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Making Sense of the Russian Naval Task Force Off the Coast of Syria
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The AngloZionst Empire’s propaganda machine, otherwise known as the corporate media, has had great difficulty deciding what it should say about the Russian naval task force that has been sent to Syria. The Americans have decided to express their usual contempt for anything Russian and describe this force as centered on the “geriatric” aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, while the Brits chose to describe it as a formidable “armada” about to completely obliterate the moderate terrorists in Syria.

My friend Alexander Mercouris has recently written a superb analysis explaining that, in reality, this task force was neither geriatric nor that formidable. Rather than repeating it all here, I prefer to write what I will consider a follow-up to this excellent piece with a few more details added. The first step will be to debunk a few fundamental misconceptions.

Let’s begin with the Russian aircraft carrier.

The “Heavy Aircraft-Carrying Cruiser Admiral of the Soviet Fleet Kuznetsov”

Did you know that the Russian don’t even call the Admiral Kuznetsov an aircraft carrier? The official designation of the Kuznetsov is “Heavy Aircraft-Carrying Cruiser”. It is important to understand why.

What is, in your opinion, an aircraft carrier? Or, let me put it this way, why does the United States maintain a force of 10-12 heavy aircraft carriers? If you believe Ronald Reagan, it is to “forward deploy” and bring the war to the Soviets (that was, then, the rationale for a 600 ship navy and US carriers in the northern Atlantic). Nothing could be further from the truth. The reality is that US, British, French aircraft carriers are a colonial rule enforcement tool. You park one or two aircraft carrier battle groups a few hundred miles from a disobedient country, and you bomb the shit out of it until it rolls over. That is, in reality, the only rationale for these immense structures. And the beauty of it is that you can threaten most of the planet and that you do not depend on allies agreeing to your mission. So, we can say that US and other western aircraft carriers are a long range power projection capability used against weak and poorly defended countries.

Why weak and poorly defended only?

Here is the ugly secret that everybody knows: aircraft carriers cannot be defended against a sophisticated enemy. Had the Cold War turned hot, the Soviets would have simultaneously attacked any US carrier in the north Atlantic with a combo of

  • Air launched cruise missiles
  • Submarine launched cruise missiles
  • Surface ship launched cruise missiles
  • Submarine launched torpedoes

I cannot prove the following, but I can just testify that I had plenty of friends in the US military, including some who served on US aircraft carriers, and they all understood that US carriers could never survive a Soviet saturation attack and that in case of a real war they would have been kept away from the Soviet shores. I will only add here that the Chinese apparently have developed specialized ballistic missiles designed to destroy carrier battle groups. That was then, in the early 1990s. Nowadays even countries like Iran are beginning to develop capabilities to engage and successfully destroy US carriers.

The Soviets never built any real aircraft carriers. What they had were *cruisers* with a very limited number of vertically launched aircraft and, of course, helicopters. These cruisers had two main purposes: to extend the reach of the Soviet air defenses and to support the landing of a force from the sea. One very special feature of these aircraft carrying Soviet cruisers is that they had very large (4,5-7 tons) cruise missiles designed to strike at high-value enemy ships, including US aircraft carriers. You can read up on the “Kiev-class” aircraft carrying cruiser here. Another key characteristic of these Soviet aircraft-carrying cruisers is that they carried a rather lame aircraft, the Yak-38 which was plagued by problems and would have been a very easy target for US F-14s. F-15s, F-16s or F-18s. For that reason, the Kiev-class air-defenses were centered on its surface-to-air missiles and not on its complement of aircraft. By time the Kuznetsov was built, the Soviet had developed aircraft which were at least equal, if not superior, to their western counterparts: the MiG-29 and, especially, the SU-27. And that gave them the idea of building a “real” aircraft carrier.

The decision to built the Kuznetsov was an extremely controversial one which faced a lot of opposition. The Kuznetsov’s “selling points” were that she was a much superior air defense platform, that she could carry vastly superior aircraft and, last but not least, that she could compete for prestige with the US heavy aircraft carriers, especially the planned but never built nuclear-powered follow-on generation. I find that argument wholly unconvincing and nowadays I am pretty confident that most Russian naval force planners would agree with me: Russia does not need US-style aircraft carriers and if she needs any aircraft carriers at all, then they would have to be designed around a *Russian* mission requirement and not just to copy the Americans.

[Sidebar: I would love to get on my favorite soapbox and tell you all the bad things I think about aircraft carriers in general and why I think that the Russian Navy should be submarine and frigate centered, but this would take up too much space. I will just say that I much rather have many frigates or corvettes than a few heavy cruisers].

ORDER IT NOW

So the Kuznetsov ended up being a mega-compromise and, as compromises go, a pretty good one. Think of it: even though the Kuznetsov packs 12 massive Granit anti-ship missiles, it has, at least potentially, a complement of aircraft bigger than the French Charles de Gaulle (50 vs 40). Initially, the Kuznetsov carried 12 pure air to air SU-33, but now these will be gradually replaced with 20 much more modern MiG-29K and its 24 Ka-27 helicopters will be replaced by the most advanced reconnaissance and attack helicopter on the planet, the Ka-52K. The Kuznetsov still has two major weaknesses: a frankly dated propulsion (see the Mercouris article) and a lack of on-board AWACs aircraft. The latter is a direct consequence of the design philosophy of the Kuznetsov which was never intended to operate much beyond 500-1000km from the Russian border (again, the crucial roughly under 1000km Russian force planning philosophy).

To sum this all up: the Kuznetsov is a fine aircraft carrier which nevertheless reflects a compromise design philosophy and which was never intended to project Russian power at long distances the way western, especially US, carriers have.

Now let’s turn to the rest of this Russian naval task force

The rest of the Russian naval task force around the Kuznetsov

One big name immediately stands out: the Heavy Nuclear Rocket Cruiser Peter the Great. This is one heavy beast and currently the most heavily armed ship on the planet. I won’t even go into all the details here, check this article for a list of armaments if you are interested, suffice to say here that this battlecruiser can do everything: anti-air, anti-ship, anti-submarine. She is packed with top of the line sensors and advanced communications. Being the flagship of the Northern Fleet she is also the de-facto flagship of the entire Russian Navy. Last, but not least, the Peter the Great carries a formidable array of 20 Granit anti-ship missile. Please note that the combined firepower of Granit anti-ship missiles of the Kuznetsov and Peter the Great is 12+20 for a total of 32. I will explain why this important below.

The rest of the task force is composed of two Large Antisubmarine Ships (destroyers in western terminology), the Vice-Admiral Kulakov and the Severomorsk, and a number of support vessels. The Kulakov and the Severomorsk are based on the Udaloy design and are modern and all-around capable combat ships. All these ships will soon be merged into one force, including two small missile ships (corvettes in western terminology) which carry the famous Kalibr cruise missiles and which specialize in attacking surface ships. Finally, though this will not be advertised, I believe that this task force will include at least two Akula-class nuclear attack submarines, one Oscar-II cruise missile submarine (armed with another 12 Granit cruise missiles) and several Kilo-class diesel-electric submarines.

To sum this all up.

The Russian naval task force is a Russian attempt to bring together a number of ships which were never designed to operate as a single naval task force far away from Russia. If you wish, it is a clever Russian “hack”. I would argue that it is also a rather successful one as this task force as a whole is a very impressive one. No, it cannot take on all of NATO or even the USN, but there are a number of things which it can do very effectively.

Now we can turn to the big question,

What can the Russian naval task force in Syria really do?

Before looking at the bigger picture, there is one detail which I think deserves to be mentioned here. Nearly every article I read about the Granit cruise missile says that it is an anti-ship cruise missile. I also wrote that above in order to keep things simple. But now I have to say that the Granit probably always had a “B” mode, “B” as in “beregovoy” or, if you prefer, “coastal” or “land” mode. I don’t now whether this mode existed from day 1 or whether it was added later, but it is now certain that the Granit has such a mode. It was probably a fairly minimalistic capability, without fancy guidance and other tricks (which the Granit has in its main anti-ship mode), but the Russians have recently revealed that the upgraded Granits now have a *real* (“complex”) land attack capability. And that requires a totally new look at what that means for this task force. This is what we know about the new and improved Granit (which the Russians refer to as 3M45):

SakerGranit

  • Mass: 7 tons
  • Speed: Mach 1,5-2
  • Range: 500-600km
  • Warhead: 750kg (conventional and nuclear capable)

The Granit is also capable of some very advanced things, including having one missile flying at 500m or higher to detect the target and the rest of them skimming the surface while receiving the data from the high-flying one. These missiles are also capable of automatically attacking from different directions to better overwhelm air defenses. They can fly as low as 25m and as high as 17,000m. What this all means is that these Granits missiles are very capable tactical-operational range missiles in their own right. And considering that there are at the very least 32 such missiles in the Russian task force (46 if a Oscar-II class sub is also present), that means that this task force has a tactical missile firepower similar to an entire rocket brigade! Should things go very wrong, this task force could not only seriously threaten any USN/NATO surface ship within 500km of Syria, but also every single city or military base in this range. I am rather surprised that the western fear-mongers missed this one because it ought to scare NATO pretty badly :-)

To be honest here, some specialists are expressing major doubts about the land-attack capabilities of the Granit. Everybody knows that these are relatively old and very expensive missiles, but nobody knows how much effort was really put in their modernization. But even if they are not nearly as capable as advertised, the fact that 32 to 46 of such missiles we be sitting just off the Syrian coast will be a formidable deterrent because nobody will ever know what these missiles can do until they actually do it.

Next.

The combined capabilities of the Russian naval task force and the S-300/S-400 missiles deployed in Syria give the Russians a world-class air-defense capability. If needed the Russians could even throw in A-50 AWACs from Russia protected by MiG-31BMs. What most observers do not realize that is that SA-N-6 “Grumble” which forms the core of the air defenses of the Peter the Great is a S-300FM, the modernized naval variant of the S-300. It is also capable of the amazing Mach 6 speed, has 150km range, an added infrared terminal capability, a track-via-missile guidance system which allows it to engage ballistic missiles and an altitude envelope of 27,000m. And, guess what – the Peter the Great has 48 such missiles (in 20 launchers), roughly the equivalent of 12 S-300 batteries (assuming 4 launchers per battery).

One of the major weaknesses of the Russian deployment in Syria has been the relative low number of missiles the Russians could fire at any one time. The US/NATO could simply saturate Russian defenses with large numbers of missiles. Frankly, they can still do it, but this has now become much, much harder.

Can the Russians now stop a US attack on Syria?

Probably not.

But they can make it much harder and dramatically less effective.

First, as soon as the Americans fire, the Russians will see it and they will warn the Syrian and Russian armed forces. Since the Russians will be able to track every US missile, they will be able to pass on the data to all the air defense crews who will be ready by the time the missiles arrive. Furthermore, once the missiles get close, the Russians will be able to shoot down a lot of them, making it necessary for the Americans to conduct battle damage assessment from space and then re-strike the same targets many times over.

Second, stealth or no stealth, I don’t believe that the USN or the USAF will risk flying into Russian controlled airspace or, if it does, this will be a short-lived experiment. I believe that the Russian presence in Syria will make any attack on Syria a “missile only” attack. Unless the Americans take down the Russian air defenses, which they could only if they want to start WWIII, US aircraft will have to stay outside the Syrian skies. And that means that the Russians have basically created their own no-fly zone over Syria and a US no-fly zone is now impossible to achieve.

Next, the Kuznetsov will be bringing a number of fixed and rotary wing aircraft including 15-20 Ka-27 and Ka-52K helicopters, and 15-20 SU-33K and MiG-29K (I don’t think there has been an official figure announced). What the Russians have said is that the fixed wing aircraft will be upgraded to be able to attack ground targets. Will all that make a difference? Maybe, on the margins. It will definitely help deal with the expected influx of moderate terrorists coming from Mosul (courtesy of the US operation to flush them into Syria), but the Russians could have simply moved more SU-25 or even SU-34 to Khmeimin or Iran at a much smaller cost. Thus in terms of its air-wing, I fully agree with Mercouris – this will be mainly a real-life training opportunity and not a game changer.

Conclusion

This deployment is highly uncharacteristic of what the Russians have been training for. They have basically found a way to reinforce the Russian contingent in Syria, especially against Hillary’s “no fly zone” nightmare. However, this is also a case of making virtue out of necessity: the operation in Syria was always too far from the Russian border and the Russian force in Syria always to small for its task. Furthermore, this deployment is not sustainable in the long term, and the Russians know it. They have successfully imposed a “Yankee no fly zone” over Syria long enough for the Syrian to take Aleppo and for the Americans to vote for their next President. After that, the situation will either get dramatically better (Trump) or dramatically worse (Hillary). Either way, the new situation will require a completely different Russian strategy.

PS: I am aware of the semi-official Russian announced plans to build a modern aircraft carrier, probably a nuclear one, with catapults and all. For whatever it’s worth, I am very much opposed to this idea which I find wasteful and which does not fit the Russian defense doctrine. The new generation of Russian subs (SSNs and SLBMs), however, gets my standing ovation.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Russia, Syria 
    []
  1. utu says:

    Russia should finally build the Doomsday Machine. They had it in Dr. Strangelove.

    Read More
    • Replies: @uslabor
    "I wish we had one of them" was the American General's (George C Scott) reply.
    , @Macon Richardson
    Please note that Dr. Strangelove was not a documentary. It was a fiction.
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  2. This article, as so many do, over-hypes Russian capabilities relative to US capability. With the current idiots in power in DC, I have no doubt that US capability would be misused and the US end up with a bloody nose in any confrontation with Russia. So far, however, Obama hasn’t shown much in the way of courage and so has made no real effort to stop what Russia appears to be trying to do in Syria.

    The people who are wanting Assad out, however, aren’t showing much forethought. Syria under the Assads has been stable and predictable. With Assad out, that will end and we’ll be facing a situation not too different than Libya which is the result of French, British and US stupidity. This is one time we can give thanks for the incompetence of the Obama maladministration.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2016/10/18/report-proposes-slashing-u-s-aircraft-carriers-investing-in-lasers-to-combat-russia-and-china/

    If you need further education, you may as well enlighten yourself with the names of experts at CNAS. I may or may not like them, but they sure as hell had and have clearances beyond your grasp and there are reasons they propose what they propose:

    https://www.cnas.org/press/in-the-news/report-pentagon-should-scrap-40-billion-aircraft-carrier-program
    , @Randal

    This article, as so many do, over-hypes Russian capabilities relative to US capability.
     
