The Abysmal gap. Lesson ten

The abysmal gap between military geostrategists’ views on the world as being a battlefield over strategic hotspots, straits, sea routes, military bases and commodity assets, versus diplomats’ view of geostrategy as a frictional meeting between headstrong dynamic people, is probably the reason for the existence of military attache officials who combine the best of both worlds. Military attaches are usually younger and always low in rank. I can only assume it is the diplomats who rule in the house of diplomats. They shouldn’t be so skird of professionals.

There is thus a difference between geostrategy (military thinking) and geopolitics (diplomatic thinking).

Geo-politic revolves around economics and policies.

Geostrategy is inevitable facts; who has what and where, and who wins a conflict with this what?

Geo-politics also involve commodities and, to some extent, natural resources. Geo-strategy involves natural resources and where they’re at. But there is no absolute division between the two different fields of strategy – geo-politics and geo-strategy.

Almost any fool can conduct geopolitical work. But conducting the work of a geostrategic task is often a privilege for a few briefed men, often high ranking militaries, government leaders and industrialists within a closed circle of people. Nothing is initiated by chance at the top level. On the other hand, the intentions of others and decisive events often gets randomized in crazy interactions.

It is enough that only one party is aware that they have a geostrategic superiority. If they do, then it is possible for them to go out and make geopolitics of it. A fog of war is usually created by the protagonists at selected occasions in any given conflict. But sooner or later, the conflict will return to the origin of the conflict – the geostrategy i.e. the strategic hotspots and natural resources.

Everybody does not agree with me about what makes up a geostrategical task and what makes up a geopolitical task. Some wouldn’t even separate the two into dual significations. This is my definition.

Homework:

How would you define geo-politics and geo-strategy, are they the same?

Roger M. Klang, defense political spokesman for the Christian Values Party (Kristna Värdepartiet) in Sweden

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Mowing the lawn. Lesson nine

Exactly how is Trump going to make America great again? He does not lead through example, that is for sure. What do I mean with that? Well he said that America in the past has been stupid to tell the world what their country’s intentions were.

If you do not take responsibility for what your intentions are, if you do not tell the people what your intentions as a state and as a state leader are, then per definition you cannot lead through example because your people do not have a clue what your intentions are. Ergo, there is no example to follow. Do you see what I mean?

But I lead through example! I tell the world what I intend to do and then I do it. Even a guy like Putin does that. Even Hitler did that. But not Trump, and he is proud of not doing it. Donald, if you are not leading through example you are not leading! And if you are not leading, then you cannot make America great again. It is as simple as that.

I think that every lie and deception springs out of a personal perversion or at least a leniency for a perversion. All the lyings by the so called statesmen of the world is only a cover-up for their personal perversions. Of course there is only one totally perversion free person in history, Jesus Christ. But the lies that come from some persons are much worse than the average liars lies. And when that person is in office it gets bad. If you are in a clinch with and then surrender to Trump, he will screw you over a thousand times if he could make a dime on it. On the other hand if you don’t surrender to Trump he may screw you over anyway, but at least you are standing up. The man has got no honor. He is like emperor Nero. If you are standing up and looking down on his bald spot, he will have you executed. It may be just a tall tale, but watch the figurative similarities, considering both Trump’s and Nero’s decadence.

There are three kinds of world leaders today and always have been. The first kind is someone like Donald Trump who in foreign policy says one thing and does another thing, sometimes simultaneously. This kind of leader consistently shuffle the cards before they are dealt. The second kind of leaders are like Vladimir Putin and Adolf Hitler. They say what they intend to do and then they do it. But what they do is not God’s will. The third kind of leaders also mediate what they intend to do and then they do it. But what they do is God’s will. The third kind of leaders are rarely existing in the world. And that is remarkable, that good people, of which there are plenty of among ordinary people, apparently finds it hard to make it to the top wherever you have your residence in the world. It makes me wonder what tools successful politicians in general use to make it to the top, and also how they stay in office?

Donald Trump wrote this in his book ”Crippled America” from 2015; ”Does anybody reading this believe that I’m concerned about making other countries feel good? They used to fear us. They used to want to be us. We were respected.”

