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Will you see a third world war?  

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  1. 1. Will you see a third world war?



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1 hour ago, dockers_strike said:

Their plans are fucking useless then. The Type 45s arent nuclear powered and have no reactor to go critical.

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4 hours ago, dockers_strike said:

Their plans are fucking useless then. The Type 45s arent nuclear powered and have no reactor to go critical.

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Russian fighter jets have been accused of "harassing" a Dutch navy frigate in the Black Sea as it carried out "mock attacks," the Defence Ministry of the Netherlands has claimed.

 

Speaking out for the first time since the Dutch ship Zr. Ms. Evertsen accompanied HMS Defender on a patrol in the Black Sea last week, the Dutch ministry of defence accused Moscow of flying Russian planes “dangerously low and close by, performing feint attacks”. 

 

It comes after Russia said one of its warships in the Black Sea fired warning shots and a warplane dropped bombs to force a British destroyer out of an area near Crimea that Russia claims as its territorial waters. The UK has denied that account and insisted its ship wasn't fired upon.

 

Responding to Moscow’s claims last week, Downing Street dismissed the suggestion that the Royal Navy was "fired upon or that the ship was in Russian waters" as "incorrect". 

 

However, the Netherlands’ ministry released a statement on Tuesday in which it accused Moscow of “repeatedly” harassing the Dutch vessels “between about 3.30 pm and 8.30 pm local time”.

 

They added that the fighters were “armed with bombs and so-called air-to-surface missiles, intended to fire at a target from the air”, and that “after hours of intimidation”, the Russians then proceeded to disrupt Evertsen’s electronic equipment. “The Russian actions violated the right to the free use of the sea,” they added.

 

The commander of the Dutch warship, Captain-Lieutenant at Sea George Pastoor, said: “There was no reason whatsoever for these aggressive actions. Despite this, the mock attacks continued for several hours. It was irresponsible and unsafe behaviour at sea.”

Royal Netherlands Navy frigate HNLMS Evertsen sets sail in the Bosphorus, on its way to the Black Sea, in Istanbul, Turkey June 14, 2021.
HNLMS Evertsen accompanied HMS Defender in the Black Sea Credit: Reuters

Minister Ank Bijleveld-Schouten denounced the actions as “irresponsible,” as she added the vessels had “every right to sail there”. She said: “There is no justification whatsoever for this kind of aggressive action, which also unnecessarily increases the risk of accidents. The Netherlands will address Russia about this.” 

 

It comes after Ben Wallace, the Defence Secretary, said HMS Defender was warned by a Russian coastguard vessel that Russian units would commence a live fire gunnery exercise, shortly after the Royal Navy ship "conducted innocent passage through Ukrainian territorial waters via a direct route using a traffic separation scheme".

Mr Wallace said that while they noted "gunnery astern and out of range of her position", it "posed no danger" to the ship.

 

Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimea in 2014, a move not recognised by most countries, by which it gained access to the peninsula's long Black Sea coast. Russia has accused Nato warships visiting the area of being a destabilising presence. 

 

In April, Russia imposed restrictions on foreign naval movements near Crimea until November, in a move that drew strong complaints from Ukraine and the West. Russia rejected the criticism and noted the restrictions wouldn't interfere with commercial shipping.

 

Earlier this year, Russia also bolstered its troops near the border with Ukraine and warned Kiev against using force to reclaim control of the country's eastern industrial heartland, where a conflict with Russia-backed separatists has killed more than 14,000 people in seven years. Moscow withdrew some of its forces after manoeuvres, but Ukrainian officials say many of them remain.

 

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/06/30/russian-jets-armed-bombs-accused-mock-attacks-dutch-navy-ship/

 

 

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13 minutes ago, General Dryness said:

Don't fuck with docker.

 

He used to bullseye womp rats in his t16 back home.

Im just wonder whether the Dutch were celebrating Brexit on the day seeing as Evertsen was involved. That was the claim from some wasnt it, that the RN was doing it as some Brexit show?

 

Funny there isnt the indignation about the Dutch poking the russian bear with a shitty stick, dont you think?

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What if Quad, G7 and NATO unite against China?

THE Quad - the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue or QSD - includes India, Japan, Australia and the United States. The Group of Seven, or G7, includes Germany, France, Italy, Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom and the US. NATO, meanwhile, consists of 30 countries from Europe led by the US. Since US President Joe Biden's election to the presidency, he has succeeded in rallying the Quad, G7 and NATO to rally behind US leadership in stopping China's rise - economically, technologically as well as militarily. This piece will focus only on the military sphere. Can China be stopped militarily? Can the Quad, G7 and NATO combined defeat China militarily? These are the questions we will try to answer here.

 

The current situation is reminiscent of the period in the 1840s, when practically the same Western colonial powers cut up China to pieces and forced China to trade in opium in exchange for silver, silk and porcelain. When China refused, British and French troops were ordered to burn the Summer Palace, the equivalent of tens, if not a hundred of France's Louvre Museum. This started China's "century of humiliation." Will China's history be repeated again?

