PLA’s new Strategic Support Force remains an enigma

A visitor watches a video of President Xi Jinping talking at an exhibition in Beijing about China’s military achievements, on October 10, 2017. Photo: Reuters / Jason Lee

 

Two years after the People’s Liberation Army created a new Strategic Support Force, a combined cyber and space warfare and military spy service, details about the force’s structure and mission remain wrapped in mystery.

As with most of China’s advanced arms programs and warfighting capabilities, the Strategic Support Force (SSF) remains a closely guarded secret. But the fact that China’s leaders have combined four or five military departments into a service on a par with its army, air force and navy in terms of stature highlights the importance the Chinese have placed on non-kinetic forms of warfare. Continue reading

While world watches North Korea, China builds in the South China Sea

Airstrips and military facilities on China’s Subi Reef as seen from a Philippine military transport plane on April 21, 2017. China has renewed its militarization efforts in the South China Sea while attention has been focused on North Korea. (Bullit Marquez/AP/File)

 

While the world has turned its focus to North Korea, satellite images show new Chinese high-frequency radar facilities on its controversial man-made outposts in the Spratly and Parcel Islands. China has been pressured to halt its militarization of the contested land.

While attention in Asia has been distracted by the North Korean nuclear crisis in the past year, China has continued to install high-frequency radar and other facilities that can be used for military purposes on its man-made islands in the South China Sea, a US think-tank said on Thursday. Continue reading

Area 45: China’s Maritime Silk Road And American Naval Readiness, Featuring Admiral Gary Roughead

 

As the US Navy carries out high-profile missions in the Persian Gulf and off the Korean coast, China’s navy quietly continues its expansion: a maritime silk road stretching across the Indian Ocean to the Gulf of Aden. Admiral Gary Roughead, former US Navy chief of naval operations and Hoover’s Robert and Marion Oster Distinguished Military Fellow, discusses the stakes in the Middle East and Indo-Pacific theatres and assesses the US Navy’s current operational, maintenance, and shipbuilding needs.  Continue reading

World War 3: Taiwan ‘ready for war’ with China after quick military response to threats

World-War-3-China-Taiwan

Chinese jets carried out “island encirclement patrols” around Taiwan

 

TAIWAN is “confident” in its defences and responded quickly to Chinese air force “island encirclement” drills, the self-ruled island’s government said.

On Monday, Chinese jets carried out “island encirclement patrols” around Taiwan, with state media showing pictures of bombers armed with cruise missiles.

Taiwan presidential spokesman Alex Huang said the defence ministry kept a close watch on the patrols and responded immediately and properly. Continue reading

Chinese Diplomat: China Will Open Fire On Taiwan If A US Warship Ever Docks There

Soldiers of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy patrol at Woody Island, in the Paracel Archipelago, which is known in China as the Xisha Islands, January 29, 2016. The words on the rock read, “Xisha Old Dragon”. Old Dragon is the local name of a pile of rocks near Woody Island. Picture taken January 29, 2016. REUTERS/Stringer.

 

The day an American warship makes a port call in Taiwan will be the day the Chinese military launches an all-out assault against the island, a Chinese diplomat in the U.S. warned Friday. The senior official’s “words have sent a warning to Taiwan and drew a clear red line,” China’s nationalist tabloid Global Times asserted Monday.

“The day that a U.S. Navy vessel arrives in Kaohsiung, is the day that our People’s Liberation Army unites Taiwan with military force,” Li Kexin, the minister at the Chinese Embassy in Washington, said at an embassy event, Taiwan media reports. Continue reading

John Lehman: China, Russia, Iran threaten ‘New Pearl Harbor’

John F. Lehman. Photo: US Naval War College

John F. Lehman. Photo: US Naval War College

 

The former US Navy Secretary insists that the main weakness in Navy preparedness is a painfully slow weapons procurement system

Former US Navy Secretary John F. Lehman has warned in an exclusive interview with Asia Times that the US faces the danger of a “New Pearl Harbor from growing cooperation between China, Russia and Iran that is marked by increased military and technology sharing.

“China, Russia and Iran are doing joint naval exercises and they are sharing anti-aircraft and antisubmarine technology,” Lehman said. “They don’t have to be allies. They figure if they carry out their designs in co-ordinated fashion that this will stretch the US so thin that we can’t deal with it — and that is the worry right now.Continue reading

U.S. Carrier Strike Groups Locations Map – October 9, 2017

Click to see the full-size map

 

This is the newst update of the ‘U.S. Carrier Strike Groups Locations Map’ exclusive series showing the approximate locations of U.S. Carrier Strike Groups on a weekly basis. SouthFront: Analysis & Intelligence tracks locations of U.S. aircraft carriers using the available open-source information. No classified information was used in production of the map. Continue reading

The Rise of China as a Superpower

Shanghai, China (ISTOCK.COM/LIUFUYU)

 

 

It is one of the most impressive economic and political miracles in modern times. And it isn’t over yet.

China is a sovereign state with a population of over 1.3 billion people. The nation possesses the world’s largest economy by some measurements, the world’s largest population and the fourth-largest territory.

These are the building blocks of a superpower. While the world anticipates China gaining superpower status, analysts debate over when and whether its rise will be peaceful.

