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Quantifying Everything: the Military Equipment Index 2015
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Some researchers (Collin Meisel, Jonathan D. Moyer and Sarah Gutberlet) have recently published a “Military Equipment Index” (MEI) that seeks to provide a comprehensive, quantified, and internationally comparable tally of the military equipment at each country’s disposal:

“The ultimate yardstick of national power is military capability.” So declared RAND analysts in a monograph on measuring national power twenty years ago. Yet, no go-to measure of military assets currently exists beyond one-off net assessments of fighting forces, simple comparisons of military spending, or point estimates of firepower that conflate capabilities with combat power.

We need a better yardstick—a military equivalent to the apocryphal king’s yard, perhaps—to measure military capability and understand its relationship with various inputs. To that end, our research team has constructed the Military Equipment Index (MEI). While still a work in progress, the index highlights important insights. Based on it, for example, we see that the Russian share of global military spending in 2015 was 4 percent, while the MEI estimates its share of capabilities to be at 9.1 percent. On the flipside, Saudi Arabia accounts for over 5 percent of the world’s military spending but has around 1 percent of total capabilities. Not all defense spending, it seems, translates to a proportionate increase in capability. …

The MEI is a general, weighted, relative measure of total medium and heavy equipment stocks possessed by each country’s military in a given year. It measures the relative quantity, modified by technological capabilities, of military hardware by domain for all countries from 1970 to 2015.

So far as I can see it does not seek to proxy military power as such, which would also involve assessing factors such as the size of the national armed forces, and their combat effectiveness (something that can be proxied from historic data, results of modern day competitions, etc).

Nonetheless, the numbers they generate happen to be very similar to my own numbers for the Comprehensive Military Power index that I developed back in 2015, one of the main components in which was an estimate of the “military capital stock” at each country’s disposal. Though my approach was much simpler than theirs, I just assumed that a certain percentage of annual military spending would go towards weapons purchases, and that it would subsequently “depreciate” at a constant annual rate (i.e. a direct analogy of investment and capital stock in macroeconomics).

Anyhow, here is their assessment of the MEI of the world’s only superpower and its two “near peer” competitors:

And here is my index of Comprehensive Military Power from 1945-2015:

As you can see, they track each other almost perfectly, down to the USSR marginally overtaking the US sometime in the 1970s, Russia collapsing after 1991, and gradually being overtaken by China (which I estimate happened in 2010, whereas they date it to 2015). We also come to the similar conclusion that Chinese and Russian aggregate military power constituted a third of that of the US around 2015.

Either way, impressive level of concurrence, given the different methodologies, and that my index sought to incorporate all aspects of warfighting capacity, whereas theirs focused on a painstakingly detailed tallying of military capital stocks.

Actually, to compare like with like, I had the value of the military capital stock owned by the United States (PPP dollars) pegged at $2.7 trillion, Russia’s at $1.0 trillion, and China’s at $0.9 trillion. My projection was that China would overtake Russia on that subcomponent in 2018, whereas eyeballing theир graph, it looks like that would happen around 2016-17. So, basically identical.

The generality of my approach – as someone with the resources of a blogger with but a passing curiosity in such matters – precluded me from generating good estimates for subcomponents of national military forces.

Calculating separate CMPS for land and sea is unrealistic. However, one can make reasonable estimates of the share of national CMP that is land based vs naval based. In the US, for instance, I would estimate that the Navy and Marines (sea), and the Army and Air Force (land), each account for about half of its CMP. In the USSR, this split was more like 25%:75%. China during the Cold War was even more exclusively land-based, not possessing a blue water fleet at all. However, this is now changing fast. The Army is getting downsized, while as early as 2020 the PLAN will begin to resemble a smaller version of the USN.

But since the Modern War Institute’s approach involved bean-counting the actual military capital stocks, this was something that they were in a position to accomplish.

For instance, here is a graph showing the submarine MEI, which tallies with common sense:

Hopefully we will get more details about this project.

 
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  1. Please keep off topic posts to the current Open Thread.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

  2. With the acquisition of submarines of the 2015-2020 period, Russia must be slightly higher now. She should be slowly rising during the newt years while China should be rising faster. USA is kept at constant level and the rest of NATO slowly going down.

  3. China and US Navy Major surface and sub-surface Build Comparison over the last 15 years .

    • Thanks: Aedib, Gorgeous George
    • Replies: @Not Raul
    @Blinky Bill

    China doesn’t seem to put a high priority on aircraft carriers or amphibious assault ships. It seems that they invest more in defending their coastline than force projection.

    Replies: @A123, @Blinky Bill

  4. The simplest approach is often the best. Too much modelling and it becomes wishful thinking – see epidemiology or climatology. Stick with your index.

    • Agree: Not Raul
    • Replies: @128
    @Philip Owen

    How about platform effectiveness?


  5. [MORE]

    PLA Navy’s combat ship changes from 2009 to 2019.

  6. It’s weird to contrast those charts of supreme U.S. military capability with the U.S. military getting fought to a standstill by goatherds in Afghanistan for 19 years. What’s the point of all of it?

    • Agree: Not Raul
    • Replies: @Not Raul
    @Dave Pinsen

    We spend too much on Central Command. We shouldn’t have troops in a lot of those places.

    , @Svevlad
    @Dave Pinsen

    Bloat. The US army is advanced and mighty on paper, but they lack spirit, and most importantly determination thay is needed when fighting those kinds of enemies. Pesky humanism and niceness culture is to blame for the second one. The only way to beat guerrillas is total genocide, otherwise you lose no matter what

    The problem is the US's reliance on the muh international community - ie their pozzed and subhumanized westeen dick gobblers. They can't go full measure because they gotta hold up that semblance of reputation as the "nice guy" even though actual humans know better

    , @anonymous coward
    @Dave Pinsen

    Americans can't not brag about the size of their balls. It comes with the negrification of their culture.

    , @JohnPlywood
    @Dave Pinsen

    That's absurd. The US quickly defeated the resistance and suffered very few casualties in Afghanistan. Any other countries would have failed.

    Replies: @siberiancat

    , @Anatoly Karlin
    @Dave Pinsen

    I mean, if the US had followed, say, Nazi Germany's counter-insurgency practices in Belarus, then Afghanistan would have been quiescent for years. Its population would have also plummeted, as opposed to doubling since 2001. These types of colonial adventures are pretty meaningless for assessing proper Great Power conflicts, anyway.

    Replies: @Blinky Bill

    , @Erik Sieven
    @Dave Pinsen

    When you compare WW II, Korea, Vietnam and then Iraq/Afghanistan you see that US military operations have become softer and nicer over the decades.

  7. @Dave Pinsen
    It's weird to contrast those charts of supreme U.S. military capability with the U.S. military getting fought to a standstill by goatherds in Afghanistan for 19 years. What's the point of all of it?

    Replies: @Not Raul, @Svevlad, @anonymous coward, @JohnPlywood, @Anatoly Karlin, @Erik Sieven

    We spend too much on Central Command. We shouldn’t have troops in a lot of those places.

  8. @Blinky Bill
    https://www.jeffhead.com/redseadragon/2016-Ship-Table.jpg

    China and US Navy Major surface and sub-surface Build Comparison over the last 15 years .

    https://www.jeffhead.com/redseadragon/2018-50.jpg

    Replies: @Not Raul

    China doesn’t seem to put a high priority on aircraft carriers or amphibious assault ships. It seems that they invest more in defending their coastline than force projection.

    • Agree: Blinky Bill
    • Replies: @A123
    @Not Raul

    I believe that the second LHD 75, which caught fire in April, sailed recently. The announced plan is to construct three of these and use them in the field. It is big enough to be an interesting fleet component. We will have to see what kind of force and doctrine they build up around it.

    PEACE 😇
    _______

    https://news.usni.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/China-Launches-1st-Type-075-LHD-for-PLAN-3.jpg

    https://twitter.com/RupprechtDeino/status/1248866767553941504?s=20

    Replies: @Blinky Bill

    , @Blinky Bill
    @Not Raul

    https://twitter.com/RupprechtDeino/status/1300408632761298944?s=20

    https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn%3AANd9GcRa40PTYe2O1hju_N1Oik_Ljk-y2-NXh9waJQ&usqp.jpg

  9. @Not Raul
    @Blinky Bill

    China doesn’t seem to put a high priority on aircraft carriers or amphibious assault ships. It seems that they invest more in defending their coastline than force projection.

    Replies: @A123, @Blinky Bill

    I believe that the second LHD 75, which caught fire in April, sailed recently. The announced plan is to construct three of these and use them in the field. It is big enough to be an interesting fleet component. We will have to see what kind of force and doctrine they build up around it.

    PEACE 😇
    _______

    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
    @A123

    https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50263793226_1ce4daae95_k.jpg

    https://youtu.be/ldK-EObA_FA

  10. Proofreading алерт!

    theир graph

  11. @Dave Pinsen
    It's weird to contrast those charts of supreme U.S. military capability with the U.S. military getting fought to a standstill by goatherds in Afghanistan for 19 years. What's the point of all of it?

    Replies: @Not Raul, @Svevlad, @anonymous coward, @JohnPlywood, @Anatoly Karlin, @Erik Sieven

    Bloat. The US army is advanced and mighty on paper, but they lack spirit, and most importantly determination thay is needed when fighting those kinds of enemies. Pesky humanism and niceness culture is to blame for the second one. The only way to beat guerrillas is total genocide, otherwise you lose no matter what

    The problem is the US’s reliance on the muh international community – ie their pozzed and subhumanized westeen dick gobblers. They can’t go full measure because they gotta hold up that semblance of reputation as the “nice guy” even though actual humans know better

  12. We need a Navalny post from you, Anatoly.

    Isn’t it funny how this “military grade nerve agent” never kills anyone? You get sick for a couple of weeks, then make a full recovery.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    @Felix Keverich

    I agree. Polonium-210 is so much more effective.

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/9/97/AlexanderLitvinenkoHospital.jpg/220px-AlexanderLitvinenkoHospital.jpg

    Try Shamir's latest post to help fill your needs - its a conspiracy theory masterpiece - but not very believable.

  13. @Dave Pinsen
    It's weird to contrast those charts of supreme U.S. military capability with the U.S. military getting fought to a standstill by goatherds in Afghanistan for 19 years. What's the point of all of it?

    Replies: @Not Raul, @Svevlad, @anonymous coward, @JohnPlywood, @Anatoly Karlin, @Erik Sieven

    Americans can’t not brag about the size of their balls. It comes with the negrification of their culture.

    • Agree: Not Raul
  14. china-russia-all-the-way says:

    BREAKING – India attacks China

    Last weekend India announced it “preemptively” took territory against China as a defensive play against “provocative” Chinese actions. The Special Frontier Force was used. SFF is not an Indian Army unit but a special operations unit designed for insurgency and manned by Tibetans in India. It is under the control of R&AW, India’s external intelligence agency.

    https://www.orfonline.org/research/new-india-china-clash-what-use-of-special-frontier-force-reveals-72622/

    According to Joshi, given the nature of the unit used this was a planned operation and not based on any Chinese move. He believes the report provocative Chinese action actually followed the planned operation and it is unwise for India to invite war.

    https://ajaishukla.blogspot.com/

    Another defense analyst/journalist and former military officer Ajai Shukla reports there was combat. The Tibetan company commander was killed. Chinese casualties. He seems to relish the prospect of backing an insurgency in Tibet.

    I think further combat is imminent and support from China will arrive for the insurgents in Northeast India.

  15. Are (non-nuclear launch platform) submarines still useful?

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    @Kent Nationalist

    They are. They can be less noisy than the nuclear subs. Close to your shores they are pretty valuable. The US Navy is of course not going to face surface combatants close to its shores, therefore non-nuclear subs are not as useful for it. Its allies naturally have such subs in most relevant theaters anyway.

    Replies: @Diversity Heretic

  16. Based on it Military Equipment Index), for example, we see that the Russian share of global military spending in 2015 was 4 percent, while the MEI estimates its share of capabilities to be at 9.1 percent. On the flipside, Saudi Arabia accounts for over 5 percent of the world’s military spending but has around 1 percent of total capabilities.

    Since WW3 will be a nuclear ICBM war then Saudi Arabia’s 5% of world military spending counts for nothing at all.

    So the focus seems to be on this chart:

    – US military power is clearly dominant but growth is tailing off. For economic reasons, the MIC has probably captured the maximum amount of resources available.