 
 
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The UK, France, Germany and the Netherlands have already announced plans to send warships to the South China Sea (SCS), with the UK planning to send the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier battle group. Way back in 2004, the US assembled seven of its aircraft carrier strike groups in the vicinity of Taiwan in the biggest naval armada ever assembled, in a naval exercise dubbed "Operation Summer Pulse." The US Navy can easily do a replay or even a bigger display of strength as the US operates up to 11 of these aircraft carrier strike groups.

 

From the US perspective, now is the best time to stop China's rise while it has only two aircraft carrier strike groups compared to the US' 11. The US also maintains 6,800 nuclear warheads while that reported in China's inventory is only 270 warheads.

 

US strategic doctrine follows the Wolfowitz Doctrine: "Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, which poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power."

 

The Wolfowitz Doctrine came out on Feb. 18, 1992, less than two months after the collapse of the USSR on Dec. 25, 1991. At the time, the US had already fallen into the so-called Thucydides Trap. The US will not allow any country to achieve parity or surpass the US economically, technologically or militarily. It will launch a preemptive war to prevent any country from attaining parity or surpassing the US while the US is still relatively strong compared to any rising rival, thus ensuring victory.

 

Deng Xiaoping, China's leader at the time, figured that the Wolfowitz Doctrine was primarily targeted at China, whose GDP was growing at an average of 14.2 percent annually in 1992. Militarily, China was no match against the US at the time. China's military capacities were still under development, such as what military analysts call the "assassin's mace." Deng, in response to the Wolfowitz Doctrine, came out with his 24-character strategy: "Observe calmly; secure our position; cope with affairs calmly; hide our capacities and bide our time; be good at maintaining a low profile; and never claim leadership."

 

Deng's strategy saved China from certain destruction on several occasions. Notice that Deng repeated the word "calmly" twice in his 24-character formula. If the Chinese had failed to follow Deng's formula in 1999 (two years after Deng had passed away) when the US bombed the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade and retaliated militarily, the US would have been given the chance to destroy China or nuke China back to the Stone Age. At that time, China was still in the process of developing its own nuclear arsenal and defense against nuclear attack. China was also in the process of developing its anti-ship ballistic missiles; anti-satellite weapons; anti-air bases weapons; and anti-submarine systems. Included in these offensive systems are defensive systems, such as more than 5,000 kilometers of strategic tunnels, more than 40 air bases with underground hangars, an underground submarine base, an overlapping and redundant air defense system covering the entire east coast of China, a defense network for anti-submarine covering China's east coast, and an extensive system of subways covering all major cities that can double as civil defense in the event of a nuclear attack.

 

All these offensive and defensive systems that will allow China to survive a military confrontation with the US and its allies - and win - is what was known in military circles as the "assassin's mace." The development of these capacities is what Deng referred to in his 24-character formula, "hide our capacities."

 

When Xi Jinping took over the mantle of leadership in 2013, the "assassin's mace" was mostly in place and Xi improved the system even further. Two major concerns faced Xi at the time. The first was the "Talisman Saber," a biennial naval exercise conducted by the US and Australian navies that rehearsed the naval blockade of the Malacca Strait. The naval exercise started way back in 2005 and continues to this day. Some $5 trillion worth of goods and energy supplies pass through the strait annually, and some 70 percent belongs to China. Hampering "freedom of navigation" in the Malacca Strait would practically force China's economy to grind to a halt. Military strategists call this China's "Malacca Dilemma."

 

The second major concern of Xi was the Manila Trench. The trench is the only deep portion in the whole of the South China Sea where US nuclear submarines can surreptitiously approach China's east coast to launch a "first nuclear strike." Four Ohio-class nuclear submarines, each armed with 154 Tomahawk missiles with a range of 2,500 kilometers, with each missile packing 200 kilotons (i.e., more than 10 times more powerful than the bomb used in Hiroshima) can spell the end of the Chinese nation and civilization within hours, if not minutes. Because of the proximity of the attack, China will have no time to react and retaliate.

 

The Manila Trench passes right beside Scarborough Shoal, the main bone of contention between the Philippines and China in 2012 that prompted the Philippines to bring suit against China at the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in the Hague. The Philippines won the case, but China has refused to honor the ruling, saying that the court had no jurisdiction on issues of sovereignty.

 

Two US aircraft carrier strike groups were sent to enforce the PCA court ruling, but China refused, telling the US commander that China was prepared to go to war if the US enforced the ruling by force. For the first time in US naval history, the US was forced to withdraw without accomplishing its mission of enforcing the PCA ruling.

China started building seven artificial islands in the South China Sea in 2013, when Xi assumed leadership in China. The construction was basically finished by 2016. Three of these artificial islands have 3 km-long runways. With the construction of the islands, Xi hit two birds with one stone: China's Malacca Dilemma and Manila Trench being used as an avenue of approach for a US first nuclear strike against China. China has now stationed a permanent presence guarding Scarborough Shoal, the gateway of nuclear subs to the Manila Trench. It can also trump any attempt by the US and its allies to blockade the Malacca Strait. The seven artificial islands can accommodate enough anti-ship ballistic missiles, stealth combat aircraft, and air defense systems that can neutralize any US attempt to hamper "freedom of navigation" in the Malacca Strait and beyond.