    No more so, I think, than the many, many articles hyping US capabilities.

    The honest truth is that nobody really knows how either US or Russian systems and forces would perform in the environment that a full scale war over Syria would create. Anyone who makes specific detailed claims, and claims to be doing more than speculating, is over-rating their own knowledge, if not simply lying. The most that can be asserted with any reasonable degree of confidence is that basic realities, such as the relatively massive US spend compared to Russia's and the US sphere's massive advantages in numbers, logistics and bases in the region, will be decisive, though at what cost is an unknown.

    The people who are wanting Assad out, however, aren’t showing much forethought. Syria under the Assads has been stable and predictable. With Assad out, that will end and we’ll be facing a situation not too different than Libya which is the result of French, British and US stupidity. This is one time we can give thanks for the incompetence of the Obama maladministration.
     
    It is certainly true that the destruction of the Libyan government and murder of Gaddafi was, literally, as criminally stupid and as stupidly criminal as was the invasion of Iraq, and also that the attack on Libya was almost as disastrous in its consequences. And it is certainly also true that the destruction of the Assad government would be similar, or more likely worse, on both counts, than the Libya debacle.

    However, it is not possible to evade the US regime's (and in particular the Clinton part of it) shared responsibility for the Libyan idiocy. It did not and could not have happened without US approval and active complicity.

    Further, the foreign policy stupidity that underlies the Libyan attack and the (fortunately failed) attempt in 2013 to repeat the idiocy in Syria is by no means confined to the Democrats, still less the Obama regime. The events of the past 20 years have proved beyond honest dispute that foreign policy incompetence and immorality is a bipartisan problem in the US.
    , @Blosky
    Maybe, but look what was done to the USS Cole.
  3. Alfa158 says:

    Studying in detail the Pacific theater in WW2 reveals how vulnerable aircraft carriers really are. As Saker says they are enormous, easy to detect, fragile and highly flammable targets, and mostly function as colonial enforcement, not against serious opponents. In the initial stages of WW2 the Americans and Japanese inflicted huge losses on each other’s carrier forces. After the Battle of Santa Cruz, ten months into the war, both sides severely restricted their carrier activities, particularly avoiding engagements with land based air forces, in order to conserve their remaining assets and wait for new ships and planes. In fact, there was about a year in mid war in which the US Navy never had more than one operational carrier at a time in the Pacific. The carrier looked unstoppable only after the US deployed overwhelming numbers of new carriers and planes, that the Japanese did not have the resources to match.
    Quartermaster is right that the article overstates Russian capabilities, but they nevertheless have the ability to bloody our noses, and as recent history has shown the American people have little patience for bloody noses. If things get really ugly in the China theater you can bet that the US will keep its carrier forces well clear of a Chinese defense force which is qualitatively and quantitatively probably even more of a threat than that of an economically struggling Russia.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    Studying in detail the Pacific theater in WW2 reveals how vulnerable aircraft carriers really are
     
    Studying in detail carrier operations in WW II, with the exception of some basic operational research principles and lessons in operational and strategic decision-making, provides absolutely no applicable lessons for the 21st Century both on tactical and technological levels. It is really difficult to establish any connection between Battle Of Midway and possible modern naval battle which will see the use of technologies (from stealthy Anti-Shipping Missiles, Satellite targeting and plethora of radio and optronic sensors et al) which in 1942 would have been described only in sci-fi magazines or in Popular Mechanics as the way of the future. What are the lessons of Roman phalanx for T-90As tank battalion supported by a squadron of Ka-52 helicopters tied into the combat computerized electronic network of a modern division? I hardly see any, frankly. Requirements for modern battlefield in all three environments (land, sea, air) are so unique today that application of any lessons extracted from the past should be done very cautiously. As per carriers--once the range of the anti-shipping missiles became comparable with the ranges of carrier wing ASW and interceptor aircraft--it was over for carriers. Hence Project 60. I am not even talking here about risk aversion and risk avoidance, which comes into play once US Navy's CVNs are involved.
  4. Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website
    @Quartermaster
    This article, as so many do, over-hypes Russian capabilities relative to US capability. With the current idiots in power in DC, I have no doubt that US capability would be misused and the US end up with a bloody nose in any confrontation with Russia. So far, however, Obama hasn't shown much in the way of courage and so has made no real effort to stop what Russia appears to be trying to do in Syria.

    The people who are wanting Assad out, however, aren't showing much forethought. Syria under the Assads has been stable and predictable. With Assad out, that will end and we'll be facing a situation not too different than Libya which is the result of French, British and US stupidity. This is one time we can give thanks for the incompetence of the Obama maladministration.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2016/10/18/report-proposes-slashing-u-s-aircraft-carriers-investing-in-lasers-to-combat-russia-and-china/

    If you need further education, you may as well enlighten yourself with the names of experts at CNAS. I may or may not like them, but they sure as hell had and have clearances beyond your grasp and there are reasons they propose what they propose:

    https://www.cnas.org/press/in-the-news/report-pentagon-should-scrap-40-billion-aircraft-carrier-program

    Read More
  5. Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website
    @Alfa158
    Studying in detail the Pacific theater in WW2 reveals how vulnerable aircraft carriers really are. As Saker says they are enormous, easy to detect, fragile and highly flammable targets, and mostly function as colonial enforcement, not against serious opponents. In the initial stages of WW2 the Americans and Japanese inflicted huge losses on each other's carrier forces. After the Battle of Santa Cruz, ten months into the war, both sides severely restricted their carrier activities, particularly avoiding engagements with land based air forces, in order to conserve their remaining assets and wait for new ships and planes. In fact, there was about a year in mid war in which the US Navy never had more than one operational carrier at a time in the Pacific. The carrier looked unstoppable only after the US deployed overwhelming numbers of new carriers and planes, that the Japanese did not have the resources to match.
    Quartermaster is right that the article overstates Russian capabilities, but they nevertheless have the ability to bloody our noses, and as recent history has shown the American people have little patience for bloody noses. If things get really ugly in the China theater you can bet that the US will keep its carrier forces well clear of a Chinese defense force which is qualitatively and quantitatively probably even more of a threat than that of an economically struggling Russia.

    Studying in detail the Pacific theater in WW2 reveals how vulnerable aircraft carriers really are

    Studying in detail carrier operations in WW II, with the exception of some basic operational research principles and lessons in operational and strategic decision-making, provides absolutely no applicable lessons for the 21st Century both on tactical and technological levels. It is really difficult to establish any connection between Battle Of Midway and possible modern naval battle which will see the use of technologies (from stealthy Anti-Shipping Missiles, Satellite targeting and plethora of radio and optronic sensors et al) which in 1942 would have been described only in sci-fi magazines or in Popular Mechanics as the way of the future. What are the lessons of Roman phalanx for T-90As tank battalion supported by a squadron of Ka-52 helicopters tied into the combat computerized electronic network of a modern division? I hardly see any, frankly. Requirements for modern battlefield in all three environments (land, sea, air) are so unique today that application of any lessons extracted from the past should be done very cautiously. As per carriers–once the range of the anti-shipping missiles became comparable with the ranges of carrier wing ASW and interceptor aircraft–it was over for carriers. Hence Project 60. I am not even talking here about risk aversion and risk avoidance, which comes into play once US Navy’s CVNs are involved.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Vendetta
    As Bill Lind puts it, the US Navy has spent the last 60 years preparing for a rematch the Imperial Japanese Navy.
    , @Alfa158
    That's exactly the point about aircraft carriers in WW2. Even against technologies of that era carriers proved to be extremely vulnerable. In the intervening time, anti-ship weapons have become vastly more capable while a modern carriers have no more chance of remaining operational after a couple is serious hits than they were 70 years ago. Carriers are essentially weapon systems for fighting enemies who have no real capacity for shooting back.
  6. Vasilios says:

    I am skeptical of the Granits, they are a 40 year old missile system and weren’t state of the art even then. The thing is, 32 is quite a few, and the Granit does have one huge strong point: its warhead is huge for an anti-ship missile. This was intentional as the design purpose of the weapons system was carrier hunting. Really, one hit from these beasts would likely obliterate anything smaller than a carrier and probably cripple even a big flattop. Even if you shoot 30 of em down, you might be looking at scratch one carrier scratch one escort. The loss of a carrier is not something the USN wants to countenance. The flip side is the Russian navy is still badly outnumbered in the region and would likely not last long in a real shooting fight.

    What is more at question is how good are the Russians new AA/AD gear? It looks great on paper, but no one really knows how it would perform. This includes the US, and this uncertainty makes war planning very dicey.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    and weren’t state of the art even then
     
    Are you sure you know what you are talking about?

    Even if you shoot 30 of em down
     
    Both US and Russian Navies know very well saturation thresholds for AEGIS escorts. They just play the game of don't ask, don't tell;-)
  7. Vendetta says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    Studying in detail the Pacific theater in WW2 reveals how vulnerable aircraft carriers really are
     
    Studying in detail carrier operations in WW II, with the exception of some basic operational research principles and lessons in operational and strategic decision-making, provides absolutely no applicable lessons for the 21st Century both on tactical and technological levels. It is really difficult to establish any connection between Battle Of Midway and possible modern naval battle which will see the use of technologies (from stealthy Anti-Shipping Missiles, Satellite targeting and plethora of radio and optronic sensors et al) which in 1942 would have been described only in sci-fi magazines or in Popular Mechanics as the way of the future. What are the lessons of Roman phalanx for T-90As tank battalion supported by a squadron of Ka-52 helicopters tied into the combat computerized electronic network of a modern division? I hardly see any, frankly. Requirements for modern battlefield in all three environments (land, sea, air) are so unique today that application of any lessons extracted from the past should be done very cautiously. As per carriers--once the range of the anti-shipping missiles became comparable with the ranges of carrier wing ASW and interceptor aircraft--it was over for carriers. Hence Project 60. I am not even talking here about risk aversion and risk avoidance, which comes into play once US Navy's CVNs are involved.

    As Bill Lind puts it, the US Navy has spent the last 60 years preparing for a rematch the Imperial Japanese Navy.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
    It is not just Bill Lind. US Naval Institute published in 2005 professor Roger Thompson's Thesis

    https://www.amazon.com/Lessons-Not-learned-Status-Culture/dp/1591148650

    A must read for those who actually want to learn what is going on.
  8. Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website
    @Vasilios
    I am skeptical of the Granits, they are a 40 year old missile system and weren't state of the art even then. The thing is, 32 is quite a few, and the Granit does have one huge strong point: its warhead is huge for an anti-ship missile. This was intentional as the design purpose of the weapons system was carrier hunting. Really, one hit from these beasts would likely obliterate anything smaller than a carrier and probably cripple even a big flattop. Even if you shoot 30 of em down, you might be looking at scratch one carrier scratch one escort. The loss of a carrier is not something the USN wants to countenance. The flip side is the Russian navy is still badly outnumbered in the region and would likely not last long in a real shooting fight.

    What is more at question is how good are the Russians new AA/AD gear? It looks great on paper, but no one really knows how it would perform. This includes the US, and this uncertainty makes war planning very dicey.

    and weren’t state of the art even then

    Are you sure you know what you are talking about?

    Even if you shoot 30 of em down

    Both US and Russian Navies know very well saturation thresholds for AEGIS escorts. They just play the game of don’t ask, don’t tell;-)

    Read More
  9. Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website
    @Vendetta
    As Bill Lind puts it, the US Navy has spent the last 60 years preparing for a rematch the Imperial Japanese Navy.

    It is not just Bill Lind. US Naval Institute published in 2005 professor Roger Thompson’s Thesis

    https://www.amazon.com/Lessons-Not-learned-Status-Culture/dp/1591148650

    A must read for those who actually want to learn what is going on.

    Read More
  10. woodNfish says:

    One of the reasons our carriers are so vulnerable is because we have allowed treaties to cripple them. The USS Enterprise could make 70 knots on the water to evade radar and was capable of outrunning its escort. Treaties have made it illegal for carriers to go that fast anymore and the new ones are basically dumbed down sitting ducks. We have allowed that to happen with plenty of other defensive and offensive technology. It is past time to pull our resources home, cut the cost and size of our military and to void all treaties that prevent us from creating and maintaining the highest technological standards for our own national defense, and no one else’s.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    The USS Enterprise could make 70 knots on the water to evade radar and was capable of outrunning its escort.
     
    No, how can you say such things?! USS Enterprise was capable of 170 knots and had a warp drive. She also could fly into space. There is an enormous library of documentaries about it, I believe it has a title of "Star Trek". All events there are well-documented and did happen.
    , @The Alarmist

    "The USS Enterprise could make 70 knots on the water to evade radar and was capable of outrunning its escort."
     
    Don't know where you get your info, but without Scotty on board to hold it together, the E could count on perhaps 45kts at best. Closer to 33 if one believes the official release.
    , @Jim Christian
    I spent 76-81 in an A6E squadron aboard Nimitz and while advertised speed was always 30+knots, I figure we could do 70 only downhill, wind to the stern. Fair enough?

    Seriously, it probably could do 40 or 45 knots, and did, they are faster than their surface escorts when it's time to scoot. But even new the thing vibrated hideously throughout making that kind of speed. When Nimitz left the Med in Jan. 1980 (to go not rescue the Iranian hostages) we went around the African horn and then North into the Indian Ocean. They didn't run carriers through Suez back then (risk aversion). We left our escorts behind in the Med and got new ones from the 7th fleet except it was said we had fast attack subs with speed screws escorting us for that run. It was damned speedy over a good distance with only the obligatory stop at the equator to turn us pollywogs into trusty Shellbacks. We didn't fly on that run until we got up to the IO but we stayed well away from the Gulf and the Iranian and Saudi coasts, never approaching the Iranian coast until that fateful night in April. They got in fairly close enough to see land, the helos launched and we hauled ass back South again.