    – Chinese military power comes in at less than half that of the US, but it seems to be entering a parabolic curve of extreme growth. It has top priority from the political leadership of the world’s most dynamic economy.

    – Russian military power is only 1/3 of the US but it is still increasing, and actually accelerating – also with a political priority.

    The risk seems to be that the US ZioGlob/CIA are looking at the same chart and can only see their relative position worsening – particualrly with regards to China, and there are also some bad historical parallels. For example, in 1941 Hitler was in exactly the same position with regard to Soviet Russia. He was aware of the rapid Soviet industrialization of Russia and saw a “Window of Opportunity” for his invasion. If he didn’t go for it he would never have his Eastern Empire.

    That begs the question of whether the NeoCons are crazy enough to False Flag China and try and knock it out in a “retaliatory” strike. Probably they are. They are already ramping up the MSM anti-China propaganda in every way possible.

    A separate problem with the Military Equipment Index is that the totals are actually misleading. On the face of it, The US is much more powerful than either China or Russia, but given the destructive power of modern ICBM’s (wherever they come from) WW3 could be over in a couple of days with most military resources not coming into play at all.

    • Replies: @Patricus
    @Miro23

    For my entire life there has been talk of an imminent nuclear war. Hasn't happenned yet. Perhaps people have learned from the experience of poisoned gasses in WW I. It isn't worth the costs of retaliation.

    Replies: @JL, @Miro23

  17. @A123
    @Not Raul

    I believe that the second LHD 75, which caught fire in April, sailed recently. The announced plan is to construct three of these and use them in the field. It is big enough to be an interesting fleet component. We will have to see what kind of force and doctrine they build up around it.

    PEACE 😇
    _______

    https://news.usni.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/China-Launches-1st-Type-075-LHD-for-PLAN-3.jpg

    https://twitter.com/RupprechtDeino/status/1248866767553941504?s=20

    Replies: @Blinky Bill

    [MORE]

  18. @Not Raul
    @Blinky Bill

    China doesn’t seem to put a high priority on aircraft carriers or amphibious assault ships. It seems that they invest more in defending their coastline than force projection.

    Replies: @A123, @Blinky Bill


    [MORE]

  19. I agree that measuring the current inventory of equipment is valid. IMO there will be no time for nations to move factories or build new shipyards in the event of an all out military conflict between major powers. You will go to war with what you have on day one not what you might have next year.

    A major intangible is combat experience. The Germans had a lot of it in 1940/41. Russia and France not so much and it showed in their inability to contain German offensives.

    Then their are synergies. The most expensive weapons program in WW2 was not the atomic bomb. It was the B-29 bomber. While the B-29 was a most impressive airplane, flying higher, faster and with more payload than any other bomber it wasn’t very effective at first. As with the air war over Germany it wasn’t until fighters were available to escort the B-29’s were they able to get down low and burn down Japan’s cities. Add an atomic bomb and they became a war winner.

    • Replies: @Diversity Heretic
    @unit472

    Escorting fighters were not much of a factor in the B-29's eventual success; it was Curtis LeMay's decision to fly at night and engage in area incendiary attacks. Japanese night fighter and flak capability were quite limited, as were Japanese fire fighting resources.

  20. @Dave Pinsen
    It's weird to contrast those charts of supreme U.S. military capability with the U.S. military getting fought to a standstill by goatherds in Afghanistan for 19 years. What's the point of all of it?

    Replies: @Not Raul, @Svevlad, @anonymous coward, @JohnPlywood, @Anatoly Karlin, @Erik Sieven

    That’s absurd. The US quickly defeated the resistance and suffered very few casualties in Afghanistan. Any other countries would have failed.

    • Replies: @siberiancat
    @JohnPlywood

    The same can be said about the Russians. They just grew tired of guerilla warfare.

    Replies: @Amerimutt Golems

  21. @Dave Pinsen
    It's weird to contrast those charts of supreme U.S. military capability with the U.S. military getting fought to a standstill by goatherds in Afghanistan for 19 years. What's the point of all of it?

    Replies: @Not Raul, @Svevlad, @anonymous coward, @JohnPlywood, @Anatoly Karlin, @Erik Sieven

    I mean, if the US had followed, say, Nazi Germany’s counter-insurgency practices in Belarus, then Afghanistan would have been quiescent for years. Its population would have also plummeted, as opposed to doubling since 2001. These types of colonial adventures are pretty meaningless for assessing proper Great Power conflicts, anyway.

    • Disagree: Blinky Bill
    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
    @Anatoly Karlin

    https://youtu.be/wvQjDvnPpCk?t=34


    😂😂😂 😉

  22. @Felix Keverich
    We need a Navalny post from you, Anatoly.

    Isn't it funny how this "military grade nerve agent" never kills anyone? You get sick for a couple of weeks, then make a full recovery.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

    I agree. Polonium-210 is so much more effective.

    Try Shamir’s latest post to help fill your needs – its a conspiracy theory masterpiece – but not very believable.

  23. @Philip Owen
    The simplest approach is often the best. Too much modelling and it becomes wishful thinking - see epidemiology or climatology. Stick with your index.

    Replies: @128

    How about platform effectiveness?

  24. @Anatoly Karlin
    @Dave Pinsen

    I mean, if the US had followed, say, Nazi Germany's counter-insurgency practices in Belarus, then Afghanistan would have been quiescent for years. Its population would have also plummeted, as opposed to doubling since 2001. These types of colonial adventures are pretty meaningless for assessing proper Great Power conflicts, anyway.

    Replies: @Blinky Bill

    [MORE]

    😂😂😂 😉

  25. @JohnPlywood
    @Dave Pinsen

    That's absurd. The US quickly defeated the resistance and suffered very few casualties in Afghanistan. Any other countries would have failed.

    Replies: @siberiancat

    The same can be said about the Russians. They just grew tired of guerilla warfare.

    • Replies: @Amerimutt Golems
    @siberiancat



    The same can be said about the Russians. They just grew tired of guerilla warfare.

     

    Brits faced a similar dilemma during the Second Anglo-Boer War. They were sitting ducks against often leaderless elusive and highly mobile Boers on horseback armed with Mauser rifles, the original 'Commandos'.

    The British Empire only prevailed after setting up concentrations camps for enemy women and children which forced Boers to quit. Then again Boers are fundamentally European in terms of culture.
  26. Anyhow, here is their assessment of the MEI of the world’s only superpower and its two “near peer” competitors:

    Well, if those charts are intended to be an approximate measure of military effectiveness, there’s obviously no way to be sure, but I’m politely skeptical.

    This exercise reminds me a little of that WHO chart from January that ranked the US as being the country in the world best-prepared for a major disease epidemic, with Western Europe also placing very high. As I recall, China was regarded as rather vulnerable.

    Instead, America has been about the *worst* in the world in our response, challenged only by India and Brazil.

    I think there’s a major problem in focusing on inputs and assuming they strongly correlate with outputs. Since our health care spending is the greatest in the world, you’d think we had the most effective health care system, but it isn’t so.

    Similarly, do our exceptionally complex and expensive weapons work? Who knows, but real-life tests of other aspects of American society in recent years haven’t been too encouraging.

    Still, we do have the best propaganda in the world, which helps to cover up the other flaws.

    • Agree: Gorgeous George
    • Thanks: Blinky Bill
    • LOL: utu
    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    @Ron Unz

    The Tory party managing the Brexit narrative will show even Hollywood how propaganda is done.

    , @Anatoly Karlin
    @Ron Unz


    Similarly, do our exceptionally complex and expensive weapons work? Who knows, but real-life tests of other aspects of American society in recent years haven’t been too encouraging.
     
    The idea that Chinese military strength is a third (was a third in 2015 - now surely higher) of that of the US is still a massive change from popular conceptions of it as some kind of unchallenged hegemon.

    E.g., from /r/worldnews, one of the world's biggest forums: https://www.reddit.com/r/worldnews/comments/ilop09/pentagon_report_china_now_has_worlds_largest_navy/

    Most upvoted comment on that thread:

    The US has the most powerful navy in the world. If you split off a carrier battle group and gave it to Montenegro then Montenegro would have the second most powerful navy in the world.
     
    Now that is pure delusion. But it's also what most Americans believe, I would think. Decades of knocking about various Third World countries has created dangerous delusions.

    ***

    If you have a third of someone's naval strength, a reasonable "practical" interpretation of that is that you would be able to hold your own (or win) over your littoral waters, especially considering that US naval assets are farflung whereas China's are all concentrated in its vicinity. However, you would also expect to dominate a battlespace anywhere else (e.g., over the Indian Ocean... or Hawaii), and nor would you try to. I would think that this is an accurate reflection of US/Chinese naval strength at the present time.

    Replies: @Ron Unz, @Blinky Bill

    , @Amerimutt Golems
    @Ron Unz

    Propaganda works because Americans are crass by nature.

    , @utu
    @Ron Unz

    The US response to covid was not worse than many other Western countries who had much more centralized governments than the US. All those countries were sucked into the half measure of dancing between the curve flattening 'meme' and the herd immunity 'meme'. No country in the Western world proposed in clear terns the option of virus elimination on its territory and rally people to follow this policy. Only NZ and Taiwan successfully implemented the elimination strategy. They did it in much more humane approach than the draconian approach of China.

    Extrapolating the response to corvid by the insinuation that American military potential is equally inept and deficient as US response to covid is pure demagoguery and manipulation. While any intellectually speculation should be welcomed in you case one sniff too much of wish full thinking bordering on Shadenfreude. One may wonder where does it come from in your psychological make up that you wish America ill.

    Replies: @Ron Unz

  27. @Kent Nationalist
    Are (non-nuclear launch platform) submarines still useful?

    Replies: @reiner Tor

    They are. They can be less noisy than the nuclear subs. Close to your shores they are pretty valuable. The US Navy is of course not going to face surface combatants close to its shores, therefore non-nuclear subs are not as useful for it. Its allies naturally have such subs in most relevant theaters anyway.

    • Replies: @Diversity Heretic
    @reiner Tor

    Nuclear submarines have to keep pumps going for the reactors. Diesel-electric submarines operating on batteries can be very quiet and submarines with cryogenic oxygen systems have some capacity to run the diesels and recharge batteries while remaining submerged. Very dangerous when used in a coastal defense role.

  28. @unit472
    I agree that measuring the current inventory of equipment is valid. IMO there will be no time for nations to move factories or build new shipyards in the event of an all out military conflict between major powers. You will go to war with what you have on day one not what you might have next year.

    A major intangible is combat experience. The Germans had a lot of it in 1940/41. Russia and France not so much and it showed in their inability to contain German offensives.

    Then their are synergies. The most expensive weapons program in WW2 was not the atomic bomb. It was the B-29 bomber. While the B-29 was a most impressive airplane, flying higher, faster and with more payload than any other bomber it wasn't very effective at first. As with the air war over Germany it wasn't until fighters were available to escort the B-29's were they able to get down low and burn down Japan's cities. Add an atomic bomb and they became a war winner.

    Replies: @Diversity Heretic

    Escorting fighters were not much of a factor in the B-29’s eventual success; it was Curtis LeMay’s decision to fly at night and engage in area incendiary attacks. Japanese night fighter and flak capability were quite limited, as were Japanese fire fighting resources.

  29. @reiner Tor
    @Kent Nationalist

    They are. They can be less noisy than the nuclear subs. Close to your shores they are pretty valuable. The US Navy is of course not going to face surface combatants close to its shores, therefore non-nuclear subs are not as useful for it. Its allies naturally have such subs in most relevant theaters anyway.

    Replies: @Diversity Heretic

    Nuclear submarines have to keep pumps going for the reactors. Diesel-electric submarines operating on batteries can be very quiet and submarines with cryogenic oxygen systems have some capacity to run the diesels and recharge batteries while remaining submerged. Very dangerous when used in a coastal defense role.

  30. @Ron Unz

    Anyhow, here is their assessment of the MEI of the world’s only superpower and its two “near peer” competitors:
     
    Well, if those charts are intended to be an approximate measure of military effectiveness, there's obviously no way to be sure, but I'm politely skeptical.

    This exercise reminds me a little of that WHO chart from January that ranked the US as being the country in the world best-prepared for a major disease epidemic, with Western Europe also placing very high. As I recall, China was regarded as rather vulnerable.

    Instead, America has been about the *worst* in the world in our response, challenged only by India and Brazil.

