Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 02, 2021

Why China Needs More Nukes

China is adding more intercontinental nuclear missiles (ICBM) to the meager 200+ nuclear weapons it currently deploys:

China has begun construction of what independent experts say are more than 100 new silos for intercontinental ballistic missiles in a desert near the northwestern city of Yumen, a building spree that could signal a major expansion of Beijing’s nuclear capabilities.
The acquisition of more than 100 new missile silos, if completed, would represent a historic shift for China, a country that is believed to possess a relatively modest stockpile of 250 to 350 nuclear weapons. The actual number of new missiles intended for those silos is unknown but could be much smaller. China has deployed decoy silos in the past.


The minimum distance between the silos in the picture is about two 2 miles.

In the 1970s the U.S. developed an idea called the ICBM shell game and made a helpful video to explain that concept. To protect missiles from a decapitating first strike a lot of the silos would be kept empty and a few missiles would be shuffled between them. To attack that new 119 holes missile field in China the U.S. would have to fire at least 119 nuclear war heads at them to be sure that no missile is left to fire back at it. If China would add some missile defense to the field the U.S. would have to fire about three times as many war heads to be sure that every silo gets destroyed. All this for probably just a handful of weapons. That number game adds up to soon become very expensive.

[Jeffrey Lewis, an expert on China’s nuclear arsenal and part of a team that analyzed the suspicious sites,] said the silos are probably intended for a Chinese ICBM known as the DF-41, which can carry multiple warheads and reach targets as far away as 9,300 miles, potentially putting the U.S. mainland within its reach. Major excavation work on the sites began early this year, although preparations were probably underway for months, Lewis said.

The editors of the Chinese Global Times take issue with the Lewis' statement on the DF-41 and show that they do not know the technical side of the strategic nuclear weapon field. It's editor in chief Hu Xijin writes:

It's unknown if the construction sites mentioned by the Washington Post are really silos for intercontinental ballistic missiles. But I must say that Lewis is an amateur. In reality, DF-41 is solid-fueled road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile and one of its biggest advantages is its mobility and vitality. There is no point to put it inside a silo. Lewis may not understand the basic features of DF-41 before shooting off his mouth at the media.

That is so wrong that it hurts.

For one Dr. Jeffrey Lewis is THE Arms Control Wonk and director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies, part of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. He has likely forgotten more about missiles than Hu Xijin will ever know.

The difference between solid fueled and liquid fueled missiles is the reaction time. The U.S. has some 450 silo based ICBMs. Those missiles were named 'Minuteman' because they are solid fueled and can therefore be fired at a minutes notice. Liquid fueled missiles take time to prepare as the fuel is filled up only shortly before a launch. They are quite dangerous for their crews as the liquid fuels tend to be quite corrosive and explosive. That does not matter much for space operations but is very inconvenient for any military application.

A second strike force must be ready to launch the moment an incoming hostile first strike is detected. There might otherwise be no one left to launch it.

Lewis sees sound reasons for China to expand its arsenal:

“We believe China is expanding its nuclear forces in part to maintain a deterrent that can survive a U.S. first strike in sufficient numbers to defeat U.S. missile defenses.”

A Global Times editorial agrees with that reasoning:

The US wants China to stick to the line based around minimal deterrence. It's true that China has said it keeps its nuclear capabilities at the minimum level required for national security. But the minimum level would change as China's security situation changes. China has been defined as the top strategic competitor by the US and the US military pressure on China has continued to increase. Therefore, China must quicken the increase of its nuclear deterrence to curb the US strategic impulse. We must build credible nuclear second-strike capability, which needs to be guaranteed by enough nuclear warheads.

It then adds a remark that points to potential real life scenario:

China's security situation is changing rapidly. The US has the strategic ambition to subdue China. Once a military confrontation between China and the US over the Taiwan question breaks out, if China has enough nuclear capacity to deter the US, that will serve as the foundation of China's national will. We are facing different environments and risks from the past. The calculation methods for the minimum level must also be different. Regardless of what the US says, China must be sober and firm about what it should do.

If the U.S. sends ships to prevent China from reintegrating Taiwan it might try to stop China from attacking them by threatening a nuclear attack. If China has a credible second strike capability that U.S. threat would be empty. No U.S. president will risk New York over Taipei City.

The construction of the new missile silo field was launched only at the beginning of this year and has been continued at a fast pace. China seems to feel that there is no time to lose before the U.S. takes the next steps to push for Taiwan's independence. That would immediately become a military problem. The new missile field may help to alter U.S. plans.

Posted by b on July 2, 2021 at 17:55 UTC | Permalink

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The logic of the Chinese actions is inescapable given the US/NATO attitude but it is an unfortunate development all the same. The doomsday clock advances a few more seconds towards midnight and nuclear war seems ever more likely to be the most probable answer to the Fermi paradox.

Obviously it is the US and NATO which need reining in but how that is to be accomplished is anyone's guess. The western world is being led by people who are functionally insane, that is not hyperbole. There are any number of things that we 'could' 'should' 'might' or 'must' do about the situation but a lack of sane and workable solutions is not the problem. The problem is the vast concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a very few mostly unelected people who would (and probably will) see the world go up in flames rather than relinquish their largely unearned and unwarranted power.

Posted by: MarkU | Jul 2 2021 18:22 utc | 1

thanks b... another example of insanity having undue influence over decisions being made.. "No U.S. president will risk New York over Taipei City." one would think, but the crazies running usa foreign policy seem to have undue persuasion with usa presidents, as witnessed the past number of years usa behaviour... maybe they want to go down in a blaze of glory? what do the end of worlders, or born agains think??

Posted by: james | Jul 2 2021 18:24 utc | 2

Going by the Rand Corp piece from some years ago, plus other odd bits and pieces over the years, US strategy looks to be based on the thought that China will capitulate when the stakes become nuclear.
Limited conventional war to blockade China at which point China capitulates. It is going to be an exceptionally bloody war if US goes down that road.
They will experience what Modi's "brave jawan" experienced in the Galwin valley.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 2 2021 18:43 utc | 3

james | Jul 2 2021 18:24 utc | 2

"the crazies running the usa"

They won't be in New York. One of the favourite places for "Home from Home" Bunkers is in the midddle of Nature Parks. In Chile, Patagonia or wherever. (Probably Africa too.). Even Bush has a "ranch" in Patagonia.

These are favoured, as by using the WWF (Nature - not Schwab's version), they can disposses the original inhabitants to "save the animals or plants" enabling large areas to become their personal uninhabited property.

I have already tried to look up those bluish square "tents" seen on Twitter, on Google earth, No Luck. I presume there are different versions depending on some arcane algo. I also have difficulty seeing the islands mentioned as nominally under Chinese control in the South China Sea, and the archipeligo north of the Chagos Islands has been "blued out".

Posted by: Stonebird | Jul 2 2021 18:45 utc | 4

Re; 4
Chagos Islands

Should have been Diego Garcia.... sorry

Posted by: Stonebird | Jul 2 2021 18:46 utc | 5

If the price of reunification with Taiwan is the restoration of capitalism to unify the Taiwan bourgeoisie with the locally grown one, then China would be better off conceding Taiwan. Think of it as Brest-Litovsk, though the comparison should show you the difference between Dengists and Marxists.

Accommodation and collaboration with imperialism doesn't go together with peaceful coexistence either, despite mutual assured destruction. The ruling class of a country can sacrifice New Yorkers by the millions, if they have underground palaces and delude themselves about survival. This is even truer if they fear losing everything they own. The workers own nothing, so they don't count. The Soviet Union went amazingly far towards countering the strategic threat from imperialism. But to do so, they tended to neglect the foundations of their workers' state in the real economy. Struggle is not guns alone. The belief that China can outgun the enemy seems to be very much a Xi thing so far, which reflects poorly upon his leadership.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Jul 2 2021 18:50 utc | 6

ref from link: . . . In addition, the Chinese navy has introduced new nuclear-weapons-capable submarines to its growing fleet.

The (arguably) strongest component of the US nuclear triad is the SSBN Ballistic Missile Submarine. The US has 14 aging Ohio-class subs, currently plagued with maintenance problems. Each one carries 24 ballistic missiles. The plan is to replace the Ohios with new Columbia-class subs, but too-often system development problems (think F-35 fighter, Zumwalt destroyer, etc) are dogging the program. Recent GAO report: Design Delays on Columbia sub program Leading to construction delays and cost Increases, at a time with Pentagon budget problems . . "The Government Accountability Office released a new report that warns Columbia-class ballistic-missile submarine cost and schedule plans are at risk due to problems with a new digital design tool and cascading effects stemming from the design challenges." . . .here

Meanwhile China with four SSBNs, Jin-class, 12 SLBMs each, is playing catch-up. Two more Jins are now being outfitted.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 2 2021 19:03 utc | 7

The US leadership showed the world what they think of mass casuties in their handling of Katrina. Losing New Orleans was more than worth it to maintain their Megadeath war bona fides. Same reason Reagan and Pompeo waxed nostalgic over Christian fundamentalist Rapture fantasies and delusions -- credibility is their biggest obstacle. Making Moscow or Beijing or whoever think you are insane enough to launch all out nuke war. Don't be fooled that those reptiles have a religious atom or molecule within them.

