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Posts Tagged ‘AUKUSA

“There is providence that protects idiots, drunkards, children, and the United States of America”

That famous quote is from the creator of the German nation, Bismarck, and it was uttered back in the 19th century.

Since then there have been more than a few situations which have proved that the USA does seem like a lucky country.

The disasters that have hit the nation in the last twenty years, starting with the 9/11 attacks, passing through the GFC and now the Covid mess, have certainly been damaging to the fabric of America. But perhaps worse has been the incredible decline in the quality of education at all levels, with the metastatic spread of hideous ideas like Critical Theory (and all it’s mutations) into the non-academic world: even sport has been politicised as the 1960’s Counter Culture New Left’s motto of “everything is political” has become an everyday truth.

As Abraham Lincoln once opined:

“From whence shall we expect the approach of danger? Shall some trans-Atlantic military giant step the earth and crush us at a blow? Never. All the armies of Europe and Asia…could not by force take a drink from the Ohio River or make a track on the Blue Ridge in the trial of a thousand years.

No, if destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of free men we will live forever or die by suicide.”

Leaving aside that last point for another post and looking instead at the “approach of danger” from the outside world the obvious threat is the rising power of China. A decade ago it was an economic threat, but China’s behaviour in the last few years has turned it into a geo-political / military one. There has also been increased trumpeting by the Chinese themselves about “The Chinese 21st Century” and so forth. Clearly they’re feeling their oats.

This feeling in China was much bolstered by Biden’s recent rout in Afghanistan. Former WSJ Brett Stephens (and committed Never-Trumper) summed it up well in a superb essay, The Post-Pax-Americana World:

Our incompetence matched our fecklessness, and our fecklessness matched our untrustworthiness. To say this is how great powers fall would be an insult to the great powers of the past, which fell under greater strain, for weightier reasons

First, our Afghan fiasco is forcing traditional American allies to reassess the wisdom of their reliance on Washington. This is not just a matter of our tattered credibility (more about which below). It’s also one of capability and competence. It’s difficult to think of any aspect of the Afghan withdrawal, beginning with Biden’s judgment, predictions, and execution, that might inspire a geopolitical opponent to respect, much less fear, the American president as a canny global statesman.

Second, the fiasco is an invitation to our adversaries to view the remainder of the Biden administration as neither a nuisance nor a threat, but rather as a possibly unique three-year window of strategic opportunity. . . .

The real goal is to dislodge America, firmly and for good, as the dominant power in global affairs.

Others were more harsh, with Mark Steyn headlining one column as Dead Superpower Walking. Again, there are internal US issues that may play a larger role than the foreign policy issues that Stephens and others are writing about.

Even before recent events the USA had – typical of its history – been slow to respond to China. President Obama talked of a “pivot” to the Pacific but it never amounted to much. President Trump went active on things like military posture and readiness with a peer in mind, plus pressure on economic, diplomatic and other pressure points:

In late 2020, then-President Donald Trump signed a law that bans the trading of securities in foreign companies whose audit working papers can’t be inspected by U.S. regulators for three years in a row. 

U.S. securities regulators have started a countdown that will force many Chinese companies to leave American stock exchanges, after a long impasse between Washington and Beijing over access to the companies’ audit records.

The action will accelerate the decoupling of the world’s two largest economies and affect investors that own securities in more than 200 U.S.-listed Chinese companies with a combined market value of roughly $2 trillion.

Under President Biden there has been the dramatic announcement of the new AUKUS pact, complete with Australia getting nuclear submarines as part of the deal.

But there have also been a series of recent events inside China that give hope to those of us who prefer a Pax Americana in the 21st century, and unlike the hopes and dreams of the last thirty years, these changes have decidedly not been in a more liberal direction. It began with large companies and their CEO’s:

With market-trembling new rules and investigations, Beijing’s crackdown on its most prominent companies has seeped into nearly every aspect of modern life, wiping billions of dollars from Chinese and Hong Kong-listed stocks and bamboozling investment sages.

From after-school tutoring to music streaming apps, and shopping to bike-sharing, stellar firms have been hit as Beijing tightens the leash on corporations, citing national security and antitrust concerns.

In 2020 Jake Ma, the founder and multi-billionaire founder of online trading giant Alibaba, was basically sent to a golfing gulag, forced out of public life. At the same time the CCP suspended the blockbuster IPO of China’s Ant Group ($36 billion wiped). But this has also begun to spread into other aspects of Chinese life, with the once famous actress Zhao Wei (also a director and billionaire businesswoman) basically wiped from the Chinese Internet, just one of a number of crackdowns to bring the entertainment industry in check and curb the influence of celebrities and the ‘fandom culture’”.

