Thursday, May 10, 2007

China's Greatest Military Threat is no longer its Submarines

John J. Tkacik's commentary in The Washington Times today recalls that "Fifteen years ago, the U.S. intelligence community judged that the People's Liberation Army of China was more than 20 years behind the West." Tkacik is a senior fellow in Asian studies at the Heritage Foundation and also served as chief of China analysis in the State Department from 1992-1994.

China's recent submarine developments play a large role in Tkacik's thinking. You should read his full facts and explanations in the link above.

Some of Tkacik's conclusions are faulty, however. He sees a Chinese military capability that does not really exist and yet fails to see the significance of another, more ominous one that has been proven:

"The United States may no longer be strong enough to defend freedom beyond our shores....Apparently, the U.S. Navy can't track China's newest submarines."

This obviously erroneus assumption has been easy to rebuff by those in the know, both here (see comment time stamped 28 November, 2006 11:20) and here (29Nov06).

A much more ominous military threat from China, however, concerns another capability Tkacik mentions, but fails to fully appreciate:

China's recent anti-satellite test. The kinetic kill vehicle created the largest recorded volume of space debris in history (over 1335 pieces of trackable, golf ball size and larger objects). [11]

Why so ominous:
Space debris is a growing concern since collisions at orbital velocities can be highly damaging to functioning satellites, produce more space debris in a process, called Kessler Syndrome, and requires tremendous effort and expense to track on a real time basis. Both civilian and military satellites, even armored or hardened ones, are vulnerable to malfunctions due to kinetic effects, which are relatively cheap.

If the Chinese can render trillions of dollars worth of communications, positioning, targeting and aquisition satellites useless for pennies on the dollar, countries relying on such military technology would be reduced to (but ill-prepared for) conducting military defense and offense as it had been decades earlier. That would require resources no longer readily available. Obviously, higher numbers of combat troops, ships, etc. had been replaced by technological advances.

Suddenly, a China with its million-man army and ships too numerous to have individual names would be very advantaged, perhaps the pre-eminent military power. Give such a military a Western port in Mexico or South America, and the writing would be on the wall.

Now, you are starting to see what has really been behind the U.S. policy on Mexican immigration. In November 15, 2005, Molten Eagle warned, Were China to garner a foothold in Mexico, Canada, or South America, the current Taiwan standoff could become weakened in China's favor. And, Molten Eagle is no longer the only submariner seeing positive ramifications of Mexican immigration. Read what this one is now saying about Mexican immigration, too.



At 10 May, 2007 22:55, Blogger Rick "Doc" MacDonald said...

Excellent article, as usual. Thank you for your insight. I never gave the Chinese threat a thought, but I do believe you are correct and that unless we move our butts quickly to find diplomatic solutions to improve our image and offer some hope to the most impoverished nations south of the border, we could be in for a world of hurt. The Chinese in South America will make memories of the Soviets in Cuba fond ones, indeed.

Take care and enjoy your garden.


At 11 May, 2007 13:22, Blogger Old Gary said...

From Cool Hand Luke...

Luke: Don’t hit me anymore… Oh God, I pray to God you don’t hit me anymore. I’ll do anything you say, but I can’t take anymore.

Boss Paul: You got your mind right, Luke?

Luke: Yeah. I got it right. I got it right, boss. (He grips the ankles of the guard)

Boss Paul: Suppose you’s back-slide on us?

Luke: Oh no I won’t. I won’t, boss.

Boss Paul: Suppose you’s to back-sass?

Luke: No I won’t. I won’t. I got my mind right.

Boss Paul: You try to run again, we gonna kill ya.

Luke: I won’t, I won’t, boss.

At 11 May, 2007 16:35, Blogger Vigilis said...

Rick "Doc" MacDonald, wish there were a better explanation.

Old Gary, your "Cool Hand Luke" message is over my head at the moment. If it is any consolation, I not only hope my China assessment is wrong, I have been hoping some one would convince me that it is wrong for the past 2 years.


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