 

There is a saying that geography is immutable. But China has shown it to be untrue. The US will now have to think twice before launching a naval blockade against China in the Malacca Strait or attempt to use the Manila Trench for its nuclear submarines to approach China's east coast for a first nuclear strike. Of course, the US can launch a first nuclear strike against China anywhere, even from the US mainland. But doing so can also trigger a massive counterattack from China's nuclear forces and probably from Russia as well. The element of surprise is lost and the whole of American society will also be put at risk.

 

The US and Australia's plan to block China's "freedom of navigation" in the Malacca Strait as revealed by the biennial Talisman Saber naval exercises has been countered by China's artificial islands in the South China Sea because once the US and Australia implement their plan, China can just fly its weapons systems to the islands, giving them geographical proximity to counter any blockade of the Malacca Strait.

 

In the last Talisman Saber naval exercise held in 2019, Japan, Canada, the UK and New Zealand joined, with India and South Korea as observers. It may not take long before Germany, France, the Netherlands and other members of the G7 and NATO take part in this year's naval exercises. So, the trend seems to be Quad + G7 + NATO (the so-called democracies) ganging up against China (a non-democracy) and possibly also against Russia and Iran. What then? What if the Quad + G7 + NATO combine against China in a military confrontation? Can a united Quad, G7 and NATO led by the US Navy defeat China militarily?

 

Since the Talisman Saber is focused on the South China Sea and its environs, let us take it as the major theater where armed conflict would start. China's strategy overall is active defense, meaning that China will never be the first to attack, but if it is attacked, it will surely counterattack. So, NATO, G7 and Quad will be forced to be the aggressors or invaders while China will be the defender.

 

However, the Western powers can turn this dilemma around and make China look the aggressor. They can woo Taiwan to declare independence, assuring the latter of the Western alliance's full backing. If Taiwan falls for the trap and declares independence, China will invade Taiwan militarily, giving the US enough reason for coming to Taiwan's aid and attacking China.

 

Another alternative scenario that can trigger war in the South China Sea is the unilateral withdrawal of the US from the INF (Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces) Treaty with Russia. The US can now force or "persuade" the next Philippine president that will succeed Duterte to allow US forces to deploy intermediate range ballistic missiles (IRBMs, with a range of 500-5,500 km) in US EDCA bases in the Philippines. If the Philippines agrees to host US nuclear armed missiles that can reach Beijing and Shanghai in less than 15 minutes, such a move will be considered by Beijing as a "first strike" against China on the strategic level, necessitating a counterstrike. China will consider such a move as no different from the "Cuban missile crisis" in the early 1960s. And China surely will not wait for those nuclear-tipped missiles to rain on Beijing or Shanghai before they make their move. China will seize the operational or tactical initiative and take out those US missiles in Philippine territory before they even become operational. This can start a conflagration in the whole of the SCS and beyond.

 

Being long-term planners, China would have prepared for these various contingencies beforehand. Between China and Russia, both can jointly plan and coordinate action of their nuclear submarines, with China opening a new war front on the US west coast, while Russia opening a new warfront on the US east coast. Iran's role will be to close the Hormuz Strait where Japan depends for 90 percent of its energy needs, while NATO will lose 60 percent of its oil supply.

 

TO attack China militarily, the Western alliance led by the US has to overcome two major obstacles: China's geographic advantages and China's "assassin's mace" involving both offensive and defensive systems.

 

China's geographic advantages

China's combined land and sea power vs sea power of the US and allies. Sea power is limited by the available space afforded by floor area in surface combatants. They could carry only so many missiles, combat aircraft, ammunition, personnel, supplies and fuel in their floating flotilla. On the other hand, China's space as a land power is continental in size, with enough space for thousands upon thousands of missiles, many of them anti-ship ballistic missiles designed to sink any number of aircraft carrier strike groups. They also include missile variants for anti-submarine systems, anti-satellite systems and anti-airbase systems, and all these systems and subsystems are hidden and protected in more than 5,000 kilometers of strategic tunnels.

 

 
 
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Even if China does not use a single warship in its PLA navy and only uses instead its anti-ship ballistic missiles such as the DF21Ds, DF26Cs and DF17s, it can wipe out and sink every major surface combatant that the Western alliance sends to confront it in the South China Sea (SCS) or East China Sea (ECS). In military parlance, this is called "asymmetric warfare," part and parcel of "unrestricted warfare." These ASBMs usually attack in swarms, with no known defense as of now. So, if NATO/Quad led by the US sends their aircraft carrier strike groups, cruisers, destroyers, frigates, corvettes and nuclear submarines to wage war against China in the South or East China Sea, China's land and sea power against US and allies sea power military confrontation will result in the total annihilation of the NATO/Quad naval armada led by the US Navy. The huge naval armada will have nowhere to hide, like sitting ducks being eliminated by simultaneous attacks of missile swarms. It will take only about 15 to 20 minutes, and it will be all over for the NATO/Quad armada led by the US Navy.

