11NOV2020 – Veteran’s Day – Some Quotes For the Day

It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.

General George S. Patton

 

The patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth.

Stonewall Jackson

 

Oh, it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ ‘Tommy, go away’;

But it’s ‘Thank you, Mister Atkins’, when the band begins to play—

The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,

Oh, it’s ‘Thank you, Mister Atkins,’ when the band begins to play.

Rudyard Kipling

Guest Contributor – War Pig – Comments on American Military Capability

Proposition: The United States has technological and tactical superiority but it must maintain these if it wants to avoid the consequences of being a super power in decline.

True. When you fight the United States, you are not fighting our Army, or our Navy, or Air Force or Marines, you are fighting them all at once, along with their technological superiority. Your Sukhoi fighters may be close to our F-35 in capability, your submarines sneaky, you may even have an aircraft carrier, although I hesitate to call what China and Russia have aircraft carriers. Your army may number in millions and you may have as many or more tanks. But to fight the USA you are fighting an interlocked and integrated system. You have to get past the eyes and ears of our satellites, AWACS and Hawkeye aircraft. You have to prevent our electronic snoop aircraft from hearing you. In the weeks before the actual confrontation, when posturing is the mode, our Rivet Joint aircraft in conjunction with other reconnaissance will have compiled a complete electronic order of battle on you. We did it to Saddam, which is why we were able to target his command and control structure so precisely. We are constantly updating the electronic order of battle on both China and Russia. Especially China.

 

Even though our forces are interlocked, if you manage to blind one source they can act independently. No communist or former communist government will trust its military to take initiative, as motivated and initiative-taking officers could threaten the political structure back home. Commies and other dictators always fear a coup more than the enemy. In training the Saudis to be an effective fighting force, we had to overcome the basic totalitarian structure which feared its best leaders. Trying to train troops at platoon level to overcome, improvise and adapt is hard when for years they have been trained by rote and varying from the rigid structure one degree was not tolerated.

 

The ability to take initiative when an opportunity arises is one reason why Israel has kicked Arab ass from day one. Even outnumbered several to one, with nations attacking from all sides the Israelis manage to seize tactical opportunities their opponents dare not try for fear of reprisal from their superiors.

 

Some nations can out range us (for now) with tube artillery, and they may have more artillery but nobody, and I mean nobody, ally or foe, can mass and control artillery fire like we can. Add in that with the possible exception of the Israelis, nobody does close air support and long range strategic air strikes the way we do, either. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have only made us better at conventional war; (other than Israel), what military right now is more experienced and blooded?

Guest Contributor – War Pig – Comments on General George Patton the Elder

Question – Was the motion picture Patton, well done?

 

I only knew his son, personally. But from people who knew Patton Sr that I have known, it was pretty good but played too much on the prima donna aspects. Patton senior had a rather high-pitched voice and he cursed so much to make up for it. His son was just as liable to break out in profanity. Patton was anything but a prima donna. He wanted to hurl headlong into battle and wrest it from the enemy. It is true he had a distaste for Montgomery as he found Monty far too cautious and a man who took too much counsel of his fears. One of Patton’s mantras was from Julius Caesar (Gallic Wars I believe) who said to not take counsel of your fears. A lot of the dirty aspersions attributed to him were Hollywood gunk. Yes he did pray and did curse like a stable boy. But he was a tactical genius and had great concern for supply and logistics., Without his careful planning and logistical mastery, he never could have made that sharp turn and relieved Bastogne. Patton’s theory was to grab the enemy by the throat and kick him in the balls. Fix the enemy in place then maneuver against him and hit him where he was weakest, then fold him up like a geisha girl’s fan.

 

If he had gotten those 400,000 gallons of fuel he requested before the German counteroffensive he could have spoiled the Bulge attack and cut the war short by several months. But Patton had shown himself a logistical master as early as the Mexican Punitive Expedition in 1916. Without his logistical mastery the war in Europe may have been over after the war in the Pacific, and we may have seen a mushroom cloud over Berlin as a result.