    I think there's a major problem in focusing on inputs and assuming they strongly correlate with outputs. Since our health care spending is the greatest in the world, you'd think we had the most effective health care system, but it isn't so.

    Similarly, do our exceptionally complex and expensive weapons work? Who knows, but real-life tests of other aspects of American society in recent years haven't been too encouraging.

    Still, we do have the best propaganda in the world, which helps to cover up the other flaws.

    Replies: @Philip Owen, @Anatoly Karlin, @Amerimutt Golems, @utu

    The Tory party managing the Brexit narrative will show even Hollywood how propaganda is done.

  31. @Ron Unz

    Anyhow, here is their assessment of the MEI of the world’s only superpower and its two “near peer” competitors:
     
    Well, if those charts are intended to be an approximate measure of military effectiveness, there's obviously no way to be sure, but I'm politely skeptical.

    This exercise reminds me a little of that WHO chart from January that ranked the US as being the country in the world best-prepared for a major disease epidemic, with Western Europe also placing very high. As I recall, China was regarded as rather vulnerable.

    Instead, America has been about the *worst* in the world in our response, challenged only by India and Brazil.

    I think there's a major problem in focusing on inputs and assuming they strongly correlate with outputs. Since our health care spending is the greatest in the world, you'd think we had the most effective health care system, but it isn't so.

    Similarly, do our exceptionally complex and expensive weapons work? Who knows, but real-life tests of other aspects of American society in recent years haven't been too encouraging.

    Still, we do have the best propaganda in the world, which helps to cover up the other flaws.

    Replies: @Philip Owen, @Anatoly Karlin, @Amerimutt Golems, @utu

    Similarly, do our exceptionally complex and expensive weapons work? Who knows, but real-life tests of other aspects of American society in recent years haven’t been too encouraging.

    The idea that Chinese military strength is a third (was a third in 2015 – now surely higher) of that of the US is still a massive change from popular conceptions of it as some kind of unchallenged hegemon.

    E.g., from /r/worldnews, one of the world’s biggest forums: https://www.reddit.com/r/worldnews/comments/ilop09/pentagon_report_china_now_has_worlds_largest_navy/

    Most upvoted comment on that thread:

    The US has the most powerful navy in the world. If you split off a carrier battle group and gave it to Montenegro then Montenegro would have the second most powerful navy in the world.

    Now that is pure delusion. But it’s also what most Americans believe, I would think. Decades of knocking about various Third World countries has created dangerous delusions.

    ***

    If you have a third of someone’s naval strength, a reasonable “practical” interpretation of that is that you would be able to hold your own (or win) over your littoral waters, especially considering that US naval assets are farflung whereas China’s are all concentrated in its vicinity. However, you would also expect to dominate a battlespace anywhere else (e.g., over the Indian Ocean… or Hawaii), and nor would you try to. I would think that this is an accurate reflection of US/Chinese naval strength at the present time.

    • Agree: Blinky Bill
    • Replies: @Ron Unz
    @Anatoly Karlin


    The idea that Chinese military strength is a third (was a third in 2015 – now surely higher) of that of the US is still a massive change from popular conceptions of it as some kind of unchallenged hegemon...If you have a third of someone’s naval strength, a reasonable “practical” interpretation of that is that you would be able to hold your own (or win) over your littoral waters
     
    Sure, that makes perfect sense. But although I haven't looked into military technology in decades, here's a very simple question...

    China has medium range ballistic missiles that supposedly can kill our carriers with no effective defense and do so from a distance far greater than their attack range. Suppose the US and China got into a war in the South China Sea, and China (very politely) warned us to leave the region, then destroyed our carriers if we failed to comply.

    It seems to me that the destruction of one or more American carrier groups would be perceived as marking the end of worldwide American naval supremacy, especially since Russia now has those revolutionary hypersonic missiles. Maybe as a consequence, the dollar would collapse, thereby collapsing the American smoke-and-mirrors economy along with it.

    Aside from going nuclear and maybe getting everyone killed, what could we do?

    So maybe we then have a post-Tsushima 1905-style revolution, and we follow the battles in the War of the Texas Secession from our smartphones.

    Again, a very simple and naive question from someone rather ignorant of current military affairs...

    Replies: @Anatoly Karlin, @utu

    , @Blinky Bill
    @Anatoly Karlin


    AK Typo?


    However, you(China) would also (not)expect to dominate a battlespace anywhere else (e.g., over the Indian Ocean… or Hawaii), and nor would you(China) try to.
     
  32. @Anatoly Karlin
    @Ron Unz


    Similarly, do our exceptionally complex and expensive weapons work? Who knows, but real-life tests of other aspects of American society in recent years haven’t been too encouraging.
     
    The idea that Chinese military strength is a third (was a third in 2015 - now surely higher) of that of the US is still a massive change from popular conceptions of it as some kind of unchallenged hegemon.

    E.g., from /r/worldnews, one of the world's biggest forums: https://www.reddit.com/r/worldnews/comments/ilop09/pentagon_report_china_now_has_worlds_largest_navy/

    Most upvoted comment on that thread:

    The US has the most powerful navy in the world. If you split off a carrier battle group and gave it to Montenegro then Montenegro would have the second most powerful navy in the world.
     
    Now that is pure delusion. But it's also what most Americans believe, I would think. Decades of knocking about various Third World countries has created dangerous delusions.

    ***

    If you have a third of someone's naval strength, a reasonable "practical" interpretation of that is that you would be able to hold your own (or win) over your littoral waters, especially considering that US naval assets are farflung whereas China's are all concentrated in its vicinity. However, you would also expect to dominate a battlespace anywhere else (e.g., over the Indian Ocean... or Hawaii), and nor would you try to. I would think that this is an accurate reflection of US/Chinese naval strength at the present time.

    Replies: @Ron Unz, @Blinky Bill

    The idea that Chinese military strength is a third (was a third in 2015 – now surely higher) of that of the US is still a massive change from popular conceptions of it as some kind of unchallenged hegemon…If you have a third of someone’s naval strength, a reasonable “practical” interpretation of that is that you would be able to hold your own (or win) over your littoral waters

    Sure, that makes perfect sense. But although I haven’t looked into military technology in decades, here’s a very simple question…

    China has medium range ballistic missiles that supposedly can kill our carriers with no effective defense and do so from a distance far greater than their attack range. Suppose the US and China got into a war in the South China Sea, and China (very politely) warned us to leave the region, then destroyed our carriers if we failed to comply.

    It seems to me that the destruction of one or more American carrier groups would be perceived as marking the end of worldwide American naval supremacy, especially since Russia now has those revolutionary hypersonic missiles. Maybe as a consequence, the dollar would collapse, thereby collapsing the American smoke-and-mirrors economy along with it.

    Aside from going nuclear and maybe getting everyone killed, what could we do?

    So maybe we then have a post-Tsushima 1905-style revolution, and we follow the battles in the War of the Texas Secession from our smartphones.

    Again, a very simple and naive question from someone rather ignorant of current military affairs…

    • LOL: utu
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    @Ron Unz

    This is a good question, that is surely true, if it turns out that the DF-21 can reliably hit US carriers, making it a silver bullet sort of weapon - this is something we'll only find out in a real war. Other considerations: To work, it will also need constant real-time information on the local of said American carrier. That's what military satellites are for. Does the US know where China's are? Can it bring them down? If it does, will Russia feed China information from theirs? I don't have a clue about any of those questions either.

    I agree with you on the fundamental point, a much worse than expected outcome in a hot war is likely to trigger a major crisis in the US.

    Replies: @songbird

    , @utu
    @Ron Unz

    " ballistic missiles that supposedly can kill our carriers " - Supposedly is the key word. You are reading too much of Admiral Martyanov sci-fi. Ballistic missiles can't hit and destroy when equipped with conventional charge moving targets like aircraft carries.

    Replies: @Blinky Bill

  33. @Miro23

    Based on it Military Equipment Index), for example, we see that the Russian share of global military spending in 2015 was 4 percent, while the MEI estimates its share of capabilities to be at 9.1 percent. On the flipside, Saudi Arabia accounts for over 5 percent of the world’s military spending but has around 1 percent of total capabilities.
     
    Since WW3 will be a nuclear ICBM war then Saudi Arabia's 5% of world military spending counts for nothing at all.

    So the focus seems to be on this chart:

    https://www.unz.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/cmp-usa-russia-china-1940-2015.png

    - US military power is clearly dominant but growth is tailing off. For economic reasons, the MIC has probably captured the maximum amount of resources available.

    - Chinese military power comes in at less than half that of the US, but it seems to be entering a parabolic curve of extreme growth. It has top priority from the political leadership of the world's most dynamic economy.

    - Russian military power is only 1/3 of the US but it is still increasing, and actually accelerating - also with a political priority.

    The risk seems to be that the US ZioGlob/CIA are looking at the same chart and can only see their relative position worsening - particualrly with regards to China, and there are also some bad historical parallels. For example, in 1941 Hitler was in exactly the same position with regard to Soviet Russia. He was aware of the rapid Soviet industrialization of Russia and saw a "Window of Opportunity" for his invasion. If he didn't go for it he would never have his Eastern Empire.

    That begs the question of whether the NeoCons are crazy enough to False Flag China and try and knock it out in a "retaliatory" strike. Probably they are. They are already ramping up the MSM anti-China propaganda in every way possible.

    A separate problem with the Military Equipment Index is that the totals are actually misleading. On the face of it, The US is much more powerful than either China or Russia, but given the destructive power of modern ICBM's (wherever they come from) WW3 could be over in a couple of days with most military resources not coming into play at all.

    Replies: @Patricus

    For my entire life there has been talk of an imminent nuclear war. Hasn’t happenned yet. Perhaps people have learned from the experience of poisoned gasses in WW I. It isn’t worth the costs of retaliation.

    • Replies: @JL
    @Patricus

    Wow, your entire life? That's a really long time! It's not that nuclear war is necessarily imminent, just that it would be disastrous if it happened. And, given a long enough timeline, it will happen. Also, I hate to be the bearer of logic here, but if a nuclear war had happened, it's highly unlikely we'd be on this blog discussing it.

    Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    , @Miro23
    @Patricus


    For my entire life there has been talk of an imminent nuclear war. Hasn’t happened yet. Perhaps people have learned from the experience of poisoned gasses in WW I. It isn’t worth the costs of retaliation.
     
    Wars are a permanent feature of human history. Nuclear weapons are enormously destructive but that doesn't automatically mean that major international conflicts are going to stop happening.

    Maybe it's just that different calculations are involved, such as the Russian response to the unexpected and aggressive NATO extension to the East after German unification, or China's calculation of the changing risks of a US first strike. The Chinese can see that ZioGlob/CIA USA 2020 is a completely different animal from Anglo USA 1965.
  34. @Patricus
    @Miro23

    For my entire life there has been talk of an imminent nuclear war. Hasn't happenned yet. Perhaps people have learned from the experience of poisoned gasses in WW I. It isn't worth the costs of retaliation.

    Replies: @JL, @Miro23

    Wow, your entire life? That’s a really long time! It’s not that nuclear war is necessarily imminent, just that it would be disastrous if it happened. And, given a long enough timeline, it will happen. Also, I hate to be the bearer of logic here, but if a nuclear war had happened, it’s highly unlikely we’d be on this blog discussing it.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    @JL

    In fairness, there's a reasonable chance we'd be discussing it, we'd just likely be doing it on a c.2000 style message board. Nuclear war wouldn't have destroyed industrial/technological civilization, but it will surely have knocked back Moore's Law by a decade or two, along with stalling general tech development development for a similar period.

    Replies: @Kent Nationalist, @another anon, @AP

  35. @Patricus
    @Miro23

    For my entire life there has been talk of an imminent nuclear war. Hasn't happenned yet. Perhaps people have learned from the experience of poisoned gasses in WW I. It isn't worth the costs of retaliation.

    Replies: @JL, @Miro23

    For my entire life there has been talk of an imminent nuclear war. Hasn’t happened yet. Perhaps people have learned from the experience of poisoned gasses in WW I. It isn’t worth the costs of retaliation.

    Wars are a permanent feature of human history. Nuclear weapons are enormously destructive but that doesn’t automatically mean that major international conflicts are going to stop happening.

    Maybe it’s just that different calculations are involved, such as the Russian response to the unexpected and aggressive NATO extension to the East after German unification, or China’s calculation of the changing risks of a US first strike. The Chinese can see that ZioGlob/CIA USA 2020 is a completely different animal from Anglo USA 1965.

