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#Pakistan’s New Type-039B AIP Submarines: Image Shows Shipyard Expansion The Pakistan Navy’s expansion is gearing up in Karachi. Major enhancements are evident at a shipyard, where a new construction hall and a dry dock greatly increase capacity.
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Pakistan Navy submarine building program, new facilities in Karachi
The new dry dock is large enough to handle the Chinese designed Type-039A/B submarines. Includes material © CNES 2020, Distribution Airbus DS all rights reserved / PLEIADES satellite imagery | Acquired through ShadowBreak Intl

Pakistan’s New Type-039B AIP Submarines: Image Shows Shipyard Expansion
H I Sutton 06 Oct 2020

The Pakistan Navy’s expansion is gearing up in Karachi. Major enhancements are evident at a shipyard, where a new construction hall and a dry dock greatly increase capacity. Although details are scarce, it seems likely that the local construction of Chinese-designed AIP (Air Independent Power) submarines will take place there.

The eight Type-039B ‘Hangor Class’ submarines will be a major boost to the Pakistan Navy. They will more than double the size of the Pakistan Navy’s submarine fleet.

The new submarines are variant of the Chinese Navy’s Type-039A Yuan Class. Construction will be split between the China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) and Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KSEW) in Karachi. KSEW previously participated in local construction of Pakistan’s French designed Agosta class submarines.

The construction site in Karachi may put to rest previous reports that the subs would be built in Ormara. In 2016 it was reported that the local submarine construction would occur at a new Submarine Rebuild Complex (SRC) being built there. No significant construction work is evident at Ormara.

The new construction hall and dry dock are at the southern end of KSEW’s Karachi shipyard site. Footings for the halls was first observed in 2015. The twin-lane halls have slowly taken shape since then. The outer shell appears largely complete. Under their roof there should be enough room to build two submarines in parallel.

Work on the aligned dry dock appears to have started in 2016. It is a Norwegian designed Syncrolift ship-lift type built out over the water. Manufacture of the sections likely took place in China. The dry dock is 126m (415 ft) long and 32m (105 ft) across and has a lifting capacity of 7,881 tons. This is large enough for the new submarines, and would allow frigate sized warships and larger submarines in future.

Based on current information the first of the new submarines, built in China, is expected to be delivered in 2022. Local construction of the last four hulls will last through to 2028. The acquisition from China is part of a trend. Several major Pakistan Navy warship programs have gone to China in recent years. And the Pakistan Navy and Chinese Navy already cooperate closely, included close exercises involving Chinese warships and Pakistan Navy submarines.
#China#Pakistan naval exercise 'Sea Guardian 2020' phase one caught on satellite images from January 2020 this year, the image echos the #chinapaksolidarity & its evolving military interoperability west of #India in the #ArabianSea #PLAN #PakistanNavy #IMINT https://t.co/7gafXjkY9Q pic.twitter.com/qkOQLnMdlk
— d-atis☠ (@detresfa_) April 3, 2020
The construction halls will be conveniently close to the Pakistan Navy’s main submarine berths. They are also just north of the SSGNs (Special Service Group (Navy)) base at PNS Iqbal. This is where the Pakistan Navy’s X-Craft midget submarine program is based. It seems logical that any local construction of midget submarines will also take place at the new site.

The technology transfer will benefit KSEW. Their Stirling-based AIP (Air Independent Power/Propulsion) technology is different from the French MESMA system installed on Pakistan’s Agosta-90B type boats. Pakistan remains the only country to adopt the MESMA system. Type-039B submarines are a relatively conservative design however.
The Agosta-90B submarine was moored centrally among the Chinese warships. H I SUTTON. INCLUDES MATERIAL © PLANETSCOPE | ACQUIRED THROUGH SHADOWBREAK INTL
The Type-039B submarines are likely to combine Chinese systems and weapons with Pakistani systems. Local weapons are expected to include the nuclear-capable Babur cruise missile. Armed with these the boats will form part of Pakistan’s nuclear deterrent. How this deterrence role will be reconciled with typical attack submarine duties remains unclear.

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jward

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Can India Pursue the ‘Strategic Encirclement’ of China?

Pushing back against Chinese behavior in East and Southeast Asia would shore up India’s position in the Himalayas.

Mohamed Zeeshan


By Mohamed Zeeshan

October 06, 2020
Can India Pursue the ‘Strategic Encirclement’ of China?

The aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson leads the guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill and the missile destroyer USS Halsey during a passing exercise with Indian navy ships during Exercise Malabar 2012.

Credit: Flickr/Official U.S. Navy Page
As winter approaches in the Himalayas, India faces a dangerous and difficult problem. China has occupied Indian territory along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) amounting to as much as 1,000 square kilometers, according to some intelligence sources. And far from vacating it, Beijing is now digging in.

Last month, reports claimed that Chinese troops were laying fiber optic cables in the region, preparing to remain for the long haul, even as talks with India dragged on. Then, China started to advance its boundary claims from 1959, which many believe lent credence to the theory that Beijing is trying to take more territory from India bit by bit – a strategy that is called “salami slicing.”

For India, all this means that taking back lost territory would require the forcible eviction of Chinese troops, even war on some scale. That is a huge problem for New Delhi, but not least because any war is costly. Even though China has several enemies along its periphery, a war in the Himalayas would likely find India fighting alone.

The South China Sea is a multilateral theater. Chinese maritime claims there affect several countries, and peace in the region is seen as being integral to the trade interests of many nations. The United States also has a considerable presence in the area and is bound by treaty obligations to protect countries like the Philippines. Likewise, in East Asia, the U.S. has wide-ranging cooperation with Japan and South Korea, which will help those countries in the event of a conflict with Beijing.

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But in the event of a conflict in the Himalayas, India will be entirely on its own. The only other major power that has had any participation in the Himalayan dispute recently is Russia, but New Delhi should not expect any help from Moscow in a war against Beijing.

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China likely knows this, which is why it has been willing to step up its aggressive activity in the mountains, even at the cost of diplomatic talks. But for India, these calculations make the border situation even more dangerous: If Beijing is betting that India will be isolated during a war in the Himalayas – and India is unable to take back any of the land lost to Chinese troops so far – China has little incentive not to attempt further land grabs along the LAC in coming months.

In response, India should probably take a leaf out of Beijing’s own book. In recent years, China has been practicing strategic encirclement around India in South Asia. It has made India’s prospects in the Himalayas more difficult by forging a partnership with Pakistan and launching the prospect of a “two-front war”: New Delhi now fears that if it goes to war with Beijing, it will also face simultaneous aggression on the Pakistani front.

In order to deter Beijing in the Himalayas, India should try to do the same in Southeast and East Asia. New Delhi needs to cultivate allies along China’s periphery who would turn a conflict in the Himalayas into a multi-front conflict for Beijing in Southeast and East Asia.

But such a strategy would only work if India is willing to shed its non-aligned, hands-off approach to the South China Sea and tensions in East Asia.

India is wary of making security commitments to allies in the South China Sea and East Asia, which would see Indian troops fighting alongside the U.S. and others in those regions in the event of a war. New Delhi believes that such arrangements are futile because it is skeptical that anybody would come to India’s defense in the event of a war in the Himalayas.

Yet, on the other hand, India’s pursuit of non-alignment and strategic independence has now left India on its own. If India links the Himalayan disputes to the South China Sea and East Asian disputes – by getting into mutual defense arrangements and pledging military support to allies in those regions – it would help strengthen India’s hand in the event of a war in the Himalayas.

