The Soviet Military’s Eerily Detailed Guide to San Diego

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During the Cold War, the Soviet military mapped the entire world in one of the most ambitious mapping projects ever undertaken (see this feature article for more about these amazing maps, and the unlikely group of scholars trying to figure out how they were made—and why). The maps are fascinating to look at, and for those of us who grew up during the paranoid days of the Cold War, seeing your hometown covered in cyrillic text is a bit unsettling.

But the Soviets didn’t stop at just making some of the most accurate and detailed maps of the day. Some of the medium scale maps of include extremely detailed descriptions of the area–everything from the load-bearing capacities of bridges to the paving materials of the roads. (Yes, comrade, they will accommodate your tanks!) Continue reading

China pursuing huge South China Sea land reclamation: US

China has dramatically ramped up its land reclamation efforts in the South China Sea this year, building artificial islands at an unprecedented pace to bolster its territorial claims in the disputed area, US officials said Friday.

The rapid construction of artificial islands in the strategic waters comes to 2,000 acres (800 hectares), with 75 percent of the total in the last five months, officials said.

“China has expanded the acreage on the outposts it occupies by some four hundred times,” said a US defense official. Continue reading

Navy Intel Officer Warns of Future China Conflict

Calls for telling the truth about Beijing

HONOLULU—China’s ruling Communist Party is “rejuvenating” and preparing for a military conflict in Asia, the outgoing intelligence chief of the Navy’s Pacific Fleet is warning.

“The strategic trend lines indicate the Communist Party of China is not only ‘rejuvenating’ itself for internal stability purposes, but has been and continues to prepare to use military force,” Navy Capt. James E. Fanell said on Saturday during his retirement speech at Pearl Harbor.

Speaking on a pier across the harbor from the battleship USS Missouri, where Japan’s surrender was signed ending World War II, and near the memorial over the submerged wreckage of the USS Arizona, sunk in 1941 during the Japanese attack, Fanell said he believes Beijing prefers not to use its growing military force for achieving regional dominance. Continue reading

China’s Military Threatens America: ‘We Will Hurt You’

As a reminder and an answer to the previous post about where China is heading with its military modernization and war preparations. Anyone with two braincells remaining in their head can see where this is going and can’t whitewash it away.

 

“Every nation has a right to defend itself and to spend as it sees fit for that purpose, but a gap as wide as what seems to be forming between China’s stated intent and its military programs leaves me more than curious about the end result,” said Admiral Mike Mullen this Wednesday. “Indeed, I have moved from being curious to being genuinely concerned.”

It’s about time the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in public, expressed disquiet about the Chinese military buildup. For decades, American flag officers, many of them from the Navy, have remained optimistic about America’s military relations with China. And after every Chinese hostile act — even those constituting direct attacks on the United States, such as the March 2009 attempt to interfere with the Impeccable in the South China Sea — American admirals have either remained silent or said they were “perplexed” or “befuddled” by Beijing’s intentions.

Senior Chinese officers, on the other hand, have no trouble telling us how they really feel.

In February, Colonel Meng Xianging promised a “hand-to-hand fight with the U.S.” sometime within the next 10 years “when we’re strong enough.” “We must make them hurt,” said Major-General Yang Yi this year, referring to the United States. Continue reading

Report: Chinese Navy’s Fleet Will Outnumber U.S. by 2020

China Sub

 

China has plans to grow its navy to 351 ships by 2020 as the Chinese continue to develop their military’s ability to strike global targets, according to a new report.

The 2014 U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission recommended to Congress the U.S. Navy respond by building more ships and increase its presence in the Pacific region – a strategy they U.S. military has already started. Continue reading

Senior Navy Intelligence Officer Canned by Pentagon for China Comments

Capt. James Fanell was removed from his position as the director of intelligence and information operations at U.S. Pacific Fleet. Fanell was reassigned within the command.

Though neither the Navy nor Fanell commented on the reason for the personnel change, it is widely believed to be due to an internal investigation of his comments on China, according to the report.

Fanell warned during a February public appearance that a recent Chinese amphibious exercise led naval intelligence to assess that China’s strategy was to be able to launch a “short, sharp war” with Japan, an unusually frank assessment about a closely watched region.

Continue reading

China Is Mass-Producing Islands To Extend Its Strategic Borders

A dramatic change is taking place in the South China Sea where, since the beginning of this year, Beijing has created at least five new islands by dredging rock and sand and pumping it into reefs to form new land. By doing so, the Chinese are sending a blunt message to its neighbors and the U.S.: Keep out.

