Question: when a foreign nation starts deliberately targeting for destruction another nation's Navy, when exactly does that become a hostile act? When does it become an act of war? China is now openly targeting for destruction the United States Navy in an effort to control most of Asia. The USA had better wake up and realize that "the Dragon" really is a dragon and is looking to devour its neighbors, while annihilating any that stand in their way.
Chinese missile could shift Pacific power balance
By ERIC TALMADGE, Associated Press Writer Eric Talmadge, Associated Press Writer – 2 hrs 52 mins ago
ABOARD THE USS GEORGE WASHINGTON – Nothing projects U.S. global air and sea power more vividly than supercarriers. Bristling with fighter jets that can reach deep into even landlocked trouble zones, America's virtually invincible carrier fleet has long enforced its dominance of the high seas.
China may soon put an end to that.
U.S. naval planners are scrambling to deal with what analysts say is a game-changing weapon being developed by China — an unprecedented carrier-killing missile called the Dong Feng 21D that could be launched from land with enough accuracy to penetrate the defenses of even the most advanced moving aircraft carrier at a distance of more than 1,500 kilometers (900 miles).
Analysts say final testing of the missile could come as soon as the end of this year, though questions remain about how fast China will be able to perfect its accuracy to the level needed to threaten a moving carrier at sea.
The weapon, a version of which was displayed last year in a Chinese military parade, could revolutionize China's role in the Pacific balance of power, seriously weakening Washington's ability to intervene in any potential conflict over Taiwan or North Korea. It could also deny U.S. ships safe access to international waters near China's 11,200-mile (18,000-kilometer) -long coastline.
While a nuclear bomb could theoretically sink a carrier, assuming its user was willing to raise the stakes to atomic levels, the conventionally-armed Dong Feng 21D's uniqueness is in its ability to hit a powerfully defended moving target with pin-point precision.
The Chinese Defense Ministry did not immediately respond to the AP's request for a comment.
Funded by annual double-digit increases in the defense budget for almost every year of the past two decades, the Chinese navy has become Asia's largest and has expanded beyond its traditional mission of retaking Taiwan to push its sphere of influence deeper into the Pacific and protect vital maritime trade routes.
"The Navy has long had to fear carrier-killing capabilities," said Patrick Cronin, senior director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the nonpartisan, Washington-based Center for a New American Security. "The emerging Chinese antiship missile capability, and in particular the DF 21D, represents the first post-Cold War capability that is both potentially capable of stopping our naval power projection and deliberately designed for that purpose."
Setting the stage for a possible conflict, Beijing has grown increasingly vocal in its demands for the U.S. to stay away from the wide swaths of ocean — covering much of the Yellow, East and South China seas — where it claims exclusivity.
It strongly opposed plans to hold U.S.-South Korean war games in the Yellow Sea off the northeastern Chinese coast, saying the participation of the USS George Washington supercarrier, with its 1,092-foot (333-meter) flight deck and 6,250 personnel, would be a provocation because it put Beijing within striking range of U.S. F-18 warplanes.
The carrier instead took part in maneuvers held farther away in the Sea of Japan.
U.S. officials deny Chinese pressure kept it away, and say they will not be told by Beijing where they can operate.
"We reserve the right to exercise in international waters anywhere in the world," Rear Adm. Daniel Cloyd, who headed the U.S. side of the exercises, said aboard the carrier during the maneuvers, which ended last week.
But the new missile, if able to evade the defenses of a carrier and of the vessels sailing with it, could undermine that policy.
"China can reach out and hit the U.S. well before the U.S. can get close enough to the mainland to hit back," said Toshi Yoshihara, an associate professor at the U.S. Naval War College. He said U.S. ships have only twice been that vulnerable — against Japan in World War II and against Soviet bombers in the Cold War.
Carrier-killing missiles "could have an enduring psychological effect on U.S. policymakers," he e-mailed to The AP. "It underscores more broadly that the U.S. Navy no longer rules the waves as it has since the end of World War II. The stark reality is that sea control cannot be taken for granted anymore."
Yoshihara said the weapon is causing considerable consternation in Washington, though — with attention focused on land wars in Afghanistan and Iraq — its implications haven't been widely discussed in public.
Analysts note that while much has been made of China's efforts to ready a carrier fleet of its own, it would likely take decades to catch U.S. carrier crews' level of expertise, training and experience.
But Beijing does not need to match the U.S. carrier for carrier. The Dong Feng 21D, smarter, and vastly cheaper, could successfully attack a U.S. carrier, or at least deter it from getting too close.
