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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If humanity were not forced to endure the system of nation state franchises, institutionally interconnected at the top, and isolated by information filtering and culture differences at the bottom, the issue of who will bomb who, would not be a problem. The who out nukes who is one more binary.. used by those who use the global nation state franchise to control.. human behavior..and human order to make a profit.

Posted by: snake | Jul 3 2021 11:54 utc | 101

with modern and near future satellite surveillance techniques I wonder how much security there still is in keeping large missile launchers mobile. You can(or will be able to) keep track of where all the launchers are in realtime. At some point you'd expect targeting to become more flexible as well. A silo complex on the other hand has a robustness which last a long time.

@dan of steele, the windmill complex uses distances of 400-700 meter, the 'other' complex is built under large tents and the distance between locations is 3km. It's not the same thing.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Jul 3 2021 12:14 utc | 102

Makes zero sense to put so many silos in such close proximity. Easily wiped out by first strike even if it's placed far from US to buy time for reactive launch.

It's probably a wind farm. Global Times is just egging Lewis and others on for them to dig a bigger hole and discredit themselves.

In any case if they can bait US into a spending war, its no bad thing. Afterall in a way the soviets lost Cold War 1 because it spent its way out the backdoor as it couldn't print money like the US.

Because of PPP/MIC the Russians and Chinese are going to get better value per dollar spent than the west. Together with the USD on track to lose its global reserve status it could be the perfect storm needed to end the current unipolar chapter of history.

Gordog - love your posts. Disregard the bickering. Keep doing your thang!

Posted by: A.L. | Jul 3 2021 12:30 utc | 103

Unrelated, but LOL:

The americans are celebrating 4th of July with chinese fireworks, and now can't do much fanfare when there's delayed production in China.

So much for the US.

Posted by: Smith | Jul 3 2021 12:43 utc | 104

Windfarms; b's right but the image he shows is from an older version of Google.

In both Google Maps and Google Earth they have used identical imagery from 2013, 2014 (and a bit even from 2010) but put on a overlayer with names of the river and roads. etc. (- badly! Offset by several hundred metres) The "credits" for Maxar or any of the others (including Airbus !) for 2021 must be for copyright purposes.

I suspect that the images with the blue coloured buildings (square with domes?) can only be seen on US or updated versions. I don't have those newer versions, but I have seen images with those details on other

Posted by: Stonebird | Jul 3 2021 12:50 utc | 105

Well, this is the first time I've read celebrating a country, in this case China, building another 100 nuclear bombs to add to their current insignificant 350. Then the posters all absolutely thrilled at the good news. How the Left has changed. It may not be a shock that they do, but something to celebrate? Dear oh dear.

If the US intended to nuke China they would have in the Korean war, likewise if they were planning on nuking China then the obvious move is to launch now before these are built. Lets recall the prevailing winds and currents and where the toxic cloud would eventually end up.

Posted by: Rancid | Jul 3 2021 12:51 utc | 106

Not fully unrelated: I wondered where I heard about "arms control wonks" then recalled. There was some piece of Yellingrat where these "wonks" rushed to support one of Higgin's claims of bad Russkies doctoring photos with the help of "digital forensics". The program they used was so incompetently abused that the programmer of that open source piece protested.

And btw., when someone is calling another person "wonk" due to their expertise, it is kind of showing respect. Calling oneself wonk is just chest stomping, ape like.

Posted by: aquadraht | Jul 3 2021 12:55 utc | 107

Peter AU1 @Jul3 2:42 #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.

I think you should take a more expansive point of view.

The Taiwan Straits are an international waterway. If a US ship is attacked there it would be difficult for China to claim that it was merely an internal matter or that it was necessary for defense.

<> <> <> <>

Further to my previous comment: As soon as Taiwan announces nuclear weapons capability, an invasion of the island becomes moot. Taiwan has four nuclear reactors and is technologically adept. It can claim to have a "home grown" device and perform a test to prove it.

Logically, we are heading for such an announcement. Until then, Chinese pique will be milked for propaganda purposes.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 3 2021 13:04 utc | 108

The photo is a windfarm! It is literally written on the right side of the photo YUMEN GANSU WINDFARM!