 

The famous ancient "Battle of Cannae" will be replicated in modern times if the combined forces of Quad, G7 and NATO led by the US mass forces in the SCS in a military confrontation with China. The combination of China's "land power" (i.e. anti-ship ballistic missiles like DF21s, DF26s, DF17s; anti-satellite systems; anti-submarine systems; and anti-air base systems, together with their land-based stealth fighters and bombers) and China's "sea power" (Chinese submarines maneuvering with Russian submarines to encircle, interdict and block the escape of surviving Western warships from the simultaneous swarm missile attacks coming from land-based anti-ship ballistic missiles of China). Like Hannibal's cavalry in that third century BC battle, Chinese and Russian submarines conduct a double envelopment of US and allied naval armada in the SCS, combined with a vertical envelopment executed by China's land-based stealth fighters and strategic bombers to prevent any escape. The end result will be a complete rout of the Western naval armada in the SCS - a modern-day replica of the Battle of Cannae.

 

Geographic proximity of China to the main battle area (SCS and ECS). This gives China the advantage because all of its anti-ship ballistic missiles and their variants for use against air force bases harboring US stealth fighters and bombers and those against satellite-based C4ISR are well within range - up to 4,000 km from the Chinese mainland - to include US bases in Guam. When China responds to the "first strike" of the Western alliance, it will be a simultaneous swarm attack by China's 'assassin's mace' against targets at sea, undersea, on land and in space. The modern-day Battle of Cannae may last for only a few minutes. That is how the tempo of modern warfare has evolved since the advent of the revolution in military affairs (RMA).

 

Eurasian heartland vs the rimland. A NATO/Quad attack on China would surely involve the participation of its close and informal allies, Russia and Iran. There is a good chance that the conflict could turn nuclear, especially if the NATO/Quad armada led by the US Navy is annihilated in the SCS by China's "assassin's mace." So, before China acts against the Western naval armada in the SCS, prior planning with Russia and Iran is a prerequisite. Before China unleashes its assassin's mace, prior arrangements would have been made that Russia sends its SSBNs and SSNs to the US East Coast, while China sends its own to the US West Coast, ready to act in the event that the US decides to go nuclear. Iran, on the other hand, closes the Strait of Hormuz where 90 percent of Japan's energy supply and 60 percent of NATO's pass through.

 

China, Russia and Iran are physically occupying and in full control of the Eurasian heartland. This is what Mackinder calls the geographic pivot of history. He said whoever controls the "heartland" will eventually control the world. The US, in its attempt to contain the "heartland" occupiers, has adapted Spykeman's rimland concept by encircling the Eurasian heartland with some 800 military bases. But because of military advances arising from the ongoing revolution in military affairs, these hundreds of military bases have turned into liabilities for the US. Such fixed targets can easily be eliminated by simultaneous missile swarm attacks from Russia, Iran and China. They can all be eliminated within minutes. That is how much the new tempo of modern warfare has changed.

 

US and NATO/Quad allies are forced to cross oceans (Pacific, Indian, Atlantic) to reach the battlegrounds of the SCS and ECS. In the process, the Western alliance's extended sea lanes of communication expose their logistic and personnel to ambush by Chinese and Russian submarines and interdiction by bombers with air-launched hypersonic anti-ship missiles (Kinzhal, CH-AS-X-13) and land-based anti-ship ballistic missiles (DF21Ds, DF26Cs and DF17s). In contrast, China, Russia and Iran will be moving forces inside their own territories with secured/protected lines of communication, or in the territories of their allies in the SCS, their mobility facilitated by high-speed rail nets in the heartland.

 

"Never hit with both fists in two directions at the same time." This is a basic military dictum. But the US and its Western allies will be forced to fight on multiple fronts, such as the SCS front, the ECS (Taiwan) front, the Korean Peninsula front, the Persian Gulf front, the Syrian front, the Ukraine front, the US East Coast front and the US West Coast front. The US and its allies will be forced to disperse their forces thinly on a global scale, liable to defeat in detail. Meanwhile, China, Russia and Iran's forces can maneuver rapidly with the aid of high-speed rail crisscrossing the Eurasian heartland to concentrate superior forces and defeat the invading US/NATO/Quad forces one by one.

US/NATO/Quad, being the invaders, will not gain any popular support. While the heartland occupiers China, Russia and Iran, being defenders of their land, will have popular support. Mencius, some two millennia past, had cautioned: "Perfect timing is less important than positional advantage; but positional advantage is less important than popular support." It is easier for China, Russia and Iran to rally their own population to fight and drive out the foreign invaders of the "heartland." For China, this may not even come to pass, because the would-be invaders can be annihilated in the SCS and ECS. But if, by chance, the invaders were lucky enough to set foot on Chinese soil, they may not make it alive going back home.

 

China's 'assassin's mace'

 

Offensive: anti-ship ballistic missiles (DF21Ds, DF26s, DF17s and CH-AS-X-13s). These are medium and intermediate range ballistic missiles designed to hit moving targets at sea; with variants designed to target satellites as well as fixed targets on land like air bases harboring stealth aircraft and bombers. There are also special missiles designed for use against submarines. They are also designed to attack some targets in swarms. No other country so far has developed this kind of technology. They are land-based, road-mobile and sheltered in some 5,000 km of strategic tunnels in the China mainland. The DF26 can be both conventional and nuclear. For nuclear purposes, China has the DF41s, equipped with 15 nuclear warheads and can hit any chosen target on earth. It is also road-mobile and sheltered in strategic tunnels. China also has nuclear submarines (SSBNs and SSNs) and strategic stealth bombers (H-20s). Special weapons systems include autonomous AI-aided drone swarms above ground and underwater, laser weapons, microwave weapons, and rail guns.