Posted by: Know Gkooks | Jul 2 2021 19:21 utc | 8

"That is so wrong that it hurts." regarding Global Times editor saying it would be foolish to put DF¬41 in silos because they are solid fuel and road mobile so why stick them in a static silo.
This makes sense to me.

Everything I read about the missile confirms it is solid fuel and road/rail mobile.

Can someone tell me where the GT editor errs?

Posted by: Guy Thornton | Jul 2 2021 19:33 utc | 9

@8 Know Gkooks
You forgot to mention 9/11
Once one realises the obvious, that it was perpetrated by insiders, one sees the geopolitical world with much more clarity

Posted by: Ike | Jul 2 2021 19:52 utc | 10

@ GT 9
The editor erred because the missile doesn't care where it is. It's true that being in a static silo is less fun than traveling in a mobile carrier, but missiles don't care.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 2 2021 19:53 utc | 11

Just finished reading the Global Times editorial, which has this paragraph b omits:

"It's unknown whether the Washington Post report corresponds to the real situation. But generally speaking, silos are normally used for liquid-fuel intercontinental missiles. Such missiles are high-thrust and long-range, and could carry higher-yield nuclear warheads. Silos provide good conditions for the storage and maintenance of missiles and are able to shorten launch time under emergency situations. However, Lewis assumed that the 'silos' in Gansu are intended for DF-41 intercontinental ballistic missiles. In reality, DF-41 is solid-fueled and is loaded on high-mobility launcher vehicles. The necessity of putting it inside a silo is questionable. Therefore, the latest accusations by Washington Post and the US State Department over China cannot hold water."

Also, China has a closer adversary playing its own game of chicken it must address:

"By planting Australian consultants in Papua New Guinea to manipulate local epidemic prevention policies targeting China, obstructing the authorizing of Chinese vaccines' emergency use, threatening senior officials from welcoming Chinese vaccines, Australia has been found sabotaging and disturbing Pacific Island nations' cooperation with China on vaccines and anti-virus measures, with experts criticizing Australia's actions as hurting people's interest in the Pacific Island countries out of a pure Cold War mentality."

Essentially, this interference results in a manner of germ warfare against the people of PNG, but is typical of Australian racists and their genocidal mentality. In many ways, Australia will escalate its role as the Asian Israel--a subversive Anglo base from which to attack the Eurasian Bloc.

As revealed in the Putin/Xi conference and Joint Statement, China and Russia are integrating their overall strategic defense posture. One unmentioned use for the new silos would be the placement of ABMs MIRVed with hypersonic interceptors capable of defeating a multi-salvo attack that goes beyond the abilities of the almost ready S-500 system that would provide coverage for all of Eurasia. IMO, such a development goes with the strategy of bolstering your strengths instead of trying to match those of your opponent. And such an idea would fit perfectly within CPC rationale of serving and protecting the people as one doesn't need a massive deterrent force if capable of swatting the vast majority of your opponents warheads out of the sky, particularly those small 700KT Trident II warheads employed on NATO's SLBMs.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 2 2021 19:56 utc | 12

"Dr. Jeffrey Lewis is THE Arms Control Wonk"
So what? He was wrong about the Syrian reactor aka the Box on the Euphrates.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jul 2 2021 20:05 utc | 13

The only belief that needs to be changed is the one where ameriKKKa believes they can win a nuclear war. It doesn't matter how many nukes China has.

Posted by: ggersh | Jul 2 2021 20:07 utc | 14


We will be fucking up a number of those small island nations before this is done. In poor countries, a certain amount of corruption can always be found ad that is a good spot to drive in a wedge.
The other aspect is more along the lines of gangster protection racket. Those tiny nations will require protection by the likes of Russia and China if they don't want to pay the cost of the anglo racket.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 2 2021 20:08 utc | 15

The relative cost of a missile with warhead must be compared to the cost of a launch site tube and enough crew to make it look active, look like a real target.

I suspect the tradeoff would make it worthwhile to just fill all the tubes with missiles.

The only drawback would be treaty limits on warhead numbers, and China has no such treaty limits.

Posted by: Mark Thomason | Jul 2 2021 20:11 utc | 16

China will not "concede" Taiwan because US military planners speak often of a "first island chain" - which includes Taiwan - from which naval assets and missile systems directed at China are to be deployed. Just as Soviet missiles in Cuba were seen as a dangerous security threat to the Americans in the early 1960s, so are the prospect of American missiles in Taiwan to the Chinese.

After the DPP secured the latest election from which to continue independence talk and seeking security links with USA and regional allies, the Americans are now focussed on swinging the Philippines back into the fold. The sudden interest of the ICC in Duterte should be understood in that context. Peter Lee has been prescient on these issues.

Posted by: jayc | Jul 2 2021 20:19 utc | 17

@Posted by: Stonebird | Jul 2 2021 18:45 utc | 4

I'm quite certain the coordinates of those bunkers in Patagonia and New Zealand have been programmed into the bunker busting missiles of their enemies. Putin has more or less suggested as much on a few occasions. Given these people are insane, I imagine that they may in fact be insane enough to think that they can pull the plug on the world and that no one will go after them for doing so (even as it is quite public knowledge the oligarchs have been buying up those southern hemisphere locations as end of the world hideouts).

So yes, if they're crazy enough to let things go nuclear, they're not going to be able to hide on Earth...hence the urgency to get to Mars?

Posted by: Mataman | Jul 2 2021 20:37 utc | 18

I had an email exchange once with the late Freeman Dyson where I inquired whether he was aware of it that the Iranians really chose not to develop nukes, and that they should be respected for that. To my surprise he agreed and added that the Chinese had shown similar wisdom. I had no idea really but since learned of their policy of its 'minimal level' of deterrence and categorical 'no first strike' policy. If they attempt to stick to that, and also if they find it hard to collect the fissile material, then there will be many silos for few missiles.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Jul 2 2021 20:56 utc | 19

Taiwan needs its own nukes, there's no other way around. I really hope, they already have enough them and enough missile range to reach the 3-gorges-dam. That'll keep the CCP at bay- but only that.

Posted by: A Helberg | Jul 2 2021 20:57 utc | 20

karlof1 | Jul 2 2021 19:56 utc | 12

I think the "missile" silos might have more to do with the Shenzhou launch site in northwestern Gansu province than with ICBM's. Yumen is also in Gansu province. CThe push for the moon or close defense against ICBM's from the US?

I have no idea exactly why, but the area looks like it is massively developing solar, wind turbines etc. and includes what look like multiple power stations on canals just south south west of Yumen. (from google)


It was an Australian held "Territory" before independence and it was also the stumbling block for the Japanese when they were still advancing South during WWII. Australia's backyard.

I don't know if the GT article is being entirely honest by using "medical" reasons to claim Australian ingerance. The Islands have many novel diseases, some of which are still being discovered. 8'000 shots of Anti-covid" injections might not even cover the politicians and some of their families in Moresby. It is not going to do anything for the rest of the country.

It is known that China wants to build up influence in the islands (Daru). and the US is investing in improving bases in the area as well (Manus).


Small note; Rabaul hospital regularly cuts off legs for "tropical ulcers". Basically an infection similar to gangrene than forms underneath the skin and spreads painlessly. I have an Aussie friend who had one operated when she went back down south. She was lucky not to lose the leg. Worms and other small time problems make "Covid" look benign. The majority would not have the cash to pay for injections anyway.

PS. Speaking of worms, (very common). I wonder if they have Invermectin?

Posted by: Stonebird | Jul 2 2021 21:10 utc | 21

A Helberg @20

That's funny! If Taiwan even thinks about getting nukes then mamma will spank those spoiled brats.

Taiwan cannot keep any secrets from the mainland. Industry, the military, and government are filled with people aligned with the mainland and so the CPC would know about anything like a Taiwanese program to acquire nukes even before many of those in that programs knew about it. Such an effort could never succeed.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 2 2021 21:19 utc | 22

Stonebird 21 I read that’s why covid never took off in Africa because ivermectin is used by many people there already for parasites.

Interestingly Zimbabwe has gone full retard using ivermectin with good results.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 2 2021 21:28 utc | 23

Peter AU 1 @15--

I see PNG is not an ASEAN member, and Aussie actions will propel it to join and thus end its tyranny. It appears even Kiwis are during their back on Aussies but still have a long road to travel before becoming 100% independent.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 2 2021 21:35 utc | 24

First, about placing road mobile nukes in silo - yes, it is pointless. Road mobile ones are build with tight constraints regarding their weight and dimensions - so they can be mobile. They are not optimal solution design, they have tradebacks (usually warhead/range). Putting them in silo is big waste. Advantage of road mobile ones is that enemy can't know where they are, which is far better than silo ones.

That is why Russians/Soviets have/had small mobile ones like (45 tonnes) and big silo fuckers like (210 tonnes). Notice difference in weight which equals in warhead potency and similarly in range.

