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China Expanding Air Defence Zone, Projecting Power in South and East China Seas

Triton

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F-14D said:
...and if the world starts to believe that the US will stand with an ally unless doing so might be uncomfortable or might damage a trade and investment relationship? What values is it then to stand with the US? Watch the greatest shift of power and influence the world has seen since WWII happen real fast.
Which I believe is happening.
 

F-14D

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Triton said:
F-14D said:
...and if the world starts to believe that the US will stand with an ally unless doing so might be uncomfortable or might damage a trade and investment relationship? What values is it then to stand with the US? Watch the greatest shift of power and influence the world has seen since WWII happen real fast.
Which I believe is happening.
So do I
 

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Madoc said:
The difference between Communism and Fascism is that there's no profit in Communism.

This, both figuratively and literally.

Both ideologies sprung from Socialism and both took basic Socialist principles and ideology to the extremes. Their creators were all devout and ardent Socialists to begin with. If you look at the political platforms of both the Fascists in Italy and the National Socialist in Germany, they were pretty doctrinaire and bog standard Socialist diatribes. State ownership of this, State control of that, State control of national culture, State providing cradle to grave welfare for the Volk, etc., etc.,.

That the "Industrialists" signed on to the national socialist movements is no big surprise. When faced with a choice between one radical political movement which wants to control your business - but will allow you to keep any of its profit - versus the other radical political movement which wants to control your business - while sending you on one way train rides to Siberia / hanging you from the nearest lampost - the choice was rather clear. Also, whether they're "Industrialists" or "Big Business" they all do love government regulation.

Such regulation crushes the little guys who are their most effective competitors and such regulation / control is easy enough for the big companies to subvert and direct to their own ends. This, being a point still lost on those of the Left who keep calling for more government regulation of Big Business.

A lot of people view Fascism / Nazism as being a right wing ideology since it was authoritarian and totalitarian. But, so to was Communism. It has been one of the better sales jobs of the Left to get folks to think that the Fascists and Nazis were things of the Right and not the Left. Having to bear responsibility for BOTH of the most murderous ideologies in human history would tend to dampen the appeal of Leftist thought and politics.
Very good general analysis of those ideologies. TO be really succinct Fascism/Nazism was a 'German/Italian' response to International Communism that leaders in both coutries disagreed with. They didn't want to be part of some international communist agglomeration they wanted the politics local or really national, hence, the obvious to most people except political science professors "National Socalism'.

The same for Mussolini he was a socialist his whole life and remained one under a different banner, fascism to him was a 'national' socialism. Everything inside the state everything of the state. I beleive both Lenin and Stalin wildly praised what he was doing in Italy prior to the war.
 

sublight is back

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Triton said:
F-14D said:
...and if the world starts to believe that the US will stand with an ally unless doing so might be uncomfortable or might damage a trade and investment relationship? What values is it then to stand with the US? Watch the greatest shift of power and influence the world has seen since WWII happen real fast.
Which I believe is happening.
Or maybe problems in Russia are accelerating and we might not want to get into it on two fronts at once....
 

Triton

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sublight is back said:
Or maybe problems in Russia are accelerating and we might not want to get into it on two fronts at once....
Are you referring to the plans for an Eurasian Union, sublight?

In December 2012, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said "It’s not going to be called that [USSR]. It’s going to be called [a] customs union, it will be called the Eurasian Union and all of that, but let’s make no mistake about it. We know what the goal is and we are trying to figure out effective ways to slow down or prevent it"

Source:
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a5b15b14-3fcf-11e2-9f71-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2n1fMdDLs

Or the military build-up in the Russian Federation:

the Russian military, by 2020, will return to a million active-duty personnel, backed up by 2300 new tanks, some 1200 new helicopters and planes, with a navy fielding fifty new surface ships and twenty-eight submarines, with one hundred new satellites designed to augment Russia’s communications, command and control capabilities. Putin has committed to spending some $755 billion over the next decade to fulfill these requirements.
Source:
http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/russias-military-back-9181
 

Triton

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"U.S., Chinese warships narrowly avoid collision in South China Sea"

Source:
http://news.yahoo.com/u-chinese-warships-narrowly-avoid-collision-south-china-182435038.html

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. guided missile cruiser operating in international waters in the South China Sea was forced to take evasive action last week to avoid a collision with a Chinese navy ship maneuvering nearby, the U.S. Pacific Fleet said in a statement on Friday.

The incident on December 5 involving the USS Cowpens came at a time of heightened tensions between the United States and China following Beijing's declaration of an Air Defense Identification Zone in the East China Sea.

The Pacific Fleet statement did not offer details about what led to the near-collision. But it did say the incident underscored the need for the "highest standards of professional seamanship, including communications between vessels, to mitigate the risk of an unintended incident or mishap."

