View Full Version : The new Cold War?

01-12-2005, 11:27 PM
food for thought, i doubt that china would want to get into a military confrotaion with the USA but in the coming years they will be powerful enough to stand up to us and set policy in that region in thier favor.
Im sure this will get some poeple in this country to back spending more billions on a missle defence system. /ccboard/images/graemlins/crazy.gif

Is the Axis of Evil about to get a whole lot bigger? As if Iraq, Iran and North Korea weren't enough to worry about, now, according to one national security expert, there may be a whole new Cold War looming on the horizon.

The Heritage Foundation's Peter Brookes, a former Pentagon staffer, CIA and Naval intelligence officer, is warning that the U.S. better "pay attention" to the rising military and strategic alliance between Russia and China. He points to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov's recent announcement of a major joint military exercise, involving both ground troops and state-of-the-art weapons, that will take place on Chinese soil in the second half of 2005. A staunch conservative, Brookes rarely if ever is openly critical of the Bush administration. But he notes that increasingly "frosty relations" with the U.S. (which Bush-style unilateralist swagger probably doesn't do much to thaw) are the key driver of the evolving Sino-Russian relationship.

"The unprecedented nature of these military exercises -- and the possible long-term implications for American interests in the Pacific -- is mind-boggling," Brookes says. "After years of relative stagnation, a troubling sea change in Sino-Russian strategic relations is underway.

"But why the change? From the Russian perspective, cuddling up to Beijing has more to do with Russia's frosty relations with the West than the chill of the Russian winter. Decrying the American 'dictatorship of international affairs' during a December visit to India, Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to gently remind Washington (and the West) of Russian power -- and trouble-making potential. Bristling against NATO's expansion in Europe, Russia is looking for some way to increase Moscow's sagging global standing, as well as balance Western power. (The election of Western-leaning Viktor Yushchenko in last week's Ukrainian presidential run-off certainly increased Moscow's sense of international impotence.) So, what better way to fortify Moscow's increasingly weak strategic position in Europe than by teaming up with China to bolster Russia's standing in Asia?"

Brookes also sees plenty of reason for Bejing to cozy up to Moscow, with an eye on greater regional dominance from Taiwan to Japan.

"China has been seeking closer strategic cooperation with Russia for some time to balance -- and eventually supercede -- America's unparalleled post-Cold War power in the Pacific," he writes. "In a recently published defense report, China warned that it faced growing 'uncertainty, instability and insecurity.' Beijing (naturally) blamed the situation on the American military presence in the Pacific region. China is also looking for support on the Taiwan unification issue. In the same report, China said that relations with Taiwan are 'grim,' vowing to accelerate its military buildup (unquestionably with Russian assistance).

"And no doubt that Chinese intelligence will consume Russian military doctrine and tactics like dim-sum, preparing the Chinese People's Liberation Army for possible future clashes over disputed territory with regional rivals such as Japan."

Is the solution then supposed to arrive via diplomacy? Intriguingly, beyond calling attention to a looming Cold War deluxe, Brookes doesn't discuss what Washington should do about it. Nor does he utter a word about the war in Iraq. But with our enormous commitment in the Middle East, not to mention Afghanistan, it's hard to imagine what kind of military leverage the U.S. would have today if China went after Taiwan, or Russia moved against Ukraine.

01-13-2005, 01:32 AM
If Russia moved on Ukraine, the US would certainly intervene. Ukraine, like most of the former Soviet States, is a US ally. They currently have about 1,600 troops in Iraq supporting us (though their parliament has recently called for their withdrawal), and they had major contingient in Bosnia. This from a country that strongly opposed the war to start with.

But the truth is Russia doesn't have the military strength to do so, and Ukraine is by no means helpless. Recently they threatened to sink Russian ships that encroached in their waters in the Black Sea, and Russia backed down. Russia can't even control Chechnya, so there is no way they are going to tackle Ukraine.

The same goes for China right now, they don't have the amphibious sealift to invade Taiwan, or the air power to support an invasion. Any support that the US provided to Taiwan in such a case would be Naval, so it wouldn't effect the war in Iraq. Our shortage is in ground troops, which wouldn't be used in a China-Taiwan scenario.

What China is doing though, is undergoing a massive restructuring and modernization of their armed forces, with emphasis on their navy. They are clearly gearing up for a confrontation over Taiwan. The number of new Destroyers, Frigates, and submarines in the last 2-3 years would surprise you.

Russia's relationship with China is about money, not power. Neither one trusts the other, but China has money, and Russia needs it. So Russia sells China the newest Sukhoi fighter jets, Kilo class attack subs, and Sovremenny class destroyers armed with supersonic anti-shipping missiles. And China has over 800 ballistic missiles pointing at Taiwan today.

Chinese subs have been caught in Japanese and Indian territorial waters in the last year. Two Chinese spy ships were captured off the Andamans a couple months ago. People that pay attention to this kind of thing have noticed the shift in Japanese defensive posture in the last six months. A fifty year old defence policy is giving way as we speak.

