Thursday, June 15, 2017

Junior Submarine Officers Press Conference

Originally Published May 25, 2012; Last Updated April 09, 2017; Last Republished April 09, 2017:

Yesterday, a wonderfully diverse2 group of junior submarine officers held a press conference at the Naval Heritage Center, Presidents Room in Washington, DC—just back from their first long deployment!

The group, including the women submariners seems enthusiastic about their new submarine assignment—one is even looking forward to those "really awesome" fast attack missions:
“All of the history and lore of the submarine community really comes back to those really awesome missions that fast attacks do. If it were to be opened, I think there are some of us who probably would be willing to serve on them despite the tight quarters,”--Lieutenant Junior Grade Vanessa Esch--
Lone Sailor
Junior Submarine Officers' Press Conference1

UPDATED 03/25/2017 UTubeNavyDetailers, PERS 42 Submarine Community Screening Board Video (also, peruse the numerous "how to write" a fitrep for LDOs and URLs; it's an art!)

UPDATED 07/10/2015 NIH, Ionizing Radiation in Pregnant Women: A Review of the Safety and Guidelines

Limited sample size focused only on man-made diagnostic and therapeutic x-rays (i.e. not more energetic gamma rays of nuclei)6.


UPDATED 06/15/2017
Navy, On Our Depth One-Six-Zero Feet

UPDATED 04/09/2017 BB, Sea-Air-Space Exposition 2017: Cyber Operations in Sea Services

UPDATED 02/07/2017 Navy, TSC Female Sailors Sought for Submarine Service
UPDATED 10/29/2016 NavyLive, Commissioning USS Illinois (SSN 786) The well-done and official "Silent Service" promo video accompanying this page needs to prominently feature female submariners, too (also, Enlisted Women in Submarines Road Shows Hit Fleet Concentration Areas).


and UPI, First lady Michelle Obama welcomes U.S. Navy's most advance submarine USS Illinois

UPDATED 05/18/2016 NPC, Enlisted Women in Submarines

Fast Attack Submarine Segment Begins ~3:30

UPDATED  03/20/2016 SFT, Navy taps first black woman from ROTC for submarine service
UPDATED 01/14/2015 Riverhead, Making history: Riverhead grad will be one of the first female officers to serve in Navy submarine force

Past social dogma and stereotypes lack any positive or neutral buoyancy in today's modern and extraordinarily challenging submarine environments. Unlike, say an idea for new materials, which are capable of performing in the equally challenging environment of a submarine's nuclear reactor compartment while significantly lessening its overall density7.

Stated differently past dogma and stereotypes in a submarine's environment will sink to collapse depth in a positively reinforced loop of greater density (i.e. greater mass in a smaller volume). Professional submariners work in dedicated teams to ensure their submarine never experiences this singularity.

UPDATED 12/03/2015 NYT, Pentagon Will Open All Combat Roles to Women and NPR, Pentagon Says Women Can Now Serve In Front-Line Ground Combat Positions

UPDATED 10/03/2015 KitsapSun,  Shipyard converting USS Michigan for enlisted women

Article includes rough time frame for integrating noncommissioned women into both Ohio and Virginia class submarine platforms.

UPDATED 07/10/2015 NavyLive, Enlisted Women in Submarines Application Package Milestone Achieved

UPDATED 12/07/2014 UPI, Navy: Submarine women were secretly filmed in shower (UPDATED 10/03/2015 NavyTimes, Tofalo takes reins of submarine fleet and UPDATED 11/17/2015 NavyTimes, 10th sailor disciplined in submarine shower video case)

There's a big difference between submariners viewing the adolescent movie "Porky's" and secretly producing or distributing a "Porky's" starring submariners5.

Surely, all "Porky's" producer(s) or distributor(s) have exited our submarine service and unreproving viewers identified and counseled or reprimanded, at a minimum?

Adolescent shenanigans should not deter or impede our nation and submariners from building a strong world-class 21st century professional submarine service that includes coeds.

UPDATED 05/23/2014 Navy, Six Female Officers to Integrate into Fast Attack Submarines (Atlantic first followed by Pacific around first quarter 2015)

UPDATED 05/24/2013 NavyMil, Naval Academy Graduates Class of 2013 Includes 13 females selected for submarines.
UPDATED 04/11/2013 NavyTimes, Exclusive: Sub boss on op tempo, plans to integrate women
UPDATED 01/25/2013 NavyTimes, Mabus: First women selected for attack subs

Kudos to our SecDef, SecNav, CNO and submariners on speedily moving to a gender neutral professional submarine force!

Responding to the seemingly perpetual "close quarters" argument is as simple as specifying minimum attire4 and encouraging all submariners (male and female) expressing such "contact concerns" to seek career enhancing gender identity training or just incorporate such training into the basic submarine school curricula.

It's bizarre logic that explicitly or implicitly argues that our highly trained and professional submariners must constrain their sexuality with physical barriers—those (male or female) requiring such constraint must not be permitted to become or remain submariners.

UPDATED 12/09/2012 NavyNews, Female Sailors Receive Submarine 'Dolphins'

UPDATED 12/07/2012 NavyNews, First Qualified Female Submarine Officers Receive Dolphins

UPDATED 10/04/2012 Time, More Navy Women Joining the Silent Service

Kudos to the CNO for speedily integrating our female submariners into all submarine platforms and billets—our female submariners will professionally contribute to the success of submarine missions while improving the overall readiness of our submarine force.

UPDATED 08/23/2012 Day, Admiral says USS Miami will be repaired; hints at timing for women submariners at base Article based on recent CNO All Hands Talk at Sub Base, Groton (below):

UPDATED 06/18/2012 KitsapSun, First female submariners find few obstacles

Any submariner qualified to stand your watch while underway does not represent an obstacle, but a sleep potential.

UPDATED 05/31/2012 WH, Women Chart a New Course Onboard U.S. Navy Submarines President, First Lady, SECNAV, SECDEF, VCNO and female junior submariner officers visit at White House.

Female Junior Submariner Officers at White House
UPDATED 05/31/2012 NavyTimes, Women on subs talk mission, working with men

U-T San Diego, Women on Subs Very Successful The article states that Vice Admiral John M. Richardson, Commander, Submarine Forces is close to a decision on whether all submarines will be open to women.

It will be most unfortunate if the a silly3 "close quarters" argument is permitted to impede or delay women's speedy integration into all submarine billets and submarine classes platforms for which they are qualified.

Of more concern is the tall submarine sonar officer (pictured center) who may find very few places on a fast attack submarine (especially Los Angeles-class) to stand up straight!


1. President Theodore Roosevelt is pictured behind the submarine officers.

2. Kudos to our Navy, which is continuing significant efforts to build a fantastically diverse, strong and well trained 21st century submarine force in today's challenging budgetary environment.

3. It's as silly as arguing that women should ride in the back of a spacious pick-up truck, but not its close quarter cab.

In fairness to those whose traditions have routinely excluded women, these are fast evolving and dramatic changes to our submarine force. Shocking customary sensibilities can be destabilizing, particularly if you're an older and aging white congressman.

However, a professional submariner is nothing if not skilled at shocking customary sensibilities and responding to same—in fact the ability to routinely shock customary sensibilities and respond to same is a very good definition of "tactical advantage" that is so vital to success in submarine warfare.

4. For example skivvies and a T-shirt, although some submariners (male and female) may prefer to wear more and privacy barriers (e.g. curtain).

5. It's not like there's a dearth of existing pornography to match any submariner's preferences.

6. Navy policy is to assign or transfer pregnant women to shore duty (Navy Pregnancy FAQ) and (HPS, Factsheet, Radiation Exposure and Pregnancy).

Additional general information on Nuclear Radiation and Health Effects.

Deep divers on the effects of low-level ionizing radiation will eventually peruse: Health Effects of Exposure to Low Levels of Ionizing Radiation: BEIR V (1990) and Health Risks from Exposure to Low Levels of Ionizing Radiation: BEIR VII Phase 2 (2006) and Medline, Radiation Exposure and UNSCEAR, Biological Mechanisms of Radiation Actions at Low Doses (pdf) and EPA Radiation and Risk Assessment.

UPDATED 09/12/2016 NatureCommunications, Mutational signatures of ionizing radiation in second malignancies

7. It's not uncommon for professional submariners to estimate the percentage of total weight and volume allocated to fast-attack submarine propulsion at thirty-five and fifty, respectively.

Is Ohio Class Replacement An Investment

Originally Published March 19, 2013; Last Updated June 15, 2017; Last Republished june 15, 2017:

A recent navy post makes the incredible assertion that the Ohio-class replacement platform is an "...essential investment for our nation..."—expenditure of billions of dollars that returns a rusting radioactive steel cylinder after 42 years doesn't have the typical attributes of an investment.

Moreover, after 42 years the "investment" must be sealed, buried and monitored for hundreds of years, incurring additional expenditures!

Surely, this "investment" requires more justification than reasserting standard bogeymen and committing that the Ohio-class replacement team will act responsibly and hold-down expenditures1?

Before incurring additional billions for more stealthiness to ensure survivability we should debate whether our future prosperity and survivability depend more on transparency than stealthiness?


UPDATED 05/26/2017 Navy, SCN Book 2017 (FY 2018 Budget Estimates)
UPDATED 02/27/2017 Navy, SCN Book 2016
UPDATED 10/07/2016 CRS, Navy Columbia Class (Ohio Replacement) Program, Oct 2016
UPDATED 09/13/2016 FissileMaterial, Conceptual Research and Development Plan for Low-Enriched Uranium Naval Fuel and FissileMaterial, Report On Low Enriched Uranium for Naval Reactors' Cores  and NAP, Reducing the Use of Highly Enriched Uranium in Civilian Research Reactors (2016)
UPDATED 03/10/2016 CRS, Navy Ohio Replacement (SSBN[X]) Ballistic Missile Submarine Program: Background andIssues for Congress

Includes the text of 10 U.S.C. 2218a, National Sea-Based Deterrence Fund (NSBDF), an off navy balance sheet appropriation and accounting gimmick to fund the SSBN(X). And unsurprisingly a significant amount of estimated cost saving assumes the creation of the NSBDF!

Congress must hold more meaningful4 public hearings and publish detailed data and assumptions, which forms the basis for the SSBN(X) current cost estimates (e.g. 22% cost-to-weight improvement over Virginia-class; Virginia-class commonality cost saving, etc.)

UPDATED 03/01/2016 FAS, Status of World Nuclear Forces
UPDATED 02/10/2016 SecNav, Proposed 2017 Obligation Authority, Ohio-Class-Replacement, Adv. Procurement 2017-2021
UPDATED 02/09/2016 FAS, Declassified: US Nuclear Weapons At Sea
UPDATED 01/16/2016 CSIS, Chinese Strategy and Military Modernization in 2015: A Comparative Analysis#Figure 10.7: Force Structure of the PLA Navy 1985-2015-Part I; Submarines

UPDATED 01/14/2016 CRS, Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans:Background and Issues for Congress (courtesy FAS)
UPDATED 01/06/2016 NavyCNO, A Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority
UPDATED 08/03/2015 Wikipedia, Ohio Replacement Submarine
UPDATED 03/19/2015 FAS, Naval Nuclear Propulsion: Assessing Benefits and Risks
UPDATED 01/19/2014 BOS, US nuclear forces, 2014 and FAS, New START Data Shows Russia Reducing, US Increasing Nuclear Forces
UPDATED 12/21/2013 CBO, Projected Costs of U.S. Nuclear Forces, 2014 to 2023  (check annual updates for latest revisions) and CBO, Long-Term Implications of the 2014 Future Years Defense Program and CBO, An Analysis of the Navy’s Fiscal Year 2014 Shipbuilding Plan

UPDATED 05/06/2013 FAS, Russian SSBN Fleet: Modernizing But Not Sailing Much

"...Rather than opposing further reductions, U.S. lawmakers should support limitations on the growing asymmetry between U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear forces – an asymmetry that is significantly in the U.S. advantage – to help limit further concentration of nuclear warheads on Russia’s declining numbers of strategic missiles. That would actually help the national security interests of all."2--FAS--


UPDATED 06/15/2017 U.S. Navy, On Our Depth One-Six-Zero Feet

UPDATED 05/26/2017 HASC, FY18 Priorities for Nuclear Forces & Atomic Energy Defense Activities

UPDATED 05/23/2017 Navy, Department of the Navy Releases Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Proposal FY2018 proposes to fully fund the Columbia-class platforms program!? (article provides links for those wanting to drill down--$19.9B for ship building!) and Navy, Secretary Mabus Names Three Vessels During Ceremony and SecNav, DON Budget Materials FY2018 and DoD FY 2018 Budget Estimates May 2017 Navy Justification Book Volume 1 of 1 Shipbuilding and Conversion, Navy (pdf 2.8M)
Courtney Statement On Navy Budget and Seapower, HASC Seapower Leaders Optimistic on Submarine Construction Industrial Base

Curiously, the article announcing the navy's FY2018 budget release states that the Columbia-class program is fully funded: "...fully fund the critical Columbia-class Ballistic Missile Submarine (SSBN) program..."?

