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Flubadubya Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-06-10 03:59 PM
Original message
"US submarines emerge in show of military might..."
I have a cousin who is a rear admiral in the U.S. Navy. He keeps the family posted with such info as below. I had not heard of this before now. Please note the paragraph in italics below regarding the continued policy of GW Bush by the Obama admin. Does anyone else find this somewhat disturbing?


South China Morning Post

July 4, 2010

US submarines emerge in show of military might

Submarines show up in E Asia ports in show of US military might;

Message unlikely to be lost on Beijing as 3 vessels turn up in Asian ports

Greg Torode

Chief Asia correspondent

In a scarcely noticed move last Monday, three of America's largest submarines surfaced in Asia-Pacific ports in a show of force by the US Seventh Fleet not seen since the end of the cold war.

The appearance of the USS Michigan in Pusan, South Korea, the USS Ohio in Subic Bay, in the Philippines, and the USS Florida in the strategic Indian Ocean outpost of Diego Garcia not only reflects the trend of escalating submarine activity in East Asia, but carries another threat as well.

The three Ohio-class submarines have all been recently converted from carrying cold-war-era nuclear ballistic missiles to other weapons - improved intelligence sensors, special operations troops and, significantly, a vast quantity of Tomahawk cruise missiles, a manoeuvrable low-flying weapon designed to strike targets on land.

Between them, the three submarines can carry 462 Tomahawks, boosting by an estimated 60 per cent-plus the potential Tomahawk strike force of the entire Japanese-based Seventh Fleet - the core projection of US military power in East Asia.

While the move has been made with little fanfare, it is starting to resonate across the region. US officials insist it reflects long-term deployment plans and is not directed at a single country or crisis - such as intensifying tensions on the Korean peninsula following North Korea's sinking of a South Korean warship - but the message is unlikely to be lost on Beijing.

One veteran Asian military attach, who keeps close ties with both Chinese and US forces, noted that "460-odd Tomahawks is a huge amount of potential firepower in anybody's language".

"It is another sign that the US is determined to not just maintain its military dominance in Asia, but to be seen doing so ? that is a message for Beijing and for everybody else, whether you are a US ally or a nation sitting on the fence."

Other Asian diplomats said it might reflect a rising chorus of concern in recent months from China's neighbours, who have been discreetly urging the US to do more to stand up to China's growing naval assertiveness in East Asia. Chinese exercises have been expanding in size and scope in recent months, with vessels appearing beyond Japan's offshore islands and appearing deep in the disputed South China Sea.

"Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore and Australia - all these countries have been active behind the scenes in expressing concerns," another Asian diplomat said. "There is no hotter topic at the moment than China's naval ambitions."

In Washington, meanwhile, concern is mounting about missile deployments in East Asia. Pentagon estimates suggest China is increasing its stocks of short-range ballistic missiles and precision cruise missiles, and boosting their capabilities.

Its last report on China's military modernisation estimated that a September 2008 stockpile of between 1,050 and 1,150 short-range ballistic missiles was rising at a rate of about 100 per year, the bulk concentrated on Taiwan. South Korean estimates show North Korea has fielded more than 650 short-range ballistic missiles. A recent report from the Washington-based Project 2049 Institute think tank noted that expanded conventional ballistic and ground-launched cruise missiles were now "the centrepiece of political and military strategy".

Coupled with other improved aerospace capabilities, such as electronic sensors, over the next 15 years China might be "increasingly confident of its ability to dominate the skies around its periphery", the report said. It noted that the PLA could challenge the defences of Taiwan, Japan and India, as well as US forces in the western Pacific.

"This may lead Beijing to become more assertive in its dealings with its neighbours," says the report, written by analysts Mark Stokes and Ian Easton.

"A strategic shift in regional aerospace balance also may increasingly unravel the fabric of US alliances and prompt allies and friends to consider weapons of mass destruction ? as an insurance against unfavourable imbalances," it says.

In policies drafted under then-president George W.Bush, a Republican, and continued by the administration of his successor, Democrat Barack Obama, the Pentagon is shifting 60 per cent of its 53 fast-attack submarines to the Pacific - a process that is now virtually complete.

But the presence of the larger cruise-missile submarines shows that, at times, the US forward posture will be significantly larger.

While nominally based on the west coast of the United States, the Ohio, for example, has been operating out of Guam for most of the last year, taking advantage of the island's expanding facilities to extend its operations in the western Pacific.

It is due to return soon, but the Florida and the Michigan are likely to remain in the region for many months yet, using Guam and possibly Diego Garcia for essential maintenance and crew changes.

The presence of the Florida, based on the US east coast, appears to confirm the US is still routinely bringing submarines under the arctic ice cap to East Asia. Some US east coast ports are closer, via this route, to the region than some west coast bases, such as San Diego.

Just one other submarine has been converted from ballistic to cruise missiles and all four are currently deployed simultaneously for the first time.

Announcing the move earlier this month, Submarine Squadron 19 Commander Captain John Tammen noted the "transformational capabilities" of the cruise missile submarines. " provide the combatant commander a significant increase in war-fighting ability, and options for resolving and deterring conflict," he said.

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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-06-10 04:03 PM
Response to Original message
1. Ah this may signal the end of the Afghani mess
and more worries about the Chinese Blue Navy.

