Author Topic: Military Science, Military Issues, and the Nature of War  (Read 387008 times)


Body-by-Guinness

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Re: Time to put the Woke Generals to sleep
« Reply #1251 on: December 07, 2023, 04:08:47 PM »


https://www.newsweek.com/us-military-went-woke-time-make-some-changes-top-opinion-1849290?utm_campaign=Claremont%20Institute%20News%20Emails&utm_medium=email&_hsmi=285537287&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_tz43mdx1tLS4LFg1lXfrhZz8rVOvPlImQILuNtczO1pH0mAuDkOAAEEQ9QMrCDrzh9fBp27bTs1uO7rMhOQD1Vhsxyg&utm_content=285537287&utm_source=hs_email

Can't happen soon enough. Indeed, those that would risk the nation's security by inserting woke torch bearers into positions hard charging strategists and empiricists are needed in should be held to account when to all too predictable results do occur.

Alas, I expect they see their clown show as a win/win: in times of putative peace the military is cast as an institutional engine of "Progressive" propaganda inculcation and societal change while, should a war break out, the inevitable defeats arising when a leadership caste selected for its adherence to rote asshattery rather than its ability to effectively employ force to protect US citizens and interests can be lauded as comeuppance imperialist pigs richly deserve. What's not to like about that arrangement?


Crafty_Dog

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The Vulnerability of Undersea Cables
« Reply #1254 on: December 12, 2023, 10:33:48 AM »
The vulnerability of our undersea cables

China’s Newnew Polar Bear reveals the problem

By David Keene

Within hours of the outbreak of World War I in August 1914, the British navy cut five German undersea cables, making it impossible for Berlin to communicate with its embassies or others outside Europe. This meant that most news from Belgium, France and the Eastern Front with Russia reached the outside world through Britain.

Military historians call this a brilliant stroke. The British took advantage of Germany’s crippled communications to persuade the United States to accept their narrative as they lobbied the reluctant Americans to join them in their effort to defeat Germany.

Today, the vast array of cables running not just between Europe and North America but linking every country on every continent in ways undreamed of at the time of the Great War are just as vulnerable as the cables the British navy targeted more than a century ago.

There are today more than three-quarters of a million miles of public and private cables crisscrossing the world’s oceans and carrying, among other things, most of the world’s internet traffi c. They are largely unprotected. Although the complexity of today’s cables would make it more difficult to catastrophically interrupt communications, defense experts believe it could be done.

Finland joined NATO last spring in the

aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine amid threats from the Kremlin. Then, in early October, a gas pipeline supplying natural gas that runs under the Baltic Sea was damaged, disrupting gas flow to the country. As Finnish authorities began an investigation to determine what caused the damage, suspicion naturally focused on the Kremlin, which predictably denied any involvement.

After determining that the damage was caused externally and may well have been deliberate, the Finns located a 6-ton anchor not far from the pipeline where it had been damaged along with three undersea cables providing internet and communications services to nearby Estonia. They raised the anchor and determined that it was Chinese rather than Russian.

A Chinese container ship, the Newnew Polar Bear, had dragged the anchor across the seabed and lost it when it snagged the pipeline and cables. It was photographed missing its front anchor when it docked later at Vladivostok, Russia.

Numerous attempts to communicate with the vessel or its owners failed, and it is reportedly back in China. NATO leaders claim that if it was a deliberate attack on the pipeline and cable, there would have to be a response, but since no one really wants a confrontation with Beijing, everyone is saying that it might have been an accident.

That’s not likely. Evidence suggests for it to have been an accident, the vessel would have had to have dragged the 6-ton anchor along the seabed for more than 112 miles until it snagged the cables and pipeline. An accident would require that no one on board noticed. That seems virtually impossible given the warning systems on vessels such as the Newnew Polar Bear and the effect dragging the anchor had to have had on the vessel’s performance.

When I asked if the damage could have been accidental, a former U.S. merchant mariner and ship’s captain responded, “The negligence (or stupidity) required to achieve such an accomplishment is incomprehensible to any professional marine.”

He said that modern vessels like the Newnew Polar Bear are constructed with three or four redundant warning systems that would have to be overcome to allow the anchor to be dragged as it was.

In addition, he said doing so would seriously affect the handling of the vessel and would have been noticed quickly even if all the warning systems had failed simultaneously. It had to have been intentional. He concluded that the Chinese must have been doing Moscow’s dirty work so that Russian President Vladimir Putin could profess his innocence.

It’s going to take four to five months to repair the pipeline and cables, but the real meaning of what happened is chilling and goes well beyond the inconvenience of this one incident.

As Jack Sharpies of the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies told CNN, what happened was probably “less about disrupting European gas supply and more about raising bigger questions about the safety and security of offshore infrastructure, not just gas pipelines.”

If that is the case, the world is being put on notice that the sinews of the modern world are as vulnerable to bad actors today as the old cables connecting North America and Europe were in 1914.

