Foreign Policy Diary – US Deploys Aircraft Carriers against Russia and China

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For the first time in nearly four years, the US has deployed four aircraft-carrier strike groups at the same time. Two more carriers are conducting drills, making for six of 10 in the fleet participating in the operations. And one more carrier is preparing to be deployed.

The aicraft carriers are deployed at a moment of increased tensions in the South China Sea, high activity of the US-led military block, ‘NATO’ in Europe, and intensification of military operations in Syria and Iraq.

  • The John C. Stennis group is continuing operations in and near the South China Sea. On June 4, the Ronald Reagan departed from Yokosuka, Japan. This aircraft-carrier strike group is to help the John C. Stennis keep the “peace and stability” in the region.
  • The Harry S. Truman is in the eastern Mediterranean, conducting airstrikes against ISIS targets and deterring a “Russian agression”. And the Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft-carrier strike group, which departed from the US East Coast on June 1, is deployed to support “US national security interests in Europe.”

In late 2012 and early 2013, the US noticeably cut back deployments starting in response to spending restrictions, which were caused by mandated budget cuts under sequestration rules. Now, the US military is struggling to build up operating funds. Only in May, the US Navy informed Congress of an $848 million shortfall in fleet-wide readiness accounts. Ninety-one million dollars of these funds was a result of Truman’s deployment to operate in the Mediterranean. But despite the cost, the US Navy intends to increase deployment, especially in the Mediterranean Sixth Fleet region. The Pentagon describes this as an effort to counter the growth in Russian operations in the Middle East.

Meanwhile, the John C. Stennis has spent a significant time in the South China Sea, re-establishing US military presence as a counter to China’s extensive growth there. The Ronald Reagan aircraft-carrier strike group, located near the region, pursues the same goal. The US leadership believes that the Chinese programme of artificial islands in the South China Sea challenges the US dominance at the maritime routes. In turn, China sees its own efforts to set an area-denial for the US Navy in the South and East China Seas (and maybe in some other regions in the future), as the only answer to the US Navy capabilities overseas.

Both operations, in the Mediterranean and in the South China Sea, are pursuing the goal of displaying an advantage in naval power to its geo-political opponents, and inspire the allies in Europe, in the Middle East and in the Asia-Pacific region.

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  • Daniel Martin

    The United States are behaving like a spoiled child, that wasn’t granted the toy he wanted to have, and starts to behave hysterically towards it parents. Instead of de-escalating the tensions with Russia and China they are dubbeling down, I’m affraid that we are entering very uncertain and dangerous times in international relations. The dangers of miscalculation are immense with so many military forces and maneuvers close to each other in a relatively confined space.

  • Veritas Vincit

    “The US military-intelligence complex is engaged in systematic preparations for World War III. As far as the Pentagon is concerned, a military conflict with China and/or Russia is inevitable, and this prospect has become the driving force of its tactical and strategic planning…. Each of the hearings presumed a major US conflict with another great power (sometimes unnamed, sometimes explicitly designated as China or Russia) within a relatively short time frame, years rather than decades.” (Washington prepares for World War III, WSWS, 5 November 2015)

    Contents
    1.0 ‘ABM architecture compatible with offensive missile systems – enhances first strike capabilities (with associated operational plans involving large scale coordinated cruise missile strikes)’
    2.0 ‘Black Sea deployments associated with enhancing first strike potential’
    3.0 ‘Australian integration into allied missile architecture’
    4.0 ‘Australia enhancing its NATO partnership status’
    5. 0 ‘U.S./allied bloc preparations for military conflict with the PRC’

    1.0 ‘ABM architecture compatible with offensive missile systems – enhances first strike capabilities (with associated operational plans involving large scale coordinated cruise missile strikes)’
    – “Semantics may deceive the civilian layman, but the Russians have always known the “shield” is a sword….. Mk-14 canisters containing Tomahawk cruise missile have the same dimensions as the Mk-21din that launches the anti-ballistic missle SM-3 block 1b. The Tomahawk missile is armed with the miniaturized nuclear warhead W80 50 kt. American technology enables also replacing the Mk 142 kinetic cargo of rocket missile SM-3 Block 1b with the miniature nuclear warhead W80, from the cruise mini-rocket AGM-86 ALCM (which has the same mass as the SM-3 Block 1b). ” (US Anti-Missile Shield or Sword?, Valentin Vasilescu (Katehon), 23/06/2016