Posted by: Anon | Jul 3 2021 13:09 utc | 109

The existing windfarm ( is on the East of the river delta. First stage (3500 turbines sum up to >5 GW) means single turbines of ~1,5 MW each. Modern turbines go up to 9 MW with a need for much bigger foundations and larger distances between each other. Yandex offers quite good imagery from this site, showing human activity that could point to works with the powergrid. IMHO, the idea of a windpark seems reasonable.

Posted by: BG13 | Jul 3 2021 13:48 utc | 110

There is nothing "meager" about an arsenal of 200-350 nuclear weapons. A strategic nuclear weapon detonated in any major city will kill most of the people in that city and leave it essentially uninhabitable. The US has about 300 cities with populations greater than 100,000 and Russia has 200+. The ability to destroy every major city in a nation is not minor threat.

Consider the consequences of the detonation of 250 strategic nuclear weapons in the cities of India and Pakistan, as described in a peer reviewed study published in 2019.

250 strategic weapons (weapons with yields of at least 100 kilotons each) detonated in the cities of India and Pakistan could cause 16 to 36 million tons of soot/smoke to rise above cloud level into the stratosphere, where it would block 20-35% of warming sunlight from reaching Earth’s surface. This would cause a 2-8 degree C, or 3.6 to 9 degrees F drop in average surface temperatures. Global average temperatures were about 4 degrees C or 7 degrees F colder during the coldest part of the last Ice Age, 20,000 years ago.

Large ice sheets covered North America and northern Europe some 20,000 years ago during the coldest part of the ice age, when global average temperatures were about four degrees Celsius (or seven degrees Fahrenheit) colder than during pre-industrial times

Posted by: Perimetr | Jul 3 2021 13:54 utc | 111

After looking that map some more, I too tend to agree with people claiming this is something like wind farm or some non military project.

Marked positions have equal spacing, so space utilization seems to be a must for this project, what ever it is.

This is not priority for ICBM/ABM launch positions - they tend to have distribution as a protection, so single hit can't take out many of them. but not in this geometrically perfect order. Also, with silos there is always some grouping as trade off for other reasons (couple of them together) like to ease logistics, command and security (you need fence and guards 24/7 around).

So, whatever it is, I don't think it is anything missile related.

Posted by: Abe | Jul 3 2021 14:27 utc | 112

@ Posted by: Rancid | Jul 3 2021 12:51 utc | 106

Well, I don't know, Rancid. How's the American Left (or right-wing, for that matter) progress on lowering the American nuclear arsenal going? Last time I checked, it was leftist hero Barack Houssein Obama who signed the USD 1.1 trn decree to renew/replace/update the American entire nuclear arsenal, in 2016.

It takes two to tango.

Besides, your rationale comes from the very problem I've been warning people here for days: Geopolitics is not a real science. Nation-states are not equal and are not eternal. We should not equate nation-states. That's not how the world operates in reality. The real world operates through class struggle, not the rivalry between nation-states.


@ Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 3 2021 13:10 utc | 110

Again the disease of treating Geopolitics as if it was a real science. Every nation-state is evil and deserves to be destroyed etc. etc.

The reason the USA has been deindustrializing has nothing to do with China; it has to do with the process of general fall of the profit rate of capitalism. American capitalists didn't outsource manufacturing to China because of some conspiracy theory by the Chinese elite: they did so because profits were plummeting in American soil, so they had to find more profitable lands (China being just one of them: outsourcing happened also to all the other SE Asian countries - it just happens that China is bigger, so the scale is more noticeable).

Americans don't invest in infrastructure in the USA because it is not profitable to do so anymore. That's a hard economic fact. You live by capitalism, you die by capitalism - you cannot behave like a spoiled little girl and want the best of all possible worlds all the time.

Ironically, the GT published today an article asking Americans to stop whining about it:

GT Voice: US infrastructure woes cannot find solution in China

Posted by: vk | Jul 3 2021 14:29 utc | 113

Posted by: Smith | Jul 3 2021 12:43 utc | 104

The American dream is now made in

Posted by: notlurking | Jul 3 2021 14:34 utc | 114

Gordog - much appreciated your insightful and helpful technical commentary said much better than what I was intending to write.