  36. @Anatoly Karlin
    @Ron Unz


    Similarly, do our exceptionally complex and expensive weapons work? Who knows, but real-life tests of other aspects of American society in recent years haven’t been too encouraging.
     
    The idea that Chinese military strength is a third (was a third in 2015 - now surely higher) of that of the US is still a massive change from popular conceptions of it as some kind of unchallenged hegemon.

    E.g., from /r/worldnews, one of the world's biggest forums: https://www.reddit.com/r/worldnews/comments/ilop09/pentagon_report_china_now_has_worlds_largest_navy/

    Most upvoted comment on that thread:

    The US has the most powerful navy in the world. If you split off a carrier battle group and gave it to Montenegro then Montenegro would have the second most powerful navy in the world.
     
    Now that is pure delusion. But it's also what most Americans believe, I would think. Decades of knocking about various Third World countries has created dangerous delusions.

    ***

    If you have a third of someone's naval strength, a reasonable "practical" interpretation of that is that you would be able to hold your own (or win) over your littoral waters, especially considering that US naval assets are farflung whereas China's are all concentrated in its vicinity. However, you would also expect to dominate a battlespace anywhere else (e.g., over the Indian Ocean... or Hawaii), and nor would you try to. I would think that this is an accurate reflection of US/Chinese naval strength at the present time.

    Replies: @Ron Unz, @Blinky Bill

    [MORE]

    AK Typo?

    However, you(China) would also (not)expect to dominate a battlespace anywhere else (e.g., over the Indian Ocean… or Hawaii), and nor would you(China) try to.

  37. @Ron Unz
    @Anatoly Karlin


    The idea that Chinese military strength is a third (was a third in 2015 – now surely higher) of that of the US is still a massive change from popular conceptions of it as some kind of unchallenged hegemon...If you have a third of someone’s naval strength, a reasonable “practical” interpretation of that is that you would be able to hold your own (or win) over your littoral waters
     
    Sure, that makes perfect sense. But although I haven't looked into military technology in decades, here's a very simple question...

    China has medium range ballistic missiles that supposedly can kill our carriers with no effective defense and do so from a distance far greater than their attack range. Suppose the US and China got into a war in the South China Sea, and China (very politely) warned us to leave the region, then destroyed our carriers if we failed to comply.

    It seems to me that the destruction of one or more American carrier groups would be perceived as marking the end of worldwide American naval supremacy, especially since Russia now has those revolutionary hypersonic missiles. Maybe as a consequence, the dollar would collapse, thereby collapsing the American smoke-and-mirrors economy along with it.

    Aside from going nuclear and maybe getting everyone killed, what could we do?

    So maybe we then have a post-Tsushima 1905-style revolution, and we follow the battles in the War of the Texas Secession from our smartphones.

    Again, a very simple and naive question from someone rather ignorant of current military affairs...

    Replies: @Anatoly Karlin, @utu

    This is a good question, that is surely true, if it turns out that the DF-21 can reliably hit US carriers, making it a silver bullet sort of weapon – this is something we’ll only find out in a real war. Other considerations: To work, it will also need constant real-time information on the local of said American carrier. That’s what military satellites are for. Does the US know where China’s are? Can it bring them down? If it does, will Russia feed China information from theirs? I don’t have a clue about any of those questions either.

    I agree with you on the fundamental point, a much worse than expected outcome in a hot war is likely to trigger a major crisis in the US.

    • Replies: @songbird
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Why I think carriers are white elephants:

    Satellites capable of tracking a carrier are very cheap - in low orbit, the camera on an iPhone can do it. Technically, if you are tracking movement you only need the resolution of a few pixels. The satellite would need to be only about the size of an old brick phone or shoebox with solar panels folded. The standard cubesat. Made from commercially available parts, possible to create on an assembly line. Cost around $150,000, if assembled in the U.S.. Launch costs under $100,000, with ride-sharing. India launched 101, plus three bigger sats, on one medium-sized rocket. That was over three years ago.

    Last I heard, about a year ago, there was a company nearing total, real-time coverage of the Earth's surface, minus some areas near the poles. Tracking of container ships is done automatically, through software.

    Drawbacks: they take a while to work into position. It's done by dragging the solar panels, against air molecules. Launch infrastructure is pretty easy to target. Though, you could certainly launch a few with mobile launchers. Probably very susceptible to an EMP, but that would come with a high political cost, as it would lead to widespread disruptions.

  38. @JL
    @Patricus

    Wow, your entire life? That's a really long time! It's not that nuclear war is necessarily imminent, just that it would be disastrous if it happened. And, given a long enough timeline, it will happen. Also, I hate to be the bearer of logic here, but if a nuclear war had happened, it's highly unlikely we'd be on this blog discussing it.

    Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    In fairness, there’s a reasonable chance we’d be discussing it, we’d just likely be doing it on a c.2000 style message board. Nuclear war wouldn’t have destroyed industrial/technological civilization, but it will surely have knocked back Moore’s Law by a decade or two, along with stalling general tech development development for a similar period.

    • Replies: @Kent Nationalist
    @Anatoly Karlin


    In fairness, there’s a reasonable chance we’d be discussing it, we’d just likely be doing it on a c.2000 style message board
     
    I now embrace the prospect of nuclear war.

    Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    , @another anon
    @Anatoly Karlin


    c.2000 style message board.
     
    Message boards? Nah.

    Usenet discussion groups that worked with old style dial-up modems were the pinnacle of Internet discourse.

    https://i.imgur.com/OJAJdxM.png

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    , @AP
    @Anatoly Karlin


    In fairness, there’s a reasonable chance we’d be discussing it, we’d just likely be doing it on a c.2000 style message board.
     
    Correct, but only if we are living in places like New Zealand or Argentina. And sub-Saharan Africa, Laos, Papua New Guinea, etc. How many of us are?

    Replies: @Blinky Bill, @Anatoly Karlin

  39. @Ron Unz

    Anyhow, here is their assessment of the MEI of the world’s only superpower and its two “near peer” competitors:
     
    Well, if those charts are intended to be an approximate measure of military effectiveness, there's obviously no way to be sure, but I'm politely skeptical.

    This exercise reminds me a little of that WHO chart from January that ranked the US as being the country in the world best-prepared for a major disease epidemic, with Western Europe also placing very high. As I recall, China was regarded as rather vulnerable.

    Instead, America has been about the *worst* in the world in our response, challenged only by India and Brazil.

    I think there's a major problem in focusing on inputs and assuming they strongly correlate with outputs. Since our health care spending is the greatest in the world, you'd think we had the most effective health care system, but it isn't so.

    Similarly, do our exceptionally complex and expensive weapons work? Who knows, but real-life tests of other aspects of American society in recent years haven't been too encouraging.

    Still, we do have the best propaganda in the world, which helps to cover up the other flaws.

    Replies: @Philip Owen, @Anatoly Karlin, @Amerimutt Golems, @utu

    Propaganda works because Americans are crass by nature.

  40. @siberiancat
    @JohnPlywood

    The same can be said about the Russians. They just grew tired of guerilla warfare.

    Replies: @Amerimutt Golems

    The same can be said about the Russians. They just grew tired of guerilla warfare.

    Brits faced a similar dilemma during the Second Anglo-Boer War. They were sitting ducks against often leaderless elusive and highly mobile Boers on horseback armed with Mauser rifles, the original ‘Commandos’.

    The British Empire only prevailed after setting up concentrations camps for enemy women and children which forced Boers to quit. Then again Boers are fundamentally European in terms of culture.

  41. @Anatoly Karlin
    @JL

    In fairness, there's a reasonable chance we'd be discussing it, we'd just likely be doing it on a c.2000 style message board. Nuclear war wouldn't have destroyed industrial/technological civilization, but it will surely have knocked back Moore's Law by a decade or two, along with stalling general tech development development for a similar period.

    Replies: @Kent Nationalist, @another anon, @AP

    In fairness, there’s a reasonable chance we’d be discussing it, we’d just likely be doing it on a c.2000 style message board

    I now embrace the prospect of nuclear war.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    @Kent Nationalist

    Based.

    https://peoplessickle.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/blessedarethemeek.png

  42. @Kent Nationalist
    @Anatoly Karlin


    In fairness, there’s a reasonable chance we’d be discussing it, we’d just likely be doing it on a c.2000 style message board
     
    I now embrace the prospect of nuclear war.

    Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    Based.

    • LOL: Kent Nationalist
  43. @Ron Unz
    @Anatoly Karlin


    The idea that Chinese military strength is a third (was a third in 2015 – now surely higher) of that of the US is still a massive change from popular conceptions of it as some kind of unchallenged hegemon...If you have a third of someone’s naval strength, a reasonable “practical” interpretation of that is that you would be able to hold your own (or win) over your littoral waters
     
    Sure, that makes perfect sense. But although I haven't looked into military technology in decades, here's a very simple question...

    China has medium range ballistic missiles that supposedly can kill our carriers with no effective defense and do so from a distance far greater than their attack range. Suppose the US and China got into a war in the South China Sea, and China (very politely) warned us to leave the region, then destroyed our carriers if we failed to comply.

    It seems to me that the destruction of one or more American carrier groups would be perceived as marking the end of worldwide American naval supremacy, especially since Russia now has those revolutionary hypersonic missiles. Maybe as a consequence, the dollar would collapse, thereby collapsing the American smoke-and-mirrors economy along with it.

    Aside from going nuclear and maybe getting everyone killed, what could we do?

    So maybe we then have a post-Tsushima 1905-style revolution, and we follow the battles in the War of the Texas Secession from our smartphones.

    Again, a very simple and naive question from someone rather ignorant of current military affairs...

    Replies: @Anatoly Karlin, @utu

    ” ballistic missiles that supposedly can kill our carriers “ – Supposedly is the key word. You are reading too much of Admiral Martyanov sci-fi. Ballistic missiles can’t hit and destroy when equipped with conventional charge moving targets like aircraft carries.

    • Disagree: Blinky Bill
    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
    @utu

    Both the DF-21D and DF-26B literally don't even need to work in order to have a huge impact on US Navy operations in the West Pacific. They simply need to be a credible deterrent.

    https://youtu.be/VTxtyCH6JSg?t=105

    Replies: @utu, @Peripatetic Commenter

  44. @Ron Unz

    Anyhow, here is their assessment of the MEI of the world’s only superpower and its two “near peer” competitors:
     
    Well, if those charts are intended to be an approximate measure of military effectiveness, there's obviously no way to be sure, but I'm politely skeptical.

    This exercise reminds me a little of that WHO chart from January that ranked the US as being the country in the world best-prepared for a major disease epidemic, with Western Europe also placing very high. As I recall, China was regarded as rather vulnerable.

    Instead, America has been about the *worst* in the world in our response, challenged only by India and Brazil.

    I think there's a major problem in focusing on inputs and assuming they strongly correlate with outputs. Since our health care spending is the greatest in the world, you'd think we had the most effective health care system, but it isn't so.

    Similarly, do our exceptionally complex and expensive weapons work? Who knows, but real-life tests of other aspects of American society in recent years haven't been too encouraging.

    Still, we do have the best propaganda in the world, which helps to cover up the other flaws.

    Replies: @Philip Owen, @Anatoly Karlin, @Amerimutt Golems, @utu

    The US response to covid was not worse than many other Western countries who had much more centralized governments than the US. All those countries were sucked into the half measure of dancing between the curve flattening ‘meme’ and the herd immunity ‘meme’. No country in the Western world proposed in clear terns the option of virus elimination on its territory and rally people to follow this policy. Only NZ and Taiwan successfully implemented the elimination strategy. They did it in much more humane approach than the draconian approach of China.

    Extrapolating the response to corvid by the insinuation that American military potential is equally inept and deficient as US response to covid is pure demagoguery and manipulation. While any intellectually speculation should be welcomed in you case one sniff too much of wish full thinking bordering on Shadenfreude. One may wonder where does it come from in your psychological make up that you wish America ill.

    • Replies: @Ron Unz
    @utu


    The US response to covid was not worse than many other Western countries who had much more centralized governments than the US.
     
    Well, I'd agree that Italy, Spain, and Britain did very badly, but I'd argue that the US did even worse, especially since the outbreak arrived here later and we had more time to get prepared. Given the timelag and the enormous size of our country, our estimated per capita deaths haven't quite overtaken those other countries, but seem likely to do so.

