Friday, November 01, 2013

Keeping an Eye on the Long Game: Part XLVIII

Come on China, you really don't want to play this game, do you?
Chinese state-run media revealed for the first time this week that Beijing’s nuclear submarines can attack American cities as a means to counterbalance U.S. nuclear deterrence in the Pacific. 
On Monday, leading media outlets including China Central TV, the People’s Daily, the Global Times, the PLA Daily, the China Youth Daily and the Guangmin Daily ran identical, top-headlined reports about the “awesomeness” of the People's Liberation Army navy’s strategic submarine force. 
“This is the first time in 42 years since the establishment of our navy’s strategic submarine force that we reveal on such a large scale the secrets of our first-generation underwater nuclear force,” the Global Times said in a lengthy article titled “China for the First Time Possesses Effective Underwater Nuclear Deterrence against the United States.”
The article features 30 photos and graphics detailing, among other things, damage projections for Seattle and Los Angeles after being hit by Chinese nuclear warheads and the deadly radiation that would spread all the way to Chicago.

In 2010, a new class of missile sub, the Type 094 Jin class, entered the service. It is capable of launching 12 to 16 JL-2 missiles with a range of about 8,700 miles, covering much of the continental U.S. with single or multiple, independently targetable re-entry vehicle warheads. 
Chinese calculations for nuclear attacks on the U.S. are chillingly macabre.
“Because the Midwest states of the U.S. are sparsely populated, in order to increase the lethality, [our] nuclear attacks should mainly target the key cities on the West Coast of the United States, such as Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego,” the Global Times said. 
“The 12 JL-2 nuclear warheads carried by one single Type 094 SSBN can kill and wound 5 million to 12 million Americans,” the Global Times reported. 
China also has developed land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles — notably the DF-31A, which has a range of 7,000 to 7,500 miles. 
“If we launch our DF 31A ICBMs over the North Pole, we can easily destroy a whole list of metropolises on the East Coast and the New England region of the U.S., including Annapolis, Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Portland, Baltimore and Norfolk, whose population accounts for about one-eighth of America’s total residents,” the Global Times said.
From an ASW perspective, though YG88 and older are the only ones who really had to deal with this type of issue ... that's OK. We have enough institutional knowledge to knock off the cob-webs and work off the flab, we're good with this if you really want to play. I don't think China wants to play this game, just a few writers getting a little full of themselves - but let's pull that thread some more.

As for actual click-boom nuclear war ... yea, we've got that too. If you want to go the human traditional total war body count, well, nuke 12 million Americans? Your population is a lot more concentrated and your economic nodes more centralized, so .... yea. Just move that decimal point over one, and there is our second strike.

Nuke 12 million Americans? The other 305 million will fully support trying to knock your population back below a billion before demanding your surrender before we cut it in half. Even th most passive parts of the nation can get quite bloody minded. The Yankees killed a few hundred thousand of my countrymen on a point of political order - so just be careful.

Then again, if we keep networking all our military computer systems together for "efficiency" and let more and more security holes open for Chinese spies ... maybe we would lose that second strike capability - then we have a different game altogether.

Well, if nothing else, it looks like China isn't interested in nuking Dixie or most of the red states. Deer season is still a go.

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