August 26, 2015 at 8:16 pm #43408
Over 50 North Korean subs are no where to be found, off the grid. Will they attack the South?
North Korean sub fleet’s mystery missionAugust 26, 2015 at 10:07 pm #43409
Probably sitting somewhere getting sauced after the latest scare.
Or the South Korean mines worked.August 27, 2015 at 12:15 am #43412
I thought North Korean subs had screen doors , like the Mexican navy ?
With technology the way it is today , I have often speculated that the US knows exactly what is in the oceans as far as any “undiscovered” sea life of any size on the bottom of the ocean . They just cant reveal it to science , because the technology used in the discoveries , is not supposed to exist . We started developing some pretty sophisticated technology to track Soviet subs during the cold war , I’m sure its even much better now . Would not be surprised if we had some of that in South Korea .August 27, 2015 at 4:17 am #43418
A highly reliable source informed me this evening that what we had during the cold war was, in fact, nothing short of amazing. But sound deadening technology and other advances have increased markedly in the years since, and there’s no telling just how much has been given to the North Koreans. My counter to that turned out to be embarrassingly naive – almost immediately. I said something to the effect that I thought the Russians and the Chinese were too smart to trust a loose canon like the DPRK with sophisticated technology. His response immediately made sense (and reflected his background). Sometimes a loose canon can be useful. Let them do something stupid, create great (but still limited) havoc, then rush in to crush their stupidity and come out looking like a savior. Instantly I saw the “wisdom” in that for either/both the Russians and the Chinese. So whether we do or don’t know where those 50 subs are (we probably do), we can’t discount the possible level of technology that the DPRK has. And while they’ve got their economic problems, both the Russians (DARN I want to say “Soviets” so badly!) and the Chinese have spent considerably on their military – particularly the Chinese – while we’ve been letting ours rust away and diminish. Few realize just how bad things are for ours now.
While the DPRK may have a several-generations old sub fleet in many cases, there’s no telling (at least us in the general public) just how sophisticated they really are with at least some of their fleet. And it would only take ONE sub to wreak havoc on the world, literally. With a dozen or two SLBMs, each with multiple independently targeted warheads, on any one given sub, the scenery could get very messy very fast. And just think what would happen if just one of those was able to go undetected long enough to get within range of the U.S., or decided to launch on South Korea, before the Chinese came in to save the day? Talk about an instant balance of power shift, with us licking our very large, open wounds, while the “good” Chinese came in to save our bacon. Our credibility would be entirely out the window. (Just one possible scenario – not a prediction.)
And remember that like Iran (and most of the militant Muslim countries), North Korea threatens WAY beyond their actual intent – or even capability. So making it look like they’re going to go off screen and suddenly pop up and deliver some “big ones” is all part of the game they play far better than we do. We westerners don’t really understand Asian or middle eastern ways of thinking, and at our own peril consider them far too unsophisticated or capable. Our State Department is so woefully inadequate in their understanding of those areas of the world, it’s a wonder we’ve been able to avoid more than even this much “war” that we’ve been in since before 9/11.August 27, 2015 at 12:58 pm #43422
I agree with Tolik that we probably know where those NK subs are but don’t want to compromise our capabilities by publicly saying we know where they are.
GS, I don’t have any real data as concerns whether we are neglecting our military but here is one anecdotal input that would seem to say maybe there are parts of the military that aren’t being neglected. My son works for a defense contractor involved with submarine technology. Its a pretty big operation and they are extremely overbooked with work. They have many job openings that they are struggling to fill.August 27, 2015 at 2:06 pm #43426
That’s a bit surprising, but in a way not. Sometimes there are pockets of what I’d term “pet projects” that get funded, yet other very basic things are cut, and cut, and cut. And one thing I’ve noticed over many years is that people only half-jokingly say that if a new building is built, you can count on the project being shut down soon. I’ve seen that happen time after time – major renovation, or a new building, or even moving an entire operation, only to be closed down or drastically cut just a very small number of years later.
Some fairly decent sources (not close enough that I’m comfortable saying I’m certain) tell me that the Air Force combat fleet was really beat up over in Iraq/Afghanistan, with inadequate maintenance getting done, resulting in a worn out fleet. Certainly the Army has been significantly hurt, especially in personnel cuts. And morale is terrible. Congress has really hurt the military with the cuts. How the military is allocating money in some pockets, I don’t know, but if we had to fight a significant conflict now I think we’d be in a world of hurts. And a two-front war? We don’t even put up a false front on that issue anymore.
I hope those contracts stay intact, frankly. It’s nice to know that something high tec is being funded. I hope it makes a difference.August 27, 2015 at 4:55 pm #43429
GS, I have long thought that the nuclear sub fleet is the ultimate deterrent and if deterrence fails, the best offense we have. A single Ohio-class boomer can wage a war all unto itself long after surface assets have been destroyed. Maybe the military sees and prioritizes them in a similar light?August 28, 2015 at 12:42 am #43442
I thought the same thing after your comment. During my conversation last night, my friend mentioned something I vaguely knew, but hadn’t really thought about that much. Even during the cold war, just a single ONE of our most modern subs could have unleashed arguably more destructive power than what had been unleashed in all previous wars. When you figure multiple missiles with multiple (sometimes 10+) MIRVs, that’s quite a destructive nuclear force (or “nuke-u-ler” if launched by George W.). Just one little ship in the middle of the ocean could do all that.
So, perhaps that’s what they’re working on – a capability to provide an unacceptable 2nd strike capability as a deterrent to a foreign first strike. I well remember the sadness – even some shock – I felt when basic Air Force doctrine deleted the prohibition of a first strike. Who knows, anymore?
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