    Extrapolating the response to corvid by the insinuation that American military potential is equally inept and deficient as US response to covid is pure demagoguery and manipulation. While any intellectually speculation should be welcomed in you case one sniff too much of wish full thinking bordering on Shadenfreude. One may wonder where does it come from in your psychological make up that you wish America ill.
     
    You seem rather "excitable." For years all sorts of seemingly-knowledgeable military experts have provided very harsh criticisms of our defense budget and military technology, with the enormously expensive F-35 program and our carrier groups being particular targets. I've always found their analyses pretty persuasive, but had lingering doubts since the topic obviously couldn't be fully resolved until actual wartime use.

    However, I think the utter and total incompetence of the US reaction to the Covid-19 outbreak tends to shift my presumption, and leads me to believe they're probably correct. The massive wave of uncontrolled nationwide riots and looting surely has a similar effect. I'd also note that a year or two ago we discovered that the FAA had allowed Boeing's Max jets to go into service although they had a tendency to sometimes fly themselves into the ground, a fact that the FAA later attempted to conceal.

    When governments reveal themselves to be totally incompetent in matters that you can directly check, you naturally become much more skeptical that they're extremely competent in things that you can't.

    As another commenter just emphasized, carriers are gigantic objects which even cheap and rudimentary satellites could easily track. As far as I can tell, almost everyone agrees that China's anti-carrier ballistic missiles have no effective defense. So what part of my analysis was mistaken?

    Or do you believe that the American military has some super-secret defense weapon? Given the US government, I'd think they would have endlessly boasted about it by now. Maybe it was developed by all the genius black inventors we always see on Google and in our movies, and which Boeing has now promised to hire in large numbers.

    Replies: @utu

  45. @Anatoly Karlin
    @Ron Unz

    This is a good question, that is surely true, if it turns out that the DF-21 can reliably hit US carriers, making it a silver bullet sort of weapon - this is something we'll only find out in a real war. Other considerations: To work, it will also need constant real-time information on the local of said American carrier. That's what military satellites are for. Does the US know where China's are? Can it bring them down? If it does, will Russia feed China information from theirs? I don't have a clue about any of those questions either.

    I agree with you on the fundamental point, a much worse than expected outcome in a hot war is likely to trigger a major crisis in the US.

    Replies: @songbird

    Why I think carriers are white elephants:

    Satellites capable of tracking a carrier are very cheap – in low orbit, the camera on an iPhone can do it. Technically, if you are tracking movement you only need the resolution of a few pixels. The satellite would need to be only about the size of an old brick phone or shoebox with solar panels folded. The standard cubesat. Made from commercially available parts, possible to create on an assembly line. Cost around $150,000, if assembled in the U.S.. Launch costs under $100,000, with ride-sharing. India launched 101, plus three bigger sats, on one medium-sized rocket. That was over three years ago.

    Last I heard, about a year ago, there was a company nearing total, real-time coverage of the Earth’s surface, minus some areas near the poles. Tracking of container ships is done automatically, through software.

    Drawbacks: they take a while to work into position. It’s done by dragging the solar panels, against air molecules. Launch infrastructure is pretty easy to target. Though, you could certainly launch a few with mobile launchers. Probably very susceptible to an EMP, but that would come with a high political cost, as it would lead to widespread disruptions.

    • Agree: Ron Unz
    • Thanks: Anatoly Karlin
  46. @Anatoly Karlin
    @JL

    In fairness, there's a reasonable chance we'd be discussing it, we'd just likely be doing it on a c.2000 style message board. Nuclear war wouldn't have destroyed industrial/technological civilization, but it will surely have knocked back Moore's Law by a decade or two, along with stalling general tech development development for a similar period.

    Replies: @Kent Nationalist, @another anon, @AP

    c.2000 style message board.

    Message boards? Nah.

    Usenet discussion groups that worked with old style dial-up modems were the pinnacle of Internet discourse.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @another anon

    BBS and Yahoo Chat Rooms, newfag

    Replies: @Blinky Bill

  47. @utu
    @Ron Unz

    " ballistic missiles that supposedly can kill our carriers " - Supposedly is the key word. You are reading too much of Admiral Martyanov sci-fi. Ballistic missiles can't hit and destroy when equipped with conventional charge moving targets like aircraft carries.

    Replies: @Blinky Bill

    Both the DF-21D and DF-26B literally don’t even need to work in order to have a huge impact on US Navy operations in the West Pacific. They simply need to be a credible deterrent.

    [MORE]

    • Replies: @utu
    @Blinky Bill


    "[thye] don’t even need to work in order to have a huge impact "
     
    - Interesting. Do they have more cardboard and plywood to get even more deterrence?

    Replies: @Blinky Bill

    , @Peripatetic Commenter
    @Blinky Bill

    The Russians have been the premier creators of missiles for quite some time.

    I find it odd that they never built something like the DF-21D.

    Perhaps they realize that it would not work.

    Replies: @Blinky Bill

  48. @Blinky Bill
    @utu

    Both the DF-21D and DF-26B literally don't even need to work in order to have a huge impact on US Navy operations in the West Pacific. They simply need to be a credible deterrent.

    https://youtu.be/VTxtyCH6JSg?t=105

    Replies: @utu, @Peripatetic Commenter

    “[thye] don’t even need to work in order to have a huge impact “

    – Interesting. Do they have more cardboard and plywood to get even more deterrence?

    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
    @utu

    Yes.

    Professor Li Bin, a nuclear strategist at Beijing’s Tsinghua University, said he didn’t believe that China had deployed MIRVs (multiple independently-targetable re-entry vehicles), but that “on one missile there is one real warhead and many decoys” and that these decoys are in fact “missile defense countermeasures.”

    Li further speculated that “China wants to understand the technology,” suggesting that the People’s Republic is testing MIRV systems without actually having one ready for immediate use. He is personally against China deploying actual MIRVs because it would place Beijing “in a more dangerous situation” of “use or lose.” The decoys, however, would “not change strategic stability.”

    Contrary to Li’s assertions, the U.S. Defense Department believes that China has in fact deployed MIRVs. In its latest annual report to Congress on China’s military capabilities, the Department claimed for the first time that China possessed MIRV-equipped nuclear weapons, specifically identifying China’s Dong Feng (DF)-5 ICBM missile. The newly developed DF-41 ICBM may be MIRV-equipped as well.

    Hans M. Kristensen of the Federation of American Scientists writes that MIRV missiles “deliver two or more warheads against different targets,” potentially hitting “targets separated by over 1,500 kilometers.”

    Because the most prominent feature of a nuclear arsenal is its total number of missiles, MIRVs serve as a way for nuclear powers to obscure the number of locations they might threaten with nuclear strikes. This makes even a small number of missiles into an immediate existential threat to other countries.

    Li seems to be suggesting China’s MIRV decoys would misdirect an opponent’s missile defense systems, increasing the likelihood of the real warhead hitting its target. This would be in response to China’s perceived threat of U.S. missile defense systems.

    It may, however, be impossible for China’s opponents to distinguish between decoy MIRVs designed to fool missile defenses and the genuine article, making China’s development of decoy MIRVs appear aggressive. Simply insisting that the systems are decoys would do little to mitigate this, which is why I believe the perception that China has MIRVs, whether real or decoy, will have a significant impact on the strategic balance. In other words, the other major powers and their allies, including the United States, Russia, and India among others, will take steps to counter the perceived change of balance.

    According to the 2014 U.S. report, “China’s new generation of mobile missiles, with payloads consisting of Multiple Independently Targeted Reentry Vehicles (MIRVs) and penetration aids, are intended to ensure the viability of China’s strategic deterrent in the face of continued advances in U.S. and, to a lesser extent, Russian strategic ISR, precision strike, and missile defense capabilities.”

    In this sense, the United States and China agree that China’s potential MIRVs are in response to U.S. missile defense. The question of whether they make a devastating loss more likely or in fact threaten even greater destruction is one that both countries and the entire world will take very seriously.

    😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

    Serious questions deserve serious answers.

  49. @utu
    @Ron Unz

    The US response to covid was not worse than many other Western countries who had much more centralized governments than the US. All those countries were sucked into the half measure of dancing between the curve flattening 'meme' and the herd immunity 'meme'. No country in the Western world proposed in clear terns the option of virus elimination on its territory and rally people to follow this policy. Only NZ and Taiwan successfully implemented the elimination strategy. They did it in much more humane approach than the draconian approach of China.

    Extrapolating the response to corvid by the insinuation that American military potential is equally inept and deficient as US response to covid is pure demagoguery and manipulation. While any intellectually speculation should be welcomed in you case one sniff too much of wish full thinking bordering on Shadenfreude. One may wonder where does it come from in your psychological make up that you wish America ill.

    Replies: @Ron Unz

    The US response to covid was not worse than many other Western countries who had much more centralized governments than the US.

    Well, I’d agree that Italy, Spain, and Britain did very badly, but I’d argue that the US did even worse, especially since the outbreak arrived here later and we had more time to get prepared. Given the timelag and the enormous size of our country, our estimated per capita deaths haven’t quite overtaken those other countries, but seem likely to do so.

    Extrapolating the response to corvid by the insinuation that American military potential is equally inept and deficient as US response to covid is pure demagoguery and manipulation. While any intellectually speculation should be welcomed in you case one sniff too much of wish full thinking bordering on Shadenfreude. One may wonder where does it come from in your psychological make up that you wish America ill.

    You seem rather “excitable.” For years all sorts of seemingly-knowledgeable military experts have provided very harsh criticisms of our defense budget and military technology, with the enormously expensive F-35 program and our carrier groups being particular targets. I’ve always found their analyses pretty persuasive, but had lingering doubts since the topic obviously couldn’t be fully resolved until actual wartime use.

    However, I think the utter and total incompetence of the US reaction to the Covid-19 outbreak tends to shift my presumption, and leads me to believe they’re probably correct. The massive wave of uncontrolled nationwide riots and looting surely has a similar effect. I’d also note that a year or two ago we discovered that the FAA had allowed Boeing’s Max jets to go into service although they had a tendency to sometimes fly themselves into the ground, a fact that the FAA later attempted to conceal.

    When governments reveal themselves to be totally incompetent in matters that you can directly check, you naturally become much more skeptical that they’re extremely competent in things that you can’t.

    As another commenter just emphasized, carriers are gigantic objects which even cheap and rudimentary satellites could easily track. As far as I can tell, almost everyone agrees that China’s anti-carrier ballistic missiles have no effective defense. So what part of my analysis was mistaken?

    Or do you believe that the American military has some super-secret defense weapon? Given the US government, I’d think they would have endlessly boasted about it by now. Maybe it was developed by all the genius black inventors we always see on Google and in our movies, and which Boeing has now promised to hire in large numbers.

    • Replies: @utu
    @Ron Unz

    (1) Hype of hypersonic weapons and alleged ballistic thread to aircraft carries

    Why China Can't Target U.S. Aircraft Carriers
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/lorenthompson/2019/08/09/why-china-cant-target-u-s-aircraft-carriers/#3ea443b3716a

    Incoming: Can Aircraft Carriers Survive Hypersonic Weapons?
    https://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/articles/2019/3/22/incoming-can-aircraft-carriers-survive-hypersonic-weapons

    Don't believe Putin's hype about hypersonic missiles
    https://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2019/12/31/commentary/world-commentary/dont-believe-putins-hype-hypersonic-missiles/

    Hypersonic Weapons Hype?
    https://moderndiplomacy.eu/2020/03/20/hypersonic-weapons-hype/

    (2). "the enormously expensive F-35 program" - But F-35 work and are excellent machines. So far 555 F-35 were manufactured. US military services plan to acquire 2,600 F-35 jet fighters which in combination with the existing F-22, F15, F-18 and F-16 exceed in quality and quantity what Russian and China has and will have in foreseeable future.

    (3) Or do you believe that the American military has some super-secret defense weapon? - No I do not except that US has advantage in implementation of laser weapons and electromagnatic kinetic weapons. And most importantly the US has advantage in countermeasure and integration of the battlefield into the cyber battlefield where all possible data inputs are integrated and used using AI decision making. I believe that American Navy and Air Force tradition counts for something just like it counted during sea battles agains Japan in WWII when tactics and good decisions on part of Americans decide on outcomes of some battle when American did not have numerical advantage. When it comes to Navy experience Russia and China are where Russia was in 1905. When in comes to Air Force China has zero experience.

