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A day which will live in infamy.....

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A day which will live in infamy.....

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Fri 07 Dec 2018, 17:11:48

December 7, 1941. The day that the Empire of Japan attacked the US Navy Base at Pearl Harbor. The carefully planned 3-hour attack sunk or destroyed 3/4ths of the USA's "Capital Ships" of the day, which were the Great Battleships. One bomb hit USS Arizona just right, her magazine blew up, and she sank in less than a minute. She had been preparing to steam away, and had most of her crew aboard, and 1,117 died on that one ship alone. A mere 15 bodies were recovered, the other 1,102 remain entombed within her hull. Among them is my Great Uncle Jack, who died a decade before I was born, a First Class Engineman on duty somewhere below. I once saw a photo of him in his dress blues, complete with "Liberty Cuffs" and forearm tattoos and "Dixie Cup" hat. Three decades ago, I read his name at the USS Arizona monument.

The Japanese used six aircraft carriers and did in fact destroy 3/4ths of the US active duty battleships that day. Ironicly they proved conclusively that battleships were obsolete when they did so. The rest of that war was largely naval aviation and submarines and amphibious assaults. Within four months, four of those same six aircraft carriers would be sunk by carriers of the US Navy. Among the US aviators in that war was a young Gearge HW Bush in a torpedo bomber.

The cause of the war was fundamentally the fact that other countries were embargoing oil. When Japan occupied southern French Indochina in July of 1941, putting her forces within striking distance of Malaya and the Netherlands East Indies, the United States, Britain, and the Netherlands responded embargoing oil and gasoline to Japan. Japan promtly joined the Axis powers of Europe (Germany and Italy) and the greatest armed conflict ever fought began. Fundamentally a resource war over petroleum, at least for Japan.
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Re: A day which will live in infamy.....

Unread postby Plantagenet » Fri 07 Dec 2018, 17:24:46

Could something like Pearl Harbor happen today?

Once again there is another aggressive military power rising in Asia---and one that is becoming increasingly unfriendly towards the US.

China, like Japan before it, wants to dominate Asia.

And CHina, like Japan before it, relies on oil imports.

Might China, like Japan before it, be tempted to try a sneak attack on the US?

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Re: A day which will live in infamy.....

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Fri 07 Dec 2018, 17:47:02

Plantagenet wrote:Could something like Pearl Harbor happen today?

Once again there is another aggressive military power rising in Asia---and one that is becoming increasingly unfriendly towards the US.

China, like Japan before it, wants to dominate Asia.

And CHina, like Japan before it, relies on oil imports.

Might China, like Japan before it, be tempted to try a sneak attack on the US?

Cheers!

While on the one hand, they might.

OTOH, we owe them over $1.1 trillion in US debt. Somehow, them pulling a sneak attack wouldn't help in the timely payment of that debt, IMO.

And how about China's reliance on trade with the US? And how, once we surely retaliate, does this help them "dominate Asia" again? I don't see it.

https://www.thebalance.com/u-s-debt-to- ... wn-3306355
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Re: A day which will live in infamy.....

Unread postby Plantagenet » Sat 08 Dec 2018, 14:54:36

Outcast_Searcher wrote:
Plantagenet wrote:Might China, like Japan before it, be tempted to try a sneak attack on the US?

.... how, once we surely retaliate, does this help them "dominate Asia" again? I don't see it.


You don't understand the concept of a "sneak attack."

The rationale for a sneak attack is to strike first is such a way as to disable the opponent so that it is incapable of retaliation.

Japan believed that once they destroyed the US Fleet at Pearl Harbor, the US would be stunned and incapable of retaliation. They believed the US was too weak to fight back. Fortunately, the Japanese turned out to be wrong.

I'm wondering if the Chinese are capable of the same kind of miscalculation that the Japanese made.

IMHO its entirely possible. The US and China are already close to military confrontation over the Chinese claims of control over huge areas of the westernmost Pacific, over the Chinese claims to Japanese owned islands, and over Chinese claims to Taiwan.

China is also already conducting a cyber war against the US, with government hacking groups attacking IT firms for their secrets and other US corporations for their data. The recent Marriot hack is now thought to have been done by Chinese government hackers. The chinese are also conducting cyber-espionage, hacking the US government and infiltrating large parts of the federal computer system during the Obama administration. And the Chinese are stealing military secrets, including the plans for the new F-35 fighter.

Since the Chinese state is a totalitarian dictatorship, all it would take is the elevation of the wrong person at the wrong time to be leader of China, and then one wrong decision by that wrong person might lead to war. Do the Chinese think the US is weak? I would imagine so, since we don't respond to their endless cyber attacks and cyber espionage and we aren't united behind Trump's efforts to remove Chinese tariffs and barriers to US exports.

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Re: A day which will live in infamy.....

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Sat 08 Dec 2018, 16:14:38

It's a mistake to assume that the USA is not on the forefront of Cyber Warfare. In fact that particular tech area is just behind software/apps, mobile devices, and semiconductors, as the fourth largest technology revenue stream in the Silly Valley. But their job includes not being noticed or talked about, while publicizing the He!! out of the cyber attacks from China, Russia, and former Soviet Block countries. They are succeeding, I don't believe you had any clue. But when the DOD pays your salary, you use their rules.