The above presentation does not mention that the $49.5B proposed procurement budget includes a fully funded Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine platform program? The rear-admiral does mention National Sea-Based Deterrence Fund, which is a five-year (FY2022) off-navy-budget account to temporarily park funds for Columbia-class advance procurement and construction of: bow, Xstern, hull, missile control, joint British common missile compartment tubes, propulsion plant, propulsor prototype, weapons, weapons handling, air conditioning unit, diesel generator set, and reverse osmosis unit etc. for submarine platforms SSBN 826 (lead platform), 827, 828 and 829.

It seems our navy and its boosters on the Seapower Subcommittee et al. intend to build an entire new class of submarine using an opaque off-budget National Sea-Based Deterrence Fund account? When are these accumulating costs returning to a budget? which budget? how much?

The stated justification is to "improve the probability of on time delivery" of the lead Columbia-class platform!

UPDATED 05/04/2017 CAP, The Case Against New Nuclear Weapons and  Brookings, Assuring a ready fleet: A discussion with Admiral John Richardson and Brookings, How to Ensure That the U.S. Navy Remains Effective

UPDATED 04/09/2017 SeaPowerMag, VCNO Moran: Columbia SSBN On Schedule, But Margin is Tight
UPDATED 04/01/2017 USDEF,Stratcom Commander Speaks at Conference of Military Reporters, Editors Association Conference, March 31, 2017

No, General John E. Hyten our nuclear weapons are not "just high explosives" they are nuclear weapons and your profession is not peace, your profession is war!!! The general fits well within our "new" alt-white-house et al. where up is down; facts are fake; chemical reaction are nuclear; peace is war...5 etc.

...and General Curtis LeMay is not a poster boy for a costly strategic triad upgrade but the need for free press oversight of our military and decreasing our obscene stockpiles of nuclear weapons (or as you prefer to call them high explosives), particularly during the period our "new" alt-white-house is governing or more accurately not governing.

UPDATED 01/27/2017 PopSci, The Nuclear Arsenals of China and the U.S.
UPDATED 01/19/2017 InsideDef, Navy formally announces Columbia-class milestone decision A mini-design decision, which says we kinda know what we're buying, accompanied by a [big] "ballpark" guess about its cost along with many laments over how to "find the money" to pay for their lowball guess.

Here's how the submarine platform's biggest booster, Representative Courtney, (CT-02) describes it: Columbia-Class Achieves 'Milestone B' As The National Sea Based Deterrence Fund Comes Online and the hometown newspaper CTMirror, Navy moves forward on new Columbia-class submarines.

UPDATED 12/17/2016 USNI, Dec. 14, 2016 executive summary of the Navy’s 2016 Force Structure Assessment
UPDATED 12/16/2016 USNI, Navy Wants to Grow Fleet to 355 Ships; 47 Hull Increase Adds Destroyers, Attacks Subs and Navy, Secretary of the Navy Announces Need for 355-ship Navy

The Navy's 2016 Force Structure Analysis (FSA) did not come with the SecNav's FSA announcement—for now all we can say is our navy is asking Santa Claus to deliver a lot of Christmas presents! Even Santa Claus is constrained by budget and funding levels!

UPDATED 07/08/2016 CSIS, Delivering on the Future of Submarine Warfare

Navy (N97 and PEO Submarines) presents some general expectations for the Ohio-class replacement platform.

UPDATED 05/10/2016 SI Opinion, Scale back U.S. nuclear weapons and stop a new arms race

UPDATED 03/30/2016 SeaPower, Navy Selects Electric Boat as Prime for New SSBN and Reuters, U.S. names General Dynamics prime contractor for new submarines

UPDATED 04/02/2016 PBS, As Pentagon overhauls nuclear triad, critics advise caution and PBS Newshour Takes On The Holy Nuclear Triad and POTUS Nuclear Security Summit Press Conference (comments @ ~32:00 on U.S.-Russia sustain or reduce nuclear inventory)

Bill Perry is being very generous when he refers to our present nuclear strategic lunacy as "belt and suspenders for the belts and suspenders". The current nuclear strategic lunacy has more to do with the past balance of petulant service chiefs than any current balance of nuclear terror, retaliatory and probability-of-kill mathematics.

Let's immediately begin eliminating all ground and air based ICBMs and platforms, go slow on scaling down the Ohio-class replacement platform and get serious about the elimination of all nuclear weaponry.

UPDATED 02/29/2016 Brookings, Uncharted seas: Maritime strategy for a new era of naval challenges (video) and USNI, Navy Revising Force Structure Assessment In Light Of Increased Attack Sub, Other Ship Needs
UPDATED 02/03/2016 Reuters, Exclusive: U.S. budget plan includes over $13 billion for new submarine - sources Hopefully, a lot more details and a lot less hyperbole will follow to inform our desire for de-extincting and bulking up these "Cold War" dinosaurs?

UPDATED 01/14/2015 SeaPower, NAVSEA Commander: Navy is 10 Subs Below its Needs

NavSea will always be "X" number of subs below that required to conduct the nation's business.

UPDATED 01/14/2016 Diplomat, Pentagon Approves Request for Proposals for US Navy’s Next-Generation Ballistic Missile Submarine
UPDATED 01/05/2015 USN, The Navy's new leader says a nuclear force second to none is essential to US survival and JT, Top U.S. admiral sees ‘nuclear punch’ from submarines key to America’s survival

Our nuclear budgets must be supported with transparent facts and reasoned analysis, not oxymoronic hyperbole. (A Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority@page 6)

UPDATED 08/08/2015 SeaPower, Richardson: New Ballistic-Missile Sub ‘Absolutely Critical’ for the Country (also, Chief of Naval Operations Confirmation Hearing and Advance Questions for Admiral John M. Richardson, USN Nominee for the Position of Chief of Naval Operations)

UPDATED 08/01/2015 PBSNewsHour, Can U.S. afford plan to buy 12 nuclear-armed subs? The short answer is NO!

UPDATED 06/08/2014 NTI, Senate Bill Would Create Separate Fund for New Trident Submarine

The price of navy weapons platforms (and weapons) are on a half parabolic trajectory requiring our navy to seek new and additional funding sources. Instead of addressing these stratospheric prices within its current shipbuilding budget our navy and congressional budgeteers are seeking to off-load the entire weapons platform to another funding source external to our navy's current shipbuilding plan and budget.

Fortunately, those seriously seeking to control or reduce the stratospheric prices of major weapons systems view these budgetary maneuvers as transparent gimmicks. So for now, our navy must fund the long-lead research for its Ohio-class replacement submarine platform from unobligated funds within its current shipbuilding budget.

Navy and congressional budgeteers and Ohio-class sponsors will treat these "unobligated funds" (now obligated to the Ohio-class replacement submarine platform) as a loan to be reimbursed by the new funding source if and when it is created by Congress.

If Congress declines to create a new and additional funding source for the Ohio-class replacement our navy must charge its current shipbuilding budget—requiring it to: increase its current shipbuilding budget: or decrease the number of ships it builds; or decrease the per ship price; or more likely, some combination of all three.

UPDATED 05/07/2014 DefIndustryDaily, CMC Program Defining Future SSBN Launchers for UK, USA

Series of past articles.

UPDATED 04/11/2014 NTI, Navy Maps Out Details of Future Ballistic-Missile Subs and MilitaryDotCom, Admiral: Crimea Proves Nuclear Subs Still Needed and USNI, Navy Has Finalized Specifications for New Ohio-Replacement Boomer

A quasi-base-line3 for an Ohio-class replacement platform is the easy part—finding an estimated $60 billion 2010 dollars (likely under estimated by a minimum of 40%) for 12, sixteen tube platforms will be more challenging.

It's unclear how Putin's behavior as a "shirtless hooligan" over Crimea "proves" a need for a sea-based nuclear missile platform, as Military News and Open Source Naval Intelligence headline implies the rear admiral asserts?

The above attribution was made at the Navy League, Sea-Air-Space 2014 Exposition, which may encourage or induce, if not explain a speaker's hyperbolic expressions?

UPDATED 03/01/2014 NTI, Markey Files Bill to Cut $100 Billion in Nuclear Arms Funds

Includes reducing the number of Ohio-class replacement (aka SSBN-X) platforms to eight—hopefully, just the start of an accelerating trend toward zero nuclear warheads?

UPDATED 01/19/2014 NTI, U.S. to Start Cutting Submarine Missile-Launchers Next Year

It's always a little jilting to read the adverb "only" in articles discussing the number of deployed nuclear warheads.

UPDATED 12/21/2013 Reuters, U.S. nuclear weapon plans to cost $355 billion over a decade: CBO report
UPDATED 06/05/2013 USN, Buying Submarines in an Age of Austerity
UPDATED 06/04/2013 ACA, Nuclear Sub Costs Complicate Navy Plans
UPDATED 05/17/2013 NavyLive, Navy Responds to Debate Over the Size of the SSBN Force

So, let's eliminate all of our nuclear warheads and not sweat the small stuff, like the unknowable optimal number of strategic platforms and warheads for a given deterrent coverage.

Is the admiral really arguing that our probability of attacking Russia and China has increased as a result of their reduced number of patrols or number of strategic platforms?

UPDATED 05/06/2013 WP, Budget cuts could reshape the country’s ship supply, official says

NavyLive, NavyLive, Ohio Replacement Class SSBNs an Essential Investment


1. Our capable submarine designers have made tremendous gains in basic and applied marine research; virtual design; modular manufacturing; and materials processes but a platform requirement of 42 years of continuous stealthiness must await further research.

If given such a requirement there is no doubt that any Ohio-class replacement team would act responsibly and hold-down expenditures until all the money runs out or relief from the requirement is provided.

The post may be emphasizing 42 years of continuous stealthiness not as a hard requirement but as awkward justification for purchasing a new platform as opposed to modifying an existing platform?

2. Our policymakers and navy leadership must jettison their harmful, obsolete and costly notion that striving to reduce or accommodate the insecurities of our putative, imaginary or real adversaries displays weakness—exploiting putative, imaginary or real weaknesses is simply a circular method that minimizes trust and cooperation while increasing costs for minimal, zero or negative gain!

3. Those familiar with major weapons system development and procurement are painfully aware that a "final baseline" does not exist.

The term "final baseline" is just part of a choreographed congress-navy-contractor tragic-comedy (some might say subterfuge) used to authorize a "low-cost" (yes, $60 billion is the low cost!) weapons system while producing and delivering a "high cost" weapons system!

The term "final baseline" means that the navy, contractor, and congress have agreed to pretend that the total weapons system cost will be $60 billion--nobody, but the uninitiated believes the estimate is true--yet, everybody will continue to pretend it is, until it isn't!

When the weapons system "cost growth" (the term overrun will not be used) exceeds $60 billion the recriminations, joint storytelling and "improvement programs" will begin.

If the overrun costs can be kept to a minimum by changing the baseline configuration or reducing the procurement quantity or both the major weapons system will proceed.

If the cost overrun is excessive the major weapons system is canceled, a very undesirable outcome for the navy (loses assets); contractor (loses revenue and goodwill); congress (loses district jobs).

Rarely, a major weapons system will lose its navy or congressional sponsors or both and will be canceled with or without a cost overrun.

4. Meaningful entails more than asking a SecNav or CNO or NavSea if they could use an SSBN(X); or listening to congressional committee boosters from Connecticut testify while the witnesses listen.

5. The general's misstatement about the equivalency of tactical and strategic nuclear weapons is likely for Russia's consumption? Putin is throwing a temper tantrum and using psychological warfare by deploying tactical (short-range) nuclear missile ground launchers (i.e. 9K720 Iskander), which may also launch strategic (longer range) nuclear missiles. The general is likely indicating to Putin that for purposes of retaliation he'll make no distinction between tactical and strategic nuclear missiles.

China is quietly (i.e. minus the temper tantrums) using a similar tactic (FUD) when it deploys strategic nuclear missile launchers ostensibly as a conventional "aircraft carrier killer". A missile on any ballistic trajectory during conflict may trigger a nuclear response from warring warriors.