 

Hollywood did as Hollywood does. As one director said in answer to fictional embellishments of a factual story; “We ain’t making a PBS documentary, here”. While they did show Patton’s tactical genius, they tried too hard to make him a frail man, which he definitely was not. You could say that Patton and his men saved the European war for the allies.

 

Our greatest generals in WWII, Patton and MacArthur were both masters of logistics. MacArthur was the better strategic general and Patton the tactical. If MacArthur had been in charge in Europe, he would have let Patton run wild through Germany and been in Berlin about the time that Hitler started the Bulge offensive. With Patton charging at Berlin Hitler would have been too busy to think about Antwerp and splitting the allies in two.

25MAY2020 – Memorial Day Quote

I have one sentiment for soldiers living and dead: cheers for the
living; tears for the dead.
Robert Green Ingersoll

If you had seen one day of war, you would pray to God that you would never see another.
Duke of Wellington

The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding go out to meet it.
Thucydides

Memorial Day isn’t just about honoring veterans, its honoring those who lost their lives. Veterans had the fortune of coming home. For us, that’s a reminder of when we come home we still have a responsibility to serve. It’s a continuation of service that honors our country and those who fell defending it.
Pete Hegseth

Guest Contributor – War Pig – Service Stories – Part 1

I got trapped into a tour as an Army Recruiter. It was after my sister was killed in a car wreck (she was a passenger). I thought I was okay and could go back to work but I blew my cover and had to be pulled. Instead of putting me in planning, the general decided that I needed to be taken down a peg so he sent me to recruiting. I went to the school at Ft Ben Harrison in Indianapolis. Then I was sent to Pennsylvania.

Recruiting command is the most anal retentive, micromanaging, pack of nervous people you’ve ever seen. They make the pointy haired boss look good. This was before 9/11 so half the time when we went on campus at a high school or college, we were given the Nazi salute. The good thing was I got to meet Joe Paterno. But the command had a formula they insisted everyone follow. You had to make so many phone calls in order to get so many appointments to talk to a kid face-to-face. Then of those you’d get so many enlistments to fill your quota. You were to emphasize the educational and training and slack off on patriotism and adventure. They actually counted your phone calls and how long you were on the phone with each potential recruit. You had to account for every minute of your day.

As a professional NCO it was insulting. I did it my own way. I talked about patriotism, I talked about hard work. I told them their drill sergeants would not be nice to them and why drill sergeants had to act as they did to find out who could handle stress. To those who said there would be no more wars I said there will always be another war. I took them out to where the Guard and Reserve were training and had them rappel down walls and shoot M-16s and ride in tanks. And they had to help maintain and clean equipment, too. I was always the high scoring recruiter of the battalion. Professional Development (recruiting command’s tattletales) would come down, look over my numbers and tell me I was doing it all wrong. So, I brought out the score sheet for the battalion, laughed and went to go get a coffee while they fumed. I found out as long as I was bringing in quality numbers, I could get away with murder, pretty much, so I did. I’d fill my quota early then take my family to Hershey Park or somewhere. When my year was up, they wanted me to stay, badly, I said not just no, but hell no. So, I was able to go back to counterintelligence and special ops command. The general said I was too stubborn to teach a lesson as I got an Army Commendation medal for getting a gold recruiting badge in only one year. I told him I had indeed learned a lesson, that if they ever tried to put me back in recruiting command, I’d go AWOL first.

Being in recruiting command is worse than being at the Pentagon, which I thought was impossible until I was in recruiting command.

 

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War Pig’s Anecdotes on General Patton the Younger – Part 1

One of my very interesting readers, War Pig, was inspired by the General Patton quotes this week to provide a personal remembrance of General Patton the Younger in the comments.  On hearing that he had more stories I asked if he’d provide them and allow me to post them here.  He kindly agreed and here they are.

Some personal anecdotes about Major General George S. Patton IV (son of the WWII Patton).

General Patton the Younger (as we called him) was every bit as much of a firebrand as his father, and could be as spectacularly profane as his sire.