    (4) "However, I think the utter and total incompetence " - As I said before the incompetence was unavoidable once the US like most of the European countries were sucked into the paradigm of "curve faltering " versus "herd immunity" which as A. Karlin called it was an idiot's limbo trap. Be honest, only the strategy of virus elimination. like in Taiwan or NZ would satisfy you. But for some reason this strategy was never put on the table starting with England and their "herd immunity" fantasizing and followed by the US. I do not try to absolve our idiot president and all the cunctators form the CDC who advocated agains mask wearing but they including the idiot president exactly what pretty much all other leaders and CDC's were doing in the Western world except for New Zealand.

    (5) " You seem rather “excitable.” " - Perhaps but it sometime take an excitable person to tell the truth how he sees it to somebody who hide being multi level dissimulations and fake rationalism while really being ruled by hidden emotions and resentments.

    Replies: @Ron Unz

  50. @utu
    @Blinky Bill


    "[thye] don’t even need to work in order to have a huge impact "
     
    - Interesting. Do they have more cardboard and plywood to get even more deterrence?

    Replies: @Blinky Bill

    Yes.

    [MORE]

    Professor Li Bin, a nuclear strategist at Beijing’s Tsinghua University, said he didn’t believe that China had deployed MIRVs (multiple independently-targetable re-entry vehicles), but that “on one missile there is one real warhead and many decoys” and that these decoys are in fact “missile defense countermeasures.”

    Li further speculated that “China wants to understand the technology,” suggesting that the People’s Republic is testing MIRV systems without actually having one ready for immediate use. He is personally against China deploying actual MIRVs because it would place Beijing “in a more dangerous situation” of “use or lose.” The decoys, however, would “not change strategic stability.”

    Contrary to Li’s assertions, the U.S. Defense Department believes that China has in fact deployed MIRVs. In its latest annual report to Congress on China’s military capabilities, the Department claimed for the first time that China possessed MIRV-equipped nuclear weapons, specifically identifying China’s Dong Feng (DF)-5 ICBM missile. The newly developed DF-41 ICBM may be MIRV-equipped as well.

    Hans M. Kristensen of the Federation of American Scientists writes that MIRV missiles “deliver two or more warheads against different targets,” potentially hitting “targets separated by over 1,500 kilometers.”

    Because the most prominent feature of a nuclear arsenal is its total number of missiles, MIRVs serve as a way for nuclear powers to obscure the number of locations they might threaten with nuclear strikes. This makes even a small number of missiles into an immediate existential threat to other countries.

    Li seems to be suggesting China’s MIRV decoys would misdirect an opponent’s missile defense systems, increasing the likelihood of the real warhead hitting its target. This would be in response to China’s perceived threat of U.S. missile defense systems.

    It may, however, be impossible for China’s opponents to distinguish between decoy MIRVs designed to fool missile defenses and the genuine article, making China’s development of decoy MIRVs appear aggressive. Simply insisting that the systems are decoys would do little to mitigate this, which is why I believe the perception that China has MIRVs, whether real or decoy, will have a significant impact on the strategic balance. In other words, the other major powers and their allies, including the United States, Russia, and India among others, will take steps to counter the perceived change of balance.

    According to the 2014 U.S. report, “China’s new generation of mobile missiles, with payloads consisting of Multiple Independently Targeted Reentry Vehicles (MIRVs) and penetration aids, are intended to ensure the viability of China’s strategic deterrent in the face of continued advances in U.S. and, to a lesser extent, Russian strategic ISR, precision strike, and missile defense capabilities.”

    In this sense, the United States and China agree that China’s potential MIRVs are in response to U.S. missile defense. The question of whether they make a devastating loss more likely or in fact threaten even greater destruction is one that both countries and the entire world will take very seriously.

    😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

    Serious questions deserve serious answers.

  51. @Anatoly Karlin
    @JL

    In fairness, there's a reasonable chance we'd be discussing it, we'd just likely be doing it on a c.2000 style message board. Nuclear war wouldn't have destroyed industrial/technological civilization, but it will surely have knocked back Moore's Law by a decade or two, along with stalling general tech development development for a similar period.

    Replies: @Kent Nationalist, @another anon, @AP

    In fairness, there’s a reasonable chance we’d be discussing it, we’d just likely be doing it on a c.2000 style message board.

    Correct, but only if we are living in places like New Zealand or Argentina. And sub-Saharan Africa, Laos, Papua New Guinea, etc. How many of us are?

    • LOL: Blinky Bill
    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
    @AP


    https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn%3AANd9GcROODwqLNEuL1HvyQ1H8ET1RWCIPHAyS1Ymrg&usqp.jpg

    , @Anatoly Karlin
    @AP

    Unlikely, but that's another discussion. (The destructive potential of nukes, while obviously huge, nonetheless falls decidedly short of their portrayal in popular culture).

    Replies: @AP

  52. @another anon
    @Anatoly Karlin


    c.2000 style message board.
     
    Message boards? Nah.

    Usenet discussion groups that worked with old style dial-up modems were the pinnacle of Internet discourse.

    https://i.imgur.com/OJAJdxM.png

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    BBS and Yahoo Chat Rooms, newfag

    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
    @Daniel Chieh


    https://i.imgur.com/tQwPbMQ.gif

  53. @Ron Unz
    @utu


    The US response to covid was not worse than many other Western countries who had much more centralized governments than the US.
     
    Well, I'd agree that Italy, Spain, and Britain did very badly, but I'd argue that the US did even worse, especially since the outbreak arrived here later and we had more time to get prepared. Given the timelag and the enormous size of our country, our estimated per capita deaths haven't quite overtaken those other countries, but seem likely to do so.

    Extrapolating the response to corvid by the insinuation that American military potential is equally inept and deficient as US response to covid is pure demagoguery and manipulation. While any intellectually speculation should be welcomed in you case one sniff too much of wish full thinking bordering on Shadenfreude. One may wonder where does it come from in your psychological make up that you wish America ill.
     
    You seem rather "excitable." For years all sorts of seemingly-knowledgeable military experts have provided very harsh criticisms of our defense budget and military technology, with the enormously expensive F-35 program and our carrier groups being particular targets. I've always found their analyses pretty persuasive, but had lingering doubts since the topic obviously couldn't be fully resolved until actual wartime use.

    However, I think the utter and total incompetence of the US reaction to the Covid-19 outbreak tends to shift my presumption, and leads me to believe they're probably correct. The massive wave of uncontrolled nationwide riots and looting surely has a similar effect. I'd also note that a year or two ago we discovered that the FAA had allowed Boeing's Max jets to go into service although they had a tendency to sometimes fly themselves into the ground, a fact that the FAA later attempted to conceal.

    When governments reveal themselves to be totally incompetent in matters that you can directly check, you naturally become much more skeptical that they're extremely competent in things that you can't.

    As another commenter just emphasized, carriers are gigantic objects which even cheap and rudimentary satellites could easily track. As far as I can tell, almost everyone agrees that China's anti-carrier ballistic missiles have no effective defense. So what part of my analysis was mistaken?

    Or do you believe that the American military has some super-secret defense weapon? Given the US government, I'd think they would have endlessly boasted about it by now. Maybe it was developed by all the genius black inventors we always see on Google and in our movies, and which Boeing has now promised to hire in large numbers.

    Replies: @utu

    (1) Hype of hypersonic weapons and alleged ballistic thread to aircraft carries

    Why China Can’t Target U.S. Aircraft Carriers
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/lorenthompson/2019/08/09/why-china-cant-target-u-s-aircraft-carriers/#3ea443b3716a

    Incoming: Can Aircraft Carriers Survive Hypersonic Weapons?
    https://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/articles/2019/3/22/incoming-can-aircraft-carriers-survive-hypersonic-weapons

    Don’t believe Putin’s hype about hypersonic missiles
    https://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2019/12/31/commentary/world-commentary/dont-believe-putins-hype-hypersonic-missiles/

    Hypersonic Weapons Hype?
    https://moderndiplomacy.eu/2020/03/20/hypersonic-weapons-hype/

    (2). “the enormously expensive F-35 program” – But F-35 work and are excellent machines. So far 555 F-35 were manufactured. US military services plan to acquire 2,600 F-35 jet fighters which in combination with the existing F-22, F15, F-18 and F-16 exceed in quality and quantity what Russian and China has and will have in foreseeable future.

    (3) Or do you believe that the American military has some super-secret defense weapon? – No I do not except that US has advantage in implementation of laser weapons and electromagnatic kinetic weapons. And most importantly the US has advantage in countermeasure and integration of the battlefield into the cyber battlefield where all possible data inputs are integrated and used using AI decision making. I believe that American Navy and Air Force tradition counts for something just like it counted during sea battles agains Japan in WWII when tactics and good decisions on part of Americans decide on outcomes of some battle when American did not have numerical advantage. When it comes to Navy experience Russia and China are where Russia was in 1905. When in comes to Air Force China has zero experience.

    (4) “However, I think the utter and total incompetence ” – As I said before the incompetence was unavoidable once the US like most of the European countries were sucked into the paradigm of “curve faltering ” versus “herd immunity” which as A. Karlin called it was an idiot’s limbo trap. Be honest, only the strategy of virus elimination. like in Taiwan or NZ would satisfy you. But for some reason this strategy was never put on the table starting with England and their “herd immunity” fantasizing and followed by the US. I do not try to absolve our idiot president and all the cunctators form the CDC who advocated agains mask wearing but they including the idiot president exactly what pretty much all other leaders and CDC’s were doing in the Western world except for New Zealand.

    (5) ” You seem rather “excitable.” “ – Perhaps but it sometime take an excitable person to tell the truth how he sees it to somebody who hide being multi level dissimulations and fake rationalism while really being ruled by hidden emotions and resentments.

    • Replies: @Ron Unz
    @utu


    Supposedly is the key word. You are reading too much of Admiral Martyanov sci-fi. Ballistic missiles can’t hit and destroy when equipped with conventional charge moving targets like aircraft carries.
     
    Actually, I'm not sure that Martyanov has ever discussed China's anti-carrier missiles. And obviously, those medium-range ballistic missiles have nothing to do with Russia's new hypersonic cruise missiles, on which he's been focused.

    The only link your provided on that subject was in Forbes by Loren Thompson, who runs the Lexington Institute, which I think is mostly a lobby for the military-industrial complex. Unsurprisingly, he claims carriers aren't vulnerable to the Chinese missiles but he probably would be fired if he said otherwise. I didn't find his arguments very persuasive.

    Obviously, nobody can be sure until war breaks out, and I'm certainly no expert. But over the years I've read numerous articles by seemingly-knowledgeable journalists making a pretty strong case. And given the 737Max and all sorts of other disasters, I'm pretty skeptical of American competence right now, especially since we haven't fought a war with anyone able to attack our carriers in three generations.

    The National Interest is a very mainstream and respectable publication, and ten seconds of Googling located a short piece that certainly seems to suggest that our carriers might be extremely vulnerable to those Chinese missiles:

    https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/all-ways-russia-or-china-could-sink-navy-aircraft-carrier-thousands-dead-58197

    But maybe the writer also has a "psychological make up that...wish[es] America ill" just like me...

    Replies: @AP, @Blinky Bill, @utu

  54. @AP
    @Anatoly Karlin


    In fairness, there’s a reasonable chance we’d be discussing it, we’d just likely be doing it on a c.2000 style message board.
     
    Correct, but only if we are living in places like New Zealand or Argentina. And sub-Saharan Africa, Laos, Papua New Guinea, etc. How many of us are?

    Replies: @Blinky Bill, @Anatoly Karlin

    [MORE]

  55. @Daniel Chieh
    @another anon

    BBS and Yahoo Chat Rooms, newfag

    Replies: @Blinky Bill

    [MORE]

  56. @AP
    @Anatoly Karlin


    In fairness, there’s a reasonable chance we’d be discussing it, we’d just likely be doing it on a c.2000 style message board.
     
    Correct, but only if we are living in places like New Zealand or Argentina. And sub-Saharan Africa, Laos, Papua New Guinea, etc. How many of us are?

    Replies: @Blinky Bill, @Anatoly Karlin

    Unlikely, but that’s another discussion. (The destructive potential of nukes, while obviously huge, nonetheless falls decidedly short of their portrayal in popular culture).