But it was this news reported by the China Media Project (H/T Instapundit), that really caught my attention. A random Red Chinese blogging peon, Li Guangman, put up his reaction to all this:

This change will wash away all the dust, and the capital market will no longer be a paradise for capitalists to grow rich overnight,” he writes. “The cultural market will no longer be a paradise for effeminate stars, and the press will no longer be a place for the worship of Western culture.” The author’s next line reeks of Maoist nostalgia: “The red has returned, the heroes have returned, and the grit and valor have returned.”

Well big whoop you might say. In itself, the “intellectual” orgasms of an obscure Maoist diehard blogger mean nothing more than a blazing-eyed Chris Trotter eruption or a over-vigorous Martyn Bradbury wank here in NZ. Even in China, a Maoist dickhead like Li is in the minority. We’ve got them here in the West as well.

What does mean something is how the Xi regime reacted to this little blog, which suddenly went viral:

But this post, though attributed to Li’s own public account, “Li Guangman Freezing Point Commentary”, was shared on the websites of eight major Party-state media on August 29, and on scores of commercial sites, all with the same headline: “Everyone Can Sense That a Profound Change is Underway!”

In the social media comment sections this week, the concern has been palpable. “A movement has begun,” one user commented underneath a Weibo post on the Li Guangman article. “They’re blowing a wind to see what fish they can stir up,” said another. A third comment was more portentous: “History is being repeated,” it said

It certainly is. One of the critical triggers of Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution was the publication of dazibao (“big character poster”) on May 25, 1966, by Nie Yuanzi, a student at Beijing University. The poster denounced professors, administrators and others for their supposed embrace of Western bourgeois values and lack of revolutionary spirit. The actual revolution was started by Mao just three months later.

The last few years of Xi Jinping’s rule have shown increasingly Maoist tendencies across a range of areas, of which all this is merely the latest. Welcome to Xi’s Cultural Revolution 2.0.

Now – Thucydides Trap’s aside – this is actually good news for the USA and the West in general. If the Chinese Communist imbeciles want to reverse the flow of history back to the good old days of Mao, that actually means a reversal of prosperity and eventually economic power, followed by military power. Not to mention the loss of free-thinking minds in all areas of Chinese life, which may result in a military that looks a lot like the Japanese circa 1931-1945; powerful, dangerous, but ultimately doomed.

America may once again luck out, thanks – once again – to the fanatical stupidity of its enemies.

Written by Tom Hunter

October 3, 2021 at 1:24 pm

Generational Toxicity

Over on the Bowalley Road blog Chris Trotter has really been letting the words flow wildly in relation to the news of the AUKUS pact that has been announced, with two articles in one week on the subject.

They’re the usual combination of themes one would expect from his Lefty age group: pro-China, anti-US, anti-nuclear, fears of a new Cold War, fears of NZ getting sucked back into another “Anglo Saxon Imperialist” world and so forth.

But it was actually this passage that intrigued me:

It is also quite possible that, by 2023, the United States will be embroiled in domestic strife bordering on civil-war. 

Followed by a lot of ignorant guff about the USA and the Republican Party. Now I’m not averse to the arguments about a possible second Civil War in the USA: it’s increasingly being discussed in non-fringe circles on both the American Left and Right. Even in popular culture I saw the “comedian” Sarah Silverman talking the other day about the nation splitting up because Democrat and Republican voters increasingly cannot stand dealing with eachother.

But there’s another aspect of this that should be taken account of: the growing war between the generations. Specifically between the Baby Boomers and … every other generation: Gen-X, Millennials and Gen-Z. Admittedly this more of a US thing than elsewhere: I don’t think NZ Baby Boomers ever fitted the label of being the “Me Generation” after Tom Wolfe’s famous 1976 article.

I’ve already covered some of this in two posts, Ok Boomer and Hand over the $35 trillion, you old fart, but a recent article by a Baby Boomer in the New York Post should be more of an eye-opener for Boomers, Millennials’ extreme hatred for Baby Boomers is totally unjustified:

Baby boomers who cried “Don’t Trust Anyone Over 30” during the Vietnam War should be scared to death of millennials. Because, at least among the Twitterati, they hate us — they really, really hate us.

Last week I took a beating from younger readers over an essay I wrote lamenting the decline of the “power lunch.” Although it only partly blamed the phenomenon on millennial habits — e.g., preferring avocado and kale to beef and baked potatoes — hundreds of thousands on Twitter either posted or retweeted such insults as “Old man yells at lunch table” (I’m 69), “What’s it like to be an antique?” and “We’re the ones doing the actual lunches while you’re having three-martini lunches.”