I was a young sergeant assigned to the 2nd Armored Division at Ft Hood, Texas in the middle 1970s. Patton commanded the division back then. He spent as much time as he could riding in his specially modified jeep and out of headquarters. You never knew when or where he’d show up. His jeep had a bar on his side for him to hold onto. He disliked sitting as he had a bad hip. He also had a flasher light and a siren installed. His driver was on leave for some reason and he called my brigade for a replacement. I was a counterintelligence agent and I was attached to the division artillery. The Command Sergeant Major wasn’t too fond of intel types so he tasked me to drive Patton for almost 6 weeks.

__________________________________________________________

As I have said elsewhere, Patton despised lieutenants. He said to me, once; “A private knows nothing and we expect him to do nothing more than to follow orders. Unfortunately, lieutenants also know nothing yet they are allowed to give orders. Without a good sergeant, a lieutenant is the most dangerous thing on the battlefield – to our own cause.”

Patton had a high regard for NCOs. But had little time for officers below Lt Colonel. He also trusted the troops, the enlisted men. My time driving for him was interesting, to say the least. He had a deep respect and care for the enlisted men under his command.

One day that summer it was a Black Flag day. It was so hot and humid that training was to be kept indoors if possible. The heat index that day was, I believe, 110 degrees. Of course, I drove Patton’s jeep as it was open-topped and we were moving. We were heading to corps headquarters for some briefing or another. As we were driving along Patton yelled; “Stop this f**king jeep!” I stopped as quickly as I could without throwing him head first over the windshield. Between two barracks was a platoon of soldiers doing close order drill on the dry grass. In the heat, on a black flag day. “Pull over there!” he yelled. I drove across the concrete median, over the sidewalk and up to the platoon on the grass. Patton’s jeep went where Patton said, and screw the traffic laws. In the shade stood a platoon sergeant, looking pissed off.

The lieutenant saluted but Patton yelled; “What the f**k do you think you’re doing? Where in hell’s your platoon sergeant and why isn’t he kicking your ass right now? Who’s your company – your battalion – who’s your brigade commander lieutenant?!”

The lieutenant tried to stammer out a reply but Patton was on a roll. “What the f**k are you doing? Answer me!”

“The platoon needed discipline, sir.”

About this time Patton saw the platoon sergeant. “Why aren’t you kicking his ass, sergeant?” To which the sergeant answered that he was ordered to stand aside.

“You!” Patton said to the lieutenant, “You will have yourself and your entire chain of command in my office at sixteen hundred. You got me?!”

“Yes, sir.”

“Sergeant, you are now in command of this platoon until further notice. Dismiss the men.”

“Yes, sir.”

We went to the meeting/briefing/conference. We were back in Patton’s office before 16:00 Waiting outside were the lieutenant, his company commander, the battalion commander and the brigade commander. They were called into the office in order of seniority, the door was closed, and loud voices were heard. By the time the lieutenant was called in I was sitting by the door and could hear what was said. Patton was swearing up a storm and the young lieutenant was catching it for disobeying a training directive, putting his troops in danger of heat stroke, and refusing to listen to his platoon sergeant.

“Well, you’re f**king fired. Relieved of command of the platoon and a commanding general’s official letter of reprimand will be placed in your records.”

 

 

Guest Contributor – War Pig – Let Them Hate Us as Long as They Fear Us

.  I do believe that by being such a “humane” military, we have lost some of the intimidation factor. An army is better feared (and that is the purpose of an army, to instill fear into the minds of the enemy), when they regularly drink from the skulls of their enemies. That is why so many Iraqis surrendered. They feared fighting the US military.

 

The Japanese had a lively fear of US Marines in WWII. They were told it was better to die fighting than to allow themselves to be captured and eaten by American Marines. That Marines were primarily recruited in mental hospitals from the ranks of homicidal maniacs. That we would lay down those we did not eat on the soon-to-be runways and grind them, alive, into the dirt with bulldozers and tanks. You would think that it led to fanatical resistance, and it did, but it also led to banzai charges where we did great execution upon the Japanese army. In most cases they went out, not to conquer, but to die – strictly from fear. Sort of a suicide-by-cop mentality. They charged straight into the teeth of interlocking machine gun fire. Much like in WWI, this tactic only led to massive casualties on the part of the attacker. Line ’em up and mow ’em down. In some cases, Marine machine gunners had to push piles of bodies away from the front of their guns to get an open field of fire. Corpses literally stacked up like cord wood.

