What's the next war look like?

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SoonerP226

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China and Russia are both working to set up new trading partners in Africa and Asia so they are not dependent on the US for trade.
The problem with this is that they still rely on the US for trade, even if they're not trading directly with us--the thing that keeps the trade routes open is the US Navy, which is really the only navy that's capable of projecting power on the global stage. The US is already pulling back; if they pull back farther to fight a naval war with China, it seems likely that you'll see global trade collapse as piracy ramps up in the power vacuum.
 
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RickN

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The problem with this is that they still rely on the US for trade, even if they're not trading directly with us--the thing that keeps the trade routes open is the US Navy, which is really the only navy that's capable of projecting power on the global stage. The US is already pulling back; if they pull back farther to fight a naval war with China, it seems likely that you'll see global trade collapse as piracy ramps up in the power vacuum.
You would be correct, if the other nations were not stepping up to help fill the gap we are already leaving. The US is still powerful, but nowhere near what we were.

Oh and the real number of manned combat aircraft the Air Force has is a little over 2000. Add in a few hundred armed drones. The Navy and Marines have smaller numbers.
 
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dennishoddy

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The next war will be who can jam the other sides electronics effectively.
I’m reading that Russia Is jamming some of the sofisticated US supplied weapons pretty effectively. Is that true? With all the propaganda coming from that region, who knows.
 

HoLeChit

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The next war will be who can jam the other sides electronics effectively.
I’m reading that Russia Is jamming some of the sofisticated US supplied weapons pretty effectively. Is that true? With all the propaganda coming from that region, who knows.
Just a quick google search shows that they’re jamming US supplied JDAMs, Drones, and HIMARS systems. Also there’s reports of F22’s, F35s, and AC-130’s of different generations dealing with getting jammed.
 

Raido Free America

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I think WW3 already happened, and we were not allowed to notice it! It was called the 2020 Presidential Election, but in fact was a political coup, planned, directed, and orchestrated by Communist Chinese Military Intelligence!! They have been gaining control of our news, and entertainment, media, OWNING a controlling interest in all entertainment, and news media Corporations, that control everything we are allowed to think, using Bio Warfare, the FEAR OF COVID, to control the masses, and change the voting rules, the Jan 6th INSURRECTION, and FEAR OF THE POLICE STATE, to intimidate everyone, and to stop all discussion, or protest, of a rigged elections! Razor wire and heavily armed military around OUR, US Capital Building????? Russia, North Korea, and Communist China don't even do that!! ARRESTING ANY, AND ALL POLITICAL OPPOSITION?? RE-EDUCATION CAMPS, (FEDERAL PRISIONS) THAT IS CALLED RULING BY FEAR, AND INTIMIDATION, RIGHT? I HOPE I'M WRONG, WE WILL ALL FIND OUT IN NOVEMBER OF 2024, IF THEY CAN'T TALK US OUT OF PAYING ATTENTION TO WHAT HAPPENS, AGAIN???? OVERWHELM THE NEXT RIGGED ELECTION IF YOU DARE? WEAR YOUR TRUMP BALL CAP IN PUBLIC, IF YOU DARE? GOOD LUCK TO US!!! GO SEE THE MOVIE, " THE SOUND OF FREEDOM!!"" THIS IS PART OF WHAT IS HAPPENING, BY THE POLITICAL ELITE THAT ARE ABOVE THE LAW, AND A VERY SHAMEFUL PART!!
 

Tinytim

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God forbid EBT goes down...

It is also important to remember that our government has created a large subset of the population that is completely dependent. Not only that but they have also been taught that they are entitled to everything you have.
Yep, including my bullets.
I have a friend, going back 35 years, his wife and he were sitting in our living room, the topic of an American invasion or civil war came up.
I’ve been preaching to him for years about being ready…. Small generator, with whatever you need in fuel ( he did buy a cheap 3,500 generator and a five gallon fuel can), he told me he had purchased enough food and water to last a week. He just doesn’t get it.
Anyway, we’re in my living room, he stated that it didn’t matter, as he was bringing his family, I told him as long as he bright enough food, water, propane, firewood to last a year, he would be welcome, he laughed it off, until I got very serious and told him that if can’t be prepared, he would not be welcome, he finely took me serious.
 

