This post is the latest in a recurring series of efforts to keep readers of this blog appraised of some of the latest developments in global military matters. I’m sure these items are just the “tip of the iceberg” regarding national efforts to prepare for a future global war or a series of regional wars which seem almost inevitable. Serious dangers of regional wars exist in (A) the Korean Peninsula, (B) the area around Taiwan, (C) the Indian-Chinese border, (D) the Mideast, and (E) the Russian-Ukrainian border region.
The first subject is the continuing saga of the USA’s F-35 warplane. Production models are entering service and other nations are purchasing blocks of F-35’s after massive cost-overruns delayed its originally-expected service date. However, questions remain about its ability to function properly in a future high-tech war. The first link discusses efforts by the British and Americans to make each others’ F-35s able to function from the carriers of either nation. The F-35’s ability to take off with limited runway needs makes it possible to land and be serviced at small amphibious warfare carriers which usually host only assault helicopter forces. A post at this site months ago reported that Japan and the USA are performing similar F-35 compatibility exercises. This is a welcome development and shows some allied western nations are making realistic preparations for what might be necessary in a future war. However, the second link reveals that the F-35 suffers from reliability issues due to shortages in necessary parts for the F-35’s engines. It reports that 43 of the USAF’s 283 F-35s currently in inventory still cannot fly due to parts shortages (that is 16% of the fleet!). Part of the problem has been caused by Turkey’s removal from the program when that nation bought high-tech Russian air defense systems (which were designed to shoot down NATO aircraft). It is not comforting to know that many of the F-35s cannot reliably conduct missions even in peacetime. If warfare breaks out, how quickly can they be put into service and how quickly can F-35’s be refueled, re-armed and sent back into combat missions without lengthy down-time?
The third link examines the fact that China is expanding its nuclear arsenal much quicker than western war-planners had expected. Frankly, I marvel that the West has been caught so unprepared for such a development. China has made it very clear that it intends to fight and win a war with the USA if necessary to replace the USA as the global hegemon. China is rapidly expanding all aspects of its military power, so this development should have been expected. A 1999 book, Unrestricted Warfare, by Chinese Colonels Qiao Liang and Wang Xiangsui, quite forthrightly stated how China could defeat the USA by a combination of kinetic warfare plus all kinds of asymmetric warfare. The book was translated into English in 2002, and I’ve read it. Stated simply, China clearly has no intention of “playing by the rules” of normal warfare. How many of America’s weapons systems and civilian utilities have electronics with components assembled in China? Each Chinese component may have been manufactured with a kill-switch of some kind that could disable key American weaponry and industries at the beginning of any war. Tactics will also be a major area where China will not “play by the rules” of past warfare. For example, let’s assume a large formation of American and allied warplanes are flying toward China to conduct wartime missions. Normal “rules” would indicate China would send a large flight of warplanes to intercept them. However, China may decide to send a few missiles with small tactical nuclear weapons to air-burst just ahead of the incoming attacking warplanes. How many of the western warplanes will be able to keep flying through the EMP blast the detonation of a small nuclear warhead near them would create? How many could stay in the air in spite of the radically disruptive air flows that would be caused by a nearby nuclear blast? With this tactic, China may be able to destroy waves of incoming attacking airplanes without risking any of their own warplanes. Western war-planners better assume this will happen and widely-space their attacking airplanes to minimize losses.
In one sign of responding to China’s strong military challenge, many western nations are currently conducting a “massive” joint air, sea and land military exercise hosted by Australia (fourth link). It includes forces from the USA, the UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand (the “Five Eyes” alliance) as well as Japan and South Korea. Obviously, the purpose of the exercise is to enable the forces of many different nations to coordinate military activities during wartime conditions which simulate a war with China. One obvious area that would need to function smoothly is linguistic differences between the military personnel of these nations. Another very interesting thing has happened that may help the West combat China in any future warfare. There are reports that a top Chinese official has defected to the USA (fifth link). If this is true, this defector should be able to give the West a treasure trove of insider Chinese secrets that should benefit the USA and its allies immensely. However, this defection may be “too good to be true,” so he needs to be debriefed in a way to make sure he isn’t a double-agent sent to the USA to feed disinformation to the USA and its allies.
In Europe, Poland has announced it is ordering 250 top-of-the-line American A1 Abrams tanks (sixth link). Poland’s actions show that it is very serious about self-defense, and it has no intention of being overrun again in any future war. Poland is to be commended as a NATO nation that is taking European defense needs seriously. The article indicates the new M1 American-made tanks will replace dated Russian tanks and armored vehicles. In my opinion, I think it would be a good idea for Poland to retain the dated Russian tanks as they can still function very well as self-propelled artillery vehicles. They can fire rounds at an an enemy from behind their own front lines and then move quickly to new positions before they are targeted.
