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torqued

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Might as well go ahead and get this party started.

US STRATCOM Commander ADM Charles A. Richard :

"This Ukraine crisis that we're in right now, this is just the warmup"

"As I assess our level of deterrence against China, the ship is slowly sinking," he said. "It is sinking slowly, but it is sinking, as fundamentally they are putting capability in the field faster than we are. As those curves keep going, it isn't going to matter how good our [operating plan] is or how good our commanders are, or how good our forces are — we're not going to have enough of them. And that is a very near-term problem."

"Undersea capabilities is still the one ... maybe the only true asymmetric advantage we still have against our opponents," Richard said. "But unless we pick up the pace, in terms of getting our maintenance problems fixed, getting new construction going ... if we can't figure that out ... we are not going to put ourselves in a good position to maintain strategic deterrence and national defense." 

"We have got to get back into the business of not talking about how we are going to mitigate our assumed eventual failure to get Columbia in on time, and B-21, and LRSO, and flip it to the way we used to ask questions in this nation, which is what's it going to take? Is it money? Is it people? Do you need authorities? What risk? That's how we got to the Moon by 1969. We need to bring some of that back. Otherwise, China is simply going to outcompete us, and Russia isn't going anywhere anytime soon."

https://www.defense.gov/News/News-Stories/Article/Article/3209416/stratcom-commander-says-us-should-look-to-1950s-to-regain-competitive-edge/

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6 hours ago, pbar said:

Meh, if the Chinese just wait a couple of years, we'll be so busy fighting amongst ourselves, nobody will even notice or care if they invade Taiwan. 

If I were them I’d chose now, in 2 years we might have a CINC that can string a sentence together. 
 

Disclaimer: To be clear I hope to god we never have to be in a position to confront China in a conflict. 

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4 hours ago, dream big said:

If I were them I’d chose now, in 2 years we might have a CINC that can string a sentence together. 
 

Disclaimer: To be clear I hope to god we never have to be in a position to confront China in a conflict. 

I hold fast in this: We would smoke them.  IF and only IF we have a national will that wants us to.

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On 11/10/2022 at 3:46 AM, FourFans130 said:

I hold fast in this: We would smoke them.  IF and only IF we have a national will that wants us to.

I’ll post the alternative thoughts here, because, while I’d like to believe that, I’m starting to think that mentality is actually doing more harm than good.

That’s like saying my family could be rich if my mid-30s wife, who was an EMT for one year when she was 21, would only get her MD and complete her residency. Yup, it could happen. But it would take a ridiculous amount of work, it would be super hard, it would cost us both money, require sacrifices in time and quality of life from everyone, and if she only half asses it and doesn’t finish we’re gonna be in a worse spot than when we started.

First, you can create a list entirely from unclassified sources of shortfalls in our military: The NDS, Kill Chain by Brose, The Long Game by Doshi, etc. In a conflict, the tyranny of distance combined with ineffective and, frankly, outdated platforms and concepts aren’t going to help… we have to fundamentally reshape our military if we actually want to compete. China is well into fundamentally reshaping their’s literally to defeat the US in a home game. I agree with Chailen and Roper - we are currently in a bad spot that’s only looking worse.

Further, I think the chances you get the general public to realize the magnitude of change required, when you still have folks in the military that think we would smoke China in a conflict, is pretty damn close to 0. Yeah, we’ll get serious when we start losing a war. But cutting edge tech nowadays is no longer a bomb gunsight like it was back in WWII. Science and Technology timelines take longer, and our current strategy and messaging commits us to starting at a disadvantage.

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1 hour ago, archer said:

First, I created this list entirely from unclassified sources:

Maybe.

I'll be the first to agree that overconfidence, leading to operational hubris, could be crippling if allowed to fester unchecked.  

Trade show tech.  That's what most of what you listed consists of.  Trade show tech, without the logistics, training, and integration pieces, leads to a re-run of what history has shown several times, Desert Storm being the clearest example in the past century.  Thing is, we don't put our starting lineup in trade shows.  Hell, as has been stated in open source articles, we don't even train with it in the open atmosphere...

fwiw, I think we left Taiwan to fend for itself back during the "Peace Dividend", we just don't openly state it.