 

So we want to be feared in battle, but also known for treating prisoners (the average Joe in the ranks) honorably. Much as we did in Desert Storm. Surrendering Iraqis were treated well, but those who fought died hard and cruel deaths. Many of them ere buried, alive, in their trenches by M-1 tanks with dozer blades on the front. Or they were cluster-bombed by B-52s from an altitude that meant they could not fight back, or were blown up and incinerated by M-1 tanks who they could not even see in their sights. The A-10 was called “silent death” as its quiet engines and supersonic 30mm shells meant the Iraqi tank crews were dead before they heard the jet roll in on them.

 

That is how the old pirates got their way. If a ship surrendered, they were not abused much. But if they resisted, they crew were slaughtered to the last man. Roman legions worked the same way. If a city surrendered, they survived. If the Romans had to fight for the city, they put everyone – men, women, babies, cattle, sheep – to the sword.

PTSD and the Military

This nation does a terrible job of dealing with PTSD in the military. Anyone who has seen combat will have PTSD to some degree. It may not manifest itself until much later (as it did with me), and it may not be terrible, but we all have it.

My family is a military family. My father’s family arrived shortly before the US Civil War and fought for the Union. Mom’s people (Blackfeet) have been warriors since time immemorial. Both sides of the family served in and saw combat in the Spanish American War, WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, the Global War On Terror and the Cold War. We have members in the US military right now and we have seen action in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

All of the combat veteran members of the family I have been able to speak with have had experiences and memories that haunt them to some degree.

I had two great uncles and a very young uncle in WWII. My one great uncle flew P-51 Mustangs in Europe (3 confirmed). He was on a fighter sweep and latched on to a JU-88 and pumped fire into it. It flamed and he saw the crew hit the silk. However, one of the crew had a canopy on fire. My great uncle circled back, determined to do a mercy killing with his six, fifty caliber guns. However, the German beat him to it, drawing a pistol and killing himself seconds before his chute collapsed and his body fell several thousand feet to the ground. After that, my great uncle never pursued an enemy plane if they broke off and ran. He’d shoot at them if they attacked, but if they ran he let them go. He could not kill another man the way he saw the German die. The fact that he steeled himself to commit coldblooded murder as a mercy killing also bothered him no end. He did not want to machine gun the man, but it was a better death than falling five thousand feet to earth. While he did not have to do it, watching a man so desperate and so much in fear that he killed himself also haunted him. He never flew after WWII as a pilot or a passenger. He hung up his wings, as they say.

My young uncle was a tank crewman and later a tank commander under Patton. He went ashore after D-Day with Patton for the breakout. During the war he had I think three tanks shot out from under him and saw friends killed right next to him. That was bad enough, but he was one of the GIs who liberated Buchenwald and saw the horrors when they were fresh. What he saw in Buchenwald horrified him more than any combat or loss of fellow crewmen. When they found former guards in the area, they brought them back and gave them to the survivors who pretty much tore them limb from limb. After that, they did not take a single German SS prisoner for the remaining weeks of the war. They shot them where they found them. Buchenwald and what they did afterward haunted him the rest of his life.

My other great uncle was a Marine in the Pacific. He didn’t come back. He was on I believe Saipan (his wife was sketchy on the story as it hurt her and she didn’t remember or else suppressed details). The Japs counterattacked and he was wounded and could not get away. They dragged him back to their lines and used him for sword practice, trying to make him scream so they could scare the other Marines. According to his wife, the men in his unit said he would not scream in pain. He was a Blackfoot warrior. They recognized his voice as he cursed the Japanese until they finally got tired of him and decapitated him. When the Marines counter-counterattacked and pushed the Japs back, they recovered what was left of him. My great aunt despised Japanese for the rest of her life. She realized than modern Japanese did not kill her husband, but she could not get over how he died and never forgave them. She had PTSD, too.

