Confronting China at Sea

The US- China Economic & Security review commission commissioned Jane's to assess China's expeditionary logistics.

With a cover photo of a civvy container ship UNREPing a Naval vessel to kick off, concerns are best summarised in this tweet


The pre CV19 concept of the Indian Ocean, SCS and Western Pacific being Chinese ponds in which they will have capability in the next decade to fight and win against the US was pause for thought.
Looking at how China is currently leveraging post CV19 influence, makes it even more interesting

 
A strategic view from Germany that's exciting because it references China and Corbett*


Otherwise, Germany – and with it Europe – will face the Melian’s fate that Thucydides described over 2000 years ago, “The strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.”4 The lines of conflict of this great power struggle run, with little to no exception, through the maritime domain, including the Indo-Pacific, the North Atlantic, and the Mediterranean Sea. It is therefore particularly important for maritime professionals to take an active part in this strategy discussion and provide a maritime perspective.

The author (a submariner) structures his discussion round 3 theses

Thesis 1: Nuclear Weapons Continue to determine Military and Naval Strategy

Thesis 2: “Anti-Access/Area Denial” has little to do with “Sea Denial” and a lot to do with “Sea Control”8

Thesis 3: Our most pressing operational problem in the Baltic Sea is not maintaining the sea lines of communication to Baltic States for reinforcing and supplying NATO forces

He finishes as follows:

. Russian appetite for serious mischief-making in the north is, thankfully, considered to be low. But it should prompt us to widen our peripheral vision – to the Mediterranean, the near east, the Indian Ocean, and the Pacific, where we do in fact see a lot more maritime activity. Maritime forces deployed to the Mediterranean or the Indian Ocean in constabulary force missions might actually be just as close to the mission set of “deterrence and defense” as those forces up in the north. Parallels and deviations in the approaches of Russia and China point to the fact that in a struggle involving nuclear-armed great powers there are no easily defined geographic limitations – and in fact, it is in our better interest as the Melians in the room not to allow any power to willfully separate strategic spaces. After all, we have to realize that the autocratic players in “Great Power Competition” try to widen and exploit geographic and political fault lines in the west. Let us not widen them intellectually ourselves.

*I need to get out more, d'oh...
 
A strategic view from Germany that's exciting because it references China and Corbett*


Otherwise, Germany – and with it Europe – will face the Melian’s fate that Thucydides described over 2000 years ago, “The strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.”4 The lines of conflict of this great power struggle run, with little to no exception, through the maritime domain, including the Indo-Pacific, the North Atlantic, and the Mediterranean Sea. It is therefore particularly important for maritime professionals to take an active part in this strategy discussion and provide a maritime perspective.

The author (a submariner) structures his discussion round 3 theses

Thesis 1: Nuclear Weapons Continue to determine Military and Naval Strategy

Thesis 2: “Anti-Access/Area Denial” has little to do with “Sea Denial” and a lot to do with “Sea Control”8

Thesis 3: Our most pressing operational problem in the Baltic Sea is not maintaining the sea lines of communication to Baltic States for reinforcing and supplying NATO forces

He finishes as follows:

. Russian appetite for serious mischief-making in the north is, thankfully, considered to be low. But it should prompt us to widen our peripheral vision – to the Mediterranean, the near east, the Indian Ocean, and the Pacific, where we do in fact see a lot more maritime activity. Maritime forces deployed to the Mediterranean or the Indian Ocean in constabulary force missions might actually be just as close to the mission set of “deterrence and defense” as those forces up in the north. Parallels and deviations in the approaches of Russia and China point to the fact that in a struggle involving nuclear-armed great powers there are no easily defined geographic limitations – and in fact, it is in our better interest as the Melians in the room not to allow any power to willfully separate strategic spaces. After all, we have to realize that the autocratic players in “Great Power Competition” try to widen and exploit geographic and political fault lines in the west. Let us not widen them intellectually ourselves.

*I need to get out more, d'oh...