Such are the dangerous and foolish physical and psychological games potential adversaries (usually putatively weaker) sometimes play, which makes a strong case for eliminating nuclear weapons.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Pirouetting InTo The Past

Our global challenges will not get solved when the United States and Russia are doing clumsy pirouettes on regional stages like two overweight pensioned prima ballerinas reminiscently reliving earlier performances.

Cooperation will more effectively respond to our global challenges than pirouettes into the past.

UPDATED 06/07/2017 AP, Clapper: Russia Meddling Bigger than Watergate

UPDATED 03/30/2017 C-SPAN, Senate Intelligence Committee, Russian Interference [aka "active measures"] in the 2016 Election and Its Capabilities to Impact Elections

An early start to Senate hearings after the House Intelligence Committee Chairman immolated the committee's credibility and immobilized its current work.

In addition to the Senate hearings Congress must launch a select committee, commission, and special prosecutor to investigate Russia's active measures effecting our 2016 Election.

UPDATED 03/23/2017 Vox, From Spy to President: The rise of Vladimir Putin

UPDATED 03/20/2017 C-SPAN, House Select Intelligence Committee, Russian Election Interference FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Admiral Michael Rogers

UPDATED 03/10/2017 EurasiaNet Op-Ed, Russia: The 1917 Revolutions and the Ambiguity of Post-Soviet Identity

UPDATED 02/27/2017 NewYorker, Trump, Putin, and the New Cold War
UPDATED 02/17/2017 Courant, Coast Guard Tracking Russian Spy Ship Near Submarine Base In Groton and Russian Spies Off The Coast Are Nothing New For An Old Sub Hand and ABCNews, Russian spy ship 30 miles from US Navy sub base


Our media should not combine reports of Russia loitering and snooping in international waters with Russia's possible technical (or worse?) violation of the INF Treaty! The later activity, if accurately reported and accurately verified2 (i.e. deployment of GLCM launcher and violating missile), is orders of magnitude more significant than a bunch of Russian spooks harmlessly floating off Long Island recording signals and images, generally being a nuisance!

A bad attempt to knockoff a good "Saturday Night Live" skit?

UPDATED 02/09/2017 Army, Atlantic Resolve and Reuters, Baltic states seek more NATO help ahead of Russian exercise and Reuter, Russia calls NATO moves in Baltics, Poland and Germany a Threat: RIA and Reuters, Factbox: Minsk agreement on Ukraine

Operation Atlantic Resolve is President Obama and Europe routinely engaging with our NATO Baltic allies before leaving office.

Wonder how our "new" alt-white-house and comrade Putin or is it nemets Adamov are going to work this into their active misinformation-disinformation campaign?

UPDATED 01/27/2017 SI, Fast Attacks and Boomers: Submarines in the Cold War
UPDATED 12/17/2016 USNI, Dec. 14, 2016 executive summary of the Navy’s 2016 Force Structure Assessment
UPDATED 12/16/2016 USNI, Navy Wants to Grow Fleet to 355 Ships; 47 Hull Increase Adds Destroyers, Attacks Subs and Navy, Secretary of the Navy Announces Need for 355-ship Navy

The Navy's 2016 Force Structure Analysis (FSA) did not come with the SecNav's FSA announcement—for now all we can say is our navy is asking Santa Claus to deliver a lot of Christmas presents! Even Santa Claus is constrained by budget and funding levels!

UPDATED 12/02/2016 Telegraph, Vladimir Putin says Russia wants to normalise relations with US

A Security Council vote is not required to steadfastly support or increase and extend the sanctions imposed on an infandous (odious beyond expression) government.

Normalized relationship with the United States must require Russia's compliance with the Minsk II protocol. Changing or maintaining national borders by use of force or an infinite variety of thuggery is a twenty-first century anathema and affront to all peaceful nations.

UPDATED 11/23/2016 WP, These maps show how Russia has Europe spooked
UPDATED 11/21/2016 WT, Russia withdraws from International Criminal Court after being called out over Crimea invasion
UPDATED 10/13/2016 CSM, Gorbachev calls for peace: Is there a path forward? and  IPI, Interview with Mikhail Gorbachev at the Reykjavik Summit

“Worst Thing” Collapse of Trust Between Major Powers" --Mikhail Gorbachev--

Even worse than mistrust between nations, is the twenty-first century chaos created when any nation's government seeks to impose ad hoc changes to international rules or order by threat, intimidation, force, and coercion, 

UPDATED 08/19/2016 UPI, Russia's military buildup in Arctic plays into global strategy

The sooner all global citizenry live under representative type governments, the sooner nations can get on with doing things that matter!

UPDATED 07/31/2016 CSIS, Undersea Warfare in Northern Europe and CSIS, Report "Undersea Warfare in Northern Europe" (PDF 1.6M) and The Cold War: In Enemy’s Depth - The Submarine War and Cold War Spy Secrets Under the Sea1



1. The turbulent and noisy bubble bursts called cavitation releases enough energy to pit the surface of a polished propeller blade, which further disrupts laminar flow and decreases propeller efficiency (η0)*.

UPDATED 01/19/2017 Some militarists have long speculated that cavitation might change a relatively slow-moving hydro-body into a faster-moving aero-body by enveloping the hydro-body in bubbles (i.e. supercavitition).

A modern sonar women might wonder why you would spend millions on supercavitation to continuously broadcast your submarine's position when you could just turn on the active sonar and ping away?

Modern submarines will typically use pump-jet propulsors (i.e. a shrouded propeller).

* See A.H. Techet, Hydrodynamics for Ocean Engineers: Propellers: Propeller Performance Characterization, 2004 for an introduction to propeller performance.

2. UPDATED 02/18/2017 NATO Defence Ministers take steps to strengthen the Alliance and NATO, Doorstep Statement and Der Spiegel, The Greatest Threat to Security Since WWII (by John Kasich) and Reuters, Trudeau to Trump: NATO is About More Than Spending and NATO Secretary General doorstep statement at the Munich Security Conference, 17 FEB 2017 and NATO Secretary General, Press Conference at Meetings of Defence Ministers, 16 FEB 2017 and  NATO Secretary General, Press Conference at Meetings of Defence Ministers, 16 FEB 2017, 2/2 and AP, Pence: 'We Must Hold Russia Accountable' and VOA, US Defense Secretary Mattis Tells NATO Collective Defense a Bedrock Commitment

Originally Published July 26, 2016; Last Updated June 08, 2017; Last Republished June 08, 2017:

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Navy ICEX 2011

Originally Published March 17, 2011; Last Updated  June 06, 2017; Last Republished June 06, 2017:

Navy Arctic Submarine Laboratory and APLIS have set up their ice camp near Purdhoe Bay1 in support of navy submarines2, submariners, and Arctic researchers, collectively referred to as ICEX 2011.

ICEX 2011 APLIS Base Camp
ICEX 2011 APLIS Base Ice Camp

Guidance for Arctic ice camp (Marvin Gardens) submariners:
  • Use first year ice for jerry-rigged showers; just kidding, there are no showers.
  • Use second year ice for jerry-rigged cooking; refer to instructions on "therma pouch".
  • Use third year ice3 for jerry-rigged coffee; ok, so it's not Starbucks.
  • Remember that "hot-bunking" has a slightly different meaning in the Arctic.
  • Return to submarine as soon as possible; tell crewmates sea stories about the "beautiful Arctic"—after a hot shower, meal and coffee.

UPDATED 03/19/2016 DMDA, Massive US Submarines Breaking Through Ocean of Ice in the Arctic  (video includes some beautiful underneath ice shots of deployed dives) and Navy, video gallery, Hartford breaking through Arctic ice and ICEX 2016, airdropping Camp Sargo pics.

Los Angeles-class submarine USS Hartford (SSN 768) breaks through Arctic ice, during ICEX 2016, stressing its retrofitted sail after the 2009 sail-bending collision with the surface ship USS New Orleans.

More substance, please.

UPDATED 07/15/2013 How Icebergs Produce Ocean [Very Loud] Noise

UPDATED 06/09/2012 Submarine Short of below decks on Seawolf-class, Connecticut SSN 22; cropped snap shots include sail ladder; aft ops and pilot station; wide torpedo room; and mess (below).

Seawolf-class Submarine2

UPDATED  06/06/2017
Nature, Threshold in North Atlantic-Arctic Ocean circulation controlled by the subsidence of the Greenland-Scotland Ridge
UPDATED 08/16/2013 NSIDC, IceBridge MCoRDS L3 Gridded Ice Thickness, Surface, and Bottom, Version 2
UPDATED 11/23/2012 TEOS10, Thermodynamic Equations of Seawater
UPDATED 11/22/2012 PCMDI, WCRP CMIP3 Multi-Model Dataset Archive at PCMDI and Wiki, SeaRISE Assessment and Argo, Oceans Temperature and Salinity Floats

Thermal steric expansion of oceans (i.e. 0-700m and deep ocean) and polar ice melt runoff (terrestrial water mass relocated to ocean) are two major contributors to sea level rise—both are related to global warming (natural and anthropomorphic).

Reconciling various data sets and models is an important and challenging task.

UPDATED 05/24/2012 Wikipedia, [Partial] List of Arctic Programs and ANL, Newton

The Newton site may be useful to students with Arctic questions—also there is a searchable database of archived questions.

UPDATED 01/21/2012 U.S. Global Change Research Program

GCRP, A US Carbon Cycle Science Plan

UPDATED 01/21/2011 GAO, ARCTIC CAPABILITIES DOD Addressed Many Specified Reporting Elements in Its 2011 Arctic Report but Should Take Steps to Meet Near- and Long-term Needs (pdf)

UPDATED 12/04/2011 NOAA, Arctic Report Card 2011 and NOAA, Arctic Report Card 2011 Highlights and YouTube, Arctic Report Card 2011 Video and NOAA ClimateWatch, Old Ice Becoming Rare in Arctic (Time Lapse Video of multi-year ice gyre - 1987-2010 - notice the amount of black beginning 2007).

UPDATED 10/22/2011 NAP, National Security Implications of Climate Change for U.S. Naval Forces

Our fast changing Arctic presents our submariners, submarine platforms, and supporting scientists with significant challenges in the areas of: communication; navigation; ASW; acoustics; sea-ice-atmosphere interfaces, predictive model building-modification; and learning-training.
Arctic Council
NASA, Aquarius satellite focused on measuring sea surface salinity.
The National Snow and Ice Data Center. The annual Arctic 2011 ice coverage equals the 2006 minimum maximum.
NAP, National Security Implications of Climate Change for U.S. Naval Forces.
IPCC, Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007 (AR4).
NSF, Ultraviolet (UV) Monitoring Network.
NSF, Cooperative Arctic Data and Information Service (CADIS).
ESRL, Barrow, Alaska Observatory.
ESRL, Barrow Radiation Climatology
Irradiance Measurement and Instrumentation Data Center (MIDC). Primarily Colorado, Utah, Nevada, California and Arizona stations.
NREL, Solar Radiation Research Laboratory (BMS; Customized Current Conditions Display - non-graphic, updated every 60 secs.
NREL, Renewable Resource Data Center (RReDC).
Env Canada, Canadian Ice Service.
NOAA, National-Naval Ice Center.
IBCAO, Arctic Bathymetry.

UPDATED 02/18/2011 SCICEX Phase II Science Plan— Part 1: Technical Guidance for Planning Science Accommodation Missions
AAAS, Recent Warming Reverses Long-Term Arctic Cooling.
"...We present a synthesis of decadally resolved proxy temperature records from poleward of 60°N covering the past 2000 years, which indicates that a pervasive cooling in progress 2000 years ago continued through the Middle Ages and into the Little Ice Age...The cooling trend was reversed during the 20th century, with four of the five warmest decades of our 2000-year-long reconstruction occurring between 1950 and 2000."--Science, Vol. 325. no. 5945, pp. 1236 - 1239, September 4, 2009--
GRL, Decline in Arctic sea ice thickness from submarine and ICESat records: 1958–2008.

Recently declassified US submarine sonar measurements of Arctic ice thickness has enable researchers to update and extend the data set (historic submarine sonar combined with recent ICESat data).

The overall mean winter ice thickness has decline an astonishing 1.75 m since 1980 (3.64 m in 1980 to 1.89 m in 2008)!
National Snow and Ice Data Center, Arctic Sea Ice News and Analysis


Alaska Dispatch, Arctic Ocean grows 20 percent fresher, but don't flee Manhattan yet. Short discussion with interesting research links (Arctic layer mean salinity change).