Beijing declared the air defense zone over the East China Sea late last month and demanded that aircraft flying through the area provide it with flight plans and other information.

The United States and its allies rejected the Chinese demand and have continued to fly military aircraft into the zone, which includes air space over a small group of islands claimed by China but currently administered by Tokyo.

In the midst of the tensions over the air defense zone, China deployed its only aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, to the South China Sea for maneuvers. Beijing claims most of the South China Sea and is involved in territorial disputes in the region with several of its neighbors.

(Reporting by David Alexander; Editing by Jim Loney)
 

Triton

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Deliberate harassment of the U.S.S. Cowpens by the PLAN?

"Chinese Naval Vessel Tries to Force U.S. Warship to Stop in International Waters"
by Bill Gertz
December 13, 2013

Source:
http://freebeacon.com/chinese-naval-vessel-tries-to-force-u-s-warship-to-stop-in-international-waters/

A Chinese naval vessel tried to force a U.S. guided missile warship to stop in international waters recently, causing a tense military standoff in the latest case of Chinese maritime harassment, according to defense officials.

The guided missile cruiser USS Cowpens, which recently took part in disaster relief operations in the Philippines, was confronted by Chinese warships in the South China Sea near Beijing’s new aircraft carrier Liaoning, according to officials familiar with the incident.

“On December 5th, while lawfully operating in international waters in the South China Sea, USS Cowpens and a PLA Navy vessel had an encounter that required maneuvering to avoid a collision,” a Navy official said.

“This incident underscores the need to ensure the highest standards of professional seamanship, including communications between vessels, to mitigate the risk of an unintended incident or mishap.”

A State Department official said the U.S. government issued protests to China in both Washington and Beijing in both diplomatic and military channels.

The Cowpens was conducting surveillance of the Liaoning at the time. The carrier had recently sailed from the port of Qingdao on the northern Chinese coast into the South China Sea.

According to the officials, the run-in began after a Chinese navy vessel sent a hailing warning and ordered the Cowpens to stop. The cruiser continued on its course and refused the order because it was operating in international waters.

Then a Chinese tank landing ship sailed in front of the Cowpens and stopped, forcing the Cowpens to abruptly change course in what the officials said was a dangerous maneuver.

According to the officials, the Cowpens was conducting a routine operation done to exercise its freedom of navigation near the Chinese carrier when the incident occurred about a week ago.

The encounter was the type of incident that senior Pentagon officials recently warned could take place as a result of heightened tensions in the region over China’s declaration of an air defense identification zone (ADIZ) in the East China Sea.

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recently called China’s new air defense zone destabilizing and said it increased the risk of a military “miscalculation.”

China’s military forces in recent days have dispatched Su-30 and J-11 fighter jets, as well as KJ-2000 airborne warning and control aircraft, to the zone to monitor the airspace that is used frequently by U.S. and Japanese military surveillance aircraft.

The United States has said it does not recognize China’s ADIZ, as has Japan’s government.

Two U.S. B-52 bombers flew through the air zone last month but were not shadowed by Chinese interceptor jets.

Chinese naval and air forces also have been pressing Japan in the East China Sea over Tokyo’s purchase a year ago of several uninhabited Senkaku Islands located north of Taiwan and south of Okinawa.

China is claiming the islands, which it calls the Diaoyu. They are believed to contain large undersea reserves of natural gas and oil.

The Liaoning, China’s first carrier that was refitted from an old Soviet carrier, and four warships recently conducted their first training maneuvers in the South China Sea. The carrier recently docked at the Chinese naval port of Hainan on the South China Sea.

Defense officials have said China’s imposition of the ADIZ is aimed primarily at curbing surveillance flights in the zone, which China’s military regards as a threat to its military secrets.

The U.S. military conducts surveillance flights with EP-3 aircraft and long-range RQ-4 Global Hawk drones.

In addition to the Liaoning, Chinese warships in the flotilla include two missile destroyers, the Shenyang and the Shijiazhuang, and two missile frigates, the Yantai and the Weifang.

Rick Fisher, a China military affairs expert, said it is likely that the Chinese deliberately staged the incident as part of a strategy of pressuring the United States.

“They can afford to lose an LST [landing ship] as they have about 27 of them, but they are also usually armed with one or more twin 37 millimeter cannons, which at close range could heavily damage a lightly armored U.S. Navy destroyer,” said Fisher, a senior fellow at the International Assessment and Strategy Center.

Most Chinese Navy large combat ships would be out-ranged by the 127-millimeter guns deployed on U.S. cruisers, except China’s Russian-made Sovremenny-class ships and Beijing’s new Type 052D destroyers that are armed with 130-millimeter guns.

The encounter appears to be part of a pattern of Chinese political signaling that it will not accept the presence of American military power in its East Asian theater of influence, Fisher said.

