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The Military

Chinese Sub Pops Up Amid US Navy Exercise 916

Posted by kdawson
from the did-somebody-order-takeout dept.
One NATO figure said the effect was "as big a shock as the Russians launching Sputnik." American military chiefs have been left dumbstruck by an undetected Chinese submarine popping up at the heart of a recent Pacific exercise and close to the vast USS Kitty Hawk. By the time it surfaced, the 160ft Song Class diesel-electric attack submarine had sailed within viable range for launching torpedoes or missiles at the carrier. The incident caused consternation in the US Navy, which had no idea China's fast-growing submarine fleet had reached such a level of sophistication.
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Chinese Sub Pops Up Amid US Navy Exercise

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  • by hax0r_this (1073148) on Monday November 12, 2007 @09:11PM (#21330673)
    The exercise was presumably planned, so all he had to do was sit by the bottom and wait for the fleet to go overhead.

    I won't be able to remark any more on the issue though (at least not on /.) as I'm about to read the article.
  • Because... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Svartalf (2997) on Monday November 12, 2007 @09:16PM (#21330715) Homepage
    ...it may be that hostilities are about to increase. They've been at showing a bit of their capabilities, physical and electronic warfare-wise for about the last 2-3 years now.
  • by feepness (543479) on Monday November 12, 2007 @09:19PM (#21330755) Homepage

    The exercise was presumably planned, so all he had to do was sit by the bottom and wait for the fleet to go overhead. I won't be able to remark any more on the issue though (at least not on /.) as I'm about to read the article.
    My thought as well. They have 14 of them so they wouldn't have to know the exact route. It's not like it's that big an area and they probably have used similar routes in the past.

    But still, nice PR move.
  • Re:Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Neon Aardvark (967388) on Monday November 12, 2007 @09:20PM (#21330759) Homepage
    Because as of yet there is no real chance of any conflict breaking out any time soon, yet there is plenty of geopolitical point scoring going on, and this will help the Chinese in that area.
  • by Vellmont (569020) on Monday November 12, 2007 @09:21PM (#21330767)

    Modern submariners are a joke compared to their cold war predecessors.

    Do we need to up to cold war standards? I'm sure that the current army soldiers are a joke compared to WWII era hardened veterans.

    Submarine warfare is limited to those nations that have the ability to have submarine fleets. Those countries aren't terribly hostile towards the United States. It's extremely doubtful we're going to fight a big naval battle anytime soon.

  • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Monday November 12, 2007 @09:23PM (#21330785)
    Those with the connections will always be excused. You'll be left with only those who cannot find any way to avoid it.

    The all volunteer force is supposed to give us professional, dedicated warriors. But it doesn't seem to work out that way.
  • by jollyreaper (513215) on Monday November 12, 2007 @09:24PM (#21330789)
    Our fleet hasn't seen real naval combat since WWII. Anti-ship missiles are incredibly lethal and it costs far more to defend against them than it does to fire them. It will only take a few hits to ruin the day for any American task force. Sure, start a war with Iran. After the first carrier takes a hit that knocks it out of action for a two year repair, our fleets will be kept so far out at sea that their tactical usefulness will be zero. Score one for the Iranians.

    The whole concept of the super-carrier is very vulnerable at this point given the kinds of weapons available to potnetial hostiles. The only reason why they persist with such glowing reputations is that they have not been put to the test in battle, their vulnerabilities not made clear. In this case they are like the battleships of WWII, or possibly more apt, the battle-cruisers. The battle-cruisers were up-gunned so they could fight with the big boys but they lacked the armor to stay in the fight. Very expensive viking funerals, they were.

    The only development that will save the carrier is if active defenses can be improved to the point that nothing but nothing will get through the wall of fire. As it stands, our current ships are simply not survivable. Frigates and destroyers will get goatse'd if hit by a serious cruise missile. The torps out there these days can break a ship in two. The Russians, of course, designed torps that were supposed to be able to bust a carrier's keel in one hit.

    Our whole military aparatus is still stuck in the 20th century and is still trying to bring forward concepts that saw their genesis back in the Cold War. It's going to take a serious kicking of our collective asses to force the Pentagon to reevaluate our military and put together something that's realistic and sane. But I'm not sure how big of an ass-kicking it'll take. We're getting a good one in Iraq and the lessons don't seem to be sinking in.
  • by pedantic bore (740196) on Monday November 12, 2007 @09:25PM (#21330809)

    It's not clear whether the sub actually navigated its way into the heart of the carrier group, or whether it was just sitting there waiting for the other ships to sail by. It's a cheap and easy tactic, and they could have had subs stationed along the common navigation channels or the exercise area (which is no secret) long before the exercise, just in case they got lucky and the carrier group sailed over their heads. Worked for the U-boats, still works today.

    But it's not quite so easy the second time. Were the US ships using any active sonar? It doesn't say, but my guess is they weren't, because this is a fairly provocative thing to do -- especially if you're in waters that another country is claiming are its territory. But now that the Chinese have made a provocative move of their own, they'll have the picket ships and helos pinging away and dropping sonobuoys. And it wouldn't surprise me if the Chinese subs all find themselves with a silent new shadow the next time they leave port...

    Ah, the bad old days are back again.

  • by rainmayun (842754) on Monday November 12, 2007 @09:27PM (#21330815)
    There are good reasons to have a draft, but having more troops for the sake of having more troops isn't one of them. Modern wars aren't decided by the size of the armies involved. Mutually assured destruction means the odds of direct conflict between China and the USA are very low, but the odds of a proxy or asymmetric war are somewhat higher.
  • by Wonko the Sane (25252) * on Monday November 12, 2007 @09:30PM (#21330849) Journal

    Do we need to up to cold war standards?
    The ability of a submarine to remain undetected and at the same time to detect enemy submarines is as fundamental to the concept of a submarine as the ability to fly is to an airplane.
  • by EmbeddedJanitor (597831) on Monday November 12, 2007 @09:31PM (#21330861)
    The minitary need to keep their internal PR machine going. The military soak up a huge amount of the US budget, yet are slipping up. They need to keep selling to the US public to keep getting funding and keeping the generals and admirals from getting fired.
  • by skoaldipper (752281) <skoalstr8 AT gmail DOT com> on Monday November 12, 2007 @09:40PM (#21330935)

    I hope no one mods me down for saying this, but I really feel like we should consider starting the draft again.
    Helots or Spartans? Clear difference.