E2A: though, having just found another new article referencing Corbett, Maritime AND Clauswitz, I'm spent baby!
 
Last edited:
A strategic view from Germany that's exciting because it references China and Corbett*


Otherwise, Germany – and with it Europe – will face the Melian’s fate that Thucydides described over 2000 years ago, “The strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.”4 The lines of conflict of this great power struggle run, with little to no exception, through the maritime domain, including the Indo-Pacific, the North Atlantic, and the Mediterranean Sea. It is therefore particularly important for maritime professionals to take an active part in this strategy discussion and provide a maritime perspective.

The author (a submariner) structures his discussion round 3 theses

Thesis 1: Nuclear Weapons Continue to determine Military and Naval Strategy

Thesis 2: “Anti-Access/Area Denial” has little to do with “Sea Denial” and a lot to do with “Sea Control”8

Thesis 3: Our most pressing operational problem in the Baltic Sea is not maintaining the sea lines of communication to Baltic States for reinforcing and supplying NATO forces

He finishes as follows:

. Russian appetite for serious mischief-making in the north is, thankfully, considered to be low. But it should prompt us to widen our peripheral vision – to the Mediterranean, the near east, the Indian Ocean, and the Pacific, where we do in fact see a lot more maritime activity. Maritime forces deployed to the Mediterranean or the Indian Ocean in constabulary force missions might actually be just as close to the mission set of “deterrence and defense” as those forces up in the north. Parallels and deviations in the approaches of Russia and China point to the fact that in a struggle involving nuclear-armed great powers there are no easily defined geographic limitations – and in fact, it is in our better interest as the Melians in the room not to allow any power to willfully separate strategic spaces. After all, we have to realize that the autocratic players in “Great Power Competition” try to widen and exploit geographic and political fault lines in the west. Let us not widen them intellectually ourselves.

*I need to get out more, d'oh...
The argument seems centred around the idea that the central role for the German navy should not be the defence of the Baltic States, but rather securing Germany's overseas lines of communication. In essence, if naval forces beyond small craft are required in the Baltic, then deterrence has already failed and a protracted war with Russia is already in the cards. In that event what will be the key to the war is control of the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean, not the Baltic.

He also argues for greater German navy involvement in the Far East to protect Germany's trade interests, although he doesn't develop that argument as far.

This line of argument takes Germany from a coastal defence and Baltic force to a navy with global reach. Perhaps they could call it the "High Seas Fleet".
 
China building a Casino and hotel resort in Cambodia that has "interesting" dimensions & specs, suitable for destroyers or fighters.

Since China’s expanding Navy and aspirations in the SCS, have prompted a rethink in the CG USMC’s ( D Berger) rather dramatic changes to Corp’s strategy, we are now beginning to see this in the USN’s latest proposal for up to 30 SLV’s.

By the USMC/UNN investing in larger numbers of these smaller cheaper vessels, rather than more of the ‘Lightning Carriers’, it is putting its ‘eggs/jarheads’ into lots more, smaller baskets, that could be used in a war where large Chinese carrier missiles would cause fewer casualties per hit, and, the USMC will have many more capable vessels in the type of island to island conflict in the SCS scenario that is looking more and more likely.

It also conforms to a change in the USN’s tendency to concentrate its capabilities in a relatively small number of big, expensive ships in a concentration that leaves the fleet vulnerable to Chinese missile barrages. This, in addition to Berger’s aims in forming small amphibious groups around single LPDs, each capable of landing a few companies of Marines. Round out this group with inexpensive Stern Landing Vessel and escorts, and the USN/USMC gets a useful capability that is cheaper than the current strategy, and, spreads its forces to better avoid Chinese missiles.

The Stern Landing Vessel has the sharp bow of a highly seaworthy ship with a ramp on its stern. The ship’s shallow draft allows it to back itself onto a beach for rapid loading and unloading. It overcomes the primary problems associated with conventional landing craft: poor head sea capability, poor speed; poor visibility due to bow ramp; crew discomfort and fatigue due location of accommodation directly above machinery spaces, inadequate power available when de-beaching due to propellers working inefficiently astern, and need to overcome the forefoot suction effect.
 