“China has spent the last 20 years building up its Navy and now feels that it can use it to obtain its political objectives,” he said.

Fisher said that since early 2012 China has gone on the offensive in both the South China and East China Seas.

“In this early stage of using its newly acquired naval power, China is posturing and bullying, but China is also looking for a fight, a battle that will cow the Americans, the Japanese, and the Filipinos,” he said.

To maintain stability in the face of Chinese military assertiveness, Fisher said the United States and Japan should seek an armed peace in the region by heavily fortifying the Senkaku Islands and the rest of the island chain they are part of.

“The U.S. and Japan should also step up their rearmament of the Philippines,” Fisher said.

The Cowpens incident is the most recent example of Chinese naval aggressiveness toward U.S. ships.

The U.S. intelligence-gathering ship, USNS Impeccable, came under Chinese naval harassment from a China Maritime Surveillance ship, part of Beijing’s quasi-military maritime patrol craft, in June.

During that incident, the Chinese ship warned the Navy ship it was operating illegally despite sailing in international waters. The Chinese demanded that the ship first obtain permission before sailing in the area that was more than 100 miles from China’s coast.

The U.S. military has been stepping up surveillance of China’s naval forces, including the growing submarine fleet, as part of the U.S. policy of rebalancing forces to the Pacific.

The Impeccable was harassed in March 2009 by five Chinese ships that followed it and sprayed it with water hoses in an effort to thwart its operations.

A second spy ship, the USNS Victorious, also came under Chinese maritime harassment several years ago.

Adm. Samuel Locklear, when asked last summer about increased Chinese naval activities near Guam and Hawaii in retaliation for U.S. ship-based spying on China, said the dispute involves different interpretations of controlled waters.

Locklear said in a meeting with reporters in July, “We believe the U.S. position is that those activities are less constrained than what the Chinese believe.”

China is seeking to control large areas of international waters—claiming they are part of its United Nations-defined economic exclusion zone—that Locklear said cover “most of the major sea lines of communication” near China and are needed to remain free for trade and shipping.

Locklear, who is known for his conciliatory views toward the Chinese military, sought to play down recent disputes. When asked if the Chinese activities were troubling, he said: “I would say it’s not provocative certainly. I’d say that in the Asia-Pacific, in the areas that are closer to the Chinese homeland, that we have been able to conduct operations around each other in a very professional and increasingly professional manner.”

The Pentagon and U.S. Pacific Command have sought to develop closer ties to the Chinese military as part of the Obama administration’s Asia pivot policies.

However, China’s military has shown limited interest in closer ties.

China’s state-controlled news media regularly report that the United States is seeking to defeat China by encircling the country with enemies while promoting dissidents within who seek the ouster of the communist regime.

The Obama administration has denied it is seeking to “contain” China and has insisted it wants continued close economic and diplomatic relations.

President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to seek a new type of major power relationship during a summit in California earlier this year. However, the exact nature of the new relationship remains unclear.
 

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Whenever I start gettign worried about China maybe taking over the world, I see news stories like this:
China School Teaches Children Kung Fu - to Fight Against Air Pollution If the article is accurate (who knows), the facts are *almost* as mind-snappingly stupid as the headline might lead you to believe. While they aren't using Kung Fu moves to keep smog at bay, they are using Kung Fu moves to somehow - apparently magically - mitigate the effects of smog. Two of them are particularly interesting:
1) Very deep breathing. Because if there's something you want to do with airborne particulates, it's force them as deep into your lungs as possible.
2) "Pressing the Hegu acupoint, located between the thumb and index finger at the back of the hand, helps promote lungs' detoxification."

Riiiiiiiiiight.
 

Triton

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I presume that most of them will be healthy enough to fight when they are called upon by the People's Liberation Army during their young adulthoods. Air pollution-related diseases could affect them later in life when they are past the age of military service.
 

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Triton said:
I presume that most of them will be healthy enough to fight when they are called upon by the People's Liberation Army during their young adulthoods.
Seems dubious, given how much asthma and now lung cancer seems to be striking their kids. Still, with a population of a couple billion, the ChiCom leaders can probably do the math: wiping out a small fraction of a few generations *now* will provide definite economic advantages (especially if only a minimal amount is spent on their healthcare before they die), while producing a stronger breed down the line.
 

Triton

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I wouldn't know about the pollution in the People's Republic of China being a plan to reduce the population and create a more robust human being.
 

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Triton said:
Deliberate harassment of the U.S.S. Cowpens by the PLAN?