Hint: Full-fledged Cyber Warfare has been occurring for years. The US infrastructure has been hardened against it, and we are getting less vulnerable as time passes.
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Re: A day which will live in infamy.....

Unread postby Cog » Sat 08 Dec 2018, 17:24:57

The Chinese might calculate that the only way to achieve dominance in the world is to destroy the United States. Perhaps its a calculation about peak oil or peak food. But when they do, they will strike.
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Re: A day which will live in infamy.....

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Sat 08 Dec 2018, 19:06:44

You know, I'm just not convinced. In spite of the trade imbalance, the USA and China are major trading partners, and fully co-dependant. I do not believe that warfare - whether real war, cyber war, or trade war - benefits either party more than it would hurt them.

Think about this. The USA could easily do without the tech toys and cheap appliances and so forth from China. The Chinese cannot easily make do without the coal and the foodstuffs that are moving the other way. As time passes, tech is getting cheaper, while food and energy grow steadily more expensive. In time, the trade imbalance will disappear and perhaps even tilt the other way.

This is by no means certain. Because if Mao can starve 64 million Chinese to solidify his power base, the current Chinese Marxist leadership is probably capable of things we cannot imagine. However, as time passes our two countries grow more interdependant and war less likely IMHO.
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Re: A day which will live in infamy.....

Unread postby Plantagenet » Sun 09 Dec 2018, 01:23:05

KaiserJeep wrote: I do not believe that warfare - whether real war, cyber war, or trade war - benefits either party more than it would hurt them..


Thats always been true. Nonetheless, there have been a heck of a lot of wars throughout history. People keep thinking war only occurs as the result of some kind of logical calculation that going to war will be "worth it." But thats not how all wars start.... some wars start as the result of a mistake or a miscalculation where one side assumes the other will back down in the face of military attacks or provocations and plows ahead and blunders into war when the other side won't back down.

KaiserJeep wrote:Think about this...... if Mao can starve 64 million Chinese to solidify his power base, the current Chinese Marxist leadership is probably capable of things we cannot imagine.


Yes, that is my point. IMHO if China gets an unusually jingoistic dictator sometime down the road, all bets are off.

China used to keep a very low profile. Now things have changed. China thinks nothing of threatening other countries. For instance, the current Chinese leader just called in the canadian ambassador and blasted him and threatened Canada if they don't release the Huawei exec. Will Canada kowtow to China and back down? How will China retaliate against Canada? Will the US get involved? Time will tell.

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Re: A day which will live in infamy.....

Unread postby Tanada » Sun 09 Dec 2018, 09:05:40

Pop quiz, who was Hitlers biggest trading partner in 1941?

































































Who did Hitler sneak attack in 1941?
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Re: A day which will live in infamy.....

Unread postby Cog » Sun 09 Dec 2018, 13:45:30

Soviet Union. But Hitler also had trade with neutral nations like Sweden and Spain during and after 1941.
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Re: A day which will live in infamy.....

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Sun 09 Dec 2018, 14:05:50

Cog wrote:The Chinese might calculate that the only way to achieve dominance in the world is to destroy the United States. Perhaps its a calculation about peak oil or peak food. But when they do, they will strike.

Do you really think that anytime in the next few decades the Chinese will think they can truly try to "destroy" the US (implying an all out attack), without the US launching a devastating nuclear counterstrike, when it's obvious the Chinese are going all-in?

Words matter.

If you mean undermine, via, say, cyber-attack, that's one thing. But just pretending that the Chinese can "destroy" the US by, say, force of will, makes no sense unless you think they can successfully defend against all the US nuclear options. Or that they're willing to just take the consequences.

There's a reason the size of wars has been quite limited since WWII, and it's the credible nuclear deterrent that exists.
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Re: A day which will live in infamy.....

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Sun 09 Dec 2018, 14:41:36

OS is correct. The reason that the Chinese are developing aircraft carriers is power projection, USA-style. The J-31 for example will exist in both fighter and attack variants, similar to the F/A-18. Submarines are usefull in both offense and defense. Cruise missiles are tactical weapons.

WW3 is always possible, but has never been likely.
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Re: A day which will live in infamy.....

Unread postby Cog » Sun 09 Dec 2018, 15:56:53

Outcast_Searcher wrote:
Cog wrote:The Chinese might calculate that the only way to achieve dominance in the world is to destroy the United States. Perhaps its a calculation about peak oil or peak food. But when they do, they will strike.

Do you really think that anytime in the next few decades the Chinese will think they can truly try to "destroy" the US (implying an all out attack), without the US launching a devastating nuclear counterstrike, when it's obvious the Chinese are going all-in?

Words matter.

If you mean undermine, via, say, cyber-attack, that's one thing. But just pretending that the Chinese can "destroy" the US by, say, force of will, makes no sense unless you think they can successfully defend against all the US nuclear options. Or that they're willing to just take the consequences.

There's a reason the size of wars has been quite limited since WWII, and it's the credible nuclear deterrent that exists.


One does not build aircraft carriers to defend the borders but to project force. The Chinese have one operational and two more under construction. Nuclear forces will not be used. The Chinese intend to drive us from the Pacific and are preparing to do so. There will be conventional attacks on US military forces. Both in the Pacific and here on CONUS. At least that is the way I see the Chinese moving in the next few decades. Maybe sooner.
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