UPDATED 03/04/2016 Navy, Navy Sets Course for the Arctic Circle, Kicks Off ICEX 2016
UPDATED 08/04/2014 UW, Tracking the breakup of Arctic summer sea ice and GRL, Swell and sea in the emerging Arctic Ocean
UPDATED 03/26/2014 NavyNews, Navy Commences Participation in ICEX 2014

Public data coming out of this year ICEX 2014 (and "Ice Camp Nautilus") are non-substantive, uninteresting and uninformative.

Perhaps, this reflects a hasty last minute decision to conduct an ICEX in response to President Putin’s latest "shirt removing" charade (annex Crimea)? Officially, ICEX 2014 was scheduled before his charade—hopefully he'll put his shirt back on before he catches a cold.

Also, Navy Live, Ice Exercise Is Back and DVIDS, ICEX 2014 [Not very interesting-Images 1 of 13] ( and YouTube,USS New Mexico present for #ICEX 2014 (surfacing through ice slurpy) and YouTube, Rear Adm. Kenneth Perry talks about #ICEX2014 (the very well insulated Commander of Submarine Strike Group Two gives pep talk from the thinning Arctic ice)

UPDATED 02/28/2014 Reuters, U.S. Navy eyes greater presence in Arctic  (U.S. Navy Task Force on Climate Change February 2014 Updated Arctic Roadmap)

In short, Arctic ice floes are melting fast and our navy wants to just as speedily switch from Arctic asset "window shopping" to a "layaway plan". Much more definition, detail and debate must precede any navy Arctic asset "layaway plan".

UPDATED 07/17/2013 NSF, NSF-Funded Research Sheds New Light on How Surface Water Lubricates the Bottom of the Greenland Ice Sheet
UPDATED 07/15/2013 OSU, The sounds of science – melting of iceberg creates surprising ocean din and TOS, Life and Death Sounds of Iceberg A53a and YouTube, How Icebergs Produce Ocean Noise
UPDATED 03/11/2013 DefenseNews, Talking to the Silent Service: Operators Push Back Against Emerging Technology

A quick status of submerged submarine communications—communications at speed and depth is out (i.e. too expensive and uni-functional), multi-functional autonomous vehicles and network nodes are in.

UPDATED 09/24/2012  NAS, Advancing Climate Modeling
UPDATED 01/20/2012 CSIS, A New Security Architecture for the Arctic: An American Perspective

UPDATED 10/22/2011 NOAA, 4th Symposium on the Impacts of an Ice-Diminishing Arctic on Naval and Maritime Operations

UPDATED 10/13/2011 AWI, Young and thin instead of old and bulky and Nature, Scientific challenges in the Arctic: Open water (also, Nature Special, After the Ice).

Researchers have collected Arctic ice thickness data for the summer 2011 for comparison with 2007 ice thickness  data.

CNN, 'Ice Wars' heating up the Arctic.
NavyTimes, Sub surfaces after oxygen generator fails.
Fuel Cell Nation, Hamilton Sundstrand's ILPE - Oops!.
Reuters, Exclusive:U.S. submarines show force amid race for Arctic riches.
Reuters, Raytheon seeks ways to help submarines stay in touch.

Virginia-class USS New Hampshire (SSN 778) uses Deep Siren Tactical Paging (two one-way communications), developed under the navy's Communications at Speed and Depth Program to evacuate a submariner with appendicitis.

The Arctic's mean sea surface temperature can quickly immobilize and kill an uninsulated immersed human.

USS New Hampshire (SSN 778)
Hence three divers wearing black insulation suits standby to rescue anybody unlucky enough to fall in (Reuters Photo/Lucas Jackson).
AWI, Arctic on the verge of record ozone loss - Arctic-wide measurements verify rapid depletion in recent days
“Our measurements show that at the relevant altitudes about half of the ozone that was present above the Arctic has been destroyed over the past weeks,...Special attention should thus be devoted to sufficient UV protection in spring this year,”--AWI--

1. Purdhoe Bay (70°19′32″N 148°42′41″W) is above the Arctic Circle (66° 33′ 44″) at the end of the Dalton Highway , about 314 km South East of Barrow, Alaska.

2. Virginia-class USS New Hampshire (SSN 778) and Seawolf-class USS Connecticut (SSN 22) have been designated for the ICEX 2011 exercises.

UPDATED 10/23/2011 Notwithstanding Virginia-class images its structures and systems are not currently capable or optimally configured for extended autonomous under-ice Arctic operations. Some have recommended that these deficiencies be remedied, at least for some current VCS platforms.

The significant costs associated with these recommendations will likely delay implementation until later VCS blocks or follow-on VCS-improved platforms. Until then current VCS platforms will likely utilize specialized ad hoc ice-packages for limited operations in higher northern under-ice latitudes.

3. Arctic submariners will immediately understand that an Arctic sea ice salinity gradient impacts more than their shower, meal, and coffee.

The salinity of Arctic sea ice changes with the ice's age. As older and less salinated Arctic ice melts it changes the ocean salinity—dramatically impacting a submarine's hearing, maneuvering, and tactics.

Climate researchers have a global interest in the thermohaline cycle—how it impacts on global temperatures.

UPDATED January 10, 2011 Those wanting a general undergraduate level understanding of the carbon cycle and the oceans' role in modulating climate may enjoy the David Archer's global warming video lectures and related textbook.

Monday, June 5, 2017

The Kraska Story - Prescient Or Fairytale Or Propaganda

Originally Published December 31, 2009; Last Updated June 05, 2017; Last Republished June 05, 2017:

During our period of shrinking budgets; finite resources; prioritized threats; and difficult choices we can expect and should welcome passionate persuasive augments by our military components and their advocates. But, passionate persuasion must not yield to disjointed hyperbolic speculation or propaganda such as that expressed in How the United States Lost the Naval War of 2015.

Kraska spins his speculative China hegemon fairytale out of Erickson and Yang's recent article on China's investigation of using a conventional terminally controllable tactical reentry vehicle as a "carrier killer". The fairytale operationalizes Yang and Erickson's carrier killer2, liberally sprinkles in a "handful" of Chinese carriers (one couldn't be built by 201518), shakes in some "quieter than Los Angeles-class" diesel Song submarines, adds a decade late pinch of "stealthy" AIP Yuan submarine, and casts a paralyzing spell over all counter measures, defenses, and ASW operations3.

The Chinese Communist Party's desire for unification under communist party rule, expansive Law of the Sea Convention interpretation, and Southeast Asia hegemonic aspirations seem pretty clear. What's unclear is whether the Chinese Communist Party leadership seeks any war with the United States to address these issues, much less the War of 2015.

Unfortunately, Kraska's fairytale4 does little to help clarify these issues. Wonder how the Kraska fairytale changes if we assume China's increased military budgets have more to do with domestic control than preparation for the War of 2015 with its biggest trading partner and debtor.


UPDATED 08/04/2016 RAND, War with China:Thinking Through the Unthinkable

Well, at least Kraska has some company, a RAND white paper imaginatively describing four (severe, mild, short and long) scenarios of war (skirmishes?) with China, including some sensible recommendations.

Phew!, the "A2AD threat" is pushed out to 2025!

UPDATED 04/06/2016 FAS, Questions About The Nuclear Cruise Missile Mission
UPDATED 03/19/2016 PCA, The Republic of Philippines v. The People's Republic of ChinaUPDATED 02/05/2016 CRS, Navy Lasers, Railgun, and HypervelocityProjectile: Background and Issues forCongress and Wikipedia, DF-21#D

UPDATED 01/16/2016 CSIS, Chinese Strategy and Military Modernization in 2015: A Comparative Analysis

UPDATED 09/21/2015 RAND, The U.S.-China military scorecard : forces, geography, and the evolving balance of power, 1996-2017 (5M pdf)

Includes an interesting discussion on the so called "carrier killer", DF-21D CEP. (see footnote 20 on confusion between DF-21C and DF-21D variants)16. Includes mention of the multiple explicit variables (e.g. kinematics, in-flight search, identification, tracking, and data-link) related to CEP.

When reading statements like:
"As of early 2013, the system had been repeatedly tested over land, though it has not yet been tested against targets at sea." (pg  165).
It's useful to remember that while our navy is capable of performing fantastic feats, even our most capable and intrepid admirals are unlikely to sail a carrier strike group over land.

UPDATED 12/12/2013 Carnegie/Pew, U.S.-China Security Perceptions Project 2012 General Public Survey Data

Survey data are necessary (kudos to Carnegie/Pew) but insufficient to understand the first principles that lead to conflict avoidance.

It does not seem particularly novel for a survey to discover that a collection of individuals (nation) apply the cultural identity they learn. Unusual would be the survey that discovered a collection of individuals that assert they prefer applying a continually changing cosmopolitan cultural identity to an "exceptional cultural identity"!

Chinese military officers, at all levels (in addition to Chinese military scholars) must participate in future Carnegie/Pew US-China Security Perceptions Project surveys. Saluting expressions of "exceptionalism" will not produce the cosmopolitan changes required for close cooperation between China and America.

Our global problems are too ginormous to waste much time saluting reciprocal and meaningless expressions of "cultural exceptionalism" by either American or Chinese leaders!

UPDATED 08/06/2012 China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities—Background and Issues for Congress Mostly a restatement of previously known open source data—more supporting source documentation is needed for the many speculative assertions.

Time-series overheads of the various Chinese shipyards are minimum de rigueur for today's meaningful open source analysis. Time-series overheads of keel block formation are potentially interesting—a keel on the blocks is better—a ship under construction is best.

What's NOT happening in the various shipyards is also interesting (e.g. a rusting keel), even when efforts to conceal activity are undertaken, as they routinely are.

Discussion of the DF-21D begins at page 57-67 (document page, not reader page). When, if ever, China wants to deploy the DF-21D maybe we can conduct a joint exercise on an American autonomously operated and defended terminal target vessel?

We save the cost and guesswork of developing a terminally controllable reentry vehicle—China saves the cost and guesswork of developing a defended terminal target vessel)?
UPDATED 08/03/2012 Defense of Japan Annual 2012 White Paper The overview is pithy and informative.
"...As such, the international security environment remains complex and uncertain.

Under such a security environment, it is also increasingly important for countries with common interests in the resolution of issues to work together, as it has become extremely difficult  for one country to deal with issues confronting the international community and countries gain shared benefits by ensuring regional and global peace, stability and prosperity through the establishment of a more stable international security environment...."
Not only has it become extremely difficult for one country to deal with has become undesirable and counterproductive.

Notwithstanding the rocky relations among some nations all nations must align their interests on a common core or face alienation by the community of nations.

Many nations' leaders assert the illusion that their nation possesses an immutable or hyphenated core (e.g. Chinese-core; American-core;  Russian-core; Korean-core etc.). The sooner nations abandon this absurdity the sooner they will converge on a sustainable core common to all nations.

UPDATED 07/13/2011 Wikipedia, Ships of the People's Liberation Army Navy.


UPDATED 06/05/2017 NatComUSChinaRelations, Leaders Speak: PACOM Commanders

UPDATED 10/21/2016 ABC, China Rising: The challenges for Australia as China and the US struggle for supremacy in Asia and Reuters, U.S. warship challenges China's claims in South China Sea and Navy, US, UK, Japan Navies Commit to Increase Cooperation

Admiral Dennis Blair articulates the generally accepted view that the reefs, shoals, rocks, and islands in the South China Sea are of little military importance (i.e. military duty on these geological protrusions during a war is career ending).

Joint military exercises with Australia in the South Sea are unnecessary to communicate United States or Australias et al's. understanding and resolve that our global oceans, adjacent seas and international waters are and will remain freely navigable by nations, big and small, in accordance with international laws and customs.

UPDATED 10/13/2016 Seventh Xiangshan Forum and Dialogue— Xiangshan Forum 10/12/2016; CCTV



UPDATED 10/03/2016 DAR, CNO Admiral John Richardson at International Seapower Symposium Twenty-Two and CSIS, Maintaining Maritime Superiority with Admiral John Richardson


The CNO confidently articulates South China Sea normalized policy and makes a persuasive case for substituting the acronym "A2AD" with a detailed discussion of dynamic integrated threat analysis and response.

Stated differently, it's meaningless to discuss South China Sea maritime and related issues in the context of an imagined, impenetrable, and ubiquitous "force field" called "A2AD".

The presentation (CSIS) ends with an important comment by the CNO, saying that he and his Chinese counterpart, Wu Shengli, have rules to prevent the many stakeholders' miscalculations (hand holders in chief, first) and unintended armed conflict (warriors in chief, second). Kudos to the CNO and Command of the PLA Navy!