    Carriers are fast, they're a lot of fun if you're young, stupid and on the flight deck, sheer drudgery if you're not. And, their time is about up. Missiles, missiles. They are perhaps most useful as support islands near Tsunami/Earthquake scenarios with their ability to fly victims, create enormous quantities of fresh water and provide logistical support, medical assistance and evacuation. I can't imagine, except under a suicide mission that they are even considered part of the SIOP anymore and again, missiles. Absent a missile threat however, I'll never understand why, if Syria was so important to bomb, we haven't had a carrier running 24/7 off the Syrian coast of the Med. Instead, long flights out of the Gulf. Maybe they really can't "man" them anymore and get them to sea. The female factor is a real, but unspoken problem for them.

    Now? Mostly, looking at the Navy Times, it looks like the carriers are mostly dockside office buildings for single mothers to have a job. We don't seem to ever have more than two of them operating. If they ever consider the truth of the matter, a lot of jobs disappear overnight if they scrap the carriers, the air wings, the bases and piers.

    And still, there's Nimitz, still sailing, home ported in Bremerton, Wa.
  11. TheJester says:

    I recall a reference in which US naval strategists predicted during the Cold War that US carriers would last about 30 minutes in a conflict with the Soviet Union. It didn’t matter whether they were in port or out of port. In short, like the US Marine Corps, they are force projections/enforcers to discipline a colonial empire, nothing more.

    The US and the Russians (as a legacy of the Soviet era) also have different approaches to battle. The US assumes that it will completely dominate rebellious colonial miscreants by orders of magnitude, similar to the British in conflict with the Sudanese Mahdi in the Battle of Omdurman in 1898. The US fights loose congregations of goat herders and Third-World armies without navies or air forces … and it is averse to casualties of any kind. Lose a few men or a few jets and the US is ready to pull out of a conflict. The Russia approach is different: Massive violence in pursuit of heartfelt political and military objectives to resolve conflict as quickly as possible.

    I believe that Russia has indeed drawn a line in the sand in Syria for a simple reason. The US is already preparing the ground for a Caliphate in Afghanistan in order to renew the original purpose for creating and funding Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden … and that is to attack the soft underbelly of Russia through its Islamic republics. The Russians have learned their lesson in Chechnya and will not allow the United States to again take the fight to Russia proper.

    Read More
    • Replies: @annamaria
    A wrap up by Putin on the "drawn line:" http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/10/30/president-putin-asks-us-to-stop-provoking-russia/
    Quite a contrast to the US-officials style of mental raping the listeners.
  12. Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website

    I recall a reference in which US naval strategists predicted during the Cold War that US carriers would last about 30 minutes in a conflict with the Soviet Union. It didn’t matter whether they were in port or out of port. In short, like the US Marine Corps, they are force projections/enforcers to discipline a colonial empire, nothing more.

    The father of US nuclear Navy, Admiral Rickover, in his 1980 testimony to, I believe, House Armed Services Subcommittee stated that US Navy’s CVNs wouldn’t last 24 hours in case of serious war. I think good ole’ Hyman knew damn well what he was talking about.

    Read More
    • Replies: @The Alarmist

    "The father of US nuclear Navy, Admiral Rickover, in his 1980 testimony to, I believe, House Armed Services Subcommittee stated that US Navy’s CVNs wouldn’t last 24 hours in case of serious war. I think good ole’ Hyman knew damn well what he was talking about."
     
    In a shooting match with an equally equipped global nuclear power, the surface fleet would be largely irrelevant. It really does exist to kick around the other kids on the playground.
  13. Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website
    @woodNfish
    One of the reasons our carriers are so vulnerable is because we have allowed treaties to cripple them. The USS Enterprise could make 70 knots on the water to evade radar and was capable of outrunning its escort. Treaties have made it illegal for carriers to go that fast anymore and the new ones are basically dumbed down sitting ducks. We have allowed that to happen with plenty of other defensive and offensive technology. It is past time to pull our resources home, cut the cost and size of our military and to void all treaties that prevent us from creating and maintaining the highest technological standards for our own national defense, and no one else's.

    The USS Enterprise could make 70 knots on the water to evade radar and was capable of outrunning its escort.

    No, how can you say such things?! USS Enterprise was capable of 170 knots and had a warp drive. She also could fly into space. There is an enormous library of documentaries about it, I believe it has a title of “Star Trek”. All events there are well-documented and did happen.

    Read More
    • LOL: Talha
    • Replies: @Che Guava
    Agree with the LOL. Well documented in an animated drama, the battleship Yamato is raised from its watery grave, refitted with a warp drive or something, and has many adventures in spaaace!

    It is all true, but is yet to happen.

    Forget the English-language title, where the words have no correspondence with the original. Something like Starship Troopers, I think that the dubbed and re-edited Space Battleship Yamato was 'Starship Soldiers' or similar.

    Not that Verhoeven's movie was not great! Wonderful sarcasm, and historical humour, the Mobile Infantry uniforms based on Wermacht SS and the Strategy Corps on Bolsheviks via the Gestapo.

    Even makes me cry, the tale of Dizzy and Rico, when she is dying and says 'At least I got to have you.', never fails to raise a tear.

    Appreciate the Saker's articles here, but this becomes a pissing contest.

    Most of you have no idea, I am quite sure that I had, for example, a higher level of clearance than Quartermaster.

    People who don't know much at all, say a lot.

  14. Alfa158 says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    Studying in detail the Pacific theater in WW2 reveals how vulnerable aircraft carriers really are
     
    Studying in detail carrier operations in WW II, with the exception of some basic operational research principles and lessons in operational and strategic decision-making, provides absolutely no applicable lessons for the 21st Century both on tactical and technological levels. It is really difficult to establish any connection between Battle Of Midway and possible modern naval battle which will see the use of technologies (from stealthy Anti-Shipping Missiles, Satellite targeting and plethora of radio and optronic sensors et al) which in 1942 would have been described only in sci-fi magazines or in Popular Mechanics as the way of the future. What are the lessons of Roman phalanx for T-90As tank battalion supported by a squadron of Ka-52 helicopters tied into the combat computerized electronic network of a modern division? I hardly see any, frankly. Requirements for modern battlefield in all three environments (land, sea, air) are so unique today that application of any lessons extracted from the past should be done very cautiously. As per carriers--once the range of the anti-shipping missiles became comparable with the ranges of carrier wing ASW and interceptor aircraft--it was over for carriers. Hence Project 60. I am not even talking here about risk aversion and risk avoidance, which comes into play once US Navy's CVNs are involved.

    That’s exactly the point about aircraft carriers in WW2. Even against technologies of that era carriers proved to be extremely vulnerable. In the intervening time, anti-ship weapons have become vastly more capable while a modern carriers have no more chance of remaining operational after a couple is serious hits than they were 70 years ago. Carriers are essentially weapon systems for fighting enemies who have no real capacity for shooting back.

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  15. Maybe they’re just getting the ships out of ice country for the Winter. We used to deploy to warmer climes during the worst part of winter so our aircraft weren’t grounded by ice.

    Yeah, OK, there’s that little Syria thingy, but Putin must surely know his old rust-buckets are no match for the Navies of NATO, assuming they can be freed up from rescuing economic migrants who are sinking their own boats to get on the fast-track to Europe.

    Wow, think about it … will the news agencies of the West spend any time reporting on the dead bodies washing up on shore (like they do now) because the Navies were too busy in a shooting war with the Russians and could not rescue those poor souls, or will those thousands of sad stories be quickly forgotten as the Shock and Awe of sinking the Kuznetsov is a bigger eyeball draw?

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  16. @woodNfish
    One of the reasons our carriers are so vulnerable is because we have allowed treaties to cripple them. The USS Enterprise could make 70 knots on the water to evade radar and was capable of outrunning its escort. Treaties have made it illegal for carriers to go that fast anymore and the new ones are basically dumbed down sitting ducks. We have allowed that to happen with plenty of other defensive and offensive technology. It is past time to pull our resources home, cut the cost and size of our military and to void all treaties that prevent us from creating and maintaining the highest technological standards for our own national defense, and no one else's.

    “The USS Enterprise could make 70 knots on the water to evade radar and was capable of outrunning its escort.”

    Don’t know where you get your info, but without Scotty on board to hold it together, the E could count on perhaps 45kts at best. Closer to 33 if one believes the official release.

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    • Replies: @woodNfish
    The "official" release is another government lie. My info is from sailors who served on her at different times and did not know each other. All of them have told me the Enterprise could create a rooster tail higher than the flight and the bow would come up out of the water. She could do this as long as she maintained a straight course, it they tried to turn everything not fastened down would go overboard.
  17. @Andrei Martyanov

    I recall a reference in which US naval strategists predicted during the Cold War that US carriers would last about 30 minutes in a conflict with the Soviet Union. It didn’t matter whether they were in port or out of port. In short, like the US Marine Corps, they are force projections/enforcers to discipline a colonial empire, nothing more.
     
    The father of US nuclear Navy, Admiral Rickover, in his 1980 testimony to, I believe, House Armed Services Subcommittee stated that US Navy's CVNs wouldn't last 24 hours in case of serious war. I think good ole' Hyman knew damn well what he was talking about.

    “The father of US nuclear Navy, Admiral Rickover, in his 1980 testimony to, I believe, House Armed Services Subcommittee stated that US Navy’s CVNs wouldn’t last 24 hours in case of serious war. I think good ole’ Hyman knew damn well what he was talking about.”

    In a shooting match with an equally equipped global nuclear power, the surface fleet would be largely irrelevant. It really does exist to kick around the other kids on the playground.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    In a shooting match with an equally equipped global nuclear power, the surface fleet would be largely irrelevant.
     
    Not if it is inside own nation's A2/AD "bubble". And, of course, those "bubbles" of say Russia and Iraq differ dramatically. For starters, Russia has actual competent and powerful Air Force.
  18. JoeFour says:

    For those who may be interested in cogent analysis of the US Navy and, in particular, its deficiencies, take a visit to the following web site:

    http://navy-matters.blogspot.com/

    We may be at risk for much more than a bloody nose …

    Read More
  19. Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website
    @The Alarmist

    "The father of US nuclear Navy, Admiral Rickover, in his 1980 testimony to, I believe, House Armed Services Subcommittee stated that US Navy’s CVNs wouldn’t last 24 hours in case of serious war. I think good ole’ Hyman knew damn well what he was talking about."
     
    In a shooting match with an equally equipped global nuclear power, the surface fleet would be largely irrelevant. It really does exist to kick around the other kids on the playground.

    In a shooting match with an equally equipped global nuclear power, the surface fleet would be largely irrelevant.

    Not if it is inside own nation’s A2/AD “bubble”. And, of course, those “bubbles” of say Russia and Iraq differ dramatically. For starters, Russia has actual competent and powerful Air Force.

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  20. For those who have childish sophomoric views on the deadliness of the USN if it’s facing an enemy with more than an AK47: Google these two search terms…

    Millennium Challenge 2002; and
    Paul K Van Riper

    If those terms are new to you, you have no place in a discussion about the likely fate of a gigantic floating coffin in any engagement with a technologically-capable adversary.

    Just for fun, Google SS-NX-26 Yahkonts, too.

    You’re welcome.

    Read More
    • Agree: Max Payne
    • Replies: @Anonymous

    Google these two search terms…
     
    Couldn't you just say "search?"

    I must agree with Ron's latest pronouncements on comment decorum. Strong ethnic slurs like "g-word" can spoil otherwise great comments.
    , @Jim Christian
    Mean motor scooter that missile. However, saturate the environment with the simple and cheap Exocet and you can sink tin cans and cause plenty of havoc on carriers. Ask Britain. Hell, one of our ships got hit with one of Saddam's in the 80s if I recall.
  21. woodNfish says:
    @The Alarmist

    "The USS Enterprise could make 70 knots on the water to evade radar and was capable of outrunning its escort."
     
    Don't know where you get your info, but without Scotty on board to hold it together, the E could count on perhaps 45kts at best. Closer to 33 if one believes the official release.

    The “official” release is another government lie. My info is from sailors who served on her at different times and did not know each other. All of them have told me the Enterprise could create a rooster tail higher than the flight and the bow would come up out of the water. She could do this as long as she maintained a straight course, it they tried to turn everything not fastened down would go overboard.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Who cares if the Enterprise can go to 70 knots dummy. A missile can hit an airplane going several hundred miles an hour.

    You don't think a missile can hit something the size of an aircraft carrier going 70 knots?

    I think you watched too many WW2 movies where torpedoes skip along the water.
    , @Jim Christian
    Cee-Gar to Anonymous. You were misled, Fish. Carriers leave no rooster tail as high as the flight deck. They throw up a pretty good bow wave, but not to the flight deck, either. The dolphins surf that. But the stern is wide, flat, the screws maybe 20' deep. It doesn't "dig in" and go stern-low, bow high, those things don't work like that. It leaves a long signature of turbulence from the four screws and some foam. I can testify to 40 +-knots aboard Nimitz loaded to roughly 100,000 tons vs. 280,000 shaft horsepower. The vibrations of the four shafts, the screws and the harmonics of the hull going through the water are enormous when the ship is full-on, even if they're perfectly balanced. The vibes go throughout the ship, it feels like earthquake tremors under your feet and the rumble throughout makes for raised voices in the shops. CAN a carrier go 70? Nimitz-class carriers, no. They would be shaken to pieces. I traveled a bit aboard IKE and went on some trials in the Bay of Norfolk aboard CVN70, Vinson, IIRC and they were all the same, when a carrier deck is rockin' the vibes are too severe to make faster than 40-ish.

    Anonymous is also correct about missiles. In any case, in a missile environment, it only takes one. It's a tough hull, but that doesn't matter. I can tell you from being around when a plane lands too far right that air operations come to a rude halt when things go bad. Get a fire going on the flight deck or down below, the attention of the crew flips to damage control and fire fighting, there is no operating in that state except to save lives. Far out to sea, you have to get it cleaned up quickly if you have birds in the air or you can lose those for lack of fuel. Missile attack? National Command has decisions to make in that event. Perhaps not with this leadership, but it has been considered that an attack on a CVN is an attack on the U.S. land mass.

    Anyway, enough of this, I'm getting PTSD just thinking about it. Ha! Kidding.
  22. […] 25, 2016 “Information Clearing House” – ” Unz Review” –  The AngloZionst Empire’s propaganda machine, otherwise known as the corporate […]

    Read More
  23. uslabor says:
    @utu
    Russia should finally build the Doomsday Machine. They had it in Dr. Strangelove.