    As a Veteran, I was proud to have served in an all volunteer Army, and in hindsight, more apt to give my own life in return.
  • by DaedalusHKX (660194) on Monday November 12, 2007 @09:40PM (#21330943) Journal
    "The war wasn't meant to be won or lost, it was simply meant to be fought. The war was never meant to end, merely to go on."

    Do you folks actually think that both sides of this conflict hate each other as much as the peons do? Sheesh. When the rich meet at the country club, the boys from Company A, and the boys from Company B, regardless of nationality, are friends.

    The same is true of "presidents", "bankers" and anything else. Gentleman's rules, to all games. Gentlemen don't KILL each other. They get proxies, peons, idiots and fools to slaughter each other in their names. After all, only fools would hate someone they've never had a chance to get to know, or witness first hand their deeds (and their motivation, of course). Short of aggression carried out against the individual in question, "fighting a war" generally involved mass psychosis, usually cultivated by carefully trained and prepared "superiors" and "intelligence personnel."

    This stuff's as old as the world. The wars will go on, the arms races will go on, and humanity will go on. All the fears and the doomsayers are merely meant to up the ante, and keep the peons scurrying about, frittering their lives away doing nothing at all interesting or worthwhile, other than what they have been TOLD to do by someone else, for someone else's benefit and minor, if any, benefit to themselves.

    Welcome to the future :)

    The only reason I keep watching this mess is because it is, frankly speaking, fun to watch. Nothing more, nothing less.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 12, 2007 @09:46PM (#21331021)
    We need a commander-in-chief that doesn't abuse his position. Many are probably afraid to sign up, not wanting to be stuck on a ten-year tour-of-duty. We should have been in and out of Afghanistan in a few months, and we shouldn't have entered Iraq at all. We didn't have a single good reason to invade. Why would anyone want to sign up for an pointless war? Our soldiers should have the right to protect our country with honor.
  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by PPH (736903) on Monday November 12, 2007 @09:47PM (#21331027)
    Because the Chinese stand to learn more about US capabilities and tactics than the US will learn about China. The US probably knows quite a bit about diesel-electric sub technology. So there's nothing to hide here. 'Popping up' in the middle of a battle group probably isn't actual Chinese battle procedures, so there isn't much for the US to learn. OTOH, how the US ships respond to a threat is of great interest to the Chinese.
  • by h4rm0ny (722443) on Monday November 12, 2007 @09:53PM (#21331089) Journal

    And that's assuming that it ever came to war. I don't want to be blasé about the risk of conflict, but keep in mind that US debt [brillig.com] isn't quite critical but has become very, very large. A good portion of that debt is to China (another big chunk is borrowed against the public via social security, et al). The US government has essentially mortgaged the country. There doesn't have to be a war before a US citizen finds she's working for a Chinese company and renting from a Chinese landlord.

    Now the US has an enormous military (there had to be something to show for all that borrowing and it certainly wasn't in education and health care, yes?). You could say that the US could tell the rest of the World to go and fuck itself and renege on the debt. But that's extremely unlikely because (a) the richest people of the US who have the greatest influence to bring about such a thing are those who would lose the most in any sort of international isolation or chaos, (b) the whole economic structure of the US would go into freefall and (c) it would be hard to fund the US military in an economic crisis anyway, at least for any sustained period.

    Besides, it's not in the USA's creditor's interests for the US to default on debt or go bankrupt or turn into a military dictatorship. The percentage is in keeping it just sufficiently under the economic thumb that it can be milked in perpetuity and nudged into selling off its institutions and resources group by group. That's one of the nice things about a heavily privatised society. It makes it convenient for the country to be sold without non-radical means of preventing it.
  • by PortHaven (242123) on Monday November 12, 2007 @09:53PM (#21331095) Homepage
    Carriers are projection weapons.

    The mistake is that they float.

    Long ago we should have began working on carriers designs that were submersibles and only surface in order to let their air craft take off.
  • by Vellmont (569020) on Monday November 12, 2007 @09:58PM (#21331141)

    The ability of a submarine to remain undetected and at the same time to detect enemy submarines is as fundamental to the concept of a submarine as the ability to fly is to an airplane

    Did you really miss my point entirely?

    Submarine technology is actually way less relevant to the threats of the modern world than even freaking tanks. When was the last time we used a submarine to do any kind of warfare or political maneuvering? I'd say that ended in the cold war.

    The US and the rest of the world are fighting enemies that don't have submarines, or any navy at all. Al-Queda doesn't have a navy. These are small, dedicated groups of people who remain hidden. You can't fight people like that with a tank, much less a submarine.

    The US can take two roads here. Train a bunch of submariner guys REALLY well, develop technologies to defeat them, basically start another cold war. Of course.. that just might be a slight distraction from that other threat..

    The other path is to not over-react. China isn't going to attack the US, if for no other reason they've invested too damn much money in us. I'd bet the Chinese economy would collapse if the US wasn't buying all that crap from them. Concentrate on the real threats, not the Chinese wanting to look like big-shots by sneaking up on a few inexperienced submariners (most of which is probably all still geared up to look for nuclear subs).
  • by 1u3hr (530656) on Monday November 12, 2007 @10:03PM (#21331171)
    Submarine warfare is limited to those nations that have the ability to have submarine fleets. Those countries aren't terribly hostile towards the United States. It's extremely doubtful we're going to fight a big naval battle anytime soon.

    This is China. They're telling the US that if China decides to invade Taiwan, not to mess with them. The US fleet often travels in the Taiwan Strait just to show China that they control the sealanes and can protect Taiwan. China is saying, "No, you don't".

  • by WindBourne (631190) on Monday November 12, 2007 @10:05PM (#21331197) Journal
    Funny thing about the schkval is that in the 50s/60's, we were designing and about to build a Mach3 bomber ( B-70 valkrye). About the time of go-no go, the Powers was shot down, and USSR had their ICBM. Kennedy wisely decided that it would be a waste of money to pursue these, though he kept the research going for faster planes (which Nixon killed) and better rockets (NASA). Now, we see a torpedo that is KNOWN to be fast. Of course, it is not accurate, but who cares. If you can get it close with a small nuke (which russia owns), you own the ship. The real problem is that supposedly Russia has turned over that info to China. So now what do we do?

