Friday, September 04, 2015

Where the Kill Chain Begins

China celebrated the defeat of Japan in World War II with a parade that featured the DF-21 anti-ship ballistic missile. Hopefully we've worked on breaking the kill chain that China hopes ends with flaming American carriers.

The DF-21 was the star of the show in China:

Tanks, jets, and armored vehicles also made their way through Tienanmen Square, but two of the most notable pieces of military hardware on display were both Dong-Feng “East-Wind” class ballistic missiles.

While these missiles undoubtedly pose a threat to U.S. interests in the Pacific, the United States has known about them for some time, giving the Pentagon an opportunity to develop ways of countering the weapons.

And don't forget that India should worry about this technology.

So we can revisit my post on breaking the kill chain.

Which held up pretty well in comparison to later research from the Congressional Research Service, I think.

So don't panic.

Of course, as I said in my post on breaking the kill chain:

My basic point is that the DF-21 is not invincible. We must learn to cope with it, but it can be defeated.

But remember, too, that the DF-21 anti-ship missile is just one of many anti-ship weapons that can target our super carriers. My more fundamental point despite this essay on defeating the DF-21 is that I still believe the proliferation of surveillance systems and precision, long-range missiles make the end of the reign of big-deck super carrier within sight. We can cope to protect our big carriers in the short run, but in the long run our best bet is to reduce our reliance on big-deck carriers by distributing our offensive power on a larger number of smaller and cheaper (and more expendable) hulls, which would include smaller aviation-capable ships.

The DF-21 is no reason for America to retreat from the western Pacific. But it is another reason for adapting what we use to fight in the western Pacific,

As an aside, the Chinese say they will cut 300,000 troops from their 2.3 million-strong military as part of the modernization program.

My question is whether the troops are demobilized or simply have "People's Armed Police" stenciled on their vehicles as so many foot infantry units have done over the period of this modernization.