Regarding limiting comments to 3 per person, many/most are conversational and not one-off statements of position. Therefore, if the followup comments add knowledge or clarification, comment away.

Agreed that the majority of western "experts" are hacks filling niches in the propaganda machine. Their main skill set is understanding what they are supposed to write with minimal overt direction. Technical competency gets in the way of a successful career.

Posted by: Patient Observer | Jul 3 2021 14:49 utc | 115

Unless the photo gives a false perspective, why cluster the silos so close together, that is, if they really are missile silos? It would appear that a single nuclear-tipped missile would take them all out.

Posted by: Frederick | Jul 3 2021 14:52 utc | 116


And the circles on the map representing silos seem (to me) to be photo-shopped.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 3 2021 14:53 utc | 117

BG13 @Jul3 13:48 #111

Working link: Gansu Wind Farm


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 3 2021 15:02 utc | 118

The SU did not lose the Cold War due to being forced into financial collapse by the West. That fiction needs to end if there is to be a better understanding of the past.

The most important factor was a loss of discipline allowing greed to become the driving force in the economy and the government. Gorbachev and most especially Yeltsin, either naively or as western agents, dismantled critical state economic controls and invited the masters of Greed, Harvard MBAs, to run/ruin the Soviet economy.

Putin and the forces behind Putin were able to restore order and prioritize the welfare of the population over the wealth of the greedy. Of course, greed, like any disease, will always be part of the human experience. The key is how to manage it.

China learned a lot from the Russian experience. The communist party of China seems to have been able to tame and harness the power of greed to the general benefit of the population. This also takes away the appeal of unrestrained greed that forms the basis of the Western economic model. BTW, greed is not just about money but access to providers of unrestrained decadence such as Jeffery Epstein.

Posted by: Patient Observer | Jul 3 2021 15:06 utc | 119

This photo is the new site for a 100MW concentrated solar power project utilizing molten salt towers. An entire city is now under construction to service this industry.
Shouhang Yumen 100MW Concentrated Solar Power Project

Posted by: Anonomi | Jul 3 2021 15:13 utc | 120

@ Biswapriya Purkayast | Jul 3 2021 0:06 utc | 36
@ dan of steele | Jul 3 2021 11:44 utc | 100

Isn't the whole point of nuclear deterrence is to show and not hide the nukes?
And wouldn't the ones who want to hide them are the ones who want to launch an alpha first strike?

Posted by: awaiting approval | Jul 3 2021 15:17 utc | 121

Lina Khan, age 32, has been designated Federal Trade Commission (FTC) chairwoman. She has been a leading critic of dominant technology companies. In 2017, during her time as a student At Yale Law School, Khan published a paper called "Amazon's Antitrust Paradox," drawing attention to the current "unequipped" and unnuanced antitrust framework. She wrote that it enabled the tech giant to evade antitrust scrutiny. Khan believes that while low prices are good, concern for other factors like wages and environment ought not to be disregarded.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 3 2021 15:49 utc | 122

China is productively investing in many other countries with '3rd world' type problems. Why not the US?

financial matters
May 1, 2011

I don’t think that idea has gotten the credit it deserves….

Xin Fa’an: A Modest Proposal to Resolve the Coming Trade War

Michael Pettis

Well I guess one way to get this balance (here comes my modest proposal) would be for China to engineer a New Deal in America, which we could call Xin Fa’an (“new deal” in Chinese). Beijing needs the US to continue running a rising trade deficit in order to absorb Chinese overcapacity while China slowly rebalances its economy towards domestic demand, which will take many years.

the US is paradoxically in a very good position to increase investment because it has very poor infrastructure for its levels of development. The US has tons of room for a major expansion in infrastructure and, unlike in China, almost any infrastructure spending is likely to be value creating.

Let China engage in a massive rebuilding of US infrastructure – it can build airports, highways, damns, and railways – which would raise investment levels enough keep the US trade deficit high in a way that benefits the US and China.

Talk about win-win. China will get the eight to ten years it desperately needs to engineer what will otherwise be a brutally difficult rebalancing.