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned of the threat in a speech last September at the Air Force Association Convention.
"When considering the military-modernization programs of countries like China, we should be concerned less with their potential ability to challenge the U.S. symmetrically — fighter to fighter or ship to ship — and more with their ability to disrupt our freedom of movement and narrow our strategic options," he said.
Gates said China's investments in cyber and anti-satellite warfare, anti-air and anti-ship weaponry, along with ballistic missiles, "could threaten America's primary way to project power" through its forward air bases and carrier strike groups.
The Pentagon has been worried for years about China getting an anti-ship ballistic missile. The Pentagon considers such a missile an "anti-access," weapon, meaning that it could deny others access to certain areas.
The Air Force's top surveillance and intelligence officer, Lt. Gen. David Deptula, told reporters this week that China's effort to increase anti-access capability is part of a worrisome trend.
He did not single out the DF 21D, but said: "While we might not fight the Chinese, we may end up in situations where we'll certainly be opposing the equipment that they build and sell around the world."
Questions remain over when — and if — China will perfect the technology; hitting a moving carrier is no mean feat, requiring state-of-the-art guidance systems, and some experts believe it will take China a decade or so to field a reliable threat. Others, however, say final tests of the missile could come in the next year or two.
Former Navy commander James Kraska, a professor of international law and sea power at the U.S. Naval War College, recently wrote a controversial article in the magazine Orbis outlining a hypothetical scenario set just five years from now in which a Deng Feng 21D missile with a penetrator warhead sinks the USS George Washington.
That would usher in a "new epoch of international order in which Beijing emerges to displace the United States."
While China's Defense Ministry never comments on new weapons before they become operational, the DF 21D — which would travel at 10 times the speed of sound and carry conventional payloads — has been much discussed by military buffs online.
A pseudonymous article posted on Xinhuanet, website of China's official news agency, imagines the U.S. dispatching the George Washington to aid Taiwan against a Chinese attack.
The Chinese would respond with three salvos of DF 21D, the first of which would pierce the hull, start fires and shut down flight operations, the article says. The second would knock out its engines and be accompanied by air attacks. The third wave, the article says, would "send the George Washington to the bottom of the ocean."
Note from author: the US Navy has decided that the huge potential loss of life by sinking an entire aircraft carrier (and the resulting devastating backlash at home) should be prevented by making smaller ships that have fewer crews, say 50 people on board total. Losing 50 people compared to 5,000 is what the brass over at Navy HQ thinks is the appropriate response to the new "carrier killer missiles" (its not, making underwater carriers that are impossible to find is the right response). These new small ships will be based on the picture of the vessel shown below:
Suffer These Crimes in Oakland? Don't Call the Cops
Dozens of layoffs effective at midnight, barring last minute deal
By LORI PREUITT and KRIS SANCHEZ
Oakland's police chief is making some dire claims about what his force will and will not respond to if layoffs go as planned.
Chief Anthony Batts listed exactly 44 situations that his officers will no longer respond to and they include grand theft, burglary, car wrecks, identity theft and vandalism. He says if you live and Oakland and one of the above happens to you, you need to let police know on-line.
Some 80 officers were to be let go at midnight last night if a last-minute deal was not reached. That's about ten percent of the work force.
"I came here to build an organization, not downsize one," said Batts, who was given the top job in October.
That deadline has been extended to 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Here's a partial list:
* grand theft
* grand theft:dog
* identity theft
* false information to peace officer
* required to register as sex or arson offender
* dump waste or offensive matter
* discard appliance with lock
* loud music
* possess forged notes
* pass fictitious check
* obtain money by false voucher
* fraudulent use of access cards
* stolen license plate
* embezzlement by an employee (over $ 400)
* attempted extortion
* false personification of other
* injure telephone/ power line
* interfere with power line
* unauthorized cable tv connection
* administer/expose poison to another's
Negotiations are going on at Oakland City Hall in the mayor's office.
Batts said the 80 officers slated to be laid off - mostly new officers - are "pretty sad and pretty depressed," and those feelings are shared by the Police Department as a whole.
The Oakland City Council voted June 25 to eliminate the positions to help close the city's $32.5 million funding gap. According to the city of Oakland, each of the 776 police officers currently employed at OPD costs around $188,000 per year. Most of the officers who will be affected by the layoffs were on the streets of Oakland when Johannes Mehserle's involuntary manslaughter conviction caused riots last Thursday.