"Chinese Naval Vessel Tries to Force U.S. Warship to Stop in International Waters"
by Bill Gertz
December 13, 2013

Source:
http://freebeacon.com/chinese-naval-vessel-tries-to-force-u-s-warship-to-stop-in-international-waters/
Again These bad Chinese .... but if You take into consideration that this Episode happened Close to the Liaoning during ist current tests it give a completely different view:

Though the United States will not acknowledge it openly, the Cowpens was in position to conduct surveillance on the Liaoning, which would be a sensitive matter for the Chinese.
http://us.cnn.com/2013/12/13/politics/us-china-confrontation/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

I'm not sure how Close the USN would allowed a Chinese vessel to conduct surveillance on a US Carrier ?

Deino

PS; By the way I'm not sure how important or relevant such postings about air Pollution in China and the ADIZ is ... as such stop this nonsense or These Posts will be removed. :mad:
 

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Deino said:
Again These bad Chinese .... but if You take into consideration that this Episode happened Close to the Liaoning during ist current tests it give a completely different view:
So by that rational the US would have been justified in trying to ram all those Soviet "fishing trawlers" during the Cold War?
 

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Orionblamblam

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sferrin said:
Solution to the ramming problem:
It's rarely a politically good idea to Fire First, even if they are coming in to ram you. However, an idea I had while watching Whale Wars (can't *both* sides lose? Please?) last night: great big terrifying tungsten carbide spikes *below* the waterline. The Other Guy need not be entirely aware that they exist. But if they come alongside and bash into you... well, if a twenty foot gash gets slashed through their ship, whose fault is that?

I'm sure such things can be made retractable.

Another idea would be sub-waterline limpet mines that, if the pother ship gets too close, attaches to them magnetically, mechanically or adhesively. It need not be a traditional explosive... just put a great big speaker in it to talk to the other ships crew at high volume. I'm sure they might want to stop and remove it. If that's not enough, how about a limpet that releases a sea anchor?

Or do what the whalers do: big, powerful water cannons. They need not spray water, though. How about polyurethane foam? The incredibly nasty, sticky stuff that is used for insulation? If you use the two-part foam, that stuff sets up solid in seconds and could cause *real* trouble for anyone who got too close. Imagine the entire starboard side of a ship encased in three inches of solid hard-plastic foam. Radar sets locked up. Doors glued closed. Weapons locked in place and inaccessible. Windows caked. Hippies entombed. What's not to like?
 

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I think we used water cannons in 2009 when they harassed the USNS Impeccable and were trying to steal the towed array.
 

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Deino said:
Again These bad Chinese .... but if You take into consideration that this Episode happened Close to the Liaoning during ist current tests it give a completely different view:
No it doesn’t change the view at all. The law of the sea does not have a chapter allowing exclusion zones around new military technology. China consistently breaches international law and risks safety at sea to try and protect their units from perfectly legal surveillance. Such as the USNS Victorious and EP-3 cases.
 

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Deino said:
Again These bad Chinese .... but if You take into consideration that this Episode happened Close to the Liaoning during ist current tests it give a completely different view:

I'm not sure how Close the USN would allowed a Chinese vessel to conduct surveillance on a US Carrier ?
Like this?
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-492804/The-uninvited-guest-Chinese-sub-pops-middle-U-S-Navy-exercise-leaving-military-chiefs-red-faced.html

or this?
http://goldsea.com/Text/index.php?id=14775

Or this?
http://www.infowars.com/report-china-sends-warships-to-coast-of-syria/


To my knowledge no attempts to atop at sea or ram any of these Chinese ships in international water or economic exclusion zone was made.
 

sferrin

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Orionblamblam said:
sferrin said:
Solution to the ramming problem:
It's rarely a politically good idea to Fire First, even if they are coming in to ram you. However, an idea I had while watching Whale Wars (can't *both* sides lose? Please?) last night: great big terrifying tungsten carbide spikes *below* the waterline. The Other Guy need not be entirely aware that they exist. But if they come alongside and bash into you... well, if a twenty foot gash gets slashed through their ship, whose fault is that?

I'm sure such things can be made retractable.

Another idea would be sub-waterline limpet mines that, if the pother ship gets too close, attaches to them magnetically, mechanically or adhesively. It need not be a traditional explosive... just put a great big speaker in it to talk to the other ships crew at high volume. I'm sure they might want to stop and remove it. If that's not enough, how about a limpet that releases a sea anchor?

Or do what the whalers do: big, powerful water cannons. They need not spray water, though. How about polyurethane foam? The incredibly nasty, sticky stuff that is used for insulation? If you use the two-part foam, that stuff sets up solid in seconds and could cause *real* trouble for anyone who got too close. Imagine the entire starboard side of a ship encased in three inches of solid hard-plastic foam. Radar sets locked up. Doors glued closed. Weapons locked in place and inaccessible. Windows caked. Hippies entombed. What's not to like?
Yeah, it was mostly tongue in cheek. Mostly. That spray foam would be a most excellent idea though. That stuff is nasty but not deadly (unless you were encased in it I suppose).
 

