F-35 vs. DPRK

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mike.fink

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Unread post03 Sep 2017, 02:16

tincansailor wrote:Gentleman with all due respect your drawing the wrong conclusions from Cold War, and Chinese History. No one ever backs down from a nuclear challenge. Every escalation between the Superpowers was matched by similar escalation by the other side. Nether side would ever accept inferiority.


Well The US had theater nuclear missiles in Turkey which were not up for negotiation. The USSR placed missiles in Cuba in 1962 and JFK's solution was to remove our missiles from Turkey if the USSR removed theirs from Cuba. Done Deal. Of course the Cuban Missile Crisis was and still is portrayed as the US backing down The Soviets and making them remove the missiles. JFK is a political genius and all that. The truth was that The Soviets backed down JFK.

This example could work in Korea, granted, it would be by proxy, but until the PRC has skin at risk they have no reason to help us disarm the DPRK A nuclear ROK only threatens them if they chose to get involved in a fight between the 2 Koreas. They have a simple way out of it by remaining neutral. They are almost there now as they told Kim he would be on his own if he attacked anyone first
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mike.fink

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Unread post03 Sep 2017, 02:26

madrat wrote:China has suicidal tendencies allowing the little dictator to act so irresponsibly. If you believe China didn't want this, then you are mistaken. China is a crisis manufacturer. They sell the (only allowable) solution, and it just so happens to be in their best interest. Sorry, but giving into their madness is called appeasement. We aren't going there. The solution is the ROK has nukes that can threaten Beijing. The solution is that Beijing allows the reunification of Korea in exchange for a denuclearised neighbor.



Yes, I don't see why they would fear that so much. The ROK has proven that it can abide by self imposed and collective arms limitations. They have not exactly been chomping at the bit to go nuclear up to this point anyway. If the DPRK was to be disassembled by a PRC intervention, I'm sure the South would be willing to disarm. The US could also go home and things would be much more peaceful in the region for them. Assuming of course that they don't then start building new islands or getting grabby with existing ones they do not own.
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tincansailor

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Unread post04 Sep 2017, 04:21

mike.fink wrote:
tincansailor wrote:Gentleman with all due respect your drawing the wrong conclusions from Cold War, and Chinese History. No one ever backs down from a nuclear challenge. Every escalation between the Superpowers was matched by similar escalation by the other side. Nether side would ever accept inferiority.


Well The US had theater nuclear missiles in Turkey which were not up for negotiation. The USSR placed missiles in Cuba in 1962 and JFK's solution was to remove our missiles from Turkey if the USSR removed theirs from Cuba. Done Deal. Of course the Cuban Missile Crisis was and still is portrayed as the US backing down The Soviets and making them remove the missiles. JFK is a political genius and all that. The truth was that The Soviets backed down JFK.

This example could work in Korea, granted, it would be by proxy, but until the PRC has skin at risk they have no reason to help us disarm the DPRK A nuclear ROK only threatens them if they chose to get involved in a fight between the 2 Koreas. They have a simple way out of it by remaining neutral. They are almost there now as they told Kim he would be on his own if he attacked anyone first



I didn't say de-escalation was impossible. By mutual agreement over the last 30 years the Superpowers have gotten rid of most of their nuclear arsenals. Each side has to get something out of the deal. In 1962 the U.S. was planning to get rid of the Jupiter missiles anyway, so it wasn't so great of a concession. The big concession from the United States was to agree to never overthrow the Castro regime, or help anyone else to do it.

The Soviet motive for deploying the missiles to Cuba was to provide a deterrent force to forestall another American sponsored invasion. Khrushchev could reasonable claim to his Politburo Comrades that his gambit had been a success, and worth the risk. Over the years the Soviets made nonsense of the deal by deploying nuclear armed bombers, and missile armed submarines to Cuba.

Cuba has been a source of subversion throughout Latin America. They sent proxy armies to Africa. They smuggle drugs, give haven to terrorists, trade in arms, and inspire leftist, and anti-Western regimes the world over. They have so beaten down their own people, for so long most of them don't know life should be better. The deal was worth it because it avoided a potential nuclear conflict, but it was at a heavy price.

