sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Friday, June 2, 2017

Geopolitics and North Korea

The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) published an official statement warning the US to withdraw its military assets from northeast Asia. It threatened nuclear destruction if a confrontation occurred (again).
The statement said, "This evidently proves again that the US intention is to bring down the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea by force, hold a military edge in the Asia-Pacific region and, furthermore, realize its dream of world domination will never change and that the chief culprit rendering the situation of the Korean peninsula and the region extremely tense is none other than the US (sic)."
The Obama Era is over. The US takes the Nork
threats of attacking the US, Japan and South
Korea seriously. And it is reacting accordingly.
This article serves as the Kim regime’s acknowledgement of the US-Japanese exercises and the deployment of a third carrier task group to the Korea region. It is a placeholder item, pending other, stronger statements to follow.

Several open source analytical centers have concluded that the presence of three aircraft carrier task groups near the Korean Peninsula means that the US is serious about attacking North Korea if it detonates a sixth nuclear device.

When the US commits three carrier task groups to a crisis, it always means the US is serious about escalating the crisis, under some conditions. In other words, the US forces are prepared for general war. The third carrier usually overlaps in relieving the first carrier that arrived in the crisis area.
The Nimitz group, Carrier Strike Group 11, left Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton on Thursday to join the strike groups centered around the Carl Vinson and Ronald Reagan.
Historical Context and Precedence

We have experienced one reasonably recent crisis in which the US committed three carrier task groups, but no war occurred. That crisis was the Taiwan Strait crisis of 1996. That was the first time the Chinese tried to use military pressure to persuade an independence-minded government in Taipei to refrain from declaring independence from China. 
In late 1995 and through spring 1996, China staged large-scale air, naval and amphibious landing exercises on islands and in sea areas opposite northern Taiwan. The Chinese even launched ballistic missiles three times towards Taiwan. Some splashed just outside the harbors of Keelung and Kaohsiung on Taiwan.  
In March 1996, the US deployed two aircraft carrier task groups and an amphibious assault ship off Taiwan. A third carrier task group arrived later in rotation. Taiwan did not declare independence. China did not attack Taiwan and no general war occurred.
Three carriers do not mean war is inevitable or unavoidable, but it does mean that general war is a risk for which the US is prepared. North Koreans repeatedly have said that they will attack at the slightest violation of their sovereignty. They mean it. Nevertheless, the North Koreans have not activated the civilian national alert system or their military alert system which are essential preparations for even a limited clash. 

The less obvious dangers in the coming week or so are from misadventure. You may recall the North Korean capture of the USS Pueblo intelligence collection ship in 1968 and their shoot down of the US EC-121 reconnaissance aircraft in 1969. The USS Pueblo is a national monument in North Korea.

A US reconnaissance aircraft that strays from its track into North Korean airspace, as occurred during the axe murder/ tree cutting incident in 1976, will be shot at by North Korean air defenses. That would create a dangerous condition for escalation. 

Another dangerous scenario would be more North Korean missile launches into the Sea of Japan while Allied naval forces are training. With so many US and Japanese ships in the area, there are many other scenarios in which small incidents and real or perceived slights can escalate quickly with little or no additional warning.

Three-Day Joint Military Exercise

A three-day US-Japanese military exercise in the Sea of Japan began 1 June, a Japanese military statement said. The exercise includes Japanese naval ships, including the helicopter carrier JS Hyuga and two US aircraft carriers, the USS Ronald Reagan and the USS Carl Vinson, as well as their escort ships. US and Japanese fighter aircraft are also taking part in simulated combat, according to the statement. 

US Air Force Deployment

USAF deployments of B-52, B-1B, and B-2 strategic assets to Japan, Guam and Alaska have quietly been completed. 

SSGN's 

Each US SSGN can carry up to 154 cruise missiles. (primer on US Navy Submarines). The re-deployment of US Navy SSGN's to the North Korean region is complete. They can remain on station for an extensive period of time. They and the carrier battle groups are supported by an undisclosed number of attack submarines in the area off North Korea. Based on personal experience, my guess is that with the numbers deployed, they're having difficulty not running into each other as they patrol.

Russian and Chinese Reaction

At the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s daily press session, spokesperson Hua again called on the parties to refrain from provocative action. All the parties are watching the Allied naval forces and gauging US intentions.

Moscow is increasing its military forces in the area of the South Kuril Islands. Russian President Putin said that Russia is seriously concerned about the increase of the military capabilities of the United States near the Korean Peninsula and will not indifferently look on as missile defense systems are deployed in Alaska and in South Korea.
"As to the increase of our military potentials in the Russian Far East and on the islands, in particular: it's not Russia's initiative, like in the other part of the world, in Europe," Putin said on 1 June. He was responding to a question from a Japanese journalist about the possibility of demilitarization of the South Kuril Islands in a meeting with the heads of international information agencies in St. Petersburg. 
Saying that NATO bases are approaching the Western borders of Russia and their military contingents are increasing, Putin said, "What can we do - just look at that spinelessly? We are reacting appropriately." 
"The same is happening in the East. Look: one U.S. aircraft carrier arrives, another one arrives, they are saying a third one is on its way there. But never mind. Aircraft carriers come and go. But elements of a missile defense system are being created, which concerns us very much, and we have been speaking about that permanently for ten years. That upsets strategic balance in the world." 
Putin accused the world media and the global community of keeping silent about this problem.
"You all keep silent about that. The world keeps silent as if nothing is happening. No one listens to us. Or they listen, but nothing is broadcast any further. And the global public lives in total unawareness of what is happening. And a very serious alarming process is happening. Elements of the missile defense system are appearing in Alaska and now in South Korea. Should we look at that spinelessly, like in the Western part of Russia as well? Of course, no! We are thinking of how to respond to these challenges. It's a challenge to us," Putin said.
All parties to the Korean confrontation are watching and reacting to the Allied force buildup. Russia is on China’s side in opposing the deployment of advanced missile defense systems in South Korea. Their concern will become even more vocal now that the US has demonstrated its anti-ballistic missile capability and edge. 