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Recent observation on the Chinese ADIZ:


“Let China run itself crazy trying to enforce this,” said a US defense industry source based in Asia. “I just can’t see how China will sustain the enforcement. Too much traffic goes through there. If no country recognizes it, [and] don’t respond to China’s IFF [identification friend or foe] interrogation or VID [visual identification], then this new ADIZ is meaningless.”
 

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sferrin said:
That spray foam would be a most excellent idea though. That stuff is nasty but not deadly (unless you were encased in it I suppose).
Or if it caught fire. It'd be like a friggen' tire fire at sea.

I wonder what can be done in the way of urethane foam "grenades." Could something be done along the lines of paintballs that go "poof" on impact and spew forth a mass of foam? That might be more controllable than actually spraying foam. Better ballistics, anyway. The Japanese would seem to be the best early adopters, since they would seem to have a number of opponents at sea. The Sea Shepherds would seem to not have much of a cause for complaint if such was used against them, since they've deployed their own ballistic-chemical ick.

The second adopters might be merchant shippers that go past Somalia. Imagine being a Somali pirate motoring up to a freighter, when all of a sudden the crew open fire on you with fully automatic high-end paintball guns. Each pellet would produce a fast-curing blob of hard plastic foam the size of a softball, squatting over a deep bruise the size of a half-dollar. If the paintball guns can crank out a cyclic rate of 600 RPM, ten crewmen firing on an attacking motorboat for ten seconds would pump 1000 blobs of stickiness. If each blob was, say, 10 cm in diameter, the coverage would be 7.85 square meters. That would be enough to *really* make a mess of a group of attacking pirates or hippies.

Of course, the firing rate could be a lot higher. The gun shown here apparently does 54 shots/second, so ten guys each firing one of these for ten seconds could put out 5400 shots for 42 square meters of coverage.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inFtAy_EuTg

Something like a spud gun lobbing two-liter bottles of this stuff might be useful for reaching out and tagging targets as a distance.
 

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VH said:
Recent observation on the Chinese ADIZ:

On another forum an Australian commercial pilot who flies this region regularly had this to say:


So a real world update on activity in the ADIZ. Over the last few days flying through the area I heard repeated Japanese military radio traffic calling all stations advising that Japanese aircraft are operating in a general location "in international airspace operating according to international law".[/size] [/size]The Chinese are occasional calling specific aircraft ( location, heading etc) that they are operating in Chinese "military airspace" asking to identify their nationality. The are also great than usual numbers of calls from US military aircraft, though not all call of course.... :/. This level of activity activity is quite unusual.
 

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Orionblamblam said:
sferrin said:
That spray foam would be a most excellent idea though. That stuff is nasty but not deadly (unless you were encased in it I suppose).
Or if it caught fire. It'd be like a friggen' tire fire at sea.

I wonder what can be done in the way of urethane foam "grenades." Could something be done along the lines of paintballs that go "poof" on impact and spew forth a mass of foam? That might be more controllable than actually spraying foam. Better ballistics, anyway. The Japanese would seem to be the best early adopters, since they would seem to have a number of opponents at sea. The Sea Shepherds would seem to not have much of a cause for complaint if such was used against them, since they've deployed their own ballistic-chemical ick.

The second adopters might be merchant shippers that go past Somalia. Imagine being a Somali pirate motoring up to a freighter, when all of a sudden the crew open fire on you with fully automatic high-end paintball guns. Each pellet would produce a fast-curing blob of hard plastic foam the size of a softball, squatting over a deep bruise the size of a half-dollar. If the paintball guns can crank out a cyclic rate of 600 RPM, ten crewmen firing on an attacking motorboat for ten seconds would pump 1000 blobs of stickiness. If each blob was, say, 10 cm in diameter, the coverage would be 7.85 square meters. That would be enough to *really* make a mess of a group of attacking pirates or hippies.

Of course, the firing rate could be a lot higher. The gun shown here apparently does 54 shots/second, so ten guys each firing one of these for ten seconds could put out 5400 shots for 42 square meters of coverage.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inFtAy_EuTg

Something like a spud gun lobbing two-liter bottles of this stuff might be useful for reaching out and tagging targets as a distance.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAIY0I5GGw4
 

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sferrin said:
...The second adopters might be merchant shippers that go past Somalia. Imagine being a Somali pirate motoring up to a freighter, when all of a sudden the crew open fire on you with fully automatic high-end paintball guns.
From what I've heard and read about such pirate attacks, the problem often is just to monitor the surrounding sea
and watch attackers early enough with just a handful uf crews on a modern ship. And then, of course, if the pirates
are in range of the modified pantball guns, the crew certainly is in range of the Ak-47s, too.
 