Thank you for that clarity, businessman Donald! That doesn’t sound like a good business investment. It shows you cannot be trusted, by non-Americans, ever. If you cannot be trusted, who in their right mind, can you strike a deal with outside of America? I can answer the question myself – the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Israel. All others have to prepare for the worst from totalitarian regional or global powers like Russia and China. Unless God intervenes, and strikes a blow to America for embarking on the wrong road, perhaps. We have put a lot of money and some casualties into your country’s war with the Talibans in Afghanistan. For what?

Homework:

No homework today. But you women, please speak up about where you stand on Trump. I don’t care if you are for him or against him, just speak up. I value your voice. I hope you valued mine.

Roger M. Klang, defense political spokesman for the Christian Values Party (Kristna Värdepartiet) in Sweden

The American base in Darwin, Australia Lesson eight

There are around 800 American bases deployed around the World. But many of these locations have only minor staff and many are logistic to its nature, and most staffmembers are desktop workers and pencil pushers. However the Americans have quite a few fighting military bases around the World.

The US has got several well integrated installations in Australia. Pine Gap is the commonly used name for an Australian Earth station approximately 18 kilometres i.e. 11 miles South-West of the town of Alice Springs, Northern Territory in the centre of Australia. Pine Gap is operated by both Australia and the United States. Its longer name is Joint Defence Facility Pine Gap (JDFPG). It consists mainly of desktop workers.

But there is another American base in Australia. This American base in Australia I think we have to shed light on. The base as such, wich is located in Darwin at Australia’s North-West coast, does not give you any information of how many Marines Darwin can harbor. Darwin’s port can take in at least one WASP-class vessel. Darwin is a quite small Community, a city but not a big city by American standards, only about 130,000 inhabitants. More about Darwin further down.

If you bring the American troops home the World will be overrun by the Chinese and the Russians in no time, and the US is still dependent on oil from the Middle East to a level of more than a quarter of its oil-consumption (2016). The US would get none oil if the Chinese had their will. The US can hope for and plot for a regime change in Venezuela to create a boost in oil-production in that particular country in order to increase oil imports from that country to the US if the new regime is friendly to the US. Venezuela has one of the largest oil reserves in the world. And Canada has lots of extra oil that they export mainly to the US.

I think that China is too weak in its nuclear capacity to survive a war with the US. China relies on Russia’s nuclear capacity and Russia relies on China’s conventional army. They have a marriage of reasoning. But believe this, they do not trust each other!

Kremlin thinks that Russia should be in par with China since Russia has a bigger nuclear capacity. But China’s bigger economy wins in the every day life. Russia is slowly losing its grip of the Russian Far East to the Chinese. That among other things is why Putin has agreed to develop his nation’s economic ties with Japan, sell some oil to the Japanese to level out the Chinese influence in the Russian Far East. Putin doesn’t want to put all his eggs in one and the same basket, namely China.

Russia’s biggest motivator is China. Russia’s little escapades in the Baltic Sea are a luxury they sometimes can engage in. Its Southern borders and its Eastern border are much more important. They just don’t want us to know that. However Russia is strongly enforcing development economically and militarily in the region of the Kola peninsula at Barents Sea in their North.

Does China have a bad geographic location in case of a conventional war with the US? Not necessarily. America can to my knowledge only accommodate some three thousand marines in total in barracks located at the relatively small community of Darwin in the North of Australia fairly close to the Malacca strait. And even this small number puts a strain on Darwin’s community (you know, unmarried girls). And the port of Darwin is quite limited. LPD:s and LHD:s like San Antonio class or Wasp class visiting Darwin can only do this one by one it seems. Also, Darwin was attacked by air by the Japanese in World war two. Wouldn’t we see a rerun, and this time the crime would be committed by the Chinese? It is true, Obama talked about shipping 25 000 marines to Darwin. Yeah, good luck! They would have to close Darwin down when all the young girls have left for America. As if the Darwiners aren’t pissed off enough as it is. Probably.

Homework:

As we have established in my ”Strategic school introduction” and in an earlier Lesson one ”The importance of Uganda in big politics”, the Americans fear a possible axis between China, Russia and Japan.

