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04 March 2015


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Working (slowly) on a posting about the direction of the Navy. I find it fascinating to watch the thinking process (in specialist media) coping with the fact that the day of the carrier may be in eclipse, at least for the area of Chinese influence.

David Habakkuk


A piece by one Harry J. Kazianis entitled 'Russia Could Make China King of the South China Sea' appeared on the 'National Interest website on 25 February.

(See http://tinyurl.com/qbt3q7g )

The Soviets took the capabilities of American carrier battle groups extremely seriously, and spent decades trying to find means of countering them.

It has long seemed to me that, from the point of view of prudent American strategists, it was sensible to avoid their pooling their expertise with the Chinese – and that this was among many reasons why it made sense to avoid pushing Russia and China together.

Of course, it was also true that the Russians had reasons for caution about sharing technology with the Chinese – prominent among them the obvious risks of these 'reverse engineering' their technology.

As someone completely devoid of the technical expertise required to assess the article, I would be interested in your view of it.

One further thought to put into the mix. In relation to Russia, the weakness of the economy quite clearly limits the extent to which they can compete military with the West.

However, since the Georgian War, they have I think had one advantage: that because their armaments development programmes are now driven by genuine fear, they are actually applying their minds to creating weapons and strategies that have a reasonable chance of working.

Something similar may also be true of the Chinese.

Inertial forces – due to bureaucracy and also romanticism – can make militaries remarkably resistant to realising that existing weapons and strategies are being rendered obsolescent, be it by technological change, creative thinking on the part of an adversary, or both.

How far is this a problem with the U.S. Navy, in your view?


Here is a relevant article. Bill Sweetman writes a lot about things like that from an aviation perspective. Also there is a comment by "MandS", who is not me, with the memorable line "The manned tacair community is the college educated equivalent to the Teamsters."


The big deal going forward, from what I can see from things like AviationWeek, is that the air defense of the future uses VHF search radars to defeat stealth, and electro-optical targeting sensors thereafter. The overall system cost of manned aircraft that need a floating landing strip to (hopefully) return to is starting to seem like a major misallocation of resources if the Navy is understood to be fundamentally about sea control, rather than joining in blowing up low value COIN targets. There is just massive cultural inertia - a single instance of a nationwide desire to relive WW2 that is going to be the end of us.


Does anyone have any idea of the likely time of survival of a carrier in an active battle with the Chinese within fighter flight range of the Chinese mainland?


Not sure why I voted if Harry Reid is still running Congress.

Got a new goat at the ranch. Little Lamancha who think she's a dog and gives sweet milk. Also delusional about our chances against the mastiff.

Bees are going to swarm soon. Glad I got a second hive ready to rock. Also threw new handgrips on my AK, but now I want to turn a Mosin into one of these.



The key is safe communication.

I am a marriage counselor. From my experience, the healing force in troubled marriages is validation. I force, yes force (gently), partners to understand/acknowledge the validity of their partners perspective (which they had been previously rejecting/arguing against). When partners are safe to commuicate their perspectives without being interrupted, with a validating, sincere, empathetic ear, they are able to communicate their perspective and alter their perspective if they see flaws/errors in their logic as they speak. Defensive/invalidating responses by the listener cause the speaker to dig their heels in and solidify their position; validating responses by the listener enable the speaker to "give in", change their minds, apologize, accept the influence of their partner.

I have never understood why this very simple, but amazingly effective, tool...validation.... is not used in international relations between warring factions or in our domestic politics.

The simple fact is that deep down we all want the same things: safety, security, food, love (Maslow's hierarchy of needs), but these needs are obscured by our anger/rage/arguementativeness when we feel they are being threatened....

Zionists: safety, security, home
Palestinians: safety, security, home
Osama Bin Laden: US Military out of Saudi Arabia (safety, security); protection/respect for Palestians/Jerusalem (safety, security for Palestinians), what else, I forget
Hitler: not sure, never studied WWII
Pol Pot: not sure
Republicans: order, accountability, personal responsibility, for the purposes of safety, security, good things for all
Democrats: compassion/higher standard of living for the poor (safety, security, food for poor),
Communists: higher standard of living for poor (safety, security, food, comfort, shelter); equality

All these factions want basically the same thing but have different ideas of how to get there....if their legitimate

To conclude, I think politicians should be urged at all times to verbalize the legitimate, reasonable wants/needs/desires of their opponents so the opponents could be transformed from opponents to well meaning partners that have a different perspective on how to achieve similar ends.


Tyler, I just bought a ram and my Nigerian dwarf goat is pregnant. I own a Crossman pellet gun to kill mongooses. Aloha!