    “I wish we had one of them” was the American General’s (George C Scott) reply.

    Read More
  24. The official figure of 33 kts is indeed an understatement, but 70 kts is a fantasy. I’ll give you 45 just to be sporting.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Karl
    > I’ll give you 45 just to be sporting

    ships can REACH a max speed during a test run, but can't HOLD it for more than 15 minutes or so.

    It's about physics. The waste heat you have to pump into the seawater, goes up as the cube of the speed increase.
  25. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    NATO is sending more troops and arms near Poland and Romania, and etc.

    I think Russia need not worry.

    NATO has no intention of attacking Russia.

    Rather, US is afraid of the bug of national sovereignty spreading from Russia to other nations.

    So, it scaremongers about Russia, bribes local politicians, and make a big show of how NATO is protecting Eastern European nations from Big Bad Russian Bear.

    While it has the look of US-NATO aggression, the move is really driven by globalist fears of European nations choosing national sovereignty over Globalist Suzerainty.

    And the anti-Russian bogeyman is the only card US-NATO has left.

    Read More
    • Replies: @annamaria
    Scoremongering could produce some epically disastrous results. Like placing knives and guns around a house visited by children.
    , @neutral
    The bug of national sovereignty probably has more to do with mass third world immigration than a Russian invasion. Even the most paranoid Pole or Estonian surely would see Merkel type politicians as a greater threat to the nation than Putin.
  26. Randal says:

    The US/NATO could simply saturate Russian defenses with large numbers of missiles. Frankly, they can still do it, but this has now become much, much harder.

    This is one of the vital truths required to understand events in Syria, from the US and Russian military and political perspectives. In the end, the US does have escalation superiority and could wipe out the Russian forces there at a reasonable cost, in isolation. There are certainly voices in and around the US regime foolish and criminal enough to want to try, and a Clinton presidency might be among them, or might not be competent enough to see through them. That’s one of the reasons why any decent person must support Trump over Clinton.

    What prevents it is primarily the risk of the ultimate nightmare of uncontrolled escalation. And it is that risk, imo, that the Russians seek to increase with this reinforcement. By making the effort needed to suppress Russian air and other defences around Syria much greater, and in particular by increasing the naval component of those defences, they make the decision much harder for the US regime to take. Suppressing air defences on the ground in Syria is a much more containable exercise than attacking a substantial naval task force in the Med.

    We should be under no illusions, though (and I’m sure the Russians aren’t). The US regime is certainly ruthless, aggressive and foolish enough to do it if they thought they could be sure of getting away with it. I personally have little doubt that if it were not for the Russian nuclear deterrent, US bombs and missiles would have been falling on Russia years ago, as they did on Yugoslavia.

    And that means that the Russians have basically created their own no-fly zone over Syria and a US no-fly zone is now impossible to achieve.

    More accurately, they have created the military potential for a Russian/Syrian exclusion of US sphere air operations over Syria. The military potential is only one aspect though – it is the political aspect that is really more difficult. This was demonstrated by the US refusal to declare one in Syria when they easily had the military capability to do so, back in 2011-13.

    For sure, the Russians could declare such a zone, and probably successfully attack any US or Turkish etc airplanes violating it. Indeed, theirs would have the major political advantage over the hypothetical US one in 2011-13 of actually being legal. But what would they do when or if the US then pointedly sent aircraft into the zone? Then they would face the choice of escalate, with all the risks that entails, or face humiliation.

    Certainly the idea of the US imposing such a zone has been rendered implausible by the Russian deployment, probably since 2013 (that was one of the primary benefits of Russia’s decision to step up its involvement back then).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    Suppressing air defences on the ground in Syria is a much more containable exercise than attacking a substantial naval task force in the Med.
     
    Actually, it is exactly the other way around.
  27. Randal says:
    @Quartermaster
    This article, as so many do, over-hypes Russian capabilities relative to US capability. With the current idiots in power in DC, I have no doubt that US capability would be misused and the US end up with a bloody nose in any confrontation with Russia. So far, however, Obama hasn't shown much in the way of courage and so has made no real effort to stop what Russia appears to be trying to do in Syria.

    The people who are wanting Assad out, however, aren't showing much forethought. Syria under the Assads has been stable and predictable. With Assad out, that will end and we'll be facing a situation not too different than Libya which is the result of French, British and US stupidity. This is one time we can give thanks for the incompetence of the Obama maladministration.

    This article, as so many do, over-hypes Russian capabilities relative to US capability.

    No more so, I think, than the many, many articles hyping US capabilities.

    The honest truth is that nobody really knows how either US or Russian systems and forces would perform in the environment that a full scale war over Syria would create. Anyone who makes specific detailed claims, and claims to be doing more than speculating, is over-rating their own knowledge, if not simply lying. The most that can be asserted with any reasonable degree of confidence is that basic realities, such as the relatively massive US spend compared to Russia’s and the US sphere’s massive advantages in numbers, logistics and bases in the region, will be decisive, though at what cost is an unknown.

    The people who are wanting Assad out, however, aren’t showing much forethought. Syria under the Assads has been stable and predictable. With Assad out, that will end and we’ll be facing a situation not too different than Libya which is the result of French, British and US stupidity. This is one time we can give thanks for the incompetence of the Obama maladministration.

    It is certainly true that the destruction of the Libyan government and murder of Gaddafi was, literally, as criminally stupid and as stupidly criminal as was the invasion of Iraq, and also that the attack on Libya was almost as disastrous in its consequences. And it is certainly also true that the destruction of the Assad government would be similar, or more likely worse, on both counts, than the Libya debacle.

    However, it is not possible to evade the US regime’s (and in particular the Clinton part of it) shared responsibility for the Libyan idiocy. It did not and could not have happened without US approval and active complicity.

    Further, the foreign policy stupidity that underlies the Libyan attack and the (fortunately failed) attempt in 2013 to repeat the idiocy in Syria is by no means confined to the Democrats, still less the Obama regime. The events of the past 20 years have proved beyond honest dispute that foreign policy incompetence and immorality is a bipartisan problem in the US.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ace
    Jack Keane, Ralph Peters, and K.T. McFarland bang the Russia-is-evil drum every time they can on FoxNews. Fox laps it up. No more "fair and balanced" when the Russian "threat" is up for discussion.

    Charge!!!!
  28. Uh, thank you, Tom Clanski. Now you’ve got the war-tech nerds whirling like dervishes.

    And like many a Clancy novel, that piece could have been a lot shorter.

    Although if you’re going to continue in this vein, do please give us a factoid-filled rundown on the latest in Russian bomb-shelter technology and radiation treatment. That, at least, would be useful information at this stage in the game.

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  29. Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website
    @Randal

    The US/NATO could simply saturate Russian defenses with large numbers of missiles. Frankly, they can still do it, but this has now become much, much harder.
     
    This is one of the vital truths required to understand events in Syria, from the US and Russian military and political perspectives. In the end, the US does have escalation superiority and could wipe out the Russian forces there at a reasonable cost, in isolation. There are certainly voices in and around the US regime foolish and criminal enough to want to try, and a Clinton presidency might be among them, or might not be competent enough to see through them. That's one of the reasons why any decent person must support Trump over Clinton.

    What prevents it is primarily the risk of the ultimate nightmare of uncontrolled escalation. And it is that risk, imo, that the Russians seek to increase with this reinforcement. By making the effort needed to suppress Russian air and other defences around Syria much greater, and in particular by increasing the naval component of those defences, they make the decision much harder for the US regime to take. Suppressing air defences on the ground in Syria is a much more containable exercise than attacking a substantial naval task force in the Med.

    We should be under no illusions, though (and I'm sure the Russians aren't). The US regime is certainly ruthless, aggressive and foolish enough to do it if they thought they could be sure of getting away with it. I personally have little doubt that if it were not for the Russian nuclear deterrent, US bombs and missiles would have been falling on Russia years ago, as they did on Yugoslavia.

    And that means that the Russians have basically created their own no-fly zone over Syria and a US no-fly zone is now impossible to achieve.
     
    More accurately, they have created the military potential for a Russian/Syrian exclusion of US sphere air operations over Syria. The military potential is only one aspect though - it is the political aspect that is really more difficult. This was demonstrated by the US refusal to declare one in Syria when they easily had the military capability to do so, back in 2011-13.

    For sure, the Russians could declare such a zone, and probably successfully attack any US or Turkish etc airplanes violating it. Indeed, theirs would have the major political advantage over the hypothetical US one in 2011-13 of actually being legal. But what would they do when or if the US then pointedly sent aircraft into the zone? Then they would face the choice of escalate, with all the risks that entails, or face humiliation.

    Certainly the idea of the US imposing such a zone has been rendered implausible by the Russian deployment, probably since 2013 (that was one of the primary benefits of Russia's decision to step up its involvement back then).

    Suppressing air defences on the ground in Syria is a much more containable exercise than attacking a substantial naval task force in the Med.

    Actually, it is exactly the other way around.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal

    Actually, it is exactly the other way around.
     
    No, I don't think so. (We aren't weighing an attack on Syrian air defences versus an attack on the Russian naval task force in isolation - the attack on the Russian navy would be part of and an extension of the general attack on Syrian air defences).

    For sure, ships (subs apart) are a lot easier to find and target than mobile installations, although Syria is not Yugoslavia. But once you've started a naval battle, containing it is going to be a complete nightmare. Russia will use subs and other systems to defend itself by retaliating against US ships, and the geography of the fighting will balloon uncontrollably. Politically, for both sides the impact of losses and deaths outside Syria will be much harder to contain in media terms than losses within Syria.

    If on the other hand the campaign is limited mostly to assets and fighting in Syria itself, although there will be a temptation for Russia to target some regional air bases defensively or in retaliation, that's still a problem, escalation wise, but less of one imo. I doubt the Russians will target a US carrier unless their own ships come under fire first. Both sides will probably try to contain any fighting as much as possible, at least initially. There's no other sane course of action in the context of a war between two nuclear armed states.

  30. […] Making Sense of the Russian Task Force Off Syria by The Saker, a pro-Russian blogger. […]

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  31. If you believe the Harpy will win next week, you should buy Lockheed Martin shares today.

    Read More
  32. Randal says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    Suppressing air defences on the ground in Syria is a much more containable exercise than attacking a substantial naval task force in the Med.
     
    Actually, it is exactly the other way around.

    Actually, it is exactly the other way around.

    No, I don’t think so. (We aren’t weighing an attack on Syrian air defences versus an attack on the Russian naval task force in isolation – the attack on the Russian navy would be part of and an extension of the general attack on Syrian air defences).

    For sure, ships (subs apart) are a lot easier to find and target than mobile installations, although Syria is not Yugoslavia. But once you’ve started a naval battle, containing it is going to be a complete nightmare. Russia will use subs and other systems to defend itself by retaliating against US ships, and the geography of the fighting will balloon uncontrollably. Politically, for both sides the impact of losses and deaths outside Syria will be much harder to contain in media terms than losses within Syria.

    If on the other hand the campaign is limited mostly to assets and fighting in Syria itself, although there will be a temptation for Russia to target some regional air bases defensively or in retaliation, that’s still a problem, escalation wise, but less of one imo. I doubt the Russians will target a US carrier unless their own ships come under fire first. Both sides will probably try to contain any fighting as much as possible, at least initially. There’s no other sane course of action in the context of a war between two nuclear armed states.

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    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
    Then you have to give definition what "suppressing air defense on a ground in Syria" is.
  33. Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website
    @Randal

    Actually, it is exactly the other way around.
     
    No, I don't think so. (We aren't weighing an attack on Syrian air defences versus an attack on the Russian naval task force in isolation - the attack on the Russian navy would be part of and an extension of the general attack on Syrian air defences).

    For sure, ships (subs apart) are a lot easier to find and target than mobile installations, although Syria is not Yugoslavia. But once you've started a naval battle, containing it is going to be a complete nightmare. Russia will use subs and other systems to defend itself by retaliating against US ships, and the geography of the fighting will balloon uncontrollably. Politically, for both sides the impact of losses and deaths outside Syria will be much harder to contain in media terms than losses within Syria.

    If on the other hand the campaign is limited mostly to assets and fighting in Syria itself, although there will be a temptation for Russia to target some regional air bases defensively or in retaliation, that's still a problem, escalation wise, but less of one imo. I doubt the Russians will target a US carrier unless their own ships come under fire first. Both sides will probably try to contain any fighting as much as possible, at least initially. There's no other sane course of action in the context of a war between two nuclear armed states.

    Then you have to give definition what “suppressing air defense on a ground in Syria” is.

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    • Replies: @Randal
    Substantially preventing the effective use of air defences to deny access to airspace over Syria to US sphere air forces, would probably do. As Saker correctly observes, most likely "the US/NATO could simply saturate Russian defenses with large numbers of missiles".

    Without the Russian naval presence, imo that's a far simpler - I don't say easy or cost- or risk-free - task (politically, and in terms of containing the risk of escalation to some extent) than it is with the Russian naval presence, which changes the nature of the task fundamentally, over and above the straightforward increase in numbers and types of systems deployed.
  34. Randal says:
    @Andrei Martyanov
    Then you have to give definition what "suppressing air defense on a ground in Syria" is.

    Substantially preventing the effective use of air defences to deny access to airspace over Syria to US sphere air forces, would probably do. As Saker correctly observes, most likely “the US/NATO could simply saturate Russian defenses with large numbers of missiles”.