Crafty_Dog

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WSJ: Amid two wars, is Washington awake?
« Reply #1255 on: December 13, 2023, 05:08:00 AM »
OPINION
REVIEW & OUTLOOK
Follow
Amid Two Wars, Is Washington Awake?
A bipartisan defense bill has some victories but remains inadequate to meet rising threats.
By The Editorial Board
Dec. 12, 2023 6:37 pm ET


Congress is whipping through bills before skipping town for Christmas, and on the docket this week is the annual defense policy measure. President Biden is presiding over the managed decline of U.S. military power, and some Republicans seem to care more about firing salvos in the culture wars than deterring real wars.


The bill authorizes about $886 billion for defense in 2024, and the broad funding outlines were fixed in former Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s debt ceiling deal with Mr. Biden this year. Republicans in Congress have improved the product at the margins, adding funding for an amphibious ship for the Marines and blocking the Navy from decommissioning several ships. The Air Force won’t be allowed to retire perfectly good F-22s.

A rare and useful consensus in Congress has also emerged on deterring China from seizing Taiwan. New authorities for multiyear contracts for munitions such as torpedoes and Tomahawk cruise missiles would help the Pentagon move faster and offer more investment certainty to weapons manufacturers.

The U.S. will also work more closely with Taiwan on training and cyber. One disappointment: House-Senate negotiators appear to have watered down provisions aimed at forcing the Pentagon to move faster in delivering Harpoon antiship missiles to the island.

The plan to sell Australia nuclear-powered submarines, a check on China, also moves forward in the bill. But on the current output of 1.2 attack submarines a year, there won’t be any hulls to sell Down Under. The hope is that Congress will approve $3.4 billion more for submarine production in a supplemental bill for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan.

There are other discrete victories, particularly restoring a sea-launched nuclear cruise missile the Biden Administration tried to scuttle. That weapon is important to deterring Russia’s Vladimir Putin from exploiting his large numerical advantage in tactical nuclear weapons.

Despite this modest progress, the larger story is that the U.S. will still spend only about 3% of its economy on defense, a modern low during the most dangerous period since World War II. What’s bizarre is how little attention this defense deficit commands, even amid two wars on two continents started by U.S. adversaries against our allies.

Some Republicans are opposing the bill over cultural issues. They’re upset that the final product doesn’t include a House provision that blocked the Pentagon’s policy underwriting expenses and time off for troops traveling for abortions.

This Biden policy diktat is legally and politically offensive, as it violates the long bipartisan consensus that taxpayers shouldn’t pay for abortions. But Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville spent months trying and failing to force the Pentagon to drop the abortion travel rules. Republicans can’t run the table with a single-digit majority in one-half of one branch of government. Yet some conservative groups are whipping Republicans against the defense bill, even as Republicans claim to be the party of a strong national defense.

The demands for total victory are obscuring cultural wins for Republicans. The bill caps pay for Defense Department diversity, equity and inclusion officials at about $70,000 a year. These perches will almost certainly lose power and influence as a result.

The bill is expected to pass, but voters might note: Mr. Biden isn’t fighting for the U.S. hard power needed to deter threats from China to Russia to Iran. A few dozen lawmakers in Congress understand the dangerous moment and are working to shore up American defenses with what money they have.

Yet much of Washington, including the Commander in Chief, still hasn’t reckoned with the urgent U.S. need to rebuild its military power. This means more security trouble ahead.

ccp

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Crafty_Dog

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WSj: US naval deterrence nearing de minimis
« Reply #1257 on: December 20, 2023, 08:52:50 AM »
DeSantis has been very strong on this:

U.S. Naval Deterrence Is Going, Going, Maybe Even Gone
A new report expounds on the clear lesson of recent Houthi attacks: America isn’t very scary anymore.
By Jerry Hendrix
Dec. 19, 2023 6:29 pm ET

Recently the news broke that the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Carney had fended off several missile and drone attacks in the Red Sea. While Biden administration officials tried to frame the battle, for a battle it surely was, as the Carney’s defending nearby merchant ships, it seems clear that Iranian-supplied Houthis were targeting the Carney directly as well as the commercial ships it was accompanying.


This was only one of several recent assaults on American naval assets in the region. They have happened despite the presence of the Ford carrier strike group in the eastern Mediterranean and the Eisenhower strike group in the Gulf of Aden—a conventional level of naval deterrence that should have reduced aggressive activities by U.S. enemies. Instead, Iran attacked American ships and allies.

These events show that American naval deterrence is failing, and a recent report from the Sagamore Institute concludes that it could soon evaporate.

The report, “Measuring and Modeling Naval Presence,” models the effect of various ships and combinations of ships across a mix of maritime regions. The model pitted an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, the U.S. Navy’s current utility platform of choice, against a People’s Liberation Army Navy Luyang III destroyer in several locations ranging from the high seas to the waters approaching the Taiwan Strait. It suggested that the deterrent value of American Navy ships operating in close proximity to a determined adversary has recently declined.

While the report said the American Navy currently maintains “presence dominance,” the ability to maintain its values and interests upon the high seas, it also indicates that the U.S. margin of naval leadership is shrinking and America could swiftly lose its ability to maintain mare liberum, the free sea. This would have huge negative implications for the global economic system, which depends on open seas to move 80% of the volume of the world’s $100 trillion global domestic product.