Apart from helping drive simultaneous resistance in Southeast and East Asia, such a policy may also help India secure more direct support in the Himalayan region itself. If there is a war in the Himalayas, India will gain from intelligence support and military equipment. And if there is any country that could be relevant in such a situation for New Delhi, it is the U.S. Appealing to American interests more directly by fighting in the South China Sea would help bring U.S. support to India in the event of a war.

To deter China’s “salami slicing” tactics, India has to increase the costs of a Himalayan war for Beijing. To that end, it’s time for New Delhi to explore the option of strategic encirclement.

 

Zagdid

Veteran Member

South Korea’s request for submarine nuclear fuel from US denied: report

Park Chan-kyong in Seoul 6 hrs ago

South Korea is pushing to secure nuclear fuel from the United States for its next-generation submarines, but its initial request has been turned down by Washington, a news report said.

A high-ranking official at the presidential Blue House neither confirmed nor denied the report published by the Donga Ilbo daily, calling for "caution" from journalists in handling "issues related to national interests".

Citing an unidentified diplomatic source in Washington, the daily said South Korea last month briefed the US side on its plan to develop nuclear-powered submarines and expressed its wish to be supplied with low-enriched uranium from the US to use as fuel for the subs.

Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.
The request was made through Kim Hyun-chong, the deputy chief of South Korea's National Security Office, who visited Washington last month for talks focusing on issues related to North Korea.

The US, however, balked at the request. An official told the daily that the US government has made it a rule not to transfer fuel for nuclear-powered submarines to any country, regardless of whether they are allies or not - in line with its principle of non-proliferation.

Nuclear submarines entail a number of technological challenges besides fuelling, including operating personnel and management expertise, the US official noted.

As part of its programme to build up its military capabilities over the next five years, South Korea's defence ministry in August unveiled a plan to develop three 3,600-4,000-tonne submarines, which would be capable of carrying more ballistic missiles than the existing 3,000-tonne submarines.

The defence ministry is keeping open the possibility that the new subs could be powered by nuclear fuel instead of diesel fuel, although a ministry spokesman said that details "have not yet been fixed as to the propulsion methods of the submarines".

Kim Hyun-chong had raised the possibility of nuclear-powered subs in July.

Baek Seung-joo, a renowned defence analyst who once served as a lawmaker for the conservative opposition party, since renamed the People Power Party, lamented what he called "the leak" to the press about Seoul's request for nuclear fuel.
"This project should be pushed through quietly behind the scenes. This is not a project to tout", he told This Week in Asia, adding that it would set off security alarms in North Korea.

But he also said that South Korea's rival political parties share an agreement on the need to have nuclear-powered submarines to cope with threats from the nuclear-armed North.

Although the National Assembly has approved the budget needed for such a project, South Korea is bound by a bilateral agreement with the US that prevents it from using nuclear power for military purposes, Baek said.

"There is an issue of how to interpret the agreement as to whether nuclear power for submarines should be considered as a peaceful purpose or a military purpose", he said.

"Washington is not going to nod to Seoul's request straight away," he added. "It needs for us to solicit (it) repeatedly."
Nuclear-powered submarines, which can travel faster and stay under water much longer than diesel-powered conventional counterparts, are "strategic weapons that are essential for a country like South Korea surrounded by large powers", he said.

This article originally appeared on the South China Morning Post (www.scmp.com), the leading news media reporting on China and Asia.
 

OldArcher

Has No Life - Lives on TB

South Korea’s request for submarine nuclear fuel from US denied: report

Park Chan-kyong in Seoul 6 hrs ago

South Korea is pushing to secure nuclear fuel from the United States for its next-generation submarines, but its initial request has been turned down by Washington, a news report said.

A high-ranking official at the presidential Blue House neither confirmed nor denied the report published by the Donga Ilbo daily, calling for "caution" from journalists in handling "issues related to national interests".

Citing an unidentified diplomatic source in Washington, the daily said South Korea last month briefed the US side on its plan to develop nuclear-powered submarines and expressed its wish to be supplied with low-enriched uranium from the US to use as fuel for the subs.

Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.
The request was made through Kim Hyun-chong, the deputy chief of South Korea's National Security Office, who visited Washington last month for talks focusing on issues related to North Korea.

The US, however, balked at the request. An official told the daily that the US government has made it a rule not to transfer fuel for nuclear-powered submarines to any country, regardless of whether they are allies or not - in line with its principle of non-proliferation.

Nuclear submarines entail a number of technological challenges besides fuelling, including operating personnel and management expertise, the US official noted.

As part of its programme to build up its military capabilities over the next five years, South Korea's defence ministry in August unveiled a plan to develop three 3,600-4,000-tonne submarines, which would be capable of carrying more ballistic missiles than the existing 3,000-tonne submarines.

The defence ministry is keeping open the possibility that the new subs could be powered by nuclear fuel instead of diesel fuel, although a ministry spokesman said that details "have not yet been fixed as to the propulsion methods of the submarines".

Kim Hyun-chong had raised the possibility of nuclear-powered subs in July.

Baek Seung-joo, a renowned defence analyst who once served as a lawmaker for the conservative opposition party, since renamed the People Power Party, lamented what he called "the leak" to the press about Seoul's request for nuclear fuel.
"This project should be pushed through quietly behind the scenes. This is not a project to tout", he told This Week in Asia, adding that it would set off security alarms in North Korea.

But he also said that South Korea's rival political parties share an agreement on the need to have nuclear-powered submarines to cope with threats from the nuclear-armed North.

Although the National Assembly has approved the budget needed for such a project, South Korea is bound by a bilateral agreement with the US that prevents it from using nuclear power for military purposes, Baek said.

"There is an issue of how to interpret the agreement as to whether nuclear power for submarines should be considered as a peaceful purpose or a military purpose", he said.

"Washington is not going to nod to Seoul's request straight away," he added. "It needs for us to solicit (it) repeatedly."
Nuclear-powered submarines, which can travel faster and stay under water much longer than diesel-powered conventional counterparts, are "strategic weapons that are essential for a country like South Korea surrounded by large powers", he said.

This article originally appeared on the South China Morning Post (www.scmp.com), the leading news media reporting on China and Asia.
As usual, some moron is determined not to help our allies... Watch this bite us in the ass, when we least need it... We should also be going all out, to help Taiwan with our very best gear and support... *Sigh*. We’ve undone by our own people...

Bright Blessings,

OldArcher, Witch
 

Housecarl

On TB every waking moment
As usual, some moron is determined not to help our allies... Watch this bite us in the ass, when we least need it... We should also be going all out, to help Taiwan with our very best gear and support... *Sigh*. We’ve undone by our own people...

Bright Blessings,

OldArcher, Witch
We for starters, if they have to "roll their own", not only will they then have the means to make submarine power reactor fuel, they can also while they're at it make weapon "fuel".
 

Housecarl

On TB every waking moment
Hummmm.........

Posted for fair use......


October 4, 2020 Topic: Security Region: Asia Tags: JapanSugaChinaForeign PolicyShinzo Abe
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga Charts Japan’s Next Course

Creating an effective and sustainable counterweight to Chinese power without triggering a cold or hot war will take patience, persistence, and pragmatism.


by Patrick M. Cronin Follow @PMCroninHudson on Twitter L

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s trip to Tokyo this week underscores the importance of the U.S.-Japan relationship and the administration’s political judgment that there is a relatively good foreign policy narrative to be told. Conversely, Pompeo’s canceled travel to South Korea, which last hosted the secretary two years ago, and to Mongolia, highlight destinations not helpful to President Donald Trump, who has contracted the coronavirus weeks before a re-election contest he is expected to lose.

In Tokyo, Pompeo is tying up loose ends. He will in short order place emphasis on the cornerstone bilateral alliance with Japan. He will also hammer home a burgeoning coalition of Indo-Pacific industrial democratic nations—India, Australia, Japan, and the United States—as a response to an increasingly assertive China.

