Sunday, April 30, 2017

Some More Thoughts on THAAD in South Korea

"Are the US Navy Carrier Fleets Obsolete?"
Black Pigeon Speaks (10 min.)

       The video from Black Pigeon argues that aircraft carriers are so expensive, that the United States could not afford to lose any in a war with a near-peer. Thus, he contends, they are useless for modern war. This is not a new argument. George Friedman made a similar argument in his book The Future of War published in 1998.  The threat, at least from China, are its Dong Feng (DF) 21D and 26 anti-ship missiles, often referred to as carrier-killers.

      Of course, if aircraft carriers are obsolete, it begs the question of why both China and Russia are engaged in developing their own blue-water carriers. China just launched its first home-built carrier, and Russia has announced its own super-carrier.

       But it raises, in my mind, another reason why the Chinese are so upset by the deployment of the THAAD missile defense system in South Korea and, in particular, its radar systems.

This allows the U.S. to extend its missile defense radar deep into China, perhaps enough to provide early warning of missile launches by China against a U.S. carrier group in the South China Sea. (Ideally, the radar could be used to identify targets for counter-battery fire by the United States).

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