The flaw in your theory is the proxy argument. If the missiles in Cuba had been Cuban we would have attacked them, and invaded the Island, with no hesitation. What held us back in Cuba was the threat of a wider global war, because we would be attacking Soviet Forces. SK nuclear MRBMs would represent a first strike threat to China. All the great cities of NE China would be less then 1,000km away, maybe 5 minutes flight time. That would be half the distance the Soviet Missiles in Cuba were to Washington DC.

China would never accept such blackmail from a minor power. China would launch a preemptive war before they would accept such a deal. The United States would never let SK do something so provocative. It would drag us into a massive conflict. China is not going to disarm NK. If they invaded those NK MRBMs would be used against China. What we want is for China to cut off NK economically. We can do that with sanctions. The kind of diplomacy by threat your suggesting would only backfire.

NK is a small country in a desperate situation. They want nuclear weapons for deterrence, and a negotiation chip. They have nothing else to bargain with, and almost nothing to lose. SK is a small rich country with a lot to lose. They have strong allies, and many options. They don't need to take such a desperate risk as possibly provoking a Chinese attack.
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brumby

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Unread post04 Sep 2017, 05:44

China would never accept such blackmail from a minor power. China would launch a preemptive war before they would accept such a deal.


I would be interested in the logic of the argument that somehow China could not accept any nuclear blackmail from SK but by the same token that the US can accept similar terms from NK. This is notwithstanding that Iran is waiting in the wings to see how the US will eventually address the NK situation.

A containment policy is in my view is code speak for appeasement. In effect, a NK armed NK will be able to exercise all kinds of blackmail short of first use of any nuclear weapon before inviting any response. The question, is can the US live with that?
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tincansailor

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Unread post04 Sep 2017, 09:17

brumby wrote:
China would never accept such blackmail from a minor power. China would launch a preemptive war before they would accept such a deal.


I would be interested in the logic of the argument that somehow China could not accept any nuclear blackmail from SK but by the same token that the US can accept similar terms from NK. This is notwithstanding that Iran is waiting in the wings to see how the US will eventually address the NK situation.

A containment policy is in my view is code speak for appeasement. In effect, a NK armed NK will be able to exercise all kinds of blackmail short of first use of any nuclear weapon before inviting any response. The question, is can the US live with that?



NK nuclear missiles are 5,000 miles away from the lower 48 states, about the same distance Chinese missiles are. The reason we couldn't accept Russian MRBMs, and IRBMs in Cuba was the lack of warning time. SK is even closer to Chinese primary targets then Cuba was to ours. We are constrained by the threat of a devastating war in SK, and Japan. China would not be so constrained.

The only threat they would be facing would be the SK nuclear MRBMs, which a preemptive strike would be designed to eliminate. Besides a SK nuclear missile force would take years to develop, and deploy. Why would China wait for the threat to develop, when there are so many options they could take to abort it?

China has tactical airbases in easy reach of all of SK. They have hundreds of MRBMs, and cruise missiles close enough to give almost no warning time. SK's air defense problem would increase exponentially. SK has never wanted missiles with over a 500 mile range precisely because they don't want to provoke China.

Even if China didn't attack they could economically devastate SK, by freezing assets, cutting off trade, imposing sanctions, and intimidate SK with the threat of force. In that situation the SK stock market would crash, and the economy would sink. Making an enemy of China would be counter productive, serving to only increase the threat to national security.

Just what blackmail do you think NK can really impose on the United States? Say "If you attack us we will counter attack with nukes." We weren't going to attack you anyway, and we're building up our missile defenses. "We will nuke you if you don't give us money." We can shoot down your missiles, and wipe your country off the map with our own nukes. "If we attack SK you have to stay out of it, or we'll nuke you." The same answer.

A nuclear NK increases the potential level of destruction in a new Korean War. It doesn't change the strategic balance. In any war the NK regime wouldn't survive. Their strategic objective is regime survival. As long as they understand that they won't start a war. We should use economic sanctions to make NK a liability to China, until NK denuclearizes. China is a great power with a lot to lose. If China cuts off all trade there's is a very good chance NK will give way, or the regime will be overthrown by the military. That's a better, and safer option then SK attempting nuclear blackmail.
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brumby

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Unread post04 Sep 2017, 12:56

NK nuclear missiles are 5,000 miles away from the lower 48 states, about the same distance Chinese missiles are. The reason we couldn't accept Russian MRBMs, and IRBMs in Cuba was the lack of warning time. SK is even closer to Chinese primary targets then Cuba was to ours. We are constrained by the threat of a devastating war in SK, and Japan. China would not be so constrained.