    Without the Russian naval presence, imo that’s a far simpler – I don’t say easy or cost- or risk-free – task (politically, and in terms of containing the risk of escalation to some extent) than it is with the Russian naval presence, which changes the nature of the task fundamentally, over and above the straightforward increase in numbers and types of systems deployed.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
    Basically you are talking about attack on namely Russian AD systems deployed in Syria. Omitting here inevitable major political ramifications of this step it has to be stressed again, that while not impenetrable and invincible, current Russian Air-Defense force present in Syria deploys strike and REB (ECM, ECCM) capabilities which are significantly more potent than what is deployed off the shore by Russian Navy. For starters, apart from proverbial S-300, 400 et all, Russia deploys, numbering in dozens, between Russian and Syrian forces highly mobile and well suited for repelling attacks by cruise missiles Pantsir 1S ZRAKs. Some "rumors" talk about latest Buk versions there too. More importantly, unlike it is the case with naval force, numbers of those could be significantly increased, together with redeployment of some numbers of aircraft specifically suited for AD functions such as Su-35, Su-30SMs, as well as deployment of MiG-31s (BM). And then comes this other thing--Iran and her willingness to cooperate with Russia, which, in case of direct attack on Russian assets in Syria, may make Iran very-very cooperative. But then again, I am getting here into the ramification business, which may include some very unusual conventional responses from Russia such as cruise missile strikes on NATO bases in Afghanistan. Reality of the Russian naval presence off Syria shore is to provide, among other things, a serious ASW capability THUS anticipating the first act of possible suicide decision--namely salvos of Tomahawk missiles from US Navy's SSNs, which, no doubt, are on patrol in Eastern med as we speak and US Navy has simply more of those than Russian Navy has. How many of those? Only Russian naval force knows approximately. Striking capabilities of Kuznetsov air-wing are really nothing special and will contribute only marginally to steady obliteration of "rebels". Russian Navy is there as a trip wire and as a screen primarily. Yes, still capable to make life for US and NATO's navies really miserable but, inevitably, outgunned in the open sea engagement. But then again, we are talking here about a number of contingencies but all of them have to count for one major factor--Russian ECM, ECCM capabilities in Syria are simply better than those combined US and NATO capabilities. It is Syria-based, land AD component of Russia, which makes even some maniacs think several times before doing stupid thing, not Russian Navy which is there in a support role.
  35. Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website
    @Randal
    Substantially preventing the effective use of air defences to deny access to airspace over Syria to US sphere air forces, would probably do. As Saker correctly observes, most likely "the US/NATO could simply saturate Russian defenses with large numbers of missiles".

    Without the Russian naval presence, imo that's a far simpler - I don't say easy or cost- or risk-free - task (politically, and in terms of containing the risk of escalation to some extent) than it is with the Russian naval presence, which changes the nature of the task fundamentally, over and above the straightforward increase in numbers and types of systems deployed.

    Basically you are talking about attack on namely Russian AD systems deployed in Syria. Omitting here inevitable major political ramifications of this step it has to be stressed again, that while not impenetrable and invincible, current Russian Air-Defense force present in Syria deploys strike and REB (ECM, ECCM) capabilities which are significantly more potent than what is deployed off the shore by Russian Navy. For starters, apart from proverbial S-300, 400 et all, Russia deploys, numbering in dozens, between Russian and Syrian forces highly mobile and well suited for repelling attacks by cruise missiles Pantsir 1S ZRAKs. Some “rumors” talk about latest Buk versions there too. More importantly, unlike it is the case with naval force, numbers of those could be significantly increased, together with redeployment of some numbers of aircraft specifically suited for AD functions such as Su-35, Su-30SMs, as well as deployment of MiG-31s (BM). And then comes this other thing–Iran and her willingness to cooperate with Russia, which, in case of direct attack on Russian assets in Syria, may make Iran very-very cooperative. But then again, I am getting here into the ramification business, which may include some very unusual conventional responses from Russia such as cruise missile strikes on NATO bases in Afghanistan. Reality of the Russian naval presence off Syria shore is to provide, among other things, a serious ASW capability THUS anticipating the first act of possible suicide decision–namely salvos of Tomahawk missiles from US Navy’s SSNs, which, no doubt, are on patrol in Eastern med as we speak and US Navy has simply more of those than Russian Navy has. How many of those? Only Russian naval force knows approximately. Striking capabilities of Kuznetsov air-wing are really nothing special and will contribute only marginally to steady obliteration of “rebels”. Russian Navy is there as a trip wire and as a screen primarily. Yes, still capable to make life for US and NATO’s navies really miserable but, inevitably, outgunned in the open sea engagement. But then again, we are talking here about a number of contingencies but all of them have to count for one major factor–Russian ECM, ECCM capabilities in Syria are simply better than those combined US and NATO capabilities. It is Syria-based, land AD component of Russia, which makes even some maniacs think several times before doing stupid thing, not Russian Navy which is there in a support role.

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  36. Blacktail says:

    There are three critical errors in this article.

    The first is that the Aircraft Carrier is invalidated by the possibility of a massive saturation attack. An instantaneous onslaught of hundreds of cruise missiles would sink ANY warship, save for Submarines — and for reasons that will be clarified further below, a navy reliant on Submarines is useless. Moreover, what else will be expected to survive upwards of 100 direct hits by cruise missiles? Air bases? Missile silos? Just because it’s possible to lose something doesn’t mean it has no value.

    Second, the Soviet Navy designated the Kiev and Kuznetsov classes as “Aircraft Carrying Cruisers” rather than Aircraft Carriers for political reasons, not because of any attributes these vessels have other than carrying many aircraft. Aircraft Carriers in the USSR were associated with two things, and two things only — the West, and Stalin. That gave them a reputation of being “politically incorrect” so deeply-entrenched that when a compromise was finally struck to allow the Soviet Navy to acquire Carriers, no one wanted to call them that.

    Also, there is an additional reason why the term “Aircraft Carrying Cruisers” was used instead of Aircraft Carriers; the Black Sea Fleet. In order to use Carriers in that sea, the Soviet Navy had to send them through the Bosporus Strait, which are Turkish waters. Problem is, the Turkish government forbade any Carriers from ever passing through these waters. This is the main reason why the Russian Navy STILL uses that euphemism, and it works; the Kiev class Aircraft Carriers were continuously allowed through the Bosporus Strait ever since they were commissioned.

    Third, the reason why the Soviet Navy ended up building the Kuznetsov is because they were screwed if they didn’t. They tried to build a virtually all-Submarine fleet, only to discover the hard way that subs are useless as instruments of foreign policy; a Carrier operating off a given country sends a strong message to it, but a Submarine must remain invisible at all times. They tried to compensate with Cruisers, but they were less intimidating and clearly less powerful than any US Fleet Carrier in service during the Cold War.

    It also should have been obvious to the Soviet Navy that an excessive emphasis on Submarines was a losing proposition for a shooting war as well. Germany proved that point in actual combat — twice. Also, the nations which held-out the longest and fared best in naval warfare during World War 2 were those that invested heavily in Cruisers, Carriers and Battleships (i.e., the US, Great Britain, and Japan). In short, without Carriers, you aren’t a world power, and that lesson shouldn’t have come as a surprise to anyone in the US when the Russian Navy sent the Kuznetsov to Syria — the US Navy has made this truth evident since at least the 1930s.

    Also, the P-700 Granit launchers were removed from the Kuznetsov years ago, and the hatches were welded shut. The freed-up space and displacement were applied to enlarge the hanger decks and stores.

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  37. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @woodNfish
    The "official" release is another government lie. My info is from sailors who served on her at different times and did not know each other. All of them have told me the Enterprise could create a rooster tail higher than the flight and the bow would come up out of the water. She could do this as long as she maintained a straight course, it they tried to turn everything not fastened down would go overboard.

    Who cares if the Enterprise can go to 70 knots dummy. A missile can hit an airplane going several hundred miles an hour.

    You don’t think a missile can hit something the size of an aircraft carrier going 70 knots?

    I think you watched too many WW2 movies where torpedoes skip along the water.

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  38. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Kratoklastes
    For those who have childish sophomoric views on the deadliness of the USN if it's facing an enemy with more than an AK47: Google these two search terms...

    Millennium Challenge 2002; and
    Paul K Van Riper

    If those terms are new to you, you have no place in a discussion about the likely fate of a gigantic floating coffin in any engagement with a technologically-capable adversary.

    Just for fun, Google SS-NX-26 Yahkonts, too.

    You're welcome.

    Google these two search terms…

    Couldn’t you just say “search?”

    I must agree with Ron’s latest pronouncements on comment decorum. Strong ethnic slurs like “g-word” can spoil otherwise great comments.

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  39. @woodNfish
    One of the reasons our carriers are so vulnerable is because we have allowed treaties to cripple them. The USS Enterprise could make 70 knots on the water to evade radar and was capable of outrunning its escort. Treaties have made it illegal for carriers to go that fast anymore and the new ones are basically dumbed down sitting ducks. We have allowed that to happen with plenty of other defensive and offensive technology. It is past time to pull our resources home, cut the cost and size of our military and to void all treaties that prevent us from creating and maintaining the highest technological standards for our own national defense, and no one else's.

    I spent 76-81 in an A6E squadron aboard Nimitz and while advertised speed was always 30+knots, I figure we could do 70 only downhill, wind to the stern. Fair enough?

    Seriously, it probably could do 40 or 45 knots, and did, they are faster than their surface escorts when it’s time to scoot. But even new the thing vibrated hideously throughout making that kind of speed. When Nimitz left the Med in Jan. 1980 (to go not rescue the Iranian hostages) we went around the African horn and then North into the Indian Ocean. They didn’t run carriers through Suez back then (risk aversion). We left our escorts behind in the Med and got new ones from the 7th fleet except it was said we had fast attack subs with speed screws escorting us for that run. It was damned speedy over a good distance with only the obligatory stop at the equator to turn us pollywogs into trusty Shellbacks. We didn’t fly on that run until we got up to the IO but we stayed well away from the Gulf and the Iranian and Saudi coasts, never approaching the Iranian coast until that fateful night in April. They got in fairly close enough to see land, the helos launched and we hauled ass back South again.

    Carriers are fast, they’re a lot of fun if you’re young, stupid and on the flight deck, sheer drudgery if you’re not. And, their time is about up. Missiles, missiles. They are perhaps most useful as support islands near Tsunami/Earthquake scenarios with their ability to fly victims, create enormous quantities of fresh water and provide logistical support, medical assistance and evacuation. I can’t imagine, except under a suicide mission that they are even considered part of the SIOP anymore and again, missiles. Absent a missile threat however, I’ll never understand why, if Syria was so important to bomb, we haven’t had a carrier running 24/7 off the Syrian coast of the Med. Instead, long flights out of the Gulf. Maybe they really can’t “man” them anymore and get them to sea. The female factor is a real, but unspoken problem for them.

    Now? Mostly, looking at the Navy Times, it looks like the carriers are mostly dockside office buildings for single mothers to have a job. We don’t seem to ever have more than two of them operating. If they ever consider the truth of the matter, a lot of jobs disappear overnight if they scrap the carriers, the air wings, the bases and piers.

    And still, there’s Nimitz, still sailing, home ported in Bremerton, Wa.

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  40. Bruce says:

    I’d guess the Russian Navy’s first priority in Syria is defending the Russian Navy base in Syria. The task force looks excellent for that purpose. Russia has a long-term interest in having a Navy base somewhere in the Eastern Med to keep an eye on the straits between Greece and Turkey. If they put the base in Greece or Turkey, they’d buy into the Greek-Turk feud. If they put it in Israel, the pushback from the US would not be worth it for Israel. They’d like Egypt, but we pay Egypt pretty well to keep Russia away from Suez. So, Syria.
    How far they will buy into Syria’s civil war, aside from defending their base? I don’t see them going hog-wild. Putin didn’t conquer Ukrainia, he grabbed the area around Russia’s biggest Navy base, chock-full of ethnic Russians. I’d expect enough first-world military supplies going to Assad to make sure he can hold what he’s still got.

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  41. Greg Bacon says: • Website

    Russia has been rather discreet about what it has up its sleeve, military-wise, but not the USA, which likes to showcase its weapons by bombing the holy crap out of some 3rd world nation to help the Lockheeds and Boeings to sell more weapons.

    That Russian jet that did a flyby of the USS Donald Cook and used EW to neuter that ship was impressive, and I bet the ‘Rooskies’ have something similar to be used on our stealth jets, only they won’t have water to float on when disabled by EW.

    Then there’s the Russian drone subs that have been shadowing the US carrier fleets.

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  42. @utu
    Russia should finally build the Doomsday Machine. They had it in Dr. Strangelove.

    Please note that Dr. Strangelove was not a documentary. It was a fiction.

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  43. mcohen says:

    was listening to this today….van morrison at his best.

    [MORE]

    And I’m caught one more time
    Up on Cyprus Avenue
    And I’m caught one more time
    Up on Cyprus Avenue
    And I’m conquered in a car seat
    Not a thing that I can do
    I may go crazy
    Before that mansion on the hill
    I may go crazy
    Before that mansion on the hill
    But my heart keeps beating faster
    And my feet can’t keep still
    And all the little girls rhyme something
    On the way back home from school
    And all the little girls rhyme something
    On the way back home from school
    And the leaves fall one by one by one by one
    Call the autumn time a fool
    Yeah baby my tongue gets tied
    Every every every time I try to speak
    My tongue gets tied
    Every time I try to speak
    And my inside shakes just like a leaf on a tree
    I think I’ll go on by the river with my cherry cherry wine
    I believe I’ll go walking by the railroad with my cherry cherry wine
    If I pass the rumbling station where the lonesome engine drivers pine
    And wait a minute, yonder comes my lady
    Rainbow ribbons in her hair
    Yonder comes my lady

    Read More
  44. @woodNfish
    The "official" release is another government lie. My info is from sailors who served on her at different times and did not know each other. All of them have told me the Enterprise could create a rooster tail higher than the flight and the bow would come up out of the water. She could do this as long as she maintained a straight course, it they tried to turn everything not fastened down would go overboard.

    Cee-Gar to Anonymous. You were misled, Fish. Carriers leave no rooster tail as high as the flight deck. They throw up a pretty good bow wave, but not to the flight deck, either. The dolphins surf that. But the stern is wide, flat, the screws maybe 20′ deep. It doesn’t “dig in” and go stern-low, bow high, those things don’t work like that. It leaves a long signature of turbulence from the four screws and some foam. I can testify to 40 +-knots aboard Nimitz loaded to roughly 100,000 tons vs. 280,000 shaft horsepower. The vibrations of the four shafts, the screws and the harmonics of the hull going through the water are enormous when the ship is full-on, even if they’re perfectly balanced. The vibes go throughout the ship, it feels like earthquake tremors under your feet and the rumble throughout makes for raised voices in the shops. CAN a carrier go 70? Nimitz-class carriers, no. They would be shaken to pieces. I traveled a bit aboard IKE and went on some trials in the Bay of Norfolk aboard CVN70, Vinson, IIRC and they were all the same, when a carrier deck is rockin’ the vibes are too severe to make faster than 40-ish.