Parting Thoughts

1. The corrupt, elite, smug, lying, nasty mainstream media's scam in blaming the Russians for Hillary Clinton's lost bid for the US Presidency limits the US capacity to work with the Russians jointly to resolve issues that might otherwise be on the table for discussion. 

2. The Trump Administration is not bluffing.

3. The North Koreans don't know what is about to hit them - when the balloon goes up.

4. China can fix the North Korean problem, but if they don't, the US will.


A Few Thoughts

Many people who read this blog are unreasonable. Being unreasonable is a lot like being deplorable. An unreasonable approach to life doesn't suggest a rude life, or a bullying life. George Bernard Shaw had something to say on the subject.
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man." - George Bernard Shaw
Progressives and their acolytes in the pugnacious, elite, corrupt, lying mainstream media think that they are being unreasonable and avant-garde when they are behaving in their cynical, nasty, unpleasant way by doing or saying things that are myopic, cruel, bullying and/or filthy.

Nobody is more filthy and inappropriate these days than Kathy Griffin. I don't want to write much more on the subject except to say that I challenge her do play her filthy games with Barack or his angry wife as the brunt of her stunts. Cruel and inappropriate behavior are not cute, not funny and doesn't figure into being either 'deplorable' or 'unreasonable'. It's vulgar.

Testing Conventional Theories

What is at the center of galaxies -- what holds them together? Conventional and current wisdom suggests that there is a supermassive black hole. Most scientists agree that black holes, cosmic entities of such great gravity that nothing can escape their grip, are surrounded by a so-called event horizon. Once matter or energy gets close enough to the black hole, it cannot escape -- it will be pulled in. Though widely believed, the existence of event horizons has not been proved. This is a follow-on to a previous blog posting on stellar death.
This artist's impression shows a star crossing the event horizon of a supermassive black hole located in the center of a galaxy. The black hole is so large and massive that tidal effects on the star are negligible, and the star is swallowed whole. The effects of gravitational lensing distorting the light of the star are not shown here.
Credit: Mark A. Garlick/CfA

Some theorists suggest that there's something else at the center of galaxies -- not a black hole, but an even stranger supermassive object that has somehow managed to avoid gravitational collapse to a singularity surrounded by an event horizon. The idea is based on modified theories of General Relativity, Einstein's theory of gravity.
Wenbin Lu, Pawan Kumar, Ramesh Narayan. Stellar disruption events support the existence of the black hole event horizon. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2017
"We estimated the rate of stars falling onto supermassive black holes," Lu said. "Nearly every galaxy has one. We only considered the most massive ones, which weigh about 100 million solar masses or more. There are about a million of them within a few billion light-years of Earth."

They then searched a recent archive of telescope observations. Pan-STARRS, a 1.8-meter telescope in Hawaii, recently completed a project to survey half of the northern hemisphere sky. The telescope scanned the area repeatedly during a period of 3.5 years, looking for "transients" -- things that glow for a while and then fade. Their goal was to find transients with the expected light signature of a star falling toward a supermassive object and hitting a hard surface.

"Given the rate of stars falling onto black holes and the number density of black holes in the nearby universe, we calculated how many such transients Pan-STARRS should have detected over a period of operation of 3.5 years. It turns out it should have detected more than 10 of them, if the hard-surface theory is true," Lu said.

They did not find any.

"Our work implies that some, and perhaps all, black holes have event horizons and that material really does disappear from the observable universe when pulled into these exotic objects, as we've expected for decades," Narayan said. "General Relativity has passed another critical test."

Arab vs Arab vs Persian

The ongoing struggle in Yemen continues. Forces loyal to the United Arab Emirates are reported to have taken control of the airport in Aden, after ousting fighters loyal to Yemen President Mansour Hadi, whom the Saudis back.

Witnesses said rival factions traded gun and rocket fire for nearly three hours at the airport.

Context and Precedence: The Saudis and Emiratis have disagreed for months over the conduct of the anti-Houthi (anti-Iranian) campaign and about the role of Yemen President Hadi. The Saudis back him as the rightful president of Yemen.

The Emiratis oppose him because in early May he dismissed two officials from southern Yemen whom the Emirati leadership favored. Southerners demonstrated in Aden to protest the firings and announced their intention to secede and set up an independent south Yemen state. The Emiratis support the Southern Movement.

The fighting this week indicates that the political tension has worsened and transformed into exchanges of gunfire in a fight for control of the airport. The Emirati and Emirati-backed forces liberated Aden airport from the Houthis in 2015, but that was before the latest split.

Now they have taken it back. Control of the airport enables the southerners to block Hadi from arriving in Aden, as they did a year ago. The civil war is now even more complicated than before and still far from ending.

The Saudis would like to see the US help them in their war against both the Iranian/Persian proxies (Houthis) and the Emiratis. They tried to sucker Pakistan in but the Pakis would have none of it. The US likewise, needs to steer a very wide course around this typical Middle Eastern power struggle.