How many old, belching Russian destroyers does it take to establish an international veto in Syria?

posted at 9:06 am on April 4, 2012 by J.E. Dyer

One, if the US is weak and undisciplined.

A picture is worth a thousand words.  The Bosphorus Naval News blog, an excellent source for ground-truth naval information in the Bosporus and Black Sea, has photos of the Russian Kashin-class destroyer Smetlivy transiting the Turkish Straits on 2 April, on her way to Syria.  “As you can see,” says blogger Cem Devrim Yaylalı demurely, “she was smoking heavily.”

According to Russian officials quoted in an AFP report on the deployment, the visit to Syria is a “purely technical port call.”  I actually like that characterization, a lot, and I think we should use it ourselves.  If Israel attacks the Iranian nuclear facilities, we can point out that the event is a purely technical combined-force operation, so everyone should just cool his jets.

The counterpoint with the current deployment of USS Enterprise (CVN-65) could hardly be starker.  As the Bosphorus Naval News piece observes, Smetlivy was commissioned in 1969.  Enterprise was commissioned in 1961.  This is her last deployment (a sad occasion indeed for Cold War sailors).  She is on the way from Norfolk to the Persian Gulf, but stopped in Greece last week for a port visit before heading for the Suez Canal.  A news photo of Enterprise at anchor off the Greek coast captures her size and capabilities.

All Hands on Deck! has excellent footage of the Enterprise Strike Group forming up for a photo op during its transit from the East coast in March.  The strike group includes an Aegis cruiser, USS Vicksburg (CG-69) and three Aegis destroyers, USS Nitze (DDG-94), USS Porter (DDG-78), and USS James E. Williams (DDG-95).  Enterprise spends a lot of time anchoring naval formations, as seen in this video from the Mediterranean in late March with warships from NATO allies Germany, the Netherlands, Canada, and Spain.

It’s only fair to note that Russia has an intelligence collection ship operating in the Eastern Mediterranean, and has been keeping one on station.  The Black Sea Fleet ship Kildin took up the patrol in March, relieving the intelligence collection ship Ekvator (which, yes, means “equator”).  So that makes at least two Russian navy ships in the Med at the moment.

It is equally fair to note that while the Enterprise Strike Group is just passing through, USS Vella Gulf (CG-72) and USS The Sullivans (DDG-68) are deployed to the Med separately, for ballistic missile defense patrols.  They are currently participating in joint exercise Noble Dina with the navies of Israel and Greece.  (See Elder of Ziyon’s takedown of the carefully edited Hezbollah – Al Manar – reporting on Noble Dina.)

Capability versus will

Why is it so important to go over these naval details?  To emphasize that merely showing up and tooling around in force doesn’t get the job done politically.  The US Navy has so much more force than Russia has in the Med right now that the comparison could be considered surreal.  But that force isn’t making a difference to developments in the Syria problem, because it is not being used in the service of any focused policy to settle the Syrian conflict favorably.  NATO has an overwhelming preponderance of force in the Med, but it is Russia that wields the effective veto over what the international community is going to do about Syria.

Situation to shift in Syria

The result is that the bloody crisis in Syria drags on.  The events of the last 48 hours suggest that the situation in Syria is going to change, but probably for the worse.  The second “Friends of Syria” meeting was just held in Istanbul, and the Friends (including the US) decided to support the Syrian opposition with, at a minimum, humanitarian aid and communications equipment.  (Arms will be forthcoming from some sources, as discussed below.)  The plan is basically to bureaucratize the Syrian civil war; as the BBC notes, the rebel fighters are to be paid salaries from the monetary aid provided by the Gulf nations in the Friends of Syria conclave.

But if Russian media are to be believed, that isn’t stopping the rebels from visiting Russia, perhaps to see if they can get a better deal.  That is by no means unlikely: Russia could be satisfied to resolve the Syria situation by installing a new client regime.

The rebels are also reported to have expelled 50,000 Syrian Orthodox Christians from the embattled city of Homs, forcing many to flee and slaughtering an untold number of others.  US congressmen have expressed grave concern over supporting the rebels given these and other reports (e.g., that Al Qaeda I represented in the rebel ranks).  But however Orthodox Russia may be, Putin is a pragmatist.