    Anonymous is also correct about missiles. In any case, in a missile environment, it only takes one. It’s a tough hull, but that doesn’t matter. I can tell you from being around when a plane lands too far right that air operations come to a rude halt when things go bad. Get a fire going on the flight deck or down below, the attention of the crew flips to damage control and fire fighting, there is no operating in that state except to save lives. Far out to sea, you have to get it cleaned up quickly if you have birds in the air or you can lose those for lack of fuel. Missile attack? National Command has decisions to make in that event. Perhaps not with this leadership, but it has been considered that an attack on a CVN is an attack on the U.S. land mass.

    Anyway, enough of this, I’m getting PTSD just thinking about it. Ha! Kidding.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    I don't really understand the distinction about an attack on an aircraft carrier being considered the same as an attack on US soil.

    No one's going to attack a US carrier unless it is already at war with America. So why bother worrying about semantics of attacking US soil when you are defending your country?
  45. @Kratoklastes
    For those who have childish sophomoric views on the deadliness of the USN if it's facing an enemy with more than an AK47: Google these two search terms...

    Millennium Challenge 2002; and
    Paul K Van Riper

    If those terms are new to you, you have no place in a discussion about the likely fate of a gigantic floating coffin in any engagement with a technologically-capable adversary.

    Just for fun, Google SS-NX-26 Yahkonts, too.

    You're welcome.

    Mean motor scooter that missile. However, saturate the environment with the simple and cheap Exocet and you can sink tin cans and cause plenty of havoc on carriers. Ask Britain. Hell, one of our ships got hit with one of Saddam’s in the 80s if I recall.

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  46. Che Guava says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    The USS Enterprise could make 70 knots on the water to evade radar and was capable of outrunning its escort.
     
    No, how can you say such things?! USS Enterprise was capable of 170 knots and had a warp drive. She also could fly into space. There is an enormous library of documentaries about it, I believe it has a title of "Star Trek". All events there are well-documented and did happen.

    Agree with the LOL. Well documented in an animated drama, the battleship Yamato is raised from its watery grave, refitted with a warp drive or something, and has many adventures in spaaace!

    It is all true, but is yet to happen.

    Forget the English-language title, where the words have no correspondence with the original. Something like Starship Troopers, I think that the dubbed and re-edited Space Battleship Yamato was ‘Starship Soldiers’ or similar.

    Not that Verhoeven’s movie was not great! Wonderful sarcasm, and historical humour, the Mobile Infantry uniforms based on Wermacht SS and the Strategy Corps on Bolsheviks via the Gestapo.

    Even makes me cry, the tale of Dizzy and Rico, when she is dying and says ‘At least I got to have you.’, never fails to raise a tear.

    Appreciate the Saker’s articles here, but this becomes a pissing contest.

    Most of you have no idea, I am quite sure that I had, for example, a higher level of clearance than Quartermaster.

    People who don’t know much at all, say a lot.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JosephB
    "Forget the English-language title, where the words have no correspondence with the original. Something like Starship Troopers, I think that the dubbed and re-edited Space Battleship Yamato was ‘Starship Soldiers’ or similar."

    I'm cringing as my childhood is destroyed. The US adaptation was called "Star Blazers." It was a gateway anime for many of my generation.

    "Startship troopers" is either:
    1. An excellent read by Heinlein on the philosophy and ethics of war, or
    2. A god-awful movie adaptation that should only be recommended to those you hate.
  47. annamaria says:
    @TheJester
    I recall a reference in which US naval strategists predicted during the Cold War that US carriers would last about 30 minutes in a conflict with the Soviet Union. It didn't matter whether they were in port or out of port. In short, like the US Marine Corps, they are force projections/enforcers to discipline a colonial empire, nothing more.

    The US and the Russians (as a legacy of the Soviet era) also have different approaches to battle. The US assumes that it will completely dominate rebellious colonial miscreants by orders of magnitude, similar to the British in conflict with the Sudanese Mahdi in the Battle of Omdurman in 1898. The US fights loose congregations of goat herders and Third-World armies without navies or air forces ... and it is averse to casualties of any kind. Lose a few men or a few jets and the US is ready to pull out of a conflict. The Russia approach is different: Massive violence in pursuit of heartfelt political and military objectives to resolve conflict as quickly as possible.

    I believe that Russia has indeed drawn a line in the sand in Syria for a simple reason. The US is already preparing the ground for a Caliphate in Afghanistan in order to renew the original purpose for creating and funding Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden ... and that is to attack the soft underbelly of Russia through its Islamic republics. The Russians have learned their lesson in Chechnya and will not allow the United States to again take the fight to Russia proper.

    A wrap up by Putin on the “drawn line:” http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/10/30/president-putin-asks-us-to-stop-provoking-russia/
    Quite a contrast to the US-officials style of mental raping the listeners.

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  48. annamaria says:
    @Anon
    NATO is sending more troops and arms near Poland and Romania, and etc.

    I think Russia need not worry.

    NATO has no intention of attacking Russia.

    Rather, US is afraid of the bug of national sovereignty spreading from Russia to other nations.

    So, it scaremongers about Russia, bribes local politicians, and make a big show of how NATO is protecting Eastern European nations from Big Bad Russian Bear.

    While it has the look of US-NATO aggression, the move is really driven by globalist fears of European nations choosing national sovereignty over Globalist Suzerainty.

    And the anti-Russian bogeyman is the only card US-NATO has left.

    Scoremongering could produce some epically disastrous results. Like placing knives and guns around a house visited by children.

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  49. Sherman says:

    Hey Andrei

    If Russia is so strong and the US so weak why did you move to Florida?

    Sherm

    Read More
    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    You aren't aware of any weather differences between Russia and Florida?

    You weren't aware that Florida has no state income tax?

    Yeah, it's a complete mystery why someone would move from Russia to Florida. The only explanation must be that Russia is a weak and/or evil country. Your analysis is insightful.
  50. Che Guava says:

    Re. My earlier comment, the comments seem to have drawn several from fellow former mariners who seem to know what they are talking about. Not being ex-USN, never been on a huge flat top, you have cinemas aboard, the nuke subs are the same! Luxury.

    Still, there is always a fraternity. Those of us who have experience at sea have a different experience to those to those who never had it.

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  51. @Sherman
    Hey Andrei

    If Russia is so strong and the US so weak why did you move to Florida?

    Sherm

    You aren’t aware of any weather differences between Russia and Florida?

    You weren’t aware that Florida has no state income tax?

    Yeah, it’s a complete mystery why someone would move from Russia to Florida. The only explanation must be that Russia is a weak and/or evil country. Your analysis is insightful.

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  52. JosephB says:
    @Che Guava
    Agree with the LOL. Well documented in an animated drama, the battleship Yamato is raised from its watery grave, refitted with a warp drive or something, and has many adventures in spaaace!

    It is all true, but is yet to happen.

    Forget the English-language title, where the words have no correspondence with the original. Something like Starship Troopers, I think that the dubbed and re-edited Space Battleship Yamato was 'Starship Soldiers' or similar.

    Not that Verhoeven's movie was not great! Wonderful sarcasm, and historical humour, the Mobile Infantry uniforms based on Wermacht SS and the Strategy Corps on Bolsheviks via the Gestapo.

    Even makes me cry, the tale of Dizzy and Rico, when she is dying and says 'At least I got to have you.', never fails to raise a tear.

    Appreciate the Saker's articles here, but this becomes a pissing contest.

    Most of you have no idea, I am quite sure that I had, for example, a higher level of clearance than Quartermaster.

    People who don't know much at all, say a lot.

    “Forget the English-language title, where the words have no correspondence with the original. Something like Starship Troopers, I think that the dubbed and re-edited Space Battleship Yamato was ‘Starship Soldiers’ or similar.”

    I’m cringing as my childhood is destroyed. The US adaptation was called “Star Blazers.” It was a gateway anime for many of my generation.

    “Startship troopers” is either:
    1. An excellent read by Heinlein on the philosophy and ethics of war, or
    2. A god-awful movie adaptation that should only be recommended to those you hate.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Che Guava
    Joseph B.,

    Thanks for the reminder of the English title of somewhat chopped up Yamato.

    As for the movie of Starship Troopers, it will always be contentious, I love it, always will, you don't, won't try to convert you, but there is much pertinent satire in it! Great SFX! Barbie world principals! Michael Ironside, etc.

    Haven't read the novel since I was a child, when only just up to that level in learning English, must reading it again.
    , @Randal

    “Startship troopers” is either:
    1. An excellent read by Heinlein on the philosophy and ethics of war, or
    2. A god-awful movie adaptation that should only be recommended to those you hate.
     
    Exactly so, except I'd say "of war, government and personal responsibility".
  53. Blosky says:
    @Quartermaster
    This article, as so many do, over-hypes Russian capabilities relative to US capability. With the current idiots in power in DC, I have no doubt that US capability would be misused and the US end up with a bloody nose in any confrontation with Russia. So far, however, Obama hasn't shown much in the way of courage and so has made no real effort to stop what Russia appears to be trying to do in Syria.

    The people who are wanting Assad out, however, aren't showing much forethought. Syria under the Assads has been stable and predictable. With Assad out, that will end and we'll be facing a situation not too different than Libya which is the result of French, British and US stupidity. This is one time we can give thanks for the incompetence of the Obama maladministration.

    Maybe, but look what was done to the USS Cole.

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  54. neutral says:
    @Anon
    NATO is sending more troops and arms near Poland and Romania, and etc.

    I think Russia need not worry.

    NATO has no intention of attacking Russia.

    Rather, US is afraid of the bug of national sovereignty spreading from Russia to other nations.

    So, it scaremongers about Russia, bribes local politicians, and make a big show of how NATO is protecting Eastern European nations from Big Bad Russian Bear.

    While it has the look of US-NATO aggression, the move is really driven by globalist fears of European nations choosing national sovereignty over Globalist Suzerainty.

    And the anti-Russian bogeyman is the only card US-NATO has left.

    The bug of national sovereignty probably has more to do with mass third world immigration than a Russian invasion. Even the most paranoid Pole or Estonian surely would see Merkel type politicians as a greater threat to the nation than Putin.

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  55. utu says:

    What Can Russia’s Admiral Kuznetsov Aircraft Carrier Do in the Mediterranean?
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/1.749859

    http://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/1.749859

    “According to a report last week in the Moscow Times, there is disagreement within the Russian defense establishment over the need for investing billions in aircraft carriers. Traditionally, the role of the Russian fleet is to protect the homelands sea approaches, not operate far from its borders. By this strategy, an aircraft carrier is an expensive and superfluous status symbol. The decision to continue operating Admiral Kuznetsov and to deploy it to the Mediterranean is a victory for those in Moscow who are in favor of maintaining all the super-power trappings, even if their tactical and strategic use are limited.”

    Read More
  56. Karl says:
    @The Alarmist
    The official figure of 33 kts is indeed an understatement, but 70 kts is a fantasy. I'll give you 45 just to be sporting.

    > I’ll give you 45 just to be sporting

    ships can REACH a max speed during a test run, but can’t HOLD it for more than 15 minutes or so.

    It’s about physics. The waste heat you have to pump into the seawater, goes up as the cube of the speed increase.

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  57. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Jim Christian
    Cee-Gar to Anonymous. You were misled, Fish. Carriers leave no rooster tail as high as the flight deck. They throw up a pretty good bow wave, but not to the flight deck, either. The dolphins surf that. But the stern is wide, flat, the screws maybe 20' deep. It doesn't "dig in" and go stern-low, bow high, those things don't work like that. It leaves a long signature of turbulence from the four screws and some foam. I can testify to 40 +-knots aboard Nimitz loaded to roughly 100,000 tons vs. 280,000 shaft horsepower. The vibrations of the four shafts, the screws and the harmonics of the hull going through the water are enormous when the ship is full-on, even if they're perfectly balanced. The vibes go throughout the ship, it feels like earthquake tremors under your feet and the rumble throughout makes for raised voices in the shops. CAN a carrier go 70? Nimitz-class carriers, no. They would be shaken to pieces. I traveled a bit aboard IKE and went on some trials in the Bay of Norfolk aboard CVN70, Vinson, IIRC and they were all the same, when a carrier deck is rockin' the vibes are too severe to make faster than 40-ish.

    Anonymous is also correct about missiles. In any case, in a missile environment, it only takes one. It's a tough hull, but that doesn't matter. I can tell you from being around when a plane lands too far right that air operations come to a rude halt when things go bad. Get a fire going on the flight deck or down below, the attention of the crew flips to damage control and fire fighting, there is no operating in that state except to save lives. Far out to sea, you have to get it cleaned up quickly if you have birds in the air or you can lose those for lack of fuel. Missile attack? National Command has decisions to make in that event. Perhaps not with this leadership, but it has been considered that an attack on a CVN is an attack on the U.S. land mass.

    Anyway, enough of this, I'm getting PTSD just thinking about it. Ha! Kidding.

    I don’t really understand the distinction about an attack on an aircraft carrier being considered the same as an attack on US soil.

    No one’s going to attack a US carrier unless it is already at war with America. So why bother worrying about semantics of attacking US soil when you are defending your country?

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  58. nsa says:

    The maximum practical speed of any displacement (non-planing) hull is limited by the wavelength of the boat’s bow wave becoming equal to the boat length. This includes aircraft carriers and their large heavy displacement hulls. The formula: Vhull = 1.34 x square root of the waterline length.
    The USS Enterprise (CV-6) has a waterline length of 770′. 1.34 x sq root of 770 = 37 knots. Beyond this speed, massive amounts of energy must be added to gain small increases in speed. Even if the above effect (pushing heavy water out of the way) did not exist, speed increases would be limited by the basic law of physics: E = 1/2 M (Vsquared). Doubling the power of the vessels engines would only result in about a 40% increase in speed i.e. the square root of 2 – 1 = 1.414 – 1 = .414 =41.4%.

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  59. Ace says:
    @Randal

    This article, as so many do, over-hypes Russian capabilities relative to US capability.
     
    No more so, I think, than the many, many articles hyping US capabilities.