The causes of this sudden decline lie not in the physical characteristics of individual American warships. The Burke-class destroyers, which include the USS Carney, remain the best destroyers currently in active service worldwide. But the shrinking American fleet—down from a Reagan administration high of 594 ships in 1987 to 291 ships today—and the rapid expansion of the Chinese navy—composed of 340 warships today and expected to rise to 400 ships by 2025—has placed the value of American presence in question.

Noncorporeal factors keep the U.S. fleet competitive in conventional deterrence—namely the global perception that Americans are willing to defend their interests and that their military is manned, equipped and trained to go to war at a minute’s notice. Peace through strength requires more than numbers. But the Biden administration’s numerous foreign-policy setbacks in Afghanistan, Ukraine and the Middle East have undercut Americans’ will to fight and displayed a weakness of leadership and strategy to the country’s enemies. It is also becoming obvious that Washington hasn’t maintained its existing battle force. Even replacement weapons for ship’s magazines are in short supply. The world can see this, which might explain Iran’s boldness in the face of U.S. naval patrols.

America’s failure to expand and maintain its fleet, or stand by its word, may have already entirely eroded U.S. naval deterrence. The Navy’s budget, size and force architecture all need urgent attention from Congress if the U.S. is to preserve its ability to deter its enemies. Failure to do so imperils global trade as well as America’s place in the world and the safety of its people.

Mr. Hendrix, a retired U.S. Navy captain, is a senior fellow at the Sagamore Institute.



ccp

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Re: Military Science, Military Issues, and the Nature of War
« Reply #1260 on: December 31, 2023, 12:25:40 PM »
loved this image:

https://simplicius76.substack.com/p/the-changing-face-of-war-future-of?utm_source=substack&utm_medium=email

it is like talking to libs
they don't hear anything we say.
even with making them use this.

Crafty_Dog

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WT: Recruitment issues
« Reply #1261 on: January 01, 2024, 04:10:26 AM »
The Army is trying to narrow a recruiting gap by reviving its “Be All You Can Be” campaign and employing a Future Soldier Preparatory Course to ensure its soldiers are fit. ASSOCIATED PRESS

PENTAGON

New, time-tested strategies give military hope on recruitment

Waning talent, enthusiasm pose 2024 challenges

BY MIKE GLENN THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Attracting a few good men — and women — won’t cut it for the nation’s armed services.

The Pentagon is scrambling to fill a growing chasm in the recruitment ranks that will result in the smallest U.S. military since before World War II.

The situation was dire in 2023, and senior military officials say they are “cautiously optimistic” at best about 2024.

“I’m going to say we’re optimistic,” said Air Force Maj. Gen. Patrick S. Ryder, Pentagon spokesman. “But, you know, we know that this continues to be a challenge for a multitude of reasons.”

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin “has said we didn’t get into this problem overnight and it’s not going to be solved overnight,” Gen. Ryder said. It put more of an onus on the military branches to be “very active and creative in looking at how we can communicate with the public that we serve.”

The Defense Department said only the Marine Corps and the Space Force — by far the smallest of the U.S. military services — met their recruiting goals in the past fiscal year. Surveys find that just 23% of Americans ages 17 to 24 even qualify to join the military. The majority have weight issues, past drug use, or mental or physical health problems. Few have expressed a genuine enthusiasm to serve.

Under the 2024 National

Defense Authorization Act that President Biden signed on Dec. 21, the number of active-duty military troops will shrink to just over 1.2 million. It’s anyone’s guess whether the Defense Department will find enough military recruits next year to fill even those more modest targets.

“There is strong bipartisan concern that the military services continue to struggle to meet their recruiting goals,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts Democrat, told senior recruiting chiefs from the various military branches at a Dec. 6 hearing of the Senate Armed Services personnel subcommittee.

It’s certainly not a matter of money. The 2024 NDAA authorizes some $886.3 billion for national defense, an increase of $28 billion over 2023 levels.

Even with plenty of money and “bipartisan concern” from lawmakers on Capitol Hill, the Army, Navy and Air Force failed to accomplish their recruiting missions in the fiscal year that ended in September. One big challenge is hitting the target numbers without diluting the qualification standards to wear the uniform.

“I’m mindful of how challenging an environment this is and want to publicly give credit to our professional recruiters and all our Marines who uphold our rigorous stands 24/7,” Gen. Eric M. Smith, the Marine Corps commandant, said on social media after the numbers were released.

Even so, the services have stepped up some tried-and-true methods for attracting recruits, including the Navy’s financial incentive package worth a recordhigh $140,000. Policies on tattoos and facial hair have been relaxed for some services, and the Army resurrected its “Be All You Can Be” marketing campaign from 40 years ago, hoping to reach a Generation Z demographic.

The Pentagon told the House Armed Services Committee in December that the services fell more than 40,000 recruits short of their annual goal. It was the largest gap since the end of the draft more than 50 years ago.

The thinning goes beyond active-duty ranks. The Air Force Reserve attracted just 5,288 of the 7,765 newly enlisted airmen it needed, Military.com reported , some 30% below the goal.

A relatively strong economy and low unemployment figures mean young adults have more options to consider, Ashish Vazirani, the Defense Department’s acting undersecretary for personnel and readiness, told House lawmakers.