Second: China's leadership is full of smart people. They gamed this scenario where they become US's mortal enemy decades ago. I can't believe they are surprised and rushed now to build all these silos and new nukes as they are caught with their pants down. So, there is far more to this story than we know - (most importantly, I believe they are de facto under the Russia's defense and retaliation umbrella).

Posted by: Abe | Jul 2 2021 21:44 utc | 25

More weapons or more precise
The first atomic bombs produced during the Second World War, Little Boy and Fat Man, weigh more than four tons and have a power equal to the explosion of 15,000 tons (15kt) of TNT.

In 1955, the United States began mass production of the Mk-21 bomb with a power of 4 Mt, (≈250 times more powerful) whose dimensions (3.81 m long and 1.42 m in diameter) and weight (6.8 tonnes), compatible with the carrying capabilities of their strategic bombers.

But also in 1952, the United States introduced the W9 atomic shell. With a mass of 364 kg, its power of 15 kt is equivalent to that of the Hiroshima bomb. This shell is fired by the 280 mm M65 atomic cannon.

For 70 years, there have been two axes of development.

On the one hand, the destructive power aimed at an entire city the size of Moscow or New-York. The biggest one tested was Tsar Bomba from SSSR, 50 Mt (3000 Hiroshima !)

On the other hand, a limited power but usable by a simple self-propelled machine. A technology already perfectly mastered for 50 years even by France

And all this was before the tremendous development of rockets. And now precision missiles.Iran’s response to Soleimani’s assassination has shown that a few hundred kilos of TNT, well placed, could calm the most belligerent fervor.If the explosive of these 8 missiles (or even of one) had been nuclear of the “tactical” type, the power would be multiplied by a factor of 10 000!

It is the industrial and scientific capacity of countries such as Iran that is of concern. A precision missile delivering a 5 kt explosive at a military target is no longer a weapon of indiscriminate civilian destruction. And, it’s a deterrent. E. Magnier wrote that Iran is already in capacity.

The only reason why Iran is not producing a nuclear bomb is the prohibition fatwa (a binding religious Islamic opinion pronounced by the highest theological level of Muslim cleric) of the guardian of the jurist (Wali al-Fakih) Sayyed Ali Khamenei. However, a fatwa is not permanent and is in fact somewhat flexible according to the magnitude of the risks facing Iran’s national security or existence.

The question silos is thus totally archaic and ridiculous.

Posted by: الجزائر | Jul 2 2021 21:49 utc | 26

The 200ish number for Chinese nuclear weapons is low. It was a number arrived at in the early 80's and might have been true then of nuclear delivery vehicles, not nuclear warheads.

The majority of Chinese nuclear delivery vehicles have 6-12 nuclear warheads each (MIRV)....whether submarine, silo or mobile. In effect, if the weapons are destroyed on the ground, 200-300 might be a reasonable number. Once launched the number of warheads heading to the USA would be 1000-1500.

That is just going by the confirmed number dating back to the 80's. My guess, and the guess of military analysts is that China has considerably more launch vehicles. Why would they advertise the true amount?

That said, they do need more if things go nuclear with the USA. They are still vulnerable to a decapitation strike.

Posted by: Haassaan | Jul 2 2021 21:50 utc | 27

Stonebird 21

I believe the tropical ulcers are caused by a bug that is treatable.

From science direct..
"The lesions develop as small painful or itchy nodules on the feet or lower legs. The lesions break down suddenly to reveal an extensive area of deep but regular necrosis affecting the dermis and subcutis.

In chronic lesions, complications such as osteomyelitis and squamous carcinomas, and secondary infection such as tetanus, may occur.

A characteristic feature of tropical ulcers is the presence of large numbers of bacteria including pleomorphic Gram-negative organisms as well as spiral bacteria. One bacterium consistently associated with early lesions is the anaerobe Fusobacterium ulcerans, which has also been isolated from microaerophilic sites in the environment such as mud or stagnant water."

Amputations may result from the initial infection not being treated early?

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 2 2021 21:56 utc | 28

Posted by: Guy Thornton | Jul 2 2021 19:33 utc | 9

The editor said road-mobile solid fuel. b went all straw-man on fuel type and entirely ignored the fact that it is road-mobile. As to why, obviously b is trying to put distance between his blog and GT quoting it earlier. That was a bad look.

Posted by: ephemeral comment | Jul 2 2021 22:35 utc | 29

I don't envy China's position vis-a-vis American Hegemony.

It is indeed a tight rope to walk to simultaneously indulge Uncle Sambo's demand for cheap consumer goods and secondary commodities while exploring the possibilities of fully restoring its nation's sovereignty thereby spreading its wings more fully.

It knows it does not have to play second fiddle to the U.S. and so it is biding its time, indulging its aversary meanwhile continuing to enrich itself by outcompeting foreign labor markets.

But this is indeed a dangerous game. You can not have your cake and eat it, too. You must make decisions before windows come slamming closed on your fingers.

China needs to remove itself as a supplier of American goods right now. It must put up or shut up.

I understand that neither Putin nor Xi, especially, are required to think about the plight of the U.S. worker wrt to its own elite that has sold its future down the road to run administration of multinational corporations which feast off cheap labor. However, as I said above, China is playing a dangerous game where America will behave erratically if social discord erupts, exposing the rot of its elite for all to see and therey forcing their hand, to play a terrible card of global war to remain in power - or, at the very least, to settle oldscores with an enemy like Xi's China who it feels isn't grateful enough for what the U.S. did to help lift China up.


Putin, Xi, and Uncle Sambo: the alliance of the two in the east is not as cut and dry as many here who seem to think and that they have each other's backs. Afterall, Putin and Russia are not the ones undercutting American labor and relegating our consumption to the addiction-status of a junkie the way that China's Xi has.

So I reiterate: put your money where your mouth is, Xi, and stop dealing with the U.S.! Lest you kick the can down the road and invite a response even more terrible than would happen if you simply cut and run and faced reality.

God help us in the U.S. to do our part to disempower our psychotic elite.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jul 2 2021 22:37 utc | 30

@ 4 stonebird... i do recall reading a fascinating article on patagonia being taken over by some of the israel / jewish folks.. i think it was on whitney webbs site.. turns out it was on mint press.. it is from 2 years ago... diego garcia is on the chago islands.. i didn't know that until i looked it up.. @ 18 mataman might be right..
The Dark Secret Behind a British Billionaire’s “Parallel State” In Argentina’s Patagonia

@ 23 anonymous... the graphs at worldometers for zimbabwe say different, if some of what you say is true... ot at any rate..

Posted by: james | Jul 2 2021 23:29 utc | 31

Ghost Ship @ 13

Yes. Middlebury is basically a club. Nice golf courses around Monterrey. No serious faculty or students.

Posted by: oldhippie | Jul 2 2021 23:34 utc | 32

NemisisCalling @30--

Thanks to the policy of the Outlaw US Empire since 1971, China now finds itself in a geoeconomically superior position to the Outlaw US Empire, which in plain language means the Empire finds itself dependent on China, not the other way round, and that's why China's so close to geopolitical parity. Russia has a similar position relative to Europe in that the latter's geoeconomically dependent on Russia, not the other way round as it was during the Cold War. I do suggest you read the Joint Statement discussed and signed by Putin and Xi during their video Summit last week where you'll find that in most every respect the two nations are operating as a symbiotic whole entity that make them the strongest force on the planet. And that's THE PROBLEM for the Outlaw US Empire, particularly since it refuses to acknowledge that outcome is the direct result of its policy--It's extremely difficult to solve a situation you don't understand and don't attempt that discovery.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 2 2021 23:37 utc | 33

If someone decided to run a book on the possibility of a China-US nuclear exchange in the next 20 years, what odds do those present propose? I'll give, arbitrarily to begin with, 10-1.

Posted by: Patroklos | Jul 2 2021 23:42 utc | 34

@30 NemesisCalling

It would need m to spout more BS than you did. Your accusations against China " undercutting American labor and relegating our consumption to the addiction-status of a junkie the way that China's Xi has" is ridiculous. Long before China became a major exporter to the US, American corporations had started outsourcing to Southeast Asia, India, Mexico, and other countries. It is just that China, which already had spanked US butts in Korea in the 1950s, could not that easily be subjugated, her internal economy not disrupted as in many Asian, Latin American, and African countries. Also the partial subjugation of Russia in the Yeltsin area ended in 1999 (if not already 1997/8 with Primakov).

All that was hardly Xi Jinping's, and also not China's fault. Granted, it was Deng Xiaoping's merit to develop a humble attitude in an era when the US-China-USSR triangle of powers still existed, and maintained it when weathering the crisis of state and society in 1989 leading to the Liusi incidents.

When the US do not want to buy and produce in China, leave. Exports to the US are just a fraction of all Chinese exports (around 10% iirc), it would not hurt China's GDP so much if they were gone, maybe 1% less growth for a short period. You would fret over empty Walmart shelves.

