Tanker om politik og historie…

Sænke slagskibe

Posted in Østasien, Historie, Mellemøsten, USA by polyb on 21. august 2010

Kom i tanke om en interessant ældre sag mht. hele snakken omkring Iran, eller andre såkaldte “slyngelstater” og deres atomprogrammer, og hvad vesten evt. kan foretage sig i den henseende.

Tilbage i 2002 afholdte det amerikanske militær en kæmpemæssig militærøvelse kaldet “Millennium Challenge 2002”. Øvelsen skulle simulere en konflikt imellem USA (blåt hold) og en mellemøstlig stat (rødt hold). Skulle nogle være i tvivl, så er det selvfølgelig altid de røde der er de onde.

Long story short – det lykkedes rødt hold, under kommando af marinekorps generalen Paul K. Van Riper, at sænke 16 amerikanske flådefartøjer, deriblandt et hangarskib og ti krydsere. Dette med en kombination af krydsermissil angreb, og konventionelle- samt selvmords angreb fra små hurtigtgående både og mindre fly (deriblandt flere civile af begge typer). 20.000 amerikanere havde mistet livet under dette scenarie.

Militærets respons til denne katastrofe var at erklære samtlige fartøjer for “bragt til overfladen igen”, samt at ændre reglerne for resten af “spillet”. Van Riper endte med at sige fra som protest, og det teknologisk overlegne amerikanske militær med dets “moderne” strategier vandt omkampen.

På mange måder minder denne situation lidt om 2. verdenskrig og slagskibenes endeligt. På trods af masser af advarsler i mellemkrigstiden, og til dels endda under 1. verdenskrig, omkring slagskibenes sårbarhed og de nye hangarskibes entre på scenen, insisterede man på at slagskibene stadig var oceanernes konge. Krigen viste hurtigt, at hangarskibene var slagskibene langt overlegne, og at sidstnævnte nærmest var reduceret til en slags “sitting ducks”.

Gary Brecher (alias: The War Nerd), som jeg tidligere har anbefalet, har skrevet en interessant artikel om emnet og konkluderer :

Carriers are not only the biggest and most expensive ships ever built–they’re the most vulnerable. Because even one serious cruise-missile hit means the carrier can’t launch its planes, its best weapons. They will sink to the bottom with their crews, not having fired a shot.

That was the real lesson of Millennium Challenge II. And that’s what has the Navy so furious at van Riper: he blew their cover. He showed all the hicks back home that the carrier battle fleet can be sunk by “small planes and boats.” As weapons become smaller and deadlier, big targets just won’t survive.

The signs have been there all along. In the Falklands War, the Argentine Air Force, which ain’t exactly the A Team, managed to shred the British fleet, coming in low and fast to launch the Exocets. And they did all this hundreds of miles off their coast, with no land-based systems to help.

If the Argentines could do that with 1980 technology, think what the Chinese, Iranians or North Koreans could do in 2003 against a city-size floating target like a US carrier.

[…]

We may be lucky a little while longer, as long as we take on losers like Iraq. But what about Iran? The Iranians aren’t cowardly slaves like the Iraqis. They’re smart, they’re dedicated, and they hate us like poison. Imagine how many “small aircraft and boats” there are along the Iranian coastline. Imagine every one of those craft stuffed full of explosives and turned into kamikazes. Now add all the anti-ship missiles the Iranians have been able to buy on the open market. If you really want to get scared, add a nuke or two.

Suppose the Iranians use van Riper’s method: send everything at once, from every ship, plane and boat they’ve got, directly at the carrier. Give the Navy the benefit of the doubt and say they get 90% of the incoming missiles. You still end up with a dead carrier.

Now try shifting the scenario to a US-China fight off Taiwan. The Chinese have it all: subs, planes, anti-ship missiles-Hell, they SELL that stuff to other countries! I’ll say it plain: no American carrier would last five minutes in a full-scale naval battle off China.

Let’s go back to that objection some of you are probably raising: “The Navy must’ve thought of all that!” Oh yeah? Why didn’t the British think of it in 1940? There was plenty of evidence that battleships were nothing but giant coffins. They just decided not to think about it.

That’s what the US Navy does now. There are careers here, big money, tradition. There’s always been a surface navy; so there’s always got to BE one. That’s about as far as their reasoning gets.

One day we’ll wake up to a second Pearl Harbor. Maybe not this year–fighting a joke like Saddam, the US Navy can probably getting away with sending its carriers into the Persian Gulf. But if Iran gets involved, those carriers won’t last one day. If they ever approach the Chinese coast in wartime, they’ll just vanish. If a carrier-based group steams anywhere near the North Korean coast…well, there won’t even be enough left to make a good dive-site.

Interessante links :
Wake-up call – The Guardian
Battleships in World War II – Wikipedia

Se eventuelt også :
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

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