The question will be what he does as a long, drawn-out civil war unfolds.  Press reports have indicated that the Syrian rebels are pulling out of the cities, having determined that trying to hold them is a flawed and vulnerable strategy (which it is).  The UK Telegraph cites their intentions as a shift to guerrilla war.  If they can retain outside support, they can keep the fight going for a long time.

Bear that in mind as you see reports that the Assad regime has agreed to pull troops and heavy weapons out of the cities.  The cost of doing that is not nearly what it would be if the rebels weren’t pulling out and changing their strategy.  Assad will, of course, do what he can to prevent aid from getting to the rebels – and that’s where the strongest likelihood lies that his forces will come into conflict with foreign militaries.  He has already mined areas of the border with Lebanon and Turkey.  Reports that arms are flowing to the rebels via Iraq are probably prompting the regime to fortify that border to some extent as well (although Assad’s forces are overstretched around the country).

Iraq’s political leadership warns that arming the rebels is a bad idea and could provoke a wider regional war.  So does Egypt.  Much of the Arab League has preferred to look for a negotiated solution, rather than arming the rebels as Qatar and Saudi Arabia are eager to do.  Of course, Iraq and Egypt aren’t wearing white hats any more than anyone else is; they have their own, understandable – if not necessarily noble – interests in influencing the outcome in Syria.  Saudi leadership in arming the rebels works to their disadvantage.

Sadly, US media coverage of Syria tends to be disjointed on the one hand, and credulous on the other.  The Friends of Syria decision to inundate the rebels with cash – and arms, from some of the Friends – is mainly a portent of continued killing, and very possibly one of regional destabilization.  It’s not good news.  Russia will oppose it by funneling arms to Assad and seeking her own accord with the rebels, probably by trying to divide and bribe them.  Everyone else – Turkey and Saudi Arabia, regional jihadists – will continue to pursue a leadership role in remaking Syria.  Assad and the rebels will make no concessions that matter.  And China and Iran will continue to collude to evade sanctions on both Syria and Iran.

What Russia has that NATO doesn’t

The prospects for the conflict are framed – bounded – for all the actors in the drama by the Russian veto.  That current condition is to be contrasted with the situation only last year, in which developments in the Libya conflict were bounded by what the US was willing to do.  Geography does make a difference; the situations are not identical, but it is fair to say that the shift from 2011 to 2012 is a major one.  For the first time since 1945, the US has not been the principal limit-setter for the unfolding of a significant regional crisis.

Quite obviously, this is not because we lack power.  But unlike anything the West has done, Russia’s policy has been effective: for averting what she doesn’t want, if not for getting what she does.  The reason is not that she has greater military power – or more allies, or more friendship or credibility in the region.  She does have something important, however.  The remarkable contrast between her naval forces in the Eastern Med and ours is a study in an indisputable truth: the greatest military force on earth has no political force without a focused will behind it.

(Note for naval aficionados:  to see extra material with a lot of cool video links to naval operations and weapon systems, see this post in expanded form at The Optimistic Conservative.)

J.E. Dyer’s articles have appeared at The Green Room, Commentary’s “contentions,Patheos, The Weekly Standard online, and her own blog, The Optimistic Conservative.

This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
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J.E. Dyer on April 3, 2012 at 3:48 PM

Well, those are some sharp looking harbor ferries.

cozmo on April 4, 2012 at 9:09 AM

One, if the US is weak and undisciplined.

Syria…Syria…Syria… dang, I’m drawing a blank. Tell me, J.E., when was Syria admitted into the Union?

Dante on April 4, 2012 at 9:10 AM

Dante on April 4, 2012 at 9:10 AM

At the same time they found 0bama’s birth certificate silly.

cozmo on April 4, 2012 at 9:19 AM

These replacement bloggers are great. I wish Ed would stay on vacation forever…cause Ed sucks. Maybe he’ll stop shilling for Rick when he gets back. Mittens is the nominee.

Also, Ed drinks chocolate milk.