It is typical nationalist/fascist attitude you are exposing. Not China "stole jobs". In fact there were, and now ever more are, countries with ways lower wages, and much laxer labour laws (though US corporations bitterly whined over the 2006 labour code reforms empowering workers). US corporations just were happy to get the opportunity of a well built infrastructure, an educated workforce, and stable internal conditions. That was why they invested in the PRC, and not in Mali or Somalia.

And the relationship between Russia and China is close and getting closer. It is existential for both shielding against regime change, separatism, and terrorism by the US. Would the US succeed to overwhelm one of the two, it would be a critical blow to the other. The economic advantages of a close Eurasian cooperation not yet mentioned. And I am quite sure, and the protocols of the most recent Sino-Russian meetings confirm, that Russia would not tolerate a nuclear threat, much less attack, of the US against China.

Maybe your rulers are insane enough to destroy all mankind in a nuclear war, I don't rule that out. Insane drivel like yours does not make one feel confident.

Posted by: aquadraht | Jul 2 2021 23:59 utc | 35

If is more than probable that the silos are all dummy and that only dummy missiles will inhabit them. Putting real silos out in the desert in ordered lines to be seen and photographed from satellites is of less use than individually scattering them in camouflaged positions.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Jul 3 2021 0:06 utc | 36

My prediction:

Chances of Amerikastan instigating the Taiwan rump regime to declare independence: approximately 75%.

Chances of the Taiwan rump regime declaring independence on its own, before Amerikastan gets too weak to save its skin: approximately 95%.

Chances of China invading Taiwan in either of the above cases: 100%.

Chances of Amerikastan risking conventional non nuclear war with China over Taiwan: 5%.

Chances of Amerikastan risking nuclear war with China over Taiwan: 0%.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Jul 3 2021 0:11 utc | 37

@ Abe | Jul 2 2021 21:44 utc | 25 who wrote
So, there is far more to this story than we know - (most importantly, I believe they are de facto under the Russia's defense and retaliation umbrella).

As I was reading the story and comments, the Russia defense umbrella point was one that needs to be made and you did, thanks.

The other point that needs to be made, IMO, is that China developed gunpowder but didn't conceive of using it to kill people like in the West. I expect China's nuclear capabilities surpass those of the West by now and it only makes sense to improve their own defensive capabilities given the aggression of the West.

I expect China will have planned to store grain or raw materials in the unused silos and will make the transfers look like ICBMs

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 3 2021 0:12 utc | 38

@35 aqua

Nah. Historically, I have never liked reading your posts or replying to your replies.

You are kidding yourself if you honestly think that China could have done it without riding Uncle Sambo's coattail.

China represents that sweetspot of cheapness and adept manufacturing-prowess that where once Americans scoffed at their ability to produce consumer goods, now they are producing them within parity.

Mexico is good at auto parts, that's about it. India is textiles. Thailand was big with Pier 1 crowd. Lol.

No. China had to start eating our lunch. And what's worse is we let them. Strategically. It just so happens that the elite underestimated China's desire to become fully nationalist and restored.

That is where we are now. Try to keep up.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jul 3 2021 0:18 utc | 39

Biswapriya Purkayast@37 has mutually exclusive probabilities summing to 180%...and the probability of a continuation of the status quo isn't included at all. Sorry, but the probabilities have to add to 100%.

I suppose the idea for Taiwan is better to have them inside the tent pissing (that is, to re-unify.) But the truth is that, like the Hong Kong capitalists, the Taiwan capitalists will still be pissing into the tent.

The idea that the South China sea islands are a hill worth dying on needs some real thinking through. China may be playing geopolitics but that's a game everybody loses. It's worse than tic tac toe.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Jul 3 2021 0:42 utc | 40

Ah, accusations of trolling, the surest symptom of losing an argument on the internet!

The most likely occasion of war in Asia would be when the south/US invades, er, "rescues" the DPRK. China's problem there is that it's been on the imperialist side for decades now. Understandably it has no friends in the DPRK, not even much respect I'd guess and has been neglecting the northeast of its own country while it favors the neocolonial concessions aka SEZs/SARs. China is in such a poor position as imperialist stooge anything could happen.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Jul 3 2021 0:46 utc | 41

The other point that needs to be made, IMO, is that China developed gunpowder but didn't conceive of using it to kill people like in the West.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 3 2021 0:12 utc | 38

Wiki: "As inventors of gunpowder, the Chinese were the first to deploy gunpowder weapons. A large variety of gunpowder weapons were produced, including guns, cannons, mines, the flamethrower, bombs, and rockets. After the rise of the Ming Dynasty, China began to lose its lead in gunpowder weapons to the west." Illustration: hand-held cannon from 13-th century.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jul 3 2021 0:55 utc | 42

@ Piotr Berman | Jul 3 2021 0:55 utc | 43 with the call on my history of China and gunpowder...thanks

I am trying to dredge up where that understanding came from and since the wiki says they were the first to deploy but not invent gunpowder weapons there may still be room for my understanding.

I think my point of China not being an aggressive culture still stands but not entirely supported by gunpowder history....I am not going to take the time to try and prove myself right to some degree or another.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 3 2021 1:14 utc | 43

I put this comment in the wrong thread before so repost it here.

Put a silo farm in the middle of nowhere. Have trucks carrying dummy missiles there and a large number of yank missiles will be dialed in for that site.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 3 2021 1:19 utc | 44

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 3 2021 0:12 utc | 38

De facto alliance between Russia and China in MAD is not a secret. Years ago they went with public statement that if one of them is attacked by nuclear weapons, other one will treat it as attack on itself (looking at US primarily, wink wink).

Also, joint work on strategic ABM (anti ballistic missile) shield is in public work for year now if not mistaken. They plan to cover most of Asia with it anyway.

So, in light of that and general Chinas philosophy, I would go on a limb here and say that silo field there might be ABM battery in work. If it is located close to some strategic region, it is even more likely.

Russians got silos like that around Moscow, and they can't be distinguished from ICBM-s, dimensions are same, missiles themselves are huge too.

Posted by: Abe | Jul 3 2021 1:34 utc | 45

liquid vs solid fuel

I don't know which type of missile China plans to put in the silos but a strategy that absolutely requires a 2nd strike to be launched before a first strike reaches you pretty much dooms us to extinction. As missiles get faster and deployed closer to targets, the 2nd strike launch would have to be on hair trigger.

I sure hope that the Chinese are developing an infrastructure to withstand a first strike attack and be still be able to launch a potent 2nd strike. I don't want to see anyone launch a 1st strike because they accidentally thought they were launching a 2nd strike.

If China is using a decoy method as B suggests then they don't necessarily need solid fuel rockets. Just enough long range missiles to force the U.S. to over provision a 1st strike attack. The Russians had (or have) an air defense system to protect their missile silos which was brutal but effective. They detonate smaller yield nukes above the silos to cause ours to miss. Again, it's a doomsday provision. There are no winners.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Jul 3 2021 1:35 utc | 46

It must also be remembered that in the 80s, China was more in our pocket than the U.S.S.R.'s. Would China have launched against the U.S.S.R. in accordance with our treaty?

Perhaps b or another could shed some light.

China is dirty from its dealings with Uncle Sambo. It is something that even Russia has not debased itself with. But the P.R.C. is a whore who happens to be motherly towards its people. IMO, it is far more honorable to be a maternal whore than what Uncle Sambo is: a devourer of its own.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jul 3 2021 1:37 utc | 47

William Gruff 45

Milomilo appeared here on the Aussie ambassador thread a few years ago. The only comment I had put in was a link to some of that corrupt arseholes doings that were in the MSM and it was MSM I linked to. The milo clown come on to call me a troll. I take it he works for either the Australian government or circles around the corrupt ambassador..
Back when downer was foreign minister he authorised the bugging of the East Timor cabinet offices being built as Australian 'aid'. Information from those bugs allowed Downer to grab a oil and gas field for Australia that was in East Timor economic zone. Woodside petroleum acquired the rights to that field, and on leaving office, gained a 'consultant' position with woodside.

This information was all in the MSM which I linked to on this blog. Milomilo felt the need to call me a troll for putting that up.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 3 2021 1:42 utc | 48

@44 donkey

Yes, Donkey. You will hear vk say that dealing with China has always been a boon to the U.S. six ways from Sunday.

Absolute malarkey. You can not spout such nonsense and then in the next sentence point at all the trappings of the Roman Collapse 2.0 going in the states as we speak.

I know some people in here always throw that poster compliments, but he is not a commenter in good-faith.

It can be argued that China's role in the American Empire in the last forty years has been an essential one. Without China's assistance in destroying our local manufacturing, ushering in the paradigm of globalism, where neoliberalism and the neocons grasp hands in an unholy alliance, our elite would not have been able to steer America away from the success of its nationalist stance. It would not have been the militaristic adventurer par excellence of the last forty years had China not done its part. Or...more simply erred enough in its desire to enter the world stage, that it would have been the dim accomplice to Uncle Sambo's ravaging and terrorizing.

It could be argued...