Tinytim

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I don't think China has the logistical capability to invade the US in a conventional military way. I know Russia doesn't.

That's not to say one or both of them aren't placing people inside the US...they may be. Even if China did possess the ability to move a few hundred thousand soldiers across the pacific they'd be destroyed long before they got here.

There are far more effective means for the Chinese to fight us. Drawing us into a war over Taiwan would be one. In space would be another. Or maybe a cyber war. These could all have a devastating impact on the country. They'd also face the issue of retaliation and that's a big problem for them. We still have a very

I don’t believe China would try to deliver troops to our shores, at least not in the beginning, China is producing hypersonic weapons, at a far greater pace than the USA, the smart play would be to hit every single source of administrative, major power producers, every dam, railroad, interstate highways, ,naval and airforce base, etc…
Logistics destroyed.
The following info is three years old,
I don’t mind telling you that hypersonic weapons scared the hell out of us, before I retired.

What are hypersonic weapons?


Hypersonic weapons travel faster than Mach 5, or a speed of approximately 1.6 kilometers per second. Many traditional ballistic missiles re-enter the atmosphere at higher speed, but hypersonic boost-glide vehicles and cruise missiles (HGV, HCM) follow less predictable paths and are capable of a high degree of maneuverability before reaching their targets. These attributes make attack warning and assessment more difficult for the defender, posing a challenge to existing air and missile defenses. Hypersonic weapons can also be gun-type systems such as electro-magnetic railguns, but these are outside the scope of this article.

What do we know about China’s program and capabilities?

In its 2020 report on Chinese military power, the Department of Defense (DoD) noted the emphasis Beijing has placed on developing and testing hypersonic glide vehicles. This is one element of a robust missile program that has led to the fielding of numerous medium- and intermediate-range ballistic and cruise missiles in support of China’s regional warfighting capability. The same report noted that in 2019 China launched “…more ballistic missiles for testing and training than the rest of the world combined.” Unconstrained by treaty limits to which the United States adhered for decades, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has fielded a diverse family of missiles that it believes will create operational advantage in a future military confrontation.

As others have noted, hypersonic systems appeared late in this broader missile program, but are now being developed at an aggressive pace, characterized by a large investment in test facilities and engineering expertise and by frequent testing. China has successfully tested the DF-17, a road-mobile medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) designed to launch an HGV. The DF-17 has an assessed range of 1,800-2,500 kilometers. Its accompanying HGV, designated as DF-ZF (previously WU-14), is reported to possess a range of 1,600-2,400 kilometers and can achieve speeds of Mach 5 – Mach 10 with high degrees of maneuverability and accuracy. Some reports suggest that China is also considering deploying HGVs on DF-21 and DF-26 theater-range ballistic missiles.

China reportedly conducted successful tests of the Starry Sky-2 (Xingkong-2) hypersonic cruise missile in 2018. This system, believed to have a range of 700-800km and a top speed of Mach 6, appears to make use of an experimental “waverider” design that uses powered flight after launch and creates shockwaves to sustain its lift. In its test phase, the Starry Sky-2 vehicle was sent into space by a multi-stage rocket before separating from its booster for maneuvered flight back to Earth. Some analysts have suggested that this technology could emerge in the mid-2020s as an advanced anti-ship missile.

Little is known about other developmental programs for hypersonic vehicles, but China’s ambitious test program points to the PLA’s intent to field additional capabilities with varied aerodynamic attributes. As an example, in 2015 China reportedly successfully tested a hypersonic unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), presumably as a future intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) platform. Whether this emerging family of hypersonic vehicles will perform “as advertised” by Chinese government agencies remains to be seen. Arguments that characterize these developments as inherently “game changing” should be assessed cautiously.

What role will hypersonic weapons play?

