Home > Uncategorized > Air-Sea Battle: U.S. Deploying Surveillance Drones Near China

Air-Sea Battle: U.S. Deploying Surveillance Drones Near China

Antiwar.com
August 9, 2012

US Deploying Surveillance Drones Near China

Even John McCain called the move “unnecessarily provocative”
By John Glaser

The Pentagon will begin flying surveillance drones off the coastlines of Japan, China and Taiwan, an agreement reached after talks between Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Japanese Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto at the Pentagon on Sunday.

Source: BBC

The unmanned aerial missions will focus on a Pacific island chain called the Diaoyutai Islands, which have become the focal point of a simmering territorial dispute between China and Japan. Even Sen. John McCain, one of the biggest hawks in Congress, called the deployment “unnecessarily provocative.”

In keeping with the Obama administration’s antagonistic military postures towards China, the US has backed various neighboring countries from Japan to the Philippines. And it’s no surprise drones have taken a larger role in what the Pentagon plans to make a new military theater of Air-Sea Battle.

New war strategies called “Air-Sea Battle” reveal Washington’s broader goals in the region and illustrate how a war with China – which the US apparently yearns for – would play out.

“Stealthy American bombers and submarines would knock out China’s long-range surveillance radar and precision missile systems located deep inside the country,” reports theWashington Post.  ”The initial ‘blinding campaign’ would be followed by a larger air and naval assault.”

The Obama administration has been ramping up the pressure on China with an increasingly antagonistic foreign policy. The so-called ‘Asia pivot’ is an aggressive policy that involves surging American military presence throughout the region – in the Philippines, Japan, Australia, Guam, South Korea, Singapore, etc. – in an unprovoked scheme to contain rising Chinese economic and military influence.

Chinese officials have not appreciated this unprovoked bellicosity. In May the Chinese Defense Ministry accused the Pentagon of hyping a Chinese military threat out of thin air. Others have said these Pentagon moves could start an arms race.

“If the U.S. military develops Air-Sea Battle to deal with the [People’s Liberation Army], the PLA will be forced to develop anti-Air-Sea Battle,” one officer, Col. Gaoyue Fan, said last year in a debate sponsored by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a defense think tank.

recent report from the Center for Strategic International Studies predicted that next year “could see a shift in Chinese foreign policy based on the new leadership’s judgment that it must respond to a US strategy that seeks to prevent China’s reemergence as a great power.”

“Signs of a potential harsh reaction are already detectable,” the report said. “The US Asia pivot has triggered an outpouring of anti-American sentiment in China that will increase pressure on China’s incoming leadership to stand up to the United States. Nationalistic voices are calling for military countermeasures to the bolstering of America’s military posture in the region and the new US defense strategic guidelines.”

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  1. Hoarsewhisperer
    August 12, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    There are so many things wrong with this story that it barely qualifies as a joke. But this passage, in particular, caught my eye:

    “Stealthy American bombers and submarines would knock out China’s long-range surveillance radar and precision missile systems located deep inside the country,” reports the Washington Post. ”The initial ‘blinding campaign’ would be followed by a larger air and naval assault.”

    Stealthy? Did the person quoted above mean stealth-ish?

    And besides that, what do the Pentagoons think/wish the Chinese would be doing while waiting for the US to complete their ‘blinding campaign’? In other words are the Chinese expected to be too stupid/inferior to figure out who was responsible and what to do about it?

    One need only look at the profile of so-called “stealth” aircraft – taking note of the fatally compromised aerodynamics – to realise that “stealth” is an(other) unfulfilled pipe-dream. Some measure of just how lacklustre the stealth concept is can be deduced from the fact that, after building planes which SEEM to be non-reflective (from certain angles), they nevertheless slosh ‘stealth’ paint all over them – after omitting the most important element of aircraft design; a vertical tail fin. A plane without a tail fin isn’t really a plane anymore. There are many manoevres which a finless plane can’t perform in a timely manner including recovering from a spin or other variation on loss of control, and sudden evasive moves.

    The stealthiest plane in the USAF, the F-117 fighter (with angled tail fins), was shot down over Kosovo, The tail-less B2, which couldn’t get out of its own way, let alone evade A-A fire or missiles, wouldn’t last 15 minutes in hostile radar-swept airspace. The foregoing suggests that both stealth ‘design’ and stealth ‘paint’ don’t work very well, even when combined on the same device, be it ship, submarine or aircraft.

    • richardrozoff
      August 12, 2012 at 11:31 pm

      The common term is super-stealthy.

      You’re right about an F-117 being shot down in the opening days of so-called Operation Allied Force. The plane was retired four year ago.

      The B-2 will be superseded by the F-35 Lightning II.

      What the U.S. ***says*** it’s working on was described in some detail in 2006 in a study published in Foreign Affairs (Council on Foreign Relations) called “The Rise of U.S. Nuclear Primacy” by Keir A. Lieber and Daryl G. Press.

      It contains, inter alia, this contention:

      “The U.S. Air Force has finished equipping its B-52 bombers with nuclear-armed cruise missiles, which are probably invisible to Russian and Chinese air-defense radar. And the air force has also enhanced the avionics on its B-2 stealth bombers to permit them to fly at extremely low altitudes in order to avoid even the most sophisticated radar.”

      Some combination of the Conventional Prompt Global Strike and Air-Sea Battle programs – the first includes not only (allegedly) non-nuclear ICBMs and hypersonic aircraft but a satellite/space component – appears to be designed to achieve just such a capacity.

      One can argue about the efficacy of those attempts, but fairly regular statements by Russian military officials indicate that their nation takes them seriously. See, for example, this from the commander of the Russian Air Force, Colonel General Alexander Zelin, in 2009:

      “By 2030…foreign countries, particularly the United States, will be able to deliver coordinated high-precision strikes from air and space against any target on the whole territory of Russia.”

  2. Hoarsewhisperer
    August 13, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    Thanks. I didn’t know the F-117 had been mothballed. It’s quite likely that the B2’s avionics can be upgraded to allow it to mimic the F-111’s terrain-following abilities. It was designed as a fly-by-wire gizmo because humans can’t detect, or react quickly enough to, initial, minor “deviations” from controlled flight. In that respect it’s a bit like a helicopter (an aviation pundit once explained the difference as “An aeroplane wants to fly. A helicopter wants to crash”). Using reconditioned B52’s as launch platforms for “stealth” missiles (if it’s true) is just one more of the cornucopia of half-baked weirdness that keeps me chuckling about the US Military. It’s tempting to conclude that the Pentagon is suffering “budget constraints.”

    Imo, most of Russia’s ‘complaints’ about the US are designed to encourage them to believe their own balderdash and bravado. And, remembering that 2030 is so far off, I interpret Col Zelin’s remark to mean “we’re not worrying yet” (Russians have an exquisite appreciation of irony and droll humour). In America, Schadenfreude is the height of hilarity – thanks to the 1% -ers who run the place. I was told, at the time, by an aerospace insider that the exodus of Russian aerospace scientists to the West brought with them detailed knowledge of Russian production models of hi performance weaponry which were only a gleam in the eyes of their Western counterparts. So I tend to interpret a lot of the bluster as an attempt, by America in particular, to conjure up PR stunts to keep everyone’s spirits in vivace mode..

    It would be quite a big departure from Standard Operating Procedure for Uncle Sam to start a shooting war with an entity which can shoot back – right from the word GO!. And let’s not forget that the Americans and Israelis wrote the book on “How To Get Yourself Ambushed” – just one symptom of which is that delightful euphemism, Friendly Fire (aka Frenzy Fire).

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