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jul 3 2021 1:48 utc | 49

As a follow bon to that post on the aussie ambassador and his minder, one of the ASIO officers now known as witness k came forward to be a witness for east timor. The australian lawyer employed by by east timor was raided and witness k was grabbed. Then came the gag orders and all went silent on the case. Australia I think settled with East Timor out of court.
A small entry in the news the other day that witness K is on trial for theft of government property. I a while ago now but I think k was involved in actual installing the spy equipment in the building or building materials.

Like Assange, Manning, Snowden, another one bites the dust. Though Snowden was lucky enough to land in Russia and Assange if he hadn't been so naive or tied up in woke human rights should have gone.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 3 2021 1:54 utc | 50

Posted by: steven t johnson | Jul 3 2021 0:46 utc | 42

"Arguing on the internets is like competing in the special olympics, even if you win, you are still retarded."

After reading your post there, that quote came to my mind. It occured to me it could also mean you are a troll, not retarded. People do dumb things to get paid all the time.

However, for the record, I do not think you are a troll, or retarded. It's just your comment made me think of that. But enough of this, we'd better get back to the subject matter at hand.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jul 3 2021 1:59 utc | 51

Abe might be right on that being an ABM site. Perhaps it will be filled with these.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 3 2021 2:00 utc | 52

Liquid-propellant missiles can be stored, ready-to-fire for years, even decades.

There is zero truth in this misconception that is repeated endlessly [and annoyingly] in the know-nothing US media [and among so-called 'experts.'].

One of the latest Russian submarine-launched ballistic missiles, which entered service in 2014, the Layner, is liquid-propellant. It is the latest version of the long-running R29 family, which has been the backbone of the Russian sub-launched leg of its triad.

Needless to say, submarine-launched ICBMs [SLBMs] need to be ready to launch at the push of a button, and must sit stored for many years.

Even long-range air defense missiles, like the Russian S200 use liquid-fuel engines. These too need to go at the press of a button, and sit stored for literally decades.

This is an astonishing case of how badly educated the US public is---and the absolutely ridiculous level of science discourse among so-called 'experts.'

These liquid-propellant engines are much more capable than solid-fuel rockets, with a much higher specific impulse, which is the cardinal performance measure of any rocket engine.

A solid rocket is nothing more than a big firecracker with a hole in the bottom. Once lit, it cannot be throttled or even shut down. Its casing needs to be very heavy, which greatly reduces the payload fraction [the percentage of the overall rocket mass that is actual payload like the warhead or spacecraft]. Combined with the poor specific impulse, solid rockets need to be much heavier than liquid rockets.

But they do have the advantage of being more volumetrically compact, due to their high density. This is an advantage in some applications, less so in others.

The key to the long storage in the liquid-fuel engines is the propellants, which are known as hypergolic, since they ignite upon contact with one another [the fuel and the oxidyzer].

They are also called storable propellants, and 'room temperature propellants,' because they are in liquid form at room temp, unlike cryogenic propellants like liquid oxygen and hydrogen, which obviously cannot be stored.

Liquid oxygen [LOX] was the oxidyzer of the early ICBMs, which needs to be at very low temperatures, obviously. That is why the early ICBMs needed to be fueled before launch. Of course manned rockets also use LOX, typically with kerosene, but also liquid hydrogen, which too is cryogenic [in fact just 10 degrees or so above absolute zero].

The drawback with hypergolic storable propellants is their extreme toxicity, which means working with them requires elaborate safety procedures. But once they are fueled in the rocket, they are just as storable as solid rockets.

That S200 missile, for instance, was, until just a couple of years ago the FASTEST Russian air defense missile, and also the longest-ranged, with a flight range in excess of 300 km. It also has the advantage that it can be throttled, from a speed of about 700 m/s to more than three times that speed!

It has been very difficult to match that S200 performance with the new S400 solid rockets, which need to be much heavier [although more compact in size]. These of course cannot be throttled, which is another disadvantage.

But they go with solid now [since S300], for the reason that these are road-mobile system carried on an all terrain truck chassis [unlike the fixed installation S200]. Any road mishap could damage a propellant tank and you will have a huge toxic nightmare. If both tanks get ruptured, you will have a huge explosion, because the fuel and oxidyzer ignite on contact [hypergolic].

The same is true for Russia's road-mobile ICBMs, the Topol and its later derivatives. These are also solid-fuel rockets [same for the Chinese]. On a sub this isn't an issue, since the Russian subs have their missile tubes outside the inner pressure hull. This two-hull design is a staple of Russian design and is why their boats can operate at much greater depths [typically double that of a US nuclear boat].

All the weapons are kept outside this inner hull, which is designed to take all the water pressure, while the outside hull can be light, since it is filled with water anyway and is therefore of equal pressure and sees no pressure differential.

The reason the US has been encouraging this liquid fuel myth is because the US is not good at building liquid rocket engines.

They are literally decades behind and never really mastered the finer points. The Shuttle used two massive solid boosters to provide 85 percent of the launch thrust.[With that humongous liquid hydrogen tank feeding the three liquid H2-LOX Shuttle engines that only provided 15 percent, since hydrogen has such low density].

One of these solid boosters exploded of course on Challenger. They would have been better off using the Rocketdyne F1 engine from the Saturn V rocket of the Apollo program.

But this engine too was troubled and was not nearly the legend that it is made out to be. Saturn V only made a grand total of 13 launches [compared to 1900 for the various Soyuz family, plus hundreds more for other Russian engines, including nearly 100 powering US rockets in the last number of years].

Ideally, they should have refined the F1 engine [I don't want to get into the technical points now] and used that as the boosters for Shuttle. Solid rockets for manned flight is considered completely unacceptable by the Russians. The Buran Shuttle had boosters using the huge RD171 liquid engine.

As for Geoffrey Lewis, he has no formal training in any hard science related to the subject he writes about. His education is in political 'science,' not any kind of engineering, physics or even mathematics.

He really doesn't have any technical knowledge at all, and relies simply on what he is told by so-called 'experts' [who may or may not know what they are talking about either].

Mr Hu is right in his characterization, lol! Lewis has no clue about crucially important technical matters, like the one I just discussed, and this is readily apparent to people who actually do know the science at a professional level!

There is no point reading anything he writes because it cannot be taken seriously.

PS: The newest Russian super-missile, the Sarmat super-heavy, is a liquid-propellant rocket. It would be impractical to try to make a solid rocket of this throw-weight, flight range and performance. The propellants are Dinitrogen Tetroxide [N2O4] and UDMH [Unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine]. These are used in all the other storable liquid rockets also.

Posted by: Gordog | Jul 3 2021 2:03 utc | 53

1) Logic would suggest that China needs silos for bigger missiles that can reach US mainland. Those mobile solid-fuel missiles maybe aren't big enough to get that far because. Their size is limited so that they can blend in with road traffic.

2) AFAIK Russian policy is to defend allies. And SCO is a defensive alliance. An attack initiated by China on Taiwan is not likely to qualify as a defensive action.

3) I see the path to a nuclear Taiwan as simply Taiwan simply testing a "home-grown" (wink wink) nuclear device.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 3 2021 2:06 utc | 54

Gordog 59

I had been thinking about the range or distance from China to the US vs eastern Russia to the US. I have read something on it some time ago and that the Chinese road mobile missiles do not have the range to cover all parts of the US.

Of topic here but a thought on our previous discussion on the Russian hypersonic missiles and scram jet. Top fuel engines have a great deal of oxygen in their fuel, but top that up with a massive blower to pump in air.
Combination rocket/scramjet? two pack ignite on contact fuel as in liquid fuel rockets, air breathing to top up oxygen percentage?

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 3 2021 2:23 utc | 55

The other point that needs to be made, IMO, is that China developed gunpowder but didn't conceive of using it to kill people like in the West. I expect China's nuclear capabilities surpass those of the West by now and it only makes sense to improve their own defensive capabilities given the aggression of the West.

I expect China will have planned to store grain or raw materials in the unused silos and will make the transfers look like ICBMs

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 3 2021 0:12 utc | 38

Yes, that's a good point, if I may elaborate on it a little: China and Russia are/were both empires; that doesn't happen without certain, un, appetites. So I doubt that they are all that much better than the rest of us.

But their communitarian culture affects their outlook a lot in a very favorable way. Greed is to be kept in it's place. Not letting the exploitive parasites take over is a big part of their success.

And what you can say about them both is that their overall history is one of fending off foreign incursions, not military conquest abroad, exploitation, and colonial adventurism far from their borders. They had the technological superiority and did not use it that way.

The Mongols used it though, Genghis Kahn was a western type of conqueror, and he had Chinese tech to help him do it. So we know they could have.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jul 3 2021 2:27 utc | 56

Bemildred "were both empires; that doesn't happen without certain, un, appetites."

I have looked a lot at how China become the size it is. Mostly it is about stopping endless war and unifying the people.
Tibet was a CIA hotbed, but I also saw a DW documentary which is German mainstream that did a piece on the provinces bordering onto Tibet. Many of the older women is some of the villages had tattooed faces. Tibetans used to raid into China for plunder and women and whatever. The women they took, they would tattoo their faces. Now, yanks are out and cross border raiding is out.
Infrastructure and prosperity are in.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 3 2021 2:39 utc | 57

Peter AU1 @54

Maybe he misfired? Despite being wrong in that case, there really are imperial astroturfers in the thread. Maybe not as many as the poster claims, but it is certainly more than two. They work for different elements of the empire, but they can often recognize their narrative allies and coordinate to a limited degree. It is entertaining to watch that dynamic.