    2.0 ‘Black Sea deployments associated with enhancing first strike potential’
    – “The Black Sea is the perfect platform through which to project military power into the very heart of Russia,” the CIA-linked think tank STRATFOR wrote in, “The Black Sea: A Net Assessment.” From positions in the Black Sea, NATO can strike rapidly against the Russian capital city, and simultaneously cut off energy supplies to Russia’s military by seizing Russia’s oil production centers in Tatarstan and Bashkortostan, STRATFOR wrote…… “If a naval operation were to project power from the Black Sea toward the Don River corridor between Rostov-on-Don and Volgograd (better known by its former name, Stalingrad), Moscow would be cut off from the Russian Caucasus and the region’s immense energy resources,” STRATFOR noted.” (US Navy to continue Black Sea incursions, brushing aside Russian demands, By Thomas Gaist, WSWS, 18 June 2017)

    The build-up of military forces and missile architecture around the Russian Federation (RF) and the PRC is an ongoing project, as is the pursuit of nuclear primacy (first strike with retaliatory missile interception capabilities/overcoming mutually assured destruction). More importantly, various reports indicate that some western analysts believe military conflict with the RF and the PRC is almost certain to eventually occur. Military exercises, procurements, deployments/ mobilisation of forces and policy papers clearly indicate such preparations.

    As such The RF and the PRC are correct to accelerate the development/deployment of defensive architecture.

    • Veritas Vincit

      “and inspire the allies in Europe, in the Middle East and in the Asia-Pacific region.”

      Indeed, allies of the U.S./NATO bloc are being increasingly integrated (and interoperable) with operations of this bloc. For example:

      3.0 ‘Australian integration into allied missile architecture’
      – “Australia has received State Department approval for acquisition of as many as 80 SM-2 missiles through the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program…… Australia plans to use the missiles for anti-air warfare test firings during Combat Systems Ship Qualification Trials for the Royal Australian Navy’s three new Air Warfare Destroyers now under construction. The SM-2 Block IIIB missiles, combined with the destroyers’ Aegis combat systems, will provide enhanced area defense capabilities over critical Southeast Asian air and sea lines of communication.” (Australia approved for $302 million SM-2 missile deal, by Richard Tomkins, May 31, 2016), etc…….

      – “the [Australian] navy is being made ready to play an essential part in the US-led build-up for war against China. The French “Barracuda” class submarines have been chosen for their long-range offensive capabilities, suited in particular to deployment in the South China Sea. The US military, which was closely involved in the evaluation process, expects them to be fully interoperable with the US navy, equipped with American combat and weapons systems.” (Submarine project no solution for South Australia’s employment crisis, By John Braddock, 14 May 2016)

      ‘Australian hosting of increasing U.S. military forces/assets (including nuclear capable assets)’
      – “defense analysts from both countries expect an increased presence in Australia for the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marines in the form of bombers, nuclear submarines, missiles and troops…. it’s likely the Air Force will begin using runways in the northern part of the country, possibly for the B-52 strategic bomber and B-2 stealth bomber… [missile architecture] cooperation is more likely to speed up….” (Deal likely to bring more US military assets to Australia, Stripes, June 20, 2014), etc…..

      • Veritas Vincit

        4.0 ‘Australia enhancing its NATO partnership status’
        – “Australia is in the process of receiving an upgrade to “enhanced Partnership” status, giving greater diplomatic and military access to NATO operations. Australia is represented by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Defence Minister David Johnston, who have Russian president Vladimir Putin firmly in their sights.” (NATO summit: Australia strengthens ties with Atlantic alliance, but strains of global policing starting to show, By Mark Corcoran, [Australian] ABC news, 05/09/2014)

        – “there are indications that NATO will be much more active in Australia’s region than in the past. The Alliance will approve a new strategic concept later this year to guide NATO’s objectives, strategy, and force planning, which will clarify the role NATO may play in the Asia Pacific. The new concept will acknowledge that NATO remains, at its core, a transatlantic alliance.” [Dr Stephan Frühling and Dr Benjamin Schreer are Lecturer and Senior Lecturer in the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Australian National University] (Australia and NATO: A deeper relationship?, LowyInterpreter, 11 October 2010) [Note: The Lowy Institute for International Policy was established by Frank Lowy and Martin Indyk, both of whom also established the Israeli Institute for National Strategy and Policy]

        Australia is fully aligned/integrated/interoperable with U.S./NATO bloc operations and its adversarial position towards the Russian Federation is well established (evident through its policies and actions). It is increasingly hosting U.S. military forces (on a rotational/operational basis including nuclear capable assets) and its procurements are consistent with the policy of developing allied ‘force posture’/ ‘military projection capabilities’ (offensive military operations). It is incorporated into the developing Air Sea Battle concept plan (preparations for potential allied military conflict with the PRC).

