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13 March 2018

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Tidewater

Tidewater to All,

I think everything has changed for the carrier-centric US Navy. The MIG-31 has a combat radius of 450 miles, if flying at an altitude of 59,000 feet at Mach 2.35 (1800 miles per hour.) Presumably it would be carrying two drop fuel tanks. It can sustain supersonic flight for long periods of time, in spite of the intense heat on its frame. The Kinzal is said to have a speed of over seven thousand miles per hour and a range of 1200 miles. It can alter course rapidly, going into extreme and unexpected maneuvers. The Mediterranean is some 2400 miles in length. The Kinzal will cover some 1650 miles of it without in-flight refueling. Bases such as Sigonella, Sicily, or possibly even Rota, Spain, could be under the gun. I think it is fairly clear that a well-organized attack employing six or more Kinzals could cripple or sink a carrier and its air guard escort of DDG's. The Kinzal can actually destroy an entire carrier group.

If employed in the Persian Gulf by Russian pilots and technicians, or by trained Iranian personnel, the Kinzal could destroy most of the Arab Gulf desalination plants, among them: Az Zour North IWPP, Kuwait; Jubail IWPP, Saudi Arabia; Ras al Khair IWPP,Saudi Arabia; Jebel Ali desalination, UAE. Once the Arab east coast desalination facilities were gone, I think there would be a panicked flight to the west.

The Kinzal could wreck the United States Naval Support Facility at the old British base of HMS Jufair, Bahrain, and sink the ships stationed there, at Mina Sulman, including the command ship.

And it could all be done by an attack that is launched from Iranian soil.

With in-flight refueling, I think that Iranian or Russian manned MIG-31s could get within range to launch Kinzals at Diego Garcia. A sub that had Kinzal launch capabilities that got within a thousand miles of Diego Garcia would be quite dangerous.

Of course the Iranians have their own ballistic missile, the Khorramshahr, with a range of 1,240 miles. It is said to be quite accurate. But Diego Garcia would be, if measured from Chabahar, say, a distance of 2,392 miles. Nevertheless, I think Diego Garcia would be targeted in an Iranian-American war.

The Iranian Ho Chi Minh trail would run west down through Oman into Yemen from the Musandam Peninsula and from other Omani ports. This means that the Kinzal, in theory, could also be a threat to carriers on the Red Sea.

I think the asylum's cracked window of opportunity for an attack on Iran has closed in the last few years. As for carrier groups. They are impossible now to hide. A fisherman's global positioning and his cell phone or radio could pin-point a carrier perfectly. Drones can track carriers. American drone bases in the Indian Ocean, such as at Djibouti or on the Seychelles, could almost certainly be targeted, as from Yemen.

Mattis was talking strategically. However, in the Mediterranean and in the Persian Gulf something very significant has changed.


confusedponderer

J,
Haspel isn't alone in her views on torture - according to your link Mattis, Trump and Pompeo also think waterboarding is an excellent intelligence tool.

According to your article Pompeo answered to Feinstein's torture criticism that agents who had tortured people were “heroes, not pawns in some liberal game.

*sob* ... poor heroes ... *sob*

Apparently it was all that heroism that made Haspel destroy evidence about the CIA torture site in Tailand which she led.

One of the men, known as Abu Zubayda, was waterboarded 83 times in one month and was slammed into walls by the head. He was deprived of sleep and kept in a coffin-like box. Interrogators later decided he didn’t have any useful information.

ProPublica found that Haspel personally signed cables to CIA headquarters that detailed Zubayda’s interrogation.

CIA videos of the torture were destroyed in 2005, on the orders of a cable drafted by Haspel.

Indeed, apparently these heroes (and their leaders) needed to be protected from that odd and unpleasant "liberal game" called 'prosecution for crimes'.

 jld

Silly, just silly...

 jld

" the prospect of that tends to concentrate even the minds of the powerful."

Are you sure?
I would like to, too many "powerfuls" of the day are also darn stupid.

daniel

August, 1914 moment ?
No, just AGADIR 1911. SMS Panther, a so tiny ship...

Jack

What is US interest in the Middle East? I don't see any. We've got plenty of oil. And the Canadians will happily sell us more.

The millenia old conflicts there are really no business of ours. The possibility that we'll go to war with Russia and risk our own population to further Israeli perceptions shows how far down the rabbit hole we've gone. The zionists "own" our political, media, governmental establishments lock stock and barrel for this possibility to exist.

If Putin is so diabolical and his information operations so elegant and effective he should execute one that breaks the chain of zionist influence on the US polity. That would prevent Armageddon and the world would be thankful.

Honestly I have no idea what the firing of Tillerson and his replacement by Pompeo means. Maybe it's because Tillerson called Trump a moron and Pompeo is an ass licker. Hillary, Rubio, etc al wanted a no-fly-zone over Syria. That would have brought instant conflict with Russia. If Nikki Haley's threats come to pass we'll get there.

Trump is attempting to change many past arrangements. One being trade where the US has bled for decades running massive trade deficits. How the GOP does in the mid-terms will influence his position on many issues.

Balint Somkuti, PhD

WMDs are taboo, and it is good so. A bigger conventional strike would do the same.

In oil prodcution it is not the raw oil, what makes the choke point but the refineries. A strike on ANY big refinery, ad some sabotage on others would bring the world economy and world itself to screeching halt.

Tel

The US survived Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, could this guy possibly be worse?

LondonBob

What is going on here in Britain?