With that said, the resources being put into trying to reinforce the anti-China jingoism is by itself enlightening. Historically the jingoism leads to shooting, and that is why the Chinese need more nukes. They need enough to force the empire to concede that a first strike is MAD.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 3 2021 2:40 utc | 58

I agree with MarkU | Jul 2 2021 18:22 utc | 1

My biggest concern is that if the Crusaders provoke China into defending itself from the "assorted tarts & fruitcakes" in the Christian West, the Chinese won't stop until they have done what We In The West should have done ourselves - take out the Trash.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 3 2021 2:41 utc | 59

Jackrabbit 60

Taiwan is a domestic issue for China. Russia wont interfere. US joining in on behalf of the Chinese island is not a domestic issue. It is an attack on China.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 3 2021 2:42 utc | 60

Peter @61,

Yes, solid rockets will have much less range for their weight compared to a liquid rocket, but going by the published specs the Chinese DF41s should have no problem hitting anywhere in the US.

Their stated flight range is up to 15,000 km, while New York to Beijing via great circle route is just 11,000 km. And China is a huge country. If they shoot from the western region, they could easily hit the west coast of US.

But those DF41s are 80 metric tons! That's huge for a road-mobile ICBM. The Russian Topol is barely half that at 45 tons. They have a stated range of 11,000 km, but only carry one warhead. Those have mostly been replaced with later Yars, which are MIRVed with four heads and the same range, but at slightly higher mass of ~50 tons.

The Smaller Rubezh is also MIRVed [four] and only weighs 36 tons. This makes it a much more nimble road or even off-road package. But its range is not going to be as long. But the tradeoff may be worth it if this vehicle can scoot and hide more easily.

About the 'nitro' dragster engines. Yes, that fuel has huge amounts of oxygen. I think the air fuel ratio is something like two or maybe three to one [off the top of my head], since it already has so much oxydizer in the fuel itself.

The Roots supercharger compresses both the air and fuel [which turns gaseous once it is squirted in at the inlet to the blower, again off the top of my head]. I think they gulp several gallons in that five-second pass.

That's an interesting line of thought about nitro, or something similar, as a scramjet fuel! I would have to look into the flame front speed of that to see what those numbers may be. Certainly it seems that whatever the Russians are using [they call it Detsilin], the fuel is probably the key to the whole scramjet. Hydrogen just doesn't cut it, it would seem.

Again, a bit beyond my own pay grade, and this stuff is kept extremely guarded. But bears looking into!

Posted by: Gordog | Jul 3 2021 2:56 utc | 61

William Gruff 64

Anti China stuff is bad. Whereas Russia is somewhat similar to the west, Chinese and western cultures are worlds apart. So for many, on top of the constant propaganda is the fear of the unknown.

A lot of different opinions here then there are those just stepping out of the matrix that haven't come to terms with the fact that everything they have been told is a lie. Then there are people like Murray, Assange, Snowden and Manning that if they were commenting here they would be called trolls because they believe in the woke human rights shit.

And then there are those that commenting in social media or blogs is part of their job description. I have watched the milo clown for sometime and who he calls trolls. There is some filler material as cover, but that is all part of the job.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 3 2021 3:00 utc | 62

So to all of those whining about the chinese have stolen my (11 foot tall) pie, what about the draconic economic sanctions of the americans stealing my bread.

Posted by: Apophis | Jul 3 2021 3:14 utc | 63

Not an expert in rockets or a chemical engineer but I was exposed to the engineering of rockets. My limited understanding is that solid fuel is preferred for launch preparation speed, crew safety and mobility. Therefore, all SLBM and all ground mobile launchers, with the possible exception of some railway based ones (of SU and now Russia), are solid fuel. But all long distance and/or heavy payload (big number MIRV) rockets use only liquid fuel. Think about the decommissioned US Shuttle - only the short duration two booster rockets on the sides were solid fuel. In summary, distance and weight dictate liquid fuel (and thus higher risks). Liquid fuels generally pollute the environment significantly more, especially with carcinogens.

Therefore, the Western “expert” does not know what he is talking about and GT is right. B is only partially right because he is too keen to distinguish himself from GT. B not being completely right is quite rare, I would still take his technical opinions any time. It never ceases to shock me how bad the Western MSM “experts” are. If I did not know better I would think that the West is sliding down. In short, if these are really ICBM silos, it is highly unlikely that the rockets inside would be DF-41.

On a different matter, for me anyone who posts more than three comments on a thread is a troll, by definition. Whether they work on our tax payer’s dime or just blabbering is of secondary importance. I fully agree with Gruff (as usual) that a number of commenters here are professional trolls. I also have a longer write up on trolls which I may or may not post into open thread some day. Suffice to write that trolling has matured a lot with Internet becoming a dominant medium. As Gruff wrote - they do good research. To get under your skin, most of the time they post comments which are totally reasonable, populist and counter to the official MSM narratives. They switch over only at important junctures, such as POTUS election for example, consuming the credit they gained during steady-as-she goes times.

Simply, nobody is that smart that we need to read more than three comments of his or hers!

Posted by: Kiza | Jul 3 2021 3:28 utc | 64

@ Kiza | Jul 3 2021 3:28 utc | 71 who wrote
Simply, nobody is that smart that we need to read more than three comments of his or hers!

Thank you for that with which I strongly agree. The troll option will be to increase the length of their comments.

The exception could be Open Threads with no limits on number or length....?

MoA is not ZH......yet

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 3 2021 3:51 utc | 65

Karlofi @ 12
I always enjoy reading your posts. Take a look at the US Nuclear Forces 2021. US SLBMs carry a W71-1 warhead with a 90-kiloton yield, a W76-2 warhead with a 8-kiloton yield, and a W-88 warhead with a 455-kiloton yield.

Posted by: Perimetr | Jul 3 2021 3:57 utc | 66

sorry, typo, meant W76-1 warhead with a 90-kt yield

Posted by: Perimetr | Jul 3 2021 3:58 utc | 67

I believe we will find the excavations to be foundations for wind turbines.


Posted by: Dr. George W Oprisko | Jul 3 2021 4:15 utc | 68

kiza @ 71:

A lot of very basic errors in what you have written.

There is ZERO launch preparation difference between a storable liquid-propellant rocket and a solid rocket.

Those early ICBMs that needed fueling was 60 years ago! Please read what I said about the S200 air defense missile, which has been in service since 1967. Those missiles are still used in Syria, and in fact shot down an Israeli F16 back in 2019!

Yes, they have been sitting on their launchers ready to go since they were manufactured and delivered to Syria DECADES ago. Same with the Russian liquid SLBMs.

The Layner missile is still the backbone of the Russian nuclear subs, so where do you get the notion that 'all' SLBMs are solid?

The new Borei class of Russian SSBNs [ICBM subs] now use the solid-fuel Bulava missile, but its performance is INFERIOR to the liquid-fuel Layner [R29RMU2]. For the same approximate weight, the liquid missile has several thousand km greater range.

I already discussed some of the tradeoffs between solid and liquid. Engineering is based on TRADEOFFS. The new Russian subs decided to go with solid because they decided that some of the advantages outweighed the disadvantages.

As for environmental pollution, what you have said is complete nonsense. Do you know what is contained in solid rocket fuel? Why don't you read up on that a bit?

Aluminum is a big part of it. The Shuttle boosters used ammonium perchlorate as oxidyzer [about 70 percent by weight], and 16 percent aluminum as the fuel. Plus various other nasty chemical compounds in smaller quantities. [Some small rockets even burn solid rubber!]

You call the shuttle boosters 'short-duration'? Their burn time was 127 seconds, which is comparable to the first stage of any large multi-stage rocket.

A solid-fuel rocket does not contain any kind of engine. It is simply a casing, stuffed with propellant, with a thrust nozzle at the bottom. This is not compatible with manned space flight.

Posted by: Gordog | Jul 3 2021 4:15 utc | 69

And one more thing about rockets. Being able to THROTTLE a missile is a big advantage.

An ICBM is trying to hit a tiny patch of dirt the size of a football field, that is half way around the globe!

It must do so despite that warhead passing through jet stream winds that could be 200 mph! It must do so even though atmospheric temperature can vary by many tens of degrees, which directly affects air density, which affects the aerodynamic performance of the warhead. If it slows down just a bit, it could miss by many kilometers.

That warhead is released from the rocket above the atmosphere, thousands of km away from the target, and it must fall like a rock, with no means of steering itself or correcting its course, right on that target!

That means that everything is up to the rocket and when and where it releases that warhead---hopefully at the right place, which is a tiny three dimensional space high above the atmosphere, and at the exact right time!