My father served in the 101st Airborne in Korea. His sneak patrol was airdropped way off target (happened quite a bit in those days) and almost on top of a ChiCom infantry unit. In a four day running battle, his patrol fought their way back to Allied lines (actually, Australians). Only my dad and two others survived. On the first night, they had to lay quietly next to their dead buddies and watch rats eat them. If they made noise to chase away the rats, the ChiComs machine gunned where they heard movement and they fired flares to try and catch the Americans in the open or moving. After Korea, my father never flew on an airplane again. When he was transferred to Los Angeles from Ohio during the moon shot program (he was a machine engineer for North American/Rockwell), we drove to Ohio every year for vacation. Nor would he ride on a Ferris wheel or anything that reminded him of flying or parachuting. And he hated rats with a passion. We boys shot rats on grandpa’s farm and dad paid us a bounty on every dead rat we showed him.

I served in the Marines in Vietnam. I had just tuned 19 when I made it to 2/5 Marines and a week later Tet 1968 started and we were sent to Hue. I saw lots of men die. I killed people. Constant door-to-door combat. But the worst was when we were on a patrol after we had retaken the city and was ambushed. We called for extraction and the closest choppers were USAF. They landed and got us. My best friend was shot as we climbed aboard. I got off the chopper, picked him up and threw him in the chopper, covered his body with mine to protect him from more bullets and we got away, but he’d taken an AK burst. There was a medic on the chopper but my friend was leaking faster than the medic could patch him, then the medic found a bullet hole in his chest and stopped trying. His head was in my lap and he was begging me to save his life. I could not save him, no one could, and I could not take his place, although I would have if it had been possible. He died with his head in my lap and I held him until they came and took him away when we landed.

I had been so numbed to combat and death and killing after Hue that I did not properly mourn his death. Helluva thing to do to an 19 year old kid. I put it behind me to help me survive the rest of my tour. I went on to serve my tour, get out, stay out a while then join the Army and the Rangers. I have squeezed the trigger on people, I have used a knife, a garrote, and set off Claymore mines which turned men into strawberry jam. I have called in mortar, artillery and airstrikes. I have even used my bare hands. Yet I slept well at nights and I was not self medicating on booze or drugs. When I retired I thought I had lucked out and not gotten PTSD. I thought I was too tough for PTSD.

I was wrong on both counts.

Almost forty years after my friend died in my arms I was at the USAF Museum in Dayton, Ohio with some cousins. I was in the Vietnam section. I’d seen it before and it didn’t really bother me. However, they had recently added a new exhibit to the Vietnam section. It was a USAF Jolly Green Giant helicopter. They put it back in Vietnam colors. I turned the corner and saw it and I stopped as if I had been poleaxed. In a flash, I was back in Vietnam with my best friend’s head in my lap and he was dying, begging me to save him, in the belly of a Jolly Green… just-like-this-one. I stood there and began crying, hard but quietly. It took me about five minutes I guess to get control of myself and I completely soaked my bandanna/ handkerchief with tears and my running nose. I put my hand on the nose of the chopper for balance. One USAF youngster pulling duty in the museum came by and said; “You can’t touch the exhibits.”

I turned to him with what had to be dead in my teary eyes and said; “You shut up!”

He left and I saw him no more. That’s when I realized NOBODY was immune to PTSD. I had now had the dubious honor of joining the club to which my older male relatives were members. I can now pass by the exhibit with no more than a sniffle and a little dampness in my eye. But I understand better what my senior relatives meant. I could no longer just sympathize, but empathize.

The efforts of the government to deal with PTSD is pitiful. Small wonder why veterans commit suicide at the rate of about twenty each and every day. Mostly the government ignored it. They covered up suicides after WWII, Korea, and even Vietnam to prevent “shame” to the family. They even shamed men (and women) who had it. Brave men and women. A lot braver than me. Seeking counseling could cause you to lose security clearance and even miss a promotion. Then they gave counseling but it was by doctors who had usually never even fired a rifle or had a fistfight as a boy, let alone seen combat. Ineffective. Then they over medicated it. Give them antidepressants and other psychoactive drugs and turn them loose to live on the streets then claim you did something. Antidepressants are normally given to people to try and reduce their anxiety and agitation, allowing the individual to feel more relaxed and calm. Whilst this can be helpful for people suffering from PTSD, they can feel so low that they may try and misuse the prescription to feel complete relaxation. This can be extremely dangerous and can cause them to have muscle weakness and memory loss. To ensure their vulnerable patients aren’t misusing their prescriptions, doctors and healthcare workers could use drug tests to pick up traces of prescription drugs. By visiting https://www.countrywidetesting.com/collections/benzodiazepines-bzo-drug-tests, doctors could take better care of these PTSD sufferers, ensuring that they aren’t misusing their prescription.