    • Replies: @AP
    @Anatoly Karlin

    I suppose it depends on how extensively they choose to use them. AFAIK most of the populated areas (and many unpopulated areas, if they house missile silos or command centres) would disappear if the full arsenals are unleashed. You in Moscow and those of us on the American east coast, London, etc. would cease to exist.

    Replies: @AP, @another anon

  57. @utu
    @Ron Unz

    (1) Hype of hypersonic weapons and alleged ballistic thread to aircraft carries

    Why China Can't Target U.S. Aircraft Carriers
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/lorenthompson/2019/08/09/why-china-cant-target-u-s-aircraft-carriers/#3ea443b3716a

    Incoming: Can Aircraft Carriers Survive Hypersonic Weapons?
    https://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/articles/2019/3/22/incoming-can-aircraft-carriers-survive-hypersonic-weapons

    Don't believe Putin's hype about hypersonic missiles
    https://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2019/12/31/commentary/world-commentary/dont-believe-putins-hype-hypersonic-missiles/

    Hypersonic Weapons Hype?
    https://moderndiplomacy.eu/2020/03/20/hypersonic-weapons-hype/

    (2). "the enormously expensive F-35 program" - But F-35 work and are excellent machines. So far 555 F-35 were manufactured. US military services plan to acquire 2,600 F-35 jet fighters which in combination with the existing F-22, F15, F-18 and F-16 exceed in quality and quantity what Russian and China has and will have in foreseeable future.

    (3) Or do you believe that the American military has some super-secret defense weapon? - No I do not except that US has advantage in implementation of laser weapons and electromagnatic kinetic weapons. And most importantly the US has advantage in countermeasure and integration of the battlefield into the cyber battlefield where all possible data inputs are integrated and used using AI decision making. I believe that American Navy and Air Force tradition counts for something just like it counted during sea battles agains Japan in WWII when tactics and good decisions on part of Americans decide on outcomes of some battle when American did not have numerical advantage. When it comes to Navy experience Russia and China are where Russia was in 1905. When in comes to Air Force China has zero experience.

    (4) "However, I think the utter and total incompetence " - As I said before the incompetence was unavoidable once the US like most of the European countries were sucked into the paradigm of "curve faltering " versus "herd immunity" which as A. Karlin called it was an idiot's limbo trap. Be honest, only the strategy of virus elimination. like in Taiwan or NZ would satisfy you. But for some reason this strategy was never put on the table starting with England and their "herd immunity" fantasizing and followed by the US. I do not try to absolve our idiot president and all the cunctators form the CDC who advocated agains mask wearing but they including the idiot president exactly what pretty much all other leaders and CDC's were doing in the Western world except for New Zealand.

    (5) " You seem rather “excitable.” " - Perhaps but it sometime take an excitable person to tell the truth how he sees it to somebody who hide being multi level dissimulations and fake rationalism while really being ruled by hidden emotions and resentments.

    Replies: @Ron Unz

    Supposedly is the key word. You are reading too much of Admiral Martyanov sci-fi. Ballistic missiles can’t hit and destroy when equipped with conventional charge moving targets like aircraft carries.

    Actually, I’m not sure that Martyanov has ever discussed China’s anti-carrier missiles. And obviously, those medium-range ballistic missiles have nothing to do with Russia’s new hypersonic cruise missiles, on which he’s been focused.

    The only link your provided on that subject was in Forbes by Loren Thompson, who runs the Lexington Institute, which I think is mostly a lobby for the military-industrial complex. Unsurprisingly, he claims carriers aren’t vulnerable to the Chinese missiles but he probably would be fired if he said otherwise. I didn’t find his arguments very persuasive.

    Obviously, nobody can be sure until war breaks out, and I’m certainly no expert. But over the years I’ve read numerous articles by seemingly-knowledgeable journalists making a pretty strong case. And given the 737Max and all sorts of other disasters, I’m pretty skeptical of American competence right now, especially since we haven’t fought a war with anyone able to attack our carriers in three generations.

    The National Interest is a very mainstream and respectable publication, and ten seconds of Googling located a short piece that certainly seems to suggest that our carriers might be extremely vulnerable to those Chinese missiles:

    https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/all-ways-russia-or-china-could-sink-navy-aircraft-carrier-thousands-dead-58197

    But maybe the writer also has a “psychological make up that…wish[es] America ill” just like me…

    • Replies: @AP
    @Ron Unz


    The only link your provided on that subject was in Forbes by Loren Thompson, who runs the Lexington Institute, which I think is mostly a lobby for the military-industrial complex Unsurprisingly, he claims carriers aren’t vulnerable to the Chinese missiles but he probably would be fired if he said otherwise
     
    This point can work two ways. Someone writing on behalf of the MCI could also exaggerate rivals’ prowess and capability in order to inspire more funding. The idea of falling behind or having become vulnerable would necessitate increased investment.
    , @Blinky Bill
    @Ron Unz


    Actually, I’m not sure that Martyanov has ever discussed China’s anti-carrier missiles
     
    .

    Mr Martyanov is highly sceptical of all Chinese military technological development including the DF-21D and DF-26B.

    https://www.unz.com/?s=Df&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Andrei+Martyanov
    , @utu
    @Ron Unz

    "Unsurprisingly, he claims carriers aren’t vulnerable to the Chinese missiles but he probably would be fired if he said otherwise." - He would not be fired. Optimists are needed for various reasons but the alarm raising Kassandras like Robert Farley from The National Interest also are needed and they can be working an angle of creating another missile gap scare for the MIC as pointed by AP. And if I were the MIC I would pay a stipend to Martyanov to keep scaring us.

    The ballistic missiles were developed for nuclear warheads and thus they are not an ideal delivery system for convention warheads particularly against moving targets like aircraft carriers that in 1-2 minutes can change their location by 1 km. The targeting and homing ability of Chinese ballistic missiles is limited even w/o countermeasures that can blind its radars and optics. Their maneuverability is also not that great. Thy can't chase the aircraft carrier in horizontal plane. Their homing system must acquire the target once they leave the ionosphere and keep it. If it acquires the target too late it wont be able to steer and correct its direction. Here is an article from Taiwanese paper that has some numerical examples:

    All the Ways Russia or China Could Sink a Navy Aircraft Carrier (Thousands Dead)
    https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/all-ways-russia-or-china-could-sink-navy-aircraft-carrier-thousands-dead-58197

    If it is true that Russia will be able to mount a hypersonic glide vehicle on top of their ICBM that will have small drag and autonomous engine and thus will acquire much higher velocity (than the reentry vehicle of the ballistic missile) with supposedly increased maneuverability then indeed it might be a game changer, however all we know about them so far is form Russian media that some prototypes have been flown though not yet with the a ballistic carrier missile.

    "And given the 737Max and all sorts of other disasters, I’m pretty skeptical of American competence right now, especially since we haven’t fought a war with anyone able to attack our carriers in three generations." - I never got excited about what happened to 737M. The errors were made and turned out to be fatal in two cases but the principle was sound of how to cheaply make a better plane by adding larger and more efficient engines to the old frame. If the pilots were trained and made aware of the new "feature" everything would be more or less OK. If the 737M was delivered to Air Force during WWII after several accidents pilots would have learned to deal with the plane. There would be no issue. Many American (and Soviet as well) planes during WWII acquired the nickname of flying coffins yet they were produced in tens of thousands and they were designed and built here in the US and no engineers from Bangalore were involved. B-29 had to a accelerated very fast after the take off because otherwise its engines were catching fire of insufficient air cooling. In 45 months of war 52,651 accidents and 13,873 planes were lost inside the continental United States. Almost 1,000 Army planes disappeared en route from the US to foreign locations. 43,581 aircraft were lost overseas including 22,948 on combat missions and 20,633 attributed to non-combat causes overseas. The glitch of 737M would not be even noticed in war condition.

    "But maybe the writer also has a “psychological make up that…wish[es] America ill” just like me…" - Perhaps I went too far but your initial comment to Karlin's article made me wonder.

  58. @Ron Unz
    @utu


    Supposedly is the key word. You are reading too much of Admiral Martyanov sci-fi. Ballistic missiles can’t hit and destroy when equipped with conventional charge moving targets like aircraft carries.
     
    Actually, I'm not sure that Martyanov has ever discussed China's anti-carrier missiles. And obviously, those medium-range ballistic missiles have nothing to do with Russia's new hypersonic cruise missiles, on which he's been focused.

    The only link your provided on that subject was in Forbes by Loren Thompson, who runs the Lexington Institute, which I think is mostly a lobby for the military-industrial complex. Unsurprisingly, he claims carriers aren't vulnerable to the Chinese missiles but he probably would be fired if he said otherwise. I didn't find his arguments very persuasive.

    Obviously, nobody can be sure until war breaks out, and I'm certainly no expert. But over the years I've read numerous articles by seemingly-knowledgeable journalists making a pretty strong case. And given the 737Max and all sorts of other disasters, I'm pretty skeptical of American competence right now, especially since we haven't fought a war with anyone able to attack our carriers in three generations.

    The National Interest is a very mainstream and respectable publication, and ten seconds of Googling located a short piece that certainly seems to suggest that our carriers might be extremely vulnerable to those Chinese missiles:

    https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/all-ways-russia-or-china-could-sink-navy-aircraft-carrier-thousands-dead-58197

    But maybe the writer also has a "psychological make up that...wish[es] America ill" just like me...

    Replies: @AP, @Blinky Bill, @utu

    The only link your provided on that subject was in Forbes by Loren Thompson, who runs the Lexington Institute, which I think is mostly a lobby for the military-industrial complex Unsurprisingly, he claims carriers aren’t vulnerable to the Chinese missiles but he probably would be fired if he said otherwise

    This point can work two ways. Someone writing on behalf of the MCI could also exaggerate rivals’ prowess and capability in order to inspire more funding. The idea of falling behind or having become vulnerable would necessitate increased investment.

    • Agree: utu
  59. @Anatoly Karlin
    @AP

    Unlikely, but that's another discussion. (The destructive potential of nukes, while obviously huge, nonetheless falls decidedly short of their portrayal in popular culture).

    Replies: @AP

    I suppose it depends on how extensively they choose to use them. AFAIK most of the populated areas (and many unpopulated areas, if they house missile silos or command centres) would disappear if the full arsenals are unleashed. You in Moscow and those of us on the American east coast, London, etc. would cease to exist.

    • Agree: Blinky Bill
    • Replies: @AP
    @AP

    Map of targeted areas in the USA. Given that each missile would take out a circle of 60 miles or so, almost all populated areas would be erased, including rural-feeling ones:

    There would still be a few tends millions in the Dakotas.



    https://chicago.cbslocal.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/15116062/2015/03/11082355_10152719036461198_7393289887901148492_o.jpg

    Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    , @another anon
    @AP

    This is why all progressive people of the world must welcome nuclear war as final end to fascism.
    This is why all nucleophobia is racist and Islamophobic.

    https://twitter.com/IsmailY54094388/status/1302402778162171907

  60. @Ron Unz
    @utu


    Supposedly is the key word. You are reading too much of Admiral Martyanov sci-fi. Ballistic missiles can’t hit and destroy when equipped with conventional charge moving targets like aircraft carries.
     
    Actually, I'm not sure that Martyanov has ever discussed China's anti-carrier missiles. And obviously, those medium-range ballistic missiles have nothing to do with Russia's new hypersonic cruise missiles, on which he's been focused.

    The only link your provided on that subject was in Forbes by Loren Thompson, who runs the Lexington Institute, which I think is mostly a lobby for the military-industrial complex. Unsurprisingly, he claims carriers aren't vulnerable to the Chinese missiles but he probably would be fired if he said otherwise. I didn't find his arguments very persuasive.

    Obviously, nobody can be sure until war breaks out, and I'm certainly no expert. But over the years I've read numerous articles by seemingly-knowledgeable journalists making a pretty strong case. And given the 737Max and all sorts of other disasters, I'm pretty skeptical of American competence right now, especially since we haven't fought a war with anyone able to attack our carriers in three generations.

    The National Interest is a very mainstream and respectable publication, and ten seconds of Googling located a short piece that certainly seems to suggest that our carriers might be extremely vulnerable to those Chinese missiles:

    https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/all-ways-russia-or-china-could-sink-navy-aircraft-carrier-thousands-dead-58197

    But maybe the writer also has a "psychological make up that...wish[es] America ill" just like me...

    Replies: @AP, @Blinky Bill, @utu

    Actually, I’m not sure that Martyanov has ever discussed China’s anti-carrier missiles

    .