It is well-known that China is building warships at a very fast pace to be able to match the US fleet’s strength. What does the new Biden administration want to do? It wants to cut the size of the US Navy, as the seventh link reports. Amazingly, it wants to decommission the Navy’s Aegis cruisers, which are critically-important to defending US aircraft carriers from attack. Unless some hulls are too old to maintain, it makes far more sense to simply modernize them than to decommission them. The US fleet badly needs surface combatant ships, and cutting the cruisers is a very bad idea. I may agree with decommissioning the Littoral Combat Ships. Articles I read years ago indicated that they were severely under-armored and under-gunned to perform any realistic mission. A small number of cruise missiles from an enemy would likely sink all of them if they were deployed close to enemy shores in a littoral role. If you want ships that are survivable with heavy armor and also pack a huge punch, the Navy could reactivate a couple of battleships and refit them as Arsenal Ships with a huge array of offensive and defensive weaponry. One thing is crystal-clear: the USA will not be able to fend off Chinese naval challenges unless the USA starts expanding its naval fleet.
Japan is a nation seriously threatened by China’s militarism, and it is has been building up its military forces in recent years. The Japanese government recently dropped some hints that it may come to Taiwan’s aid if Taiwan is attacked by China (eighth link). This infuriated China, but makes perfect sense for Japan. It is far better for Japan to fight China in Taiwan rather than in the Japanese home islands. I think Japan correctly understands China will surely use Taiwan as a staging base from which to attack Japan if it ever conquered Taiwan. Japan only hinted at such action, but that public hint means the issue is being very seriously discussed within the Japanese military. It is my view that China has no idea how it is driving many nations together into an anti-Chinese alliance in two ways: (A) its military build-up and bellicose statements, and (B) how evil China is treating the Uighurs and crushing the Hong Kongers. In committing cultural genocide vs. the Uighurs in Western China, China has revealed to all Asian nations that they will all be subjected to the same kind of cultural genocide if China ever conquers the other Asian nations.
The ninth link reveals that during the recent war between Hamas and Israel, Israel used drones performing “swarm” attacks which feature armed drones operating autonomously via Artificial Intelligence (AI) instead of being under active human control. The link is short, but it has an embedded link which reveals Turkey is also developing similar AI-guided swarms to use in military missions. Such AI-guided drones will keep human casualties for an attacking force to a minimum, but they do carry a risk. Assuming they are digitally in communication with each other, an enemy could hack into the drones’ control systems and turn them against their own friendly forces by reversing their IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) programming. It is logical to assume that all high-tech nations are developing similar swarm technologies.
In one more important military development, India is beefing-up its military forces along its northern border with China (tenth link). It is deploying “at least” an additional 50,000 troops as well as building new airfields and reinforced bunkers to protect its own warplanes. I also suspect India will build reinforced bunkers to house supersonic cruise missiles which can be quickly fired at pre-selected targets in China. These missiles could be put on a “hair trigger” setting to launch automatically if a large attack from China is sensed. This reinforcement will bring the number of Indian troops on the Chinese border to circa 200,000, and will enable India to conduct offensive as well as defensive operations against China if war does come to this disputed region. China has many forces at the border as well, so this is an on-going flashpoint.
The above military news items reveal some of what is going on as the nations prepare for a future global or regional war. We all realize that nations don’t reveal all their military capabilities to potential enemies. The referenced links list some of the actions taken by nations to deter as well as to prepare for open warfare. However, the most important military advances and deployments are almost certainly kept secret. I think we would all be amazed if we knew the true state of military advances that even now are being invented and deployed.
The nations do not realize it, but they are acting out a “script” that the Creator God reveals in biblical prophecies which were written millennia ago. To an eternal Creator Being, the nations on earth are little more than ant-hills to him, Indeed, the nations of earth are regarded by Him as little more than “the small dust of the balance,” “vanity” and “nothing” (Isaiah 40:15-17). God can also put in the minds of national leaders to do exactly what he wants them to do to make sure his prophecies are fulfilled according to his will and on his timetable (Proverbs 21:1). The Bible has many prophecies concerning what will happen in the climactic end of our age, often called “the latter days.” You can prove beyond doubt that we are living in this prophesied time by reading my article, Are We Living in the Biblical Latter Days? Various prophecies also give details about how and where World War III will be fought and how it will end. As long as the Creator God has predetermined this final war’s events and its end, you might as well give yourself an advance insight into what the future inevitably holds. The Bible’s prophecies about an age-ending global war can be found in my article, What Ezekiel 38-38 Reveal about a Future World War III.
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