DHChron on April 4, 2012 at 9:26 AM

Not to be a grammar nazi but here’s one ominous looking typo:

Al Qaeda I represented in the rebel ranks

For J.E. Dyer’s sake, I hope it was is represented

Archivarix on April 4, 2012 at 9:30 AM

DHChron on April 4, 2012 at 9:26 AM

They ain’t new. Check out the Green Room and the links to the others places they write.

cozmo on April 4, 2012 at 9:30 AM

This is a trick question, right? Ok, I’ll play. I say it takes as many as polish subs with screen doors.

msupertas on April 4, 2012 at 9:41 AM

J.E.,
We Also always have a NATO force in the Area as part of Active Endeavour which includes at least one US ship.

TinCanNav on April 4, 2012 at 9:49 AM

The remarkable contrast between her naval forces in the Eastern Med and ours is a study in an indisputable truth: the greatest military force on earth has no political force without a focused will behind it.

Not to mention an America-hating commie in the White House. The only way a military force is effective as a political force is if our enemies think that military force will be used. They know that Obama will not make such a commitment. We could have the entire US Navy in the Med and it would still be toothless as a military force because Obama is a worthless coward.

Happy Nomad on April 4, 2012 at 9:50 AM

cozmo on April 4, 2012 at 9:30 AM

I know cozmo :) I’m just throwing a jab at Ed. Cause he’s stupid…and bald…and he drinks chocolate milk.

DHChron on April 4, 2012 at 9:51 AM

These replacement bloggers are great. I wish Ed would stay on vacation forever…cause Ed sucks. Maybe he’ll stop shilling for Rick when he gets back. Mittens is the nominee.

Also, Ed drinks chocolate milk.

DHChron on April 4, 2012 at 9:26 AM

What difference does it make? They’re all interventionists, non-constitutionalists, big-government lovers who support the status quo.

Dante on April 4, 2012 at 9:52 AM

We could have the entire US Navy in the Med and it would still be toothless as a military force because Obama is a worthless coward.

Happy Nomad on April 4, 2012 at 9:50 AM

But you’re a tough guy and would attack nations that didn’t attack us and kill civilians without care. No coward, you.

Dante on April 4, 2012 at 9:56 AM

Just wait until after the election, when there is more ‘flexibility’.

KOOLAID2 on April 4, 2012 at 9:56 AM

What difference does it make?

Dante on April 4, 2012 at 9:52 AM

You just don’t like them because they aren’t birthers.

cozmo on April 4, 2012 at 10:02 AM

W

hat difference does it make? They’re all interventionists, non-constitutionalists, big-government lovers who support the status quo.

Dante on April 4, 2012 at 9:52 AM

yes, but they’re not bald and they don’t drink chocolate milk

eff Ed

DHChron on April 4, 2012 at 10:05 AM

Obama is just transmitting information to Vladimir.

profitsbeard on April 4, 2012 at 10:05 AM

how did you do with the tornadoes Cozmo? All my people were fine…lucky maybe. They were downtown.

DHChron on April 4, 2012 at 10:08 AM

flexibility.

flex a effin’ bility.

DHChron on April 4, 2012 at 10:13 AM

DHChron on April 4, 2012 at 10:08 AM

Got lucky. Me and mine are A-OK.

The cap’n is gonna’ slap you when he gets back. Leave his chocolate milk alone.

cozmo on April 4, 2012 at 10:13 AM

Great article JE – tres geeky and interesting.

CorporatePiggy on April 4, 2012 at 10:20 AM

hehehe

Ed loves me :)

also, if he slaps me I’ll kick him in the nuts. I know kung fu.

Glad you’re 0kay.

DHChron on April 4, 2012 at 10:28 AM

But you’re a tough guy and would attack nations that didn’t attack us and kill civilians without care. No coward, you.

Dante on April 4, 2012 at 9:56 AM

You are a complete idiot who, clearly, has a problem comprehending the English language.

There is a difference between indiscriminate warfare (your moronic concept of using the military) and using the military as an instrument of power which also includes diplomatic, informational, and economic strategies. Military force in particular can be used for deterrence or assistance. A carrier battle group off the coast has a way of influencing things either through humanitarian missions or sending a strong message to a restive nation. Conversely, a carrier battle group could deliver firepower on our enemies if necessary (providing there isn’t an America-hating coward in the Presidency).

