National Security

Pentagon: Military Logistics System Not Ready for War With China or Russia

The strategic American military system for moving troops, weapons, and supplies over long distances has decayed significantly and needs rapid upgrading to be ready for any future war with China or Russia, according to a report by the Pentagon’s Defense Science Board. A special task force on survivable logistics evaluated the military’s current airlift, sealift, and prepositioned equipment and supplies and found major problems with supporting forces during a “high-end” conflict. “Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has not fought an adversary capable of the catastrophic disruption of military supply chains and deployment of personnel and materiel,” an unclassified summary of the report states. “As a result, the [joint logistics enterprise] has suffered neglect and chronic underfunding relative to other DoD priorities.” Additionally, the ability of strategic competitors to threaten military supply lines has increased with new and advanced weapons and missiles, as well as “gray zone” capabilities such as cyber attacks and space warfare. “Competitors and adversaries have already disrupted commercial logistics information technology systems,” the report said. “Military and commercial networks are at risk.” “Conflict against a strategic competitor will demand a dispersed and survivable logistics structure and robust IT systems capable of not only defending against cyber-attacks, but also safely sharing logistics information across military and commercial elements,” the report said. The task force concluded that a logistics system for the military that can survive a future war will be essential for continued American power projection and for readiness to deal with threats from China and Russia. “Without a demonstrably resilient and survivable logistics capability, U.S. deterrence will suffer and the ability of the U.S. military to operate globally will be at stake,” the report said. The report warned that American military readiness in recent decades “has severely decayed” as the result of budget cuts, misaligned funding priorities, a lack of incentives to protect the defense industrial base, and insufficient wargaming. The task force urged reversing course immediately to address one of the highest priorities of recently departed Defense Secretary Jim Mattis who sought to rebuild military readiness in pursuit of more lethal forces. The 29-page report was made public in November and is the executive summary of a longer, classified study.

Interesting…   For more, click on the text above.

Sinking US aircraft carriers will resolve tension in South China Sea, says Chinese admiral

The deputy head of a Chinese military academy told an audience in Shenzhen last month that tensions in the South China Sea could be resolved by sinking a pair of U.S. aircraft carriers, reports said. “What the United States fears the most is taking casualties,” said Rear Admiral Lou Yuan, deputy head of the Chinese Academy of Military Sciences, news.com.au reported. He said sinking one carrier would kill 5,000 and sinking two would double that number. Brad Glosserman, a China expert and professor at Tokyo’s Tama University, said Lou’s comments reflect a growing belief in China that the United States has lost its stomach for war, according to a report from military.com. The Chinese believe that “Americans have gone soft … [they] no longer have an appetite for sacrifice and at the first sign of genuine trouble they will cut and run,” Glosserman said. In his speech, Loui said there were “five cornerstones of the United States” open to exploitation: their military, their money, their talent, their voting system — and their fear of adversaries, according to the news.com.au report.

Interesting…  For more, click on the text above.