If Pompeo is in a hurry to make a closing argument on behalf of the Trump administration’s foreign policy, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is preparing to build his distinctive imprimatur on policy. After eight years as chief cabinet secretary, Suga was elevated to the leadership role in mid-September after a chronic health issue forced Shinzo Abe to step down. He is just beginning to chart his course.

A Japanese proverb holds that “continuation is power” (keizoku wa chikara nari): Suga will demonstrate power’s continuation; as Trump lags in the polls and after a disgraceful presidential debate, Pompeo is likely to soon demonstrate the discontinuation of power. Or, at least, the Secretary may be thinking beyond short-term prospects.

The Political Context

In late 2016, Pompeo, then a Tea Party congressman, leaped at the chance to lead the Central Intelligence Agency when president-elect Donald Trump offered it to him nearly four years ago. In March 2018, after Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson by tweet, Pompeo happily moved to Foggy Bottom, taking with him the collateral duty of outreach to North Korea’s Kim Jong-un.

With one eye always focused on future political prospects, Pompeo has never shied away from making headlines. Few other senior officials inside the Trump administration have been so willing to promote the president’s interests. In the final weeks before the 2020 U.S. presidential election, Pompeo twice broke precedent by crossing the line between foreign policy and domestic politics. First, with the Old City of Jerusalem as background, Pompeo beamed remarks to the Republican National Convention on the White House South Lawn. Second, inside the State Capitol in Madison, Wisconsin, he delivered a politically-charged foreign policy speech in an election battleground state.

In Tokyo, Secretary Pompeo will be able to reinforce Trump’s most successful alliance—with Japan. In addition, Pompeo’s rendezvous with other foreign ministers at a meeting of the Quad democracies, formally known as the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, comprising the United States, Japan, India, and Australia, will accentuate the U.S.-Japan support for a free-and-open Indo-Pacific region. An aggressive China has catalyzed the four powers to meet more frequently and consider concrete steps ranging from cooperation on maritime situational awareness to high-standard development. The four foreign ministers may be thinking about enlarging the grouping into a Quad-plus arrangement.

The cornerstone and the Quad are happier topics for Pompeo than a White House that has become a Covid hotspot of its own. But the November 3 election rapidly approaches, and hence American diplomacy is once again seen in the region to be distracted and in big hurry.

While the diplomacy in Tokyo is unlikely to register as more than just a photo-op for most Americans, it will not be for Pompeo’s lack of trying. The discussions will be spun in the United States as symbols of Trump’s putative foreign policy successes: checking China and building a free-and-open Indo-Pacific region while keeping the peace on the Korean Peninsula. Proponents will hold up these meetings as evidence of Trump’s mastery of realpolitik; critics will decry Trump’s regional strategy as incoherent, erratic, and hyperbolic. The reality may be somewhere in between, but the Trump brand has been toxic in the region and undermined America's stature. Two surveys support this tarnished image of the United States. First, Trump’s handling of the pandemic has undermined America’s reputation globally, and even at home nearly three out of four view the president as having failed to take the virus seriously. Even before the coronavirus became a national security threat, Trump’s emphasis on “America first” and opposition to multilateralism, among other things, had blotted America’s reputation. For instance, a survey of Southeast Asian elite opinion documented rising concern about U.S. reliability and staying power.

One cliché of contemporary foreign policy is that U.S.-China ties are the most consequential relationship in the twenty-first century. There is no denying the importance of Sino-American relations when it comes to matters of war and peace. However, if one considers the United States and Japan's economic weight, two democracies heavily invested in the current rules-based order, it is not a stretch to argue that the U.S-Japan alliance is the most crucial bond between two countries on the planet. If Washington and Tokyo severed their relations tomorrow, then Japan would have to take drastic steps to safeguard its security, and the United States would be a vastly diminished power in East Asia. The vacuum of power would be immense. Additionally, while it is notoriously difficult to shape China’s decisionmaking, few issues exist on the regional and global agenda that cannot improve through concerted U.S.-Japan cooperation.

That is why Pompeo’s meeting with Suga and his key officials is fraught with implications, even though these talks will be overshadowed in the United States by the theater of domestic politics—now including concerns for the health of the president and those around him.

Tokyo may be the venue for Pompeo’s final summation on behalf of four years of the Trump administration’s regional policy. Yet Tokyo also may be the location of Suga’s opening statement to define the next phase of Japanese foreign policy.

When the seventy-one-year-old Suga replaced Abe, he swiftly announced his intention to carry on with his longtime political boss's policy agenda. Suga singled out the importance of a robust U.S.-Japan alliance, an objective Abe held as the central pillar around which Japanese foreign and defense policy would pivot. Suga’s initial pronouncement emphasizes continuity, but his subtle policy shifts are likely to become more apparent with the changing currents of international affairs.

Although Americans singularly focus on the election, the November vote looms large for most countries, especially Japan. At the center of power in Japan, there is a general expectation that Vice President Joe Biden assumes the presidency. If Abe was the brilliant “Trump whisperer,” then Suga has learned valuable insights into managing America’s pendular political swings. There is no shortage of appetite in Tokyo and throughout the region for a more predictable style of U.S. foreign policy.

Challenges Facing the Alliance

Even in our era of disruptive politics, style and nuance still matter in foreign policy. After all, the main goals of the U.S.-Japan alliance remain fixed: deterring military aggression as defense capabilities become more autonomous and move undersea and deeper into the domains of cyberspace, space, and the electromagnetic spectrum; countering coercive activities and political warfare; retaining the alliance edge in critical technologies; adapting and shaping a favorable international order.

Japan is rightly concerned with the precarious situation in the East China Sea. China has gradually ratcheted up the pressure to deny Japan’s sole jurisdiction over the Senkaku Islands. Japan rightfully regained the islands’ administration as part of the U.S. reversion of Okinawa a half-century ago. But the Chinese claim that the Diaoyu Islands had been under their control since the Ming and Qing dynasties until Japan pried them away with the 1895 Treaty of Shimonoseki. Xi Jinping has long-term global ambitions, and he has made it abundantly clear that China will never allow another actor “to split any part of Chinese territory,” a pledge that assumes suzerainty in its so-called near seas. “Unification” of all Chinese-claimed territory by the PRC’s centenary in 2049 is a crucial step towards the great rejuvenation meant to signal China’s full reemergence to center stage after suffering its role as the weak man of Asia during the “century of humiliation.” While the Chinese historical narrative contains much truth, Beijing hews to a rigid party line in which China is the permanent victim; in reality, the script in Asia has long since flipped, leaving most of China's neighbors wary about having to accept their equivalent of unequal and coercive agreements.

Japan has no intention of bending on its claim to the Senkaku Islands. China hopes to drive a wedge between the United States and Japan while also slowly grinding down Japan’s ability to manage China’s swarming tactics. Now that China boasts its own global satellite navigation system (BeiDou), Beijing can mobilize civilian fishing fleets for what amounts to maritime harassment operations designed to overwhelm the able but finite Japanese Coast Guard. It turns out that possessing the technical ability to deliver prompt alerts and precise geographic coordinates to dispersed civilian vessels, backstopped by the China coast guard and the PLA Navy, provides China with more than just an ability to avoid typhoons. Suga knows that Beijing will keep upping the ante on Tokyo. He also knows that Japan’s strong alliance with the United States, growing national capabilities, and extended security network of like-minded countries are essential counters to China's gray-zone tactics in the East China Sea.

