October 04, 2015

Shootings, Floods and Lost Ships

are what the news is focused on (a not entirely unwarranted decision) but there are other things deteriorating as well that deserve some attention, as they have considerable potential to generate rather greater levels of grief...




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The photos show smiling children enjoying various rides, as well as landscapes featuring ferris wheels and a play train. The rides fail to disguise the ravages of war; beyond the foreground, dilapidated buildings and bombed-out areas can be seen.

I guess some positive reinforcement to go along with the punishments of children there is necessary for morale. 

Meanwhile, the administrations expert responsible for overseeing the war with ISIS just resigned

He has been joined by the nation's top cyber security advisor, and the Pentagon's top Russian expert.  Three in such a short time would seem to indicate a lack of faith in the administrations policies on these matters. 

On the other hand, Russia took a break from bombing the snot out of the American and European proxies in Syria to hit ISIS headquarters...which had somehow managed to elude the bombs of America's bombing campaign for a year. 

Instapundit links to a Lee Stranahan editorial which comprehensively sums up the situation...assuming of course that the emerging outcomes are not the goal. 

Speaking of Russia, they just drafted 150,000 troops. This seems to be a supplementary conscription, since the annual draft of 150000 (Russia has active selective service) took place in the spring. 


Russia is recomissioning and upgrading 12 nuclear submarines 6 of which are identified in this article. They also announced plans earlier in the year to restart the production line for the TU-160 bomber with 50 (some sources say 60) expected to be commissioned by 2023. There has been some skepticism expressed, but the upgrade program on the existing 16 operational Backfires is actually ahead of schedule and they are producing some very large and very fast planes now so there is no reason to suspect that they can't. 

Speaking of capabilities....the first Chinese indigenously built aircraft carrier, will, reportedly, be launched on December 26. (This date has been chosen to commemorate Mao TzeDong's birthday...presumably because genocidal dictators are the sorts of people the current Chinese Government wants to honor.) Note that the carrier was started earlier this year, so the ship is being launched in less than a year...unheard of for such a large vessel. Note that this is a launch and not a commissioning....lots of equipment needs to be installed, but while analysts are skeptical that commissioning will happen sooner than four years hence, the incredible speed with which the hull was constructed should give one pause. 

Also concerning capabilities, Next Big Future points to a WCT article that gleefully boasts that China has demonstrated the ability to put MIRVs with its ability to launch multiple satellites on a single launcher. They also point out that the Chinese commercial space launcher the Long March 6 can launch 20 (twice as many as the Russian R-36, the biggest ICBM in the world). That a commercial space launcher takes hours to fuel and so could only be used for first strikes (and dozens of launchers fueling would give fair warning) is not mentioned in the article. NBF does point to the capacity of the bigger Long March 5 is 25 metric tonnes.  Taking the conservative path of using the weight of an obsolete USAF ICBM warhead ( the W-56) and a current one (the W-76) dividing 25 tonnes by that amount (25tonnes = 55,115.500 pounds round down so 55,000 / 680 = 81.1 or 55,000 / 362 = 152.3 warheads delivered with one launch. (Capacity to an antipodal target is a bit more than 50% greater than capacity to LEO but there is still a lot of weight involved in the buss and such)...so hey perhaps they don't need but one launch. Naturally, the same basic math would apply to the Russian launchers in the same class such as PROTON.

Of course this is silly as it would be suicide. They'd still face our righteous wrath unless there were some reason to believe our nuclear deterrent was a hollow force. 


Meanwhile...in completely unrelated news in the U.S., the nation's last American owned uranium enrichment plant was just shut down by the DOE. 
U.S. Rep. Brad Wenstrup, whose 2nd District includes Pike County and part of Ross County among others, expressed disbelief. Both he and Portman said that on the heels of a deal that recognizes Iran’s right to enrich uranium and maintain access to thousands of centrifuges, shutting down of the only source of domestic uranium enrichment is irresponsible. The Centrifuge is the only American-owned enrichment facility operating in the United States, while foreign-owned Urenco USA operates an enrichment facility in New Mexico.  
 



Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 06:03 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
Post contains 825 words, total size 10 kb.

1 The USSR held a draft every six months. Are you sure that Russia changed that to once a year?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at Sun Oct 4 20:15:03 2015 (+rSRq)

2 No I'm not.  Not at all. 

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at Sun Oct 4 20:38:49 2015 (LImEF)

3 Russia changed the service duration from 2 years to 1 year and was continuously drafting less as a part of the switch to the professional army, that is shown to be far more effective. Naturally a part this massive adjustment was a reaction to the demographic catastrophy they faced in the 90s. A rule of thumb in Russia is that one can form a wartime division from 1 million of population. No population - no divisions. U.S. made the same transition some time after Vietnam, and the results are for everyone to see. Russian military analytics consider U.S. actions in the two Iraq wars (against Saddam in 2003 and against Iran in 2004-2005) to be decisive victories. Naturally there were some lessons taken. Given the context, the additional call-up may be a cause for alarm. Or it may be a figment of journalism. I have no idea which it is.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at Sun Oct 4 23:49:17 2015 (RqRa5)

4
 ... a figment of journalism.

Ha!
That is truly a term for our age.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at Mon Oct 5 09:29:55 2015 (LImEF)

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