An interesting Face Book exchange (Part 1)*

• Sam Marcelo: “Four Ohio Class submarines sneaking in through this Manila Trench…..” This is a laughable claim. US SSBNs and SSNs are the most highly classified info in the US Military. No one knows the whereabouts of our submarines other the the US President, and Joint Chief of Staff for that matter. An appeal to ignorance by Victor Corpus.

• William Matiling: Sam Marcelo Vic corpuz said, sneaking. Which means these 4 submarines may not be there yet. Is that not correct English?

• Sam Marcelo: William Matiling these Submarines can sneak any where, any place, any time.

• Max Edralin: William Matiling Corpus is clear. Good English. He sounds logical.

William Matiling: Sam Marcelo no problem with that. That is what Vic corpuz was saying.

• Alexander Cabales: Sam Marcelo what Gen corpus is saying is the posibility of these submarines sneaking through our waters and the damage it can do to China. He is not saying that the these are already there. Hence, he is not appealing to ignorance.

• Victor Corpus: I was describing a possible worst case scenario of a US nuclear first strike using Ohio Class submarine coming from Subic Bay. This type of nuclear submarines can approach China’s east coast surreptitiously using the Manila Trench near Subic and Scarborough Shoal that is the only deep portion in the South China Sea. Each Ohio Class is armed with 154 Tomahawk Cruise missile with a range of 2,500 kilometers; with each missile carrying a 200-kiloton warhead which is more than ten times stronger than that used in Nagasaki and Hiroshima (15 kilotons). Allowing said submarines to approach near the eastern coast of China, the latter will have no more time to defend against a simultaneous barrage of said missile “first strike”. And the Chinese nation and civilization will be driven to extinction in a matter of MINUTES! Majority of the China’s 1.4 billion population and most of its basic manufacturing and industries lie along this east coast that are vulnerable to such a “first strike”! Hence, China’s presence in the Scarborough Shoal is vital to its survival.

• Victor Corpus: On the other hand, China’s artificial islands in the Spratlys, three of which have 3-km long runways, can accommodate more bombers and combat aircrafts (J-20s, 23s,25s,31s), air defense (HQ9s/19s, S-300s/400s) and anti-ship ballistic missiles (DF-17s,21Ds,26s) than what all the aircraft carrier strike groups of the US and allies combined can muster. DF 26s stationed in the Spratlys, for instance, can strike aircraft carrier strike groups conducting distant naval blockades near the east coast of Africa. J-20s in the Spratlys can also do the same job. And so does China’s nuclear attack submarines. At the moment, China is the only country in the world with ballistic missiles that can sink moving targets at sea, such as aircraft carriers or their cruisers and destroyers escort.

Victor Corpus: For more than a dozen years now, the US and Australia have been conducting biennial naval exercises to rehearse how they can effectively conduct a naval blockade of the Malacca Strait and other nearby straits where China’s sea trade and oil supply pass through. Lately, such exercises were joined in by Japan and New Zealand. The US still sticks to the Mahan naval doctrine wherein control of the oceans is done by controlling the choke points. With those artificial islands in the Spratlys, China had check-mated the Mahan Doctrine.

• Sam Marcelo: Victor Corpus choke points are only a minuscule part of Mahan “Sea Control.” It is more on the “open sea, force on force, decisive naval battle” that underscore the theory on the operational level of war. Control of choke points is a tactical level of war. On the strategic level of war, Mahan base sea control on the attributes of the sea, which maritime nations do too. Attributes of the sea: 1. The sea as a resource 2. The sea as of means of transportation 3. The sea as a means of communication 4. The sea as a means for DOMINION Control of the sea is a must in supporting land campaigns. Offensive counter-air and defensive counter-air are also part of sea control. China is a continental power more than a maritime power.

• Sam Marcelo: Also, sea control is our ability to ensure our freedom of action in times of conflict and denying the adversary theirs.