However, in the South China Sea, Suga worries about China carving out a bastion under Beijing’s exclusive control. Despite more routine freedom of navigation exercises by the U.S. Navy in the South China Sea, China continues to speak and act in a manner demanding that smaller neighbors accept the fact of strategic geography and Beijing’s narrative of China’s inevitable rise.

China’s most recent acts of intimidation included a set of military exercises where its anti-access and area-denial (A2/AD) capabilities were ostentatiously on display. In August, China launched both the DF-21D “carrier-killer” ballistic missile and DF-26B intermediate-range ballistic missile into an area off the southern island province of Hainan and near the disputed Paracel Islands. The missiles were launched from two different locations: the DF-21D from Zhejiang province near Shanghai and the DF-26B from the northwestern province of Qinghai. The allies rightly see these missiles as providing Beijing with asymmetric advantages. The DF-26B is nuclear-capable, which underscores why Tokyo and Washington are interested in filling significant gaps in their offensive capabilities.

Recently, both the United States and Japan have taken steps to counter China’s substantial missile capability. In 2019, the United States officially withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty signed by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev. The U.S. withdrawal was a response to Russia’s violations of the treaty, but it also cleared the way for the deployment of new ground-based missiles in the Indo-Pacific region, which could help offset China’s quantitative missile advantage.

Similarly, before Abe stepped down from his leadership position atop the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), Defense Minister Taro Kono announced the cancellation of one of Japan’s major weapons purchase: the Aegis Ashore ballistic-missile defense system. Aegis Ashore was supposed to be a significant part of the alliance's layered ballistic missile defense network. But at Abe’s final meeting with his national security council on September 11, he hinted at a different defense approach. Abe argued that “there is a question of whether it is possible to protect and defend the lives and the peaceful livelihoods of the Japanese people only by enhancing our interception capability,” referring to Aegis Ashore in particular and missile defense in general. “Under such thinking in order to strengthen the deterrence, the government of Japan has been considering a new course,” Abe added, intimating a desire to acquire offensive missiles. After some twenty-five years of focusing on missile defenses, Japan is now more actively looking at shifting investments into offensive missiles as a means of bolstering deterrence in the face of more heavily armed neighbors, not least because offensive missiles tend to be cheaper than missile defenses. However, convincing the ruling LDP’s coalition political partners in the pacifist Komei Party remains a delicate task.

Keeping U.S. military forces present and ready to deter aggression is also a high priority for any Japanese prime minister. For Suga, there is the challenge of retaining a healthy U.S. force presence while averting the kind of public shakedown Trump used in South Korea. Trump looked to Seoul to pay a 500 percent increase in host-nation support to ensure U.S. military forces there could remain forward based in South Korea.

As former national security advisor John Bolton noted in his memoir, The Room Where It Happened, the Trump administration demanded a “cost plus 50 percent” formula from allies hosting U.S. troops. Bolton writes that he “feared Trump’s ultimate threat—withdrawing our troops from any country not paying what he deemed to be an adequate amount—was real in South Korea’s case.” The transactional, unilateral, isolationist move would have achieved in one fell swoop what China was eager to accomplish through arduous and multiple means.

Suga is apt to defer this debate, perhaps through a short-term bridging agreement. But he is also likely to keep the U.S. satisfied and preserve U.S. presence by pushing to conclude the procurement of Mageshima Island. The uninhabited island off the coast of Kyushu Island, and last used by Imperial Japan in defense of Okinawa during World War II, is a vital piece of real estate. The island will provide safer and less congested training for both U.S. and Japanese pilots, as they continue to maintain vigilance in the adjacent air space and seas.

Together, the United States and Japan, along with countries like Australia and India, can help Indo-Pacific region nations retain strategic autonomy as China’s power and ambitions continue to expand. However, providing an effective and sustainable counterweight to Chinese power without triggering a cold or hot war will take patience, persistence, and pragmatism.

Pompeo’s shortened trip to Asia still promises to pack in serious diplomacy. But if, as expected, there is a change in U.S. administrations, the secretary of state may soon find himself writing a memoir of his past four years. That volume might, in turn, double as a job application for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.

Dr. Patrick M. Cronin is the Asia-Pacific Security Chair at the Hudson Institute.
 

northern watch

Has No Life - Lives on TB
US, Australia, India, Japan to discuss China's growing power

Foreign ministers from four Indo-Pacific nations known as the Quad group are gathering in Tokyo for talks that Japan hopes will increase their involvement in a regional initiative aimed at countering China’s growing assertiveness

By MARI YAMAGUCHI Associated Press
5 October 2020

Mike Pompeo

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The Associated Press
FILE - In this Oct. 2, 2020, file photo, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, right, with Croatia's Foreign Minister Gordan Grlic Radman, arrives for a press conference after talks in Dubrovnik, Croatia. The foreign ministers from four Indo-Pacific nations known as the Quad group will gather in Tokyo Wednesday for talks in hopes of stepping up their cooperation and take leadership in a regional initiative to counter China’s growing assertiveness and influence. On his way to Tokyo, Pompeo told traveling reporters that the four countries have been preparing and hoped to have some “significant achievements” at the meeting, but he did not elaborate. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic, File)

TOKYO -- Foreign ministers from four Indo-Pacific nations known as the Quad group are gathering in Tokyo on Tuesday for talks that Japan hopes will increase their involvement in a regional initiative called “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” aimed at countering China’s growing assertiveness.

The meeting — the first in-person talks among the foreign ministers since the coronavirus pandemic broke out — brings together U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne, Indian Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi.

Japanese officials say they will discuss the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, as well as the Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP) initiative for greater security and economic cooperation that Japan and the U.S. have been pushing to bring together “like-minded” countries that share concerns about China’s growing assertiveness and influence.

On his way to Tokyo, Pompeo told reporters that the four countries hope to have some “significant achievements” at the meeting, but did not elaborate.

The talks come weeks ahead of the U.S. presidential election and amid escalating tensions between the U.S. and China over the virus, trade, technology, Hong Kong, Taiwan and human rights. Pompeo is attending the Quad meeting, though he canceled subsequent planned visits to South Korea and Mongolia after President Donald Trump was hospitalized with the coronavirus.

The talks follow a recent flareup in tensions between China and India over their disputed Himalayan border. Relations between Australia and China have also deteriorated in recent months.

Japan, meanwhile, is concerned about China's claim to the Japanese-controlled Senkaku Islands, called Diaoyu in China, in the East China Sea. Japan also considers China's growing military activity to be a security threat. Japan's annual defense policy paper in July accused China of unilaterally changing the status quo in the South China Sea, where it has built and militarized manmade islands and is assertively pressing its claim to virtually all of the sea's key fisheries and waterways.

New Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will make his in-person diplomatic debut when he attends part of the Quad meeting. He will also hold separate talks with Pompeo on deepening the Japan-U.S. alliance and the FOIP.

“The world is possibly becoming even more unpredictable and uncontrollable due to heightening selfish nationalism and growing tension between the U.S. and China," Suga said in an interview with Japanese media on Monday. He said he will pursue diplomacy that is based on the Japan-U.S. alliance as a cornerstone and “strategically promote the FOIP,” while establishing stable relations with neighbors including China and Russia.

He said he also plans to promote the FOIP during a planned visit to Southeast Asia later this month.

Suga replaced Shinzo Abe, who resigned due to poor health, on Sept. 16, pledging to carry on Abe's hawkish diplomacy and security policies. Abe has been a driving force behind FOIP. Japan sees it as crucial to have access to sea lanes all the way to Middle East, a key source of oil for the resource-poor island nation.

Suga, a former chief Cabinet secretary, has little experience in diplomacy. Balancing between the U.S., Japan’s main security ally, and China, its top trading partner, will be tough, analysts say.