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1 hour ago, archer said:

I’ll post the alternative thoughts here, because, while I’d like to believe that, I’m starting to think that mentality is actually doing more harm than good.

That’s like saying my family could be rich if my mid-30s wife, who was an EMT for one year when she was 21, would only get her MD and complete her residency. Yup, it could happen. But it would take a ridiculous amount of work, it would be super hard, it would cost us both money, require sacrifices in time and quality of life from everyone, and if she only half asses it and doesn’t finish we’re gonna be in a worse spot than when we started.

First, I created this list entirely from unclassified sources: Kill Chain by Brose and The Long Game by Doshi. In a conflict, the tyranny of distance combined with ineffective and, frankly, outdated platforms and concepts like the F-16 (and most other fighters that require 7 ARs just to get to the fight), the vulnerable carrier, the loud non-stealthy nuclear sub, traditional C2 platforms that haven’t been relevant in decades, the HARM that can’t compare to long range SAMs, our minesweeper capabilities vs their mines, the Chinese IADS, 1990s era L16, datalinks that rely on potentially fragile GPS, targeting pods that are great only if you’re right above the target - I could go on. We have to fundamentally reshape our military if we actually want to compete. China is well into fundamentally reshaping their’s literally to defeat the US in a home game. I agree with Chailen and Roper - we are currently in a bad spot that’s only looking worse.

Further, I think the chances you get the general public to realize the magnitude of change required, when you still have folks in the military that think we would smoke China in a conflict, is pretty damn close to 0. Yeah, we’ll get serious when we start losing a war. But cutting edge tech nowadays is no longer a bomb gunsight like it was back in WWII. Science and Technology timelines take longer, and our current strategy and messaging commits us to starting at a disadvantage.

Have you seen the Chinese try and do anything? Yeah, they can build shit quickly (and watch it crumble in a matter of months), and acquire weapons quickly (the quality of which is doubtful at best), but do you really think they’ll wield their power effectively when the time comes? I’m not arguing we shouldn’t revamp our acquisitions system or rethink some of our existing strategy. Far from it. We certainly need to get more agile. But let’s not go giving the Chinese too much credit here. They’re a rigid, top down, Soviet style system at the end of the day that’s going to fumble with the simplest decisions because they need permission to wipe their own ass. 

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22 minutes ago, Prozac said:

They’re a rigid, top down, Soviet style system at the end of the day that’s going to fumble with the simplest decisions because they need permission to wipe their own ass. 

 


This pretty much describes the ROE for all of my deployments in the last 12 years...  

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11 hours ago, SocialD said:

 


This pretty much describes the ROE for all of my deployments in the last 12 years...  

The difference being you guys will improvise and overcome when it comes down to a no-shit fight. I’ve said it before, but the US military owes most of its success to junior officers and NCOs who will keep the machine running and win fights in spite of the idiocy that often spews from senior leadership. I’ve seen the Chinese work, specifically in the current “zero Covid” environment. I’m confident that when their leadership sends them to certain slaughter, they will dutifully follow one another over the abyss, no questions asked. Don’t sell yourselves short just because someone thinks China is starting to look good on paper. Y’all are still the finest fighting force on the planet & anyone who wants to test that theory is going to find themselves in serious pain. Oh, and happy Veterans Day! 🇺🇸

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11 hours ago, Prozac said:

The difference being you guys will improvise and overcome when it comes down to a no-shit fight. I’ve said it before, but the US military owes most of its success to junior officers and NCOs who will keep the machine running and win fights in spite of the idiocy that often spews from senior leadership. I’ve seen the Chinese work, specifically in the current “zero Covid” environment. I’m confident that when their leadership sends them to certain slaughter, they will dutifully follow one another over the abyss, no questions asked. Don’t sell yourselves short just because someone thinks China is starting to look good on paper. Y’all are still the finest fighting force on the planet & anyone who wants to test that theory is going to find themselves in serious pain. Oh, and happy Veterans Day! 🇺🇸

What's your solution to solving the massive logistical hurdle needed for us to mass forces in the Pacific with very few land holdings and little support from host countries to provide infrastructure for offensive operations? 

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10 minutes ago, FLEA said:

What's your solution to solving the massive logistical hurdle needed for us to mass forces in the Pacific with very few land holdings and little support from host countries to provide infrastructure for offensive operations? 