 

Defensive. In the early 1950s, Chairman Mao issued a call to the Chinese people: "Dig tunnels deep; store grains everywhere; and never seek hegemony." From then until this day, China had kept on digging. More than 10 years ago, there was a report that China already had some 5,000 km of strategic tunnels housing their nuclear arsenal. It could be that that number is more than double or triple now, considering how they increased the mileage of their high-speed rail. They also have more than 40 air bases with underground hangars, and one submarine base that is also underground. In addition, all the major cities have extensive underground subway systems that double as civil defenses in the event of a nuclear war. China's entire east coast is covered with redundant air defense systems, while the entire eastern coastline is covered by anti-submarine detection and attack systems (autonomous unmanned underwater drone swarms). I doubt whether the US has a similar system for defense. Perhaps they are so confident that no one would ever dare attack the US mainland, which both Russian and Chinese nuclear Triad can do.

 

So, going back to the question: Can a united Quad, G7 and NATO led by the US Navy defeat China militarily? My answer is yes, but only if they can overcome the geographic advantages that China enjoys, and if they can survive and escape the gauntlet that China's assassin's mace has laid in their way, combined with Russian and Chinese submarines executing a "double envelopment," while China's land-based J-20s, H6Ns, H-20s, CH-AS-X-13s and J10Cs executing a "vertical envelopment" behind enemy lines, encircling and completely trapping the remnants of the US-led Western invading naval armada. If the latter fails to cope with this joint Chinese and Russian response, the attacking Western fleet will be likened to the overwhelmingly numerous Roman soldiers that were annihilated by Hannibal's numerically inferior Carthaginian warriors in that classic ancient Battle of Cannae - known among military historians as the "Battle of Annihilation."

 

Victor Corpus

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What if Quad, G7 and NATO unite against China?

THE Quad - the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue or QSD - includes India, Japan, Australia and the United States. The Group of Seven, or G7, includes Germany, France, Italy, Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom and the US. NATO, meanwhile, consists of 30 countries from Europe led by the US. Since US President Joe Biden's election to the presidency, he has succeeded in rallying the Quad, G7 and NATO to rally behind US leadership in stopping China's rise - economically, technologically as well as militarily. This piece will focus only on the military sphere. Can China be stopped militarily? Can the Quad, G7 and NATO combined defeat China militarily? These are the questions we will try to answer here.

 

The current situation is reminiscent of the period in the 1840s, when practically the same Western colonial powers cut up China to pieces and forced China to trade in opium in exchange for silver, silk and porcelain. When China refused, British and French troops were ordered to burn the Summer Palace, the equivalent of tens, if not a hundred of France's Louvre Museum. This started China's "century of humiliation." Will China's history be repeated again?

The UK, France, Germany and the Netherlands have already announced plans to send warships to the South China Sea (SCS), with the UK planning to send the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier battle group. Way back in 2004, the US assembled seven of its aircraft carrier strike groups in the vicinity of Taiwan in the biggest naval armada ever assembled, in a naval exercise dubbed "Operation Summer Pulse." The US Navy can easily do a replay or even a bigger display of strength as the US operates up to 11 of these aircraft carrier strike groups.

 

From the US perspective, now is the best time to stop China's rise while it has only two aircraft carrier strike groups compared to the US' 11. The US also maintains 6,800 nuclear warheads while that reported in China's inventory is only 270 warheads.

 

US strategic doctrine follows the Wolfowitz Doctrine: "Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, which poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power."

 

 

The Wolfowitz Doctrine came out on Feb. 18, 1992, less than two months after the collapse of the USSR on Dec. 25, 1991. At the time, the US had already fallen into the so-called Thucydides Trap. The US will not allow any country to achieve parity or surpass the US economically, technologically or militarily. It will launch a preemptive war to prevent any country from attaining parity or surpassing the US while the US is still relatively strong compared to any rising rival, thus ensuring victory.

 

Deng Xiaoping, China's leader at the time, figured that the Wolfowitz Doctrine was primarily targeted at China, whose GDP was growing at an average of 14.2 percent annually in 1992. Militarily, China was no match against the US at the time. China's military capacities were still under development, such as what military analysts call the "assassin's mace." Deng, in response to the Wolfowitz Doctrine, came out with his 24-character strategy: "Observe calmly; secure our position; cope with affairs calmly; hide our capacities and bide our time; be good at maintaining a low profile; and never claim leadership."

 

Deng's strategy saved China from certain destruction on several occasions. Notice that Deng repeated the word "calmly" twice in his 24-character formula. If the Chinese had failed to follow Deng's formula in 1999 (two years after Deng had passed away) when the US bombed the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade and retaliated militarily, the US would have been given the chance to destroy China or nuke China back to the Stone Age. At that time, China was still in the process of developing its own nuclear arsenal and defense against nuclear attack. China was also in the process of developing its anti-ship ballistic missiles; anti-satellite weapons; anti-air bases weapons; and anti-submarine systems. Included in these offensive systems are defensive systems, such as more than 5,000 kilometers of strategic tunnels, more than 40 air bases with underground hangars, an underground submarine base, an overlapping and redundant air defense system covering the entire east coast of China, a defense network for anti-submarine covering China's east coast, and an extensive system of subways covering all major cities that can double as civil defense in the event of a nuclear attack.