“The challenges of Japan-U.S. relations are not in themselves, but in where Japan stands when U.S.-China disputes intensify,” said Yasushi Watanabe, an expert on U.S. diplomacy at Japan's Keio University. ”It would be best for Japan to take a pragmatic approach to China while maintaining the Japan-U.S. alliance as a cornerstone,” he said. “And it is indispensable for Japan to strengthen cooperation with the EU, Britain, Australia and ASEAN.”

Japan hopes to regularize the Quad foreign ministers’ talks and broaden their cooperation with other countries.

That would be a major challenge for the Quad, said Jeff Kingston, director of Asian studies at Temple University Japan. "A shared threat perception of China does not mean shared views on what to do and if it’s possible to build the Quad into something along the lines of NATO,” he said.

The U.S. and Australia would favor the idea, but Japan and India are ambivalent and so is ASEAN, he said. “Transforming the Quad into a collective security organization targeting China forces governments to choose sides. Beijing has generated an arc of anxiety in Asia but there is a preference for dialogue and negotiations, not saber rattling.”

———

Associated Press writer Foster Klug contributed to this report.

 

northern watch

Has No Life - Lives on TB
We for starters, if they have to "roll their own", not only will they then have the means to make submarine power reactor fuel, they can also while they're at it make weapon "fuel".
South Korea is described by the World Nuclear Association as being one of the “world's most prominent nuclear energy countries.” It currently has 24 operational nuclear power plants with a total capacity of over 23GW.Aug 1, 2019

Nuclear power in South Korea: Past, present and future
www.power-technology.com › features › south-korea-nuc.
 

northern watch

Has No Life - Lives on TB

South Korea’s request for submarine nuclear fuel from US denied: report

Park Chan-kyong in Seoul 6 hrs ago

South Korea is pushing to secure nuclear fuel from the United States for its next-generation submarines, but its initial request has been turned down by Washington, a news report said.

A high-ranking official at the presidential Blue House neither confirmed nor denied the report published by the Donga Ilbo daily, calling for "caution" from journalists in handling "issues related to national interests".

Citing an unidentified diplomatic source in Washington, the daily said South Korea last month briefed the US side on its plan to develop nuclear-powered submarines and expressed its wish to be supplied with low-enriched uranium from the US to use as fuel for the subs.

Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.
The request was made through Kim Hyun-chong, the deputy chief of South Korea's National Security Office, who visited Washington last month for talks focusing on issues related to North Korea.

The US, however, balked at the request. An official told the daily that the US government has made it a rule not to transfer fuel for nuclear-powered submarines to any country, regardless of whether they are allies or not - in line with its principle of non-proliferation.

Nuclear submarines entail a number of technological challenges besides fuelling, including operating personnel and management expertise, the US official noted.

As part of its programme to build up its military capabilities over the next five years, South Korea's defence ministry in August unveiled a plan to develop three 3,600-4,000-tonne submarines, which would be capable of carrying more ballistic missiles than the existing 3,000-tonne submarines.

The defence ministry is keeping open the possibility that the new subs could be powered by nuclear fuel instead of diesel fuel, although a ministry spokesman said that details "have not yet been fixed as to the propulsion methods of the submarines".

Kim Hyun-chong had raised the possibility of nuclear-powered subs in July.

Baek Seung-joo, a renowned defence analyst who once served as a lawmaker for the conservative opposition party, since renamed the People Power Party, lamented what he called "the leak" to the press about Seoul's request for nuclear fuel.
"This project should be pushed through quietly behind the scenes. This is not a project to tout", he told This Week in Asia, adding that it would set off security alarms in North Korea.

But he also said that South Korea's rival political parties share an agreement on the need to have nuclear-powered submarines to cope with threats from the nuclear-armed North.

Although the National Assembly has approved the budget needed for such a project, South Korea is bound by a bilateral agreement with the US that prevents it from using nuclear power for military purposes, Baek said.

"There is an issue of how to interpret the agreement as to whether nuclear power for submarines should be considered as a peaceful purpose or a military purpose", he said.

"Washington is not going to nod to Seoul's request straight away," he added. "It needs for us to solicit (it) repeatedly."
Nuclear-powered submarines, which can travel faster and stay under water much longer than diesel-powered conventional counterparts, are "strategic weapons that are essential for a country like South Korea surrounded by large powers", he said.

This article originally appeared on the South China Morning Post (www.scmp.com), the leading news media reporting on China and Asia.
With their own nuclear power plants, I wonder why South Korea is asking the US for nuclear fuel?
 
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Housecarl

On TB every waking moment
Posted for fair use.....

North Korea's missile and nuclear programme

BBC
October 7, 2020


North Korea is widely believed to have missiles capable of striking long-range targets, including potentially the US mainland.

It also claims to have developed a hydrogen bomb and to be able to mount it on a missile.

Relations with the US and South Korea have also recently gone downhill, after Pyongyang blew up the North-South liaison office on its side of the border.

Here's what you need to know about the North's missile and nuclear weapons programme and its military forces.

Missiles that can reach the US
Throughout 2017, North Korea tested several missiles demonstrating the rapid advances of its military technology.

The Hwasong-12 was thought to be able to reach as far as 4,500km (2,800 miles), putting US military bases on the Pacific island of Guam well within striking distance.

Later, the Hwasong-14 demonstrated even greater potential with some studies suggesting it could travel as far as 10,000km if fired on a maximum trajectory.

This would have given Pyongyang its first truly intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), capable of reaching New York.
Eventually, the Hwasong-15 was tested, peaking at an estimated altitude of 4,500km - 10 times higher than the International Space Station.

If fired on a more conventional "flatter" trajectory, the missile could have a maximum range of some 13,000km, putting all of the continental US in range.

Graphic: North Korea's high altitude tests

Graphic: North Korea's high altitude tests
Graphic: North Korea's high altitude tests

Graphic: North Korea's high altitude tests

However, doubts remain as to whether these missiles could successfully carry and deliver a warhead for such a distance, and whether North Korea has the expertise to accurately hit a target.

In 2019, North Korea carried out a series of short-range missile tests, ramping up in July and August in what it called "warnings" to the US and South Korea over their military drills

Then in October, Pyongyang appeared to have developed a new capability when it test-fired a missile capable of being launched from a submarine.

In theory, being able to launch a nuclear-equipped missile from a submarine increases the range of North Korea's strike capability while also making its launch platform more difficult to detect. The threat is offset by the country's old and limited submarine fleet, which may be able to make a one-way trip to within range of Hawaii.

The apparent successes of all these tests has raised questions as to how North Korea's missile programme has improved so rapidly. Observers believe Pyongyang may have acquired high-performance liquid-propellant engines from illicit networks in Russia and Ukraine.
North Korea has since continued advancing its weapons programme, launching missile tests early this year.

In July, its leader Kim Jong-un said Pyongyang had developed nuclear weapons to win "absolute strength", adding that the country was now "capable of defending ourselves... thanks to our reliable and effective self-defensive nuclear deterrent".

Thermonuclear bombs
On 3 September 2017 North Korea conducted by far its largest nuclear test to date, at its Punggye-ri test site.

Estimates of the device's explosive power, or yield, ranged from 100-370 kilotons. A yield of 100 kilotons would make the test six times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.

North Korea claimed this test was its first thermonuclear weapon - the most potent form of nuclear explosion where an atomic detonation is boosted by a secondary fusion process to produce a far bigger blast.
Map: North Korean nuclear testing

Map: North Korean nuclear testing
American military intelligence believes that North Korea has successfully miniaturised a nuclear warhead to fit inside a missile.

In April 2018 North Korea announced it would suspend further nuclear tests because its capabilities had been "verified".