        Australian actions reveal its policies are emboldened in the belief that the U.S./NATO bloc and its geographic isolation protect it from negative consequences (blowback) resulting from its actions/participation in allied operations. They also believe they are ‘punching above their weight’ and seek to enhance their offensive military projection capabilities as part of allied bloc operations. In the event of direct military conflict between blocs, it may be necessary to show the reality is otherwise.

        • Veritas Vincit

          5.0 ‘U.S./allied bloc preparations for military conflict with the PRC’
          – “The report [‘Australia-Japan-US Maritime Cooperation’ by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies] contains specific recommendations to enhance “inter-operability” on intelligence and surveillance, submarine and anti-submarine warfare, amphibious forces and logistics….. The report’s author, Andrew Shearer, is a senior figure in the Australian foreign policy and military establishment…. Shearer is also very well connected in Washington [and] makes clear [the] main “hard security” objective is to prepare for war with China. The Pentagon’s preoccupation with “freedom of navigation” and China’s A2/AD [Anti-Access, Area Denial] systems flows directly from its military strategy for war with China—Air Sea Battle…. Australia and Japan are central to Air Sea Battle and associated strategies, which include a naval blockade of China to strangle its economy…… [Air Sea Battle] relies on networked, integrated forces to take the offensive across air, maritime, land, space and cyberspace…..” (CSIS report argues for strong US-Japan-Australia alliance against China, 9 April 2016)

          – “The sale includes 14 of the AGM-88B and 16 of the AGM-88E versions of the anti-air defense missiles, which seek and destroy ground radar. DSCA said the sale would contribute to Australia’s ability to join US-led coalition military campaigns.” (US Approves $69Mln Sale of Radar-Destroying Missiles to Australia, 22/06/2015), etc……

          – “US forces would launch physical attacks and cyberattacks against the enemy’s ‘kill-chain’ of sensors and weaponry in order to disrupt its command-and-control systems, wreck its launch platforms (including aircraft, ships and missile sites) and finally defeat the weapons they actually fire. The sooner the kill-chain is broken, the less damage US forces would suffer, and the more damage they will be able to inflict on the enemy….. (US analysts debate plans for war against China, WSWS, 10 February 2014)

          The necessity for the PRC (and similarly the RF) to accelerate counter-measures (in response to significant war preparations by an opposing bloc) is self evident. In this context, although the Republic of Indonesia (RI) desires to maintain a policy of non-alignment/neutrality, it also is subject to increasing security challenges resulting from the actions and military build-up of the U.S./NATO/allied bloc (which continues to engage in destabilisation/partition operations as applied formerly in E Timor). The enhancement of political, commercial and military ties between the RF, the PRC and the RI would serve their common interests and would counter the security challenges resulting from the military build-up of the U.S./NATO/allied bloc.

          Note: In the unwanted but possible event of direct conflict between military blocs, as allied states of the U.S./NATO bloc will augment bloc operations, policies of the RF and the PRC (including of strategic forces) can if required be quietly adjusted accordingly.

  • Tony B.

    Aircraft carriers are a modern joke. Easy targets at any time. The salvating neo con loon now running the U.S. military will never see the light until it is turned off by Russia & China,

  • Random guy

    Why on earth would US do that?
    Perhaps Russia and China should to the same.

  • S.I. Kiwi

    Ok let me get this straight. The US have deployed the majority of their naval power to increase tensions further with Russia and China. And the domestic US is increasinglying becoming militarized.

    Kinda looks like a major black flag event resulting in two things. 1. The loss of US military superiority. 2. Instigation of Martial Law.

    For example: The US attacks or feints attack. Russia and China respond. US loses and incur some domestic losses. Martial Law initiated.
    Mission Complete!
    Debt Settled!!

    Now that’d be some Black Flag event.

    Just thinking of possible sane motives.