Millennials (and to some extent their Gen-X and Gen-Z brethren) hate their elders with a ferocity never before seen in our culture.

Generation gaps will always be with us. Historian Marc Wortman found a generational split over sending young men off to war way back in 1941. But unlike those of us who came of age in the 1960s-early 1970s, who merely disapproved of our elders’ “colonialist” wars and shag rugs, millennials (born between 1980-1994) can’t stand the air we boomers breathe.

Young hippies outdoors.

To some extent? This guy should go to some of the chat areas of Reddit and other non-FaceTwit Social Media.

He’ll quickly discover that Gen-Z are right up there on bringing the hate and Gen-X even more so given their proximity in time. Few things piss off X’rs more than being pegged as Boomers by being born in the 1960’s, as if we remember Woodstock and “Free Love”.

Unfortunately the article then delves into the reasons why and thus demonstrates even more how Boomers just don’t get it.

But if they spent more time studying actual history, which can’t easily be found on iPhones, they’d know that boomers were, and remain, the most socially and environmentally conscious generation America ever has ever known.

FFS. He thinks this is because of Greta Thunderhead and her influence on 16 year olds re Climate Charge.

Oh no, dear fellow, there’s a lot more to it than that. There’s only one sentence where he alludes to just one thing stemming from that wonderful “socially conscious” generation:

Maybe too much so — our universities’ overwhelmingly “progressive” agendas originated in the 1960s and have become more dominant ever since.

That’s because the Boomers who were the radical students of the late 60’s/early 70’s now dominate those universities as professors and administrators, and are hard at work teaching the next generations the same stuff, without any opposing arguments or ideas.

Being “the most socially and environmentally conscious generation America ever has ever known” isn’t an excuse or a defense, it’s an unwitting confession of guilt.

What this guy and the millions of Boomers like him miss is that this shite has now spread into every other part of the USA: the MSM, entertainment, government, bureaucracies and even corporates and the military.

I know of no American member of the younger generations who thinks that Social Security or Medicare/Medicaid will be there for them in their dotage of the late 21st century. Or a military that can actually win a war either. Not to mention housing costs, energy costs, career progression, jobs in general or the chance of getting married and raising a family because it’s so bloody expensive in more ways than just dollars.

What he also misses is that these younger generations, or at least a good chunk of them, might be objecting to having had these institutions trashed by the ideas of a generation that aggressively devalued the traditional things on which they rested, even as there are members of Gen-X/Millennial that have learned from their forebears and joined in with the trashing, as this guy points out:

As a college professor for over 35 years, I’ve gotten to know three generations of students: Gen X (born between 1965 and 1980), the Millennials (1981-1996), and now Gen Z (1997-2012). And because I teach rhetoric, I’ve read thousands of their papers, providing substantial insight into the way they think.

In general, however, I found that Millennials presented unique challenges. They were, as a group, the most entitled, judgmental, and arrogant of all the students I’ve taught, often basing an inflated sense of self-importance on scanty evidence.

Essentially, they are the “participation trophy” generation, the unwitting victims of countless artificial “self-esteem building” experiments by the education establishment, not to mention their own parents.

Ouch. But there is hope:

There is another generation of bright young people — Gen Z — following right on their heels and therein may lie our temporal salvation.

In comparison to their Millennial predecessors, my Gen Z students tend to be more open-minded, more interested in facts and logic, more inclined to question the status quo…

That partially explains the Fuck Joe Biden chants that have swept across college football stadiums in the last few weeks and even spread to the Yankees-Mets game in NYC of all places.

They also take a more nuanced view of history and are inherently distrustful of ideologues on either side. 

Let’s hope so, and that inheritances will add up to avoiding a different type of American Civil War.

Written by Tom Hunter

September 21, 2021 at 1:09 pm

Australian Submarine Strategy

Richard Fernandez is one of the very interesting writers over on the PJ Media site, focusing on matters of foreign policy, military and science in general. He also writes for a number of other publications.

The recent announcement of the AUKUS partnership saw him reaching into the past to grab an article that he wrote in 2013 but never published, Strategy and Submarines. It takes a detailed look not just at what Australia wanted to do with submarines but what they might have to do, as well as the technology itself.

