Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The Invisible Tip of the Spear

Air Force F-35s will stage a show of strength near North Korea. This is in addition to Marine F-35s in Japan, a deployment of F-22s to South Korea, and exercises by B-2s near North Korea.

Are these planes coming on line just in time to deal with North Korea?

The Air Force is planning an F-35A show of force in the Pacific in coming weeks now that 12 F-35A’s have deployed to Japan for a six-month rotation, service officials said.

While service officials describe the move as a routine deployment, called a Theater Security Package, the current tensions with North Korea are by no means lost on the Air Force and other Pentagon planners – who are preparing to demonstrate F-35 power, technology and combat readiness in a series of upcoming exercises.

Pacific Air Forces is now finalizing plans for a wide range of F-35A multi-national collaborative training events which will, without question, seek to demonstrate possible coordinated attack options using the stealth aircraft, if ordered, over the Korean peninsula.

Which is good, because we will need every stealth plane we can scrape together if we go after North Korea's nukes.

And the article mentions the ability of the F-35 to act as the first line of missile defense:

Therefore, in addition to land-based defenses such as Patriot and THAAD or ship-based SM-6s, stealth air power in the form of F-35s could prove instrumental in any kind of US attack on North Korea. In particular, the F-35A is able to fire laser-guided precision weapons such as the GBU-54 which is engineered to track and destroy mobile targets such as mobile missile launchers on the move.

Which I mentioned, although with a different capability for post-launch destruction in mind given North Korea's old missile defenses compared to the F-35s capabilities.

I hope China manages something to avoid the need to use force to stop North Korea.

And as I've mentioned before, I'd be content to deter North Korea with American nukes and missile defenses (and later Japanese and South Korean nukes--to be followed by Taiwan not to be left out--on top of their missile defenses) if not for the problem of North Korea selling the technology or physical nukes to nutball-run Iran.

If Iran wasn't the Shia Islamist problem it is today, a dirt-poor nuclear North Korea wouldn't be as big of a problem.

NOTE: I rewrote the second to last paragraph that got so long I forgot what I was writing. Sheesh, bad week to quit sniffing blue, I guess.