The claim was made in comments that China can’t engage in carrier flight ops. Here is a video from Chinese sources to refute that:

Yes, I understand that this video is from a Chinese source. Where else is a video taken from the deck of a Chinese warship going to come from? Still, here is a video, taken from the deck of a fishing boat which shows a Chinese carrier recovering aircraft. Here is footage taken from a US destroyer that also corroborates both videos.

So there is no doubt that the PLAN can successfully carry out carrier flight ops. Next year, the latest carrier, which has catapults, will take to sea. The US has satellite images of the ship under construction.

I point out that every single conflict that the US military has engaged in since 1955 has not been against peers. It has been a large military beating up on irregulars and militias. The last time that the US faced a peer in warfare was WW2, and we only won that war because we were capable of producing insane amounts of military hardware, a feat which we cannot repeat because we no longer have that capability. We don’t have the manufacturing capability, nor will the American people stand for a long war with large amounts of casualties. A war with China hasn’t even begun yet, and the US is already “rethinking its East Asian commitments to reduce the odds of going to war with China

If there were a battle like Operation Iceberg on Okinawa that saw over 12,500 killed in action and 50,000 wounded, the US public would scream for an end to the war. Don’t think for a second that once polls show that a war is unpopular that the politicians don’t run scared.

The comment also referenced (as proof that the US military is filled with Rambo badasses) the Battle of Kasham, where he claimed “To get a true example of American fighting prowess, we need only look at Syria. In 2018 hundreds of Russian mercenaries—many of them Spetsnaz trained—took on forty US soldiers in a four-hour firefight. The Russians lost almost every man; the Americans lost none. “

That isn’t how it went down. The battle was 500 Syrian militia men supported by some obsolete Syrian armor and a short artillery barrage of “20-50 shells” engaged 100 Americans of the 75th Ranger Regiment. Yes, the US forces won, but they were supported by nearly 100 aircraft who carried out 4 hours of airstrikes over a battlefield where they had complete air superiority. That won’t happen in a war with China.

I used to say that the biggest reason why China won’t invade Taiwan is that it didn’t have the amphibious capabilities it needs to do that. That is not the case any longer.

Here is my prediction: China will invade Taiwan at some point in the near future. When it happens, the US will not do anything but ineffectively protest to the UN and to the Chinese government. This nation, and especially this president, will NOT go to war in order to save Taiwan or any other Polynesian country.

The Chinese won’t mess with Russia or India, because the war plans for both of those nations include the use of nuclear weapons in the event of a Chinese invasion. The haven’t messed with the US, because the PLAN hasn’t been able to project power effectively. That is changing. The US is weakening, while China is getting stronger.

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Dov Sar · April 28, 2021 at 7:09 pm

They do have carriers, and they do take off and land, but look at their loadouts. They can take some air-to-air weapons, but you won’t see any heavy ordnance. They don’t use steam cats; they use deck runs. Great for delivering mail; not so great for delivering bombs on target.

    Divemedic · April 28, 2021 at 7:14 pm

    That is changing with the next carrier, pictured under construction. That carrier will have catapults.

      Dov Sar · April 29, 2021 at 12:29 pm

      Agreed, but until then deck runs do you almost no good. And when they get steam cats up and running, there will be a learning curve.

MN Steel · April 28, 2021 at 7:31 pm

If I was a war-gamer, I’d make a Gentleman’s Agreement with Russia, and if ready, go on the next New Moon, Wednesday May 19th, in a pre-dawn attack, as high tide is at 4:12 a.m. in Hsinchu, halfway between Taipei and Taichung.

The attack would happen around the same time that the Kiev government is decapitated by multiple missile strikes and the Donbas and Donetsk regions are rolled into by armored columns.

This puts the decision of starting thermonuclear war on the shoulders of whoever is “in charge” in D.C., as the tide goes out and the world sees who is actually swimming naked.

Of course, this zany, off-the-wall, totally not made up by 5 minutes of Google-searches could never be used in any month but May, and probably take about 5 days.

Paulb · April 29, 2021 at 2:40 am

It’s sadly ironic that a great deal of the reason why the US only has 2 (and a half, I suppose) shipyards capable of making capital ships falls squarely on the shoulders of John McCain, and his career-long attacks on the Jones Act on behalf of ADM and other ag companies, of all things.

Granted that’s a bit of an oversimplification, but the pussification of the left isn’t nearly as large a contributor to the decline of the US military-industrical infrastructure as the greed of the right. The inability of the US navy, in particular, to put a fully functional new class of vessel to sea in the past 15 years can certainly be blamed on the congressional members whose circle-jerks led to the American Navy of today, where apparently offering free sex changes is more important than interrupting the supply of tax dollars for ships that don’t work.

    Divemedic · April 29, 2021 at 5:01 am

    Not just that. American policies have destroyed our manufacturing base.

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