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Basically China is getting punked on this ADIZ of theirs where people are thumbing their noses at the Chinese military's inability to control this airspace they have claimed. In order to restore their self respect China has no other recourse but to take it up a notch and play rough with who ever violates their ADIZ. And to play rough means coming down with a heavy hand. China has painted itself into a corner.
 

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Jemiba said:
And then, of course, if the pirates
are in range of the modified pantball guns, the crew certainly is in range of the Ak-47s, too.
Sure. The obvious, rational and proper response to the threat of piracy is to arm ships crews with *real* weapons. But sadly, governments seem to have a problem with civilians being able to defend themselves, and will bring the weight of the law down upon those who dare to defend themselves.
 

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"U.S. announces new maritime security aid to Vietnam amid China tensions"
Matthew Lee, The Associated Press
Published Monday, December 16, 2013 6:44AM EST
Last Updated Monday, December 16, 2013 8:50AM EST

Source:
http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/u-s-announces-new-maritime-security-aid-to-vietnam-amid-china-tensions-1.1595095

HANOI, Vietnam -- The United States will boost maritime security assistance to China's smaller neighbours amid rising tensions over disputed territories in the South China Sea, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced on Monday during a visit to Vietnam, where he also pressed the communist government on human rights and democratic and economic reforms.

The U.S. will provide an additional $32.5 million to help Southeast Asian nations protect their territorial waters and secure navigational freedom, Kerry said. Vietnam alone will receive up to $18 million, including five fast patrol-boats that will be given to the Vietnamese Coast Guard, he said. With the new contribution, U.S. maritime security assistance to the region will exceed $156 million over the next two years, the State Department said.

At a news conference Monday with Vietnam's Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, Kerry said the assistance was not a "quickly conceived reaction to any events in the region" but rather part of a "gradual and deliberate expansion" in such aid. But he made clear that the aid is designed to help nations defend their waters from encroachment.

"Peace and stability in the South China Sea is a top priority for us and for countries in the region," Kerry said. "We are very concerned by and strongly opposed to coercive and aggressive tactics to advance territorial claims."

Kerry's visit to Vietnam, to be followed by a stop in the Philippines on Tuesday, comes as tensions over conflicting claims to territory in the South China Sea have risen dramatically, and many of China's neighbours are seeking assurances from Washington that it will remain a guarantor of maritime security in the Asia-Pacific region.

Both Vietnam and the Philippines are involved in disputes with China. Monday's announcement was likely to rankle Beijing and calm concerns in Vietnam and other countries that the United States might be acquiescing to China's shows of strength.

China's growing assertiveness in the region -- including the establishment of a new air defence zone over parts of the East China Sea over strenuous U.S. objections -- has alarmed many, including Vietnam.

China and Vietnam fought a bloody border war in 1979, and in 1988 a naval battle close to disputed islands in the seas left 70 Vietnamese sailors dead. Disputes over fishing rights in the region have triggered occasional violent incidents and hiked up diplomatic tensions since then.

Hanoi is especially worried about nationalist anger toward its giant neighbour and nominal ideological ally morphing into protests against its own authoritarian rule.

At Monday's news conference, Kerry had harsh words for China over the East China Sea defence zone, saying it increased the risk of "miscalculation" and possible conflict between China and Japan.

The United States is "very concerned about recent actions that have increased tensions between China and Japan and we call for intensified negotiations and diplomatic initiatives. This move clearly increases the risk of a dangerous miscalculation or an accident, and it could escalate tensions even further," he said.

"The zone should not be implemented, and China should refrain from taking similar unilateral actions elsewhere, particularly in the South China Sea," Kerry said, reiterating that zones would not affect U.S. military operations in the region.

Beijing regards the entire South China Sea and island groups within it as its own and interprets international law as giving it the right to police foreign naval activity there. The Chinese navy is operating with increasing frequency in the South China Sea and around Japan as part of China's development of its blue water navy.

Kerry said the U.S. was "very concerned by" and opposed to any kind of coercive action in the South China Sea disputes, and he urged China and Japan to engage in "intensive diplomatic" discussions to ease tension and resolve their dispute over territories in the East China Sea.

Tensions were highlighted earlier this month when a Chinese warship nearly collided with an American cruiser in the South China Sea. The U.S. Pacific Fleet has said the USS Cowpens was operating in international waters and had to manoeuvr to avoid hitting China's lone aircraft carrier, Liaoning, on Dec. 5.

However, China's Global Times newspaper reported on Monday that the U.S. ship had first harassed the Liaoning and its group of support ships, getting too close to a Chinese naval drill and entering within 30 miles of the Chinese fleet's "inner defence layer."

China vigorously opposes all U.S. Naval activity and intelligence gathering in the region. The Pacific Fleet says it's not uncommon for navies to operate in close proximity, and that's why it is paramount they all follow international standards for maritime "rules of the road."