    Mr Martyanov is highly sceptical of all Chinese military technological development including the DF-21D and DF-26B.

    https://www.unz.com/?s=Df&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Andrei+Martyanov

  61. @AP
    @Anatoly Karlin

    I suppose it depends on how extensively they choose to use them. AFAIK most of the populated areas (and many unpopulated areas, if they house missile silos or command centres) would disappear if the full arsenals are unleashed. You in Moscow and those of us on the American east coast, London, etc. would cease to exist.

    Replies: @AP, @another anon

    Map of targeted areas in the USA. Given that each missile would take out a circle of 60 miles or so, almost all populated areas would be erased, including rural-feeling ones:

    There would still be a few tends millions in the Dakotas.

    [MORE]

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    @AP


    ... would take out a circle of 60 miles or so
     
    Nowhere close to that, order of magnitude less for lethal dose (if in the open) and that's with much more powerful warheads than what constitutes most of the US and Russian arsenals today.
  62. @Blinky Bill
    @utu

    Both the DF-21D and DF-26B literally don't even need to work in order to have a huge impact on US Navy operations in the West Pacific. They simply need to be a credible deterrent.

    https://youtu.be/VTxtyCH6JSg?t=105

    Replies: @utu, @Peripatetic Commenter

    The Russians have been the premier creators of missiles for quite some time.

    I find it odd that they never built something like the DF-21D.

    Perhaps they realize that it would not work.

    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
    @Peripatetic Commenter

    Nuclear War Head, relatively poor precision CEP of 400 yards (370 m).

    The 4K18 was a Soviet medium-range anti-ship ballistic missile (also known as R-27K, where "K" stands for Korabelnaya which means "ship-related") NATO SS-NX-13. The missile was a two-stage development of the single-stage R-27, the second stage containing the warhead as well as propulsion and terminal guidance.[4] Initial submarine testing began on 9 December 1972 on board the K-102, a project 605 class submarine, a modified Project 629/ NATO Golf class lengthened 17.1m (formerly B-121), to accommodate four launch tubes as well as the Rekord-2 fire control system, the Kasatka B-605 Target acquisition system and various improvements to the navigation and communications systems. Initial trials ended on 18 December 1972 because the Rekord-2 fire control system hadn't been delivered yet. After a number of delays caused by several malfunctions, test firings were finally carried out between 11 September and 4 December 1973. Following the initial trials, the K-102 continued making trial launches with both the R-27 and the R-27K, until it was accepted for service on 15 August 1975.

    Using external targeting data, the R-27K/SS-NX-13 would have been launched underwater to a range of between 350-400 nm (650–740 km), covering a "footprint" of 27 nm (50 km). The Maneuvering Re-Entry vehicle (MaRV) would then home in on the target with a Warhead yield was between 0.5-1 Mt.

  63. @Peripatetic Commenter
    @Blinky Bill

    The Russians have been the premier creators of missiles for quite some time.

    I find it odd that they never built something like the DF-21D.

    Perhaps they realize that it would not work.

    Replies: @Blinky Bill

    Nuclear War Head, relatively poor precision CEP of 400 yards (370 m).

    The 4K18 was a Soviet medium-range anti-ship ballistic missile (also known as R-27K, where “K” stands for Korabelnaya which means “ship-related”) NATO SS-NX-13. The missile was a two-stage development of the single-stage R-27, the second stage containing the warhead as well as propulsion and terminal guidance.[4] Initial submarine testing began on 9 December 1972 on board the K-102, a project 605 class submarine, a modified Project 629/ NATO Golf class lengthened 17.1m (formerly B-121), to accommodate four launch tubes as well as the Rekord-2 fire control system, the Kasatka B-605 Target acquisition system and various improvements to the navigation and communications systems. Initial trials ended on 18 December 1972 because the Rekord-2 fire control system hadn’t been delivered yet. After a number of delays caused by several malfunctions, test firings were finally carried out between 11 September and 4 December 1973. Following the initial trials, the K-102 continued making trial launches with both the R-27 and the R-27K, until it was accepted for service on 15 August 1975.

    Using external targeting data, the R-27K/SS-NX-13 would have been launched underwater to a range of between 350-400 nm (650–740 km), covering a “footprint” of 27 nm (50 km). The Maneuvering Re-Entry vehicle (MaRV) would then home in on the target with a Warhead yield was between 0.5-1 Mt.

  64. @Ron Unz
    @utu


    Supposedly is the key word. You are reading too much of Admiral Martyanov sci-fi. Ballistic missiles can’t hit and destroy when equipped with conventional charge moving targets like aircraft carries.
     
    Actually, I'm not sure that Martyanov has ever discussed China's anti-carrier missiles. And obviously, those medium-range ballistic missiles have nothing to do with Russia's new hypersonic cruise missiles, on which he's been focused.

    The only link your provided on that subject was in Forbes by Loren Thompson, who runs the Lexington Institute, which I think is mostly a lobby for the military-industrial complex. Unsurprisingly, he claims carriers aren't vulnerable to the Chinese missiles but he probably would be fired if he said otherwise. I didn't find his arguments very persuasive.

    Obviously, nobody can be sure until war breaks out, and I'm certainly no expert. But over the years I've read numerous articles by seemingly-knowledgeable journalists making a pretty strong case. And given the 737Max and all sorts of other disasters, I'm pretty skeptical of American competence right now, especially since we haven't fought a war with anyone able to attack our carriers in three generations.

    The National Interest is a very mainstream and respectable publication, and ten seconds of Googling located a short piece that certainly seems to suggest that our carriers might be extremely vulnerable to those Chinese missiles:

    https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/all-ways-russia-or-china-could-sink-navy-aircraft-carrier-thousands-dead-58197

    But maybe the writer also has a "psychological make up that...wish[es] America ill" just like me...

    Replies: @AP, @Blinky Bill, @utu

    “Unsurprisingly, he claims carriers aren’t vulnerable to the Chinese missiles but he probably would be fired if he said otherwise.” – He would not be fired. Optimists are needed for various reasons but the alarm raising Kassandras like Robert Farley from The National Interest also are needed and they can be working an angle of creating another missile gap scare for the MIC as pointed by AP. And if I were the MIC I would pay a stipend to Martyanov to keep scaring us.

    The ballistic missiles were developed for nuclear warheads and thus they are not an ideal delivery system for convention warheads particularly against moving targets like aircraft carriers that in 1-2 minutes can change their location by 1 km. The targeting and homing ability of Chinese ballistic missiles is limited even w/o countermeasures that can blind its radars and optics. Their maneuverability is also not that great. Thy can’t chase the aircraft carrier in horizontal plane. Their homing system must acquire the target once they leave the ionosphere and keep it. If it acquires the target too late it wont be able to steer and correct its direction. Here is an article from Taiwanese paper that has some numerical examples:

    All the Ways Russia or China Could Sink a Navy Aircraft Carrier (Thousands Dead)
    https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/all-ways-russia-or-china-could-sink-navy-aircraft-carrier-thousands-dead-58197

    If it is true that Russia will be able to mount a hypersonic glide vehicle on top of their ICBM that will have small drag and autonomous engine and thus will acquire much higher velocity (than the reentry vehicle of the ballistic missile) with supposedly increased maneuverability then indeed it might be a game changer, however all we know about them so far is form Russian media that some prototypes have been flown though not yet with the a ballistic carrier missile.

    “And given the 737Max and all sorts of other disasters, I’m pretty skeptical of American competence right now, especially since we haven’t fought a war with anyone able to attack our carriers in three generations.” – I never got excited about what happened to 737M. The errors were made and turned out to be fatal in two cases but the principle was sound of how to cheaply make a better plane by adding larger and more efficient engines to the old frame. If the pilots were trained and made aware of the new “feature” everything would be more or less OK. If the 737M was delivered to Air Force during WWII after several accidents pilots would have learned to deal with the plane. There would be no issue. Many American (and Soviet as well) planes during WWII acquired the nickname of flying coffins yet they were produced in tens of thousands and they were designed and built here in the US and no engineers from Bangalore were involved. B-29 had to a accelerated very fast after the take off because otherwise its engines were catching fire of insufficient air cooling. In 45 months of war 52,651 accidents and 13,873 planes were lost inside the continental United States. Almost 1,000 Army planes disappeared en route from the US to foreign locations. 43,581 aircraft were lost overseas including 22,948 on combat missions and 20,633 attributed to non-combat causes overseas. The glitch of 737M would not be even noticed in war condition.

    “But maybe the writer also has a “psychological make up that…wish[es] America ill” just like me…” – Perhaps I went too far but your initial comment to Karlin’s article made me wonder.

  65. @AP
    @AP

    Map of targeted areas in the USA. Given that each missile would take out a circle of 60 miles or so, almost all populated areas would be erased, including rural-feeling ones:

    There would still be a few tends millions in the Dakotas.



    https://chicago.cbslocal.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/15116062/2015/03/11082355_10152719036461198_7393289887901148492_o.jpg

    Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    … would take out a circle of 60 miles or so

    Nowhere close to that, order of magnitude less for lethal dose (if in the open) and that’s with much more powerful warheads than what constitutes most of the US and Russian arsenals today.

    • Thanks: AP
  66. What I’d worry about, and what is more difficult to predict, are the knock on effects from a full counter value nuclear attack. People would be more concerned with clean drinking water and avoiding hunger than their internet connection.

    As AK noted previously, the war would still be going on with whatever was left of countries’ conventional and non-nuclear unconventional arsenals. Society would be reorganized along totalitarian lines, meaning strict control over information resources. Large swathes of technological infrastructure would be destroyed anyway. So I stand by my initial claim that we’d be unlikely to be discussing the issue here, unless the war had happened decades ago and the rebuilding process to former technological levels had already commenced.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
    @JL

    That is why what kinda American elite would want a nuclear war?

    Their current super uber luxurious life would be gone.

    From their current decadent life styles to fighting n killing n dying over clean water?

    No elite would want that, I don't want that.

    Only crazies would want that.

  67. The 2020 China Military Power Report to Congress says that the new Type-055 Renhai Class cruiser “will likely be able to launch ASBMs and LACMs once these weapons are available”. LACMs refers to land-attack cruise missiles.

    The report comes in both classified and unclassified forms. The unclassified version does not present us with the evidence behind the assertion. But it would be a logical development, and would set Chinese warships apart from all others in the world. Arming cruisers with an equivalent weapon could be a game changer, extending their reach further into the Pacific. The first Renhai Class cruiser was only commissioned in January of this year. But already the 8th ship has been launched on August 30.

    [MORE]

  68. @Dave Pinsen
    It's weird to contrast those charts of supreme U.S. military capability with the U.S. military getting fought to a standstill by goatherds in Afghanistan for 19 years. What's the point of all of it?

    Replies: @Not Raul, @Svevlad, @anonymous coward, @JohnPlywood, @Anatoly Karlin, @Erik Sieven

    When you compare WW II, Korea, Vietnam and then Iraq/Afghanistan you see that US military operations have become softer and nicer over the decades.

  69. @AP
    @Anatoly Karlin

    I suppose it depends on how extensively they choose to use them. AFAIK most of the populated areas (and many unpopulated areas, if they house missile silos or command centres) would disappear if the full arsenals are unleashed. You in Moscow and those of us on the American east coast, London, etc. would cease to exist.

    Replies: @AP, @another anon

    This is why all progressive people of the world must welcome nuclear war as final end to fascism.
    This is why all nucleophobia is racist and Islamophobic.

    https://twitter.com/IsmailY54094388/status/1302402778162171907

  70. @JL
    What I'd worry about, and what is more difficult to predict, are the knock on effects from a full counter value nuclear attack. People would be more concerned with clean drinking water and avoiding hunger than their internet connection.

    As AK noted previously, the war would still be going on with whatever was left of countries' conventional and non-nuclear unconventional arsenals. Society would be reorganized along totalitarian lines, meaning strict control over information resources. Large swathes of technological infrastructure would be destroyed anyway. So I stand by my initial claim that we'd be unlikely to be discussing the issue here, unless the war had happened decades ago and the rebuilding process to former technological levels had already commenced.

    Replies: @Astuteobservor II

    That is why what kinda American elite would want a nuclear war?

    Their current super uber luxurious life would be gone.

    From their current decadent life styles to fighting n killing n dying over clean water?

    No elite would want that, I don’t want that.

    Only crazies would want that.

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