There are other treatments too. I tried to get treatment (counseling) for mine but I was told it was “too late after the war” for me to qualify as if I was jumping on the bandwagon to try and claim additional benefits. I had to work through it myself. With the medicinal improvements being seen within marijuana in today’s age, it’s no wonder that many veterans are now looking to medical marijuana and even some of the most psychoactive strains to look for a way to manage their mental pain and trauma. It seems if it wasn’t for medical marijuana being legal as it is now, there would be a lot more veterans turning to hard substances that are lethal.

I was lucky. I could have been one of the guys living under a bridge, self-medicating with booze and heroin until it hurt so bad that I took too much heroin trying to make the memories go away and wound up dead. Another statistic. We really need to do a better job of healing both the bodies AND minds of our returning warriors. We’re making some headway but not enough by far.

War Pig – Chinese Admiral Shoots His Mouth Off

A Chinese admiral said to settle the US “problem” they should maybe sink two US supercarriers, causing up to 10,000 US casualties and the loss of two multi-billion-dollar assets.

Has he considered that it would be an act of war? An act of war against the single most powerful military on the planet? Commanded by a man who would love nothing more than to reply with massive retaliation?

Donald Trump is no Obama. He would not apologize to the Chinese for allowing them to sink two of our carriers. Trump will come out swinging for the fences. Literally anything short of nuclear weapons would be used. Maybe even tactical nukes, if that is how China attacks our carriers. I can’t think of another way they could sink two of them at once. Just because the Chinese admiral could care less about losing 10,000 sailors (there’s plenty more where those came from) does not mean Americans are so cavalier about the lives of our men AND WOMEN in uniform. He totally misjudges what the American response would be to such a dastardly attack. Kill off several thousands of our men and women in uniform in a sneak attack and we as a people begin to foam at the mouth and shout; “Kill ‘em all, and let Satan sort them out!” The last time someone pulled off a huge sneak attack in the Pacific, we firebombed their capital and nuked two off their major cities, as well as sinking most of their fleet. Making Americans so mad they can’t see straight is NOT a good thing. We are not safe to play with when we’re copping an attitude.

 

ECONOMICS:

How insane is it to contemplate committing an act of war against your largest trading partner? If the Chinese are not liking the current sanctions, they’d really hate a total embargo and blockade of all their ports. No ships in or out. Any naval vessels in port sunk, any naval vessels still at sea when the attack occurs would be sunk. Their merchant fleet would be chained to neutral harbors. Our NATO allies (basically the wealthiest group of nations on the planet outside of China) would be forced to seize any Chinese ships in their ports until the end of hostilities. Merchantmen and naval vessels (not many naval vessels outside of Chinese waters) alike would be impounded in port. Does the good admiral realize how much trade goes by water to both the US and NATO countries? NATO represents the wealthiest “club” on the planet. Trade with the US and Europe would be halted. Trade with UK Commonwealth nations would halt or be severely curtailed. Trade with South Korea, Australia, Japan, Brunei, the Philippines and India would also cease. China could not send goods to or from the Middle East either as the US fleet would see to that. China would suffer from extreme pecuniary strangulation not to mention loss of all imports of energy and raw materials that come by sea, which is something like 90% of their imports.

All China would be able to export would be either overland or by overland air routes that do not cross a US ally’s or Commonwealth member’s airspace. All of their seaborne trade would halt as the US navy still rules the waves, let alone the assistance of Australia, Japan, South Korea, the UK, et al, even if the NATO countries did not intervene militarily. Nothing in, nothing out. That would be a very effective way to ruin their economy and bankrupt them. Remember, the business of America is business. And when total economic war is declared we are very good at it.