    Back in the 70's, Carter predicted that the day and age of large ships needed to end due to the ease that USSR (and other nations) could get to them. His goal was to push for small ships that worked together, basically a parallel system. Sadly, reagan killed that and pushed us back to the day of the battleships. Now, we have the ddx, but we are still pushing major ships. It strikes me that we will need to have automated or remotely controlled ships that can do the search and destroy missions. But just as the Air force fought that, the Navy is fighting that as well.
  • by 1u3hr (530656) on Monday November 12, 2007 @10:17PM (#21331285)
    I am guessing that China is a lot closer to a war with the west then is assumed in the west.

    I think the message is more "Don't fuck with us if we invade Taiwan". China doesn't want war with the West. They're getting rich selling stuff to the West now. But at the same time, the Chinese military is chafing to take back the "rogue province" of Taiwan.

  • by mkaylor (1020395) on Monday November 12, 2007 @10:20PM (#21331307)
    Any moron can fly a plane, but it takes a real man to be a SS Qualified Nuke Office.
  • by starseeker (141897) on Monday November 12, 2007 @10:27PM (#21331359) Homepage
    Reading the comments, it seems like the consensus is that given sufficient time, motivation, and technology it's hard to passively detect a well designed and built submarine in the open ocean, if it's built for quiet (i.e. non-nuclear) and active detection is the electronic version of wearing a "KICK ME" sign.

    Well, the solution to that is obvious - do just what satellites have done for surface bases; map the oceans with automated sonar/other detection grids until we know what's going on everywhere, and the dark (unobserved) areas are points of interest simply by appearing - if someone removes our ability to see it's an automatic point of interest.

    The environmental impact of doing something like that would not be trivial of course, but probably given sufficient time, money and resources it could be done. It would mean WE couldn't move quietly either, most likely (we wouldn't be the only ones doing it, once it started) but it would make a "sneak attack" rather more unlikely.
  • by rahvin112 (446269) on Monday November 12, 2007 @10:28PM (#21331367)
    Carrier's don't float alone. Don't underestimate the knowledge and abilities of the USN. The US played cat and mouse with the soviets for 30 years. It just means the USN is going to start playing cat and mouse with the Chinese now that their sub-tactics are improving. Chances are they were trying to surface to see if they could surface for a strike and re-submerge without being detected. In fact it would surprise me if there was a Los Angelos class sitting behind the Chinese when they did it. If not the Los Angeles class sub's will be getting their cat-n-mouse time with the Chinese in the near future.

    The USN is well aware of supersonic attack missiles and torpedoes, it's the entire reason that AEGIS exists and has the ability to track and fire on 100's of incoming targets simultaneously from every vessel in the fleet. The first principle of carrier doctrine is that carriers are huge slow moving targets, but they are also huge slow moving targets with 20 support ships and hundreds of aircraft aboard. For example, in a conflict with Iran the carriers aren't going to start the conflict while in the gulf, it will start with them outside the limits of the Iranians weapons while they bomb the living hell out of every defensive emplacement within 100 miles of coast. Then you move the carrier groupings in further so the aircraft can strike further. The carrier isn't there to sail up to the coast so the sailors can fire their machine gun at the ground or so the destroyers can fire their 12" guns, the carrier exists to support the aircraft which are the extension of the carrier's power (and that range is in the 100's of miles). I don't think you would dare argue that the Iranian's air defenses could withstand full assault by modern warplanes. Iraq had the best air defenses outside Russia in '91 (with the best systems the Russians sold) and it was picked clean in less than 100 days.

    The same is true of submarines, even diesels, given modern anti-sub warfare the Chinese wouldn't approach a carrier let alone fire on one, active sensors would be well outside the limits of the grouping actively pinging such that a yellowfin couldn't sneak up on the grouping. And no submarine can actively defend against helicopter based torpedoes and active floating sensors (except for sitting on the bottom next to something that conceals their shape), and fortunately the USN is smart enough to keep a couple anti-sub ships with two helicopters each and a hold full of sensors in every grouping. In the event of a conflict there would be a sensor net all the way from the Philippines to Alaska that would track every submarine in the water.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 12, 2007 @10:44PM (#21331501)
    Submarine technology is actually way less relevant to the threats of the modern world than even freaking tanks.

    This is one of the stupidest statements I have ever read on Slashdot.

    Two points (and there are many more that I won't discuss):

    1. Just because there isn't fighting on the seas today doesn't mean that there couldn't be. It would be wise to look at how submarines were used in WWII (axis and allied submarines). The use of submarines in the Pacific Theatre was particularly devastating. I'll give you a hint on how they might be used today if a major war broke out: submarines might be used to attack the transportation routes of a certain precious substance that starts with an 'O' and ends with an 'L'. It also might have the middle letter 'I.' This same tactic was used in the past to bring the Japanese empire to its knees in WWII long before US bombers were in range.

    2. You were talking about "the threats of the modern world" and nuclear SLBMs didn't cross your mind? Really? Then you are dumber than a doorknob.
  • Oh hell no (Score:4, Insightful)

    by schwaang (667808) on Monday November 12, 2007 @10:53PM (#21331577)
    I'm beyond draft age, but there's no way I'd subject my younger relatives to being drafted for another BS war-of-choice like Iraq or Vietnam.

    I would trust them to be patriotic enough to join up if they were needed to fight a *real* threat like WWII.
  • by flyingfsck (986395) on Monday November 12, 2007 @10:53PM (#21331579)
    My guess is that the submarine sensed the flotilla sailing on a collision course and surfaced to identify and save itself. That still doesn't excuse the US Sonar Operators for not sensing it.
  • by c6gunner (950153) on Monday November 12, 2007 @11:02PM (#21331673)

    It's going to take a serious kicking of our collective asses to force the Pentagon to reevaluate our military and put together something that's realistic and sane. But I'm not sure how big of an ass-kicking it'll take. We're getting a good one in Iraq and the lessons don't seem to be sinking in.
    That's a joke, right? The entire death toll in Iraq is less than the number of allied lives lost on any one day of major offencive ops in WW2. You lost 3 times as many soldier in one year of operations in Vietnam as you did in 4 years of ops in Iraq. Even Korea cost you 30,000+. I'm not sure where you get the idea that Iraq has given you "a good ass kicking", but you couldn't be more silly if you tried.
  • by h4rm0ny (722443) on Monday November 12, 2007 @11:03PM (#21331677) Journal

    The US and the rest of the world are fighting enemies that don't have submarines, or any navy at all. Al-Queda doesn't have a navy. These are small, dedicated groups of people who remain hidden. You can't fight people like that with a tank, much less a submarine.