    The honest truth is that nobody really knows how either US or Russian systems and forces would perform in the environment that a full scale war over Syria would create. Anyone who makes specific detailed claims, and claims to be doing more than speculating, is over-rating their own knowledge, if not simply lying. The most that can be asserted with any reasonable degree of confidence is that basic realities, such as the relatively massive US spend compared to Russia's and the US sphere's massive advantages in numbers, logistics and bases in the region, will be decisive, though at what cost is an unknown.

    The people who are wanting Assad out, however, aren’t showing much forethought. Syria under the Assads has been stable and predictable. With Assad out, that will end and we’ll be facing a situation not too different than Libya which is the result of French, British and US stupidity. This is one time we can give thanks for the incompetence of the Obama maladministration.
     
    It is certainly true that the destruction of the Libyan government and murder of Gaddafi was, literally, as criminally stupid and as stupidly criminal as was the invasion of Iraq, and also that the attack on Libya was almost as disastrous in its consequences. And it is certainly also true that the destruction of the Assad government would be similar, or more likely worse, on both counts, than the Libya debacle.

    However, it is not possible to evade the US regime's (and in particular the Clinton part of it) shared responsibility for the Libyan idiocy. It did not and could not have happened without US approval and active complicity.

    Further, the foreign policy stupidity that underlies the Libyan attack and the (fortunately failed) attempt in 2013 to repeat the idiocy in Syria is by no means confined to the Democrats, still less the Obama regime. The events of the past 20 years have proved beyond honest dispute that foreign policy incompetence and immorality is a bipartisan problem in the US.

    Jack Keane, Ralph Peters, and K.T. McFarland bang the Russia-is-evil drum every time they can on FoxNews. Fox laps it up. No more “fair and balanced” when the Russian “threat” is up for discussion.

    Charge!!!!

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  60. Che Guava says:
    @JosephB
    "Forget the English-language title, where the words have no correspondence with the original. Something like Starship Troopers, I think that the dubbed and re-edited Space Battleship Yamato was ‘Starship Soldiers’ or similar."

    I'm cringing as my childhood is destroyed. The US adaptation was called "Star Blazers." It was a gateway anime for many of my generation.

    "Startship troopers" is either:
    1. An excellent read by Heinlein on the philosophy and ethics of war, or
    2. A god-awful movie adaptation that should only be recommended to those you hate.

    Joseph B.,

    Thanks for the reminder of the English title of somewhat chopped up Yamato.

    As for the movie of Starship Troopers, it will always be contentious, I love it, always will, you don’t, won’t try to convert you, but there is much pertinent satire in it! Great SFX! Barbie world principals! Michael Ironside, etc.

    Haven’t read the novel since I was a child, when only just up to that level in learning English, must reading it again.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    Great SFX! Barbie world principals! Michael Ironside, etc.
     
    Michael Ironside simply doesn't have weak performances. A cult actor. Well, Verhoeven is at his best in Starship Troopers. Dina Meyer as Diz kills, both as actress and as a beautiful woman, this currently real life scarecrow talent-less Denise Richards.
  61. Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website
    @Che Guava
    Joseph B.,

    Thanks for the reminder of the English title of somewhat chopped up Yamato.

    As for the movie of Starship Troopers, it will always be contentious, I love it, always will, you don't, won't try to convert you, but there is much pertinent satire in it! Great SFX! Barbie world principals! Michael Ironside, etc.

    Haven't read the novel since I was a child, when only just up to that level in learning English, must reading it again.

    Great SFX! Barbie world principals! Michael Ironside, etc.

    Michael Ironside simply doesn’t have weak performances. A cult actor. Well, Verhoeven is at his best in Starship Troopers. Dina Meyer as Diz kills, both as actress and as a beautiful woman, this currently real life scarecrow talent-less Denise Richards.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Che Guava
    Hello, Smoothie, thx.

    I don't much keep track of celebs,

    Michael Ironside simply doesn’t have weak performances.
     
    but Starship Troopers was likely his best, have seen several others.

    Dina Meyer as Diz kills, both as actress and as a beautiful woman,
     
    absolute 100%, i am not joking when I say her last scene makes me cry.

    I can't really see why Heinlein fans hate it, it was a great take, there will never be a better one.
  62. Helen says: • Website

    Russians this, Russians that… America and Russia will always be enemies. That’s inevitable because each of them wants to rule the world. I can’t decide who’s the worst…
    Don’t know anything about Russian weapons, but American ones are not as great as they want to show: https://brutalist.press/posts/230/weapon-chart-of-american-stupidity-part-6?spread_id=8cb00cba-aae1-4105-b36a-42294c9b95a0. A great list of American weapon failures!

    Read More
  63. Che Guava says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    Great SFX! Barbie world principals! Michael Ironside, etc.
     
    Michael Ironside simply doesn't have weak performances. A cult actor. Well, Verhoeven is at his best in Starship Troopers. Dina Meyer as Diz kills, both as actress and as a beautiful woman, this currently real life scarecrow talent-less Denise Richards.

    Hello, Smoothie, thx.

    I don’t much keep track of celebs,

    Michael Ironside simply doesn’t have weak performances.

    but Starship Troopers was likely his best, have seen several others.

    Dina Meyer as Diz kills, both as actress and as a beautiful woman,

    absolute 100%, i am not joking when I say her last scene makes me cry.

    I can’t really see why Heinlein fans hate it, it was a great take, there will never be a better one.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal

    I can’t really see why Heinlein fans hate it, it was a great take, there will never be a better one.
     
    I hated the film on sight, whereas I'd rated the book as excellent. Nor was it a matter of agreeing with it everywhere politically - I put Haldeman's Forever War on a par with it, and that has mostly profoundly different messages. My immediate reaction to the film was that the film makers had taken a book with interesting and sophisticated, adult political and moral themes, and produced a juvenile film that mis-portrayed it as a farcical piece of comedy fascist propaganda.

    However it's nearly two decades since I saw the film and even longer since I read the book, so I don't recall enough to make the case in detail. However, I looked at the Wikipedia pages for both to refresh my memory before commenting and found the following:

    Christopher Weuve, an admirer of Heinlein, has said that the society depicted in the film showed only a superficial resemblance to the society that Heinlein describes in his book. Weuve summed up his critique of the film as follows. First, "while the Terran Federation in Starship Troopers is specifically stated to be a representative democracy, Ed Neumeier decided to make the government into a fascist state
     
    Spot on, imo. And, sure enough;

    In the DVD commentary, Verhoeven noted that the divergence was intentional as he disagreed deeply with the political tilt of the original novel.[37] Verhoeven had not read the book; he attempted to do so after he bought the rights to embellish his existing film, but found that he disliked it: "I stopped after two chapters because it was so boring... It is really quite a bad book. I asked Ed Neumeier to tell me the story because I just couldn't read the thing."
     
    It didn't help that in the book Heinlein had made a plausible effort to extrapolate the effects on combat techniques of very advanced military technology, whereas in the film the troopers in question flew to the combat theatre in spaceships and drop pods, but then seemed to be fighting a particularly ludicrous form of early C20th warfare with added comedy massed charges in the open.
  64. hunor says:

    all of the above is wrong. the Russian deployment got nothing to do with Syria. the kuznetsov group designed to play the role of the “300″ and shut down the eastern mediteranian sea, mainly the Bosporus, and trap the nato’s forward assets in the black sea. they will do the something in the north at the Baltic sea. nato’s land bases in Romania, Poland will be dealt with iskander missiles. if hostilities breaks out nato will lose its forward assets in thirty minutes, with conventional arms. yes the nato can overwhelm the kuznetsov group, but by that time there is no forward assets. then the conflict is not on the Russian fatherland. the fatherland can be reached only with long range arms, but Russia can respond likewise, so the nato’s numeric advantage is nullified. the nato napoleons clearly see what the ruskies doing, and nothing they can do about it except media hysteria and refusal of request for refueling the Russian ships. if there is a conflict it will not be decided between the f22, and s 400, it is about strategic positioning, and that is already underway.

    Read More
  65. Randal says:
    @Che Guava
    Hello, Smoothie, thx.

    I don't much keep track of celebs,

    Michael Ironside simply doesn’t have weak performances.
     
    but Starship Troopers was likely his best, have seen several others.

    Dina Meyer as Diz kills, both as actress and as a beautiful woman,
     
    absolute 100%, i am not joking when I say her last scene makes me cry.

    I can't really see why Heinlein fans hate it, it was a great take, there will never be a better one.

    I can’t really see why Heinlein fans hate it, it was a great take, there will never be a better one.

    I hated the film on sight, whereas I’d rated the book as excellent. Nor was it a matter of agreeing with it everywhere politically – I put Haldeman’s Forever War on a par with it, and that has mostly profoundly different messages. My immediate reaction to the film was that the film makers had taken a book with interesting and sophisticated, adult political and moral themes, and produced a juvenile film that mis-portrayed it as a farcical piece of comedy fascist propaganda.

    However it’s nearly two decades since I saw the film and even longer since I read the book, so I don’t recall enough to make the case in detail. However, I looked at the Wikipedia pages for both to refresh my memory before commenting and found the following:

    Christopher Weuve, an admirer of Heinlein, has said that the society depicted in the film showed only a superficial resemblance to the society that Heinlein describes in his book. Weuve summed up his critique of the film as follows. First, “while the Terran Federation in Starship Troopers is specifically stated to be a representative democracy, Ed Neumeier decided to make the government into a fascist state

    Spot on, imo. And, sure enough;

    In the DVD commentary, Verhoeven noted that the divergence was intentional as he disagreed deeply with the political tilt of the original novel.[37] Verhoeven had not read the book; he attempted to do so after he bought the rights to embellish his existing film, but found that he disliked it: “I stopped after two chapters because it was so boring… It is really quite a bad book. I asked Ed Neumeier to tell me the story because I just couldn’t read the thing.”

    It didn’t help that in the book Heinlein had made a plausible effort to extrapolate the effects on combat techniques of very advanced military technology, whereas in the film the troopers in question flew to the combat theatre in spaceships and drop pods, but then seemed to be fighting a particularly ludicrous form of early C20th warfare with added comedy massed charges in the open.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Che Guava
    Thx Randall,

    I prefer not to refer to Wikipedia in general, when looking things up, .

    Would agree that the original novel is boring. After having read it in early teen years, may try it again.

    You may know that most Hollywood screenwriters and directors don't even bother with even a few sentences from the novels they are supposedly based on.
  66. Randal says:
    @JosephB
    "Forget the English-language title, where the words have no correspondence with the original. Something like Starship Troopers, I think that the dubbed and re-edited Space Battleship Yamato was ‘Starship Soldiers’ or similar."

    I'm cringing as my childhood is destroyed. The US adaptation was called "Star Blazers." It was a gateway anime for many of my generation.

    "Startship troopers" is either:
    1. An excellent read by Heinlein on the philosophy and ethics of war, or
    2. A god-awful movie adaptation that should only be recommended to those you hate.

    “Startship troopers” is either:
    1. An excellent read by Heinlein on the philosophy and ethics of war, or
    2. A god-awful movie adaptation that should only be recommended to those you hate.

    Exactly so, except I’d say “of war, government and personal responsibility”.

    Read More
  67. Che Guava says:
    @Randal

    I can’t really see why Heinlein fans hate it, it was a great take, there will never be a better one.
     
    I hated the film on sight, whereas I'd rated the book as excellent. Nor was it a matter of agreeing with it everywhere politically - I put Haldeman's Forever War on a par with it, and that has mostly profoundly different messages. My immediate reaction to the film was that the film makers had taken a book with interesting and sophisticated, adult political and moral themes, and produced a juvenile film that mis-portrayed it as a farcical piece of comedy fascist propaganda.

    However it's nearly two decades since I saw the film and even longer since I read the book, so I don't recall enough to make the case in detail. However, I looked at the Wikipedia pages for both to refresh my memory before commenting and found the following:

    Christopher Weuve, an admirer of Heinlein, has said that the society depicted in the film showed only a superficial resemblance to the society that Heinlein describes in his book. Weuve summed up his critique of the film as follows. First, "while the Terran Federation in Starship Troopers is specifically stated to be a representative democracy, Ed Neumeier decided to make the government into a fascist state
     
    Spot on, imo. And, sure enough;

    In the DVD commentary, Verhoeven noted that the divergence was intentional as he disagreed deeply with the political tilt of the original novel.[37] Verhoeven had not read the book; he attempted to do so after he bought the rights to embellish his existing film, but found that he disliked it: "I stopped after two chapters because it was so boring... It is really quite a bad book. I asked Ed Neumeier to tell me the story because I just couldn't read the thing."
     
    It didn't help that in the book Heinlein had made a plausible effort to extrapolate the effects on combat techniques of very advanced military technology, whereas in the film the troopers in question flew to the combat theatre in spaceships and drop pods, but then seemed to be fighting a particularly ludicrous form of early C20th warfare with added comedy massed charges in the open.

    Thx Randall,

    I prefer not to refer to Wikipedia in general, when looking things up, .

    Would agree that the original novel is boring. After having read it in early teen years, may try it again.

    You may know that most Hollywood screenwriters and directors don’t even bother with even a few sentences from the novels they are supposedly based on.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal
    Nothing wrong with Wikipedia provided you use it appropriately (be aware of the biases of its contributors and editors and use it for general guidance on non-controversial issues for informal use, especially where you are basically just refreshing your memory for details on something you know enough about in general to recognise glaring errors - much as I've used it here, in fact). But I agree one should be careful with it. It's a quick reference tool, basically.

    Would agree that the original novel is boring. After having read it in early teen years, may try it again.

    You may know that most Hollywood screenwriters and directors don’t even bother with even a few sentences from the novels they are supposedly based on.
     
    So why would you have any difficulty seeing why people who loved the book generally hated the film? It's basically because the film was made by someone who didn't just find the book boring - he found it ideologically offensive and set out to subvert it.

    And furthermore it was a book by a great writer made into a film by a mediocre (at best) film maker, so it's hardly surprising that the film was mediocre, as well as offensive to those who liked the book.
  68. Randal says:
    @Che Guava
    Thx Randall,

    I prefer not to refer to Wikipedia in general, when looking things up, .

    Would agree that the original novel is boring. After having read it in early teen years, may try it again.

    You may know that most Hollywood screenwriters and directors don't even bother with even a few sentences from the novels they are supposedly based on.

