On several defense issues

On Christmas Day, John Pomfret wrote a ridiculous article understating Chinese military capabilities.

In that article, Pomfret claimed, inter alia, that:

1) China has only 63 submarines. This is obvious incorrect; as stated on my blog, China has at least 71 submarines as of December 2010, and is building subs faster than the US is. It has been estimated that it has at least 2 Shang class submarines; if it has more than 2, it has more than 71 submarines of all classes. 71 boats is also the number of subs owned by the USN. Wikipedia’s numbers suggest that, depending on how many Romeo/Ming class subs the PLAN has, it has a total of 67-75 submarines (23-31 Romeo/Ming class boats, 5 Han class subs, 2 Shang class subs, 1 Xia class sub, 1 Golf class sub, 5 Jin class subs, plus dozens of Song class, Yuan class and Kilo class boats). Wikipedia’s total estimate is 63, but it is incorrect according to Wikipedia’s own numbers. The PLAN has no fewer than 67 subs if it has 23 Romeo/Ming class subs.

2) That Jin class are noisier than Soviet submarines produced 30 years ago and would be detected as soon as they’d leave their homeport. How exactly would they be detected? Their homeport (the Sanya submarine base) is underground; these subs are underwater as soon as they leave their homeport. How the hell is the USN going to detect them? Remember, this is the same navy that can’t even detect a Song class submarine.

3) That China doesn’t yet have anti-ship BMs and is unlikely to acquire them in at least a decade. Again, flat wrong. China ALREADY POSSESSES DF-21 ASBMs, which, as stated by multiple sources, CAN sink American warships, including aircraft carriers. Exemplary source: http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=40850

4) That DF-21 ASBMs can’t hit the USN’s carriers because, as soon as they’d be launched, they’d be detected and the carriers would get enough time to move away from the targeted place. Oh yeah, as if a huge, 100,000-ton carrier could get away from such a place quickly enough. And that is of course assuming that the Chinese wouldn’t blind these satellites (or shoot them down) first. If Robert Gates, a man who frequently understates the Chinese threat, admits that Chinese ASBMs seriously threaten the USN, then it must be true.

I do not intend to refute all of the lies stated by Pomfret in his article. The above examples, however, are illustrative of what an “expert” on defense issues he is.

Meanwhile, The Diplomat’s Robert Dreyfuss has slammed John McCain and other supposedly “extremely bellicose neocons”, including AEI and HF experts, for the suggestion that the US should establish an alliance with India and include it in the “neocon” plan of a “Great Wall against China” (i.e. a grand alliance against an aggressive, belligerent, expansionist China). (http://the-diplomat.com/2010/11/19/india-eyed-for-us-great-wall-plan/2/)

He portrayed them as belligerent neocon aggressors conspiring to attack China, and claimed that such an alliance would be against the interests of the US and India. (He probably believes that America’s interests would be best served by appeasing China.)

China is the biggest threat the US is facing right now. Bigger than the Islamist threat, the Iranian threat, Russia, you name it. It is a country hostile to the US. It’s the most dangerous military threat the US is facing right now. It is therefore necessary to construct a broad alliance linking the US to all Asian countries which consider themselves threatened by China and would like to stand with the US against that communist juggernaut.

Also, yesterday, HumanEvents.com reported that

“The Associated Press reports that China has achieved “initial operational capability” on the Dong Feng 21D missile system – a weapon that could be launched from shore, to take out large, slow-moving ships.  Either they’re planning to take out Hugh Hefner’s yacht during his honeymoon, or they’re developing the capability to destroy aircraft carriers. 

(Congrats to the 84-year-old Hefner and his blushing 24-year-old bride, by the way.  It’s wonderful when a man can marry a woman who was born after he started collecting Social Security.  Take that, actuarial tables!)” (http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=40850)



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