1. Do you see a growing axis between China, Russia and Japan?
2. How will that play out you think?
3. Will the US be left in the wake of a new world order?
4. Are the Americans rational in their fear or is Japan going to continue to be benevolent towards the US of A?

Search for information on the Internet for this task! For example you can search for ”Putin, Russian Far East, China, Shinzo Abe, Japan” and then maybe you will get some relevant information.

Roger M. Klang, defense political Spokesman for the Christian Values Party (Kristna Värdepartiet) in Sweden

Strait of Hormuz Lesson seven

Fact evidence: In late October 2018, Israels prime minister Netanyahu visited Oman under friendly terms. Not long after, following this, Trump said that ”Saudi-Arabia is on the clock”. Unfortunately I can no longer find the source to the Saudi-Arabia-is-on-the-clock statement, but I distinctly remember it word for word.

Very interesting. But I don’t expect that Oman will cave in to Israel! Israelis cannot project the necessary power in the Strait of Hormuz region to be able to do that. If Oman will cave in they will do it because the guy in the background is putting pressure on the country. I am of course talking about Trump.

And speaking about Saudi-Arabia. The United States is starting to export more goods than they receive oil in the other direction. The amount of oil the US receive from Saudi-Arabia 2018 is down 1/3 since 2015 while the exports to the country stays the same. So you probably have to look for the explanation there. The US has no interest in sustaining the state of Saudi-Arabia if they don’t get to import their oil. The numbers 1/3 comes from the CIA WORLD FACTBOOK 2015 compared with the numbers in the CIA WORLD FACTBOOK 2018-2019.

The Strait of Hormuz is 21 nautical miles (39 km) in width at its narrowest place. In 2011 an average of 14 tankers per day passed out of the Persian Gulf through the strait, carrying 17 million barrels of crude oil. That is 35 percent of the worlds seaborn oil shipments and 20 percent of the oil traded worldwide. Some say 40 percent of all oil traded worldwide. More than 85 percent of this oil goes to Asian countries, with Japan, India, South Korea and China the biggest buyers. Iran has repeatedly threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz throughout the years.

This doesn’t mean that Saudi-Arabia will become a target militarily. It is much more likely that Iran will become a target. But I think we can expect that the US will strive to put pressure on especially the Saudis to not cut back any more on the oil sales to the US and preferrably increase the oil sales quota to the US. They hope to accomplish this by projecting more power against the Iranians and by dwarfing the Chinese influence in the nearby region and, hopefully, in the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. They attempt all of this nowadays with the projection of military power rather than with conventions, national aid and business agreements which previous political administrations may have relied on more.

This dwarfing of the chinese Navy in the Gulf of Oman can be done by confining the Chinese Navy within the South China Sea. As long as America has the ability to project power at sea more than China has, the US can decide the rules of the game. But the difference between the streangth of the American Navy and the Chinese Navy on the other hand, is more than anything revolving around America’s Aircraft carrier groups superiority in number and capacity that dwarf the Chinese number and capacity.

China has an airbase at Gwadar in western Pakistan near by the Gulf of Oman. If China can continue on with a construction of new airbases in foreign countries in and around the region, then America’s superiority with their aircraft carrier groups will be leveled out in actual capacity compared to the Chinese. But the USAF currently has airbases in several Arab countries on the west coast of the Persian Gulf opposite Iran.

Should Iran allow China to construct airbases in their country, then the Chinese could place these airbases wisely, meaning more optimal for defense of Iranian oil-installations and self-defense than the Americans can do and have done. As a bonus the Chinese airbases would be more suitable for attacks against to Iran possibly hostile oil-nations in the north and west of the Persian Gulf.