UPDATED 09/22/2016 CSIS, The Modern Origins of China's South China Sea Claim

The speaker's interesting book: The South China Sea The Struggle for Power in Asia, Yale Press (2014) subsumes the main presentation (Q&A follows).

UPDATED 07/25/2016 CSIS, Military Modernization and Capacity Building (i.e. the all nations pivot to South China Sea; also CSIS, Naval Innovation and Capabilities: Charting the Future, Today and Undersea Warfare in Northern Europe)

UPDATED 07/19/2016 CCTV, Navy Chiefs from China, US Hold Talks on South China Sea

Disputes often require many patient and respectful exchanges before solutions begin to emerge.

Admirals Richardson(L) and Wu
UPDATED 07/15/2016 CCTV, Ban Ki-moon Calls for Peaceful Resolution of South China Sea Issue (SCS statement begins at approximately 15:00 of later and longer CCTV video below) and UN NewsCentre, In China, Ban highlights country’s leadership on sustainable development, climate change and CCTV, Media Briefing, U.S.-China Dialogue on South China Sea July 06, 2016 and XinHua, Spotlight: China, U.S. need to manage differences over South China Sea: experts, Dialogue on South China Sea issue held in Washington D.C. and BeijingRev, Full Text of Dai Bingguo's Speech at China-U.S. Dialogue on South China Sea Between Chinese and U.S. Think Tanks and CarnegieEndowmentForInternationalPeace, U.S.-China Dialogue on the South China Sea Audio  Former state councilor Dai Bingguo (in Mandarin) and former deputy secretary of state John D. Negroponte discussion of the situation in the South China sea ahead of the July 12 arbitration ruling between the Philippines and China.

(Carnegie Endowment Conference)-&-(CSIS Sixth Annual SCS Conference)

The foundation for Foreign Minister Wang Yi's implicit assertion that a nation requires consent from another nation before filing an international arbitration case requires clarification, at best or ignored as a relic from an ancient imperial palace, at worst. (Joint Press Conference Report at UN Radio, China urged to "create space" for civil society and a later longer video from CCTV, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Joint Press Conference)

UPDATED 07/15/2016 CSIS, The South China Sea Arbitration


UPDATED 06/28/2016 WSJ, South China Sea Ruling: A Lesson From the Great Wall

The video asserts that China's hawks would like to turn the South China Sea into a lake. China's hawks would like to turn the South China Sea in to a convenient bastion and be the only economic beneficiary of any natural resources it contains has.

China and the United States will need mature and experienced leadership to confidently and consistently moderate nationalist military hawks, whatever their nationality.

By definition nationalist military hawks prefer confrontation and clubbing in lieu of cooperation. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your raison d'etre and budget source, cooperation by clubbing is a fools mission. Unfortunately, fools are usually the last to recognize a foolish mission!

UPDATED 06/06/2016 CCTV, Chinese Admiral Sun [JianGuo] delivers speech on final day of Shangri-La Dialogue and Reuters, In pushback to U.S., China says 'has no fear of trouble' in South China Sea

Watching China actively engage with the world, a relatively recent late 19th century phenomenon is both clumsy and comical19. Not unlike a youngster first experiencing and eventually mastering the polycentric grade school playground.

The PLA, Navy's current constructive participation in our global commons, however limited, selective, and unicentric must be applauded, welcomed, and encouraged.

UPDATED 05/28/2016 CSPAN, U.S. Naval Academy Commencement Address, Secretary Ashton Carter and DefGov, Text Secretary of Defense Speech Remarks at U.S. Naval Academy Commencement As Delivered by Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, Annapolis, Maryland, May 27, 2016 
UPDATED 02/20/2016 USNI, WEST2016 (playlist 9-1 delete)


UPDATED 11/14/2015 Commonwealth, China and the U.S.: Can Conflict Be Avoided?

UPDATED 10/20/2015 IntellSquared, China and the U.S. Are Long-term Enemies 
John Mearsheimer et al. argue for deterministic offensive realism; Kevin Rudd et al. argue against.

UPDATED 12/26/2013 Reuters, Connected China, How-to Youtube Video List Five short videos introducing the multimedia presentation "Connected China"

Introduction Video (30sec)

UPDATED 05/31/2012 It is interesting and instructive to periodically revisit past projections on China—these from Niall Ferguson. He seems to argue, with some irony that the more China "downloads" (clarified and narrowed during question period) from the West the more problematic it becomes at least over a 20-year horizon?

It's likely that China's leadership is on the same uncertain but fascinating ride as everybody else—in China time, a 20-year ride is a short ride, even if perceived longer when measured by Western time.

UPDATED 02/22/2012 RAN Sea Power Conference 2012 (all sessions list), Rethinking Yesterday's Asia-Pacific Order:

UPDATED 09/13/2011 Andrew S. Erickson, at the Naval War College Museum pitching his latest book, Chinese Aerospace Power: Evolving Maritime Roles—a seemingly more serious, nuanced, and regionally focused Erickson—still showing the Chinese Antiship Ballistic Missile (ASBM)/Carrier cartoon animation.

The primary ASBM segments are at approximate elapsed time ranges of 27:00-31:00 (lecture) and 57:00-102:00 (Q&A).

UPDATED 09/05/2011 A nation can mistakenly perceive its military domination for a cosmopolitanism that detrimentally masks its parochialism. The inevitable decline differs little for a nation that believes it can eschew cosmopolitanism by directly enforcing its parochialism via military domination.

UPDATED 04/15/2011 Some interesting comments on the changes of (re)rising Asian power and cooperation for the benefit of the commons (public good).


UPDATED 12/26/2013 Reuters,Welcome to Connected China
UPDATED 03/07/2011 Indian Express, China challenges US dominance in Asia-Pacific.

UPDATED 01/09/2010 UCS, Exaggerated Claims About China’s Missiles. Post responds to Stokes and Blumenthal's WP, Why China's missiles should be our focus

UPDATED 11/19/2010 WSJ, China’s Military Ambitions: A Walking Tour. More China carrier killer hype based on a montage—wonder what inferences the author or China form from our network centric warfare montages? A more interesting caption for this article would be, "China sells missiles like America sells cars".

UPDATED 11/19/2010 ASE, China Testing Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile (ASBM); U.S. Preparing Accordingly–Updated With Latest Analysis & Sources.

Assuming China has flown an integrated ASBM it should publish the missile's telemetry; alternatively DoD should publish the missile's telemetry. This interesting post is periodically updated with relevant information.

UPDATED 05/15/2010 Diplomat, China Set for Naval Hegemony.

A more circumspect, if still provocative Karaska continuing on the potential for China regional sea hegemony, including a few examples of China's admittedly clumsy-gangly-teenage-bully maritime behavior. Refreshingly, this time Kraska suggests cooperation and partnership as one possible outcome to a testosterone ladened teenage bully with the potential for provoking a punched in the nose (an outcome likely not lost on China's leadership). Fortunately, cooperating and partnering, is already underway and happily the United States is fast redirecting its focus and resources to catch-up, including cooperating with China! (OpenCRS, US-China Military Contacts: Issues for Congress, July 2010 for a list of China-US contacts 1993-2009; WP, As U.S. officials begin visit to Beijing, relations are 'sound,' China says for latest non-military visit, September 06, 2010.) However, managing periodic playground bullying and fights is far from war and does not justify our current obscene and exorbitant defense budgets or ever more costly and exotic weapons systems. Moreover, Karaska's implicit inferences from North Korea's recent maritime behavior seem wildly speculative, wide of any mark or current evidence, and inconsistent with China's current behavior and military chain of command.

UPDATED 03/18/2010 USNI, China’s Navy: Hey, let’s not panic…. Nice ship and sub tally with some cautionary words (plus a map). Nations with advanced and well functioning civil society institutions may not fully appreciate how awkward a nation lacking those institutions can respond, particularly during times of shocks and transitions. It's delightful to observe China (at all levels) trying to play with its peers, notwithstanding the periodic bullying, awkward moments, and playground fights. The intense inclination of those residing behind the walls of Zhongnanhai to move China behind walls must at times be overwhelming?


UPDATED 06/03/2017 CFR, The Future of U.S.-China Relations: Is Confrontation Inevitable?

Rare is the panel discussion, which if you left after the introductory remarks you'd have enough to think through for a year; stay till the end and spend the next decade thinking. This is one, which I'd entitle "Thucydides or Middle-Income Trap".

UPDATED 10/26/2016 114th HASC, Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee Hearing, Glaser, Kraska, Erickson on South China Sea (September 2016)
UPDATED 10/01/2016 DoD, On USS Carl Vinson, Carter Highlights Asia-Pacific Rebalance and DoD, Carter, ASEAN Ministers Reaffirm Commitment to Regional Security and DoD, Carter Discusses Asia-Pacific Rebalance (Without Graphics) video and DoD, Carter Arrives in Hawaii, Briefs Reporters

The Secretary of Defense speaks on the "Asia-Pacific Rebalance", studiously disregarding regional blustery that can impede the peaceful rise across all the Asia-Pacific.

UPDATED 09/12/2016 ThomsonReutersTrust, China, Russia naval drill in S.China Sea to begin Monday
UPDATED 07/25/2016 WP, Obama aide visits China after South China Sea ruling and WH, Statement by NSC Spokesperson Ned Price on National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice’s Meetings in Beijing, China and Xinhua, Xi calls on China, U.S. to respect each other's core interests

UPDATED 06/30/2016 ABA Standing Committee on Law and National Security Breakfast Program Podcasts: JAG, Vice Admiral James W. Crawford, Freedom of Global Navigation Under Threat
and CCTV, China: Tribunal has no jurisdiction on South China Sea issue

UPDATED 06/21/2016 ATimes, Why US Navy isn’t in panic mode over China’s carrier-killer missiles and ATimes, China’s militarization of the South China Sea: Building a strategic strait? and WTimes, Ruling on South China Sea claim threatens to increase U.S., China tensions and CNAS, Annual Meeting, Admiral Richardson

Our Navy does complex and challenging change well, including sea swarms of "little blue men" and stand-off weaponry. Encouragingly, Admiral Richardson has established for himself a summer project of adding perspective to these complex and challenging changes.

UPDATED 06/07/2016 USNI, Beijing Accuses U.S. of ‘Negative Publicity Campaign’ Over South China Sea Issues
UPDATED 06/06/2016 NavyTimes, Top Navy officer visits carrier Stennis in contested South China Sea

UPDATED 06/04/2016 DoD Transcript, Remarks on "Asia-Pacific's Principled Security Network" at 2016 IISS Shangri-La Dialogue As Delivered by Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, Singapore, June 04, 2016 and Joint Press Conference with Secretary Carter, Adm. Harris and Adm. Richardson at the Shangri-la Dialogue, Singapore June 04, 2016
UPDATED 05/31/2016 NYT, The South China Sea Dispute: Beijing’s View
UPDATED 05/24/2016 DoD, Defense Official Briefs Reporters on China Report District of Columbia, United States and DoD, News Transcript, Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asia Abraham M. Denmark Holds a Press Briefing in the Pentagon Briefing Room

Nothing new (but see FAS, Pentagon Report And Chinese Nuclear Forces), except the Pentagon's choice to conduct a prudential public briefing of DoD's annual report on China.

The current East and South China Sea tension while unpleasant and annoying for our military is more of a nuisance than menace.

It's gratifying to know other nations' (big and small) leaders are publicly and privately expressing support for our President as he resolutely stands against the historically retrogressive principle that "might is right", "small are subjugate" and bullying prevails.

UPDATED 09/03/2015 WP, China showcases advanced ballistic missiles at military parade

Only in fiction (Ghost Fleet17, refers to the DF-21D variant as "Stonefish"), the minds of some (Naval War College) instructors, and a Washington Post article can the DF-21D variant, conventional "carrier killer" ballistic missile take out a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier (Bush) and a Virginia-class submarine (John Warner)15, without discussing Circular Error Probability or the dynamics and trade-offs of terminally maneuvering a ballistic reentry vehicle trajectory.

Hint, the technical details are significantly greater than "arm waving", asserting that the missile variant depends on a "network of systems" for its terminal guidance, or driving a TEL on a national parade grounds!

UPDATED 10/18/2014 ReutersTrust, U.S. and China look to manage differences, cooperate against threats

UPDATED 10/16/2014 BBC, Why is the US Navy practising for war with China?

The article's author can't really be serious in wondering why our navy is practicing war scenarios related to countering China's aggressive posturing in the South China Sea? Amazingly, the author is concerned that he may have penned an article offensive to our navy—our navy's pr personnel couldn't have penned a more accommodating article, complete with reference to China's infamous short range ballistic missile cum "carrier killer".