North Korea then also promised to dismantle the Punggye-ri site and in May blew up some of the tunnels in the presence of foreign journalists but with no international experts .

Pyongyang also said then that it would destroy all its nuclear material enrichment facilities.

Millions of soldiers
North Korea has one of the largest standing armies in the world - with more than one million soldiers and estimated reserves of some five million.

Much of its equipment is old and obsolete, but its conventional forces could still inflict massive damage on South Korea in the event of war.

North Korea also has around 200,000 special forces troops which could be expected to infiltrate the South in the event of any conflict.

They could potentially exploit a semi-secret network of 20-25 large tunnels which span the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) - the border area - emerging behind South Korean and American forward lines.
NK-RoK: The military balance

NK-RoK: The military balance

A further threat comes from thousands of North Korean artillery pieces and rocket launchers deployed along the border. Their firepower could devastate South Korea, including the capital Seoul, which at a distance of less than 60km, is well within range.

Chemical weapons could also be used. In 2012 the South Korean government assessed that North Korea could have between 2,500 and 5,000 tons of chemical weapons, potentially one of the largest stockpiles on Earth.

American forces in South Korea and the wider region
The United States has had a military presence on the Korean Peninsula since the Korean War. Today, South Korea has the third highest deployment of US troops anywhere in the world.

According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) there are some 28,000 US troops stationed across South Korea including almost 9,000 air force personnel. In addition, the US has some 300 M1 Abrams tanks and armoured vehicles deployed.
US strategic bombers have carried out training flights over the Korean peninsula.

US strategic bombers have carried out training flights over the Korean peninsula.

Washington has also installed its controversial THAAD missile defence system at Seongju in South Korea, which would be used shoot down North Korean short and medium range missiles in the event of war.

In the wider region, Japan hosts more US forces than any other nation, with some 47,050 deployed, according to the IISS, the majority being naval personnel. It also has an aircraft carrier based in Japan.

There are also significant US forces on the US Pacific island of Guam, which is sometimes described as a "permanent aircraft carrier".

North Korea has previously threatened to fire missiles at the waters around Guam.
 

Housecarl

On TB every waking moment
Hummm.....

Posted for fair use.....

US nuclear strike against North Korea unfeasible: experts

Posted : 2020-10-07 16:16
Updated : 2020-10-08 10:37

'Washington missed golden opportunity to denuclearize Pyongyang'

By Kang Seung-woo

Although Bob Woodward's latest book, "Rage," disclosed last month that the Donald Trump administration had reviewed firing scores of nuclear weapons at North Korea in 2017, experts said Wednesday that such an attack would not be an easy option to implement due to various reasons including possible escalation involving other countries.

In the book, based on interviews with Trump, the writer said the United States studied "OPLAN 5027" for regime change in North Korea ― the U.S. response to an attack that could include the use of 80 nuclear weapons. OPLAN 5027 refers to a joint South Korea-U.S. military operation plan to respond to a North Korean invasion.

Experts on Korean Peninsula issues saw a low chance of the plan ever being carried out, because of concerns that a U.S. nuclear strike against Pyongyang could lead to accidental escalation in the region.

"The option to use nuclear weapons against North Korea is highly constrained. When land-based (intercontinental ballistic) missiles would have to fly over Russia, I actually find it inconceivable that American presidents get on the phone to the Kremlin and say don't worry about these missiles," Peter Hayes, co-director of the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainability, said during a webinar co-hosted by the Asia Pacific Leadership Network for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament and the East Asia Foundation.

"The United States might use a submarine-launched missile in the Pacific and that has a similar problem. You will be aiming missiles pretty much directly at Beijing."

Moon Chung-in, the special security adviser to President Moon Jae-in, also said the use of strategic bombers was not simple either because of the difficulties involving either a pre-emptive strike or a counter-strike due to the transportation of nuclear weapons from Hawaii to Guam and the evacuation of family members of the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) and American citizens living in South Korea.

"If so, the North would find out what was happening," he said.

Moon also said the North does not have the capability to pre-emptively deliver intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) to the U.S. mainland yet.

"When tensions between the North and the U.S. were escalating between May and July of 2017, the former was not capable of deploying ICBMs. In addition, the Hwasong-15 was test-fired only once (in November 2017)."

The USFK believes that ICBM is capable of reaching most of the U.S. mainland, but Moon dismissed that assessment as "hype."

Meanwhile, Siegfried Hecker, a U.S. nuclear scientist who has been to the North's Yongbyon nuclear facility on four occasions, told the virtual seminar that Washington missed a "golden opportunity" to denuclearize the reclusive state at the Hanoi summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump in February 2019. Their second meeting ended without a deal and bilateral denuclearization talks have stalled ever since.

"From Woodward's book, much more important to me than the 80 nuclear weapons comment is 26 letter exchanges between Kim and President Trump…. Kim Jong-un actually not only said he was willing to get rid of Yongbyon but he actually said the Nuclear Weapons Institute. He actually specifically mentions in the letter, the Nuclear Weapons Institute," Hacker said.

Even though Hacker was not completely sure of the institute's role, he likened it to the U.S. Los Alamos National Laboratory that designs nuclear weapons.

"You still have bombs out there, but the bombs are no good without the scientists that designed them," he said. "That was an incredible offer. You combine that with Hanoi, and all I can say is we missed a golden opportunity."

4 Comments
 

jward

passin' thru
Why the Pentagon Should Focus on Taiwan
Elbridge Colby and Jim Mitre
October 7, 2020



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China is now the official “pacing threat” for the U.S. armed forces. Simply put, the Pentagon considers the People’s Liberation Army its most serious competition. This is a major and vital shift. But competing with China is a tremendously broad concept that could take any number of forms, and the reality is that China is too powerful to permit the U.S. defense establishment to fritter away money. The Defense Department needs to focus. Most of all, it needs to be capable of achieving U.S. objectives against China in a war.

But in which war? Scenarios lie at the core of military force planning. These are the plausible and highly consequential future fights the military uses to plan its future force structure, posture, and training. During the interwar period, the Navy planned for scenarios such as the defense and recapture of the Philippines. During the Cold War, the Pentagon planned for the defense of NATO against a Warsaw Pact invasion. Scenarios help to concentrate the sprawling defense establishment on specific strategic and operational problems. They provide a concrete framework to examine how different military force structures and operational approaches would perform in meeting objectives within a set of constraints, and how long such efforts would take and at what cost.

Thus, planning for one set of scenarios over another can have drastic implications for what the U.S. military will look like and how it will operate. A force shaped for operations in the Middle East, to give an example, would be far different from one optimized for the Western Pacific.
While the Pentagon does not disclose its formal scenarios, outsiders can glean sophisticated and credible defense analysis from, for instance, the RAND Corporation. In the case of China, these include plausible conflicts over Taiwan, the South China Sea, the Philippines, Japan, South Korea, or Vietnam.
Of these, a conflict over Taiwan is the key scenario. The defense establishment should focus on preparing the military for a Taiwan scenario above all others. The United States needs to be able to effectively defend Taiwan because it is important to frustrating China’s strategy to achieve hegemony in Asia. Adapting the U.S. military to be able to defend Taiwan will be hard, but it is necessary, and will also allow the United States to defend other allies in Asia against China.