The warning time argument is merely a myth meant for public consumption regarding the Cuban missile crisis. According to historical records from Executive Committee of the National Security Council (Excomm), JFK and his civilian advisers understood that the missiles in Cuba did not alter the strategic nuclear balance. He told the ExComm on the first day of the crisis, that “it doesn’t make any difference if you get blown up by an ICBM flying from the Soviet Union or one that was 90 miles away. Geography doesn’t mean that much.” America’s European allies, Kennedy continued, “will argue that taken at its worst the presence of these missiles really doesn’t change” the nuclear balance. That the missiles were close to the United States was, as the president conceded, immaterial: the negligible difference in flight times between Soviet Union–based ICBMs and Cuba-based missiles wouldn’t change the consequences when the missiles hit their targets, and in any event, the flight times of Soviet SLBMs were already as short as or shorter than the flight times of the missiles in Cuba would be, because those weapons already lurked in submarines off the American coast (as of course did American SLBMs off the Soviet coast). “A missile is a missile,” Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara asserted. “It makes no great difference whether you are killed by a missile from the Soviet Union or Cuba.” On that first day of the ExComm meetings, Bundy asked directly, “What is the strategic impact on the position of the United States of MRBMs in Cuba? How gravely does this change the strategic balance?” McNamara answered, “Not at all”—a verdict that Bundy then said he fully supported. The following day, Special Counsel Theodore Sorensen summarized the views of the ExComm in a memorandum to Kennedy. “It is generally agreed,” he noted, “that these missiles, even when fully operational, do not significantly alter the balance of power—i.e., they do not significantly increase the potential megatonnage capable of being unleashed on American soil, even after a surprise American nuclear strike.”

The only threat they would be facing would be the SK nuclear MRBMs, which a preemptive strike would be designed to eliminate. Besides a SK nuclear missile force would take years to develop, and deploy. Why would China wait for the threat to develop, when there are so many options they could take to abort it?


A nuclear armed SK would essentially be an existential threat to China whether it is real or imagined - period as in your reasoning. If the argument is that China would not accept such a threat from SK why would the US accept one from NK? Distance and warning time is not the main determinant. The main reason is simply the existential threat of a nuclear attack regardless of any missile defense capability.

Even if China didn't attack they could economically devastate SK, by freezing assets, cutting off trade, imposing sanctions, and intimidate SK with the threat of force. In that situation the SK stock market would crash, and the economy would sink. Making an enemy of China would be counter productive, serving to only increase the threat to national security.

You seem to suggest that China would use all levers of national power to prevent SK from acquiring nuclear weapons. Isn't it rather hypocritical China's laissez faire attitude towards NK behaviour?

Just what blackmail do you think NK can really impose on the United States? Say "If you attack us we will counter attack with nukes." We weren't going to attack you anyway, and we're building up our missile defenses. "We will nuke you if you don't give us money." We can shoot down your missiles, and wipe your country off the map with our own nukes. "If we attack SK you have to stay out of it, or we'll nuke you." The same answer.

Once NK has the capability to be a threat to the US mainland, it has the capacity to extract a high threshold from the US without inviting any penalty because the alternative is too difficult to contemplate like the "no good options" narrative. The question is whether the US wants to be boxed in by a rouge nation like NK? NK can undermine the US in many ways like sharing nuclear or missile technologies with other rouge nations or terrorist organisations.

A nuclear NK increases the potential level of destruction in a new Korean War. It doesn't change the strategic balance. In any war the NK regime wouldn't survive. Their strategic objective is regime survival. As long as they understand that they won't start a war. We should use economic sanctions to make NK a liability to China, until NK denuclearizes. China is a great power with a lot to lose. If China cuts off all trade there's is a very good chance NK will give way, or the regime will be overthrown by the military. That's a better, and safer option then SK attempting nuclear blackmail.