Once the purpose is determined, then the correct tools can be chosen for the job. Thus, every acquisition must be viewed in the context of “what is it for”. Unless the ends are defined, nothing can be said about the proposed means. Buying naval vessels is a means to an end. The determination of ends is usually called strategy.  Unfortunately, the goals of Australian naval strategy are sometimes presented as a laundry list.

He points out that the problem with laundry lists is you cannot tell which is most important. There’s also the fact that global security changed rapidly, as he shows with links to Defence White Papers from 1976 (India, China and Japan pose no future security issue), and 2000 where, in the wake of the collapse of the USSR things looked comfortable and it was possible to imagine that Australia could go it alone.

What to do now (2013):

The choice of ends has a very definite effect upon the means. To defend Australia against powerful opponents “without relying on help from the combat forces of any other country” logically implies the adoption of the naval strategy of the weaker power.

Which is how they ended up with Collins Class submarines and then the deal for the French DIesel-Electric boats. They’re quiet boats but smaller and slower than the American SSN’s, which puts them at odds with the supposed new goals of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN):

But the lack of a definite strategic choice has given the submarine requirements a Jekyll and Hyde character. On the one hand, the conventional Collins-class boats are the stereotypical weapon of the weaker power, the 21st century equivalent of the submarine and naval mine, combining the mobility of a World War II sub with the quietness of a hole in the ocean. On the other hand, many of the envisioned RAN missions implicitly require cooperation with the United States and hence governed by the strategy of the dominant power.

There’s some very interesting stuff on the history of mines and other such “weaker power” stuff, including the WWII aerial mining of Japan which “In terms of damage per unit of cost, surpassed strategic bombing and the United States submarine campaign.” It was called Operation Starvation, which potential horror should be contrasted against military invasions and atomic bombs.

There’s a lot of detailed analysis of Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) submarines which, as good as they can be, run into problems when they are detected, as well as other issues:

AIP units often generate only as much power as a family sedan so that even banks of four produce 300 kw compared to the 30,000 kw of a Virginia class SSN. With that small output, the subs are limited to creeping along at about 2 or 3 knots.

That may be of little consequence in European scenarios, where submarines must only transit a short way to station before turning off their diesels and activating the AIP. But slow speed and the small hull sizes of European off-the-shelf subs are a bane for countries like Australia and Israel, which must send their subs great distances in what are essentially modified European coastal submarines.

The detection scenario can’t be dismissed as technology improves. The article goes into some detail about robotic submarines (unmanned underwater vehicles or UUVs) ) and how advanced they had become even by 2011. Small, cheap and plentiful they present a strong potential threat to small, stealthy submarines that just sit around in shallow waters waiting for targets. UUVs also will be networked together to form a sensor net across oceans, rather like the static SOSUS net the US used in the Atlantic during the Cold War, except this one is mobile.

Some versions called an Autonomous Undersea Vehicles (AUV and also dubbed “gliders”) are specifically designed to track conventional, stealthy submarines.

Liberdade class flying wings are autonomous underwater gliders developed by the US Navy Office of Naval Research which use a blended wing body hullform to achieve hydrodynamic efficiency. It is an experimental class whose models were originally intended to track quiet diesel electric submarines in littoral waters, move at 1–3 knots and remain on station for up to six months.

You can see why the Aussies started to have second thoughts about their $93 billion French purchase, even aside from all the production problems. There’s also another aspect of the future to be considered:

Given the increasing number of complex computerised systems being operated by modern submarines, another important concept is a submarine’s ‘hotel load.’ As SSGs are limited by the power stored in their batteries (which can only be recharged by surfacing), they strictly ration power among their systems.

SSNs are capable of generating and sustaining a much greater power output while submerged due to their nuclear reactor. This power output allows SSNs to carry a greater number of far more powerful sensors and systems (which increase sensor range and awareness), greatly increasing the flexibility, stealth and usefulness of SSNs.

As he puts it himself, his old analysis actually indicates how Australia has made this decision now. Although he didn’t make that forecast he pointed out the strategic thinking needed to make the decision, and it looks the Aussies went through that same process.

We had deep and grave concerns that the capability being delivered by the Attack-class submarine was not going to meet our strategic interests and we had made very clear that we would be making a decision based on our strategic national interest. – Scott Morrison

Written by Tom Hunter

September 21, 2021 at 8:24 am

Why I Don’t Like Frogs

They sank the Rainbow Warrior in Auckland harbour. Then lied about it.

They promised to hold the perps, Mafar and Prier, for ten years. They lied about it.

They sold Exocet missiles to Argentina but gave the missile neutering codes to Britain. And lied about it.

They conned Australia into an outrageous contract for overpriced, obsolete, late delivered submarines. And lied to get it.