 

MILITARY:

 

AMERICA: China is a paper tiger. In a sneak attack they may do some damage, and their submarines can be troublesome but the US and its allies will have air supremacy in short order. Look at US assets in the Pacific theater. Aircraft, bases, weapons. Strategically place to cut China off in a dozen places. Attacks against China proper can occur from almost any of them.

 

NATO allies are obligated to respond against an attack on any member. Even Canada responded after 9/11.  So, NATO member assets at sea will engage Chinese naval vessels and board and seize Chinese merchantmen. Any “neutral” ships bound for China would be ordered back to their home ports – or else they would also be boarded and seized. Any Chinese made or bound cargo would also be subject to angary, even from neutral shipping.

Sinking a US supercarrier is easy enough to say, but it is incredibly difficult to pull off. The US has not lost a carrier in combat since the Essex class was commissioned during WWII. US carriers are very mobile and very well protected. If one is attacked the rest go on full alert and anything which enters their area is attacked if not positively identified as friendly. That means anything which returns an echo underwater is going to get depth-bombed and/or torpedoed. Sorry, whales.

US supercarriers are designed to absorb punishment and keep on fighting, and their abilities to defend themselves are not to be despised. There are rings of defense that stretch out hundreds of miles in all directions, from the sea floor to the edge of space. Aegis class defenders can take down even the supposed Chinese “ship-killing ballistic missiles”. Lesser missiles pose even less of the threat as they have to pass through rings of aircraft, missiles and dozens of radars and other sensors. Right up to the various close-in last ditch defenses of Gatling guns and Rolling Air Frame missiles on the carrier itself. E2D Hawkeye aircraft are extremely capable in detecting threats and directing assets against them. The new F-35 variants are themselves very powerful detection and tracking platforms who can also fire on threats. The US fleet has very sophisticated counter measures as well.

Now let’s look at the opposing players. A US Carrier Strike Group (and we have eleven of them) commonly consists of (from Wiki):

A supercarrier, which is the centerpiece of the strike group and also serves as the flagship for the CSG Commander and respective staff. The carrier is commanded by an aviation community captain.

  • A Carrier Air Wing (CVW) typically consisting of up to nine squadrons. Carrier air wings are commanded by an aviation community captain (or occasionally a Marine colonel).
  • One or two Aegis guided missile cruisers (CG) of the Ticonderoga class—a multi-mission surface combatant, equipped with BGM-109 Tomahawk missiles for long-range strike capability, each commanded by a surface community captain.
  • A destroyer squadron (DESRON) commanded by a surface community captain (O-6) who commands the escort destroyers, with two to three guided missile destroyers (DDG), of the Arleigh Burke class—a multi-mission surface combatant, used primarily for anti-aircraft (AAW) and anti-submarine (ASW) warfare, but which also carries Tomahawk missiles for long-range strike capability. A destroyer is commanded by a surface community commander.
  • Up to two attack submarines, used to screen the strike group against hostile surface ships and submarines, but which also carry Tomahawk missiles for long-range strike capability.
  • A combined ammunition, oiler and supply ship (AOE/AOR), usually Supply-class (T-AOE); provides logistic support.

Currently, six of the United States’ eleven carrier strike groups are located in the Pacific. The US also has four Marine Expeditionary Units (MEUs) in the pacific. Each of those is also comprised of combat ships, a load of kick-ass Marines, along with attack helicopters and fixed wing, STOVL aircraft. They are transitioning from the Harriers to the new F-35Bs as I write this.

The US Pacific Air Forces are composed of the Fifth Air Force (Japan), the Seventh Air Force (South Korea) and the Eleventh Air Force (Alaska). That does not count long range, US based bombers such as the B1, B2 and B52 which can sortie from their bases worldwide to strike Chinese interests.

US nuclear submarines in the pacific are composed of 16 Los Angeles fast attack submarines, two Seawolf fast attack submarines, eight Virginia class fast attack submarines, two Ohio class guided missile subs and seven Ohio class ballistic missile subs.