NK doesn't have to start a war with the US. It just needs to get to a position where attacking it becomes too costly to contemplate. Once NK achieves such a status, it will achieve significant freedom to operate.
IMHO, it is currently in China's interest that NK is nuclear armed. It creates tension within the alliance between the US and SK. China will only change its calculus when there is any development that would upset its security. A nuclear armed SK would force China to reexamine its own position.
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tincansailor

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Unread post05 Sep 2017, 21:41

NK doesn't have to start a war with the US. It just needs to get to a position where attacking it becomes too costly to contemplate. Once NK achieves such a status, it will achieve significant freedom to operate.
IMHO, it is currently in China's interest that NK is nuclear armed. It creates tension within the alliance between the US and SK. China will only change its calculus when there is any development that would upset its security. A nuclear armed SK would force China to reexamine its own position.[/quote]

Your make some interesting points, but I think your conclusions are flawed. On the Cuban Missile crisis that wasn't the final conclusion of the debate. They decided we couldn't live with Russian Missiles in Cuba. We were 24 hours away from bombing the missile sites, and risking all out war with Russia. If it made no difference to the balance of power they wouldn't have risked a world war over it.

Yes at some level it doesn't matter if I'm killed by an atomic bomb, or run over by a bus, that is beside the point. The JCS believed missiles in Cuba would give Russia the ability to destroy our bomber, and missile bases before they could launch. Yes they understood that sub launched missiles were becoming a threat, but they had ways of dealing with that. The USN had a high degree of confidence that they could track, and destroy Russian Missile Boats.

A nuclear armed NK is not in the interest of China. China wants the United States to leave Asia. A NK with nukes draws Japan, and SK closer to the U.S. not away from them. They may disagree on what the policy should be, but it increases their interdependency, it does not lessen it. Nuclear weapons for Japan, or SK would be a terribly divisive issue domestically. Their people don't want them, for obvious reasons, they would only increase the threat level they face.

We already see the response of both Japan, and SK. An arms buildup. That is definitely not in the interest of China. China is in a very difficult position. It is in their interest to maintain the status quo between the two Koreas. The idea that China can simply order NK to give up their nukes, or stop their missile tests is overly simplistic Kim is not a Chinese Puppet. He killed his half brother because he feared the Chinese were holding him in reserve to replace him in a pro-Chinese coup.

A NK collapse would create chaos, and economic dislocation in their boarder areas. Has the crisis escalates the U.S. will put more economic pressure on them to cutoff NK's oil supply, and other trade. This is going to force China to make some very painful choices. What can they do? Cut off NK, and risk collapse? Stage a coup in NK, with all the attendant risks of failure? Defy the U.S. and suffer potentialyl great economic loses, and detreating relations with the U.S. Japan, and SK?

Do you really think China wanted to create this situation? If it did it wasn't a very well thought out plan. The way to force China into the arms of NK, is to back them into a corner. If we attack NK, we're forcing the issue. Having japan, or SK threaten them with nuclear weapons would guarantee an aggressive response. China's government if rational, but it's proud, and nationalistic. If you threaten them they won't just roll over, and rub their tummy.
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Unread post06 Sep 2017, 06:07

So what was the difference between land-based IRBMs pointed at DC from Cuba and SLBMs pointed at DC from off the coast? Ironically we never protested SSBN visits to Cuba, which technically were putting missiles back in Cuba.
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tincansailor

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Unread post06 Sep 2017, 07:24

madrat wrote:So what was the difference between land-based IRBMs pointed at DC from Cuba and SLBMs pointed at DC from off the coast? Ironically we never protested SSBN visits to Cuba, which technically were putting missiles back in Cuba.



Good questions. The difference was all though the Cold War American SSNs were trailing every Russian SSBN. If one of them rose to periscope depth, and fired a missile it would have been under torpedo attack before it could get off a second launch. Russian SSBNs couldn't ripple fire their missiles, they could only fire them at a rate of about one a minute. After the first launch was detected the order would go out to destroy every SSBN at sea. Also it wasn't until the 1980s that we thought Russian SLBMs had the accuracy to launch a successful first strike.

IRBMs from Cuba could launch with no warning. Virtually all our early warning systems were deployed facing north, not south. SS-5 could hit most of the lower 48 states. They were accurate enough to hit our SAC bases. They could also hit our naval bases on the East, and Gulf coasts. Russian MRBMs, and IRBMs in Cuba were protected by SAM, and AAA units. It would take time to organize an air attack to destroy the threat. At the time of missile crisis the air force said they needed 72 hours to prepare for"Surgical Airstrikes."