The U.S. has said repeatedly that it does not have a position on the competing sovereignty claims, but it has said that freedom of navigation in one of the world's busiest commercial maritime shipping zones is a national security interest and insists on its Navy's right to transit the area and collect surveillance data.

The Obama administration has been urging China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to adopt binding rules of conduct for activity in the South China Sea.

In addition to maritime security, Kerry, who is on his 14th visit to Vietnam since the end of the war in 1975 but his first as secretary of state, pressed Vietnamese officials to release political prisoners and improve its human rights record, particularly on religious and Internet freedoms.

Kerry said the United States was pleased that limited progress had been made in those areas but wanted to see more.

"Vietnam needs to show continued progress on human rights and freedoms, including freedom of religion, freedom of expression and freedom of association," he said.

Kerry noted that without reforms, members of Congress would likely oppose expanded engagement with Vietnam, including its participation in the Trans Pacific Partnership and the implementation of a recently concluded civilian nuclear agreement.

Kerry added that he had raised the cases of specific political prisoners and had a "very direct and healthy" exchange.

Minh, the foreign minister, allowed that there are differences between Hanoi and Washington on human rights but said they would be addressed through dialogue.

Free-market economic reforms will also be critical to overall improvement in U.S.-Vietnamese relations as well as to Hanoi reaping full benefits of a the Trans Pacific Partnership, which the U.S. is negotiating with 11 Asia-Pacific nations, including Vietnam, according to American officials.

Associated Press writer Chris Brummit contributed to this report.
 

Triton

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Orionblamblam said:
Sure. The obvious, rational and proper response to the threat of piracy is to arm ships crews with *real* weapons. But sadly, governments seem to have a problem with civilians being able to defend themselves, and will bring the weight of the law down upon those who dare to defend themselves.
Probably also need to end the practice of flag-of-convenience registrations to avoid taxation and regulation. The navies of Liberia, Panama, and the Marshall Islands cannot defend merchant ships flying their flags from piracy.

Ship crews also need proper firearms training and extra hazard pay if the expectation is that they will defend their ship with deadly force. Which is probably a non-starter because of the costs. Plus, how many ship crews are willing to use deadly force to protect their cargoes if the shipping company holds marine insurance policies?
 

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Triton said:
Plus, how many ship crews are willing to use deadly force to protect their cargoes if the shipping company holds marine insurance policies?
A number of options here:

1) Fire crewmembers unwilling to defend their ships and cargoes. Otherwise you are employing people you *cannot* *trust.*

2) Hire Blackwater-types.

3) Rent out berths to people who *want* to hunt pirates. Imagine a boatload of pirates sidling up next to a freighter with a few dozen "yee-haw" stereotypes aiming M249's and M2's and such over the side.

4) Merge 2) and 3) together: put a bounty out on "pirate scalps." Container ships would have one container that contained quarters for mercenaries who did not interact with the rest of the ship except for popping out to cap some pirates from time to time.

The bigger issue here is not so much the institutionalized cowardice implicit in "crew shouldn't put their own lives on the live for cargo," but the even worse implications of banning *anyone* from being able to defend themselves at sea, including private individuals on yachts and their own boats and the like. It's bad enough "when seconds count the cops are only minutes away," it's worse when the cops are hours or days away.
 

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I was under the impression that the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and the United States allowed private armed security guards to protect their flagged merchant ships provided that they were hired from audited security firms.

I also understand that Somali pirates are armed with AK-47s, RPGs, or equivalent. So are we going to allow merchant sea men to operate full-automatic assault rifles to defend themselves and their ship? "Institutionalized cowardice", really? Do we want amateurs engaging in firefights against Somali pirates at sea? The bounty on "pirate scalps" sounds like 19th century frontier justice.
 

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Triton said:
I was under the impression that the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and the United States allowed private armed security guards to protect their flagged merchant ships provided that they were hired from audited security firms.

I also understand that Somali pirates are armed with AK-47s, RPGs, or equivalent. So are we going to allow merchant sea men to operate full-automatic assault rifles to defend themselves and their ship? "Institutionalized cowardice", really? Do we want amateurs engaging in firefights against Somali pirates at sea?
And that's worse than no defense at all because. . .?
 

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sferrin said:
And that's worse than no defense at all because. . .?
Is it much defense to give a merchant seaman an automatic weapon with no firearms training or repel drills? I don't believe that giving an amateur an automatic weapon is an equalizer. It might escalate the violence of the situation. They might be a menace to themselves and other crew members. I believe that the M/V Maersk Alabama Incident would have resulted in dead crew members had the crew members have been armed. I presume that you have a different opinion the way in which you phrased your question.
 