So can we get China to fund the Xin Fa’an in America? Probably not. Muddled Chinese public opinion will be furious that desperately poor China is investing in rich America, even though the overall returns will be better and the cost of China’s adjustment will be much lower. Muddled American opinion will be furious that America is “selling out” to China. Bumptious politicians in both countries will completely fail to get the underlying economics of the trade, and they will never allow it to happen. But it is still a pretty good idea.

Posted by: financial matters | Jul 3 2021 15:51 utc | 123

others have noted some of this already: I will reinforce what they said.
The American oligarchy and multinationals had already been outsourcing American jobs for almost 2 decades before China. The original Asian Tigers were Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea. These entities grew enormously in the 1980s due to US outsourcing.
Japan noticed this - and so the late 1980s up to mid 1990s (and Plaza Accords) were Japan taking over from the Four Asian Tigers.
China came into the spotlight after the Plaza Accords and with Bill Clinton.
Thus what we are seeing today isn't some short term problem that just cropped up - it is the symptom of a generation's worth of screwing of the American people and society by its oligarchy.

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 3 2021 15:58 utc | 124

@Patient Observer #120
I disagree completely with your assessment. Gorbachev came into power precisely because of the perception that the Soviet economic model was failing - and it was failing due to a long period of oil price suppression by the Saudis in collusion with the US.
Gorbachev in turn naively believed both the economic lie and the geopolitical one: the economic lie being that free markets actually create economic prosperity and the geopolitical one being that the de facto surrender of the USSR would result in Russia being integrated into the 1st world economic community.
As for China - greed isn't the right word.
The real problem with full-on communism/Leninism is sheer bureaucracy. There just isn't enough time or administrative capability to handle all of the decisions and knowledge for a modern economy. The larger the bureaucracy, the worse the risk of the bureaucrats taking over the role of feudal lords or billionaires in those respective systems.
But China has done a number of very anti-greed things:
1) The government still owns the land. This puts a damper on the worst real estate market speculation.
2) The government still firmly retains power over its financial system. The stoppage of the Ant IPO is but one example of many.
3) The government also retains control over its media and internet.
Information, Money and Housing - the big 3.
Contrast that with American policies:
a) Housing is explicitly propped up by Fed and US government policies.
b) The banksters run the government. Treasury secretaries going back forever are literal banksters.
c) Media is controlled by tech companies and billionaires who shamelessly and transparently use them to further their own goals.

Is China perfect? Absolutely not. The real question is still: what happens when the 1st generation are all dead (getting there) and their immediate children are also retired.
Will the driving strategic imperatives which built China into what it is today, continue? Or devolve into greed and self interest?

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 3 2021 16:07 utc | 125

..from Vox
Why does it cost so much to build things in America?
This is why the US can’t have nice things.
As Congress argues over the size of the infrastructure bill and how to pay for it, very little attention is being devoted to one of the most perplexing problems: Why does it cost so much more to build transportation networks in the US than in the rest of the world? In an interview in early June, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg acknowledged .. .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 3 2021 16:07 utc | 126

Re Hypergolic mix re Oxidant choices: Aqueous Nitric Acid requires complex or exotic materials of construction depending on temperature and concentration ranging from extremely low carbon Austenic stainless steels, Titanium, Zirconium, GlassSteel (Pfaulder’s), high Silicon steels, etc.. As with all Strong Acids (and Alkali), Nitric Acid releases heat upon dissolving it into water. Concentrated (anhydrous) Nitric Acid (>98%) does not need anything more than Carbon Steel. Likewise, in the absence of water, Nitrogen Peroxide ( dinitrogen tetraoxide) does not require fancy metallurgy but any leak will be extremely toxic and visible (red-orange-pink clouds). If N2O4 finds any water it will make Nitric Acid and release heat. Thus, these Oxidants must be kept dry and away from any Reducing agents (fuels).

Posted by: Sun Tzu | Jul 3 2021 16:16 utc | 127

@Anonomi #121

The article states that the area of Shouhang Yumen 100 MW Molten Salt Tower CSP Project is 13 km². I have measured the area of the alleged missile silos complex. The upper part is about 300 km² and the lower part is about 400 km², for a combined area of 700 km². So unless the concentrated solar power project has been expanded by a factor of 54, it does not explain what we’re seeing.