Maybe the author's next article will wonder why nations must include aggressive military posturing as part of their delicate diplomatic dancing?

Who gives a shit if China decorates every rock in the South China Sea with a giant paper dragon—how does that confer ownership any more than if America were to decorate each rock with a giant eagle?

UPDATED 06/06/2014 FAS, Chinese Nuclear Missile Upgrade Near Dalian
Kristensen conjectures four recently imaged land pads near Dalian may be for the newly developing DF-21D transport erector launchers (TELs).  
UPDATED 04/22/2014 Xinhua, Regional [14th Western Pacific ] naval symposium opens in [ Qingdoa] China Incremental progress on at sea common communication methods and signals (Reuters).

UPDATED 02/11/2014 ThomsonReuters, Pentagon weapons buyer sees tough choices from tight budgets and Reuters, China, Taiwan agree to open offices after historic talks

UPDATED 01/20/2014 WT, Hypersonic arms race: China tests high-speed missile to beat U.S. defenses

Recently, "hypersonic" warhead tests has initiated another recycling of the "carrier killer" hype. Fortunately, much of the hype can be quickly dismissed based on conflating cruise and ballistic missile airframe or telemetry terminology. Any residual hype is devoid of meaningful specifics and uses a "magic wand" to slow and maneuver a ballistic reentry vehicle. Finally and fatally, the hype typically supposes an adversary passively ignores any hostile ballistic trajectory.

Worse, an adversary tracks the ballistic boost phase but then fails to distinguish it as a "conventional ballistic carrier killer" and responds with a nuclear ballistic trajectory! Such are the disastrous hazards of conflating conventional cruise and ballistic missile airframe or telemetry.

Those who've ridden a bicycle will appreciate the challenges associated with deploying an air breathing "hypersonic" cruise missile—leg power fails to overcomes air resistance, notwithstanding design time in the wind tunnel or pedaling effort, altitude and practice.

UPDATED 12/26/2013 Reuters, Connected China

Nice intra-linked multimedia overview of China based on currently published information. Nothing will surprise informed China watchers (e.g. China's developing submarine fleet or its propensity to extol what it considers "good" and hide that which it considers "bad").

Additionally, antisubmarine warfare and countermeasures do not focus exclusively or even primarily on the acoustic properties of current diesel technology (German or others) used in some newer Chinese submarines.
UPDATED 11/12/2013 NYT, A Game of Shark (China) And Minnow (Philippines) Includes illustrations and beautiful images of a couple of small South Pacific islands.

UPDATED 05/08/2013 WashBeacon, Keeping an Eye on China, CNO: Vigilant but not worried by Chinese naval buildup

A vigilant and clear-eyed CNO pursues path of continuously calling out China on demonstrable cooperative intent while pursuing same.

UPDATED 03/13/2013 Diplomat, China’s Military Development, Beyond the Numbers Erickson et al. continue refining their increasingly subtle, sophisticated and sourced analysis of China's rise—delightful reading.

UPDATED 09/04/2012 VOA, Will South China Sea Disputes Lead to War? 

Firstly, China Is Not a superpower it's a developing power and knows it. Secondly, all bullies think they own, rule and run an entire playground until they're ignored or provoke a punch in their nose. Thirdly, bullies learn to play nice when they're ignored (i.e. refuse to sign natural resource leases or recognize EEZ, or trade, or recognize midnight landings and radar stations build on rocks etc.) or provoke a punch in their nose.

A high probability of periodic playground fighting or provoking a punch in their nose is not “war” or justification for our bloated military budget nor is an arms race with China necessary to achieve beneficial and desirable South and East China Sea outcomes.

Our nation must immediately ratify the Law of the Sea Convention and continue to constructively coordinate adherence with the same by all nations, including China.

It will also be helpful if nations quit trying to have their cake and eat it too when it comes to dealing with China.

UPDATED 09/02/2012 Diplomat, China’s Real Blue Water Navy  An interesting and thoughtful discussion of several useful China PLAN indicators, by Erickson et al.

UPDATED 08/30/2012 Reuters, Analysis: China's aircraft carrier: in name only
UPDATED 08/18/2012 NWC, Between Peace And The Air-Sea Battle, A War At Sea Strategy

An interesting multilateral collaborative strategy—a better caption might be, "A Peaceful Playground Patrolling Strategy".

The authors acknowledge some aspects of their proposed strategy require war gaming—hopefully those conducting the war games will recruit the participation of many first grade teachers with significant experience patrolling playgrounds.

UPDATED 08/10/2012 Time, AirSea Battle: The Military-Industrial Complex’s Self-Serving Fantasy and ChinaSecurity, Big-War Thinking in a Small-War Era The Rise of the AirSea Battle Concept
UPDATED 08/03/2012 WP, U.S. model for a future war fans tensions with China and inside Pentagon

These military and think-tank "initiatives" are de rigueur, costly, amusing and mostly ignored by the initiated. The uninitiated (e.g. many in Congress) can be jarred or overly impressed and awed as briefers preface their tailored pitches with warnings of secrecy worthy of G. Gordon Liddy, before closing with an implicit or explicit defense of the oversized and obscene budgets.

Of course it doesn't hurt that the oversized and obscene budgets translate into high wage jobs in many congressional districts where representatives freely and frequently deploy the secrecy to avoid defending these spending decisions.

When you're aim is to "put enough uncertainty in the minds of Chinese military planners that they would not want to take us on" both your "initiatives" and spending are unbounded! Stated differently, how will our military planners know when they've put enough uncertainty in the minds of the Chinese planners—they won't until after a conflict begins!

The only thing jarring about Andrew Marshall's undisclosed and no doubt "secret" or "top secret" 200 "initiatives" is that there are only 200, but then even an overly impressed and awed Congress must have budgetary limits!

UPDATED 07/26/2012 WT, Inside the Ring: Air Force Chief on air-sea battle Sometimes doing nothing for a period of time is the best response, albeit a difficult and atypical response.

UPDATED 07/22/2012 Xinhua Photos, Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov

Some pictures of the old aircraft carrier that China is refurbishing—good for some training, experience and pride—propaganda, hype and hysteria for the uninformed.

UPDATED 07/22/2012 Reuters, China to formally garrison disputed South China Sea

UPDATED 04/07/2012 USCC, Indigenous Weapons Development in China’s Military Modernization Apr 2012 Draft

This report is reformatted and republished data that has been well known—open source military and intelligence data often circulate and republish for years as each constituency processes the same data. The nature of these data are parsimonious where insignificant changes are often accompanied by an entire regurgitation of known data. This can make it difficult to understand these changes within a national security and threat context, particularly for a typical citizen trying to stay responsibly informed.

For example our intelligence may discover that a recent cyber-attack (China originated) downloaded research documents related to advanced accelerometers (related to missile location and accuracy). These new data may then appear, often in oblique terms in another regurgitation of a report on China's well known "carrier killer" ballistic missile development.

It can leave all but the tenacious expert or detailed reader wondering why these data are being regurgitated and republished for the umpteenth time!? Of course reading these regurgitated and recirculated reports over a period of several years can quickly overwhelm any responsible citizen.

A standard report format with built-in change revision tracking mechanism would be helpful for all official or quasi-official reporting on national security or threat data issues.

Curiously, the above report does not mention China's progress on development and deployment of a GPS (Global Navigation Satellite Systems, GNSS; also, Compass-BeiDou) and the refurbishment of an old aircraft carrier, Kuznetsov-Varyag purchased from Russia.

UPDATED 02/16/2012 CRS, China Naval Modernization RL33153 dated February 2012 (Courtesy of FAS Secrecy Blog)

A quick summary of open source issues and concerns related to China's PLAN decade and a half modernization.

Fortunately, the prior "carrier killer" hype has significantly subsided—or paraphrasing a former CNO, what can go through the bottom of a ship is of more interest than what can go through its top.

Nice to read an express acknowledgement that in modern naval warfare qualitative predominates quantitative factors--an observation often lost on the uninformed or manipulated by the informed seeking to misinform the uniformed:
"...In recent years, the warfighting capabilities of navies have derived increasingly from the sophistication of their internal electronics and software. This factor can vary greatly from one navy to the next, and often cannot be easily assessed by outside observation. As the importance of internal electronics and software has grown, the idea of comparing the warfighting capabilities of navies principally on the basis of easily observed factors such as ship numbers and tonnages has become increasingly less valid, and today is highly problematic...."--China Naval Modernization--
Moreover, there are simply no short-cuts or substitutes for the many years of practice and experience required to optimally operate a platform's hardware and software given an expected warfare scenario. Now consider that in modern naval warfare your platform is optimally operating as part of a complex dynamic multinodal mesh!

UPDATED 01/15/2012 CNAS, Cooperation from Strength. The United States, China and the South China Sea (pdf)  Provides a cursory description of the South China Sea boundary and consequent resource disputes and disputants.

Cooperation from Strength is an aphorism for the expenditures on an expansive naval fleet to perpetuate our unilateral global police power.  An aphorism that is more nonsensical and discouraging of cooperation than "mistress marriage maintenance".

Cooperation from Strength  simply complains that China uses economic coercion on the South China Sea disputants and others; opportunistically substitutes its domestic law for international law; increased its expenditures on military development; and free rides on our heretofore unilateral provision of global police power (the first three complaints are tactics not unfamiliar to our nation and the last is exactly what  Cooperation from Strength seeks to perpetuate!).

Not sure how the above complaints justify the expenditures on an expansive naval fleet to perpetuate our unilateral global police power? The complaints seem more supportive of the need to develop a multilateral cooperative framework.

UPDATED 01/13/2012 IHS Janes, Analysis: US' Asia-Pacific strategy provokes mixed response from China

Discusses the recently published "Sustaining US Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense (pdf)".

UPDATED 12/15/2011 NDU, Chinese Navy: The PLA Navy’s Antiaccess Role in a TaiwanContingency

Article by Michael McDevitt published in National Defense University's, The Chinese Navy (chapter 8) that moves the China AntiAccess (A2/AD)13 challenge away from "arm-waving and shocked amazement" to "more difficult to surmount than the antiaccess capabilities it faced during the Cold War14 from the [former] Soviet Union".

Refreshingly, in addition to placing the AntiAccess strategy in a historical context the article lightly anchors it to a basic, if evolving military doctrine.
"If the PLA can master and field this weapons system, it will be able to present as serious a challenge to the U.S. Navy as the one presented by Soviet Backfire-launched cruise missiles before the introduction of the Aegis radar system. Aside from the technical challenge associated with missile warhead design, the command and control problem of determining an accurate location of an aircraft carrier, getting that information to a missile firing unit in a timely fashion, and translating positional information into a guidance solution for the missile which has to include missile time of flight before the target ship moves beyond the terminal seeker’s window—are also issues.[reference to footnote 48 omitted.] The central point is, however, that these all appear to be solvable problems. In this author’s judgment, this capability, assuming that it is eventually successfully fielded, when combined with the PLAN’s robust submarine force, presents the U.S. Navy with an operational challenge that is actually more difficult to surmount than the antiaccess capabilities it faced during the Cold War from the Soviet Union."--China Navy--
China is not the first nation to investigate conventional ballistic missile maneuverability or have every junk scored as a potential threat by its putative adversaries.

Stated differently, military doctrine still prefers professionalism, experience, quality and deployability over hyperbole and simulations.

UPDATED 11/24/2011  Proceedings, Drawing Lines at Sea and Diplomat, Yes, China Could Have a Global Navy

UPDATED 11/07/2011 MarketWatch, The Global Submarine Market 2011-2021 

The global submarine market is expected to increase by a CAGR of 1.22% during the ten year period.
A total of 154 submarines are to be procured over the next decade, for an estimated cost of US $186.3 billion. The United States and Asian States accounting for 70.3% percent of the estimated market or 46.7% and  23.6%, respectively.

Fortunately, as budget realities associated with building and maintaining credible submarine fleets take hold the eventual size and dollar value of the forecasted market will likely decrease. 

UPDATED 10/21/2011 Diplomat, China’s Overhyped Sub Threat

UPDATED 10/07/2011 A Contest for Supremacy: China, America, and the struggle for mastery in Asia

A well written and sourced introduction to the current state of the ongoing fascinating and intellectually challenging China-U.S debate—a debate with a gradient extending from “engage-appease” through “constrain-contain”.