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Triton said:
I was under the impression that the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and the United States allowed private armed security guards to protect their flagged merchant ships provided that they were hired from audited security firms.
And if the ship passes into the wrong national waters, they'll get arrested. A good argument for economic blockades that deny people arms for self defense, but it would cause a bit of a logistical nightmare

So are we going to allow merchant sea men to operate full-automatic assault rifles to defend themselves and their ship?
One would hope. A Ma Deuce would do wonders against the sort of boats pirates seem to like to use.

Do we want amateurs engaging in firefights against Somali pirates at sea?
Of course. If someone brings a fight to *you,* you should bring the fight right back at 'em. As a wise man once said, "You've got the right, same as anybody, to live and try to kill people."


The bounty on "pirate scalps" sounds like 19th century frontier justice.
Ah, so you *do* agree that it's a good idea. In a world where the cops cannot serve as bodyguards to every single person, every single person is responsible for their own safety, and for the safety of their fellows. And around Somalia, that would seem to occasionally mean perforating some pirates.
 

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"China paper says US ship harassed China fleet"

Source:
http://news.yahoo.com/china-paper-says-us-ship-harassed-china-fleet-092432088.html

BEIJING (AP) — An official Chinese newspaper on Monday accused the U.S. Navy of harassing a Chinese squadron earlier this month, shortly before a near collision that marked the two nations' most serious sea confrontation in years.
There has been no direct comment from China's Foreign Ministry or defense officials on the Dec. 5 incident in the South China Sea, where the USS Cowpens was operating in international waters. The U.S. ship, a 10,000-ton Ticonderoga-class cruiser, maneuvered to avoid the collision, the U.S. Pacific Fleet has said.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying referred questions to the Defense Ministry, but insisted China "always respects and observes international laws and the freedoms of normal navigation and overflight."

The Global Times newspaper said the USS Cowpens had been getting too close to a Chinese naval drill involving the country's first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, and its support ships.

The paper said the Cowpens came within 45 kilometers (30 miles) of the Chinese squadron, inside what it called its "inner defense layer."

"The USS Cowpens was tailing after and harassing the Liaoning formation," the newspaper said, citing an unnamed source it described as being familiar with the confrontation. "It took offensive actions at first toward the Liaoning formation on the day of the confrontation."

China's Defense Ministry did not immediately respond to a faxed query and calls to its office rang unanswered. The U.S. State Department said it has raised the matter at a high level with the Chinese government.

The incident comes amid heightened tension over China's growing assertiveness in the region. Despite strenuous objections from Washington, Beijing recently declared a new air defense zone over parts of the East China Sea requiring foreign aircraft submit flight plans, identify themselves and accept instructions from the Chinese military. The move was widely criticized and the U.S., Japan and others have refused to comply.

The Dec. 5 confrontation was the most serious incident between the two navies since 2009, when Chinese ships and planes repeatedly harassed the U.S. ocean surveillance vessel USNS Impeccable in the South China Sea. China considers such surveillance a violation of its exclusive economic zone, a position not widely supported among experts on international law.

The U.S. Pacific Fleet says it's not uncommon for navies to operate in close proximity and that's why it is paramount they all follow international standards for maritime "rules of the road."

The Chinese navy is operating with increasing frequency in the South China Sea and around Japan. China's strategy is to boost its navy's ability to operate far from home ports while denying access to its coastal waters to ships from the U.S. and other potential rivals.

China regards the entire South China Sea and island groups within it as its own and interprets international law as giving it the right to police foreign naval activity there.

The U.S. doesn't take a position on sovereignty claims but insists on the Navy's right to transit the area and collect surveillance data.
 

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Triton said:
The Global Times newspaper said the USS Cowpens had been getting too close to a Chinese naval drill involving the country's first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, and its support ships.

The paper said the Cowpens came within 45 kilometers (30 miles) of the Chinese squadron, inside what it called its "inner defense layer."
Thirty Frikken Miles? *THAT* is harrassment???? Jeez, you'd think for the hissy fit the Chinese navy threw, it's be more like the Cowpens was within touching distance.

 

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"It took offensive actions at first toward the Liaoning formation on the day of the confrontation."

What, like pulling in front of the carrier and coming to a halt? Kinda hard to do that from 30 miles away. Shooting at it? No, we'd be hearing a much different story then. How was anything offensive action then?

If you can't take the heat, stay within 12 miles of your coastline.
 

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Triton said:
How close can foreign ships get to a Carrier Strike Group in international waters?
Foreign military vessels in peacetime? About this close. Yeah it's an old image, but it's awesome, and as far as I know nothing has changed. Obviously non-military vessels are treated differently, because terrorists tend not to have destroyers.

I've got the famous FENCER-E photos around here somewhere too. Airplanes and not ships, but completely hilarious. I'm not sure which was funnier, e-mailing the FENCER photos back to the carrier group, or planting the trees and calling them Topol 1 and Topol 2.
 

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