Tuesday, February 24, 2009

All The King's Horses, And All The King's Men Could Not Put Humpty Dumpty Back Together Again

During last Summer's conflict over South Ossetia with armed combat between the state of Georgia and Russia the use of some new high tech weapons were used including some new generation Israeli guided missiles. Russian military were backed up by a new generation of low slung T-80 tanks that were protected with a scale-like reactive armor that explodes outward whenever struck by missile or shell, making these tanks one of the most difficult to stop of any tanks used by any world military. But the Georgian military used a new generation of Israeli built guided missiles that use a double charged warhead that destroyed several of these tanks, which also created some diplomatic friction between Russia and Israel, just when Russian-Israeli relations had proven steady improvement. The secret Israeli warheads on the guided missiles were specifically designed to defeat the T-80s by the first charge setting off the reactive armor, and then the second charge penetrating the armor and killing the tank and the crew.

Georgia also used Israeli produced Hermes 450 spy drones to scope out Russia troop movements and mount counterattacks. And Russia hoped to make quick work of many Georgian military defenses with the deployment of a number of swept-winged TU-22M3 Backfire bombers, however Georgia responded with counterattacks using SA-11 "Gadfly" surface to air missiles and managed to knock as many as 10 high tech Russian aircraft out of the sky during the conflict. Some of these aircraft such as the Backfire bombers are very difficult to down and requite very high tech weaponry such as these superior "Gadfly" surface to air missiles to have high degree of success.

One important advantage the Russian military had was the use of modern high tech and very lethal new class of SS-N-22 "Sunburn" missiles which travel at supersonic speeds and can be outfitted with either conventional or nuclear warheads. This new class of anti-ship missiles as well as Russian experiments in hypersonic nuclear cruise missiles means that Russia probably now has a large force of anti-ship weapons that could completely destroy the entire U.S. aircraft force in the time of war sinking every flattop with hypersonic nuclear strikes leaving even the newer class of American aircraft carriers such as the $6.2 billion dollar Northrop Grumman built Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush with crews of over 5,000 sailors and airmen and 90 aircraft only burning piles of wrecked metal.

Russia also made extensive high tech use of computer warfare to hack onto Georgian computers and cause great interruption of the Georgian military and government. This was the first armed conflict where extensive computer warfare was used as a weapon.

The fact of the matter is that Israel has managed to build and export a whole new class of secret high tech weapons that rank as some of the best in the world specifically designed to thwart specific Russian high tech weapons. Russia has also poured substantial oil revenues into the modernization of it's military as well and continues to produce new and more lethal modern weapons as well. China is also undergoing the rapid development

Realistically, the United States government is in such a huge budget crisis dilemma right now that certainly many high tech weapons systems projects will have to be scrapped, shelved or scaled way back. The U.S. is going to very quickly find itself as the odd man out as Russia, China and Israel quickly become the armies with the newest most high tech weapons of any armies in the world.

Diplomatically, the Obama Administration needs to have very good relations with Russia and China where war is never an option between these states as the U.S. military hardware begins to age and cannot keep up with the advances of these other states as the U.S. budget woes hamper new high tech weapons development.

Unfortunately the U.S. is now finding itself in a situation somewhat similar to the old Soviet Union before it collapsed largely because it could not compete with all of the huge military spending of the U.S. during the Reagan years. The U.S. cut social programs and threw many Americans under the bus into poverty and homelessness during those years to free up hundreds of billions to spend like drunken sailors on massive military projects. And the far smaller Soviet economy expected this was a prelude to war, and spent all that it could to build up a military that it hoped could leave the U.S. a smoldering heap of ashes. Fortunately war did not break out, and the Soviet system mainly bankrupted itself through this wild military spending as well as it's expensive defeat in Afghanistan. The U.S. proved it could run up big national debts and deficits and spend massive amounts of money on new arms. But that was the 1980's.

Now these 1980's vintage weapons are nearly museum pieces compared to newer technology weapons that have been developed by a renewed oil economy in Russia and the new export economy of China. Now it is the U.S. with the aging fleet of weapons, budget and deficit woes, and facing a likely defeat in Afghanistan where it cannot prevent it's ally in Pakistan from making treaties with Taliban forces to establish bases for cross border fights into Afghanistan to attack NATO forces and then retreat back over the border with Pakistan's protection.

And the U.S. not only faces problems with an aging military and the inability to afford a whole new class of high tech weaponry at all levels, but the basic economic survival of many of the nation's own cities is now in the balance as many cannot to keep all of their fire departments or police jobs.

The U.S. probably won't collapse as a nation like the old Soviet Union did. But the U.S. is now in a very similar position of economic ruin with a sharply declined industrial base and automobile industry bordering on complete ruin.

Mr. Obama is probably facing the greatest challenges of any president since Lincoln himself on how to make this country survive economically and avoid financial collapse. America is simply running out of money, and unemployment and poverty problems are only mounting. Mr. Obama is recognizing the seriousness of this threat to the U.S. and is quickly calling together economic summits as well as actions to help to stave off these serious building economic threats to the U.S. Yesterday, Mr. Obama called together an important budget summit and made sure to invite opposition leaders such John McCain and others to recognize that this is an American problem far greater than 9/11 and requires a united American answer to these problems.

Mr. Obama is still constantly seeking a bipartisan solution to every major problem facing the United States because this economic crisis is so serious for the future survival of the U.S. as a country. The fact of the matter is that united for some answers and solutions to this economic crisis we will survive as a nation, but divided along highly partisan political lines and jockeying for advantages in upcoming elections, we will fail and could even collapse as a nation.

Military spending becomes both a critical need for a modern state as well as their own greatest internal financial threat. Military projects provide very few jobs per every billion of dollars spent. Yet if you don't have the hardware, you will lose a war. And if you spent too much money on the military, your nation goes bankrupt and you lose your security. Ask many dictators around the world this question with a few tanks and soldiers, but populations living in poverty with no real viable economy to show for. Guns and butter requires a careful balance because either can and will destroy a nation's security.

In the end it all boils down to the logic of the Children's tale, that "all of the King's horses. and all of the King's men, could not put Humpty Dumpty back together again" if a system self bankrupts itself, of which the U.S. is now very dangerously close.


At 1:01 PM, Blogger Jay Tea said...

One element you forgot to mention: Israel's enemies almost exclusively use Russian-designed and Russian-built weapons. So their helping Georgia has the benefit of letting them field test their weapons against versions of the ones they are likely to face.

And you also neglected to mention that some of those Russian-designed weapons are built in China, and a large number of non-Russian weapons are Chinese. I don't think the Silkworm missiles Iran uses to threaten the Straits of Hormuz are marked "Made in Belgium."

No, actually, they're Chinese C-201 missiles, copies of the old Soviet SS-N-2 Styx missile.


At 7:41 AM, Blogger Paul Hooson said...

Jay, indeed Russia, China, North Korea and the United States are probably the four largest arms exporters around the world because the profits are so huge. And this leads to many Russian-type arms either of Russian, Chinese or North Korean origin. But it also allows Israel the opportunity to test new counter-weapons to undermine many of these same weapons in the hands of nations such as Syria or Iran.

Jay, send me an email sometime to my radiotvpartz@juno.com address and I'll have some interesting off- the-record information for you. I want to be your friend, and I respect your opinions even if we seldom agree on many matters.


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