Let the games begin... they are now afoot.
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WannaJumpMyScooter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-06-10 04:04 PM
Response to Original message
2. I also wonder if the deployments
are getting longer and they have to re-supply in port now more.
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Angry Dragon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-06-10 04:07 PM
Response to Original message
3. Oh goody , goody , maybe more wars
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mr clean Donating Member (106 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-06-10 04:08 PM
Response to Original message
4. I wonder what the Walton's think of this?
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onethatcares Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-06-10 04:39 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. WTF, at 28K an hour, it's all fine with them
old sammy would be rolling in his grave though.
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Fast Dude Donating Member (146 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-06-10 04:23 PM
Response to Original message
5. The subs that didn't surface are the ones China is worried about
They are the ones that carry "Sherwood Forest"

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ixion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-06-10 04:27 PM
Response to Original message
6. And yet we get in a twit if these Asia-Pacific countries want to protect themselves
from our very blatant aggressive behavior.
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Fast Dude Donating Member (146 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-06-10 04:33 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. pssst
We are the protection for most of these Asia-Pacific countries.
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ixion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-06-10 06:47 PM
Response to Reply #7
21. uh, no, we're not
but nice try.
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Fast Dude Donating Member (146 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-07-10 06:48 PM
Response to Reply #21
25. Yes, we are
I'm sorry that the facts conflict with your personal opinion.
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onethatcares Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-06-10 04:37 PM
Response to Original message
8. yep, this is great thinking. let's show the
Edited on Tue Jul-06-10 04:38 PM by onethatcares
country that is bankrolling the two wars that we have submarines that can land forces anywhere, along with missles that can be controlled to hit anything the operators want them to, and we're not askeert to use them.

jeeeeezus, we're in debt up to our eyeballs and some farking idiot thinks they're gonna slap Mr. Drysedale.

Please bring education back to our schools, please, someone.
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KonaKane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-06-10 04:42 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Not only that, .....
Why on earth would the USA want to exacerbate an attack on a country that is free marketeering at an astonishing rate, and is such a heavy hitting trading partner?

This is all just left over cold war scare bullshit.
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Xolodno Donating Member (310 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-06-10 04:47 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. ....actually...
I think its a reminder to the "Bank-roll'er" that we can renege on the debt. As the assets are in US borders, thus unable to sieze. And should they decide to sieze something "off-shore" that the US has the capability to hold it. Might be some pressure on China to slap around thier problem child known as N. Korea.
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onethatcares Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-06-10 05:57 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. now that would be something.
I would like to see. China telling Kim Jong Ill to straighten up, and allow a semi capitalistic economy to spring up in N.K.

There would be one more boogie man thrown out of the equation for our m.i.c.

Thanks

I understand your thoughts about the bankroller not being able to collect the assets, re: repoman, but if they shut off the spigot of Yuans to dollars
our dollar would flounder worse than it presently is (just mho). Which leaves us where to borrow from in order to keep the charade up that we're no uno?
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yella_dawg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-06-10 04:52 PM
Response to Original message
12. Cold war flashbacks.
Fuck me.





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bluedigger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-06-10 05:05 PM
Response to Original message
13. You're worried that we are continuing a gwb policy?
Hey, even a stopped clock is right twice a day. :rofl:

It make sense to me to redeploy our assets to the Pacific in a more proportionate manner. That is where the action will be in the coming years. :shrug:

Having three subs simultaneously appear across the Pacific puts our cards on the table, for all to see. I approve. :thumbsup:
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Flubadubya Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-06-10 05:19 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. Such is the difference between a "hawk" and a "dove"...
You see it as protection... I see it as unwarranted provocation and an escalation of cold war-like tactics that are not only unnecessary, but ultimately quite dangerous.

No :shrug: here!
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starroute Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-06-10 06:25 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. I think it's okay, and I *am* a dove
The stupid part is getting involved in a land war in Asia -- which we've done over and over since 1950. But using the Navy to maintain a balance of power is traditional great state behavior that goes back at least to the Bronze Age. As long as everybody has their cards on the table and all parties are speaking the same language, it can be a means of maintaining stability.

For the US to hang back in the Pacific and then overreact at some point against a Chinese show of strength would be the worst possible approach. Moving a few pawns around on the board now is far preferable.

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Flubadubya Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-06-10 06:38 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. I must admit I'm not a "global tactical connoisseur"...
but I'm also not just a "knee jerk reactionary". I certainly see your point and thank you for educating me. :hi:
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flying rabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-07-10 06:02 AM
Response to Reply #18
23. At least we are not going up against a Sicilian
when death is on the line.
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Tierra_y_Libertad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-06-10 05:09 PM
Response to Original message
14. They're protecting us from the mighty Taliban Navy.
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L0oniX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-06-10 06:27 PM
Response to Reply #14
19. +1
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hootinholler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-06-10 06:19 PM
Response to Original message
17. T.R. would say Bully!
Instead of a great white fleet, we apparently now have a great black fleet.

This is a great strategic move.

-Hoot
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unhappycamper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-07-10 04:34 AM
Response to Original message
22. "over the next 15 years China might be "increasingly confident of its ability to dominate the skies"
They're slamming the door on foreign countries flying into their territory? That's some scary shit. :sarcasm:
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Bigmack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-07-10 06:07 AM
Response to Original message
24. We can't afford it....
We cannot afford an Empire.

I think of those pics I've seen of the Soviet subs rusting at their moorings, and think "That's going to be our fleet in a few years."

The end of our Empire is going to come sometime... question is... what's going to be left of our country if we continue to try to keep the Empire rolling?
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