Homework:

1. Trump said that ”Saudi-Arabia is on the clock”. Can you think of any scenarios if the Saudis don’t comply with America? What will happen in the region you think?
2. Do you think that in the long run Iran will gain influence or that they will lose influence should the US threaten with war and then abstain from realize it? And if Iran gain influence, will there be a war? Will there be a war if Iran dwindle in power and there is a real threat of a serious upheaval in Iran?
3. For the overambitious; How do you think that China if possible will try to profit from these different scenarios, given the tense situation in the South China Sea? Pick one scenario that you think is the most realistic and suggest China’s politics:

• Saudis don’t comply.
• Saudis don’t comply and Iran gain influence in the region.
• Saudis don’t comply and Iran lose influence because of US war rattling.
• Saudis don’t comply while civil unrest in Iran.

Roger M. Klang, defense political Spokesman for the Christian Values Party (Kristna Värdepartiet) in Sweden

 

Why Germany cannot repeat its WWII performance Lesson six

This is why Germany cannot repeat the performance of dominating its surrounding world like Nazi-Germany did approximately 1935-1944. Lesson six;

Peak oil has long since occurred in Ploiesti, Romania, where the Germans got most of their oil during World War II.

Lend-Lease. The Allied Lend-Lease to the Soviet Union which made the Soviet Union superior to Nazi-Germany in materiel and also economically during most of World War II. Supplies and military equipment were shipped in convoys around Nordkap in Norway to Murmansk and Archangels. Supplies and military equipment were also shipped from the US to Vladivostok in southeastern Russia with Soviet flagged ships. A Persian Corridor was also available to support the Soviet Union.

From the East, however, there will never be any Lend-Lease going to the western countries. The Germans’ interest in expanding their borders westward is minimal.

Moscow seems to be just the right distance from western Europe to keep Russia from defeat, seen in a historical perspective. Since then that distance has increased. Circumstances may have altered with the development of new materiel like long distance weapons and satellite sensors.

Italy and Spain are no longer fascist states.

Hypothetical German hopes of securing a future fuel supply (and they also, among other things, need a Chrome supply transported by railways westward from Turkey) by taking the oil fields in the Caucasus at Baku and the Caspian sea are vane. Perhaps some Germans hope, as they did in Nazi-Germany with oil from Romania, to seize the oil fields at Caucasus and subsequently load the fuel on barges that can traffic the Danube River. But importing oil from North Africa through the straits in western Turkey and up into the Danube River is certainly seen as an alternative for Germany.

Germany buys an unknown percentual proportion of its oil from Russia, and they buy a lot of gas, gas that runs through the Nordstream pipelines in the Baltic Sea. They have tied theirselves quite a bit to Russia’s supplies of gas and oil to Germany.

Germany can extract liquid fuel from their oil shale and lignite coal, but not nearly enough for the German logistics chain, the motorized army and the air force.

I have put together a 35-point axiom, which can be used to determine a possible outcome in case of a major war. Of these 35 points, Nazi Germany had 17 crucial advantages against 6 for the Soviet Union, and yet Germany lost the war. My conclusion is that this is mostly due to the Soviet endurance through the Allies Lend-Lease, as well as the bombings of Germany including bombings against German-occupied/allied industrial areas and petroleum industries.

(Seventeen German advantages marked *)

1) have a better air force *
2) have a better or more extensive air defense *
3) are more thoroughly trained *
4) have logistic advantages *
5) have the right kind of materiel and equipment in the right amount and constellation, civilian as well as military *
6) have material quality advantages for heavier materiel *
7) have information, intelligence and surveillance advantages *
8) have technological communication advantages *
9) have better and more encryption variables *
10) have a superior leadership and educational doctrine *
11) have the opportunity to choose their battles and where they will take place *
12) have the best country climate *
13) have physically stronger, more sustainable soldiers (mainly concerns voluntary defense/professional soldiers) *
14) have better motivated soldiers *
15) have a better and more sustainable financial system *
16) have a better ability to quickly rebuild ruined industry and destroyed infrastructure (at least when the war looks like in WWII it’s a contest) *
17) have better infrastructure in their home country *

(Six Russian advantages marked ¤)

18) have a weather or season advantage during their warfare, or have weather-resistant clothing for their soldiers, cold-resistant equipment, functional food supplies and indoor accommodation opportunities in severe cold, etc. Deep snow can make transportation and transfer difficult for those who are not equipped and trained, deep mud is even worse, it may cause the most problem for an attacker.¤
19) have a bigger and faster production¤
20) gets financial and material help from the outside world¤
21) have access to oil and oil refineries and kerosene¤
22) have the most (ice free) commercial ports and access to safe shipping routs¤
23) have plenty of or appropriately placed fake targets so that the enemy’s surveillance and attack aircraft will correctly assess the location of the wrong target¤

