While the world focuses on the current bombing campaign and the fact the the POTUS doesn't know that if your hands are full, you don't salute, there is news from the continent of Asia that as of this writing is getting little coverage in the US press. It is eliciting some interest in India though:
Xi Jinping tells Peopleâ€™s Liberation Army to be ready to win regional war
There is another factor that might cause China to feel that there is a narrow window of opportunity for action and it again involves India. In 2012 there was a major scandal in India when it was revealed that India's ballistic missiles were unreliable, and India's nuclear deterrent was almost entirely delivered by Jaguars and Mirages which cannot really threaten China. India is modernizing its forces with a new class of missile submarines. These are fitted with four tubes carrying a total 12 SLBMs with a modest 750km range. However, in a few years, these will be swapped out for 4 of the K-4 missiles with a 3000+KM range. India currently has 90-110 warheads, most of which can't reach China. In a decade or less, if present trends continue, they will have a credible second strike capability with the ability to do China serious harm.
Despite some nontrivial internal issues, China is in ascendance and has become a major world power, but its chance to completely secure it's position is threatened by two developing nations poised to experience growth comparable to what China achieved over the last 30 years. This will happen just as China hits a 20-30 year demographic arrestor switch on it's growth. Chinese leaders may perceive a narrow opportunity to become THE power, as China was for most of it's history, but that opportunity (if it exists at all) is a fleeting one and it will soon be surrounded by new major powers.
I said poweRs.
Because India is not the only country in the area that is ascendant.
100 years ago this year, Germany had become alarmed at Russia's rapid industrial and military progress. They decided that they needed to nip that in the bud before Russia fully modernized and became a serious threat. Certain members of the German general staff decided to take a pro-active approach. That decision did not end well.
One factor has not been mentioned, and that is the USA. Well, there is another opportunity that will likely have a limited duration. The current astonishing display of foreign policy fecklessness is unlikely to continue to anything like the same degree past January 2017, regardless of who succeeds the current resident of the white house. In the intervening time however, it is quite possible that the USA has been largely discounted as a factor in the Politburo's risk assessment.
With regard to the terrifying risks involved in seriously poking India, we should not be limited to looking at the problem throufgh our eyes and weighing the costs with our value system. We look at the term "limited nuclear exchange" and see an oxymoron. However, it should be remembered that Xi Jinping is an admirer of Mao, who led 1 successful war against India and fought a guerilla war against Japan. However, Mao killed far more of his own people than Japanese or Indians, and he did it in the name of national greatness. The notion that the Chinese leadership is willing to take a gamble of this sort when the potential payoffs are so high should not be dismissed out of hand. They have 4000 years of history that tell them that China's proper place is as the Middle Kingdom..the center of the world. More disturbingly, with over a billion people....the way they may look at it ...they have spares.
UPDATE: With regard to the border dispute, it appears that the crisis, is, at least for now, winding down.
India just put a probe in orbit around Mars, so their rocket and guidance technology is clearly up to snuff now, and it's just a question of deployment. Which has got to have China's totalitarian leadership feeling twitchy. Never mind all the other reasons they have to feel twitchy just from trying to hold down their own populace.
India is a chaotic mess compared to China, but its people have far more freedom, so it provides a good and much-needed counterbalance.
And the fecklessness of the present US administration cannot be overstated. With all that's going on in the world, Obama finds it a priority to hector the Chinese leadership on CO2 emissions. Even as someone who agrees that global warming is a real problem, this seems ill-considered.
Well, they just test fired an SLBM that works too which is a pretty challenging achievement. Regards the Mars shot, note that their space rockets (hand built for each shot, fueled on the pad) aren't the same as the IRBMs which are solids that sit in tubes for years on end.
Still, in a few years they'll have a very credible deterrent.
PSLV has 2 solid stages, FYI. It's actually one of most franken-rockets in the world. It has a solid core with liquid boosters on the 1st stage. The core burns out before the boosters and flies as a ballast until the whole stage separates. Not sure if laugh or cry about that.