The sticking point in negotiations appears to be job security. The city council asked OPD officers to pay nine percent of their salary toward their pensions, which would save the city about $7.8 million toward a multi-million dollar deficit. The police union agreed, as long as the city could promise no layoffs for three years. No dice, says city council president Jane Brunner.
"We wish we could offer them a three-year no layoff protection we just can't financially. It would be irresponsible of us," Brunner said. The city agreed to a one-year moratorium on layoffs, but it is not enough for the union.
The problem is money. In the last five years, the police budget -- along with the fire department budget -- have amount to 75 percent of the general fund. After years of largely sparing those departments the budget ax, now it appears there are few other places to cut.
These are the last hours of negotiation and Brunner is hopeful that the city and police will find some sort middle ground.
"It's been very good conversation and not a whole lot of grandstanding." Brunner said. "There's actually real conversations. Each side understands the problem," she said.
Layoffs to gut East St. Louis police force
BY NICHOLAS J.C. PISTOR
EAST ST. LOUIS • The Rev. Joseph Tracy said he’s tired of going to funerals. And now, he suspects he’ll be going to more of them.
"It’s open field day now," said Tracy, the pastor of Straightway Baptist Church here. "The criminals are going to run wild."
Gang activity. Drug dealing. Cold-blooded killing. Tracy worries that a decision to shrink the police force by almost 30 percent will bring more of everything.
The pastor voiced his concern on Friday at a raucous special City Council meeting at which East St. Louis Mayor Alvin Parks announced that the city will layoff 37 employees, including 19 of its 62 police officers, 11 firefighters, four public works employees, and three administrators. The layoffs take effect on Sunday.
Parks said the weak economy has robbed the city of badly need money. For example, revenue from the Casino Queen was $900,000 below budget expectations last year. There are no signs of improvement, Parks said.
"I want our citizens to know we have some of the bravest police officers and firefighters in the country," Parks said. "But we don’t have the money to pay them. We have to have fiscal responsibility."
City officials wanted police and fire unions to accept a furlough program that would have required employees to take two unpaid days in each twice monthly pay period. If accepted, emergency responders would have seen a pay cut of about 20 percent for the rest of the year.
Parks said the two sides couldn’t reach an agreement. On Friday, he stared at a standing-room only crowd and told his emergency response chiefs words they didn’t want to hear: "Tell your workers to start packing their things."
The news spurred shouts from the crowd.
"The blood is on your hands," yelled Michael Hubbard, an East St. Louis police officer.
Hubbard said he will be the lone patrolman for East St. Louis’ midnight shift when the cuts go into effect.
"This is devastating," Hubbard told a reporter after the meeting.
East St. Louis has been crippled by crime and poverty for decades. Police officials say the cuts will mean fewer officers for patrols, investigations and juvenile cases. Fire officials said the region should be upset because the department will have fewer people at the ready to fight fires on some of the region’s major highways and bridges.
The police already rely on other agencies to handle some of the heavy case load. For example, the Illinois State Police routinely work on the city’s homicide investigations.
Capt. Steve Johnson, of the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department, said his agency has no plans for stepping up work in East St. Louis.
"We don’t do calls for service in East St. Louis," Johnson said. "But, if we’re called for assistance, we will help when we can."
Worries about East St. Louis’ crime rate got little sympathy from Councilman Roy Mosley, who gave a 10-minute speech on Friday blasting the city’s police officers.
"We don’t have the money," Mosley said. "You lay off when you don’t have the money. The money’s gone."
Mosley complained that police officers take patrol cars home, park them in other jurisdictions, and misuse the city’s gasoline.
"I’m only telling the truth," he shouted.
The crowd jeered.
"You can see how disrespectful they are," Mosley said while pointing at the police officers. "You see what they’re doing to me right now."
Richard V. Stewart Jr., an attorney for the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police union, said Mosley’s claims are untrue.
Stewart said the words amounted to nothing more than "political grandstanding."
"Unfortunately, this is what I expected," Stewart said.
The union plans to fight the layoffs and work to get the jobs back.
Bad blood already exists between the two sides. An arbitrator has ruled that the city improperly imposed unpaid furlough days on its employees earlier this year. The city was ordered to pay $500,000 back in lost wages.
On Friday, the city approved a proposal to defer bond payments until next year in order to free up $500,000.
"Next year is a different situation," Mayor Parks said.
Note from author: these articles are using PC tactics, not mentioning that the vast majority of East St. Louis residents (81%) are black. When a nation reaches a point where it can no longer tell itself the truth because it may hurt someones feelings, that nation is doomed.