So... how 'bout that South China Sea eh?
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03-09-2015, 11:38 AM
RE: So... how 'bout that South China Sea eh?
(03-09-2015 11:13 AM)yakherder Wrote:  
(03-09-2015 09:23 AM)earmuffs Wrote:  Yeabut when you have 2.3million what's 300,000?
And is he cutting it or is it just that 300,000 are becoming redundant as the Chinese army becomes more technologically advanced?

They've got about 10,000 active, highly trained special operations soldiers. The rest are mostly cannon fodder, which as we discussed in a different thread is pointless. There are too many ways to clear large numbers of vulnerable troops quickly and cheaply that numbers really just don't matter that much anymore. On the ground, advances in technology has actually made small group infantry tactics more critical, as opposed to less like many would assume. So yeah, it makes sense to cut numbers and use what you save towards making the remaining soldiers better trained and better equipped. As it stands, many of their soldiers are still equipped with simplistic AK knockoffs that are capable only of full auto with no semi auto capability. That might sound scary to the uninformed public that is irrationally scared of untrained idiots behind machine guns, but what it implies to those of us who know better is that they don't even have the funding to train them to shoot, so they're basically just set aside as untrained, poorly equipped, spray and pray distractions.

The purpose hasn't been anything military since Mao's time. It's a fantastic social valve for keeping millions of young men out of trouble.

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03-09-2015, 11:44 AM
RE: So... how 'bout that South China Sea eh?
(03-09-2015 11:38 AM)cjlr Wrote:  
(03-09-2015 11:13 AM)yakherder Wrote:  They've got about 10,000 active, highly trained special operations soldiers. The rest are mostly cannon fodder, which as we discussed in a different thread is pointless. There are too many ways to clear large numbers of vulnerable troops quickly and cheaply that numbers really just don't matter that much anymore. On the ground, advances in technology has actually made small group infantry tactics more critical, as opposed to less like many would assume. So yeah, it makes sense to cut numbers and use what you save towards making the remaining soldiers better trained and better equipped. As it stands, many of their soldiers are still equipped with simplistic AK knockoffs that are capable only of full auto with no semi auto capability. That might sound scary to the uninformed public that is irrationally scared of untrained idiots behind machine guns, but what it implies to those of us who know better is that they don't even have the funding to train them to shoot, so they're basically just set aside as untrained, poorly equipped, spray and pray distractions.

The purpose hasn't been anything military since Mao's time. It's a fantastic social valve for keeping millions of young men out of trouble.

I also noticed that they seem to use them for damn near everything they can possibly think of. Like, there will be apartment complexes with what looks to me like a couple teenagers in uniform as guards. I guess it's cheaper to rent soldiers from the government than to hire and manage civilian security personnel.

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03-09-2015, 12:22 PM
RE: So... how 'bout that South China Sea eh?
(03-09-2015 11:44 AM)yakherder Wrote:  
(03-09-2015 11:38 AM)cjlr Wrote:  The purpose hasn't been anything military since Mao's time. It's a fantastic social valve for keeping millions of young men out of trouble.

I also noticed that they seem to use them for damn near everything they can possibly think of. Like, there will be apartment complexes with what looks to me like a couple teenagers in uniform as guards. I guess it's cheaper to rent soldiers from the government than to hire and manage civilian security personnel.

Even then I think that's mostly busywork, but I doubt the generals mind the extra cash.

If you're stuck growing up in the Chinese equivalent of Bumfuck, Nowhere, your choices for a future are testing well enough to get a good university placement or scraping by to one of the cities to be an underclass migrant worker in your own country. Or the military...

Young men who would otherwise be disaffected, jobless, and in this case even womanless given how many people made sure their one child was male; the natural contingency of civil unrest.
(cf Spring, Arab)

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03-09-2015, 12:47 PM
RE: So... how 'bout that South China Sea eh?
China has two armies, basically: the PLAGF (originally about three million troops, but of the "spray and pray" variety that Yakherder described, organized around their fear of having to fight a nuclear and ground war against the Soviet Red Army), but they have spent the last 2½ decades working on a second, more modern army-within-an-army, based on modern techniques and equipment, specifically because they foresee a new type of warfare, probably in the form of a confrontation with Tawian (with US as an ally), or with Japan (etc) over the Spratley Islands, or eventually in battles for control of strategic oil reserves and/or straits in the region. As the PLAGF modernizes They reduced by 300,000 men in 2005, and dropped even larger chunks during the original modernization efforts in the late 80 (over a million were slashed at one point, just before the time I went into USAFA, because it was big news, still).