Last edited:
Since China’s expanding Navy and aspirations in the SCS, have prompted a rethink in the CG USMC’s ( D Berger) rather dramatic changes to Corp’s strategy, we are now beginning to see this in the USN’s latest proposal for up to 30 SLV’s.

By the USMC/UNN investing in larger numbers of these smaller cheaper vessels, rather than more of the ‘Lightning Carriers’, it is putting its ‘eggs/jarheads’ into lots more, smaller baskets, that could be used in a war where large Chinese carrier missiles would cause fewer casualties per hit, and, the USMC will have many more capable vessels in the type of island to island conflict in the SCS scenario that is looking more and more likely.

It also conforms to a change in the USN’s tendency to concentrate its capabilities in a relatively small number of big, expensive ships in a concentration that leaves the fleet vulnerable to Chinese missile barrages. This, in addition to Berger’s aims in forming small amphibious groups around single LPDs, each capable of landing a few companies of Marines. Round out this group with inexpensive Stern Landing Vessel and escorts, and the USN/USMC gets a useful capability that is cheaper than the current strategy, and, spreads its forces to better avoid Chinese missiles.

The Stern Landing Vessel has the sharp bow of a highly seaworthy ship with a ramp on its stern. The ship’s shallow draft allows it to back itself onto a beach for rapid loading and unloading. It overcomes the primary problems associated with conventional landing craft: poor head sea capability, poor speed; poor visibility due to bow ramp; crew discomfort and fatigue due location of accommodation directly above machinery spaces, inadequate power available when de-beaching due to propellers working inefficiently astern, and need to overcome the forefoot suction effect.
Tl-Dr: move from Mahan to Corbett
 
Despite the general thought on the thread, the upcoming deployment of QE and the UK Carrier strike group still seems to be out to the Med then on to the Pacific to join the US and others to preserve the freedom of navigation that China seems to be try to curtail, and ‘... be prepared... along with allies...to oppose those who flout international law and to shore up the global system of rules and standards on which our security and our prosperity depends.'

China has long been getting increasingly belligerent in the S China Sea and of course is declaring this as ‘provocation’.
 

mcphee1948

War Hero
Suppose the USA and China go to war, must the UK get involved in the conflict. Have we got any treaty obligations to join in with the USA, if it attacks China. Or conversely, if China attacks the USA?
 
Suppose the USA and China go to war, must the UK get involved in the conflict. Have we got any treaty obligations to join in with the USA, if it attacks China. Or conversely, if China attacks the USA?
Well, given that we aspire to things like democracy and the rule of law these last 805 years, standing aside from what would likely be a decisive moment in history would make us look like the feeble wimpy incoherent wxxkers our current and last several Governments have indicated we are.

I say fight the authoritarian concentration camp building fxxkers.


Preferably by not buying their shit.
 

mcphee1948

War Hero
Look, I'm a patriotic Englishman. Not a Russian spy, tasked with covertly assessing the morale of the Western armed forces, by studying the posts on AARRSE. Such an absurd charge would never stand up in your English courtrooms.

What evidence is there for it, old chap?
 
Look, I'm a patriotic Englishman. Not a Russian spy, tasked with covertly assessing the morale of the Western armed forces, by studying the posts on AARRSE. Such an absurd charge would never stand up in your English courtrooms.

What evidence is there for it, old chap?

You smell of vodka.
 

mcphee1948

War Hero
You smell of vodka.
So what? Are not all late-night posters on this site drunk? If they weren't, they'd be sleeping in bed. Not banging their fingers on a keyboard, like you are.
 

Flight

LE
Book Reviewer
All a bit US focused, however with the 21st century rise of India and China, the future is either co-operation and alliances with allies, or assimilation.....
Historically merely asking Andrew to sink the buggers was effective*.

* Would entail allowing them some ships and manpower to do such with of course.
 

Latest Threads

Top