 

All these offensive and defensive systems that will allow China to survive a military confrontation with the US and its allies - and win - is what was known in military circles as the "assassin's mace." The development of these capacities is what Deng referred to in his 24-character formula, "hide our capacities."

 

When Xi Jinping took over the mantle of leadership in 2013, the "assassin's mace" was mostly in place and Xi improved the system even further. Two major concerns faced Xi at the time. The first was the "Talisman Saber," a biennial naval exercise conducted by the US and Australian navies that rehearsed the naval blockade of the Malacca Strait. The naval exercise started way back in 2005 and continues to this day. Some $5 trillion worth of goods and energy supplies pass through the strait annually, and some 70 percent belongs to China. Hampering "freedom of navigation" in the Malacca Strait would practically force China's economy to grind to a halt. Military strategists call this China's "Malacca Dilemma."

 

The second major concern of Xi was the Manila Trench. The trench is the only deep portion in the whole of the South China Sea where US nuclear submarines can surreptitiously approach China's east coast to launch a "first nuclear strike." Four Ohio-class nuclear submarines, each armed with 154 Tomahawk missiles with a range of 2,500 kilometers, with each missile packing 200 kilotons (i.e., more than 10 times more powerful than the bomb used in Hiroshima) can spell the end of the Chinese nation and civilization within hours, if not minutes. Because of the proximity of the attack, China will have no time to react and retaliate.

 

The Manila Trench passes right beside Scarborough Shoal, the main bone of contention between the Philippines and China in 2012 that prompted the Philippines to bring suit against China at the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in the Hague. The Philippines won the case, but China has refused to honor the ruling, saying that the court had no jurisdiction on issues of sovereignty.

 

Two US aircraft carrier strike groups were sent to enforce the PCA court ruling, but China refused, telling the US commander that China was prepared to go to war if the US enforced the ruling by force. For the first time in US naval history, the US was forced to withdraw without accomplishing its mission of enforcing the PCA ruling.

China started building seven artificial islands in the South China Sea in 2013, when Xi assumed leadership in China. The construction was basically finished by 2016. Three of these artificial islands have 3 km-long runways. With the construction of the islands, Xi hit two birds with one stone: China's Malacca Dilemma and Manila Trench being used as an avenue of approach for a US first nuclear strike against China. China has now stationed a permanent presence guarding Scarborough Shoal, the gateway of nuclear subs to the Manila Trench. It can also trump any attempt by the US and its allies to blockade the Malacca Strait. The seven artificial islands can accommodate enough anti-ship ballistic missiles, stealth combat aircraft, and air defense systems that can neutralize any US attempt to hamper "freedom of navigation" in the Malacca Strait and beyond.

 

There is a saying that geography is immutable. But China has shown it to be untrue. The US will now have to think twice before launching a naval blockade against China in the Malacca Strait or attempt to use the Manila Trench for its nuclear submarines to approach China's east coast for a first nuclear strike. Of course, the US can launch a first nuclear strike against China anywhere, even from the US mainland. But doing so can also trigger a massive counterattack from China's nuclear forces and probably from Russia as well. The element of surprise is lost and the whole of American society will also be put at risk.

 

The US and Australia's plan to block China's "freedom of navigation" in the Malacca Strait as revealed by the biennial Talisman Saber naval exercises has been countered by China's artificial islands in the South China Sea because once the US and Australia implement their plan, China can just fly its weapons systems to the islands, giving them geographical proximity to counter any blockade of the Malacca Strait.

 

In the last Talisman Saber naval exercise held in 2019, Japan, Canada, the UK and New Zealand joined, with India and South Korea as observers. It may not take long before Germany, France, the Netherlands and other members of the G7 and NATO take part in this year's naval exercises. So, the trend seems to be Quad + G7 + NATO (the so-called democracies) ganging up against China (a non-democracy) and possibly also against Russia and Iran. What then? What if the Quad + G7 + NATO combine against China in a military confrontation? Can a united Quad, G7 and NATO led by the US Navy defeat China militarily?

 

Since the Talisman Saber is focused on the South China Sea and its environs, let us take it as the major theater where armed conflict would start. China's strategy overall is active defense, meaning that China will never be the first to attack, but if it is attacked, it will surely counterattack. So, NATO, G7 and Quad will be forced to be the aggressors or invaders while China will be the defender.

 

However, the Western powers can turn this dilemma around and make China look the aggressor. They can woo Taiwan to declare independence, assuring the latter of the Western alliance's full backing. If Taiwan falls for the trap and declares independence, China will invade Taiwan militarily, giving the US enough reason for coming to Taiwan's aid and attacking China.