Regional warfighting. China’s current emphasis appears to be developing and fielding conventionally-armed hypersonic vehicles that can support regional warfighting. This represents a natural evolution of China’s investment in conventional precision strike capabilities dating back to lessons learned from the first Gulf War and the Taiwan Strait Crisis of 1996. While the emergence of hypersonic systems does not alter China’s basic approach to key warfighting tasks, these capabilities will provide enhanced options to rapidly target United States air, land, and naval forces in the Indo-Pacific. The goal would be to impede these forces as they seek to project power and maneuver to block a Chinese military campaign focused on achieving a quick victory or fait accompli.

In support of a counter-intervention objective designed to raise costs for the United States or a US-led coalition, hypersonic systems would be part of the PLA’s broader array of capabilities described by the DoD as “anti-access/area denial (A2AD)” – which include, among other systems, integrated air and maritime defenses and a variety of ballistic and cruise missiles configured for tailored strike missions. While China’s traditional ballistic and cruise missiles would have to contend with US regional missile defenses, US theater forces today and in the near-term have no or limited capability to actively defend against hypersonic vehicles, according to US senior military leaders. Of course, as the United States begins to field its own hypersonic missiles, China’s systems will become more vulnerable to rapid US attack.

Strategic Deterrence. There has been some speculation that China could deploy a hyperglide vehicle with a nuclear payload on its newest intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the DF-41. Were it to do so, this would be a clear indication that China sees hypersonic technology as important to ensure the credibility of its strategic nuclear deterrent by providing the means to overcome US homeland missile defenses. While these defenses today are neither intended nor configured to defeat a large-scale Chinese nuclear missile strike, China could be sufficiently concerned about a possible US “breakout” in missile defenses to warrant developing this hypersonic option for its strategic arsenal. This would parallel Russia’s recent fielding of the Avangard HGV atop an ICBM for this purpose. One analyst notes that a survey of Chinese technical studies on hypersonic systems reveals that roughly one quarter are focused on defeating US missile defenses, while roughly one half concentrate on the development of long-range platforms. This suggests the need to consider Chinese hypersonic capabilities beyond the use of conventional payloads to support regional warfighting.

Another possibility posited by students of Chinese strategic forces is the deployment of a nuclear-armed HGV on China’s JL-2 submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM). These missiles have insufficient range today to pose a risk to most of the continental United States because the submarines on which they are deployed operate on patrol in an area (South China Sea) that maximizes their survivability. Theoretically, a nuclear-armed HGV atop these missiles would expand their range and, presumably, their deterrent effectiveness. This would present significant technical challenges and difficult tradeoffs. But as some analysts have noted, the technical direction of China’s HGV program may support consideration of this option at some point.

Conventional Prompt Global Strike. Some experts also project that over time, China is likely to field conventionally-armed hypersonic vehicles with sufficient range to reach the United States in order to hold at risk key US military assets, critical infrastructure, and other high value targets. Beyond posing a coercive threat to the United States, China’s military leaders may see conventionally-armed HGVs as important to developing a global power projectioncapability.

What issues are raised by an emerging China-US competition in hypersonic weapons?

If China and the United States are entering what some analysts believe will be an “intense offense-defense competition” in hypersonic systems, a number of questions arise. At the strategic level, stability implications depend on the choices made by Beijing and Washington. If China fields a modest number of nuclear-armed HGVs on long-range missiles to bolster confidence in its ability to deliver a retaliatory strike in the face of US missile defenses, this should not significantly alter the current bilateral strategic balance. An obvious question for the future is how this status quo could change if the United States is successful in developing an active defense capabilityagainst such platforms. How might China respond and with what impact on nuclear stability?

More challenging from the US vantage might be a decision by China to field a force of conventionally-armed intercontinental-range hypersonic missiles. Analysts have noted that HGVs for prompt global precision strike could threaten key strategic assets such as homeland missile defense sites and overall provide China with a more flexible deterrence capability. Here the key question is: could this become an effective cost-imposing strategy for China, and how would the United States react to the emergence of such a capability?