“And the impact of the [COVID19] pandemic on our recruiting model — which relies heavily on in-person recruiter access to high schools — and communication engagement was significant,” Mr. Vazirani said.

He pointed out that more than 75% of American youths do not qualify for military service without some form of waiver. More than 1 in 10 don’t make the grade because they are overweight.

“While these factors explain part of our deficit in recruiting, they do not explain all of it,” Mr. Vazirani said. “We believe that our recruiting challenge is more profound, more structural and longer-term than any of us would like.”

The American public generally holds the armed forces in high esteem compared with other major institutions. Still, the admiration is wavering, partly because of the chaotic ending to the failed war in Afghanistan, increased polarization of the public and concerns about heightened politicization in the military, according to a recent study by the Rand Corp. think tank.

More than 50% of Americans say they would discourage a young person close to them from enlisting in the military, but more than 60% said they would support a young person’s decision to become an officer by attending a service academy or signing up for ROTC in college, the Rand researchers found.

Some Republican lawmakers blamed the Pentagon’s anemic recruiting numbers on what they say is the Biden administration’s politicization of the Pentagon, in particular, a misplaced focus on divisive identity politics within the ranks.

“The Department of Defense must put at least as much effort into solving the recruiting crisis as it has into other initiatives like extremism, diversity, equity, inclusion, and abortion,” said Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee. “At worst, they dissuade young people from enlisting. They suggest to the American people that the military has a problem with diversity and extremism.”

Service members and military veterans on the Reddit news and discussion site said reasons for low recruitment include poor living conditions in the barracks and toxic unit-level leadership.

“The military can’t hide behind its censorship anymore. Sweeping the bad stuff under the rug and reeling in unsuspecting 17- and 18-year-olds isn’t as feasible now as it was before social media and the internet,” a Reddit poster said.

Another commentator said unskilled laborers in the private sector are offered higher wages and better benefits packages than those in the military. “There’s a huge shortage of guys in the trades right now, and companies are shelling out to get workers,” he said. “It’s better than getting yelled at in the middle of Oklahoma.”

Maj. Gen. Johnny K. Davis, head of Army Recruiting Command, said the recruiting crisis didn’t appear overnight and won’t be resolved quickly.

“We will not lower standards. We will not sacrifice quality for the sake of quantity,” Gen. Davis said.

Some Army recruiting initiatives are showing promise, Gen. Davis said. That includes the Future Soldier Preparatory Course, which helps potential recruits meet the physical fitness and academic standards required to begin basic training. He said 14,000 people have graduated from the course and 95% have gone on to finish boot camp and become soldiers.

“We’re seeing momentum, and we’ll continue to build upon it,” Gen. Davis said.

The military isn’t the only institution at cross purposes with young Americans. Undergraduate college enrollment declined by 15% from 2010 to 2021, mostly before COVID-19, and national service programs such as the Peace Corps have not recovered to pre-pandemic staffing levels, Mr. Vazirani said.

“While the military is not alone in navigating these difficult trends, we have some unique considerations,” he said. “In 1995, 40% of U.S. youth ages 16 to 24 had a parent who served in the military. But by 2022, only 12% had a parent who served, and that has led to a disconnect between the military and a large share of society.”

Rear Adm. Alexis T. Walker, the Navy’s top recruiter, expects another challenging environment in 2024. The Navy is placing more recruiters in the field and has borrowed an idea from the Army by instituting a Future Sailor Preparatory Course at its Recruit Training Command near Chicago.

The Navy is also launching a marketing campaign to target adult influencers in the lives of young people.

“Today, our advertising remains near 100% digital, resulting in a 30% increase in national leads in taking the message to where our future sailors are operating, which is online,” Adm. Walker said.

Gen. Ryder, the Defense Department spokesman, said recruiters can conduct face-to-face negotiations with their target audience now that COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted.

“The services continue to be very active and creative in looking at how we can communicate with the public that we serve,” Gen. Ryder said. “We didn’t get into this problem overnight, and it’s not going to be solved overnight.”

Crafty_Dog

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WSJ: The West badly needs more missiles and anti-missiles/drones
« Reply #1262 on: January 03, 2024, 08:23:29 AM »

By Alistair MacDonaldFollow
, Doug CameronFollow
 and Dasl YoonFollow
Jan. 3, 2024 12:01 am ET


Explore Audio Center
KONGSBERG, Norway—A factory here west of Oslo produces a missile-defense system that can shoot down drones, helicopters and other airborne threats from almost 25 miles away.

Capable of launching 72 missiles into the sky at once, the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System, or Nasams, is what protects the airspace over the White House. When first deployed in Ukraine in 2022, it recorded a 100% success rate shooting down cruise missiles and drones in its first few months.

With the West confronting a rising number of potential threats, including Russia and China, orders are piling up for the Nasams from Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace.

“I’ve never seen anywhere near so much demand,” said Eirik Lie, a 30-year Kongsberg veteran who is president of the company’s defense unit, on a November tour of the factory.

New customers, though, will have to wait: It takes two years to make one Nasams, and there is already a multiyear backlog.