 

Another alternative scenario that can trigger war in the South China Sea is the unilateral withdrawal of the US from the INF (Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces) Treaty with Russia. The US can now force or "persuade" the next Philippine president that will succeed Duterte to allow US forces to deploy intermediate range ballistic missiles (IRBMs, with a range of 500-5,500 km) in US EDCA bases in the Philippines. If the Philippines agrees to host US nuclear armed missiles that can reach Beijing and Shanghai in less than 15 minutes, such a move will be considered by Beijing as a "first strike" against China on the strategic level, necessitating a counterstrike. China will consider such a move as no different from the "Cuban missile crisis" in the early 1960s. And China surely will not wait for those nuclear-tipped missiles to rain on Beijing or Shanghai before they make their move. China will seize the operational or tactical initiative and take out those US missiles in Philippine territory before they even become operational. This can start a conflagration in the whole of the SCS and beyond.

 

Being long-term planners, China would have prepared for these various contingencies beforehand. Between China and Russia, both can jointly plan and coordinate action of their nuclear submarines, with China opening a new war front on the US west coast, while Russia opening a new warfront on the US east coast. Iran's role will be to close the Hormuz Strait where Japan depends for 90 percent of its energy needs, while NATO will lose 60 percent of its oil supply.

 

TO attack China militarily, the Western alliance led by the US has to overcome two major obstacles: China's geographic advantages and China's "assassin's mace" involving both offensive and defensive systems.

 

China's geographic advantages

China's combined land and sea power vs sea power of the US and allies. Sea power is limited by the available space afforded by floor area in surface combatants. They could carry only so many missiles, combat aircraft, ammunition, personnel, supplies and fuel in their floating flotilla. On the other hand, China's space as a land power is continental in size, with enough space for thousands upon thousands of missiles, many of them anti-ship ballistic missiles designed to sink any number of aircraft carrier strike groups. They also include missile variants for anti-submarine systems, anti-satellite systems and anti-airbase systems, and all these systems and subsystems are hidden and protected in more than 5,000 kilometers of strategic tunnels.

 

Even if China does not use a single warship in its PLA navy and only uses instead its anti-ship ballistic missiles such as the DF21Ds, DF26Cs and DF17s, it can wipe out and sink every major surface combatant that the Western alliance sends to confront it in the South China Sea (SCS) or East China Sea (ECS). In military parlance, this is called "asymmetric warfare," part and parcel of "unrestricted warfare." These ASBMs usually attack in swarms, with no known defense as of now. So, if NATO/Quad led by the US sends their aircraft carrier strike groups, cruisers, destroyers, frigates, corvettes and nuclear submarines to wage war against China in the South or East China Sea, China's land and sea power against US and allies sea power military confrontation will result in the total annihilation of the NATO/Quad naval armada led by the US Navy. The huge naval armada will have nowhere to hide, like sitting ducks being eliminated by simultaneous attacks of missile swarms. It will take only about 15 to 20 minutes, and it will be all over for the NATO/Quad armada led by the US Navy.

 

The famous ancient "Battle of Cannae" will be replicated in modern times if the combined forces of Quad, G7 and NATO led by the US mass forces in the SCS in a military confrontation with China. The combination of China's "land power" (i.e. anti-ship ballistic missiles like DF21s, DF26s, DF17s; anti-satellite systems; anti-submarine systems; and anti-air base systems, together with their land-based stealth fighters and bombers) and China's "sea power" (Chinese submarines maneuvering with Russian submarines to encircle, interdict and block the escape of surviving Western warships from the simultaneous swarm missile attacks coming from land-based anti-ship ballistic missiles of China). Like Hannibal's cavalry in that third century BC battle, Chinese and Russian submarines conduct a double envelopment of US and allied naval armada in the SCS, combined with a vertical envelopment executed by China's land-based stealth fighters and strategic bombers to prevent any escape. The end result will be a complete rout of the Western naval armada in the SCS - a modern-day replica of the Battle of Cannae.

 

Geographic proximity of China to the main battle area (SCS and ECS). This gives China the advantage because all of its anti-ship ballistic missiles and their variants for use against air force bases harboring US stealth fighters and bombers and those against satellite-based C4ISR are well within range - up to 4,000 km from the Chinese mainland - to include US bases in Guam. When China responds to the "first strike" of the Western alliance, it will be a simultaneous swarm attack by China's 'assassin's mace' against targets at sea, undersea, on land and in space. The modern-day Battle of Cannae may last for only a few minutes. That is how the tempo of modern warfare has evolved since the advent of the revolution in military affairs (RMA).

 

Eurasian heartland vs the rimland. A NATO/Quad attack on China would surely involve the participation of its close and informal allies, Russia and Iran. There is a good chance that the conflict could turn nuclear, especially if the NATO/Quad armada led by the US Navy is annihilated in the SCS by China's "assassin's mace." So, before China acts against the Western naval armada in the SCS, prior planning with Russia and Iran is a prerequisite. Before China unleashes its assassin's mace, prior arrangements would have been made that Russia sends its SSBNs and SSNs to the US East Coast, while China sends its own to the US West Coast, ready to act in the event that the US decides to go nuclear. Iran, on the other hand, closes the Strait of Hormuz where 90 percent of Japan's energy supply and 60 percent of NATO's pass through.