    Al Quaeda are not a threat to the the United States. Not in the way that an actual army is. Al Quaeda are just the logical response to a long history of US support for the nasty regime of Saudi Arabia. Unchecked, they will cause deaths, but the only real threat they pose to the US itself, is one of respect which harms the government and its foreign bad-ass image. But not a threat to the American way of life or culture (those have come solely in the government's response). The two reasons that Al Quaeda are played up by the US government and media are (a) as a part of a campaign of confusing issues to justify an occupation of Iraq and (b) to excuse the diversion of vast funds into the military sector. A dubious reason to increase government surveillance and power is also a pleasant (for the authorities) bonus.

    Of course this isn't to disagree with your main arguments. Trying to restart the Cold War is massively misguided and the US can't afford to do it anyway. I'm just observing that Al Queada is a reactionary force to US policy, not an independent force. They fight primarily off US territority and could not pursue a war on US territority. All the US needs to do to stop the resistance is to stop pushing. But the powers that be in the US can't countenance such an idea because they have so much riding on being the big tough guy, both before the US people's (Slashdotter's excepted) drilled in faith in their country's superiority and on the international stage where they have pushed other countries around for a long time (mostly with a complete lack of awareness of the situation on the part of the population who I've usually found to be very friendly).

    The swollen armed forces of the US have been unnecessary for quite some time. I'm surprised people haven't cottoned on a long time before now.
  • by 1u3hr (530656) on Monday November 12, 2007 @11:12PM (#21331763)
    All China has to do is release it's US funds to the open market. Pop goes the US financial system,

    Right. An then pop goes the Chinese financial system. And if China did something like that, the US would be far more likely to aggressively respond to any Chinese military moves.

    no money no Navy, Army, Air Force or USMC

    The military is the last thing to get cut. Even if their budget were reduced, it would have the capacity to crush China for years, if not decades.

    Much better for China if they can suggest, by demonstrations like this, that confronting them militarily would be an expensive exercise, and that the US and China should just do business as usual if China decides to invade Taiwan (after some token protests).

  • by Maxmin (921568) on Monday November 12, 2007 @11:15PM (#21331799)

    any rogue/stateless assailants wanting to damage or merely startle a CVBG (which may or may not end up in the press), this might be something we see more of -- by state-funded, stateless actors.

    state-funded, stateless actors

    Let's say Osama bin Laden buys a Chinese sub. He drives it into the middle of a battle group, "pops up," says hi to the closest ships with a full complement of surface-to-surface missiles, and scores some decent hit points.

    Meanwhile, US reconnaisance, within the group, in the sky and in orbit, are busy snapping hires photos of a Chinese sub. Doesn't matter who was driving it, it all points back to Beijing.

    In a matter of minutes, the US is in total retaliation mode - against China.

    Submarines aren't in any way comparable RPGs or dusty Soviet-era rockets sold through arms merchants. To keep an expensive, complex piece of hardware like an attack sub running, you *must* have parts, a fully-trained crew, ad naseum. That means a steady supply large coin going to the seller, with supply lines, technical support, and giving the crew access to military nav sat so they can actually navigate. That makes China a de-facto partner in the operation.

    What are you smoking? You sound much like a wild-eyed neocon who fully expects the brown-skinned, foreign-sounding guy at the checkout counter to pull an AK-47 and smoke some Americans.

    I'm not up to current events with subs

    'Nuff said.

  • by codepunk (167897) on Monday November 12, 2007 @11:20PM (#21331861)
    Had it dawned on you that perhaps they where not running a ASW screen? I spent 10 years in the navy as a Operations Specialist, most of it aboard Burke class destroyers. During peace time battle group steaming the formation is generally not running a ASW screen unless they are actually
    practicing ASW detection.

    You are highly underestimating the capabilities of modern warships.

    Another thing, quiet don't mean shit when you get a P-3 Orion mark on top with a MAD(Magnetic Anomaly Detector).

  • by Courageous (228506) on Monday November 12, 2007 @11:31PM (#21331979)
    A navy pilot once described to me the kinetics of landing on an aircraft carrier. I still shiver.

    It takes testicles in addition to skill to be a carrier pilot.

    Wind. Check. Carrier moving. Check. Unforgiving short runway. Check.

    Stuff nightmares are made of.

    C//
  • by einhverfr (238914) <chris,travers&gmail,com> on Monday November 12, 2007 @11:35PM (#21332023) Homepage Journal
    I actually think we ought to have mandatory military service for everyone along with the option of other forms of community service for conscientious objectors (maybe infrastructure development).

    The major reason is that foriegn policy regarding war is rarely made with a real understanding of personal cost in lives, lost loved ones, etc. War has become something that other people fight for us so we can be cavalier about it.

    I think it would change the dynamics fundamentally if every community had people serving in the armed forces at all times. We pay the price at any rate, but at least this way, we as a society know the price when we pay it-- it isn't something that just happens to someone else.

    BTW, I have lost a friend to the Iraq war. It wasn't an IED, an insurgent bullet, or anything like that which ended her life. It was the PTSD (she committed suicide about a year after getting back). How many others have lost friends?

    Just to let you know where I stand on Iraq. This is a war we never should have fought. We shouldn't have gotten involved, and I said that at the beginning. However, we are there now, and for better or worse, we are now responsible for Iraq's well-being. Therefore IMO, the only acceptable discussion now is how we help the Iraqis to emerge from their civil war. While we as a country made a mistake, it would be an even bigger one to leave simply because the cost of staying in American lives is too high.

    I actually think we need to be prepared to leave, and we need to use that as a threat we can use to get the current Iraqi government to stop using militias in official or unofficial capacities (we should probably scale down our use of private paramilitary groups such as Blackwater as well).