(To measure distances and areas with Google Maps, right-click the map and select “Measure distance” from the context menu.)

Posted by: S | Jul 3 2021 16:19 utc | 128

Anonomi | Jul 3 2021 15:13 utc | 121

Bravo! This does make the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies seem to be just another part of the mighty Wurlitzer. Incredibly poor research.

That seems to be a very ambitious project and I wish them well. We need more and faster development of solar and wind power. Its just there for the taking. My own desire is for wave motion to be harnessed...that too just seems to be there waiting to be exploited.

Posted by: dan of steele | Jul 3 2021 16:22 utc | 129

The caption on the right side of the picture says "Yumen Gansu Windfarm"

Posted by: The S | Jul 3 2021 16:25 utc | 130

VK (#113) & c1ue (#124),

You’re missing a few important elements of the Financial Empire’s plans. Most of the Empire’s Orcs (trolls,...) want to hide its evil intent, malice, reality,... You’re right in stating, “The reason the USA has been deindustrializing has nothing to do with China.” However, there is more to rationale behind it. The Financial Empire wants to capture various regions, privatize their assets and own them using financial mechanism.

The Financial Empire has followed an interesting FRACTAL since 1950s.
– It first exploits a region through its FDI in manufacturing or its strengths.
– The region is pushed to let its currency float.
– Then a currency attack is launched on the region.
– Its assets acquired for pennies on the dollar.
– This way the Empire privatize and own assets, and grows.

In early 1990s, during the PC wave, manufacturing moved to Asia (Malaysia, S Korea, Indonesia, Mexico...). These nations needed jobs, so went with FDI and floated their currencies. First came Tequila crisis of 1994 followed by the Asian financial crisis in 1998. The Financial Empire LOOTED these nations. Where it will move manufacturing from these many nations? What will be its next TARGET? There was no place in the world other than China to support this scale for the Empire. So it moved there thinking it will once again implement its fractal to capture China. However, China had learned from its trickery and outsmarted the Financial Empire. It took all the manufacturing, FDI, know-how to build the nation. It didn’t let its currency float, and the Financial Empire couldn’t capture it! Now the Empire is disappointed and out of luck!

Wall Street owns U$A’s corporations, who follow its plans to maintain their stock price. Their valuations is Wall Street’s POWER. U$A’ens have been bribed with cheap goods and the world reserve currency. They happily let themselves be looted and served the Empire. Arrogance, greed and violence as values gets one into troubles.

The Empire’s Orcs hide their malice by blaming China. Please analyze the global developments from 1950s and one will see light! The Financial Empire is failing and crawling towards JUSTICE!

Posted by: Max | Jul 3 2021 16:31 utc | 131

The Russian’s are extremely knowledgeable suppliers of Titanium. Titanium is quite suitable for marine applications as it is inmune to Chloride attack (pitting) as would be encountered by ferrous metals in seawater. Admiralty Brass is suitable for marine applications too but totally inadequate for anything containing Nitric, Nitrogen Peroxide or even Ammonia. Some Russian subs have a Titanium hull. I could see liquid fuel submarine launched ICBMs made of Titanium tubes so they can be stored outside the pressure hull on the seawater side.

Posted by: Sun Tzu | Jul 3 2021 16:33 utc | 132

Gordon @ 53

Thank you for the additional info on Jeffrey Lewis. I had suspected as much but had no details.

Two friends sent their children to Middlebury. Both students found their way to the International Studies program. The smarter of the two had ten years of continuous accolades, promotions, prize assignments. She quit the field entirely when she came to learn that she was wholly incompetent. Her Chinese counterparts were only respecting her because she was from family that could trace lineage to the Sung dynasty. Otherwise her education and her work experience amounted to zip. Her Chinese counterparts had been patiently and cautiously attempting to teach her the business. Once she became aware of what competence would mean she doubted she would ever get there, and knew competence would be utterly unacceptable to her US sponsors and employers.