The Trump administration has made this point increasingly clear, but it is a bipartisan one. Taiwan is militarily significant, located as it is in the center of the vital first island chain, and is critical to American credibility in Asia. Other states regard it as the canary in the coal mine — a strong indicator of how far the United States would go to defend them against China. If China were able to suborn Taiwan, the U.S. and allied defense position would be substantially compromised, and U.S. credibility seriously diminished. For these reasons, subjugating Taiwan is very likely China’s best next step toward its strategic goal of regional hegemony.
China presumably would prefer to induce Taiwan to unify peacefully, but the reality is that that is unlikely, given deepening opposition to unification with China on Taiwan. Accordingly, China is likely to need to turn to force to “resolve” the issue. Moreover, it has the resolve and increasingly the power to try to do so: Beijing views Taiwan as a renegade province and, under Xi Jinping, has strengthened its commitment to unify the island with the mainland. Moreover, China has built a military specifically to force unification. Beijing’s most attractive military strategy to cleanly and resolutely settle the issue would likely be an invasion, and blunting such an assault should be the United States’ top priority for defending Taiwan. At the same time, the Pentagon also needs to be prepared to relieve Taiwan if China chooses a more indirect strategy, such as a blockade and/or bombardment of the island to try to coerce it into surrender.

Taiwan is the toughest for the United States to defend among its allies and close partners. But focusing on the hardest strategically significant scenario is crucial, not least because China is likely to go for the weak point in America’s defense perimeter. Defending Taiwan calls for the United States to deny China freedom of action less than 100 miles off the Chinese coast, where China’s advantages in numbers and distance are most pronounced. Importantly, defending Taiwan does not require that the U.S. military dominate within the first island chain, but rather deny that dominance to China. This is a lower but achievable standard.
If the United States cannot field military forces capable of defending Taiwan, it is unlikely to be able to credibly deter China from taking it. Focusing on easier scenarios farther from China’s shores will divert attention, resources, and preparation, making Taiwan more vulnerable. This is especially important because, if China is able to suborn Taiwan, it will almost certainly lift its gaze farther afield to countries like the Philippines from an even stronger position. Those previously easy scenarios like the defense of the Philippines will be much harder, since China will then be able to project power from Taiwan rather than having to worry about it.

Focusing on a conflict scenario with China over Taiwan is particularly important because of the potent tendencies in the defense establishment to avoid concentrating on the toughest, most strategically significant contingencies. Bureaucratic imperatives often prize the preservation of existing programs and practices, while a serious examination of the most challenging future warfare scenarios often points to the need for disruptive change and the goring of sacred cows. Especially if defense budgets remain flat, as seems likely at present, such change may require eliminating previously cherished parts of the force. Think of the resistance to give up horse cavalry in the U.S. Army before World War II or the battleship admirals’ hostility to the advent of the aircraft carrier. Organizations with entrenched interests in given force structure will happily use less demanding scenarios to justify the existing force. Such scenarios are not just thought experiments, in other words, but can result in dangerous inertia.
Arguments that Taiwan is “too hard defend” almost invariably assume traditional forms of American power projection rooted in the Cold War-era force structure and operational concepts. As wargaming from RAND and others has shown, the defense of Taiwan that exploits different weapons platforms and systems, emerging technologies, and new ways of operating can be successful. Defending Taiwan would be very challenging, but it is a solvable problem if undertaken with the requisite focus and willingness to change. Such willingness would stem from a basic recognition of the American military’s fundamental purpose: The armed forces should be adapted to the political requirements of the nation, not the political requirements of the nation to legacy force structure and operating patterns.

Fortunately, while such adaptation takes political courage and grit, it can happen. The U.S. Navy embraced submarines and carriers ahead of World War II. Even better, current Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger’s Force Design 2030 and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. C.Q. Brown’s Accelerate Change or Lose show that the willingness to implement needed change is alive and well.
Finally, developing a military able to defend Taiwan will also be useful for other, less stressing scenarios in the Western Pacific. Taiwan is the frontline. If the United States develops a force able to defend it, then that force is likely to be able to defend other allies and partners like Japan, Australia, and the Philippines against China. Such a force would able to destroy in a timely fashion a large concentration of China’s maritime forces in the Western Pacific. It would exploit capabilities that can reach Chinese forces within their defense perimeter, such as penetrating strike, long-range fires, and undersea capabilities, along with essential enablers that could withstand Chinese attacks, including agile logistics and a resilient communication and intelligence network. It would also be one at the forefront of applying new sources of military powerdata, algorithms, and computing power.

The Defense Department is rightly focused on China in Asia and on restoring the American military’s edge vis-à-vis Beijing. The best way the Pentagon can serve these goals is to prioritize defending Taiwan over all other contingencies in its planning. Doing so will be challenging and likely involve significant change, but it can — and should — be done to deter and, if necessary, prevail in a war with the most challenging rival the United States has faced in a generation.

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Elbridge Colby is a principal at The Marathon Initiative. Jim Mitre is the chief strategy officer at Govini. They previously served as lead official for and executive director for the development of the Department of Defense’s 2018 National Defense Strategy.
Image: China’s Ministry of Defense (Photo by Xinhua)


posted for fair use
 

jward

passin' thru
Suganomics' and India-Japan economic ties: A seven-point plan







  • What are the implications that 'Suganomics' will have on the India-Japan partnership, both bilaterally and regionally? | POOL VIA / REUTERS What are the implications that "Suganomics" will have on the India-Japan partnership, both bilaterally and regionally? | POOL VIA / REUTERS




One of the foremost challenges awaiting the new Prime Minister of Japan, Yoshihide Suga, is how to bring the Japanese economy — facing a crippling recession spurred in part by the COVID-19 pandemic — back on track.
The debate is focused on the extent to which the new leadership in Tokyo can transition from "Abenomics" to "Suganomics" while building a competitive domestic environment. Shinzo Abe, Japan’s longest serving Prime Minister, invested heavily in the country’s economy.

His influence is reflected greatly in Japan’s foreign policy initiatives concentrated on forging greater trade and economic investment partnerships with Japan’s Indo-Pacific partners, especially India. This begs the question: What are the implications that Suganomics will have on the India-Japan partnership, both bilaterally and regionally?
As Abe’s chief Cabinet secretary, Suga was an instrumental force behind the construction and implementation of Abenomics, leading to widespread speculation that his own economic policies — or Suganomics — will likely mirror that of his predecessor. Fiscal policy may be where Abe and Suga differentiate: While Abe pursued aggressive monetary easing, Suga may adopt a more moderate approach with spending reforms and fiscal tightening. Furthermore, there is going to be a general election come 2021 — an election which the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) risks losing due to massive discontent among the public over Japan’s handling of the pandemic and economic uncertainty. Hence, it is likely that the LDP will want Suga to focus first on short-term prosperity to reclaim public support.

First, Suga’s primary aim as the new prime minister will be to deal with the ramifications of the pandemic through a more proactive fiscal policy and stimulus packages. With India too undergoing an economic crisis exacerbated by the pandemic (India’s GDP contracted by 23.9 percent in Q1 of 2020-21), both countries can find much room to coordinate domestic strategies. For instance, one of Suga’s key focus areas is strengthening local economies by providing increased support to small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). With India’s own renewed focus on MSMEs, New Delhi and Tokyo may find a robust area of synergy by which both can coordinate policies that mutually boost this industrial sector, particularly in terms of their stimulus packages to negate the impact of COVID-19.
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Second, with greater MSME engagement, Suga can also look towards realizing his aim of supply chain resilience. In an interview in April 2020, Suga affirmed that diversifying manufacturing bases away from China was of critical importance. Abe made significant steps in this direction: earmarking $2.2 billion to incentivize companies to move production to Southeast Asia, and more recently India, as well as proposing to drive a Supply-Chain Resilience Initiative (SCRI) with India and Australia. In the coming months, India should focus on emerging as an attractive destination for Japanese businesses looking to diversify and employ a China+1 strategy. Such efforts align perfectly under India’s own “Make in India” campaign, and the newly announced Aatmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) initiative that Prime Minister Modi has introduced to rejuvenate the Indian economy.