Obviously getting to that tiny point in space at just the right time is going to be easier if you can control the flight path of that rocket as it ascends through that same UNPREDICTABLE atmosphere.

Maybe people who don't fly aircraft don't have a proper respect for the force and unpredictability of our atmosphere.

That same throttling ability is also a big plus on interceptor rockets like that S200. Being able to slow down means you can turn more tightly!

Again, the liquid engine interceptors are not feasible in a road mobile application. But they would obviously work much better for anti-ballistic missile defense if launched from silos, where potential damage to tanks isn't an issue.

The point is that it is ridiculous to try to simplify these things.

Posted by: Gordog | Jul 3 2021 4:33 utc | 70

Hello Gordog, I respect your knowledge, although I think that you are pushing it a little beyond your core strengths into virtually anything that flies. The second issue I have with your comment above specifically is that you are being too deterministic - you describe engineering things black & white. Engineering is always about trade-offs and things are almost never this always over that. Therefore, I do agree with most of what you typed, but not all.

Yes, US is now behind Russia (which you appear to know about) in propulsion as well. My comment was mostly about the Western propulsion engineering and its way of thinking. The skeptics in the West say that Russia’s lead in liquid propulsion (e.g. storable liquid propulsion missiles) comes from the years of Soviet abuse of their people (staff deaths) and the environmental pollution. As an example of your hard determinism - have you bothered to discuss the trade-off of the double hull Soviet/Russian submarines when compared with single-hull Western submarines, instead of implying that they are simply superior? Why have a double hull in the first place if the liquid propulsion is as completely safe as you imply?

This is not a forum to discuss technical issues, especially not rockets, so I will not take your challenge. But I would like to suggest that you avoid positioning yourself as an expert in everything technical to avoid loosing ground after a magnificent start previously.

P.S. One just needs to refer to the numbers of STEM graduates in different countries to understand what is valued and why the West is falling behind so badly. Western corruption is a cherry on top.

Posted by: Kiza | Jul 3 2021 4:51 utc | 71

Looked up the fuel. Not much on it of course. Detsilin-M.
"According to Russian Deputy Defense Minister Dmitry Bulgakov, completely new fuel Detsilin-M was designed in Russia for hypersonic cruise missiles. "Russian army has been supplied in recent years with Detsilin-M fuel which expands the range of strategic cruise missiles by 250-300 km. It will be used as fuel for jet engines of new hypersonic strategic cruise missiles", he said."

Two pack fuel, or something similar to the starting fuel for the SR-71 that ignites on contact with air?

Much appreciate the information you put up on the missiles for this thread.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 3 2021 4:58 utc | 72

@71 Kiza

Simply, nobody is that smart that we need to read more than three comments of his or hers!

Erm .. How many of your comments in this thread til now?

Aren't gross generalizations .. just grossly generalizing?

Posted by: aquadraht | Jul 3 2021 5:00 utc | 73

When at the beginning of the year Boris Johnson announced to increase the UK´s nuclear arsenal you didn`t fail to point out that this is a breach of the UK´s obligation under the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Posted by: m | Jul 3 2021 5:08 utc | 74

I don't think China needs more nukes, I think it should make more nukes, but to share it with Iran, North Korea, Cuba and Vietnam.

Posted by: Smith | Jul 3 2021 5:10 utc | 75


"This is not a forum to discuss technical issues, especially not rockets," Bullshit. The subject b has written about is technical.

"I think that you are pushing it a little beyond your core strengths into virtually anything that flies." People that are into that field often take a great interest in other things that fly. Anybody that ius in aerospace, especially in design and engineering will also have a good grasp of the theory and technicalities of other things that fly.

When occasionally somebody comes on here with technical detail, be it aerospace or chemistry, with a solid grounding in those subjects, it is like a breath of fresh air.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 3 2021 5:12 utc | 76

Gordog @ 76, 77

Thanks for the clarifications re solid vs. liquid fuelled missiles. I was constantly hearing from Western sources in relation to the new DPRK ICBMs that because they are liquid fueled they were too heavy to be transported by road while fueled, increasing their reaction time. But that made no sense as liquid engines generally have a higher specific impulse (bang per kilo of fuel to oversimplify for the non space cadets), and should weigh less than a comparable solid fueled missile!

So I guess it's the toxicity of the propellents and the risk of accidents snd leaks that are the limiting factor in road transport. But if the DPRK wanted to it could build a transporter to take the weight of a fueled missile and just take the risk when dispersing in the face of an imminent first strike from the US.

It's great the Russians are keeping up with their liquid fueled technology. Regarding your discussion of the benefits of throttling liquid engines, the new Sarmat ICBM will be capable of carrying multiple Avangard hypersonic gliders on a depressed trajectory. Its boost phase is apparently very short but a throttling liquid engine would seem very useful in hitting the 'sweet spot' on such a low trajectory.

Posted by: S.P. Korolev | Jul 3 2021 5:24 utc | 77

@81 m
Poor troll, worse even than your normal ones. You trust that nobody reads the MoA article which refers to a statement of UK government in 2015. You seem to trust that nobody is checking your insinuations. The passage in b's article reads:

In previous communication to other NPT states Britain has explicitly linked the number of nuclear warheads it has to its Article VI obligation. In a speech to the UN 2015 Review Conference of the NPT Baroness Anelay, Minister of State at the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, said:

Madam President, the United Kingdom remains firmly committed to step-by-step disarmament, and our obligations under Article Six. We announced in January that we have reduced the number of warheads on each of our deployed ballistic missile submarines from 48 to 40, and the number of operational missiles on each of those submarines to no more than eight.

This takes our total number of operationally available warheads to no more than 120. And this will enable us to reduce our overall nuclear warhead stockpile to not more than 180 by the mid 2020s.

The UK has argued to be in compliance with its Article VI obligations because it was reducing the number of nuclear warheads. It thus can not claim to be in compliance with the treaty when it increases that number.

I am not aware of any Chinese obligation of that kind. Try harder.

Posted by: aquadraht | Jul 3 2021 5:32 utc | 78

Peter, you saw my comment about two types of trolls. Which type would apply to you? Remember one of your previous claims which got shot down in flames? It is not that you were wrong, anyone can be. It is that I usually skip you because there is too much of you and you are not paid for it.

Taking your comment seriously, there is a big difference between our core (engineering) knowledge and enthusiastic ameteurism. I have never heard of an amateur (with a core professional knowledge in one discipline) beating a professional with a core knowledge in that other discipline. Therefore, I am prepared to listen to someone who knows more about aeronautics then I do, but I am not prepared to accept his “knowledge” of everything (many engineers or former engineers have wide technical interests but this does not make them experts).

Interestingly, this same principle applies to political science as well, not only engineering. I noticed that many commenters here spread themselves too thinly in the areas that is not their core knowledge and thus turn themselves into intellectual peacocks.

It is my impression that the best comments commonly come from the least frequent commenters, those that the trolling geniuses pejoratively call the drive-bys when they disagree with them.

My point about three comments per thread is not a hard and fast rule, it is just a very general principle and a distinguishing point between intellectual peacocks and paid professionals on one side and decent people who have something valuable to say on the other side.

Posted by: Kiza | Jul 3 2021 5:36 utc | 79


Well you have no option but to make it a "not hard and fast rule" now.

If you are confused by science and stuff, you could just skip over Gordog's comments.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 3 2021 5:41 utc | 80

With regard to the vulnerabilities of silo based ICBMs, there were reports that the USSR developed a system to defend missile silos by firing a massive cloud of metal pellets above the silos that could disable incoming warheads. I read recently that Russia has refined this system but have lost the links. There is a page about this system somewhere at globalsecurity but that site is a nightmare to navigate. Anyone familiar with this system?

Posted by: S.P. Korolev | Jul 3 2021 5:57 utc | 81

Peter and Korolev, thanks for your feedback.

About the DPRK rockets, we don't know much about them. Are they storable fuel engines? That would make the most sense. So yes, those are risky if you put them on a vehicle fully fueled and decide to drive it around.

But maybe they've got them in silos? I've heard speculation that they could even be inside a mountain tunnel on rails.

Anyway, I greatly appreciate the positive feedback. No, I'm certainly not an expert on all things that fly, but I will also correct wrong statements when it is technically important to the subject at hand. [And will appreciate likewise corrections from others, as I have received from Peter recently].

Also, I recall that Nikolai Kuznetsov was an aircraft engine designer---yet when called upon by Korolev to design a rocket engine, he came up with the NK33, which shocked American rocket engineers 40 years later, and which were pulled out of mothballs and flying into space 50 years after they were built.

Not bad for someone who was an 'amateur'!

PS: If Korolev could only have got along with Glushko [RD171 and much more] things might have gone much better for him, lol! But maybe that's a story for another time. 😃

Posted by: Gordog | Jul 3 2021 6:15 utc | 82

@85 aquadraht
B has argued the UK to be in non-compliance with its Article VI obligations because it is increasing the number of it`s nuclear warheads citing an evolving security environment. He thus can not claim China to be in compliance with the treaty when it increases the number of it`s nuclear warheads citing a changing security situation.