Eventually, China intends to have a blue-water navy that can project power in the Pacific. But that will come after Taiwan. Right now they have no carriers, and not enough ships to defend a battle group anyway. What they are after is a powerful enough navy to deny the US in the Taiwan Strait. So subs, Destroyers, Frigates, and Aircraft with air-to-sea missiles is what they are concentrating on.

It's going to take a lot of them.

China believes that they can take on two US CVN battle groups and fight to a draw. This assessment is very optimistic, because it doesn't account for a Networked battle group. We could put 35 or so LA class fast attack submarines on station, which are at least a generation ahead of the best Russian Kilo's that China has right now. This means that in the case of an attack on Taiwan or US Naval forces, USN SSN's and SSGN's are simultaneously launching cruise missile counterstrikes against airbases and command and control facilities in China. This forces any attacking aircraft to divert to more distant bases or run out of fuel.

The US can sortie 7 CVN battle groups within 1-2 weeks if needed (we have 12). This is an extremely formidable force. 7 CVBG's, NetFORCE'd with their escorts of (32-36) Arleigh Burke class AEGIS DDG's and (21-28) Ticonderoga class FFG's can defend against approx. 35,000 simultaneous threats, with a defensive screen that extends several thousand kilometers around the force. Each carrier has an air wing that is more powerful than most countries entire air forces.

The PLA modernization program has only deployed a single Theatre HQ (the Central Military Commission Headquarters) for all its forces - to be used wherever that theatre is (which also means that the Chinese are only capable of fighting one war at a time). Being a theatre HQ, the CMC HQ is a legitimate military target for any US strike package.

If China continues the rate of modernization that they are currently on, they may be ready to move on Taiwan around 2010-2012. If the US commits to defend Taiwan (which we are bound by US law to do), China would still lose.

01-13-2005, 01:55 AM

How much of a threat does the Sunburn anti-ship supersonic cruise missile represent? I am under the impression that it was specifically designed as a carrier killer and that due to its speed and ability to cruise at 9 feet above the ocean there are no current effective countermeasures.


01-13-2005, 02:35 AM
The Sunburn/Moskit is the missile that the Sovremenny class DDG carries. While it is an effective anti-shipping missile, it is no carrier killer. The Range is only about 65 miles, so nobody is going to get anywhere near close enough to a CVN to get a shot off anyway.

Carriers are citadeled. The US estimates that it would take 4 torps with the capability of the Mk 48 ADCAP to sink a CVN. So 5-6 perfect shots with a Sunburn could possibly sink a CVN.

The US has been training against supersonic threats since the '50's. We have used a variety of target drones, from modified Talos/Vandal/Sea Snakes, to Russian KH-31's, to our newest one, the GQM-163A Coyote. Our defenses are up to the task of taking out Sunburns, even with the short response time involved.

The newest system is the ESSM, and it tested successfully in 149 out of 150 shots against supersonic sea-skimming targets. This missile is a version of the AIM-7 Sparrow AAM, with a vertical launch system and a thrust vectoring booster. It has a 50G manouverability, and jettisons it's launch booster after it makes it's first turn to the target. ESSM is in the process of being deployed on AB class DDG's, Australian ANZAC's, and Tico's. It will go on the CVN's also.

We also have a system called RAM (rolling airframe missile), that is very good, 161 hits out of 168 tests. I believe it is based on the Sidewinder AAM. It's used on all AEGIS platforms, CVN's, and in most European navies.

There are also various ECM systems, flare and chaff dispensers, etc., to jam or decoy any incoming missiles that get through the defenses and Phalanx guns. CVBG's also use a decoy "lamb", which is a ship that sits in the middle of the CSF and emulates the electronic signature of the carrier.

It's very unlikely that any enemy aircraft or surface ship could penetrate a US CVBG defensive screen when the CVN is on a wartime footing. Even a single CVBG has a defensive screen that extends nearly a thousand kilometers.

The biggest threat would be from a lone SSK or a pair of them, using dash and lurk tactics in the littorals. If one could get ahead of the CVBG and sit on the bottom nice and quiet, it could possibly pop up and get a shot ot two off before it was detected and sunk. It would be a suicide attack, but it would score a symbolic victory if it could mission kill the CVN. Even a listing carrier can't launch it's aircraft.

01-13-2005, 10:53 AM
Highseas Thanks for your assessment of the situation, it is really an eye opener, i had no idea the Chinese had so many subs and were purchasing that much hardware from the Russians.

01-13-2005, 12:02 PM

You are starting to sound like one of those late night infomercials selling the last slicer & dicer with a vacuum cleaner attachement. If we were to believe all the sales pitches thrown at us by the Military sales force we would have to believe that once they got a fix on good old Binny Boy they could track the heat of his brain in real time to any cave in the world. But what are facts? He is still running free for all we know and he is still in charge of waging a war against us with cheap Medival tactics that hold our billion dollar toys at bay. Don't you suppose that China and Russia are going to school watching the obvious ineffectiveness of our high dollar war machine in Irag???

All this fanciful talk about high tech military toys is nothing more than boys & their toys. If we are going the win wars in the future it will be with good ideas not expensive blow'm up toys.......