    However, back to the China question: we will be involved in military confrontations with them at some point there is no doubt. However, as a democracy, we owe it to the people to spread the burden of the decision making, the politics, and the price fairly. Volunteers are great. But mandatory military service would put this country back into the hands of the people rather than the global planners.
  • by ShieldW0lf (601553) on Monday November 12, 2007 @11:38PM (#21332049) Journal
    Dear Mr Bush,

    This is just a cordial visit to remind you that you owe us $200,000,000,000. Nothing to be alarmed about. Have a nice day.

    China
  • by WhiteWolf666 (145211) <sherwin@nosPam.amiran.us> on Monday November 12, 2007 @11:39PM (#21332053) Homepage Journal
    Enjoy. [economist.com]

    It's a myth that our debt is large or crippling. Doubly so when you look at historical levels of the national debt.

    Triply so when you consider that as the dollar looses value, so does our debt, while our cheaper currency drives exports and growth.

    It's true that the U.S. economic situation is not perfect. We don't print money on trees, and our growth rate isn't good, there are class issues, and inefficiency is growing. However, our environmental situation is _pretty good_ these days, and for the most part (at least in terms of environmental contaminants, and deforestation) there is a good deal of substance (read "balls") to the U.S. economy. Watch the yuan continue to grow in value, and renewables continue to be ever more viable in the face of escalating oil prices, and you'll see that the U.S. shall continue as a strong economy for the forseeable future.

    We're hardly pawning off our assets to pay our debts. The only thing that's happening now is that foreign countries no longer value our debt as AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA, driving the value of the dollar down; which makes sense, as it was overvalued. Our purchasing power shall decline, however, our incentive to work hard, produce, and sell to the rest of the world grows. All we have to do is a)ride out the occasional correction, as we are doing now, and b)find politicians willing to exercise fiscal restraint and work towards budget surpluses, as well as a sustainable, cheap source of energy.

    Hopefully, the market will take care of the second part, and the 2008 election will take resolve the first.
  • by LarryWest42 (220323) on Monday November 12, 2007 @11:55PM (#21332175)
    What!? Pretending the other side has much more effective hardware, ala the Soviet Union's illusory missile gap(s)?

    Don't you see that that would mean that Navy/DoD staff would have to go to Congress and ask for $billions more to upgrade the Navy hardware, and they would hardly have a chance to see that project underway before they'd be retiring to positions at defense contractor. Who would go for that?

    Get real.

  • by SageMusings (463344) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @12:33AM (#21332445) Journal
    I actually think we ought to have mandatory military service for everyone

    Interesting. I assume by everyone we all really mean those without the connections and money to avoid it. I somehow cannot imagine having a politician's son with me in boot camp or combat. We cannot risk high-quality people.
  • by DaedalusHKX (660194) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @12:53AM (#21332565) Journal
    How to "psychotic leaders" or "insane leaders" carry out the murders of millions? Stalin only personally killed some 1000 people or so. His multi million death quota was reached by willing underlings.

    Perhaps the blame lies with the sheeple, not with the evil rulers. I've said this over and over again, its "fellow men" who are to blame, not "evil men or evil corporations, but the sheeplike nature of the majority of mankind... the mass man so to speak, for he does not lead, and does not think, he merely follows."
  • by mosb1000 (710161) <mosb1000@mac.com> on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @12:57AM (#21332595)
    You do know that's a reason for them not to attack us, right? I mean, it's not like we'd honor their treasury bonds if they declared war on us.
  • by Dun Malg (230075) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @01:43AM (#21332893) Homepage

    I hope no one mods me down for saying this, but I really feel like we should consider starting the draft again. We need to bolster our troop levels and try to do it in as egalitarian a way as possible.
    Our current system is not set up for conscripts, nor is our current method of warfighting. We don't fight linear battles like the "good ol' days" of WW2 and Korea. We don't have need of tens of thousands of units of cannon fodder to form battle lines. Conscription brings in a small percentage of useful folks, but mostly it brings in cannon fodder. There is no real place for cannon fodder in the modern military. For what little "block the bullets with our bodies" work that gets done, the Marines are apparently more than capable of handling it (going into Fallujah in unarmored vehicles = suicide; don't even get me started on the absurdity of letting the navy run its own little army). Really, the problem with conscripts is that most of them don't want to be there and have to be pushed around essentially at gunpoint. Currently, with the "War on Terror" having been going on for more than 5 years, there isn't hardly a soul in the military who didn't enlist or re-enlist knowing full well that combat deployment was a definite possibility. For all the dire stories about recruitment shortfalls, they haven't been missing the targets by much. In fact, they've been meeting the goals lately because they've decided that their standards of "squeaky clean boy scouts only, no arrests, no convictions" were a bit silly. Traditionally, the military was a place where social misfits could go to learn discipline and self-respect. Beginning in the mid 80's, however, it started to turn into a bit of a prissy boys club. Cold warriors practicing for a future war that was never going to happen, so they had lots of time to play dressup and have parades and then four years later they'd go home and spend their college fund and GI Bill money getting their English degrees and MBA's. I remember back in '89, during my first enlistment, when the Panama invasion rolled around, how a lot of my fellow soldiers in the 7th Light Infantry Division were a little thrown off by the idea of actual combat. Then in '90, when I was with the 101st Airborne and Desert Shield came up, there it was again, the sporadic whining and grumbling... "I joined for the college money".... "war? I never thought there'd be real war"... etc. Granted, it was from a very tiny minority, but it was emblematic of the "new Army": nothing but clean-cut high school grads. It almost seemed like the military wanted to "reinvent" itself as some sort of high-tech ivy-league organization. Now, with the business of a real honest-to-goodness ground war in Asia on their plate, they're being forced to abandon their snooty attitude and accept honest people committed to the job, rather than polished snobs looking for a good resume filler. Smoked pot once or were put on probation for breaking you girlfriend's car window as a teenager because she broke up with you? Used to be, you were considered untouchable. Not anymore. The preppy twits aren't signing up like they used to, so now they have to be realistic and accept regular folks. They don't need the draft. They need to realize they're not running a country club and set realistic enlistment standards.

    Frankly, I think one of the (few) good things to come from the current state of war (at least for the Army and USMC) is that it is quickly flushing the dilettantes out of the enlisted ranks and (more slowly) the ranks of the commissioned officers. The military isn't a game. Too many people seemed to think it was like the Boy Scouts, only with mortars and rifles.
  • by rpbird (304450) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @01:52AM (#21332963) Homepage Journal
    They demonstrate an anti-satellite weapon. They show off a quiet sub. The second isn't as impressive as it sounds. As any hardcore Discovery Channel watcher will tell you, several of our European allies already have super-quiet subs. But the Chinese show off these new technologies in public. What are they trying to do?