Dude, I never claimed to be a strategist & that’s so far out of my lane I literally LOL’d when I read your post. I’m just commenting on the differences I’ve seen in the way we operate vs what our adversaries do and think. There are lots of smart people thinking about the logistics of operating in the Pacific. Hell, somebody’s even putting floats on C-130s. Go ask them. 

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4 minutes ago, Prozac said:

Dude, I never claimed to be a strategist & that’s so far out of my lane I literally LOL’d when I read your post. I’m just commenting on the differences I’ve seen in the way we operate vs what our adversaries do and think. There are lots of smart people thinking about the logistics of operating in the Pacific. Hell, somebody’s even putting floats on C-130s. Go ask them. 

My point is person for person we may outperform our opponents and that in a lot of cases is true. 

The problem with the China discussion and whether we would win the China conflict isn't a quality of force question though, it's a mass question. 

We have the largest military in the world but we do not have the largest military in Asia and we don't have the capability in our immediate future to get there without some very strategic partnerships that are extraordinarily risk adverse and fragile. 

I get nervous with the overconfidence of "well just make it work" after we just got our ass kicked in Afghanistan by Durkas with Cold War AK's. That was was exceptionally costly and painful and it started with a hubris that we would simply overpower the Taliban to the point they couldn't resist. Turns out we weren't capable of that. 

Every war has its own considerations and problems but I think simply relegating it to a person to person comparison of an individual unit. 

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14 minutes ago, FLEA said:

My point is person for person we may outperform our opponents and that in a lot of cases is true. 

The problem with the China discussion and whether we would win the China conflict isn't a quality of force question though, it's a mass question. 

We have the largest military in the world but we do not have the largest military in Asia and we don't have the capability in our immediate future to get there without some very strategic partnerships that are extraordinarily risk adverse and fragile. 

I get nervous with the overconfidence of "well just make it work" after we just got our ass kicked in Afghanistan by Durkas with Cold War AK's. That was was exceptionally costly and painful and it started with a hubris that we would simply overpower the Taliban to the point they couldn't resist. Turns out we weren't capable of that. 

Every war has its own considerations and problems but I think simply relegating it to a person to person comparison of an individual unit. 

I’m tracking what you’re saying and I don’t necessarily disagree. The one caveat is that stating that the problem is a mass problem only is painting with a broad brush. Yes, mass is one of the problems that must be solved. Are we there yet? I don’t know. I’m sure the same problem seemed quite daunting to guys like Halsey and Nimitz when they were given a similar task seven decades ago. We solved it then, we can solve it now. Once we do, quality will absolutely play a decisive role. Also, let’s not forget that the Chinese face some significant logistical hurdles of their own when planning a Taiwan invasion. Personally, I think the best strategy is continuing to convince them that they will pay too high a price for that choice. A carrier battle group in the straight has filled that role nicely in the past. Convincing Taiwan to become a fortress (which is what we seem to have been doing lately) can have the same effect should we decide we don’t want to involve American assets in a potential conflict. 

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We're not going to do anything proactively. That's just not how democracies work. If we haven't figured that out by now, then we are supremely ignorant.

 

But it is fun to imagine the unholy shit storm that would befall China in a true war. You have to consider all of the assets in America that are loathe to be associated with any sort of military endeavor. But watching your people die changes things.

 

Everybody in the public thinks China and Russia have an edge on cyber warfare, but can you even fathom what would happen with the full weight of silicon valley suddenly dedicated towards an electronic attack on our foes? What type of weapons could they develop? If the defense contractors dabbling in AI weaponry had even just the open source community, currently creating amazing software that identifies when your dog shits and whether or not it needs to take Imodium, what would that look like? 

 

The Chinese are one of the least innovative societies on earth, at least out of the developed nations. Nearly everything they have is stolen or copied, and the recent ban on chip technology proves their inability to build anything of substance on their own. The software being developed in the civilian sector has truly terrifying implications in a military conflict. There must be somewhere around a hundred or so Elon Musk-type innovators currently in the industry. What does it look like when the most dynamic innovators on Earth turn their attention towards slaughtering the Chinese?