Being the USAF, we mostly talked about it in terms of their air battle capacity. They also got rid of thousands of fighters and drastically shrunk the size of their PLAAF-- because they were introducing far more capable fighters into their arsenal. It's even worse, today, because they're introducing the Chengdu J-20 "fifth generation stealth fighter" soon (test versions already flying, and full production by 2018), and it's reputed to be the equal of our F-22. Their "fourth-generation-plus" Su-30, J-11, and J-10 fighters are equal to or superior to what we operate as the bulk of our force, as well. They lack some of the advantages we possess in electronics/C3i aircraft, but not by much. Even if Japan or Taiwan or Thailand are crazy enough to let us stage out of their bases, we'd be at a huge range disadvantage, and our supercarriers can't even get in range without that anti-ship ballistic missile putting them at risk. Their own aircraft carrier and small-but-recently-upgraded Navy could project a realistic threat to all that operates under the umbrella of their PLAAF.

Or, to paraphrase Yakherder, if China doesn't scare the crap out of you, you don't know what's going on. Wink

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03-09-2015, 12:53 PM (This post was last modified: 03-09-2015 12:59 PM by RocketSurgeon76.)
RE: So... how 'bout that South China Sea eh?
Is it just me, or did the Chinese watch the Clint Eastwood movie Firefox and think, "Hey, we should build that!"?

The Chinese Chengdou J-20:
[Image: th?id=JN.3VPPRYONEnVDQrULp7fSFA&...;amp;h=300]


Firefox:
[Image: th?id=JN.KP6wJKKJ6LwB9ODzk1IcNQ&...;amp;h=300]

(Edited to swap in more-similar angle view.)

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03-09-2015, 01:15 PM
RE: So... how 'bout that South China Sea eh?
At this point in time, I still firmly believe that if it came to it, we would shred China in a conventional fight. Whether or not it will be the same 20 years from now is a different story. What's most troubling about China right now, however, is it's ability to fuel and manage proxy wars. Why risk a direct confrontation with someone when they already have a bunch of enemies for you to arm and train? This isn't meant as a jab against China, we've done and do the same thing. They're just better at it, partially due to the fact that they don't have to answer to the judgement of their own population in the same was as we do. It's just strategy. There's no right and wrong here, just our interests and theirs, and they happen to be in conflict with each other. In that other thread when I said "we should invade Mexico and South America because China," I was only half joking. They've effectively taken over South America politically over the last decade and a half, giving them a platform to send all sorts of shit our way without us being able to pin anything on them to the extent that it would satisfy our black and white interpretation of law and what is required in order to serve as justification to defend oneself. The world is changing, and we're not changing with it.

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03-09-2015, 01:40 PM
RE: So... how 'bout that South China Sea eh?
(03-09-2015 01:15 PM)yakherder Wrote:  What's most troubling about China right now, however, is it's ability to fuel and manage proxy wars. Why risk a direct confrontation with someone when they already have a bunch of enemies for you to arm and train? This isn't meant as a jab against China, we've done and do the same thing. They're just better at it, partially due to the fact that they don't have to answer to the judgement of their own population in the same was as we do. It's just strategy. There's no right and wrong here, just our interests and theirs, and they happen to be in conflict with each other. In that other thread when I said "we should invade Mexico and South America because China," I was only half joking. They've effectively taken over South America politically over the last decade and a half, giving them a platform to send all sorts of shit our way without us being able to pin anything on them to the extent that it would satisfy our black and white interpretation of law and what is required in order to serve as justification to defend oneself. The world is changing, and we're not changing with it.

The irony of using South America as a proxy for political and military influence is a bit much, no? It's like they read all the books Noam Chomsky wrote, detailing the way the USA behaved from the 1950s-2000s in South and Central America, using them as proxies for our anti-Soviet ideologies, and China thought, "Hey, we can do that even better than they can!"

And I disagree that we can take them in a fight. Their 10,000 "special forces" soldiers are part of a ~250,000 soldier "modern" army, based on c3i and mobility and the latest tech... the other million or so are fodder, but it means they can be used in large numbers to guard valuable territory on the defensive. Even so, the power of their AF over short ranges and their ability to ward off our carrier fleets means that they will be able to refuse our resupply, mobile force deployements, and c3i efforts to a larger degree. Battlefield Air Interdiction as a way of effectively pinning and decimating a superior land force is a technique we showed the world in 1991 and again in 2003. If we fight China somewhere they have to reach out as far as we do, like Guam or the Spratlys (~1000 nm) then yes I think we can take them, but no way if it comes to Taiwan or, say, a march on Singapore.

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03-09-2015, 01:54 PM
RE: So... how 'bout that South China Sea eh?
I got word a couple days ago -- a buddy of mine's son - who I've known since he was born -- graduated from the Merchant Marine Academy a couple years ago and he's currently on an MSC ship in the South China sea - towing a sonar array for the Navy contingent on board....

Guess they're busy looking for N Korean and Chinese subs.

Fun fun.... ASW drills all day long....

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03-09-2015, 02:25 PM
RE: So... how 'bout that South China Sea eh?
Well the Russians did sell them some Kilo-class diesel-electric subs, which are pretty quiet but not better than our 688s, and the Chinese nuc boats are pretty loud, from what I've read.

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03-09-2015, 02:28 PM
RE: So... how 'bout that South China Sea eh?
I've heard stories about US sub skippers taking hull shots of those for the fun of it.

I guess they're not much of a threat.

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