The Diplomat: U.S. vs. China Undersea


Categorie: Asia, China, David Axe, Naval, The Diplomat |
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USS Virginia. Navy photo.

USS Virginia. Navy photo.


China’s submarine fleet is largely limited to a coastal defensive role, but still could not prevent infiltration by U.S. undersea boats, according to a recent analysis by Owen Cote Jr. of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Security Studies Program.

Only big shifts in doctrine and technology could alter the current equation, Cote explained.

Cote’s assessment is a fresh reminder of the obstacles China faces in securing its own waters – to say nothing of extending its influence farther into the Pacific. The report is also a reminder that, despite the high visibility of aircraft carriers, jet fighters and ballistic missiles, submarines are still the most decisive weapon in the evolving rivalry between Washington and Beijing.

With their stealthiness and tremendous firepower, submarines pose a serious threat to surface vessels. For that reason, they are ideally suited to so-called sea denial – that is, keeping enemy fleets out of a given patch of ocean.

That’s precisely what Beijing intends for its force of roughly 50 small diesel-electric submarines and 10 or so larger nuclear boats. “China plans on using its diesel attack submarines … for coastal defense,” Cote wrote.

Likewise, the nuke boats could be used in an attempt “to deny or limit the access of Western navies to the larger sea space between what (Chinese officials) call the ‘first and second island chains’ – or, roughly speaking, the Philippine Sea.”

But the U.S. Navy’s own submarines plus its patrol planes, helicopters, surface ships and underwater “listening” arrays, concentrated in geographic choke points, could probably detect most Chinese subs attempting to reach the U.S. fleet beyond the first island chain, Cote asserted.

Read the rest at The Diplomat.


2 Responses to “The Diplomat: U.S. vs. China Undersea”

  1. Terry says:

    To Whom It May Concern:

    You can find the article below on the popular Blog a voice of transparency where none exists. My question for DOJ CRD, the White House, and many media outlets is why no one is taking this issue seriously. How many reports at the cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars have to done at tax payer expense during a financial crisis while employee after employee is summarily shown the door for standing up for the law? It’s time for someone to ask the really hard questions on how this could happen with an African American President in the White House.

    The complainants and affected employees can be reached thru the website at

    Coast Guard is Cutting the Cake with the Knife in our Backs: Guest Post on the State of Equal Opportunity in the Coast Guard on its 221st Birthday

    Posted by staff ⋅ August 4, 2011 ⋅ Leave a Comment

    Today the United States Coast Guard marks its 221st Birthday; congratulations to the men and women who make it all happen. You should be justifiably proud of your accomplishments over the past the year and the many lives saved, property protected, and waters secured.
    I am one of the few remaining employees with a formal equal opportunity complaint against Coast Guards Director of Civil Rights among other leaders. Our numbers have dwindled from more than two dozen to approximately six. Our shipmates and yours have been forced into early retirement, resignation in lieu of termination, some actually terminated, and others left the agency for safer battle grounds. These are indisputable facts and well documented. The playing field has not been fair or equal and Coast Guard has skirted the law with complete disregard for Management Directive 110. A violation of law in and of itself.

    Coast Guard continues to argue that they have made improvements, but the Government Accountability Office again last month confirmed that many of the same issues reported in 2007 by a whistleblower exist today. For those of us who have had our careers ruined while standing up for your rights and ours, we’re left wondering why our Commandant has been as silent on this issue as his predecessor Thad Allen.

    Coast Guards Director of Civil Rights has been among the top leadership at three agencies audited by GAO with the same findings at each … a lack of strategic planning among others. Two of those GAO findings at Coast Guard, and the others at each of her two past positions. In the face of such well documented evidence, Admiral Bob Papp has allowed employee after employee to be targeted by CRD and ran off. Our crimes are horrible as you would expect, we questioned why the agency isn’t following the law. Those are not our words, but the words of the many documented reports, and member of congress.

    What makes this troubling to those of us affected by this five-year atrocity is that it has been played out in documented account after account by PriceWaterHouse, KPMG, Booz Allen Hamilton, three congressional hearings, and two GAO reports; all under the watchful eye of the Commandant of the Coast Guard.

    Today as many of you watch the Commandant cut a birthday cake, please remember that each cut of the cake is like a knife in the back to those of us who tried to fix this well documented mess. Admiral, we’re waiting for you to find the time to make this right and your words left on this site last year are seared on our backs like a brand; “I own this process and I’ll get to it as time permits.” The value of human life, service to country and selfless devotion to duty usually outweigh time constraints.

    I leave you with this final thought; it is the employees who were willing to stand up and take a bullet in the chest to protect the rights of employees guaranteed by the Civil Rights Act among others, who were left with knives in their backs and shown the door. The question you have to ask yourself “is your Coast Guard better or worse for allowing these atrocities to continue.”

    We all know the answer.

    To I say thank you for giving a voice to those of us left voiceless and without representation. Frankly, we had expected more from our Nations first African-American President.

  2. go away says:

    Fuck off.

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