There was a brief crisis in 1978, or 79 in Cuba. The Carter administration protested the presence of Russian Nuclear armed bombers in Cuba. Carter wasn't willing to take it very far, and other Crisis, over Poland, and Afghanistan superseded it. The primary concern of President Reagan over the communist buildup in Granada was a 12,000ft runway that Russian Bombers could base from. From there TU-95 Bears could range the Atlantic, and threaten South America. Russian Air Power in the Caribbean was always a strategic concern. Only the fall of the Soviet Union ended the threat.
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Unread post06 Sep 2017, 19:45

NK doesn't have to start a war with the US. It just needs to get to a position where attacking it becomes too costly to contemplate. Once NK achieves such a status, it will achieve significant freedom to operate.
IMHO, it is currently in China's interest that NK is nuclear armed. It creates tension within the alliance between the US and SK. China will only change its calculus when there is any development that would upset its security. A nuclear armed SK would force China to reexamine its own position.

Excellent analysis! 100% spot on IMO...

The NK situation is probably the best example of the F-35's tactical and strategic relevance. Imagine if we have 500 of them in theater, and all the bugs were fully flushed out. Fat boy would be facing the prospect of F-35 hunter/killer teams roaming NK, slamming their nuclear launch sights, weapons depots etc and going after their mobile missiles too.

So.... figure 6-10 B-2's from Guam, 35-50 Raptors in Japan/SK and 500 F-35's all flying with impunity over your country. And it wouldn't take many days for them to significantly degrade NK air defenses, such that the flood gates open and B-1's, B-52's, F-15E's, F-15K's and hundreds and hundreds of other non-stealthy platforms would eat them alive. Even the Super Hornet might prove its value (sorry, couldn't resist) :mrgreen:

Of course, we'll need to hammer their artillery early too, but the stealth platforms would ensure surprise and in the F-35's case, the finest sensor platform to hunt for mobile IR/ICBM's there ever was. This won't be like Gulf War I with F-15E's and the hit and miss results they got. If the F-35 really is as good at its mission as we're led to believe.. If we have enough MOAB's... If THAAD is as good as advertised...

We could at least avoid hundreds of thousands dying, vs several thousand. Either is a great human tragedy, but you begin to see the F-35's value when playing with scenarios like what we're seeing now...
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post06 Sep 2017, 20:43

Once NK achieves such a status, it will achieve significant freedom to operate.
It already has a the freedom to do whatever it wants in it's own country. What do you think it is being kept from doing today that having ICBMs would let it do?
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."
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Unread post07 Sep 2017, 01:42

SpudmanWP wrote:
Once NK achieves such a status, it will achieve significant freedom to operate.
It already has a the freedom to do whatever it wants in it's own country. What do you think it is being kept from doing today that having ICBMs would let it do?


Sovereignty
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tincansailor

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Unread post07 Sep 2017, 02:27

We could at least avoid hundreds of thousands dying, vs several thousand. Either is a great human tragedy, but you begin to see the F-35's value when playing with scenarios like what we're seeing now...

[/quote]

Respectfully my friend that's what your doing, Playing with scenarios. It's safe to say in almost any scenario NK is defeated. On the other hand in almost any scenario hundreds of thousands of people in SK are also killed, or injured. If a hurricane can cause a hundred billions dollars in property damage in a few days, what do you think millions of shells, and another million rockets fired in urban areas will do? What would a thousand tons of VX nerve gas do in a populated area? What if NK uses nuclear weapons?

If we start this war what do you do if the Chinese send in say 6 divisions to support NK? Can 8th Army defeat both armies, and drive them back into China? Don't you think the Chinese Air Force will provide cover for their ground troops? What kind of scenario do you play with Chinese air and missile attacks on airbases in SK? In your scenario do we counter attack Chinese bases, in NE China? What do we do if Chinese Submarines attack ROK, and USN forces? Do we attack Chinese Naval Bases on the mainland?

These scenarios are so much fun, when we assume the enemy doesn't fight back. If you assume they will fightback you understand the risks your running. It's not a video game. DS was a fight in an open desert, with wide open flanks, and widely dispersed forces, against an enemy that preferred to fight WWI type static warfare battles. This will be a grinding battle, on a narrow mostly mountainous front, with very high troop density.

Considering the mass slaughter that will most likely happen, any effort to avoid it has to be tried. The reason everyone keeps saying there are no good military options, is because there are no good military options.
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Unread post07 Sep 2017, 03:14

madrat wrote:Sovereignty


That does not answer the question. What do they want to do that they cannot do now?
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."
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Unread post08 Sep 2017, 01:38

I think you may have misjudged the scope of your own question.
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