(Twelve indeterminable or double acting/double edged)

24) are better equipped
25) are better protected and defended by, for example, mines and artillery in a defensive action and artillery during an offensive action
26) are more protected and harder to detect by using better camouflage
27) have better tools, e.g. have night vision devices as standard if you look at the situation today, or have electrolyte powder and potassium permanganate and antibiotics and low-cost performance enhancers, etc.
28) have advantages in terms of fire against targets
29) have better armor on combat vehicles with an advantage of better impact concerning fire against targets
30) have geographic advantages for either defense alt. an offensive (forest areas, steppes, transverse rivers etc.) ¤ *
31) In addition, the best long-range heavy-duty vehicles, adapted for the ground conditions and the accessibility of the offensive (compare with multiplied tactics) ¤ *
32) have a shorter production chain
33) have greater potential/ability to protect industry and infrastructure * ¤
34) have commodity assets within gripping distance ¤ *
35) have the most friendly minded neighboring states or least hostile neighbors

Nazi Germany had 17 of these above listed 35 possible advantages. Opposed are six advantages for Russia, and twelve indeterminable.

Perseverance is obviously such an important factor that it overrides all other factors if you can hold off a quick victory for the opposing side. How else can you explain a German loss even though the Germans had 17 advantages against 6 for the Soviet Union?

The shorter logistics chain (No. 4 above) may not be considered to be a German advantage. However, east Preussia had a partially strategic advantageous starting point at the start of the war, even though east Prussia lacked commodity resources. This advantage Preussia had because Stalin relocated parts of Russia’s industries from western Russia to the east of the Ural Mountains in the summer of 1941.

Another German advantage (not mentioned in the list above) was initially the surprise of the attacker. Although this is usually neutralized relatively quickly it wasn’t in this war. But a Russian advantage at a later stage was that they could maintain and even increase sufficient reinforcements and resources, which the Germans could not hope to maintain for their part.

The Germans can not count on making a reprisal of the overall plan for the daring attack through the Ardennes as in the attack on France in 1940.

Germany lacks nuclear weapon capacity while Russia, the United States, Great Britain and France all have it. But Germany can acquire it, hypothetically speaking.

Lastly, let me remind you that Germany’s constitution today explicitly prohibits Germany from entering into strategic defense alliances with non-NATO countries. For the protocol, I can say that I support this.

Homework:

No homework today

 

Roger M. Klang, defense political spokesman for the Christian Values Party (Kristna Värdepartiet) in Sweden

The Chinese Lap-system. Lesson five

What if the Russians invite the Chinese Navy to a unifying drill in the Baltic Sea and the Chinese airforce to a coordinated drill with its units in Kaliningrad Oblast and Luga?

The Chinese thereafter do the Russians job through a sneaky Trojan horse and occupy the big Swedish island of Gotland in the middle of the Baltic Sea, with limited forces. The Chinese Navy has already visited the Baltic Sea and Stockholm in september 2015 via the Danish Belt with a newly built missile equipped Destroyer, a Frigate and a support-ship. The Chinese Navy had a coordinated drill with Russia in the Baltic Sea in 2017.

Consider that it has happened subsequent to two earlier migration ages that the Huns (Asians) have made themselves homesteady in Europe, after beating the Ostrogoths from central Europe, only to disappear approximatly 80 years later just as sudden as they showed up. In the later period the Roman army in alliance with the Visigoths under the Goth and fieldmarshal, with the suspiciously Swedish-sounding name Alarik, beat the Huns.

The Chinese started up factory constructions in the strategicly located Kalmar on the mainland centered just west of the narrow Swedish Island of Öland in the Baltic Sea, with Chinese labour and talked big about one million Chinese migrating to Kalmar. That was foiled by good old fashioned Swedish Bureaucracy. Or maybe it was unintentionally, I really don’t know.