There are more unsavoury types who have fallen foul of the law and/or the Kremlin who then base themselves in London. If your country becomes a haven for dodgy people, like Berezovsky, then dodgy things are likely to happen.

In some ways on the political right the neocons are more dominant than they are in the US. The Murdoch empire controls a huge chunk of the right leaning media and pumps out the usual tropes, with the added hysteria of the tabloid press of this country. Sadly we saw the replacement of Emily Blunt's uncle Crispin as Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, a realist replaced by fellow Conservative but Zionist Tughendat. The neocons and the Blairites have the numbers in the Commons.

On the left they have been traumatised by the election of Trump and the vote for Brexit. They have dutifully followed the Russia smokescreen of the Democrats in the US. Crucially though Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour party and continues to poll well. Blairites, the press and the Israelis have launched an unrelenting campaign to unseat him and damage him electorally. This has not worked, Israel looks to have lost the political left. If you thought Trump was pro Russia, anti-interventionist and NATO skeptical then Corbyn is even mores so, with the added bonus of being fiercely critical of Israel.

Finally we have also seen continuing cuts to the defence budget, The military industrial complex has been eagerly jumping on the Russia bandwagon to try to stop this.

Add in the Saudi/Arab lobby and Syria and it is a perfect storm. The hysteria is because they are losing, not winning.

I'll add two articles on the Skripal affair that I like.
https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/unlikely-that-vladimir-putin-behind-skripal-poisoning-1.3425736
https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/03/russian-to-judgement/

Razor

Pardon my ignorance, but what's a kinetic weapon?

falcemartello

No verifiable fiduciary evidence has been produced that would stand in the court of law. I suggest you chnge yur dupplier.

turcopolier

razor
A euphemism for a gun as opposed to IO (propaganda). pl

turcopolier

tel

HC had Obama who was cautious. pl

SmoothieX12

I note that the Admiral Essen, a Russian missile shooting frigate sortied from Sebastopol today.

There are Russian submarines operating--diesel ones from Tartus in East Med. plus unknown number of nukes elsewhere in Mediterranean--all of them with anti-shipping missiles. There is enough deterrent there. So, while the pitch of hysteria is extremely high in the US (and UK) I think Gerasimov and Dunford settled the issue yesterday between them--both sides (per military people) know the consequences and Gerasimov's warning, however blunt, was towards US political operatives not military. Per UK--this is not serious, most of it posturing, such as sending out 23 Russian diplomats, well, Russia will do the same, plus will make sure Brits gain no special treatment in valuable Russian markets and that will be about it. I think Lavrov now is on suicide watch after May recalled his invitation to visit London. So, I have to say all this is a lot of noise and very little activity. A lot of it is connected to Russia's elections and inability of US political elites to grasp a reality of a new world.

turcopolier

restless94110

The point was (as stated) that he has no combat experience. pl

turcopolier

smoothiex12

Such "hysteria" often leads to war. I don't know about Gerasimov but Dunford is a functionary and settles nothing in national policy. pl

Fred

Daniel,

The Panther was used in Haiti and Venezuala before it was sent to Agadir. I don't think there's any Russian money in either country today but there is plenty of US money east of where the rust line of the Iron Curtain used to be.

SmoothieX12

Such "hysteria" often leads to war

True, but only so far--we live in a nuclear paradigm and even most hysterical (unless they are completely berserk) functionaries get the idea of being evaporated in the nuclear blast. Per Dunford, he might be a functionary but US people on the ground in the ME are not. Plus Dunford per his position of CJCS, I am sure, DOES know forces involved there. In fact, Russian media yesterday specifically pointed out, omitting legal and geopolitical nuances, that both Russians and Americans on the ground in Syria are very meticulous in observing deconfliction procedures and are, indeed, in constant communications. If to imagine that I am a Russian policy-maker, I would rather deal with American military than political operatives. Yes, US "elites" are a clear and present danger to both US herself and the world.

Sid Finster

https://muraselon.com/en/2018/03/breaking-turkish-aircraft-attack-syrian-troops-and-government-stronghold-in-north-aleppo/

Sorry if this is not quite on topic.

Sid Finster

1. "Russia" did not screw around in the election.
2. HRC had repeatedly promised a no-fly zone over Syria, a step guaranteed to lead to a shooting war with Russia.

Now, compare the foreign policy positions of Clinton, Dubya, Obama, and now Trump as candidates to their positions once elected. What have we learned?

We have learned that unless and until the Deep State is eradicated root and branch, it matters not who wins the elections.

Sid Finster

I was enthusiastic about Tillerson as well, but he did not perform as advertised.

Pompeo promises to make Tillerson look positively statesmanlike by comparison.

At least this war is guaranteed to have enthusiastic bipartisan support, with members of both Team D and Team R jockeying to outdo one another in their displays of patriotism.

Sid Finster

My hunch is that our various NATO allies will grumble but do as they are told.

kooshy

Thank You, for a very informing summary

turcopolier

Sid Finster

"...until the Deep State is eradicated root and branch, it matters not who wins the elections." I generally agree with that and would expand the cleansing of the Augean stables to the military caste of generals and admirals who are self replicating as a group. They are not part of the Borg (foreign policy establishment)but are part of the problem. It is true that HC wanted to do all manner of aggressive things but BHO did not let her do them. thus, it does matter who wins the election. pl

turcopolier

smoothiex12

The US military people on the ground in the ME operate within the four corners of their guidance and not outside that guidance. there are no rogue operations. Look at Votel's testimony before congress now posted on SF. He speaks of this "mission." That is his assigned mission. pl

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