• Victor Corpus: Sam Marcelo Because of the advent of the revolution in military affairs, such as long-range, stealthy, precision-guided cruise and ballistic missiles based on land, land power can now control sea power. It so happened that China is now the only country that has developed ballistic missiles that can hit moving targets at sea like aircraft carriers and other major surface combatants. The time is near when major surface warships will be rendered obsolete. Future sea battles will be done by submarines, specially the unmanned variety.

• Sam Marcelo: Victor Corpus land arsenal cannot detect and destroy subsurface (SSBN and SSN) which the US has competitive advantage in terms of capability and capacity, not to mention quantity. Let’s not forget the US has 11 + 3 aircraft carrier strike force more than its adversaries combined. The US has nuclear powered aircraft craft carriers and all nuclear powered submarines that don’t require refueling for 25 years. Operationally China is a novice when it comes to Naval environment and decisive sea battle. It doesn’t have any naval engagement in recent memory.

• Sam Marcelo: As a current student at Naval War College Fleet Seminar Program, we take the long view to address current and future threats both transnational and state-actors, and balance the immediate focus on the war on terrorism with the long term need of US Naval Strike, “shield with space component”(targeting employing space capability (classified)), sea basing, etc to counter the growing fleet of emerging powers.

• Victor Corpus: Sam Marcelo But with the advent of quantum and laser satellites and quantum radars, SSBNs and SSNs will not be able to hide for long. And it seems that China is way ahead of the US in this regard.

• Sam Marcelo: Victor Corpus China is 25 years behind across the board to be able to engage in any significant warfare tactically, operationally and strategically. It doesn’t have the capacity to support future high tech warfare that’s why they steal technology from us. Mano a mano with the US, China won’t be able to support a long attrition war like the US do, and so this explain why they encroach Philippine territories in WPS because of their lack of resources. It had to send its fishing fleet all the the way to the sea of Argentina and elsewhere. China will lose the war with US. It’s troops according to a recent Intel report are not so keen in going to war being a generation of “one-child Policy.” They are not mentally and physically suited for war. Furthermore the report said, the Chinese conscripts are more into video game and masturbating. No kidding.

• Victor Corpus: Sam Marcelo True, US outnumber China in aircraft carrier strike groups 11 + 3 vs 1 + 2. But China has more than enough DF-17s, 21Ds, and 26s to deliver barrage ballistic missiles attacks on anyone or all of them combined; to include that of US allies if the sea battle occurs in the South China Sea and its environs. And this will include land targets as well; such as air bases harboring stealth fighters and bombers from Japan all the way to Guam. All this can be done within the first 15-30 minutes of outbreak of hostilities. Without air bases, those advanced stealth combat aircraft are rendered useless. Loss of air cover means the loss of the war itself.

• Sam Marcelo: DF-17, etc aren’t proven yet. Before the DF-17 even launch, the bases where they are launched would have already been destroyed using our hosts of ASuW. And as far as land air bases are concerned, we don’t leverage as much when it comes to operational warfare because we have our carrier strike group to launch our strategic bombers and Joint Strike Fighters. Also, China lacks the capability in effective ISR and NIFC-CA that preempts enemy strike. We can jam the guidance system of any weapon directed to our Strike Force.

• Victor Corpus: Sam Marcelo You wouldn’t like the DF17 with its hypersonic warhead tested on a US carrier – would you? And such mobile missiles are based anywhere inside more than 5,000 kilometers of strategic tunnels that is impossible to pinpoint and target.

To be continued….

*The opinion of this author is his/hers alone. It is not necessarily the views of Beyond Deadlines.

BD Admin: You think your friends gonna like this piece? If you do, kindly share it. Thanks.
Victor Corpus, M.P.A.
A graduate of Philippine Military Academy Cl’67; MPA ’90 from Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; Brig. Gen. Victor N. Corpus, (AFP, retired) spent five years with the New People’s Army (1971-76); detained for 10 years under Martial Law and sentenced to death by musketry; and became Chief, Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Can be reached at: viccor2003@yahoo.com

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