Posted by: oldhippie | Jul 3 2021 16:37 utc | 133

Hate getting names wrong. It was spellcheck that made gordog into Gordon.

Posted by: oldhippie | Jul 3 2021 16:38 utc | 134

One seldomly talked about observation is this one, noticed by several of the US scholars at the time in 1971-- particularly from those adherent to the radical group "Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars:
The US rapprochement to China came just a few weeks after US strategic planners and the Nixon crew under the Rockefeller's Heintz-Georg Kissinger had taken note of news indicating that Chia had the ability and means to reach and bomb parts of the US -- or at least its bases -- with nuclear bombs.

Posted by: Tollef Ås/秋涛乐/טלפ וש | Jul 3 2021 17:00 utc | 135

I agree with VK's @ 114 rejection of donkeytale's (@110) statement "Every nation-state is evil and deserves to be destroyed .." <=but if that statement had been "Nation states governed by puppets of the profit seeking globalist should be dealt with .." i might agree.

<<=it was falling profits, not evil, religious, political, racial, or cultural reasons <= that caused the Oligarch to use the nation state as a relocation vehicle. The governing politicians performed as instructed <=the global oligarch Instructed:

Beginning after WWII, politicians passed, many, ever-increasing, increasingly more one-side favorable, tighter copyright and patent private property monopoly laws (these so-called intangible property laws enable powerful governmental protection to private owners of technology and public knowledge; such laws are the essence of private profits).

In short these laws make business and industries portable to their owners. Private ownership of global monopoly power enable "enterprise relocation" without change of ownership and without owner loss-of-control over the businesses or industries that relocate. These businesses and industries that relocated were the providers that made America great.

It was this public knowledge (since converted to private ownership) that kept America a thriving competitive environment. The governed masses would compete each day to make America Great. But Rule of Law was used to rape America and to take from Americans their pride and joy, the American industries, the American jobs. and the American known-how; which underlay the American Greatness.

The nation state enforced its rules of law, and in doing so, it facilitated the relocation of American industries to foreign places.

The political yes man puppets passed many, many environment laws. The laws they passed. forced the impact of unattainable goals (save nature from itself) to be distributed to the city planning and zoning levels (where power-seeker politicians could use them to micro-manage the extruding and exiting process used to deport local business and industry].

The leadership of the nation state claimed these exit laws were protecting the environment; but such law enabled grant and subsidy $s to pass to private departing global enterprises. These exit laws were used to force unwilling businesses to shut-down<= if the businesses were competitive to a global business; but if the target business, was a supplier of goods or services needed by the departing global oligarch businesses, the exit laws were used to assist that supplier to move to the place his global customer moved to.

The bilking of America used the nation state as its vehicle, and the politicians as the overseer-in-charge: controlled demolition, designed to benefit global corporate money makers, was the result. Demolition was the franchisee's response to global (headknocker) franchisor demand: make more profit (max @ 132 might have identified a rationale to explain deindustrializing <=he says its purpose is to capture various regions, privatize their assets and own them using financial mechanism...)

The law makers turned the nation state into a bouncer of the industries that made America great. A few years earlier Britain was de-industrialized in the same way, for the same reason, by the same powerful set of corporations and their oligarch owners, a few years before; the German governments refused the globalist, so Germany became the secondary target of WWI (primary was the Ottoman oil) and the primary target of WWII.

Whatever the reason, how ever its done, no part of it is done to benefit the masses the nation state governs.

Posted by: snake | Jul 3 2021 17:19 utc | 136

@all - Please fucking stop to feed that donkey-troll.

Further comments reacting to it WILL be deleted.

Posted by: b | Jul 3 2021 17:24 utc | 137

Those that think the US will go to war with China, conventional or nuclear, are not paying attention to what happened when the US war gamed war with Iran - a non-nuclear country. The losses were unacceptable in that conflict; how much more unacceptable will be the losses in a war with China? Again: if the US would not, will not attack Iran, under the incessant urging of Israel and its neocon allies at every level of government and corporate power, what does that imply about the likelihood the US will attack China? What is so hard to understand about this?