John Minnerath

A Mosin? :)
Well, OK



The rifle Im holding belongs to a coworker. That Archangel stock costs more than a Mosin,but you can get MOA2 with it. Damn thing will kill anything in Nortg America.



Have you seen the Angry Ram on youtube?


I don't think anything in the military will change until a carrier goes down or a manuever element has its colors captured. And even then, I wonder.

Medicine Man

I'm not sure how Boehner and McConnell keep their leadership positions. In the majority now and their priority still seems to be avoiding uncomfortable votes.

William R. Cumming

SEA SKIMMERS a worry since the FALKLANDS?


Origin, I believe the issue the Navy is worried about are ballistic "carrier killer" missiles the Chinese have developed. If you can threaten the carrier group with a high probability of damage at a range outside of the combat radius of naval aircraft, the you have neutralized the value of the carriers. The Chinese would swarm these at the battle group to overwhelm it's defense against them.

The naval counter is directed energy weapons and hypersonic rail gun projectiles, as well as decoys, jamming, etc.

IMO, the Navy needs to get of its ass and get with UCAS aircraft, as well as to stay the course with the energy weapons and get them developed and deployed.


Walter, your sample is biased. There are those for whom domestic bliss is Room 101. In extreme cases they become domicidal maniacs.


nb: domicidal with a D.


I know that the USNI news reports the Chinese have commissioned a frigate with a large VHF radar amidships. Your comment about WW2 is telling. Naval strategy since then seems to be 1) defeat kamikaze attacks (now missiles) and subs and 2) assist in the investment of targeted properties by threat and actual degradation of assets. Number 1 was all about the Russians and number 2 was anyone POTUS pointed them at.


This is 24 hours old. Probably has made the rounds by now, but in case it hasn't ....



David, being a former enlisted sailor and then an employee of a defense contractor, I have to watch for being to proud of my branch of service. And the answer is rather complex. (Which is why I was slowly writing a post!)

One of the thoughts I see in the specialist media regarding where the Navy needs to go is that "the enemy gets a vote". From The beginning of the Cold War to 1990, the Navy 3 major worries. 1) Russians, 2) Russians and, well you know. Then there was a gap where there wasn't a clear enemy. The Navy was a globe spanning colossus with no real rival.

Now there are enemies who get a vote, again. There is plenty of debate on how to approach increasingly sophisticated threats with declining resources. So, I do not think that the Navy has its head in the sand or back in WW2. What worries many is the political elite continuing to see the Navy only in the context of "where are the carriers?" They have a much bigger mission set than that.


Is it necessary, (with Mosins and Mausers) that certain markings, serial numbers are necessary to ascertain the provenance, thus quality of the rifles?
Thanks in advance!

The Twisted Genius


The Mosin always had a place in my heart. That what I first learned to shoot out behind the barn many years ago. The target was a crude drawing of Stalin. This was a carbine, but it still shot the 7.62x54 rimmed cartridge. Kicked like two mules. They're still available for a reasonable (cheap) price so I see what you're thinking. The ammo is still cheap, too, as far as I know. I know you youngsters are fond of black plastic, but it makes me cringe.


WRC, they should be!

Not only did the Exocet give the Royal Navy hell, two of them struck the USS Stark, if you remember. That leads to more things to say. The Stark had the appropriate CWIS to deal with an Exocet. In fact, being of the Ayatollah class (built for Iran but not delivered due to the revolution ), it actually had two. They were turned off becUse they kept on wanting to engage small fishing boats of which there many.

Good news, the ship build proved sturdy enough to survive two hits, when one did in the HMS Sheffield (plus heroic damage control). Bad news, the crew probably did not take the threat environment seriously enough. I would say that is a constant problem with military readiness, historically.


Tyler, carriers go where the national command structure tells them to go. I think you would be surprised just how acutely aware Naval leadership is of the threats that face CVNs.


Mutual gains negotiation. I used it with unions with pretty good effect. It doesn't work when one party says that there goal is the disappearance of the other party. IMO, that seems to be the opening position for most of the MENA actors.

John Minnerath

When I was in high school every hardware and gun shop in town had heaps of old surplus stuff leaning against back walls and piled in crates. There was one particular model, Italian, if I remember that went for about 12 bucks and the ammo was cheap. guaranteed to have at least 1 good round per box. Us kids daily pawed through them under the watchful eyes of scowling shop keepers.
My Dad finally convinced me to save up more money and get something worth while. Later he presented me with a beautiful scoped '06 built on a Springfield action. Wish I still had it.

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