 

China, Russia and Iran are physically occupying and in full control of the Eurasian heartland. This is what Mackinder calls the geographic pivot of history. He said whoever controls the "heartland" will eventually control the world. The US, in its attempt to contain the "heartland" occupiers, has adapted Spykeman's rimland concept by encircling the Eurasian heartland with some 800 military bases. But because of military advances arising from the ongoing revolution in military affairs, these hundreds of military bases have turned into liabilities for the US. Such fixed targets can easily be eliminated by simultaneous missile swarm attacks from Russia, Iran and China. They can all be eliminated within minutes. That is how much the new tempo of modern warfare has changed.

 

US and NATO/Quad allies are forced to cross oceans (Pacific, Indian, Atlantic) to reach the battlegrounds of the SCS and ECS. In the process, the Western alliance's extended sea lanes of communication expose their logistic and personnel to ambush by Chinese and Russian submarines and interdiction by bombers with air-launched hypersonic anti-ship missiles (Kinzhal, CH-AS-X-13) and land-based anti-ship ballistic missiles (DF21Ds, DF26Cs and DF17s). In contrast, China, Russia and Iran will be moving forces inside their own territories with secured/protected lines of communication, or in the territories of their allies in the SCS, their mobility facilitated by high-speed rail nets in the heartland.

 

"Never hit with both fists in two directions at the same time." This is a basic military dictum. But the US and its Western allies will be forced to fight on multiple fronts, such as the SCS front, the ECS (Taiwan) front, the Korean Peninsula front, the Persian Gulf front, the Syrian front, the Ukraine front, the US East Coast front and the US West Coast front. The US and its allies will be forced to disperse their forces thinly on a global scale, liable to defeat in detail. Meanwhile, China, Russia and Iran's forces can maneuver rapidly with the aid of high-speed rail crisscrossing the Eurasian heartland to concentrate superior forces and defeat the invading US/NATO/Quad forces one by one.

US/NATO/Quad, being the invaders, will not gain any popular support. While the heartland occupiers China, Russia and Iran, being defenders of their land, will have popular support. Mencius, some two millennia past, had cautioned: "Perfect timing is less important than positional advantage; but positional advantage is less important than popular support." It is easier for China, Russia and Iran to rally their own population to fight and drive out the foreign invaders of the "heartland." For China, this may not even come to pass, because the would-be invaders can be annihilated in the SCS and ECS. But if, by chance, the invaders were lucky enough to set foot on Chinese soil, they may not make it alive going back home.

 

China's 'assassin's mace'

 

Offensive: anti-ship ballistic missiles (DF21Ds, DF26s, DF17s and CH-AS-X-13s). These are medium and intermediate range ballistic missiles designed to hit moving targets at sea; with variants designed to target satellites as well as fixed targets on land like air bases harboring stealth aircraft and bombers. There are also special missiles designed for use against submarines. They are also designed to attack some targets in swarms. No other country so far has developed this kind of technology. They are land-based, road-mobile and sheltered in some 5,000 km of strategic tunnels in the China mainland. The DF26 can be both conventional and nuclear. For nuclear purposes, China has the DF41s, equipped with 15 nuclear warheads and can hit any chosen target on earth. It is also road-mobile and sheltered in strategic tunnels. China also has nuclear submarines (SSBNs and SSNs) and strategic stealth bombers (H-20s). Special weapons systems include autonomous AI-aided drone swarms above ground and underwater, laser weapons, microwave weapons, and rail guns.

 

Defensive. In the early 1950s, Chairman Mao issued a call to the Chinese people: "Dig tunnels deep; store grains everywhere; and never seek hegemony." From then until this day, China had kept on digging. More than 10 years ago, there was a report that China already had some 5,000 km of strategic tunnels housing their nuclear arsenal. It could be that that number is more than double or triple now, considering how they increased the mileage of their high-speed rail. They also have more than 40 air bases with underground hangars, and one submarine base that is also underground. In addition, all the major cities have extensive underground subway systems that double as civil defenses in the event of a nuclear war. China's entire east coast is covered with redundant air defense systems, while the entire eastern coastline is covered by anti-submarine detection and attack systems (autonomous unmanned underwater drone swarms). I doubt whether the US has a similar system for defense. Perhaps they are so confident that no one would ever dare attack the US mainland, which both Russian and Chinese nuclear Triad can do.

 

So, going back to the question: Can a united Quad, G7 and NATO led by the US Navy defeat China militarily? My answer is yes, but only if they can overcome the geographic advantages that China enjoys, and if they can survive and escape the gauntlet that China's assassin's mace has laid in their way, combined with Russian and Chinese submarines executing a "double envelopment," while China's land-based J-20s, H6Ns, H-20s, CH-AS-X-13s and J10Cs executing a "vertical envelopment" behind enemy lines, encircling and completely trapping the remnants of the US-led Western invading naval armada. If the latter fails to cope with this joint Chinese and Russian response, the attacking Western fleet will be likened to the overwhelmingly numerous Roman soldiers that were annihilated by Hannibal's numerically inferior Carthaginian warriors in that classic ancient Battle of Cannae - known among military historians as the "Battle of Annihilation."

 

Victor Corpus

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