Well, admittedly he didn`t. He just silently brushed that aspect under the carpet.

Posted by: m | Jul 3 2021 6:45 utc | 83

You are such a liar.

B has argued the UK to be in non-compliance with its Article VI obligations because it is increasing the number of it`s nuclear warheads

No. b has cited the obligations the British minister declared for Britain under Article VI. You try to deny the obvious. Try harder.

Posted by: aquadraht | Jul 3 2021 7:22 utc | 84

Gordog @89

The North Korean ICBM are almost certainly storable liquid fueled, although the oxidizer could be nitric acid (which the DPRK has plenty of experience with) or dinitrogen tetroxide. Lots of Western speculation that the first stage engines are a copy of the RD-250 series from the R-36, possibly acquired from the Ukrainians. The link above is from Anatolyi Zak's site and he doesn't seem to think this is likely and I am inclined to agree (although he is usually sympathic to the Ukrainian position as he is quite pro-Western).

Posted by: S.P. Korolev | Jul 3 2021 8:03 utc | 85

S.P. Korolev | Jul 3 2021 5:57 utc | 88
So my speculation; The idea of using a reactive explosion to disarm incoming missiles, as is already used by the Russians on their tanks.
Ie; successful tests of the Arena-M active protection on the T-72B3M tank

By combining an explosive device, rather than metal pellets, with an ABM shield missile it might be possible to expand the defensive capacity of the missiles themselves. I think Abe might be correct here.
From; Abe | Jul 3 2021 1:34 utc | 51 “Joint work on strategic ABM (anti ballistic missile) shield is in public work for year now if not mistaken. .......Russians got silos like that around Moscow, and they can't be distinguished from ICBM-s, dimensions are same, missiles themselves are huge too.”

Repeating a bit of my own comment from @21.
“I have no idea exactly why, but the area looks like it is massively developing solar, wind turbines etc. and includes what look like multiple power stations on canals just south south west of Yumen”.
It is clear that they need lots of power in the desert, and it won’t just be for the locals personal comfort.

james | Jul 2 2021 23:29 utc | 31

Thanks for link;
I read that some time ago but had forgotten where. All you need is a private international sized airport and an cycle of IDF goons coming for “winter sports” and you have a coy set-up for the “end times”. Who would have thought that James Bond and the story about fighting someone creating a super race could have inspired these people.

Skimming; of note “Indeed, though several of these billionaires have already created de facto private states where they enjoy near-total impunity within Argentine Patagonia, others have been behind major efforts that have pushed for the territory’s secession. Which will be worth while coming back to on another thread.”
Repost of James link above:

Mataman | Jul 2 2021 20:37 utc | 18
Probably right!

Peter AU1 | Jul 3 2021 1:42 utc | 54
It fits, as his motivation seems to be linked with posts on PNG.

Peter AU1 | Jul 2 2021 21:56 utc | 28
Earlier post. Yes, part of the problem with tropical ulcers was not realizing how deep they were before going to the hospital.

Trolls; According to the description in the story, being rather thin, I wouldn't make the weight .... . and anyway, as I hide underneath small bridges, I was wondering if a mask would improve my appearance when harrassing passing goats. Then I could leap out and not get roundly trounced by "Billy Goat Gruff" stamping on the boards?
(Showing my age there, as I don't think the story is told any longer to small children, as it is too gender specific, and probably not violent enough to be put on kiddies TV)

Posted by: Stonebird | Jul 3 2021 8:22 utc | 86

@9 Where they go wrong is this: if you want to build multiple silos and dare the USA to play whack-a-mole on them then the perfect ICBM to put in them is a road-mobile rocket.

Because, obviously, the trick only works if you can shuffle the missiles around those silos.

You know, by road.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jul 3 2021 9:37 utc | 87

b, you do know that you have posted an aeriel photo of a windfarm? Those are not silos. Look closely at the photo that you have posted please.

Posted by: Memory Loss | Jul 3 2021 9:41 utc | 88

@various, RE oxidizers:

There are certainly better ones than Oyxgen. I wanted to say that a big issue is going to be handling, maybe the fancy tech has to do with keeping things stable and "hot" until it's time to go, or delivery systems, for the exotic propellants. Thus it could be a matter of materials science of things that don't react with oxidizers. Somewhat like the heat issues with hypersonic systems. How to keep the system together long enough for it to work right? As Vonnegut discusses in "God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater", everything on the planet wants to combine with Oxygen. That's why we have fire departments.

I agree it looks like a wind farm, but I don't think that makes it an un-interesting discussion going on here.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jul 3 2021 10:01 utc | 89

Memory Loss

This the satellite view of the site,96.1865073,88552m/data=!3m1!1e3

The site is on a floodout plain (don't know proper name for that feature) between 2 rows of hills. A wind farm would be along the ridge tops on high ground.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 3 2021 10:19 utc | 90


Much appreciated your substantial contribution. Thanks. As for liquid vs. solid fuel, yes, Liquid1+Liquid2 offer a higher availabele energy density than Solid. But you need to add a lot of Environment (tanks, engine, tubes, nozzle ...) for the liquids, while you add only little Environment (case and nozzle) to the solid. Scaling that stuff down, you will reach a point, where solids become even better in volume and weight, as the downscaling of the complex Environment doesn't go that well.
As for the ability to throttle solid fuel rockets, I wonder whether this couldn't be done by thrust vectoring, including even some reverse thrust like in civil jet engines after landing. If so, and the Russians seems to be leading in thrust vectoring, this drawback of solid fuel rockets may have been overcome.

Kind regards.

Posted by: BG13 | Jul 3 2021 10:24 utc | 91

A little bit that I have found on one type of rocket fuel.
Detsilin-M. Deltsin apparently is Jp-10 (exo-Tetrahydrodicyclopentadiene), a type of jet fuel. I would guess M is the designation code for the mix of extras that have been added.

A page here on beefing up JP-10
"The primary objective of this project is to unravel the fundamental reaction mechanisms and kinetics involved in the oxidation of JP-10 (exo-tetrahydrodicyclopentadiene) jet fuel, doped with prototype classes of metal-based additives [pre-stressed aluminum (Al), α-aluminum hydride (AlH3), and reactive metal nanopowders (RMNP; Ti-Al, Ti-B, Ti-Al-B)], in the presence of molecular oxygen (O2). These findings will be exploited to develop high-energy-density fuel materials for air breathing ramjet/scramjet applications and as a component in liquid/gel bipropellant rockets."

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 3 2021 10:33 utc | 92

Anyone who doubts that at least some of the President’s military advisors might be crazy enough to risk a nuclear holocaust need only recall the Cuban missile crisis, when President Keenedy had to resist pressure from some of his top generals to do just that. And there are probably similar hardliners on the Chinese and Russian sides as well. That is just one of the reasons why the MAD strategy is so extremely dangerous. The only rational course is total abolition of nuclear weapons, but I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for that to become reality.

Posted by: Rob | Jul 3 2021 10:45 utc | 93

@Kiza #71:

The skeptics in the West say that Russia’s lead in liquid propulsion (e.g. storable liquid propulsion missiles) comes from the years of Soviet abuse of their people (staff deaths) and the environmental pollution.

That’s not “skeptics”, that’s anti-Soviet propagandists. An actual skeptic would be questioning such claims and wondering if the West itself was engaging in such “abuse” of its people.

Posted by: S | Jul 3 2021 11:05 utc | 94

@ Rob

The abolition of nuclear weapons just mean the return of conventional wars, except more deadlier than ever.

Posted by: Smith | Jul 3 2021 11:20 utc | 95

Anyone who doubts that at least some of the President’s military advisors might be crazy enough to risk a nuclear holocaust need only recall the Cuban missile crisis ...

Posted by: Rob | Jul 3 2021 10:45 utc | 93

Agree, we've always had plenty of crazies, it's practically a political art form here. One of the reasons I don't think we are ready to reform yet is they are still all over the government, running foreign poilicy. Doing it Badly.

“abuse” of its people

Yes, we've done plenty of that. Get upset if we are told that we can't anymore.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jul 3 2021 11:22 utc | 96

Second part for S, my mistake.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jul 3 2021 11:23 utc | 97

@ Rob

The abolition of nuclear weapons just mean the return of conventional wars, except more deadlier than ever.

Posted by: Smith | Jul 3 2021 11:20 utc | 95

Agree. I like your idea of giving everybody a few nukes. You would see a lot more civility, I can tell you that. What we need is better humans.

Well, that's three posts, I better quit now.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jul 3 2021 11:27 utc | 98

@ Bemildred

The big nations who hold the most nukes are the ones who want to get rid of nukes, actually meaning they hold a monopoly on nukes.

Fat chance, either they get rid of their stock first then we can talk.

Posted by: Smith | Jul 3 2021 11:34 utc | 99

just to pile on, the image b posted does indeed seem to the site of a future wind farm. if you zoom in here you can clearly see wind turbines. It could follow that more are planned to the west.

but of course, it might be clever to hide missile silos in a wind farm...

Posted by: dan of steele | Jul 3 2021 11:44 utc | 100

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