The Ukraine war has highlighted the West’s deficiencies in quickly producing more weapons at a time of need. The Gaza conflict may tighten supplies for certain armaments.

The constraint is particularly acute for missiles and the systems that defend against them, and also guard against the swarms of drones that have become a central element of modern warfare.

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To ramp up, Kongsberg, which also makes products including ship-based missiles and parts of F-35 fighter jets, has moved to 24-hour, seven-day shifts and has workers in for some holidays when the factory would typically have been idled for maintenance. That still may not be enough.

The problem is that modern weapons are hugely complex, often requiring thousands of parts. Kongsberg, like most Western defense firms, designs and assembles its weapons systems but doesn’t manufacture most of the components. Over 1,500 suppliers contribute to the products at this factory. The Nasams supply chain alone consists of over a thousand companies and is built across two continents, with the U.S. defense contractor RTX, formerly known as Raytheon Technologies, supplying the radar and the actual missiles.

Pointing at a partially assembled Nasams, Lie said: “We are supplied by companies with their own supply chains, which in turn have their own supply chains, which have their supply chains, till it gets right down to the mine that digs up the basic resources.”

The defense industry is also grappling with a prolonged labor crunch, as it scrambles to find workers with niche skills, from software development to welding, and who are willing to endure lengthy security checks.


The Norwegian Army fired a Nasams in Andoya, Norway, in an exercise in May. PHOTO: ROYAL NORWEGIAN NAVY/U.S. NAVY
While flush with higher defense budgets, the West hasn’t faced the same supply constraints since perhaps the Korean War, some military analysts say. Ten of the West’s largest defense companies alone are currently sitting on order books worth over $730 billion, up around 57% from the end of 2017, when demand started ramping up.

“We all have to increase our production,” said Pentagon acquisition chief Bill LaPlante at a November conference. He held one hand high and the other low and said: “The worldwide demand is here, the ability to supply is about here.”

2017
2021
2023
Lockheed Martin
Northrop Grumman
BAE Systems (U.K.)
General Dynamics
RTX
Boeing
HII
Leonardo (Italy)
Rheinmetall (Germany)
Thales (France)
$0 billion
$20
$40
$60
$80
$100
$120
$140
Leading U.S. and NATO officials are increasingly raising concerns that the shortages will affect their ability to fight.

In a wargame simulation published in early 2023 of how the U.S. would respond to a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, the Center for Strategic & International Studies estimated America would run out of all-important long-range antiship missiles within the first week.

The U.S. wouldn’t be able to replenish its stock quickly: As with the Nasams, each missile takes about two years to make.

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Other missile categories have similar issues. Lockheed Martin and RTX said in 2023 it will take four years to double production of Javelin and Stinger surface-to-air missiles, twice as long as expected, as supply-chain challenges continue. While companies have blamed shortages of solid rocket motors for the issue, Pentagon officials said the problems were more widespread, with everything from chips to springs and ball bearings running short.

The U.S. Department of Defense tried to track the global supply chains for the two missiles with the goal of finding workarounds for bottlenecks, said Michael Vaccaro, who oversees industrial base strategy for the Pentagon, at a recent industry conference. His conclusion was sobering: “We do not have that ability.”

There are also long delays for delivery of other weapons, including the F-35 fighter jet, new training and refueling aircraft, and the latest U.S. aircraft carriers.

A spokesman for the Pentagon said the U.S. defense industrial base can continue to support Ukraine and Israel while ensuring the country’s readiness in the Indo-Pacific region, all of which have different weapon requirements.


A bomb squad member worked next to debris from a Russian missile attack in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on Tuesday. PHOTO: SOFIIA GATILOVA/REUTERS
Mini fighter jets
Much of the West’s ability to make weapons, particularly in Europe, has been eroded as defense budgets fell after the Cold War and by gradual deindustrialization.

German companies could churn out up to 400 tanks a year at the height of the Cold War, but can now build only up to 50 a year, according to Nicholas Drummond, a defense consultant. 

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Modern weapons also just take longer to make and cost more money, which can keep a cap on inventories and extend the time it takes to replace them.

Missiles are like mini fighter jets, with complex electronics and guidance systems, said BAE Systems Chief Executive Charles Woodburn in a November interview.

Missiles have been used since World War II but became a key part of warfare in more recent combat, such as the first Gulf War and NATO’s intervention into conflicts that followed the breakup of Yugoslavia. Recent wars began with a barrage of missiles and rockets, including in the Middle East, where Hamas fired 3,500 rockets into Israel as its soldiers piled into the country on Oct. 7.

How a Nasams works:

Detection

Radar searches the sky for missile and aircraft threats. Radar provides 360 degree coverage up to 74.6 miles.

Interception

The launcher fires missiles to intercept the threat. One launcher permits rapid launch of up to six missiles against single or multiple airborne targets.

1

3

Target

Interceptor

Launcher

Radar

Electro-Optical and Infra-Red Sensor

These sensors provide data to the FDC.

FDC

Evaluation

The Fire Distribution Center receives data from the radar. It evaluates threats, coordinates engagement and initiates the firing of missiles.

2

AIM-120 AMRAAM interceptor

The missile was first deployed in 1991, initially for air-to-air combat by fighter jets.

