Category Archives: U.S.

The Looming Air Superiority Train Wreck

America is on track to lose air supremacy in contingencies involving near-peer air combat. Even as soon as next year, achieving air superiority in a war with China within a politically and operationally effective time frame might be doubtful. In a 2025 war, American aircraft losses are expected to be severe. In a 2030 war, the U.S. Air Force, after assessing currently funded improvement programs, now expects to no longer be able to win the air superiority battle.

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This downward progression in U.S. airpower has been matched in terminology. After the Cold War, the buzzword was “air dominance.” In the last decade, “air supremacy” became more common and covered situations when the opposing air force was rendered ineffective. Today, the objective is “air superiority,” when the air threat is manageable at certain times and places. In the words the Air Force uses, we can see the service’s way of thinking about projecting airpower has changed from a period when own aircraft losses were unimaginable to one in which losses would hopefully be limited to an acceptable level. And 15 years hence, meeting even this low bar will be doubtful.

The Looming Air Superiority Train Wreck

One Million Muslim Migrants Under One Term of Clinton Presidency

The U.S. could resettle nearly one million immigrants from the Muslim world under one term of a Hillary Clinton presidency, according to projections from Center for Immigration Studies’ Steve Camarota.

Camarota explained that this large expansion in Muslim migration would be part of a massive increase in overall immigration, which the U.S. could experience under a President Hillary Clinton. Camarota noted that Clinton could potentially add as many as 10 million new immigrants to the U.S. during her first term alone, on top of the millions of illegal immigrants to whom she would grant immediate amnesty.

One Million Muslim Migrants Under One Term of Clinton Presidency

Iranian boats escalate confrontations with U.S. Navy | NavyTimes

There are a handful of reasons that Iran might be poking the bear, he added. It could be a protest of what they see as non-compliance from the U.S. on the nuclear deal. It could be over tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia, or a reaction to the U.S.’s increased strikes against ISIS in Syria, an Iranian ally.

Or, Cordesman said, it could be one low-level IRGCN commander trying to show off.

“In the past, the Supreme Leader [Ayatollah Ali Khamenei] and certainly the [Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps] command has rewarded people who were willing to show their capabilities in this way,” he said.

Iranian boats escalate confrontations with U.S. Navy | NavyTimes

U.S. Army Fears Major War Likely Within Five Years — But Lacks The Money To Prepare – Forbes

Nothing focuses the mind like fear. What’s focusing the minds of U.S. Army leaders right now is the fear that they will be in a major war within five years. They know they’ll be fighting terrorists and insurgents for the foreseeable future, but what really preoccupies them is the likely return of large-scale conventional conflict — maybe with Russia in Eastern Europe, or Iran in the Middle East, or North Korea in Northeast Asia. Maybe in all three places.

U.S. Army Fears Major War Likely Within Five Years — But Lacks The Money To Prepare – Forbes

A review of RAND Corporation’s ‘War with China: Thinking Through the Unthinkable’

Among US analysts, war with China is no longer a taboo subject. RAND Corporation has now tackled the issue head on, publishing a lengthy analysis titled: ‘War with China: Thinking through the Unthinkable. So far, Paul Dibb and Mike Scrafton have provided two excellent assessments on what this means for Australia. This review evaluates RAND’s assessment itself.

1. RAND seriously underestimates the probability of a high-intensity conflict escalating to the nuclear level

The authors all but exclude the possibility of nuclear use from either side, especially if the US avoids targets that would threaten China’s nuclear deterrent. In reality, China would have significant incentives for nuclear use if it was greatly disadvantaged in a conventional conflict. For instance, China could use nukes as counterforce weapons against US staging areas in the Western Pacific, calculating the US won’t respond at the strategic level. In extremis, China could even detonate a strategic warhead over a civilian population of a non-nuclear US ally (such as Japan) as a direct challenge to US nuclear assurances and to demonstrate absolute resolve, without forcing America’s hand by attacking the homeland directly. Indeed, I would argue that these outcomes are far more likely than what RAND assumes: China accepting total military defeat.

In other words, the fact that America enjoys overall nuclear superiority appears to have led to dubious assumptions about US-China nuclear dynamics. It would have been better for RAND to simply assume a high-intensity conflict that does not escalate to the nuclear level, without attempting to justify that assumption. After all, it is just as dangerous for US decision-makers to be presented with an unrealistic appraisal of nuclear risk as it is for Chinese leaders having unjustified confidence in their conventional forces.