This is all pretty basic concepts for somebody who studies national security policy. That you are so woefully ignorant on them tells me that perhaps you should spend time reading up on this stuff instead of thinking that your comments are valid you tiny-minded idiot!

Happy Nomad on April 4, 2012 at 10:34 AM

Happy Nomad on April 4, 2012 at 10:34 AM

No, I understood you perfectly.

Dante on April 4, 2012 at 10:42 AM

Happy Nomad on April 4, 2012 at 10:34 AM

His brand of birtherism colors his views on everything.

cozmo on April 4, 2012 at 10:42 AM

Kenya!

DHChron on April 4, 2012 at 10:50 AM

Nice article J. E. , thanks. More please.

Bmore on April 4, 2012 at 10:52 AM

blink on April 4, 2012 at 10:49 AM

That’s not very nice. I prefer special. An added bonus is that it will go over his head.

0bama is our special president. See, so much nicer.

cozmo on April 4, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Bmore!

DHChron on April 4, 2012 at 11:03 AM

Bmore!

DHChron on April 4, 2012 at 11:03 AM

Be more what?

cozmo on April 4, 2012 at 11:14 AM

I like how all of you are forgetting that this is the same president that told the Noble peace committee that he was still very comfortable employing military might to accomplish peaceful goals.

Beyond subterfuge and funding rebels what could we really accomplish right now? we could do a no fly zone but Syria isn’t flying sorties, the rebels haven’t picked a leader, don’t have a governing philosophy, and aren’t united. They have to make the first steps before we can do anything and that’s what these meetings in Turkey are for. We had to wait for the same thing in Libya.

Do we need another ground war? Can our troops and their families survive that?

Zekecorlain on April 4, 2012 at 11:18 AM

DHChron !

Oh and OT. ; )

Bmore on April 4, 2012 at 11:21 AM

Be more what?

cozmo on April 4, 2012 at 11:14 AM

I saw upinak and exchanged a few pleasantry’s. Nice to see her posting. She doesn’t seem to hate me yet. ; )

Oh and OT.

Bmore on April 4, 2012 at 11:23 AM

@Blink oh that pile of smoldering spin? Blah blatant use of nationalism to try and stir up another hot conflict by lackeys of the armament industry. It reminds me of how the French get others to fight their wars.

Zekecorlain on April 4, 2012 at 11:30 AM

Zekecorlain on April 4, 2012 at 11:18 AM

Boy, you are all over the place. Some random comments about Syria, then the meetings in Turkey about Iran’s nuclear program, then a vague comment about Libya.

What you conveniently ignore is the random way this administration has chosen which restive nations to do something about and which ones to ignore. The same jug-eared bastard that golfed and took the brats out for ice cream when students were being killed in the streets of Tehran is the same jug-eared bastard that decided time was so much of the essence he essentially ignored the War Powers Act to attack Libya and didn’t even bother briefing the Congressional leadership before doing so.

And, no, there is not the political will for another ground war. But that doesn’t excuse the apology tour, the betrayal of US commitments to Israel, the calls for a return to the 1968 borders, or any of the other ways Obama has decided to let the radical Muslim thugs of the middle east solidify their hold over the region. Struggling democracies are being replaced by governments run by groups like the Arab Brotherhood. This is not a good thing (unless you hate America and democracies). Obama will not be happy until the entire region is just like it was in Biblical times except without the Jews. The Arab Spring was as phony a movement as Obama is a phony President.

Happy Nomad on April 4, 2012 at 11:31 AM

blink on April 4, 2012 at 11:24 AM

Morning blink. I believe J.E. is of the female variety. I don’t think I’m mistaken on this.

Bmore on April 4, 2012 at 11:36 AM

Bmore on April 4, 2012 at 11:23 AM

I saw that and considered reminding her. But I don’t dislike you enough to do that to you.

cozmo on April 4, 2012 at 11:38 AM

@Happy Nomad apparently you don’t know anything about why I mentioned Turkey (that’s where all the Friends of Syria meetings happen) and you probably don’t know this is in fact a Sunni/Shiite battleground. You probably think that we can just pick someone and install them??