A ground-launched version followed. It is now made by RTX and has been purchased by customers in more than 40 countries.

Range: 25 miles

Length: 12 feet

Diameter: 7 inches

Launch weight: 335 pounds

Wingspan: 21 inches

Unit cost: $1.37 million

Deployed: 1991

Origin: U.S.

Rocket motor

Warhead

Rear data link antenna

Guidance and target detector

Six-foot

soldier

Note: Diagrams not to scale

Sources: RTX; Air Force

Jemal R. Brinson/THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

The threat from the sky has expanded due to the prevalence of drones—both the remotely piloted aircraft that can deliver Hellfire and other missiles as well as hobbyist-type drones with smaller explosives—and the development of hypersonic missiles that can fly more than five times the speed of sound and maneuver to their target, making them harder to shoot down. Russia and China have outpaced the U.S. and Europe on some missile and defense systems.

Those countries have hypersonic missiles, said Pentagon officials, while the introduction of the first by the U.S. has been pushed into 2024 following a test failure. U.S. and European systems to defend against hypersonic missiles won’t enter service for at least 10 years. 

Russia and China together have around 5,020 land-based air-defense missile systems, compared with around 3,200 fielded by the U.S., Europe and Japan combined, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a defense think tank. The report didn’t assess quality or count shoulder-fired or naval-based systems.

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Defense companies in China and Russia are mainly state owned so are less prone to the commercial pressures of those in the West. China’s giant manufacturing sector means it has a large domestic supply chain and plenty of graduates trained for the industry.

Predictions that Russia would soon run out of missiles in Ukraine were incorrect. In November, Ukrainian intelligence estimated that Russia is able to produce about 100 total of two different types of cruise missile, four Kinzhal hypersonic ballistic missiles and five ballistic missiles every month.

U.S. and South Korean officials said North Korea has also been supplying missiles, rocket launchers and shells to Russia to support its war in Ukraine.

China’s inventory has gone up from what analysts said was a handful of nonnuclear ballistic missiles in 1996, to what the U.S. now estimates is more than 3,000 ballistic and cruise missiles.


A Chinese missile system at an airshow in Zhuhai, China, in 2022. PHOTO: CFOTO/ZUMA PRESS
In a report to Congress, the Defense Department concluded that most of China’s missile systems are comparable in quality to other global “top tier” producers and that the country possesses one of the world’s largest forces of advanced long-range missile systems.

For the West, the challenge of supporting allies engaged in separate global conflicts is pinching supplies further, boosting demand for some weapons systems, notably artillery shells and missile defense, said Pentagon officials.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky told Western ministers in October that his country needs missile-defense systems most. Currently, the West doesn’t have large inventories to share, and these weapons are the main overlap with what Israel needs.

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The U.S. has sent its two Israeli-made Iron Dome defense systems and the interceptors used to down missiles back to Israel.

In November, Zelensky told reporters that the war in Gaza had already slowed deliveries of artillery shells to Kyiv.


Israel’s Iron Dome antimissile system intercepted rockets launched from the Gaza Strip in October. PHOTO: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS
Orders after Ukraine
Lie said the uptick in orders for Nasams began in the years after Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea. Missile orders jumped after 2022’s full scale Ukraine invasion, and concerns over China are starting to show in order books as the U.S. Navy and others buy ship-based missiles, he said.

Kongsberg’s defense order book, at around $5.5 billion, is around six times the size of levels before 2018. 

Hungary ordered six Nasams in 2020. The first two only arrived in October. Since Hungary’s order, the U.S. Army has ordered six more for Ukraine, which started arriving there in the summer, and five other countries, including Taiwan, have gone public with interest in buying the system.

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Faced with increased tensions with China, Asian nations are developing their own missile capabilities “because of limited U.S. production,” said Bang Jong-kwan, a former South Korean Army Major General.

In 2022, Taiwanese officials publicly complained of U.S. delays on deliveries of Stinger antiaircraft missiles, alluding to supplies for Ukraine as being behind the holdup. In October, the chairmen of two separate U.S. congressional committees sent a letter to Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro, questioning him over “alarming delays” to weapons deliveries to Taiwan, including antiship missiles. They were ordered in 2019, with the first batch finally arriving in spring 2023.

The Navy declined to comment.

Taiwan began mass producing a new domestic long-range land-based missile in 2021, and the country has three other types of long-range missiles in development, Taiwanese officials say.

Most Western defense companies say they are expanding capacity, particularly in shells and missiles. The U.S. government is investing in its domestic production base and bringing production of vulnerable components such as microchips home.

The Pentagon is set to roll out in coming weeks a new industrial-base strategy to help clear supply-chain logjams. Vaccaro, the industrial strategist at the Pentagon, said it will aim to map global supply chains for 100 weapons systems in production, down to part number and country of origin. The move is intended to identify pinch points early, and mitigate them through, for example, finding alternative suppliers.

U.S. defense giants are also increasingly building abroad with foreign partners, including for missiles, as a way to expand capacity for systems.