China willing to use ‘force’ to absorb Taiwan if necessary

Chinese President Xi Jinping stated outright on Wednesday that Beijing’s goal is to absorb Taiwan and that China could use “force” to achieve the goal if necessary. Mr. Xi’s comments, which are likely to elevate tension over the prospect of Taiwan’s independence from Communist mainland China, came a day after Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen vowed the democracy-oriented island will forever resist the sort of reunification being pushed by Beijing. “Taiwan will never accept ‘one country, two systems,’ Ms. Tsai said in a speech Tuesday, referencing China’s long-held claim that it’s open to allowing Taiwan to have its own semi-autonomous government as long as the island’s sovereignty is fully folded under Chinese rule. Mr. Xi dismissed Ms. Tsai’s remarks Wednesday, delivering his own major speech marking the 40 year anniversary of Beijing’s efforts to improve ties with Taiwan, in which the Chinese president urged the Taiwanese to submit to the reality that they “must and will be” reunited with China. “We make no promise to abandon the use of force, and retain the option of taking all necessary measures,” Mr. Xi said in a speech to Chinese military officials and others gathered in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. According to a New York Times report from the Chinese capital, the section of Mr. Xi’s speech referencing “force” drew rousing applause from the crowd, with the president specifically asserting that it could be used against “intervention by external forces.” It was Mr. Xi’s first major speech on Taiwan during his seven-year tenure as Chinese president, and he suggested Beijing’s absorption of the island is becoming a growing priority of his ongoing push to strengthen China’s position on the global stage. While Mr. Xi did not explicitly reference the United States or U.S. military support for Taiwan, his comments on force may have been a reference to the prospect of a military clash with America over Taiwan, which China views as a breakaway province. China and Taiwan have been governed separately since the Chinese civil war of the 1940s when Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists lost to Mao Zedong’s Communists. The Nationalists subsequently fled the mainland and established their own government on the island of Taiwan. While Washington technically does not recognize Taiwanese sovereignty from China, it has a special relationship with the island democracy’s 23 million people and laws in place that require the United States to protect Taiwan from Chinese aggression. The issue of Taiwan-China relations is heated and complex one on the Taiwanese internal political landscape, with the latest back and forth between Mr. Xi and Ms. Tsai coming amid concern on the island over the prospect of a Chinese intervention of some kind. In her own speech Tuesday, Ms. Tsai said Taiwanese people treasure their autonomy from China. She then warned city and county officials on the island to exercise caution in any dialogue with officials from the mainland. Ms. Tsai spoke specifically of major gains that a Beijing-friendly opposition party made in Taiwan’s local elections in November. “The election results absolutely don’t mean Taiwan’s basic public opinion wants us to give up our self-rule,” she said, according to The Associated Press. “They absolutely don’t mean that the Taiwanese people want us to give ground on our autonomy.” Taiwan’s Nationalist Party, which in recent years has favored closer ties with Beijing, won 15 of 22 major seats in the local elections, reversing an advantage held by Ms. Tsai’s Democratic Progressive Party, which projects a far more guarded view of relations with Beijing.

This is probably just Xi puffing his chest out and throwing red meat to his supporters.   But, definitely something to keep an eye on..

Putin to deploy new hypersonic missile system as arms race escalates

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday his army would deploy a new hypersonic nuclear-capable missile system next year, upping the ante in a high-tech arms race with the U.S. Mr. Putin made the announcement at a Kremlin meeting following tests of the hypersonic system known as Avangard. “The test was completely successful: all technical parameters were verified,” Mr. Putin said, according to Russia’s state-run TASS news agency. “Starting from next year, in 2019, a new intercontinental strategic system Avangard will enter service in the Russian army and the first regiment in the Strategic Missile Troops will be deployed,” Mr. Putin said. The Avangard is a strategic intercontinental ballistic missile system equipped with a gliding hypersonic maneuvering warhead. Hypersonic warheads travel faster than traditional ballistic missiles. They reach speeds of Mach 5 or five times the speed of sound, about one mile per second.

Opinion/Analysis: The last straw for President Trump

Some of our knowledgeable but more cranky foreign-policy experts have absolutely had it with President Trump — as they have at least once a week every week since Jan. 20, 2017. This time the source of their profound disappointment, even amazement, is that the president would so alienate a great soldier-statesman like James Mattis as to wind up with his resignation as defense secretary — and just days before Christmas. What these distinguished complainers maybe won’t accept is that at the core of the Mattis-Trump incompatibility is the president’s understanding of a basic reality. It is that the exercise of comity and nothing but comity with allies, though soothing to Mattis-type souls everywhere, isn’t and wasn’t cutting it. The U.S. did the punching while our allies held our coat. OK, a bit of an overstatement, but it lights up the target. The target point is our repeated, unwise, unnecessary military intervention abroad in the absence of a clear and present danger to the United States. Syria was never a threat to us. A source of irritation for Israel and Saudi Arabia maybe. A ruthless suppressor of speech and assembly to its own people. But not a threat to the United States. Mr. Trump also appears to understand that once U.S. troops are committed, there is no unarguably right time to withdraw them. Washington has been tying itself in knots in Afghanistan for 17 years and in Iraq for 15. What’s the game plan there? When will enough be enough? What’s victory look like there? General Mattis, for all his dedication and valuable military leadership over a lifetime, can’t seem to answer that question. What he does say, once boiled down, comes out to what every other establishment member of both parties always says: Better to fight them (terrorists, Saddam Hussein, Bashar al-Assad and on and on) over there than here. A false either-or. They fight us over here because we fight them over there. The about-to-depart defense secretary says with first-glance plausibility that we can’t sacrifice our allies by cutting and running from a war. Any war. Any time. Anywhere. Yes we can. The Obama administration, without a congressional declaration of war, took us into the Syrian civil war not to help the Kurds establish an independent state. We entered because, in the full plenitude of our foreign policy arrogance, we thought we could pick the winning side, establish a mini U.S.-style government in Damascus, protect the Christian minority, end Russian and Iranian influence in the country — and all go to the seashore on Sunday. As usual, we were clueless about the hugely complex religious, tribal, local, regional, political interests struggling for incompatible ends against each other in some cases and in alliance with this or that party in other cases — and America be damned. But, yes, Secretary Mattis, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, our neoconservative war hawks and our foreign-policy establishment are right. This is not the ideal time to withdraw from Syria — or from Afghanistan for that matter. Hard to imagine, realistically at least, an indisputably right time in the near — or even far — future.