Please get a grip on your fear of ‘radical’ muslims, and be an american and at least support the right of a countries people to choose their leadership and government. Theocracies will always fall, Dictators will eventually be overthrown. Here’s a question for you, who is our strongest ally in the middle east? It’s not Israel it’s Saudi Arabia, the most radical muslim country in the middle east with the least amount of personal freedom. But I can tell you in a heartbeat who we’d choose if push came to shove. The one that sells us oil.

The Arab spring is a multilevel term which means something different in every country it occurs in. It is very real and it’s a good thing this is what Bush Jr dreamed of, just failed to accomplish.

Zekecorlain on April 4, 2012 at 11:41 AM

I saw that and considered reminding her. But I don’t dislike you enough to do that to you.

cozmo on April 4, 2012 at 11:38 AM

Thank you. Oh and OT.

Bmore on April 4, 2012 at 11:44 AM

@blink Oh I’m sorry is 800 billion dollars not enough for you? should we throw more money at them so we can toss our soldiers into more meat grinders for nothing more then to try out new weapons?

“How many old, belching Russian destroyers does it take to establish an international veto in Syria?
POSTED AT 9:06 AM ON APRIL 4, 2012 BY J.E. DYER

One, if the US is weak and undisciplined.

Yeah I’m a hippie if hippies have jobs, know how to defend themselves, and bother to read the paper.

Zekecorlain on April 4, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Roger. Google image search confirms your beliefs. Thanks!

blink on April 4, 2012 at 11:43 AM

Follow the links to her place and Weekly Standard for a bio that gives much credence to her writing.

cozmo on April 4, 2012 at 11:46 AM

Good thing that destroyer doesn’t operate in the U.S. Navy. The EPA would probably try to fine it or something…

Yakko77 on April 4, 2012 at 12:14 PM

Happy Nomad on April 4, 2012 at 11:31 AM

And none of it is our business. Not Iran, not Libya, not Syria, not Israel. None of it.

Dante on April 4, 2012 at 12:48 PM

And none of it is our business. Not Iran, not Libya, not Syria, not Israel. None of it.

Dante on April 4, 2012 at 12:48 PM

Yes, the world would just be a nice happy place if we just stick our heads in the sand.

Bitter Clinger on April 4, 2012 at 12:54 PM

Yes, the world would just be a nice happy place if we just stick our heads in the sand.

Bitter Clinger on April 4, 2012 at 12:54 PM

Why the straw man?

Dante on April 4, 2012 at 12:59 PM

There’s no satisfactory reason for America to struggle for the victory of Sunni fanatics and the destruction of Syrian Christians.

David Blue on April 4, 2012 at 1:15 PM

And none of it is our business. Not Iran, not Libya, not Syria, not Israel. None of it.

Dante on April 4, 2012 at 12:48 PM

Oh its business headed our way like it or not. Maybe not new business, but business all the same. Coming soon to a retail political out near you.

Bmore on April 4, 2012 at 1:24 PM

out=outlet

Bmore on April 4, 2012 at 1:24 PM

Why is it so important to go over these naval details? To emphasize that merely showing up and tooling around in force doesn’t get the job done politically. The US Navy has so much more force than Russia has in the Med right now that the comparison could be considered surreal. But that force isn’t making a difference to developments in the Syria problem, because it is not being used in the service of any focused policy to settle the Syrian conflict favorably. NATO has an overwhelming preponderance of force in the Med, but it is Russia that wields the effective veto over what the international community is going to do about Syria.

Good, the international community should do sh1t all.

I know, we’ll get rid of the Christian-influenced Allawite Shia-sect’s political power and replace it with yet more rabid Sunni Muslims so they can join with those who took over Egypt and Lybia. And to accomplish this goal, we’ll intimidate the hell out of, nay sink, nay board! a Russian destroyer using our overwhelming naval might.

Because the point of having all these high highfalutin navy ships is to throw our military muscle around in peacetime against the Russians to defend yet more Muslims against other somewhat less radical Muslims.

Mitchell Heisman on April 4, 2012 at 1:34 PM

Are you serious? Are you claiming that we should abstain from casting any of our votes in the United Nations?

No, we can do sanctions, speeches calling for a peaceful resolution, UN votes, and so on. But there is nothing to essential to US interests to have the Sunni Muslims triumph over the Shia Muslims that the US military should intervene.