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A Reaper drone and its munitions in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in 2009. PHOTO: RICK LOOMIS/LOS ANGELES TIMES/GETTY IMAGES
On a recent visit at Kongsberg, workers lowered parts for the Nasams from a ceiling crane onto a factory floor already filled with large castings of green metal. Shelves lined one of the walls, crammed with thousands of small parts.

In the 1980s, Kongsberg would make computer hardware for its weapons; now this is bought off the shelf. Around 15 years ago, the 200-year-old company did its own welding, now other companies do it.

When all its supplies of components are in place, Kongsberg can put together the mobile command center of a Nasams—the complex decision-making hub at the center of the system—in a month.

To manage the risk of its supply chain being broken, the Norwegian company has been building up stockpiles of essential components while holding spare Nasams to be sent to customers quickly if needed.

The company is also increasingly trying to find alternative sources for as many supplies as possible, giving it an option should one part not show. It said it will open a new factory at its site next June that will use a more-efficient assembly line. The company expects the method will increase its production of missiles by up to 10 times.

Noemie Bisserbe contributed to this article.

Write to Alistair MacDonald at Alistair.Macdonald@wsj.com, Doug Cameron at Doug.Cameron@wsj.com and Dasl Yoon at dasl.yoon@wsj.com

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As artillery supplies dwindle, Ukraine is turning frequently to its aging Mi-24 “Hind” attack helicopters. Although obsolete and often older than the pilots, these helicopters will continue to be important as Ukrainian forces wait for delayed weapons. Photo Illustration: Preston Jessee

Body-by-Guinness

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We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ “Power of the Purse” to Fund New Wars
« Reply #1263 on: January 03, 2024, 07:12:30 PM »
I’m not a fan on this site as they strike me as lawfare advocates and haven’t met an anti-Trump boondoggle that doesn’t make their nipples hard, but think they have ID’d a salient point here where funding for American wars are concerned:

https://www.justsecurity.org/90907/the-ghost-budget-how-america-pays-for-endless-war/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-ghost-budget-how-america-pays-for-endless-war

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ccp

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German Leopard tanks fail the lemon law
« Reply #1266 on: January 07, 2024, 08:04:40 AM »
wow!

Leopard tanks don't work

reminds me of the tiger tanks had similar problems

compared to the Shermans and T - 37 's which with large numbers won the war.

Crafty_Dog

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ya

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Re: Military Science, Military Issues, and the Nature of War
« Reply #1269 on: January 12, 2024, 04:03:12 AM »
So now the US is supporting multiple wars:
- Ukr
- Gaza
- Syria
- Houthis,

Just need one more war in Taiwan and we should be good for 2024. In the meantime the Sec of Defense is getting serious surgeries and the Prez was not even informed.

Good to point out that much of this is interrelated and there are many circles within circles with offshoots of cause and effect. So the US decided to bring down Russia by supporting Ukraine (US proxy) and froze their funds. Russian response was to support Gaza, who launched an attack on Israel (US proxy). Israel bombed Gaza to smithereens, and Russia/Iran activated the Houthis.

End result is that Russia is a commodity exporter, they are doing reasonably well considering the entire west is against them. The problem is that Europe has been destroyed, the economy of their star performer Germany is in recession, the US is not doing great either, debt is 34 T $, with the blockage of the red sea, inflation will rise world wide and in the USA and its only Jan.

Elections in Russia, by May 2024, Putin needs to show some action...

Crafty_Dog

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Zeihan on Chinese military
« Reply #1270 on: January 14, 2024, 07:54:29 PM »
ttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43axCkGrrN4



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vn8nKcioRK8

Crafty_Dog

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Zeihan: The Collapse of Russia's Navy
« Reply #1271 on: January 14, 2024, 08:08:57 PM »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJfDKlnWYuA

I found his final point about a world without Russian commodity exports to be quite wide of the mark-- shutting them off would not be in our interest (witness the Uke war!) AND they now have China as a market so their navy is of diminished relevance.

Nonetheless, a lot of interest here-- his concept of Russia having four navies that cannot interact with each other was new to mean and intrigues me quite a bit.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2024, 08:18:07 PM by Crafty_Dog »

Body-by-Guinness

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Cluster Munitions: An Unstated Leg Upon Which US Deterrence Stands
« Reply #1272 on: January 21, 2024, 05:36:54 AM »
Discussion of a significant munition few outside the military understand:

https://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/first-rule-cluster-munitions-dont-talk-about-cluster-munitions

Crafty_Dog

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UK Navy whoops
« Reply #1273 on: January 21, 2024, 05:49:57 AM »



Body-by-Guinness

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Navy Recruiting Shortage Leads to Lower Acceptance Standards
« Reply #1276 on: January 28, 2024, 08:03:54 PM »
Woke administration policies the military has adopted has led to lower recruitment. The fix? Lower standards:

https://legalinsurrection.com/2024/01/u-s-navy-faced-with-recruiting-nightmare-begins-accepting-high-school-dropouts/?utm_source=feedly&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=u-s-navy-faced-with-recruiting-nightmare-begins-accepting-high-school-dropouts

As a high school dropout now swimming among lettered tam wearers I'm off the opinion a degree doesn't confer common sense or every day problem solving for that matter, but given the tech needed to function within the military these days being able to prove you've learned how to learn would likely come in handy. And hey, with remedial math, English, and science needs being common among college freshnon-gender-specfic-bipeds these days one imagines similar needs will appear within these new recruits.