As a BBC News special report notes, China’s island building is aimed at addressing what it views as a serious strategic deficit:

In 2012 the Communist Party reclassified the South China Sea as a “core national interest”, placing it alongside such sensitive issues as Taiwan and Tibet. It means China is prepared to fight to defend it.

This is confirmed by Prof Yan Xuetong of Beijing’s Tsinghua University— a pro-government academic well known for presenting the Communist Party’s view to the outside world.

Continue reading

Chinese spy ship arrives at giant U.S.-led naval exercise off the coast of Hawaii

A giant U.S.-led naval exercise with 22 nations from around the world got an unexpected visitor on Sunday — a Chinese spy ship perched in international waters.

The 24th Rim of the Pacific exercises (RIMPAC) in and around the Hawaiian Islands features more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel. China is part of a host of nations taking part, which also includes Australia, Canada, France, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of the Philippines, the United Kingdom and others. Continue reading

China Challenges Obama’s Asia Pivot With Rapid Military Buildup

“There are growing concerns about what China is up to in the maritime space,” said Bonnie Glaser, a China expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “There’s a widely held view in the region that the U.S.-China relationship is tipping toward being much more confrontational.”

Obama arrives today in Japan, the start of a weeklong [sic] journey that also will take him to South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines. On display throughout will be the challenge of managing the uneasy relationship with China, the U.S.’s No. 2 trading partner and an emerging rival for global influence. Continue reading

Navy Official: China Training for ‘Short Sharp War’ with Japan

China has long trained for an amphibious invasion of Taiwan during military exercises but has expanded its training to include a similar attack on Japanese holdings in the East China Sea, according the chief of intelligence of the U.S. Pacific Fleet (PACFLEET).

As part of China’s Mission Action 2013 exercise — a massive exercise between the all branches of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) — the military trained for taking the Senkaku Islands, said Capt. James Fannell, deputy chief of staff intelligence and information operations for PACFLEET.

View China’s Training Plan in a larger map Continue reading

Second-in-command of the country’s nuclear arsenal is suspended as he is investigated for GAMBLING

This is one of many in key positions of the U.S. Military that are mysteriously being taken down. Either way, it’s the weekend and we have the NFL to watch on Sunday, so who cares?

The following two articles (among a host of others that can be found through a simple search) expand on this:

The No. 2 officer at the military command in charge of all U.S. nuclear war-fighting forces has been suspended and is under investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigation Command for issues related to gambling, officials said Saturday.

The highly unusual action against a high-ranking officer at U.S. Strategic Command was made more than three weeks ago but not publicly announced.

Air Force Gen. Robert Kehler, the commander of Strategic Command, suspended the deputy commander, Navy Vice Adm. Tim Giardina, from his duties on Sept. 3.  Continue reading

U.S. Pacific Pivot Raises Concerns On NATO Naval Abilities: Report

The U.S. is refocusing its attention on the Pacific at a time when its NATO partners may need to depend more heavily on American maritime power, an American Enterprise Institute report says.

“The US must recognize that even with its navy declining in size, over time, it will comprise an increasing percentage of alliance striking power,” says the report, “NATO at Sea, Trends in Allied Naval Power,” released this week. Continue reading

Inside the Ring: Blunt warning on China

A senior Navy intelligence official issued a blunt warning last week that China’s growing “hegemonistic” threat to security is destabilizing the Asia-Pacific region.

“Make no mistake, the [Chinese] navy is focused on war at sea and about sinking an opposing fleet,” said Capt. James Fanell, deputy chief of staff for intelligence and information operations at the U.S. Pacific Fleet, at a defense conference in San Diego on Jan. 31. Continue reading

Military Readiness at a Tipping Point

“The readiness of our Armed Forces is at a tipping point.”

That’s how General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, began a letter to the Senate Armed Services Committee while discussing the Department of Defense’s (DOD) budget woes.

What effect this will have on specific military programs remains unclear. However, the DOD already has countless readiness concerns to show for years of underfunded modernization efforts. “Not enough people, not enough parts, not enough training, not enough everything,”lamented Vice Admiral Thomas Copeman, commander of naval surface forces for the U.S. Pacific Fleet. He put the equation thusly: “[Operational] tempos have increased, resources have gone down.” This conundrum occurred before sequestration has taken effect, it is worth noting. Continue reading