Mitchell Heisman on April 4, 2012 at 2:47 PM

Commentary from someone whose only knowledge about maritime power comes from playing the game Battleship as a kid is quite useless.

blink on April 4, 2012 at 2:46 PM

You’re wrong as usual. Asshat.

Mitchell Heisman on April 4, 2012 at 2:48 PM

I like doughnuts. DOUGHNUTS!

Anyone who spells donut is likely to be murdered. That’s how I roll.

DHChron on April 4, 2012 at 3:57 PM

You’re wrong as usual. Asshat.

Mitchell Heisman on April 4, 2012 at 2:48 PM

anyone who says azzhat it most likely the dumbest person alive.

dickweeds are you…dickweed

DHChron on April 4, 2012 at 4:03 PM

I don’t know why my comment was erased. Azzhat is probably the dumbest insult ever. Try original…funny is good too.

DHChron on April 4, 2012 at 4:10 PM

Since these ships utilize twin gas turbines with diesel fuel, the smoking is likely due to heavy fuel oil being used and nothing to do with engines being in poor condition.

Without EPA mandates, such heavy fuel would burn hotter.

Kermit on April 4, 2012 at 4:35 PM

Dang, the anniversary of the Falklands war got missed. Its an important one with the UK “thirty years” rule.

cozmo on April 4, 2012 at 4:43 PM

Texas is the shite

also…Texas is the shite

DHChron on April 4, 2012 at 5:03 PM

Since these ships utilize twin gas turbines with diesel fuel, the smoking is likely due to heavy fuel oil being used and nothing to do with engines being in poor condition.

Without EPA mandates, such heavy fuel would burn hotter.

Kermit on April 4, 2012 at 4:35 PM

Does it provide a performance advantage to the ship?

Mitchell Heisman on April 4, 2012 at 6:10 PM

Clearly you aren’t advocating nothing since you are advocating four different things.

Yes, but this post is (obviously) about what the U.S. navy should do re: Syria, in particular vis-a-vis the Russian destroyer and/or navy.

Mitchell Heisman on April 4, 2012 at 6:13 PM

Mitchell Heisman on April 4, 2012 at 6:10 PM

Economy rather than increased performance. Such fuels are used by the large slow speed diesels on cargo ships. Different type of engine. Gas turbines using it would need overhaul on a more frequent basis due coking and buildup on in the turbines.

Kermit on April 4, 2012 at 6:27 PM

Economy rather than increased performance.

That was my first guess, thanks.

My understanding is that Russian ships are bristling with weapons compared to their NATO counterparts. That they’re not as well-equipped for long, extended missions, but that they pack a punch. I wouldn’t laugh at Russia’s destroyer capability, although clearly one ship in the region isn’t much.

Equally clearly, they’re no match for America’s CBGs, but then again, even Iranian small boat swarming tactics and shore to ship weapons are a threat, and a serious one.

Not quite on topic to Syria per se, but is more true than people realize.

Mitchell Heisman on April 4, 2012 at 6:30 PM

Let me put it this way:

Those battleships America used to have in Hawaii sure looked nice. But they were the wrong weapon and tactic for that war. And if we think we can necessarily predict that the navy’s current force structure is optimal and our enemies won’t have any good tricks up their sleeves, well, you’re a nice mainstream conformist, aren’t you?

Mitchell Heisman on April 4, 2012 at 6:39 PM

So ixnay to the naval confrontation over protecting Sunni Muslims from Shia Muslims in Syria thing.

Mitchell Heisman on April 4, 2012 at 6:40 PM

The Russian Black Sea Fleet is headquartered in Sevastopol. Last I was there two years ago, it was not in good shape. They run on a very thin budget and most of their heavier stuff is effectively laid up.

Spots the Dog on April 4, 2012 at 6:55 PM

Instead of running down American will-power, it would be better to advocate a foreign policy that didn’t involve America in conflicts that aren’t worth winning.

David Blue on April 4, 2012 at 7:05 PM

Only a fool would try claiming that JE Dyer is claiming the the US Navy ships should attack the Russian ship.

I’m getting tired of talking to someone as unreasonable as you. Obviously.

