Monday, April 29, 2019

International ‘Maritime Cooperation’ drills kick off in China....

via TASS
Bilateral Russian-Chinese naval drills "Maritime Cooperation" opened on Monday at the port of Qingdao, the press service of the Pacific Fleet reported.

"A group of Pacific Fleet ships consisting of the flagship Guards Order of Nakhimov missile cruiser Varyag, the large anti-tank ships Admiral Vinogradov and Admiral Tributs, the corvette Sovershenny, the large landing ship Oslyabya, the rescue vessel Igor Belousov and the sea tanker Irkut arrived at the port of Qingdao on a business call several hours ago, and the official opening ceremony for the bilateral Russian-Chinese naval drills ‘Maritime Cooperation 2019’ was carried out. <...> After the end of the official part of the ceremony the commanders of the ship groups of the two countries received orders for actions at sea," the press service reported.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the Russian and Chinese sailors will train to carry out joint maneuvers and establish communication and carry out missile and artillery attacks on sea and air targets, as well as train some aspects of search and rescue support. 
Story here.

This didn't have to happen.  Wait.  Let me deal with what the trolls will say.  No.  I am not a mouth piece for the Russians.  No.  I do not think it was wise to push the Russians over to the Chinese.

Yes.  I think if Trump was smarter, more forceful and less prone to deal with the obvious provocation of the psy-ops campaign launched against him....and instead followed his instincts then all this could have been avoided.

There are reports that the Russian defense industry is in trouble.  I don't believe it.  What I do believe is that they're facing the same issues as we are but are exercising a bit more fiscal discipline.

In other words they're working between modernizing the force and maintaining gear they already have.  To be a bit more clear they're trying to balance spiral upgrades with leap ahead technology.  Their tank force is a perfect example.  So is the work they're doing with their IFVs...both wheeled and tracked.  That list goes on.

But China is a different beast.  Securing their flank and having Russia at least neutral, if not supportive will go a long way toward making their Belt and Road initiative a reality.  Talk of the Chinese moving from a physical presence to a cyber one in many of the "customer" nations should chill your bones.

This shouldn't have happened but it is.

So what do we do now? 

Will domestic politics allow us the room to make "frienemies" with the Russians so we can regain strategic dominance in the Pacific? 

If not then we're gonna have to strip the other oceans and seas of ships to deal with the Pacific.

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