In the fall of 2013 the Icelandic government approved unified Icelandic, Norwegan and Chinese energy corporative efforts to explore possible oil existence on Iceland’s north coastal area. This was hardly done so that the Chinese could extract and import the potential oil all the long way to China as far as China is concerned. For the Chinese it is all about the Lap-system that they are building up in obscurity all the way from China to Malacca Strait to Sri Lanka to various African coastal countries to Iceland and/or Greenland and all the way into the Baltic Sea. The Chinese are going for world dominion.

 

Homework:

Why do you think that the Chinese Navy visited the Baltic Sea and Stockholm in 2015? Is this proof that the Chinese will not stop until they have accomplished world dominion? Or do you think that the idea of the Chinese seeking world dominion is paranoid? Consider the Chinese constructions and plans in Kalmar before you answer – ”paranoid” – cocksure.

Roger M. Klang, defense political spokesman for the Christian Values Party (Kristna värdepartiet) in Sweden

Does one need to know the range of military aircraft? Lesson four

The F-35 is the United states latest fighter jet. It is also the future naval aircraft-carrier based fighter jet aircraft (F-35C with C as in Carrier based). An F-35C has a realistic combat range of about 500 miles, i.e. 800 km. Combat range as seen in the chart below is the realistic range a fighter jet has with the option still for, hold your breath, you have heard it before, dogfight.

MQ-25 Stingray is an air-refueling aircraft under development (2018). In the chart below the air-refueling of the F-35C:s is thought to be done with this carrier based fuel-tanking aircraft. But they could also refuel the F-35C with a bigger tanker like for example the C-130 tanker, although this cannot start from or land on a carrier. C-130 is an aircraft with multiple functions. Some are made for transporting materiel and soldiers or dropping large bombs, and some are made for refueling of other aircraft in the air. Some are made for other purposes.

Depending on how many fighters sent up and what tankers they use and how many tankers in the air, the possible approach for the mission will vary. Simplified, the possibilities regarding flight paths plus the opponents capability will set the boundaries for the mission. The possible outcome will mainly depend on the planner and the level of professionalism of his crews. Of course the level of yours and your opponents technology will matter too. And the rest are due to circumstances like weather, malfunction or the battles randomized chaos.

In this example, I did not count on hanging extra tanks on the fighter aircraft. Those would have significantly reduced the number of offensive weapons and sensors hanging on the wing beams. As you will learn, one tanker can only refuel one fighter jet at a time of approximatly about 2-4 minutes. 2 minutes minimum. Two fighters need to work together as one tactical unit and both must follow through all the way to the target. Two fighters are refueling in the air approximatly ten to twenty percent of their combined flight time, using only one tanker and tanking the two fighters only once per aircraft in a mission, and it has to be initiated within the first 360-430 miles of flight.

If one calculates the numbers correctly, one will come to the conclusion that the range of a Carrier Air Wing increases by at the most 3/4 if this Air Wing is air-refueled only once during one and the same mission.

If the Air Wing is air-refueled twice during a single mission, the range is still limited by the combat radius the aircraft has. 500 miles + 500 miles which become a 1,000 miles (1,600 km) is in any case the maximum range.

With a single MQ-25A Stingray, one can only air-refuel one (1) F-35C per mission, once on the flight path to the target and once on the way back, if it takes about 4 minutes for a refueling.

The individual F-35C pilot must have enough fuel left to make a what is a fuel costly vertical landing on the aircraft carrier, but probably several aircraft at a time can descend for landing on the carrier should there be a need for it. The combat radius of an F-35C could actually be as low as 430 miles if you want to have good safety margins. But if we assume that the combat radius is 500 miles and that one Stingray refuel one F-35C once per mission with an air refueling distance of about 60 miles, then the F-35C aircraft must return after a total flight distance of 870 miles from the aircraft carrier. After air refueling, it can fly a distance of 370 miles + the return distance of the 870 miles = 1,240 miles. The F-35C has a maximum range of 1,350 miles. In total, it gives a margin of 6 minutes for all F-35C to circulate and descend for landing on an aircraft carrier, which corresponds to a distance of 43 miles at a speed of 435 miles per hour on a low altitude. It would provide a four-group F-35C, supported under a mission by four Stingrays, approximately 1+ minute for landing per plane, if only one aircraft is touching the deck and taxing in at a time.