Posted by: JOSEPH DILLARD | Jul 3 2021 17:25 utc | 138

Perimetr @66&67--

Thanks for your reply! My comment was based on my admittedly shallow research to discover the reality behind the depiction of nuclear strikes in the last episode of Fear the Walking Dead involving Trident warheads that Wiki said were rated at 700KT.

My overall approach to this topic is global in scope and goes beyond the rockets, their motors and propellant to the overall strategy of a nuclear encounter. I mentioned MIRVing the rockets with smaller hypersonic projectiles that would act as ABMs, but they might also be aimed at targeting satellites, which raises a technical question: What happens when such a satellite gets disabled prior to the ICBM reaching its release point--are the warheads rendered "blind" or possibly be redirected to the middle of an ocean? A second point I have is related to the laser weapon that Putin mentioned very briefly in 2018 and the fact that ROSATOM has perfected very small nuclear power plants capable of powering such a system, with the lasers clearly being much faster than anything hypersonic. What I imagine is a densely layered ABM system consisting of lasers, hypersonics, S-400 & S-500s, and electronic disabling devices coupled with a functional civil defense network aimed at protecting as much of the populous as possible along with a counter-strike capability consisting of hypersonics and traditional ICBMs.

Imagine that less than one minute after the launch of a nuclear salvo, all the nav-sats are disabled by lasers thus blinding the enemy and hypersonics and lasers make fast work of the rockets prior to their reaching release point, destroying most. Any survivors would then get picked off by further hypersonics, lasers, electronics, and the S-400/S-500 belt of ABMs. IMO, that's the potential scenario NATO planners must anticipate, while NATO has no similar capabilities--yet.

I did what I could to find further info on Russia's lasers back when their existence was revealed by Putin, but of course I found very little. Given Russia's other outstanding advances, IMO it must be assumed that Russia has developed a genuine Star Wars ability based on nuclear powered lasers that are small enough to be road portable. I do know Russia never dropped the idea of Civil Defense as drills do get carried out annually whereas NATO nations decided not to protect their civilians long ago. As for China, I ask again: Why try to compete where your opponent's strongest and instead capitalize on its weakness? The most glaring Outlaw US Empire weakness is its utter lack of defensive capabilities as it's concentrated solely on offense--in the realm of nuclear war, the adage "the best defense is a strong offense" doesn't apply.

My appraisal of Russia/China Strategic Security is that they're nearing the point of impregnability. I don't know how many barflies share that assessment, but I hope to find out.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 3 2021 17:30 utc | 139


"With a land area of 12.95 km2, Yumen Shouhang 100MW Tower CSP Project takes molten salt tower solar thermal power technology equipped with 12 hours’ thermal storage system."

Each tower requires 12 sq km which comes to a radius of 2.4 miles. The caption under the satellite says the circles are about 2 miles apart.

The initial project will be 2.2GW which would require 22 towers. There are also several different projects currently going on in Yumen.
"A giant project is taking shape just outside the satellite town of Huahai, and Yumen officials hope it will put Yumen back in the vanguard of the nation’s energy sector.

On a flat, featureless track of desert, giant rings of mirrors are being installed. In the center of each circle is a tower, designed to receive the reflected sunlight and concentrate it into a beam that will melt salt, generating enough heat to run a thermal power station."

Posted by: Anonomi | Jul 3 2021 17:33 utc | 140

One should remember that the capabilities of anti-missile "defences" are also reliant on their radar capabilities -- whether inSpace, onplanes or gound.based. The Russian/Chinese and to some extant Irân have all these three. But the US and Israël just two each -- and wildly diverjing!

Posted by: Tollef Ås/秋涛乐/טלפ וש | Jul 3 2021 17:44 utc | 141

Karlofi (@140) check out this article on Peresvet: a Russian mobile laser system to dazzle enemy satellites.
About 560 Russian nuclear warheads have yields of 800-kilotons. You can read about the effects that one 800-kiloton warhead would have on a major city, see What would happen if an 800-kiloton nuclear warhead detonated above midtown Manhattan?

Posted by: Perimetr | Jul 3 2021 17:51 utc | 142

@ c1ue 124

To say that Thailand could have done what China did for the U.S. is absurd c1ue. I reiterate my statement that China was instrumental in the rise of the globalist paradigm we now find ourselves in.