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Re: Military Science, Military Issues, and the Nature of War
« Reply #1277 on: January 29, 2024, 04:46:50 AM »
As I rub elbows with some of America's finest in the Fort Bragg area, this is quite congruent with conversations I have with them.
 

Body-by-Guinness

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Four Front Fears
« Reply #1278 on: January 29, 2024, 07:50:35 AM »
This piece contains references to LOTS of scary prescience, noting predictions of current entanglements made earlier. Indeed, allow me to pile on: if Biden is reelected or some other “Progressive” torchbearer replaces the ambulatory corpse he appears to have become, the partially executed four front World War III will be fully realized as our enemies know Biden and his “Progressive” handlers don’t have the aptitude or stomach for a world war, that the US is currently as politically fractured (and intentionally made so) as it has been since the 1860s, and that in our environmental and Ukraine munition supply zeal we’ve demonstrated that we are unable to arm ourselves to the degree needed to engage on the scale imagined here:

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2024/01/27/the_geopolitics_of_world_war_iii_1007840.html




Crafty_Dog

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Re: Military Science, Military Issues, and the Nature of War
« Reply #1282 on: January 31, 2024, 05:35:45 AM »

Crafty_Dog

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general plans for strikes on Iran announced
« Reply #1284 on: February 01, 2024, 08:08:36 AM »
This gets my annoyed

Our press is always pushing for the exact military plans to be announced to 8 billion people ahead of time

Yes, the specific targets not announced but element of surprise is diminished greatly.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/plans-approved-u-strikes-against-141341826.html

Crafty_Dog

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Re: Military Science, Military Issues, and the Nature of War
« Reply #1285 on: February 01, 2024, 08:37:37 AM »
I'm reading some RumInt that says private phone calls to the Iranians asking to do a token hit on Iran to save face was blown off by the Iranians.   I'll see if I can post it later.

Crafty_Dog

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Obama's general defenstration
« Reply #1286 on: February 02, 2024, 03:54:14 PM »
Posted previously, but posting this again with an eye to making it easy to find

Crafty_Dog

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Drones changing the Nature of War
« Reply #1287 on: February 04, 2024, 05:19:52 AM »
Posting this here as an example of how drones are turning quite a bit of military armament into a Maginot line.

Ukraine appears to be attacking Russia's oil-and-gas industry with small, cheap drones that can bypass its air defenses (msn.com)

Witness too how a proxy drone got past our defenses in Jordan simply by following one of ours back in. How much did that cost them? How much is our retalitation costing us? And will it work? If not, are we revealed to be a giant swatting at flies and mosquitoes?

DougMacG

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Re: Drones changing the Nature of War
« Reply #1288 on: February 04, 2024, 06:57:23 AM »
Regarding "giant swatting at flies", that's where the concept 'disproportionate response' comes in, and the fear of one.

While the Biden team can't think of what a disprortionate response might entail, they criticize Israel and try to stop theirs.

A Biden official hinted more is coming against Iran. We'll see.
------------
40% of Asia-Europe trade goes through the Red Sea.
https://www.ttnews.com/articles/red-sea-conflict-global-trade#:~:text=Red%20Sea's%20Importance&text=In%20fact%2C%2040%25%20of%20Asia,of%20the%20world's%20manufactured%20products.
Who knew Yemen would be strategic...

« Last Edit: February 04, 2024, 07:07:42 AM by DougMacG »

Crafty_Dog

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Killer drones in Ukraine portend chilling evolution in war
« Reply #1289 on: February 05, 2024, 07:44:49 AM »
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12997173/Death-Ukraines-new-suicide-drones-start-terrifying-arms-race-British-military-chiefs-fear-create-weapon-mass-destruction.html

BTW, the Chinese are WAY ahead of us in drone swarm technology AND drone production. 

Thought experiment: 

Discussions of Taiwan often are based upon an image of the challenges of a D-Day type assault.   What if the assault were killer drone swarms instead?  Supplemented by mines floating up from the bottom to sink our ships, all while we are hit with massive cyber attacks and fifth column attacks here in America launched from safe houses already well prepared here by the tens of thousands of military age Chinese illegals?
« Last Edit: February 05, 2024, 07:49:55 AM by Crafty_Dog »

ccp

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killer drone assassins
« Reply #1290 on: February 05, 2024, 08:04:26 AM »
reminds me a little of this,
the flying ball of death in the nightmarish movie 'Phatasm' 1979:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7p4ZsYYU5Cc

Crafty_Dog

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ccp

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Re: Military Science, Military Issues, and the Nature of War
« Reply #1295 on: February 17, 2024, 10:31:25 AM »
" US warships are shooting down weapons no one's ever faced in combat before, and a Navy commander says it's a 'great opportunity'

Sort of like the killing fields in Ukraine testing our equipment.

Modern Guernica.

Crafty_Dog

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Re: Military Science, Military Issues, and the Nature of War
« Reply #1296 on: February 17, 2024, 04:59:17 PM »
Yes.