A third or a fourth of all the aircrafts onboard the carrier will be under maintenance at any given time. As one can count on at least one Stingray always being on maintenance aboard the Carrier, one must make place for one extra Stingray on the Carrier. Several Stingrays will occupy a lot of space on the aircraft carrier at the expense of at least twice the space required for the F-35C. Then it’s probably better to invest in the existing E/A-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft and the radar plane E2-C Hawkeye battle management and control aircraft, if you want to optimize. These must still be carried onboard the Carrier.

But how optimal is it to base three or four MQ-25 Stingray on a lone Carrier group? The Carrier group would have to adjust their distance to the goal after any caprice of the Stingray mechanics, so these Stingrays must be kept in top condition so that the aircraft carrier group is not constantly forced to maneuver into a new position in a jerky way.

The United States has around a dozen carriers but some of them must be on rotation in the US at every given time. China has two aircraft carriers. The US carriers allows the fighter aircraft to carry bigger payloads, i.e. weapons, because of the carriers typicly steam-catapults that catapults the aircrafts into air, combined with the thrust of the aircrafts engines. However, the US Navy needs to project power in many parts of the world simultaneously.

The fact that the US Navy’s aircraft-carriers have nuclear propulsion does not mean that the carrier groups as such have longer range in reality. There are many ships with different tasks in a carrier group. A single fighter aircraft can perhaps fly four missions in a day and in those four missions it will consume the amount of fuel equivalent to a tank truck and a trailer full of fuel. That equals up to several ships full of fuel only for the aircrafts alone. Some ships protect the carriers from air-threats, some ships protect the carriers from underwater threats, some ships supply the carriers’ surrounding group with fuel oil and some ships supply food and beverage to all the crew-members of all the ships.

In reality, friendly harbors are important during a far away mission.

Now you know the basics.

Homework:

Look at where your country or any country of your choice is located and try to imagine how the US or China could tackle them or come at them using possible means. What countries are likely to display animosity and what countries do you think would display the opposite to the two nations respectively. Check out where they have friendly airbases and/or ports in friendly countries if you can. You may know if there are naval ships with air-defense systems on it based in naval ports. Naval ships air-defense systems against aerodynamic targets rarely have more than a 120 km (75 miles) range and it is a defensive weapon and should not be used offensively, i.e. it is there to protect the ship or group of ships first of all.

If you know where different nations ground based air-defense systems i.e. surface-to-air missiles are deployed for the moment being or will be deployed, you get extra credit. They are there to protect cruical infrastructure or military installations or mobile equipment and are also not offensive weapons. But such knowledge is rarely public knowledge unless the country is at war and its adversary or other players reveals their location, as is the case with Russias S-400 and S-300 systems and their radar systems in Syria.

Use the internet to find out things if it is not enough to use the CIA WORLD FACTBOOK, and it usually isn’t. The variables are many and intertwined which makes the task incredibly complicated. The more you know the more complicated it gets. Mix as many variables as you think you can manage for this task, but start learning how to slim them down effectively without coming to the wrong conclusion. I am only talking about military targets here. And I am only talking about air raids with F-35 starting from air strips or carriers.

This is not meant to be an exam that I will scrutinize as if it was a Masters degree. You are bound to not knowing what type of bases your country has where, and what capabilities these have. It doesn’t have to be accurate, you’re in training! But part of the training involves finding out as much useful information as you can. I am first and utmost training you to be an intelligence person. Information on the Internet can be accurate, grayish, dubious or just plain false, and I really cannot teach you how to find out accurate information for yourself. You have to have a sense for realities and reason to be able to do that, and that cannot be taught. At least not if it is not taught from an early age.

Remember, choice of the wrong means is less of a liability for a commander than failing to act! (Old Swedish jungle-proverb)

Roger M. Klang, defense political spokesman for the Christian Values Party (Kristna Värdepartiet) in Sweden