    When they look as us, what do they see? Remember, these guys aren't stupid, they listen when Bush speaks, they watch when he acts. They see a president completely disdainful of alliances and diplomacy, dependent upon military force and dedicated to unilateral, unprovoked military actions. They see an American administration encouraging rash behavior in its allies. Remember the recent Israeli invasion of Lebanon? The Bush administration, according to some news reports, encouraged the Israeli government in its invasion plans. What might Bush do next? The Chinese wish to show our president that not every problem has an "easy" military solution. Bush doesn't listen to words, maybe he'll pay attention to deeds.

    As Cap'n Jack Sparrow would say: "They put a shot across our bow, matey!"
  • by TempeTerra (83076) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @02:07AM (#21333059)
    The quoted text is almost insightful, but it still devolves into "if he knows that I know that he knows..."

    Perhaps the US was tracking the Chinese sub all along, but is now going to destroy a couple of careers just to make it look like the sub was not detected due to human error. What are a couple of careers measured against misinforming the enemy?

    Or, perhaps the Chinese sub should have been detected if it was actually following but was instead using a cheap trick like sitting on the bottom until the carrier group came past, then surfacing to give the false impression that it was super stealthy and had been following all along.

    Those are just a couple of possibilities off the top of my head, and (hard as it is to believe) I'm sure there are even smarter people than me working for US and Chinese military intelligence.
  • Re:Oh hell no (Score:3, Insightful)

    by schwaang (667808) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @02:11AM (#21333081)

    My main point is that making sure that the military service is really spread around would help to personalize the costs. It is easy to support a war when it is strangers fighting in your name. Would people support the same war if it meant that they would personally know people who were fighting in the conflict?

    And there are a number of anti-war folks around who make the same point, that the draft would ensure the political involvement of people because the their necks would be at stake, and this would prevent unnecessary wars.

    And I disagree with them too, strongly. History has shown the larger American public to be easily manipulated. If only draftees could vote on a given war resolution that might be one thing, but just imagine that even today 25% of people polled say they approve of the job W. is doing. We are dealing with morons here, and I don't want those people to decide my (or my potential children's) fate.

    Bottom line: except for *real* emergencies, let each of us choose our own actions, rather than having them decided by others.

    And one final thought, consider this. You say that if we all had something (or someone) at stake we'd be more likely to resist a stupid war. But consider that if you are otherwise not politically active at all, you will be at a huge disadvantage when the time to resist a stupid policy comes along.

    The draft as an anti-(stupid)-war instrument is utter fool's gold. Don't buy it.
  • by BlendieOfIndie (1185569) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @02:47AM (#21333247)
    Question: how many people are waiting in line to get a job on a submarine? What I'm getting at: is the military having a hard time filling these positions?
  • strategy (Score:2, Insightful)

    by id3as (1067224) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @02:55AM (#21333283) Homepage
    You cannot be infinitely cunning in developing new type of counter-weapons. It is better to find more common goals. Best strategy to win is to make everyone want cooperate with you, because you have a desireable vision for the future of everyone.
  • by happyslayer (750738) <david@isisltd.com> on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @03:00AM (#21333303)

    As a former ASW (anti-submarine warfare) pilot, I would like to point out that, in 1998-2000, the Navy decided that "we don't need ASW to be a primary mission for the carrier." So, they assigned the carrier helos additional duty as an ASW platform ("They can handle anything inside 50 miles"), P-3s to take care of the long range stuff ("They're available"), and F/A-18s to do surface search ("They're always around, anyway").

    Now, don't get me wrong, a helo can be an excellent ASW platform...if its crew is given time to train, if the carrier has enough of a "heads-up", and if they aren't doing plane-guard 90% of the time (hovering near the carrier to pick up an wrecked pilots.)

    F/A-18s can't spend the time down low (they use too much gas and would rather drop bombs or shoot aircraft, not to mention that's a lot of work for one guy in a cockpit), P-3s are great, but there are only so many and they have a huge area to cover, and they have a big crew with lots of run-up for a mission...plus, they are usually based far away from where the carriers actually are. ("We just spotted a sub! Get your boys out there!" "Roger that, we'll be on station in 4 hours...")

    Not being a bubblehead (submarine guy), I can't speak to any limitations on subs, but there are only so many, and a kamikaze diesel sub can and will cause a lot of tight sphincters on any ships in his area.

    As the parent pointed out, no one has really tried to challenge the US for a long time, and we've gotten soft in this area (think ASW during WWII, mine warfare, brown water ops in Vietnam, etc, ad nauseum.) It usually takes either a big scare or a smoking hole in the water before anyone dusts off the old books and starts to really think about how the job needs to be done.

    ASW is a highly-developed skill, and when you start to dismantle that skill, you suffer for a long time. If we haven't reversed those decisions to downgrade the ASW mission, maybe this will be an early enough wakeup call to undo the damage before someone decides that we're weak enough to slap us where it hurts.

    It only takes one carrier with a hole it the side to win the public affairs war.

    Background/Disclaimer: My experience was as an S-3 pilot, a carrier-based ASW aircraft. I've been out of the Navy for 3 years now, so all my points may be hopelessly out of date. On the other hand, I doubt the war on "terrah" has had any admirals sweating enemy subs, and people (as a group) don't really change, do they?

  • by couchslug (175151) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @03:04AM (#21333325)
    "The all volunteer force is supposed to give us professional, dedicated warriors. But it doesn't seem to work out that way."

    It give you mostly professional, dedicated warriors, but they are still ordinary humans. The lessons of conscription have been learned. Enjoy:

    http://www.chss.montclair.edu/english/furr/Vietnam/heinl.html [montclair.edu]
  • by couchslug (175151) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @03:12AM (#21333357)
    "There are good reasons to have a draft"

    Such as?