01-13-2005, 12:22 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote cheesemouse:</font><hr> All this fanciful talk about high tech military toys is nothing more than boys &amp; their toys. If we are going the win wars in the future it will be with good ideas not expensive blow'm up toys....... <hr /></blockquote>

cheese I beg to differ.

We won the war in Afghanistan mainly with a few dozen Green Berets who painted targets so the close air support could come in and blow them to smithereens. Very high tech and very effective.

Admittedly we still needed the soldiers of the Northern Allaiance and good intelligence (and <font color="green"> $$$$ </font color> to pay for the intelligence /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif ) .

But with the high tech weaponry we were able to kill the Taliban and al-quaida without too much collateral damage, which endeared our guys to the Afghans to some degree.

01-13-2005, 01:35 PM
We won the war in Afghanistan <hr /></blockquote>

When you say "we won the war" it brings to mind peace and traquility in the country side. I beg to differ with you. I don't think peace is breaking out all over Afganistan and al-quaida certainly has not been defeated they just melted into the hills. I think their definittion of winning and losing wars is different than ours, that is one of their strength. Our thinking is: OK, we won...here's some cash to repair the holes we blew in your dirt. Then we ride off in to the sunset before our citizens get pissed because we're hanging around to long...ie: remember how we helped, with cash and weapons to defeat the Russians in Afganistan then we boggied and the result was the Talaban and on and on.....These people, the terrorist are not thinking in four year election cycles.

01-13-2005, 01:35 PM

Thanks for the info! I breathed a big sigh of relief after I read your post.

Lots of folks don't truly appreciate the enormity of the role(s) carriers play. They are the cutting edge of American strategic and tactical doctrine.

The Russians are heading back to the cold war and cozying up to China. China and Russia are in agreement to restore a 'multi-polar'world order (their term for what we used to call the Cold War). The rapid pace of new weapons deployments in China and Russia are a clear signal.

My friend, we are truly living in interesting times. I'm hanging on cause I have a feeling we are all going on Mr. Toad's* wild ride.

BTW I did some research and came up with an interesting story. It seems that the Sunburn was born of a cooperative effort between US and Russian agencies. At the time Russia was really strapped for cash so they agreed to work on a motor for a new class of supersonic drones. The motors proved to be highly unreliable. The Russians went back and redesigned the motor, but reliability and performance issues were still stalling the project. Eventually the project was cancelled. The Russians then kept working on the missile until they adopted the current class and its variants.

*Mr. Toad is one of the characters in "The Wind In The Willows", one of my favorite children's books.


01-13-2005, 02:15 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SecaucusFats:</font><hr>BTW I did some research and came up with an interesting story. It seems that the Sunburn was born of a cooperative effort between US and Russian agencies. At the time Russia was really strapped for cash so they agreed to work on a motor for a new class of supersonic drones. The motors proved to be highly unreliable. The Russians went back and redesigned the motor, but reliability and performance issues were still stalling the project. Eventually the project was cancelled. The Russians then kept working on the missile until they adopted the current class and its variants.

SF<hr /></blockquote>
You are referring to the Zvezda KH-31 (NATO designation AS-17 Krypton). In the mid-late '90's the USN was looking for a new target drone to replace the Vandal/Sea Snake. Clinton approached Russia about purchasing the KH-31 to modify as a SSST (Supersonic Sea Skimming Target).

The KH-31 uses a rocket booster to get up to the speed where the ramjet can kick in. The KH-31 was designed for high altitude operation, and had problems operating in the thick air at the low altitudes required by the Navy.

The Navy's requirement was for a minimum range of 50 miles, and the modified KH-31 (called the MA-31 by the Navy) fell well short of that goal. The best we could get was about 16 miles, and some of them ran out of fuel at half that range.

To overcome the range issues, the Navy decided to modify an F-4 Phantom jet as a launch platform. It had to be remote controlled for safety reasons (we didn't want to risk shooting down a piloted launch plane at such close ranges). Even so, the KH-31 was an ill-advised missile to use as a target drone, as a 600 kg. Titanium missile at M2.5 is still a deadly KE weapon, even without a warhead.

Anyway, to try to overcome the performance issues, the US sent a team of Engineers from Boeing and MD to Russia to overhaul the KH-31 and try to make it work. They made some improvements, but Russia wanted the US to buy the missile in 300 quantity lots, which was way more than we needed. The program was scrapped when the US and Russia couldn't come to terms on a purchasing agreement.

The KH-31/MA-31 program was ultimately a dismal failure from the US perspective. Not only did we transfer some advanced missile technology to the Russian Zvezda-Strela missile design bureau, but we ended up not even using the missile. IIRC, the total number of MA-31's used was 29.

The current SSST, the Coyote, is a much better missile, and can be tuned to emulate a Sunburn/Moskit or a P-800/Yakhont. It's a lot cheaper to use, has better performance, and can be launched from any USN launch platform, so multiple simultaneous launches to test ripple-fire defenses can be done. This was not possible with the MA-31, due to the need to air-launch the target missile.