As far the "Freedom" that Pixy mentioned, so far it only resulted in more socialism. While Chinese are building wealth, Indians put a 100% tax on "luxuries" (such as semi-decent cars). That is not a recipy for economic might, and thus a military power.
By the way, the 1962 debacle provided for some interesting reading. The order of forces involved on both sides was about the same scale as currently involved in the war in Ukraine, or perhaps 1.5 to 2x larger. Same magnitude, anyway. They used less heavy weapons, but fought in very challenging conditions, where basic equipment (such as clothing) and things like hot food became significant factors. You aren't much of a soldier if your frosted feet have to be amputated, you know. Hopefuly Indians drew lessons other than working on nukes.
Give Us Your Tired, Your Poor, Your......Nuclear Missiles
It appears that if Scotland goes all independent tomorrow they have declared that they will be a nuclear free zone. The UK's nuclear deterrent is mainly concentrated in their ballistic missile submarines...which are based in Scotland. Some accommodation can likely be made but this would give the Scots a huge leverage over the UK England's nukes.
The result of this is that the English, who weren't expecting this voter to go anywhere suddenly find themselves scrambling for options. Since the new base in England or Wales will take a decade to build, the plan they came up with last week is to homeport their nuclear submarines in the US in the interim. Assuming the Scots vote for independence and Congress does not balk at the proposal, I'm guessing the English boats would be in Kings Bay, Georgia, which is the only US Boomer base on the East Coast.
Couldn't they, you know... just keep the base? I mean, hell, we have a military base in Cuba, so we know it can be done.
In fact, that's a pretty good argument when it comes to getting Scotland to assume its share of the debt. "Oh, you don't want the debt? I'm afraid we'll be keeping the port and will continue basing our submarine fleet there..."
I'm bewildered by this myself. Someone in Whitehall seems to have dropped the ball.
I'm wondering if the Labour types that are running the show in Scotland are so hysterically anti-nuke that they are willing to take their third of the debt. Alternatively, there might have been some terms in the agreement on the vote that ties England's hands on the matter.
I'm guessing that the Scots actually voting to leave was just not taken seriously until as late as last week.
4...they have declared that they will be a nuclear free zone.
Is that declaration limited to nuclear weapons, or does it include nuclear power plants as well? (A quick check of Wikipedia shows that there are two nuclear power plants currently operating in Scotland, supplying half of their electricity; OTOH, public opinion in Scotland is strongly against nuclear power, and the Scottish Parliament voted against construction of any new nuclear power plants back in 2008.)
Posted by: Peter the Not-so-Great at Wed Sep 17 21:23:42 2014 (2eP1J)
With attitudes on display, Scotland is going to join PIIGS very quickly and become a true Greece of the North. Just was EU overlords in Brussels wanted.
The President must be so confused right now. The world keeps not working the way he expects it to.
Posted by: Ben at Mon Sep 15 09:08:41 2014 (DRaH+)
The first post about the new liquid ICBM at forums NK dates to 2007. Seems to be going slow and steady, pretty much regardless of Putin. Interestingly, NPOM and Khrunichev were thought as favourites back then, with GRC Makeyev being busy with SLBMs. Well, time waits for no-one. Frankly I was very surprised when NPOM managed to launch Strela! Still, while not entirely dead yet, they are functionally dead. So, Mak it is, then.
But... When We Started From Scratch We Did it in ThreeThis article discusses the state of america's aging nuclear arsenal and points out once again that the United States is no longer are making nuclear pits (the core of atomic weapons) and hasn't since 1989.
I think the article is sightly unfair to Bush (1) in that canceling the deployment of the new generation of weapons that were originally intended to come online in the early 90's was absolutely necessary to calm the Russians down after the collapse of the U.S.S.R.
In any event, there is this damning revelation at the end of the article...