    I'm too lazy to parapharase this post I made elsewhere, so I'll just edit to reflect retiring recently:

    Rant mode on:
    My opinion as a 26-year Air Force NCO is that a return to conscription will cost lives for nothing, would be a financial disaster, weaken the armed forces, not build any sort of (positive) shared national identity among the victims, and otherwise is a terrible idea.
    Conscription instantly builds justifiable, bitter resentment among the tiny minority of victims. By the time you filter the physically and mentally fit out of the pool, you have an even smaller slice of the youth population. Not being totally stupid, some of these folks wake up to the fact that THEIR sacrifice is to appease some other fellows desire for SHARED sacrifice, whatever THAT is. These bitter humans form a pool of first-termers who will not re-enlist. Guess where the investment in training them went? Out the gate along with their ability to train brand new people, who must suffer learning by (KABOOM!) experience instead of mentoring.
    Training the rotating victim pool falls to the career enlisted, who are exhausted thereby, and saddened at the deterioration of the military they had worked so hard to build. More career people quit...depleting the mid-career ranks, later depleting the senior ranks...
    The blast radius of this stupidity isn't limited to Army units. Conscription was famous for scaring those unwilling to be bullet catchers into the Air Force and Navy. I came in a few years after the draft ended, but the horror stories were still fresh and I believe them. Drug use (not healthy for quality aircraft maintenance or fighting aircraft carrier fires...Forrestal, cough, cough..), discipline problems (hard to threaten someone who WANTS to be discharged!), morale in the shitter, you name it.
    Effectiveness goes down, costs go up, waste goes up, experience goes away, and the downward spiral goes on unless a Ronald Regan shows up to un-fuck it.
    Rich folk still dodge service as they always have and always will, because there is no SOCIAL censure for doing so. Poor folks who don't want to be there, led by inexperienced supervisors, die and are wounded in greater quantities than in the highly effective Volunteer Force. Surviving conscripts, shanghaied by a government that took them, fucked them, and chucked them end up homeless and ruined, just like the last time.
    World War II is over, and that massive level of shared service is not economically supportable or necessary or intelligent due to technology. Army service is not a viable substitute for parenting either, because the kind of harsh discipline that is necessary to control the actively unwilling no longer exists and the public will not tolerate it. Society has changed, and I respectfully submit that proponents of conscription either have no clue or deliberately want it as a spoiler to damage the military.
    Consider the Volunteer Force. It rebuilt itself during the 1980s into an effective war machine, won the (conventional) Gulf War battles with minimum loss and impressive speed, withstood the first drawdown, and is doing surprisingly well at simultaneously managing drawdown/transformation/the mess in Iraq.
    Do we REALLY want to toss conscripts into the mix? Why would putting less-committed, less-professional, less-trained people into incredibly stressful situations be better for anyone?
    Anyone out there with substantial recent US military experience favor a draft? Very few I've heard from.
    The lessons of conscription have been learned.
    Read and heed:

    http://www.chss.montclair.edu/english/furr/Vietnam/heinl.html [montclair.edu]
  • Re:the Kitty Hawk (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dffuller (200455) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @03:18AM (#21333399)

    Japan won't allow a Nuke powered aircraft carrier to be home ported in Japan.
    I think it's important to remember that we aren't in Japan by invitation.
  • by Shakrai (717556) * on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @03:29AM (#21333441) Journal

    And funding both defense systems is exactly what the federal government should be doing. Since it's constitutional mandate is to protect the nation. Not literacy and environmental programs.

    Hmm, shortsighted AC. Funding education (i.e: literacy) is protecting the nation. Disagree? Consider: It worked during the Cold War by giving us a critical edge in technology.

    Dumping money into defense systems while allowing your foe to leap beyond you in sciences and technology won't win you that game of Civ2 either....

  • by freedom_india (780002) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @03:32AM (#21333453) Homepage Journal
    Am sure if Bush was the captain of the Carrier, he would popped up a couple of Torps onto the Chinese sub and claimed he thought they were terr orists since only terrorists only come so close stealthy.
    You are dead right and on point.
    The chinese think about long-term effects of any thing.
    That is why i recall the chinese leader Deng Xiaoping asking the American ambassador how the "experiment" was going along (US Democracy experiment).
    They prefer to talk things over, and solve it smoothly,instead of grabbing a gun and shooting everyone involved.
    Carter and Clinton (the first) had that approach. Reagan and Bush Jr do not have it.

    Its like cutting off your head because you have a headache, earache and running nose.
    Yes, its a sure-fire way to solve your problem, only thing that you are not left alive.

    As one slashdotter had said, we need a do-nothing president (like Calvin Coolidge) for the next 4 years to undo all the damages Bush had done in 8 years.
    No proactive Hot chases, no obeying corporate dictates, just nothing and sleeping off, welcoming foreign dignitaries, propping up US dollar so that Walmart is cheap again, and making sure the FEAR of force is enough to keep our enemies off our shores.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @04:46AM (#21333761)
    No really? Why could that be? Let me tell you a story.

    A friend of mine is currently serving in Iraq. Is he convinced the military is the place to be? Hell no. But he's poor. And he wants to escape the "paper or plastic" world. He wants to get out of the gutter or die trying. Quite literally.

    And he ain't the only one if the stories I get to hear are true.

    And that's the "smart" guys. Of course you'll also get a lot of people who simply can't get another decent job due to ... let's say inadequate supplies in the cranial department.

    A draft won't change that one bit, though. How willing is someone who is forced to do something? How reliable will he be? And how likely to just duck and cover when the bullets start flying? It's not really a comfortable feeling when bullets dig up roughcast around you. Die for my country? I woudln't even die for myself.
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @04:58AM (#21333797)
    That's what's actually wrong with the army today. It's sold as a cool job where you can toy around with cool hardware.

    I remember my training. And while I was no pilot (I hate my eyes), our instructors made one thing certain: This ain't a game. If you think it is, you're wrong here, there's the mop, there's the bucket, they're now your toys, return that gun and get the fu.. out of here! He was actually pretty laid back (well, as laid back as a drill sergeant gets, at least after the initial months), cracked a joke from time to time and could even take a joke. But as soon as a weapon was the topic (and that included the knife), he was business. No joke. No smile. No nonsense. He made a point that now we're serious. That thing can kill, that's what it's here for, and you better sober up now too, sonny.

    You could literally feel that this was different than our "normal" training. Wisecracking was usually grounds for a humiliating joke at your expense and some pushups. In the presence of a weapon, it was a fair lot different, including a tinnitus. You don't joke with weapons.