The Trumpet forecasts that China will continue to grow as a formidable power, combining its strength with Russia. Further, we forecast that it will play a major role in waging economic war that will devastate America.

Where do these forecasts come from? Continue reading

If We Can Track U.S. Ships Online So Can China

If We Can Track U.S. Ships Online So Can China

A Twitter user believed he had discovered the location of the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier due to new orders that require it to transmit its automatic identification system when in heavy traffic.

 

 

Now that U.S. naval vessels have been required to turn on their navigational beacons in crowded waters, online Navy enthusiasts believe they are tracking those ships’ movements. Continue reading

China’s Secret Military Plan: Invade Taiwan by 2020

If you’ve been a close observer of China for the last few years, you would’ve come to realize that a Chinese invasion of Taiwan isn’t only about Taiwan, but war with America. It’s also summarized in a quote on the Global Geopolitics quotes page. When it comes to war with Taiwan, there is no pre-set or definitive date. Wars are based on specific conditions being met that minimize damage against the attacker and maximize it against the defender. Unpredictability and ability to sustain are other keys.

“The central committee believes, as long as we resolve the United States problem at one blow, our domestic problems will all be readily solved. Therefore, our military battle preparation appears to aim at Taiwan, but in fact is aimed at the United States, and the preparation is far beyond the scope of attacking aircraft carriers or satellites.”

– Chi Haotian, Minster of Defense and vice-chairman of China’s Central Military Commission

 

 

Book based on internal documents says Beijing’s invasion plan would trigger U.S.-China conflict

China has drawn up secret military plans to take over the island of Taiwan by 2020, an action that would likely lead to a larger U.S.-China conventional or nuclear war, according to newly-disclosed internal Chinese military documents.

The secret war plan drawn up by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the Chinese Communist Party’s armed forces, calls for massive missile attacks on the island, along with a naval and air blockade that is followed by amphibious beach landing assaults using up to 400,000 troops.

The plans and operations are outlined in a new book published this week, The Chinese Invasion Threat by Ian Easton, a China affairs analyst with the Project 2049 Institute, a think tank. Continue reading

U.S. Navy Launches First-Ever Submarine Drone Squadron

USS Nimitz, USS Kitty Hawk, and USS John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Groups transit in formation during a joint photo exercise / Getty Images

 

The U.S. Navy launched its first-ever underwater drone squadron on Wednesday, demonstrating the growing role of unmanned craft as a vital component of the military. Continue reading

The Future the US Military is Constructing: a Giant, Armed Nervous System

Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. John Richardson, gives a keynote address during the Naval Future Force Science and Technology (S&T) Expo, July 21, 2017. This is a slide from his presentation.

 

Service chiefs are converging on a single strategy for military dominance: connect everything to everything.

Leaders of the Air Force, Navy, Army and Marines are converging on a vision of the future military: connecting every asset on the global battlefield.

That means everything from F-35 jets overhead to the destroyers on the sea to the armor of the tanks crawling over the land to the multiplying devices in every troops’ pockets. Every weapon, vehicle, and device connected, sharing data, constantly aware of the presence and state of every other node in a truly global network. The effect: an unimaginably large cephapoloidal nervous system armed with the world’s most sophisticated weaponry.

Continue reading

Theory: China’s Secretly Prepping for War in the South China Sea

Chinese leader Mao Zedong, 1963.

 

Should a U.S.-China war break out in the South China Sea, Beijing will rely on an old Mao-era military tactic in its efforts to vanquish the United States.

The likelihood of such a conflict increases by the day…

That’s because the United States continues to exert its military presence in the trade- and resource-rich South China Sea, despite China’s insistence that nearly the entirety of the valuable maritime region belongs to it. China’s claims, as a matter of fact, clash with those of six other nearby nations, such as Vietnam and Taiwan. Continue reading

U.S. Navy Investigating If Destroyer Crash Was Caused by Cyberattack

 

The military is examining whether compromised computer systems were responsible for one of two U.S. Navy destroyer collisions with merchant vessels that occurred in recent months, Vice Admiral Jan Tighe, the deputy chief of naval operations for information warfare, said on Thursday.

Naval investigators are scrambling to determine the causes of the mishaps, including whether hackers infiltrated the computer systems of the USS John S. McCain ahead of the collision on Aug. 21, Tighe said during an appearance at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.   Continue reading

Adrift and Unready for War: Crisis in the U.S. Seventh Fleet

Photo credit: U.S. Navy Pacific Fleet/Aircrewman Tactical Helicopter 3rd Class Geoffrey Trudell

 

The United States Navy’s Seventh Fleet is entering a tough period of scrutiny following two high profile and deadly warship collisions, a vessel running aground, and a less publicized collision all within a year. Despite this unfortunate recent publicity, this is not a new state of affairs. WESTPAC has long served as the tip of the spear for the U.S’ warfighting readiness, and they have also been plagued with a history of avoidable errors. As the Asia-Pacific region remains a major center of geopolitical tension for the U.S, the Navy must solve these issues or find itself facing real crises with significantly degraded capacity.

While Seventh Fleet has found itself the focus of intense criticism in recent months, the reality is that the root causes for these incidents stem from three separate areas; Training, Operations, and Culture. Continue reading