And do not forget the navies of both Japan and Australia.

CHINA: They have ONE diesel fueled “aircraft carrier” of the old Kuznetsov class. It’s mostly been a harbor queen with very little blue water experience. Their aircraft are inferior in sophistication and numbers to the US fleet. The unrefueled strike range of a US carrier air wing is about 500 nautical miles. The Chinese carrier is a ski-jump launcher which means their combat jets must carry a reduced load of weapons and fuel to get off deck, reducing both their range and effectiveness.

China has sixty-odd submarines, the vast majority of which are diesel-electric. All of them are noisier than US submarines, making them vulnerable to our fast-attack subs.

China’s land-based air forces are unaccustomed to operating over water (so are their carrier aircraft, actually). They would be mostly ineffective if the US force stays a couple hundred miles offshore, well within the US strike range.

That leaves the much brayed-about Chinese “ship killer” ballistic missile. Its range is less than advertised and they have never tested it over water or against a moving target, let alone against a moving target with sophisticated countermeasures and effective antimissile weapons. Its ability to be guided en route is limited, US carriers are hard to find in the first place and they can steam at well over 40 knots in any direction they choose. Plus, as was mentioned they are defended not just by guns and missiles, but by very sophisticated electronic and other countermeasures.

 

STRATEGY:

The US need never strike the Chinese homeland unless they want to show it would be easy to do. An attack against a US carrier Strike Group would put all the US forces on high alert. Also, the naval and air forces of Taiwan, South Korea, Japan and Australia. Since the Philippines have been spatting with China over islands, they may even get involved. The US can use Tomahawk cruise missiles launched from planes, ships or subs to decimate the naval forces in Chinese ports, and to mine the ports from 600 miles at sea. The US Navy would immediately engage any Chinese naval forces at sea. They would also sink or capture any Chinese merchant ships and then deny neutral shipping the ability to land cargoes on or near China. Chinese aircraft will not last long. Not only are US naval aircraft superior, the US 5th Air Force in Japan and he US 7th Air Force in South Korea would make life miserable for Chinese combatants and aircraft.

Now, the Chinese could take South Korea out of the fight by forcing North Korea to make some sort of demonstration, trying to widen the conflict. If so, the US can ask ally India to do the same. India and China do not get on well at all and the Indians would probably love an excuse to poke the Chinese while they are mostly busy elsewhere. India may also use the distraction to pimp-slap the Chinese client-state Pakistan a bit while the world is watching the US/China fight. The Chinese could also use the fight to justify an attempted invasion of Taiwan. Good luck getting a fleet of aircraft full of paratroopers or troop ships across the straits with the US Navy still in existence and against the Taiwanese air defenses and land-based sea defenses. Japan is quite capable of dealing with Chinese aircraft. The problem would be non-nuclear ballistic missiles. Doubtful the Chinese would launch nukes against either Taiwan or Japan as they are both under the US nuclear umbrella. But Japan has long range missiles of its own, which it has bought from the US and Norway, to reply to a Chinese barrage, and soon the Chinese would be too busy dealing with a very angry United States to spare much time and effort toward Japan or US bases on Guam.

What would be the limits of the North Korean effort to aid China? The Chinese may find that Kim would make a token effort. No missiles at US bases or at Japan, inviting a devastating reply from US forces. The US has fought a multi-front war before, and won.

Striking US forces on Guam would be an escalation that the Chinese may not want to try. Guam is considered US soil and we would likely react very robustly to an attack on Guam by perhaps attacking Shanghai in retaliation.

 

CONCLUSION:

It would be a very bad move for China to start a spat they are going to lose, and lose badly. The US would lead sanctions against them which would cripple their economy and return them to 3rd world status again. Trumps victory would almost guarantee him reelection and that means China would suffer harshly in economic sanctions. Their military would be decimated and wholesale executions of commanders would follow. Their vast land army would have made no difference in the short war, and they would be hungry and restless. Ripe for revolt. They would lose Taiwan permanently. There would be nothing to gain and much to lose.

Therefore, I believe the politicians in Beijing will shut this admiral’s mouth for him and no US carriers will be attacked.