Friedberg seems to prefer a gradient point nearer assertive engagement—maintain a qualitative distrustful engagement of China while maintaining an undefined (i.e. no quantitative measures specified) military superiority.11

Using a series of desultory statements (primarily chapters 10 and 11) Friedberg12 seems to conclude that an undemocratic China cannot be trusted; the Chinese people are powerless, and cannot be trusted to alter the authoritarian CCP; and a preponderance of our uninformed citizens; policymakers; China scholars; China-hands; and China-watchers; are too busy engaging China to understand or realize its stealthy and coercive designs.

Assuming Friedberg's qualitative generalized conclusions are accurate--after a costly decade-plus of hubris and failure to forcefully impose democratic civil society structures on authoritarian nations who will fault those willing to explore alternative approaches? 

Today, authoritarian regimes seem to fall like dominoes in months with little or no application of external force, or usage of major weapons systems, and sometimes notwithstanding belated rhetorical support and encouragement!

Wonder how many Chinese citizens are aware that authoritarian regimes are falling like dominoes , notwithstanding the censorship efforts of the CCP?

UPDATED 09/03/2011 Project 204910, Asian Alliances in the 21st Century (pdf; includes forecast of regional submarines)   As I read this breathless budget boosting (or busting depending on your perspective) broadcast I was reminded of a quote from Hu Angang's recent book China 2020: A New Type of Superpower.

"To see ourselves as others see us is a rare and valuable gift, without a doubt. But in international relations what is still rarer and far more useful is to see others as they see themselves."--Hu Angang, China 2020 quoting Jacques Barzun--

Instead of condescendingly focusing on China's alleged ungrateful contention for the commons and lobbying to increase our $3 billion dollar Virginia-class submarine inventory it might be more useful and productive to focus on Building the 21st Century U.S.-China Cooperation.

With some luck, a lot of consensus building, and leadership China will begin to carry some of the substantial burden for preserving and protecting the commons9. No mean feat for a nation that hasn't even experienced its first "capitalist's" economic down-turn.

See Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China for DoD's latest annual summary to Congress. The fact that China has generally referred to this report as "cock and bull" is a strong indicator that our DoD has not seen China as China sees itself--perhaps a general challenge for our nations?

UPDATED 07/16/2011 BaltimoreSun, Wrong course for Navy weapons research and BaltimoreSun, We can't afford a naval arms race. Wonder what the performance-vulnerability-cost trade-offs (e.g. loads, speed, and CEP etc.) are for a mach 10-12 reentry vehicle(s) slowing for the purpose of executing a terminal course correction or maneuver...and for a counter measure projectile? Certainly basic and applied research can continue in the absence of costly major weapons systems development.

UPDATED 07/16/2011 Aviation Week, China Details Anti-ship Missile Plans.

UPDATED 07/13/2011 Aviation Week, China: Anti-Ship Missile Still In Development.

UPDATED 07/11/2011 CTV, China says U.S. spends too much money on military. Chen Bingde is quoted as saying the DF-21D variant ("carrier killer") is not operational, yet.

UPDATED 06/03/2011 AFPS, U.S. Will Maintain, Improve Engagement in Asia, Gates Says and DoD, [SecDef June 04 speech at] International Institute for Security Studies (Shangri-La Dialogue).

"Our engagement in Asia has been guided by a set of enduring principles that have fostered the economic growth and stability of the region. I spoke about these principles last year, but I think it is worth reiterating our commitment to them once more today:

(1) Free and open commerce;
(2) A just international order that emphasizes rights and responsibilities of nations and fidelity to the rule of law;
(3) Open access by all to the global commons of sea, air, space, and now, cyberspace; and
(4) The principle of resolving conflict without the use of force."--SecDef, June 04, 2011 (local)

...and continually challenge China to do the same, notwithstanding periodic stalls and setbacks.

UPDATED 05/16/2011 CTV (AP), U.S. Navy drones: Coming to a carrier near China? and Diplomat, US Drones vs China. United States announces usage of carrier based drones as part of a developing Asia stand-off strategy.

UPDATED 05/16/2011 NDU INSS, The New Security Environment – Implications for American Security in the Asia Pacific Region. A paper from the recent National Defense University 2011 Pacific symposium. On May 18, 2011 China's PLA Chief of the General Staff, Chen Bingde is scheduled to speak at the NDU.

UPDATED 02/21/2011 Reuters, U.S. to boost naval forces as China develops carrier: admiral.

UPDATED 02/15/2011 AJC, US admiral: Carrier killer won't stop US Navy.

...the Navy does not see the much-feared weapon [DF-21D aka "carrier killer"] as creating any insurmountable vulnerability for the U.S. carriers—the Navy's crown jewels."--AP quoting Vice Admiral Scott van Buskirk, commander of the U.S. 7th Fleet--

 Not sure who understands China's DF-21D with "much fear" or our navy's aircraft carrier as a crown jewel? The caption for the TEL and missile photo included in the article should be viewed with some skepticism as to missile variant, DF-21C versus DF-21D?

UPDATED 01/12/2011 DefPro, China’s anti-ship ballistic missile operational.

"Dorsett [Naval Operations for Information Dominance, N2/N6] confirmed that the DF-21D had reached initial combat capability and confirmed it has been tested over land, but that the US had not observed an over-water test. He called the missile ‘competent’ and ‘capable’." --DefPro--

UPDATED 01/09/2011 NYT, U.S. Will Counter Chinese Arms Buildup.

It will be helpful if the major powers begin focusing on development and application of cooperative models to eventually replace conflict models. Nations fool only themselves with recurring threats of sustained cycles of competitive armed conflict—it's the language of fear and misunderstanding. Instead of our leaders challenging or encouraging China to accumulate or amass weaponry let them challenge and encourage the reduction of our own stockpile of weaponry. Instead of our leaders talking about countering "carrier killers" let them talk about deploying a cooperative carrier—an aircraft carrier cooperatively developed, operated, and maintained by China, Britain, Russia, and United States. The crews can rotate through three months of deployment; six months of joint education and training; and three months of rest and relaxation.

UPDATED 01/06/2011 NYT, China’s Push to Modernize Military Is Bearing Fruit and Asia Sentinel, Running Silent, Running Deep Around Taiwan. Fortunately, some articles seem to be switching from the alarmist's voice—using a more balanced analyst's voice.

UPDATED 12/30/2010 BCJIA, Challenging US Command of the Commons: Evolving Chinese defense technologies as a threat to American hegemony? (Spring 2010) Article cites Project 2049's China’s Evolving Conventional Strategic Strike Capability: the anti-ship ballistic missile challenge to U.S. maritime operations in the Western Pacific and beyond (September 14, 2009) for the proposition that ASBM initial capability will be available in 2010:

"...In contrast, ASBMs have the potential to destroy US carriers before they even enter the theater of operations around Taiwan – a potential “game-changer” in a military conflict. Based on a survey of Chinese technical and doctrinal publications, a number of US non-profit and government institutions claim that China has had significant success in its pursuit of an ASBM capacity. Although there has been no official acknowledgment by Chinese authorities, nor any known test of ASBM assets, an initial capacity is estimated to be available in 2010...."--Challenging US Command of the Commons, footnotes omitted--

UPDATED 12/30/2010 Popular Mechanics, What a War Between China and the United States Would Look Like. A Kraska-lite U.S.-China war speculation article—the article actually states:

"...Chances are that a war between China and the United States will not happen in 2015, or at any other time."

Guess it's a thought exercise?
UPDATED 12/30/2010 China SignPost, China Deploys World’s First Long-Range, Land-Based ‘Carrier Killer’: DF-21D Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile (ASBM) Reaches “Initial Operational Capability” (IOC). Post makes the assertion in exhibit 6:

"May:2010: CASIC 4th Dept. Deputy Director says DF-21D can hit "slow-moving targets" with a CEP of dozens of meters"

This likely refers to a statement attributed to Deputy Commander Wang Genbin, China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC) Fourth Academy’s Fourth Design Department (English Translation)?:

"...China's solid missile from scratch, from small to large development team is also, by the team, "bombs and one satellite" spirit of the traditional spirit of space, developed missiles of China's first generation of solid, then 20 years from 1988 to the present time, the state invested only 3.0 billion development costs, has developed east on the 21st A, B, C, D four models, complete from the nuclear to both nuclear and conventional attack fixed targets to attack slow moving target changes, the precision CEP realized tens of meters from a few hundred meters and then to progress to truly create a model series, to meet the Second Artillery Corps in the new era, "responsible for deterrence against China's use of nuclear weapons, conducting nuclear counterattacks and precision strikes with conventional missiles." made important contributions to the country. The team win without pride, by defeat, hard work, walking is a better and more economical for development.--English translation--

Also refer to FAS Strategic Security Blog, Missile Mystery in Beijing (Oct 05, 2009)
UPDATED 12/28/2010 Diplomat, China’s Military Surprises. Commander, United States Pacific Fleet Command Admiral Robert F. Willard seems to assert that China believes (not that he or our navy judges) its "carrier killer" has achieved initial operating capabilities (IOC)8.

The admiral goes on to say that no over-water test of the entire system has been observed and that additional years of testing will be required. At a minimum IOC implies getting a missile to an aircraft carrier within some circular error of probability (CEP)8.

It can be an equivalent test—for example drive a simulated aircraft carrier around in the desert and measure how close your "carrier killer" missile comes to hitting the "aircraft carrier" (i.e CEP).

We would detect the test whether over water or sand; probably intercept the telemetry; and with some luck measure the CEP. It's unnecessary and unhelpful for our military leaders (or others) to talk about potential threats cryptically, tangentially, or as if they are UFOs.

UPDATED 12/26/2010 WP, Military strength is eluding China by John Pomfret. It is will be helpful to continually challenge any tendency to designate nations as "threats" then use such designation as justification for perpetuating confrontation, conflict, and containment over cooperation.

UPDATED 12/03/2010 Economist, The fourth modernisation.

UPDATED 10/19/2010 WT, LYONS: Countering China's aggression: Communist dictatorship presents trouble in Asia and abroad

Unsurprisingly the "Cold War" admiral thinks we're not doing enough to deter or counter (how about balance?) the Chinese aggression.

"Our message should be that the world's leading democracy will not be intimidated or bullied by another communist threat. In addition to remaining militarily superior, the United States also can begin to organize multinational political and economic pressures that could help accelerate China's evolution from communism. We led a similar campaign in the not-too-distant past."

Wonder what the admiral calls RIMPAC 2010? Of course it would be a gross mistake to treat China as Russia or the former Soviet Union or even communist. The admiral does raise the interesting question of how any future Chinese president, say 57 year-old Xi Jinping would go about evolving China's authoritarian leadership? If only it were as easy and simple as driving the United States Third Fleet into the Yellow Sea or South China Sea—China's leadership would likely call the Third Fleet itself! Unfortunately, as the below post (The "China Threat" Isn't Military) generally notes such efforts are only likely to recall memories of the first Anglo-Chinese Opium War7. Shortly after that conflict China's Lin Zexu (林则徐) and Wei Yuan (魏源) decided to enhance China's navy and coastal defenses, including denial of access defensive measures (for more details refer to China's Self-Strengthening Movement)

UPDATED 10/19/2010 DefPro, The "China Threat" Isn't Military Some tersely interesting words on the "China Threat—a lot to ponder in this short post.

UPDATED 08/17/2010 DefenseLink, Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2010 (5M pdf)

"China is developing an anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) based on a variant of the CSS-5 medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM). The missile has a range in excess of 1,500 km, is armed with a maneuverable warhead, and when integrated with appropriate command and control systems, is intended to provide the PLA the capability to attack ships, including aircraft carriers, in the western Pacific Ocean....The PLA is acquiring conventional MRBMs to increase the range at which it can conduct precision strikes against land targets and naval ships, including aircraft carriers, operating far from China’s shores out to the first island chain."--DoD 2010--

There is nothing new or shocking on the “carrier killer”; no mention of terminal guidance; elsewhere, the report states that OTH radar is being developed and can be coupled with satellite imagery. Total 2009 PLA military spending is estimated at ≅$140+ billion dollars on a budget of ≅$70+ billion dollars. (do all nation''s defense components overrun their proposed budget by 100%?) The report includes a nice "org-chart" of China''s military structure. Unfortunately, DoD persists in its opaque ways (submitting an opaque annex with the 2010 report) while expressing concern over China''s lack of transparency.

UPDATED 08/11/2010 DefPro, China''s New "Carrier-Killing" Missile Is Overrated. Article by Loren B. Thompson:

"Frankly, the U.S. Navy has so many options for negating Chinese antiship capabilities that I can only conclude the alarmists aren''t conversant with U.S. military preparations to be so worried about the nascent Dong Feng."

UPDATED 07/08/2010 Time, U.S. Missiles Deployed Near China Send a Message and Asia Times, China flexes its naval muscle.