A review of RAND Corporation’s ‘War with China: Thinking Through the Unthinkable’

Chinese Threaten Japan, Australia Over South China Sea; Time For US FON Ops? « Breaking Defense

“Are these the signals of a power bent on war?”

The first sharp bilateral provocation in this pattern came when the Chinese government-owned and operated newspaper Global Times said in an editorial that China should fire on any Australian vessel participating in Freedom of Navigation operations in the South China Sea: “If Australia steps into the South China Sea waters, it will be an ideal target for China to warn and strike.”

But the editorial didn’t just include the threat. The paper went on to describe Australia as “a unique country with an inglorious history. It was at first an offshore prison of the UK and then became its colony, a source of raw materials, overseas market and land of investment. This country was established through uncivilized means, in a process filled with the tears of the aboriginals.”

Are these the signals of a power bent on war? Are these the actions of a surging power, one eager to change the balance of power in the South and East China seas? And how does the United States — the lone power capable of leading a regional military response, should it come to that — react?

Chinese Threaten Japan, Australia Over South China Sea; Time For US FON Ops? « Breaking Defense

Obama and Iran: A Misguided Messianic Mission | RealClearPolitics

Solomon observes that “at the heart of Obama’s philosophy was a sense that” his administration “had righted history” with the Iran deal. That’s a messianic sense. From paying what bears an uncanny resemblance to ransom, to disregarding state sponsorship of terrorism and declining to confront epic state brutality, to triggering nuclear proliferation in the name of nonproliferation, what will a messianic sense not justify?

Obama and Iran: A Misguided Messianic Mission | RealClearPolitics

The End of the Liberal Tradition? | Mark Movsesian | First Things

In fact, a fascinating new paper in The Journal of Democracy suggests that liberal democracy is losing ground even at home, in the West. Political scientists Roberto Stefan Foa and Yascha Mounk review data from recent World Values Surveys and observe some truly remarkable trends, especially among young people. Young people often reject the traditions of their elders; that’s nothing new. What they seem to be rejecting nowadays, though, in increasing numbers, is the tradition of liberalism itself.

For example, the percentage of people in Western Europe and the United States who say it is “essential” for them to live in a democratically-governed country has declined dramatically across generations. In the United States, less than one-third of millennials—defined as people born since 1980—say it is essential for them. Think about that: More than two-thirds of American young people say democratic government is not a crucial factor in where they would want to live.

The End of the Liberal Tradition? | Mark Movsesian | First Things

Biggest US total solar eclipse in decades happens next year

Lunar eclipses are pretty amazing, but statistically speaking, they aren’t really all that rare. Catching a full solar eclipse, on the other hand? That’s hard. The moon blocks our planet’s view of the sun about ever year and a half — but these eclipses can typically only be seen from extremely remote locations. Next year, things will be different. On August 21st 2017, a total solar eclipse will be viewable from 14 US States in North America — marking the first time Americans have been able to see the phenomenon since 1979. If you’re reading this from the USA, that means you’re only one year and a short road trip from seeing an exclusive celestial ballet.

Biggest US total solar eclipse in decades happens next year

Think the world is on fire? Obama’s national security adviser says things are better than ever. – Vox

Between ISIS attacks, Russian aggression in Syria and Ukraine, and Brexit, it can feel a lot like the world has been falling apart these past few years.

So it’s surprising — and perhaps a little disconcerting — to learn that Susan Rice, President Barack Obama’s national security adviser, is actually optimistic about the state of the world right now.

“This is a much more hopeful and positive period in history than we have seen certainly in our lifetimes,” she told me in early August when I sat down with her in the White House to talk about the Obama administration’s foreign policy. “I tell my kids this: that they couldn’t be luckier to be living in this world at this time.”

Think the world is on fire? Obama’s national security adviser says things are better than ever. – Vox

The Obama administration is delusional and out of touch. And of course it is preparing for exactly nothing. Why should it? Apparently, everything is just fine.

I guess dumping the New START treaty and Russian overflights, and starting a new massive nuclear weapons build-up is out of the question, no?