Agreed..  For more on this op/ed by Ralph Z. Hallow, click on the text above.

Analysis: How arrest of Chinese ‘princess’ exposes regime’s world domination plot

Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou’s arrest in Vancouver on Dec. 6 led to immediate blowback. Furious Chinese Communists have begun arresting innocent Canadians in retaliation. So far, three of these “revenge hostages” have been taken and are being held in secret jails on vague charges. Beijing hints that the hostage count may grow if Meng is not freed and fast. Even for a thuggish regime like China’s, this kind of action is almost unprecedented. So who is Meng Wanzhou? Currently under house arrest and awaiting extradition to the US, she will face charges that her company violated US sanctions by doing business with Iran and committed bank fraud by disguising the payments it received in return. But to say that she is the CFO of Huawei doesn’t begin to explain her importance — or China’s reaction. It turns out that “Princess” Meng, as she is called, is Communist royalty. Her grandfather was a close comrade of Chairman Mao during the Chinese Civil War, who went on to become vice governor of China’s largest province. She is also the daughter of Huawei’s Founder and Chairman, Ren Zhengfei. Daddy is grooming her to succeed him when he retires. In other words, Meng is the heiress apparent of China’s largest and most advanced hi-tech company, and one which plays a key role in China’s grand strategy of global domination. Huawei is a leader in 5G technology and, earlier this year, surpassed Apple to become the second largest smartphone maker in the world behind Samsung. But Huawei is much more than an innocent manufacturer of smartphones. It is a spy agency of the Chinese Communist Party. How do we know? Because the party has repeatedly said so. First in 2015 and then again in June 2017, the party declared that all Chinese companies must collaborate in gathering intelligence. “All organizations and citizens,” reads Article 7 of China’s National Intelligence Law, “must support, assist with, and collaborate in national intelligence work, and guard the national intelligence work secrets they are privy to.” All Chinese companies, whether they are private or owned by the state, are now part and parcel of the party’s massive overseas espionage campaign. Huawei is a key part of this aggressive effort to spy on the rest of the world. The company’s smartphones, according to FBI Director Christopher Wray, can be used to “maliciously modify or steal information,” as well as “conduct undetected espionage.” Earlier this year the Pentagon banned the devices from all US military bases worldwide. But Huawei, which has been specially designated as a “national champion,” has an even more important assignment from the Communist Party than simply listening in on phone conversations. As a global leader in 5G technology, it has been tasked with installing 5G “fiber to the phone” networks in countries around the world. In fact, “Made in China 2025” — the party’s aggressive plan to dominate the cutting-edge technologies of the 21st century — singles out Huawei as the key to achieving global 5G dominance. Any network system installed by a company working hand-in-glove with China’s intelligence services raises the danger of not only cyber espionage, but also cyber-enabled technology theft. And the danger doesn’t stop there. The new superfast 5G networks, which are 100 times faster than 4G, will literally run the world of the future. Everything from smartphones to smart cities, from self-driving vehicles to, yes, even weapons systems, will be under their control. In other words, whoever controls the 5G networks will control the world — or at least large parts of it. Huawei has reportedly secured more than 25 commercial contracts for 5G, but has been locked out of an increasing number of countries around the world because of spying concerns. The “Five Eyes” — Great Britain, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and the US — have over the past year waged a concerted campaign to block the Chinese tech giant from dominating next-generation wireless networks around the world. Not only have they largely kept Huawei out of their own countries, they have convinced other countries like Japan, India and Germany to go along, too. Whoever controls the 5G networks will control the world — or at least large parts of it. Yet Huawei is far from finished. The company has grown into a global brand over the past two decades because, as a “national champion,” it is constantly being fed and nourished by the party and the military with low-interest-rate loans, privileged access to a protected domestic market, and other preferential treatment. These various state subsidies continue, giving Huawei a huge and unfair advantage over its free market competitors. Huawei stands in the same relationship to the Chinese Communist Party as German steelmaker Alfried Krupp did to Germany’s National Socialists in the days leading up to WWII. Just as Germany’s leading supplier of armaments basically became an arm of the Nazi machine after war broke out, so is China’s leading hi-tech company an essential element of the party’s cold war plan to dominate the world of the future. As far as “Princess” Meng is concerned, I expect that she will be found guilty of committing bank fraud, ordered to pay a fine, and then released. Even a billion dollar fine would be chump change for a seventy-five-billion-dollar corporation like Huawei. The real payoff of her arrest lies elsewhere. It has exposed the massive campaign of espionage that Huawei is carrying out around the world at the behest of the Party. It has revealed how that Party dreams of a new world order in which China, not America, is dominant. The two Chinese characters that make up Huawei’s name literally mean, “To Serve China.” That’s clear enough, isn’t it?