Although he implied we should at least push muscle around a bit:

“It is equally fair to note that while the Enterprise Strike Group is just passing through, USS Vella Gulf (CG-72) and USS The Sullivans (DDG-68) are deployed to the Med separately, for ballistic missile defense patrols. They are currently participating in joint exercise Noble Dina with the navies of Israel and Greece.”

Google Aegis Combat System.

Yes, I’m familiar with f-cking Aegis. It’s an excellent idea. And it isn’t perfect by any means.

The advanced radar systems aboard cruisers and destroyers are in their worst shape ever, according to an independent probe into Navy readiness, raising questions about the surface fleet’s ability to take on its high-profile new mission next year defending Europe from ballistic missiles.

Poor training, impenetrable bureaucracy and cultural resignation have caused a spike in the number of technical problems and a dip in the operational performance of the Aegis system, considered the crown jewel of the U.S. surface force, according to members of a “fleet review panel” tasked with assessing the surface fleet. And if that’s the situation with Aegis — which includes warships’ iconic, hexagonal SPY-1 radar arrays — the panel wondered what that could mean for other, lower-profile equipment.

“The SPY radar has historically been the best supported system in the surface Navy, and coincidentally supports one of the most critical Navy missions today: ballistic-missile defense. Yet SPY manpower, parts, training and performance are in decline.”

The Russians and other nations have information systems, targeting, etc., on their vessels too.

Large ships can be perpetually tracked and countered.

On each side.

Your comments about being swarmed are downright silly.

Click the link, you arrogant fool.

The US’s own war games show they’d be overwhelmed by swarms of small boats. “Big Navy” hates that. But then some were a mighty big fan of battle ships back in the day.

Now the only direct experience (although no one has held every job) I have with the navy is land (infantry) based in anti-terrorism exercises. And on land at least, the highest-firepower ships of the navy were routinely attacked successfully from land and the specialist forces of the navy designed to prevent this were bordering on useless. I won’t give more details than that.

Your arrogance and closed-mindedness is stupid (and countered by military history write large). You mind does not work properly in general, certainly not here, and I have no interest in discussing this topic with you, blink. Because you’re an idiot.

Mitchell Heisman on April 4, 2012 at 7:08 PM

*writ

Mitchell Heisman on April 4, 2012 at 7:10 PM

If you have anything else to say on this, Blink, you and the heirs of André Maginot can have a nice discussion on it.

Mitchell Heisman on April 4, 2012 at 7:17 PM

did I mention Texas is the shite?

DHChron on April 4, 2012 at 7:18 PM

Correction. Blink isn’t an idiot. He’s fairly smart. Above average IQ, for sure.

But he is rigid in a lot of ways that many, maybe most, people are, and this is something that has — over and over again — led to early war defeats for the US, and pretty much every other major power, ever.

Mitchell Heisman on April 4, 2012 at 8:26 PM

And I hear Texas is the shite. (You certainly have a lot of hot, fun hunnies.)

Mitchell Heisman on April 4, 2012 at 8:28 PM

No, it wasn’t. Your first guess was that it might provide a performance advantage which is why you asked:

Because he said it would burn hotter. Which I didn’t think would be great for the engines and also I knew a less refined form of oil, heavier oil, is going to be cheaper. That’s obvious and basic. So I didn’t ask about it. I just asked if it offered any kind of performance advantage with the increased heat because it’s a relevant tactical question, whereas the economics of fuel cost was meh to me. Important, but not a battle consideration.

Again, there is no risk of being swarmed by a single Russian destroyer.

I am not addressing your points in between these two quotes of yours above, because they were similarly stupid or just wrong. Again, you make rigid assumptions and have no idea what you’re talking about.

As to your quote above, obviously not you irredeemable @sshat. That’s why I said:

Equally clearly, they’re no match for America’s CBGs, but then again, even Iranian small boat swarming tactics and shore to ship weapons are a threat, and a serious one.

Not quite on topic to Syria per se, but is more true than people realize.

And linked to two separate articles within this thread talking about the Iranian small boat threat.

Everything else you seized on was equally dumb/off-base/demonstrative or rigid, unimaginative thinking, and I’m just done with you, Blink.

Mitchell Heisman on April 4, 2012 at 11:06 PM