Edited by Lord Ratner
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Two crowds in here talking past each other:

First: We can't beat china right now because of lots of reasons.  This is true.

Second: The American way of war is to get kicked in the balls and then fight our way to victory through overwhelming superiority of innovation, ingenuity, and inherent individual initiative (oh the alliteration!).  Also true.

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2 minutes ago, FourFans130 said:

Second: The American way of war is to get kicked in the balls and then fight our way to victory through overwhelming superiority of innovation, ingenuity, and inherent individual initiative (oh the alliteration!).  Also true.

The culture of the US is ever changing, especially in the last 20-30 years…I don’t think it’s for the overall better when it’s all said and done, but it’s changing none the less.  Likewise, this will affect how the US responds and how successful it would be against such attack.

When is the last time that the US was attacked?  9-11…and it’s not like it took a lot of new ingenuity/innovation to defeat the Taliban and go after terrorist camps.  And last I checked, the Taliban is still in control, trillions of dollars later.  The time before then…WW2, and we’re not even close to the same America as we were back then.

China could attack an American base, and I don’t believe I would see an American combat troop in mainland China because no one wants to see that for the reasons already listed above.

 

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2 hours ago, HeloDude said:

The culture of the US is ever changing, especially in the last 20-30 years…I don’t think it’s for the overall better when it’s all said and done, but it’s changing none the less.  Likewise, this will affect how the US responds and how successful it would be against such attack.

When is the last time that the US was attacked?  9-11…and it’s not like it took a lot of new ingenuity/innovation to defeat the Taliban and go after terrorist camps.  And last I checked, the Taliban is still in control, trillions of dollars later.  The time before then…WW2, and we’re not even close to the same America as we were back then.

China could attack an American base, and I don’t believe I would see an American combat troop in mainland China because no one wants to see that for the reasons already listed above.

 

Not so sure anymore. I would have *never* thought the West would support Ukraine the way they have. Nor did I expect the Ukrainians to mount such a strong defense. And I know I'm not alone.

 

Perhaps the human spirit is a bit more robust than the age of social media would have us believe. It is also entirely possible that 20 years of war in the Middle East has conditioned us to think about warfare in a certain, apathetic way. But that changes a lot when the target looks like you, both physically and culturally. At least that's what Ukraine seems to indicate.

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2 hours ago, FourFans130 said:

Two crowds in here talking past each other:

First: We can't beat china right now because of lots of reasons.  This is true.

Second: The American way of war is to get kicked in the balls and then fight our way to victory through overwhelming superiority of innovation, ingenuity, and inherent individual initiative (oh the alliteration!).  Also true.

Millennials will have initiative? (Jk)

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32 minutes ago, Lord Ratner said:

Not so sure anymore. I would have *never* thought the West would support Ukraine the way they have. Nor did I expect the Ukrainians to mount such a strong defense. And I know I'm not alone.

 

Perhaps the human spirit is a bit more robust than the age of social media would have us believe. It is also entirely possible that 20 years of war in the Middle East has conditioned us to think about warfare in a certain, apathetic way. But that changes a lot when the target looks like you, both physically and culturally. At least that's what Ukraine seems to indicate.

Being invaded in mainland US is a lot different than China attacking one of our overseas bases.  Ukraine was attacked/invaded, which is very different than if one of their hypothetical far away overseas bases were attacked.  I appreciate your post, but it’s not even close to the same thing.  Hence why we don’t invade Iran when it directly/indirectly attacks one of our bases in Iraq.

I am quite confident I’ll never live to see China physically attacking us anywhere in the US, and likewise I’m confident I’ll never see combat troops in mainland China.

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1 hour ago, HeloDude said:

Being invaded in mainland US is a lot different than China attacking one of our overseas bases.  Ukraine was attacked/invaded, which is very different than if one of their hypothetical far away overseas bases were attacked.  I appreciate your post, but it’s not even close to the same thing.  Hence why we don’t invade Iran when it directly/indirectly attacks one of our bases in Iraq.

I am quite confident I’ll never live to see China physically attacking us anywhere in the US, and likewise I’m confident I’ll never see combat troops in mainland China.

Unless you're about 75 years old, I would say your confidence is not historically supported. But I do sincerely hope you're right

Edited by Lord Ratner
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