    It worked, to say the least. Even our stupidest people got their act together when handling potentially dangerous items. And, personally, I'd say that's lacking here. People don't realize that what they do is far beyond stupid. Nobody ever told them.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @05:52AM (#21334003)
    He purposefully flew the plane low. Ignorance is no excuse.
  • by KDR_11k (778916) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @06:48AM (#21334191)
    Do you know what it would cost to employ, train and equip 170 million soldiers? 1000$ is probably a fairly lowball figure if you were to outfit them all as infantry and you'd already spend 170 billion dollars just on equipment. Be generous and assume an average salary of 50$ a month. 8.5 billion dollars per month. And that's if you use them as cannon fodder. If you want proper promotions the salarieas increase, if you want tanks, planes and transports you're looking at another few hundred billion.

    Unless the entire Chinese economy would be geared and taxed for war that 170M army would turn out to be little more than cannonfodder for any serious army and almost immobile as the supply lines and transports are insufficient to keep such an army moving. Would be impossible to acquire enough food and supplies just from the conquests, if your supply lines get interrupted your 170M men are going to starve. You're better off using fewer people and more advanced equipment.
  • by aproposofwhat (1019098) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @06:53AM (#21334217)

    the logical response to a long history of US support for the nasty regime of Israel

    There, fixed that for ya.

    The support of the Saud dynasty is a by-product of a pro-Israeli policy, much as the support of variously nasty Egyptian governments has been, with the concomitant strengthening of the Muslim Brotherhood and the coming together of Al Quaeda.

    It's time the US faced facts, and realised that supporting the aggressive land thieves who currently occupy Palestine is the cause of most of the ill-will towards America in the Islamic world - other parts of the world dislike US foreign policies of the past for their own reasons (Chile, Nicaragua, Cuba, more recently Venezuela), which may be harder to fix, as the US at least had justification for feeling the need to interfere in local affairs.

  • by Nursie (632944) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @08:17AM (#21334575)
    If you owe the bank 1000 dollars and can't pay, you're in trouble.
    If you owe the bank a billion dollars and can't pay, they're in trouble.
  • by while(true) (626738) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @08:54AM (#21334777)
    The Swedish Navy has trained with the US Navy for several years now using a diesel sub trying to avoid detection. From what I've heard the swedish crew have been very succesful. http://www.thelocal.se/article.php?ID=3574&date=20060418 [thelocal.se]
  • by Firethorn (177587) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @09:32AM (#21335079) Homepage Journal
    They're a little short on shipping to do that though...

    That's part of the reason for the USA to have a strong navy, to prevent any nation from being able to just ship a military over to attack.

    The USAF would just be a bonus - taking out cargo ships laden with troops tends to be fairly easy.
  • by JavaLord (680960) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @12:12PM (#21336997) Journal
    The weird thing is that you mention how beholden the US is to China, as if it's a good thing

    We're both beholden to each other, China needs the US market to continue their economic growth, and American needs China to keep buying dollars (which they've stopped).
  • by dakirw (831754) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @01:25PM (#21338183)

    I'm not sure Iran really needs submarines to do this, I'm sure they have sufficient relatively short range missiles to thoroughly destroy anything moving through the straits from dry land.
    It's true that land-based short range missiles would be sufficient to destroy any shipping going through the straits. However, the launchers for these missles would be vulnerable to long-range bombers, cruise missiles, and possibly even special forces attacks. On the other hand, if diesel electric submarines are properly used, crewed, and deployed, they are almost undetectable until after they attack (assuming that they're running on electric motors). Iran could make the missile sites hard to kill (SAMs and anti-aircraft guns) but these sites would be easier to wipe out than the subs.
  • by jollyreaper (513215) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @01:44PM (#21338477)

    That's a joke, right? The entire death toll in Iraq is less than the number of allied lives lost on any one day of major offencive ops in WW2. You lost 3 times as many soldier in one year of operations in Vietnam as you did in 4 years of ops in Iraq. Even Korea cost you 30,000+. I'm not sure where you get the idea that Iraq has given you "a good ass kicking", but you couldn't be more silly if you tried.
    Since when is the number of lives lost the sole measure of a military defeat? If you intended to defend a town and the enemy gets there a few days before you, you lost the battle without losing a single man.

    But with specific regards to Iraq, this is going to be one of the most expensive wars we ever fought in, certainly in treasure if not in lives. It has ruined our international standing, alienated allies, inflamed arab anger against us, and even more importantly, it's made our military look incompetent. That's deadly because it makes them into less of a deterrent. The IDF was one of the most feared fighting forces on the planet and yet they got their asses handed to them by Hezbollah. That's greatly increased Hezbollah's standing which should make fund-raising and recruitment easier, and it has also banished the myth that the Israelis are undefeatable on the battlefield. It shows that with good command and control, even they can be defeated.

    But back to the particulars about Iraq, we're losing a lot of junior officers, disillusioned with the military and the war. It took a solid decade after Vietnam to put the Army back together. How long will it take to recover after this war? How long will it take to relearn the institutional knowledge that gets lost when the smart and capable retire without passing it on?

    We don't have to lose an entire army in Stalingrad for this war to be seen as a horrific defeat for the American military.
  • by jollyreaper (513215) on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @01:57PM (#21338691)

    And STILL, those Masters of the Universe didn't see the Berlin Wall coming down!
    I hear you on that. It's like with WMD's in Iraq, it's not like our analysts didn't know it was a bogus story, it's just that this information couldn't make it up the chain of command due to politics and stupidity. If you read what the people looking directly at the facts were saying, they knew that a Soviet collapse had to be coming just by looking at the sat pictures of their farmland. The best advice in the world, if unheeded, is worthless.

    Cool post, by the way. Lots of rambling but hell, the details are the good stuff. :) Don't know why the douches downmodded ya.
  • by Gorshkov (932507) <admgorshkov@NoSPam.yahoo.com> on Tuesday November 13, 2007 @02:37PM (#21339287)

    Face it, Taiwan will, at some point, much like Hong Kong, be re-absorbed by China, and the USA has ZERO chance of stopping it happening.

    Taiwan hasn't been part of China since WW II. Culturally, politically, socially - even linguistically - they have become two very different countries. If you think that Taiwan could be painlessly absorbed by China - even *without* US intervention - you don't know the Taiwanese.

    Saying that Taiwan today is part of China is like saying the USA is still part of the British Empire.

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