In 1989 the executive branch shut down the nation's only facility to produce plutonium pits â€” the hearts of nuclear weapons â€” making us the only nuclear weapons state in the world unable to produce nuclear arms. Since then, executive branch fumbling and congressional denials have combined to prevent replacement of this absolutely essential production facility. If a decision were made today, it would still be 10 to 15 years before pit production could start.
Although the Manhattan Project started in 1939, it was only a fact finding and technology feasibility assessment project until it got seriously spun as a weapons project in early 1942. By late 1944 and early 1945 pit production was a reality and they started out going into a previously unknown field. Thus, one can reasonably assume, given 70 years of experience and the leaps and bounds technology has made since Trinity, that, the tripling of the time necessary to do what was done with 1940s technology in 2014 is due to institutional inertia and bureaucratic asshattery. Most of the Chinese dynasties ended due to the machinations of the eunuchs and other bureaucrats in administrative empire building at the expense of the state, rendering it vulnerable to new developments. The Mandarins in Washington are a Gordian Knot that we really need to cut.
Note that this is specifically talking about plutonium pits. Plutonium is necessary for most modern weapons especially if they are lightweight and compact. However, it is my understanding that Oralloy (a type of highly enriched uranium) can be used to make perfectly effective bombs but they are heavier and less safe to store in the confines of a submarine (due to their higher radioactivity) and in any event not using plutonium would require extensive testing of new bomb designs or the use of old ones ill suited to our current delivery methods.
There is a nuclear solution to the problem, the problem is in delivering the Polonium BB to Mr. Putin subcutaneously.
Posted by: Mauser at Wed Sep 3 05:19:07 2014 (TJ7ih)
This is just the sort of international crisis that "Dear Leader" can act decisively to resolve. I predict he will shortly announce further unilateral cuts of the US nuclear arsenal...
Posted by: Siergen at Wed Sep 3 08:14:52 2014 (Sn+fi)
This really should tell you everything about how crazy Ukrainian
government officials are and how willing the MSM is to accept every
And no, three was a specific lie by Ukr MinDef, not misunderstanding of what Steven charitably mentions. Newsweek even mentions "unofficial channels" that Peteley referred.
The funny thing, however, is, Putin is probably crazy enough to think that he could use tactical nukes in certain circumstances, like when Poroshenko makes good on this promises to retake Crimea. It's not making Peteley any less a liar.
That is a truly remarkable design flaw. It's one thing for a pistol with significant wear to occasionally double (a worn sear on a 1911 has surprised plenty of people), but with the safety on and no finger on the trigger?
Taurus has had their ups and downs in quality control, but this is the worst I've heard of. Unless it's the victim of amateur gunsmithing, this is cause for a major recall. Talk about failing the drop test.
This weapon, the Taurus 24/7, is the standard sidearm of the Police forces in Brazil., Apparently, the issue has been a real problem with those pistols all over the country. However, I've never heard anything about something like this with the pistols Taurus has exported here. It's likely a problem with a specific batch...but still....yikes.
Modern pistol designs have a block that prevents the firing pin from moving without the trigger being pulled. One YouTube commenter suggested very astutely that the block isn't working, and the firing pin spring may be gone or broken, that would allow you to shake the pin into striking the primer.
Posted by: Mauser at Tue Sep 2 15:44:18 2014 (TJ7ih)
The current models on the Taurus web site have a completely different trigger design; either they upgraded it for export to the US (drop test!) or the service model is an older design. Disturbingly, however, their manuals warn that the manual safety must be on to protect against accidental discharge during drops, which is not happy-making.
I don't buy the argument that it's just an unobstructed firing pin with a busted spring. He's not snapping his wrist hard enough; the firing pin has very little mass, and needs a real smack to hit the primer hard enough to detonate. He's shaking the hammer loose from the cocked position. Since it only fires once each time, it's not just a worn notch causing the hammer to drop on its own; one of the other parts isn't stable, and I'm betting it's the thumb safety's mechanism.