Similar dynamics could play out at the regional level, where significant US deployments of theater-range hypersonic systems could begin to impose large costs on the PLA as it works to adapt its integrated air defense systems to a new class of threat. Conceivably, these costs China could divert resources from other capability investments and thereby help the United States maintain an overall favorable balance of power in the region.

But beyond what are likely to be competing cost-imposition strategies lie deeper risks for nuclear stability in the context of regional warfighting. Large inventories of hypersonic vehicles on each side capable of inflicting high levels of damage against critical assets early in a conflict conceivably could offset one another. But just as likely is that one side will achieve an operational advantage that creates pressures to escalate the conflict, including to the possible use of nuclear weapons on a limited scale. To the degree both sides see hypersonic weapons as enabling doctrines of surprise, shock, and seizing the initiative, the widespread use of these systems could create escalation risks even in a war being waged over ostensibly limited political objectives.

The DoD must consider these risks as it develops operational concepts for emerging hypersonic systems and defines its broader joint warfighting concept for China. Research agendas, wargames and exercises, and net assessments must also devote attention to the ways in which hypersonic warfare could shape not only the balance of power in East Asia, but the dynamics of deterrence and escalation, as well.

Paul Bernstein is Distinguished Fellow and Dain Hancock is Policy Fellow at the Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction, National Defense University, Washington, DC. The views expressed here are those of the authors and are not an official policy or position of the National Defense University, the Department of Defense, or the US Government.
military.

Another big problem for China in a war with the US would be $$. Their largest customer for all their products would disappear and so would others. We'd also likely cancel their debt, too.

A conventional invasion ain't gonna happen. Not for another 20 or 30 years, anyway. Plus, we're actually being quite successful at destroying the country from within. If China was smart they'd just sit back and watch and contribute to that where they can. At any rate, I'm hopeful we'll have our s**t together before too long and get the country back on the right track. Then again, I'll be long gone by that time, so....
 
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OK Corgi Rancher

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I'm not sure who you were trying to quote but that wasn't me.

Russian hypersonic missiles are proving to have a far more powerful bark than they do bite. I'm curious if China's are any more effective. Patriot batteries have been able to take down several. I've read that Putin is more than a little miffed over that.

I don't really care much about what Russia and Ukraine do with each other. I'm just tired of supporting it with American tax dollars (in cash or equipment). Frankly, I'm OK with Ukraine destroying as much of the Russian military as they can. It's gonna take Russia a long time to come back from this.

I remember the Cold War days when I was in Japan. We were fed all the propaganda about how formidable Russia was. I always felt like they weren't nearly as strong as they were being portrayed by the politicians just based on information I was privy to in the AF. When Viktor Belenko defected and wrote his book it pretty much confirmed what I suspected. Russia was more like a fussy little cub instead of a vicious bear. That's not to say they don't have capabilities...I just don't think they're as capable as a lot of people think.
 

dennishoddy

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I'm not sure who you were trying to quote but that wasn't me.

Russian hypersonic missiles are proving to have a far more powerful bark than they do bite. I'm curious if China's are any more effective. Patriot batteries have been able to take down several. I've read that Putin is more than a little miffed over that.

I don't really care much about what Russia and Ukraine do with each other. I'm just tired of supporting it with American tax dollars (in cash or equipment). Frankly, I'm OK with Ukraine destroying as much of the Russian military as they can. It's gonna take Russia a long time to come back from this.

I remember the Cold War days when I was in Japan. We were fed all the propaganda about how formidable Russia was. I always felt like they weren't nearly as strong as they were being portrayed by the politicians just based on information I was privy to in the AF. When Viktor Belenko defected and wrote his book it pretty much confirmed what I suspected. Russia was more like a fussy little cub instead of a vicious bear. That's not to say they don't have capabilities...I just don't think they're as capable as a lot of people think.
Think I read that same book. Wasn't he a Russian General? If it was the same book, it opened my eyes as well to the capabilities of the USSR which seemed to be lacking at the time which seem to have come true years later with the Ukraine invasion that has stalled and apparently beaten back some. Their technology hasn't kept up with their propaganda.
 

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