention in the news this week about China commissioning its first ever aircraft carrier, the Liaoning. While this is a big deal, it’s more significant for what it displays than what it actually does.
China is currently a nation similar to the the early 3rd Reich and also Japanese empire of the same period. Both Japan and Germany vigorously updated their militaries in the 1930’s in order to complete the territorial expansion they had their minds set on.
This is where China is today. It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad to note how most of the worlds major nations think war is a thing of the past and no large conflicts will happen again. What the rest of the world fails to realize is that China, as Japan and Germany did in the 30’s, doesn’t give a shit what they think.
China’s a nation with an old school attitude. Their not very well in touch with their feelings you could say. China’s tift with Japan over the recent island dispute is nothing new and something they have had going on with probably half a dozen nations for centuries though it’s now that they can do something about it.
Make no doubt about it China intends to rule and control Asia and the Pacific.
Will they succeed? Most likely if the US keeps acting like a pussy and not standing up for principles anymore. Soon it won’t even be able to.
But what about right now. China is only one of only a few nations with an aircraft carrier and as everyone knows carriers are the top of the Naval foodchain. When missiles made battleships obsolete, it was the carriers that became the flagships and the US has more than any other nation with 11.
No problem then right? 11 to 1 the US wins. Not necessarily.
Carriers are great because of their ability to transport huge amounts of firepower around the globe. However that firepower, the aircraft, are range limited and have to get close enough to their targets before launching putting the carriers at risk of attack(something they haven’t dealt with since WWII).
The fact is that carriers are beneficial, and intimidating, but to be quite frank obsolete(at least as they are imagined in their traditional role).
The US will still rule the seas but not because of its carriers, but because of its subs.
Subs are the great equalizer in modern naval warfare and a single sub can send an aircraft carrier down quicker than a prom date.
While carriers project an image of intimidation and a force to be reckoned with, subs are discreet, cute, and largely unknown.
Subs these days come in two forms. Attack, which hunt ships and fire torpedoes and ballistic missile, which lurk in the deep waiting to fire large, potentially nuclear tipped, missiles at their targets.
Most nations with active subs have attack subs, while only a few(6) have missile subs, however both are equally important.
Let’s say that hypothetically China attacks America. Because the first thing they’d do is go after naval power, let’s assume they got all/most of our carriers. Maybe 4/5 still operational but out of range/realm.
As long as the sub fleet operates, they can negate any losses inflicted on the rest of the navy. US carriers are gone, say goodbye to half your fleet. US fleet ports are hit, say goodbye to half of Shanghai and
BeiPeking. I shit you not.
Problem is the United States sub fleet is somewhat at risk. Actually many nations sub fleets are at risk.
Countries such as Australia, UK, Netherlands, South Africa, and other sub operating nations often struggle to equip their subs with a full complement of sailors leaving the ships with less operational time.
In the US the personel problem isn’t so bad, but the lack of an enemy has caused the fleet to be an afterthought. Instead of hunting russian subs and having an important role as they did during the cold war they are given little attention.
With more than 50 subs the US has the most capable sub fleet in the world but it’s lack of an enemy/challenger means they are neglected as we spend our money instead on useless wonderships like the LCS program.
For now the US still dominates the seas, but it would be wise not to get into a dick measuring contest with China. Let them build as many carriers as they want, as long as we keep ourselves reminded of what’s really important. Ability or image, what will you put your money on?
Posted on September 27, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged 3rd reich, aircraft carriers, aviation, china, fllet, island dispute, japanese empire, navy, politics, sea, submarines, transportation, us, war. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.