Two good articles on the deteriorating military cooperation between China and United States—both articles could be titled “Dangerous Games Adult Children Play”.

It seems useful to note that the much hyped China DF-21 or DF-21A, the so called ballistic missile cum conventional "carrier killer", was not deployed or demonstrated. Left alone, the male military leadership5 of both nations will tend toward what they''ve learned best; taunt, threaten, and intimidate—male children in America learn this behavior early.

The childhood game is called "King of the Hill". The game doesn''t change when the kids become adults or admirals, just the location (i.e. from the schoolyard playground becomes to the South China and Yellow Seas) and costs.

Learning the childhood game "King of the Hill" is harmful by itself, but the adult logic our male military leaders (and some non-military leaders) assign to playing the childhood game as an adult is even more harmful.

Our adult male military leaders asserts it’s necessary to play the childhood game "King of the Hill" so we don’t have to really fight, really (this curious and bizarre logic will always lead to fighting, exactly the opposite of their stated assertion)!

 Let’s try replacing both nations’ military leadership with female military leadership. American girls show no inclination or interest in playing the childhood game "King of the Hill" and I''ll bet China''s girls don''t either. 

As always resolving one problem creates another—what will our female admirals do with all those lonely male admirals? Maybe they can fund the annual "King of the Hill" games for all our male admirals, minus the weapon systems.

UPDATED 03/30/2010 USNI, ''Get Off the Fainting Couch''. Craig Hooper and Christopher Albon argue that the "carrier killer" hype has been harmful and counterproductive. The hype legitimizes a non-operational missile and distracts from constructive dialogue with China and other regional nations. Dialogue aimed at highlighting how destabilizing such a missile would be for the region should it ever become operational.

UPDATED 03/30/2010 Wired, China Testing Ballistic Missile 'Carrier-Killer'. Article by Andrew Erickson includes some useful links but nothing new.

UPDATED 03/28/2010 SASC, Hearing on U.S. Pacific Command.... Includes a useful summary of the U.S. Navy Pacific Command Open Posture by Admiral Robert F. Willard. Of particular interest is China's Southeast Asia playground etiquette...:
Atlantic, Cyber Warriors. Nice article by James Fallows—it''s easy to overlook that much can be learned from those you do not fear.

UPDATED 03/17/2010 Atlantic, Cyber Warriors. Nice article by James Fallows—it''s easy to overlook that much can be learned from those you do not fear.

UPDATED 03/01/2010 CSBA, Why AirSea Battle? (pdf). Another shot (weak pun) at the China AntiShip Ballistic Missile (ASBM) story—this one is a slightly more circumspect version of Kraska''s Story within the context of some interesting China-Iran Anti-Access/Area-Denial conjecture. The author, Andrew F. Krepinevich, appears to cite the now familiar Yang and Erickson article for the proposition that the ASBM exists:

"...Perhaps the most notable Chinese addition is the anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM).39" @ page 18 [footnote 39 is to Yang and Erickson]

But then later more accurately states:

"...To be sure, even if the PRC has a capable ASBM, a targeting system is still required to enable the [≈ mach 10+] reentry vehicle to hone in on its [highly mobile and heavily defended] target. Fielding the ISR [intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance] component for its ASBM force represents a challenging task for the PLA...." @ page 19 [added to original text]

This type of general conjecture is routine and near ubiquitous within our defense industry, military components, and intelligence sectors seeking to understand and forecast the next "threat and enemy" (eventually we''ll figure out that needing a "threat and enemy" is the threat and enemy). But, care must be taken when reading these general conjecture articles to ensure that repetitive general conjecture is not mistaken for specific and complete evidence. Otherwise the repetitive general conjecture becomes the a "threat and enemy".

UPDATED 02/10/2010 UPI, China says no hegemonic intention. Statements of national intentions are of course important and necessary, but insufficient without the accompanying transparent and confirming participation and cooperation for international growth and stability. It''s no longer desirable or feasible for an authoritarian nation, particularly the size of China, to shout non-hegemonic intentions from behind walls. China’s authoritarian communist party must eliminate walls, move with all diligent speed toward a civil society, and begin shouldering a portion of the heavy burden of ensuring global stability and growth.

UPDATED 02/20/2010 The Diplomat, Why China’s Naval Rise Could Help the World

"There's much more reason to be positive...I do think China wants to fit into the ''global commons.'' We just have to be careful [sic: too?] make sure they see we are trying to treat them as equals."--Diplomat quoting Eric Wertheim, US naval analyst and author of Combat Fleets of the World--

UPDATED 02/10/2010 ExpressIndia, China''s anti-ship missile not a threat: Navy chief.

Interesting comments from India''sAdmiral Nirmal Verma on the use of a ballistic anti-ship missile:

"...Some event [sic] talk about carrying out land-based missile attacks against an aircraft carrier. We must weigh this against the difficulties of targeting a mobile target out at sea,... ...Should an adversary manage to evade a plethora of air, surface and sub-surface escorts and be capable of hitting a carrier, sinking it or putting a carrier out of action is by no means easy"--Express India quoting Admiral Verma--

UPDATED 01/11/2010 WSJ OpEd, The Taiwan Arms-Sales Equation.
"Cross-strait relations won''t progress peacefully unless Taipei can defend itself from a Chinese attack."

UPDATED 12/31/2009 UPI, China''s navy mulls push into Arabian Sea.

UPDATED 01/02/2010 UPI, China has no plans for African Navy base.

Wikimapia Aerial Map, CoCo Island, Burma
Wikimapia Aerial Map, Gwadar, Pakistan

UPDATED 05/25/2011 Dawn, ‘China agrees to run Gwadar port’
Wikimapia Aerial Map, Hambantota, Sri Lanka


1. Kraska is careful to state that the views expressed in his article do not represent or reflect official U.S. Navy or Department of Defense policy. But, then goes on to indulge speculation, unproven facts, undocumented data, and liberal assumptions uncharacteristic of a navy, Law of the Sea specialist.

2. UPDATED 01/17/2010 Kraska refers to the DF-21 which has an open-source circular error of probability estimated range of 300-400 meters (see FAS, DF-21 / CSS-5 and SinoDefense, DongFeng 21 (CSS-5) Medium-Range Ballistic Missile, and John Lewis and Hua Di, China''s Ballistic Missile Programs, International Security, Fall 1992 Vol. 17, No. 2, 3M pdf and Wikipedia, Ballistic Missiles, China and en.interpretation of Chinese blog providing the early speculation on a DF-21 antiship variant).
It's unclear whether terminal course correction of a fast moving reentry vehicle is even feasible. And if feasible whether it''s practical for use against a highly mobile and defended target like an aircraft carrier. Not to mention the nuclear retaliatory risks inherent in using a ballistic weapon for conventional tactical purposes. Distinguish the rare anti-ship ballistic missile from the common anti-ship cruise missile (e.g. Tomahawk, Sizzler, Sunburn, Club etc.)

UPDATED 03/06/2014 Defending The Fleet From China’s Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile: Naval Deception’s Roles In Sea-Based Missile Defense (old research)

3. It’s likely the waters within the first string of pearls are more “acoustically wired” and monitored than a Cold War Soviet embassy.

4. It should be noted that our military officers below the level of flag (admiral) generally are not expected to think in the diplomatic terms of balancing cooperation with confrontation. However, Kraska seems to mock cooperation and partnership and assume confrontation—fortunately Kraska is not a navy flag officer.

5. Of course, some of our military and non-military leadership is moving away from past models and non-cooperative behavior. They must be open, transparent, and vocal on the need to swiftly replace obsolete models and behavior with updated learning and models. The transition will be daunting since there are currently fewer vested interests in cooperation than non-cooperation. We must begin holding our military and non-military leaderships accountable for the missed "opportunity costs" that results when they substitute taunting, threatening, and intimidation for cooperation.

6. Lost in recovery of post—related to a update between September and October 2010.

7. Britain was then the world's narcotrafficker of the world and was seeking to preserve existing markets and open new ones. A large number of Chinese were suffering from opium addiction and China sought to prevent the opium from entering its country (refer to Opium Wars for additional information). It's instructive of historical interpretation to note that China Goes to Sea emphasizes the Qing leaders' balance of payment concerns (opium was paid for with China's silver) that was impeding their ability to wage war in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region(@pg 295). Not mentioning eliminating the scourge of opium addiction. Of course both concerns are interrelated and it's a matter of emphasis.

8. UPDATED 12/28/2010 Saying you have a missile without a CEP is like saying you have an aircraft carrier without planes, crew, or adequate steerage. Erickson et al. directly raises the concept of FOC (Full Operational Capability)—fundamentally the difference between missile IOC and FOC concepts is an improved CEP. It's of course not unknown for nations (including ours) to announce IOC of a missile with a totally useless or undefined CEP and then work (or waste resources) to improve or define the CEP before declaring FOC (particularly when budgets are tight and the weapon system is politically unpopular). Rarely, do such “political tactics” dupe our very capable naval intelligence officers or admirals—in fact they may even accommodate (or exploit) such tactics because it diverts (or justifies) scarce resources to a doomed and useless (desired) endeavor. Admiral Willard et al. must be applauded for raising these important issues for our open, transparent, reciprocal, dispassionate, and meaningful discussion.

9. The fascinating and durable Shanghai Communiqué is an early example of U.S.-China agreeing to cooperate for the benefit of the global commons.

10. UPDATED 09/09/2011 Speculating about the year 2049 enables reference to Deng's 1992 speech wherein he urged China to pursue the "basic line" (socialism with reform, and opening appended)  without vacillation for 100 years.  If the "basic line" is measured from the CCP's founding in 1949 plus 100 years the result is 2049.

Even if the 2049 speculation is amiss the speech is useful reading for those wanting to understand a changing China.

11. There is a set of bizarre logic routinely asserted by some persons in positions of leadership of predominantly aggressive, and assertive nations. The logic imagines all efforts aimed at ameliorating the persistent or ephemeral and real or imagined fears, phobias, or superstitions of another nation's leaders somehow demonstrates a weakness that invites an exploitative counter-aggression.

These persons do not need access to major weapon systems or positions of leadership; they need access to therapy and removal from all positions of leadership while they undergo therapy.

12. Friedberg's interest linkages include:

Defense Policy Board (DPB) Member 2007; Alexander Hamilton Society Director 2011; Long Term Strategy Group Member 2011; Naval War College, China Maritime Studies Institute (CMSI) Lecturer and former Graduate Professor of Core CMSI Professors 2011 (e.g. Andrew Erickson); and Henry Kissinger Scholar at the Library of Congress (Henry Kissinger is a 2011 DPB Member).

UPDATED 10/18/2011 Also, WP, Interview with Aaron Friedberg: Is China going to displace the U.S.? for Friedberg's nonconservative credentials and current connect with the Mitt Romney campaign.

Interest linkages can produce tremendous insights and novel thinking on extraordinarily challenging issues (e.g. U.S-China relationship); or interest linkages can produce mutually reinforcing group-think orthodoxy, propaganda, and blow-back.

13. McDevitt differentiates between the America terminology of AntiAccess and Area Denial and Chinese terminology of defensive strategy (broadly and meaninglessly defined as threats to national interests), but continues the custom of referring to A2/AD generically as AntiAccess.

14. Those wanting a refresher of "Cold War" history may find John Gaddis's The Cold War helpful.

15. The newly commissioned USS John Warner (SSN-785) is currently under a restrictive operations directive because of unauthorized welding on high pressure water reactor elbow joints, a significantly greater threat to submarine operations than a "carrier killer" conventional ballistic missile.

16. Lobbing convention warheads on ballistic reentry vehicle trajectories invites confusion and a mistaken nuclear retaliatory response, which is a great reason to eschew commingling them.

17. A nonfictional "ghost fleet" exists in Mallows Bay on the Potomac River, south of Washington, D.C., a historical recreational reminder of war's remnants:

18. Current accounts of the U.S.-China military relationship must be closely scrutinized with transparently known facts. It's not at all unusual for accounts to "shout" phrases like "China is building a Second Aircraft Carrier" (e.g. Time, China Is Building a Second Aircraft Carrier).

Well, no China hasn't built a first aircraft carrier; it has refurbished a scrapped Russian carrier!

19. UPDATED 06/07/2016 The China Lawyers Association has issued a statement that is not unlike a toddler seeing the South and East China Sea and saying, "Mine", (我的) which intended as both an assertion and question: All China Lawyers Association issues statement on South China Sea arbitration initiated by the Philippines.

Whereupon, the asserting and questioning toddler will likely hear the frustratingly familiar response, "no, you must share"!