Third, both countries may also find opportunities for greater cooperation in domestic initiatives aimed at boosting digital capabilities. Suga — who also has a background as Minister of Internal Affairs and Communication — proposed the idea of consolidating IT infrastructure at federal and local government levels in order to offer the public streamlined digital services across all ministries and departments. In India too, there is a reassertion of the Digital India campaign, which was launched in 2015 to ensure online provision of governmental services across the country.

Fourth, Japan has an ageing population which, must be countered through a globally situated policy. Suga previously pushed for a program that encouraged more unskilled foreign workers to enter Japan by instituting a policy that offers them wages comparable to Japanese citizens — even overcoming strong resistance within his own party. Suga’s clear global focus can be an advantage for India and Indian talent as it may open more doors for educational and professional exchanges between citizens. A proactive step in this direction was taken on Sept. 25, 2020 when Modi and Suga held their first interaction via a telephone discussion. The two leaders finalized the text of the agreement pertaining to specialized skilled workers. Such an engagement need not be limited to people-to-people exchanges but may expand to a mixed approach that allows closer linkage with other national initiatives of both nations.

Fifth, a regional characterization, if not a global one, of India-Japan economic ties could be forged given Japan’s leadership experience in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). There exists potential for New Delhi and Tokyo to renegotiate the RCEP in favor of a people’s friendly market like India while ensuring a return for India to the RCEP at some point, which Abe was keen for. Abe’s attempts at promoting economic multilateralism, remained unfulfilled with respect to both RCEP and CPTPP; now, Suga must push these initiatives in order to solidify Japan’s post-COVID economic multilateralism aims and aspirations.
Sixth, Suga must not lose the momentum Abe built in terms of multilateral strategies. Under Abe, Japan was instrumental in re-establishing crucial security and economic mechanisms like Quad 2.0, the Expanded Partnership for Quality Infrastructure (EPQI) and the U.S.-Australia-Japan driven Blue Dot Network (BDN). With Chinese revisionism rising further, and Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative taking a different turn with New Silk Health diplomacy amidst COVID-19, India-Japan ties can reassert their multilateral connectivity and economic ambitions under the aegis of Quad 2.0 and Quad Plus mechanisms. India’s potential inclusion in BDN is also an idea that Suga should invest further in. Over their phone call, Modi and Suga agreed to boost ties based on mutual trust and shared values while emphasizing creation of resilient supply chains; such synergy is a positive mark for the budding Japan-India ties.

Seventh, it is realistic to note that a complete decoupling from China is not possible. However, a structured exodus of manufacturing and supply chains from China alongside enhanced efforts for improving ties with countries like Vietnam is necessary. In his first U.N. address, Suga spoke of proactively leading global post-pandemic recovery, marking the continued active presence of Japan internationally. Simultaneously, continuing with Abe’s move away from Japan’s pacifist Constitution, Suga and Modi must pursue global growth in their defense and maritime ties. This will reflect positively in their economic ties, with Japan looking to enter the global arms market while India too aims for defense indigenization under Make in India.

Suga will have to lead Japan through a tumultuous time until Japan’s 2021 general elections, in terms of both economic and security environments. He will thus have to invest heavily in maintaining, if not building, the personal camaraderie Abe shared with world leaders, including Prime Minister Modi. Even though India-Japan ties have been instituted within structured, progressive mechanisms, relying on these mechanisms will not be enough. Personal investment is key with the Abe-Modi legacy is a vivid example. Suga must carefully take forward the multi-faceted ties between India and Japan in order to build international and domestic support.

Dr. Jagannath Panda is a Research Fellow and Centre Coordinator fo
 

jward

passin' thru
Japan to set up six new electronic warfare units
Thursday, Oct. 1, 11:10

Japan to set up six new electronic warfare units


Japan's Defense Ministry plans to enhance its electronic warfare capability by creating six specialized units across the country.

Electronic warfare involves monitoring and jamming enemy radio communications and radars.

The Ground Self-Defense Force will build the new units during the next fiscal year, which ends in March 2022. An electronic warfare unit has already been established in Hokkaido and another one will be set up this fiscal year in Kumamoto Prefecture with about 80 personnel.

A headquarters unit will be placed at Camp Asaka, which straddles Tokyo and Saitama prefectures. The new units will be located across the country in areas such as the northern prefecture of Hokkaido and southwestern prefecture of Okinawa.

The units will monitor electromagnetic waves emitted by foreign aircraft and vessels around Japan. This information will be systematically analyzed.

The units will also be equipped with jamming capability to respond in the event of a contingency.


 

jward

passin' thru
-hmm. no missiles. krgyzstan's president will step down,
Armenia and Azerbaijan are stopping to haul off bodies, n
agreed to meet w/ Russia..too dang quiet out there-


North Korean Oct. 10 military parade could’ve happened before dawn: Sources
Evidence suggests parade may have already taken place
Chad O'Carroll October 10, 2020
 

northern watch

Has No Life - Lives on TB
China protests latest US Navy mission in South China Sea
China says it dispatched ships and planes to track the passage of the U.S. guided-missile destroyer John S
By The Associated Press
10 October 2020, 01:30


FILE - This undated file photo released on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, by Indonesian Maritime Security Agency (BAKAMLA) shows a Chinese Cost Guard ship sails in North Natuna Sea. Earlier this month, an Indonesian patrol ship confronted a Chinese coast g

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The Associated Press
FILE - This undated file photo released on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, by Indonesian Maritime Security Agency (BAKAMLA) shows a Chinese Cost Guard ship sails in North Natuna Sea. Earlier this month, an Indonesian patrol ship confronted a Chinese coast guard vessel that spent almost three days in waters where Indonesia claims economic rights and are near the southernmost part of China’s disputed South China Sea claims. (Indonesian Maritime Security Agency via AP, File)

BEIJING -- China said it dispatched ships and planes to track the U.S. guided-missile destroyer John S. McCain as it passed near Chinese-held islands in the South China Sea.

The People’s Liberation Army accused the U.S. warship of trespassing into Chinese territorial waters on Friday near the Paracel Islands — called Xisha by China — during the latest freedom of navigation missions by the U.S. Navy aimed at defying China's vast claims in the strategic waterway
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Spokesperson for the PLA’s Southern Theater Command Col. Zhang Nandong said Beijing demanded the U.S. end such actions, calling them “blatant navigation hegemony and military provocation” that “seriously violated China’s sovereignty and security interests, and gravely jeopardized peace and stability in the South China Sea.”

“We urges the US side to immediately stop such kind of provocative actions, strictly manage and control its maritime and air military operations so as not to cause any eventuality”, Zhang was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua News Agency.

China claims sovereignty over virtually the entire South China Sea, which is also claimed in whole or in part by Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam. Frictions between China and Indonesia have also increased over activities by China's fishing vessels, the coast guard and navy within Indonesia's exclusive economic zone.

China ignored a 2016 arbitration ruling that invalidated most of its territorial claims in the South China Sea, but has encountered persistent pushback from the U.S., its allies and China's Southeast Asian neighbors over its moves to cement its control in the disputed area.

 

Pinecone

Veteran Member
They should be careful about flaunting "new and improved" weapons that they built or bought if they want humanitarian shipments of food and fuel. Obviously, they have mismanaged their budget.

Edited to add: It's doubtful said shipments actually make it to the peasants anyway.
 

Housecarl

On TB every waking moment
That could also be just one big empty tube on an ancient Soviet era hand me down erector/launcher?
Very true. Even if only a mild steel "prop", I"ve got to wonder about the engines pushing the "ready for prime time" model.

Then there's the issue of the payload.....
 
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