    Nothing wrong with Wikipedia provided you use it appropriately (be aware of the biases of its contributors and editors and use it for general guidance on non-controversial issues for informal use, especially where you are basically just refreshing your memory for details on something you know enough about in general to recognise glaring errors – much as I’ve used it here, in fact). But I agree one should be careful with it. It’s a quick reference tool, basically.

    Would agree that the original novel is boring. After having read it in early teen years, may try it again.

    You may know that most Hollywood screenwriters and directors don’t even bother with even a few sentences from the novels they are supposedly based on.

    So why would you have any difficulty seeing why people who loved the book generally hated the film? It’s basically because the film was made by someone who didn’t just find the book boring – he found it ideologically offensive and set out to subvert it.

    And furthermore it was a book by a great writer made into a film by a mediocre (at best) film maker, so it’s hardly surprising that the film was mediocre, as well as offensive to those who liked the book.

    Read More
  69. Che Guava says:

    Dear Randal,

    So why would you have any difficulty seeing why people who loved the book generally hated the film?

    I loved the film. The book is a juve novel.

    The film works for me on so many levels. Ironside as a teacher, explaining in pure Heinlein terms how citizenship works in the putative world.

    That should be enough ‘purity to the text.’

    Sure, one scene features serial fireworks under the sand.

    Not a big problem to me.

    Crap director? Leaving aside Total Recall, which I thought pretty great, despite Schwarnzenegger being unsuited to the lead role, and PK Dick being treated as garbage by the scriptwriters. The latter is almost always the case. Loved Total Recall .

    What abt. Robocop?

    Forecast of Detroit’s real situation, real kit cops would be wearing in just a few years from then (they weren’t wearing it at the time), lots of jokes about the corpseocracy. A female exec. being named ‘Fax’ was a lovely touch, IMHO.

    Would have been just as good if it had been a male.

    Sry, Randal, I like Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers as much as his Robocop. Love ‘em both.

    If you want to see something srsly. good and really based on PKD, a great writer’s work, you must see Linklater’s A Scanner Darkly, if you haven’t.

    Also, despite rotoscoping, none of the principals will ever deliver a better performance.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal
    Both Robocop and Total Recall were lightweight, fundamentally silly but stimulating action films, in my opinion, but people who are not committed science fiction readers are easily impressed by even superficial treatment of themes like the implications of false memories etc that are commonplace (and commonly far more deeply explored) in the genre itself, and many science fiction fans are just grateful to see their genre in film, so such films tend to get over-praised. They were certainly competently made, but I don't say Verhoeven is incompetent as a film maker, merely that he is mediocre.

    However, on all this the maxim "de gustibus non est disputandum" clearly applies. You might like films which are militarily literally absurd, or in which comic book brutal villainy is transparently used to pre-justify later graphically violent "payback" for cheap thrills. Lots of people do, which is one reason why Hollywood and its like have been so successful.

    Objectively, though, and in political terms this was a broadly conservative (in some senses, albeit of the militarist wing) book deliberately subverted and lampooned by a leftist. That's not open to dispute because Verhoeven stated as much in his own words If that's your bag, fine. And there is a profound (if typical for leftist luvvie types like Verhoeven) dishonesty in deliberately mis-portraying a conservative book as silly fascist propaganda that I strongly dislike. Let's just recall Verhoeven's confession to having done just this: "In the DVD commentary, Verhoeven noted that the divergence was intentional as he disagreed deeply with the political tilt of the original novel.".

    The book is a juve novel.
     
    It was originally written as one, but the issues it discusses are far more adult, and approached in a far more adult manner, than the kind of superficial, sensationalist and leftist codswallop Verhoeven tends to put out in many of his films.
  70. unit472 says:

    Animal excrement in regards to the carrier in a ‘hot war’. Here ‘time is the hunter’. Yes, it is possible that the US would lose carriers in an all out war with China or Russia but…there is always a but… in such a scenario the carrier would have to be destroyed before its embarked air wing is launched. Cruise missiles are not that fast and the sea is a big place. 500 nautical miles is an hours travel time for a cruise missile. You have to strike first to get the drop on the carrier if its sorties its strike aircraft before you attack the platform.

    Losing critical industrial facilities or major cities to a carrier strike is not a good trade no matter how you slice it. A carrier costs $10 billion. what is a city of a million plus people worth? A billion barrel oilfield?

    Read More
  71. Randal says:
    @Che Guava
    Dear Randal,

    So why would you have any difficulty seeing why people who loved the book generally hated the film?
     
    I loved the film. The book is a juve novel.

    The film works for me on so many levels. Ironside as a teacher, explaining in pure Heinlein terms how citizenship works in the putative world.

    That should be enough 'purity to the text.'

    Sure, one scene features serial fireworks under the sand.

    Not a big problem to me.

    Crap director? Leaving aside Total Recall, which I thought pretty great, despite Schwarnzenegger being unsuited to the lead role, and PK Dick being treated as garbage by the scriptwriters. The latter is almost always the case. Loved Total Recall .

    What abt. Robocop?

    Forecast of Detroit's real situation, real kit cops would be wearing in just a few years from then (they weren't wearing it at the time), lots of jokes about the corpseocracy. A female exec. being named 'Fax' was a lovely touch, IMHO.

    Would have been just as good if it had been a male.

    Sry, Randal, I like Verhoeven's Starship Troopers as much as his Robocop. Love 'em both.

    If you want to see something srsly. good and really based on PKD, a great writer's work, you must see Linklater's A Scanner Darkly, if you haven't.

    Also, despite rotoscoping, none of the principals will ever deliver a better performance.

    Both Robocop and Total Recall were lightweight, fundamentally silly but stimulating action films, in my opinion, but people who are not committed science fiction readers are easily impressed by even superficial treatment of themes like the implications of false memories etc that are commonplace (and commonly far more deeply explored) in the genre itself, and many science fiction fans are just grateful to see their genre in film, so such films tend to get over-praised. They were certainly competently made, but I don’t say Verhoeven is incompetent as a film maker, merely that he is mediocre.

    However, on all this the maxim “de gustibus non est disputandum” clearly applies. You might like films which are militarily literally absurd, or in which comic book brutal villainy is transparently used to pre-justify later graphically violent “payback” for cheap thrills. Lots of people do, which is one reason why Hollywood and its like have been so successful.

    Objectively, though, and in political terms this was a broadly conservative (in some senses, albeit of the militarist wing) book deliberately subverted and lampooned by a leftist. That’s not open to dispute because Verhoeven stated as much in his own words If that’s your bag, fine. And there is a profound (if typical for leftist luvvie types like Verhoeven) dishonesty in deliberately mis-portraying a conservative book as silly fascist propaganda that I strongly dislike. Let’s just recall Verhoeven’s confession to having done just this: “In the DVD commentary, Verhoeven noted that the divergence was intentional as he disagreed deeply with the political tilt of the original novel.“.

    The book is a juve novel.

    It was originally written as one, but the issues it discusses are far more adult, and approached in a far more adult manner, than the kind of superficial, sensationalist and leftist codswallop Verhoeven tends to put out in many of his films.

    Read More
  72. Che Guava says:

    Randal,

    I likely have read far more, and not just more SF.

    Yes, written SF is vastly superior to screen SF almost all of the time, although that is becoming less true as tales shoving PC ideas become the most saleable form of SF, and fantasy has become much more profitable.

    I used to buy F&SF, but got tired of too much F and too little SF, and for the SF, too many PC messages in too many of the stories, and the endless recycling in most of the fantasy.

    My fave SF mag., by the way, was the UK’s Interzone. I gather their editorial policy now is much different from when I liked it so. When overseas, I would go to big second-hand book barns, find editions from fifty years ago (patchy, but gems by, e.g., Ballard and Aldiss). Never found one of the earlier A4 editions with collages and photos, suppose the owners knew to watch for those and get more PROFIT.

    Yes, the shortcoming of screenwriters is generally not having read anything much. They live in their LA and NY bubbles, and don’t read except when they have to. They are not readers.

    I haven’t seen one of the more recent hits, Avatar, Gravity, Interstellar, or The Martian. They all sound off-putting in various ways.

    I do not believe that Verhoeven is a leftist, his myth of WWII a few years ago seemed in part to be a mea culpa for not being seen as that, at least in Hollywood. Doesn’t seem to have brought him any new commissions.

    Objectively, though, and in political terms this was a broadly conservative (in some senses, albeit of the militarist wing) book deliberately subverted and lampooned by a leftist. That’s not open to dispute because Verhoeven stated as much in his own words If that’s your bag, fine.

    deliberately mis-portraying a conservative book as silly fascist propaganda that I strongly dislike.

    Heinlein, a conservative? His ideas at the time are a mix of extreme libertarianism and military-based fascism.

    Don’t make the mistake of assuming that the stylish uniforms in Starship Troopers can only be viewed as parody. The SS had the most stylish uniforms of modern times, also invented infantry camouflage and camouflage battle dress of modern times in the Waffen SS.

    Yet another thing stolen by the USA from the defeated.

    I hope that you have watched (and read) A Scanner Darkly, wall-to-wall leftists, from Linklater, to Harrelson, Ryder etc., to me it is such a wonderful and exceptional example of a great film that is almost entirely true to a great novel. The cast all worked for scale, and varying cuts of the profits after. The latter have not been massive.

    I am sure we would have a pleasant conversation over drinks and snacks, point-for-point, could reply further, but this is already too long.

    Regards.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal

    I likely have read far more, and not just more SF.
     
    My father was a keen science fiction and fantasy reader and collector, so I grew up reading it, including his magazines such as Galaxy and Analog. I suspect I'm as widely read in the genre as anyone alive, bar the odd real obsessive, at least up to the 1980s when I reduced my reading a lot.

    For some reason I never liked Philip K Dick. Like Ballard, Moorcock and a few other fantasy/science fiction writers who were highly rated by the critics I just never liked his books. Maybe just the contrarian in me.

    Heinlein, a conservative? His ideas at the time are a mix of extreme libertarianism and military-based fascism.
     
    Heinlein was politically complicated and went through several phases but the views his book Starship Troopers was criticised for were mostly conservative ideas about personal responsibility and respect for military service. That's what Verhoeven clearly disliked and misrepresented as fascist, when it was nothing of the kind. I don't have a problem necessarily with people disliking personal responsibility and military service, but I do always have a problem with people misrepresenting them as fascist - it's so dishonest, so trite and so ubiquitous.

    I am sure we would have a pleasant conversation over drinks and snacks, point-for-point, could reply further, but this is already too long.

    Regards.
     
    I'm sure you are right. We obviously won't agree on the film, but I hope I have explained why it is that so many people who liked Heinlein's book so hated the film.

    Regards, in turn
  73. Randal says:
    @Che Guava
    Randal,

    I likely have read far more, and not just more SF.

    Yes, written SF is vastly superior to screen SF almost all of the time, although that is becoming less true as tales shoving PC ideas become the most saleable form of SF, and fantasy has become much more profitable.

    I used to buy F&SF, but got tired of too much F and too little SF, and for the SF, too many PC messages in too many of the stories, and the endless recycling in most of the fantasy.

    My fave SF mag., by the way, was the UK's Interzone. I gather their editorial policy now is much different from when I liked it so. When overseas, I would go to big second-hand book barns, find editions from fifty years ago (patchy, but gems by, e.g., Ballard and Aldiss). Never found one of the earlier A4 editions with collages and photos, suppose the owners knew to watch for those and get more PROFIT.

    Yes, the shortcoming of screenwriters is generally not having read anything much. They live in their LA and NY bubbles, and don't read except when they have to. They are not readers.

    I haven't seen one of the more recent hits, Avatar, Gravity, Interstellar, or The Martian. They all sound off-putting in various ways.

    I do not believe that Verhoeven is a leftist, his myth of WWII a few years ago seemed in part to be a mea culpa for not being seen as that, at least in Hollywood. Doesn't seem to have brought him any new commissions.

    Objectively, though, and in political terms this was a broadly conservative (in some senses, albeit of the militarist wing) book deliberately subverted and lampooned by a leftist. That’s not open to dispute because Verhoeven stated as much in his own words If that’s your bag, fine.
     

    deliberately mis-portraying a conservative book as silly fascist propaganda that I strongly dislike.
     
    Heinlein, a conservative? His ideas at the time are a mix of extreme libertarianism and military-based fascism.

    Don't make the mistake of assuming that the stylish uniforms in Starship Troopers can only be viewed as parody. The SS had the most stylish uniforms of modern times, also invented infantry camouflage and camouflage battle dress of modern times in the Waffen SS.

    Yet another thing stolen by the USA from the defeated.

    I hope that you have watched (and read) A Scanner Darkly, wall-to-wall leftists, from Linklater, to Harrelson, Ryder etc., to me it is such a wonderful and exceptional example of a great film that is almost entirely true to a great novel. The cast all worked for scale, and varying cuts of the profits after. The latter have not been massive.

    I am sure we would have a pleasant conversation over drinks and snacks, point-for-point, could reply further, but this is already too long.

    Regards.

    I likely have read far more, and not just more SF.

    My father was a keen science fiction and fantasy reader and collector, so I grew up reading it, including his magazines such as Galaxy and Analog. I suspect I’m as widely read in the genre as anyone alive, bar the odd real obsessive, at least up to the 1980s when I reduced my reading a lot.

    For some reason I never liked Philip K Dick. Like Ballard, Moorcock and a few other fantasy/science fiction writers who were highly rated by the critics I just never liked his books. Maybe just the contrarian in me.

    Heinlein, a conservative? His ideas at the time are a mix of extreme libertarianism and military-based fascism.

    Heinlein was politically complicated and went through several phases but the views his book Starship Troopers was criticised for were mostly conservative ideas about personal responsibility and respect for military service. That’s what Verhoeven clearly disliked and misrepresented as fascist, when it was nothing of the kind. I don’t have a problem necessarily with people disliking personal responsibility and military service, but I do always have a problem with people misrepresenting them as fascist – it’s so dishonest, so trite and so ubiquitous.

    I am sure we would have a pleasant conversation over drinks and snacks, point-for-point, could reply further, but this is already too long.

    Regards.

    I’m sure you are right. We obviously won’t agree on the film, but I hope I have explained why it is that so many people who liked Heinlein’s book so hated the film.

    Regards, in turn

    Read More
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