Agreed..  Thanks to Steven W. Mosher for that eye-opening piece.  Steven is the President of the Population Research Institute and the author of “Bully of Asia: Why China’s Dream is the New Threat to World Order.”

Russian fighter jet intercepts US Navy plane

A US Navy reconnaissance aircraft flying in international airspace over the Black Sea was intercepted by a Russian fighter jet Monday in an unsafe and unprofessional manner, according to three US defense officials and a statement from the Navy. During an encounter that lasted a total of 25 minutes, the Russian SU-27 jet passed directly in front of the US EP-3 aircraft at a high speed, the officials said. The US crew reported turbulence following that initial interaction in which the direct pass occurred. The SU-27 then made a second pass of the US plane and applied its afterburner while conducting a banking maneuver, which is believed to have caused a vibration that was experienced by the American crew. “This interaction was determined to be unsafe due to the SU-27 conducting a high speed pass directly in front of the mission aircraft, which put our pilots and crew at risk. The intercepting SU-27 made an additional pass, closing with the EP-3 and applying its afterburner while conducting a banking turn away. The crew of the EP-3 reported turbulence following the first interaction, and vibrations from the second,” according to a statement from the US Navy. Officials so far, have not been able to estimate how close the Russian aircraft came to the US plane, but described the flight behavior of the Russians as the key factor in making the determination the encounter was unsafe. US officials were not initially aware of whether the Russian aircraft was armed. The Navy EP-3 was operating out of Souda Bay, Greece, according to Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon. The Navy plane had its transponder on for the duration of the mission but there was no communication established or attempted between the Russian and US aircraft, Pahon said. A Twitter account for the Russian embassy in the US posted a brief statement about the encounter on Monday saying the fighter jet “followed all necessary safety procedures.” “The Su-27 jet’s crew reported identifying the #US EP-3 Aries spy plane and accompanied it, preventing a violation of Russian airspace and followed all necessary safety procedures,” the tweet said. The last reported unsafe intercept of a US Navy aircraft by a Russian jet occurred in January when a Russian Su-27 jet flew within five feet of a US Navy EP-3, forcing the Navy plane to fly through its jet wash. The US Navy deemed that intercept unsafe and unprofessional. Following that incident, the US State Department issued a statement accusing the Russians of “flagrantly violating existing agreements and international law.” In May, a Russian Su-27 fighter jet performed an “unprofessional” intercept of a US Navy P-8 surveillance plane while it was flying in international airspace over the Baltic Sea. The Russian jet came within about 20 feet of the US aircraft, one official said, adding that the encounter lasted about nine minutes. That intercept was described by officials as safe but unprofessional..