France to build Australia a new fleet of submarines | News | DW | 26.04.2016

When Australia told them to ‘Va te faire foutre’ they withdrew their ambassadors from Australia and the US.

And they think they can cook.

Written by adolffinkensen

September 18, 2021 at 11:51 am

Posted in France

Tagged with

You Can Trust The ABC

Australia’s ABC carries an opinion piece in which the author, one Stan Grant, argues essentially Australia is wasting its time up grading its submarine fleet as China is already too far ahead and further that ‘the West’ is in no shape to take on an increasingly belligerent China.

Mr Grant seems to not understand the West might include some pretty powerful nations other than Australia and the US. Adolf can’t help but wonder what he would have written in early 1939 about ‘the West’s’ ability to take on Germany.

Anyway, I thought I should find out a bit about the ABC’s China expert and here he is.

Stan Grant and Tracey Holmes (cropped).JPG

As of 2021, he is Vice-Chancellor’s Chair of Australian/Indigenous Belonging at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga. He has worked as an Australian television news and political journalist and television presenter since the 1990s. He is known for his writing on Indigenous issues, and has written and spoken extensively on his Aboriginal identity as a Wiradjuri man.

Australian tax payers cough up $1.2 billion dollars each year for the ABC to hire experts like this fellow.

Written by adolffinkensen

September 17, 2021 at 9:26 pm

ON DEFENCE

The predictable (but nevertheless somewhat hysterical) reaction by Ardern following the announcement of the formation of AUKUS and that Australian is to acquire nuclear powered submarines that they would not be allowed in New Zealand waters (while ignoring the inconvenient fact that her government is relaxed about our frigates working with US Navy task-forces that include nuclear powered vessels) demonstrates yet again that, despite protestations to the contrary by both the NZL and Oz governments, our defence relationship with Australia remains strained.

Lets be very clear. Successive governments of all stripes and colours have begrudged every dollar spent on defence. We have always taken the minimalist approach and have happily demanded that the military do more with less. Our ‘combat’ Navy consists of two aging frigates (albeit substantially upgraded) with the reality being that we cannot guarantee we will have a ship available 24/7. Don’t be diverted by the two OPVs. The are not combat ships. They are ‘civilian spec’ ships more akin to coastguard type vessels and do not possess the redundancies found in warships. For the Army and they can deploy a ‘light’ battalion group (circa 500 strong) with all other units having to be stripped in order to maintain it for an extended period plus limited special forces elements. The RNZAF have 4xP8-A Poseidon aircraft on order to replace our 6xP3K2 Orion patrol/search aircraft and also 5xSuper Hercules due in 2024 to replace our 60 year old C-130 Hercules. Of the three services they are probably better placed to carry out their assigned roll.

My assessment is that the Labour Party has shifted left away from any form of collective defence and is comfortable in their own skin in doing so aided and abetted every step of the way by the Greens. It would be a bold person to suggest they will not win the next election in concert with the Greens made even more certain by National and ACT taking quiet potshots at each other over where they sit in the ideological spectrum. The lead-in time to replace our frigates has started and there are no signs that Labour is seized with the issue … and post 2023 and with a Labour/Greens government the issue is dead in the water. It it sits right now I see the RNZN being restructured to a coastguard type service built around OPVs (some ice strengthened) and I’m not sure the public will see this as something to worry over.

I well remember the time of the first Fiji coup when Lange mused about possible military intervention only to be told by the then Chief of Defence that any intervention ran a substantial risk of failure. It’s what happens when you run the military on a beer budget. Can I suggest not too much has changed or is likely to change.

Written by The Veteran

September 17, 2021 at 3:17 pm

Listen to The Greenies and The Frogs Squeal

Australia has ditched its ridiculous contract with a French company for the construction of a fleet of obsolete diesel submarines, ready for service after the next war is lost. In a ground breaking decision, American designed NUCLEAR submarines will be built in Adelaide.

Australia will acquire at least eight nuclear-powered submarines in a once-in-a-generation decision that will deliver the nation unprecedented strike capability and require a significant boost to Defence spending.

The new nuclear boats will be delivered under a historic Defence technology partnership between Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom – called AUKUS – to meet rising Chinese strategic threats.

The submarines will cost more than the estimated $90 billion price tag for the now-cancelled French-designed Attack-class submarines.

Australian greenies are screaming.

French boat builders are moaning.

New Zealand is ignored. China can have the place.

Written by adolffinkensen

September 16, 2021 at 1:11 pm

Posted in Australia, Military

Tagged with , ,