It is not in the character of Thailand or any other SE Asian state to do what China has been able to do - to meet every industrial demand of American consumer-need.

Of course, when trying to corral nations under the thumb of the empire, the empire itself must make token investments in lackey-states whether that be Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Korea...but to say that China's actions did not accelerate the process to a lopsided degree is a silly statement. Only China had the capacity to undo America's manufacturing (read: nationalist) stance.

I would say that your statement here obfuscates China's role in the present we now found ourselves in. Par for the course on the groovy, China-lovin' moonscape.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jul 3 2021 17:54 utc | 143

Am I full Windiot?
I was surprised by relevance of the post by
by: Dr. George W Oprisko | Jul 3 2021 4:15 utc | 68. Thank you George.
I read all the thread, but all post around were about rocket & power.
Not Memory Loss | Jul 3 2021 9:41 utc | 88
& Peter AU1 | Jul 3 2021 10:19 utc | 90, Dan of Steel, and now, thanks Anomi, some more...

I just enlarged the picture linked by b., and read on the upper right side something in white letters


I just googled it, really basically. First link is to  Wikipedia

The Gansu Wind Farm Project is located in desert areas near the city of Jiuquan in two localities of Guazhou County and also near Yumen City, in the northwest province of Gansu, which has an abundance of wind. The complex is operating at below 40% utilization of the current 8 GW with a planned capacity of 20 GW.
The project is one of six national wind power megaprojects approved by the Chinese government. It is expected to grow to 20,000 megawatts by 2020, at an estimated cost of 120 billion Chinese yuan ($17.5 billion). The project is being built by more than 20 developers in two localities in Guazhou County and also near Yumen City.

I really big project !

Anonomi | Jul 3 2021 17:33 utc | 141 is probably right. Need a lot of new system to produce 20000 Mw!
Look at one of this Solar Tower in Morocco, Ouarzazate, Centrale Solaire Thermodynamique NooR.
North of "Solar Panels" is ONE tower surrounded by thousands of mirrors. Just 500m radius.

So, WTF?

Is that so simple? A Fake for Dummies? Or a trolling project in order to fill GP, Gz, MoA and others searching after bad bones? Windmilling our souls?

Into this world we're thrown
Like a dog without a bone
An actor out on loan

Posted by: Rêver | Jul 3 2021 18:14 utc | 144

Max | Jul 3 2021 16:31 utc | 131

re The Financial Empire is failing and crawling towards JUSTICE! ...

The maxim 'Justice delayed is justice denied" [Thurgood Marshall?] is useful for "the authorities" to effectively bypass justice, essentially using the law to destroy the law.

All part of the best and brightest deliberately mis-using Game Theory [Norbert Wiener] to upend any system or automaticity such as algorithmic procedure, Artificial Intelligence, etc.

On the basis that there are no absolutes as time moves toward, then there are no absolute proofs. Legal secrecy and legal "parallel" construction and other clever dodges leave an observer only common-sense and speculative reasoning [the-dog-did-not-bark] to point to the damn likely truth.

Only the insiders to events can have [relative] certainty ...and they are never going to tell all [thus at best. limited hang-outs].

E.g., Oxford/Cambridge "scholarships" are long-range recruiting tools inter alia other quiet uses. How could they be otherwise? Or if not, then someone is being utterly derelict in their duties.

E.g., If DTrump [and his assets] were not long ago recruited as co=assets for opaque, .gov agencies... that would border on the ridiculous-level of derelict-due-to-incompetence.

Oh! and as for AI...we're in for our ruin.

Posted by: chu teh | Jul 3 2021 18:23 utc | 145

@ snake (#136),

It is not the "Nation states governed by puppets of the profit seeking globalist should be dealt with .." When the Owners can create money out of nothing, “profit” is not the driving force. What is the DRIVING FORCE of our world? It is essential to understand and deal with the CORE (Rulers/Owners) of the Empire’s overarching goal. To understand their vision, strategy and plans, please do a thought exercise to build a global empire.

Here are a few questions to think about:
– Start. How would one go about building a global empire when countries are sovereign?
– Strategy. How would one achieve the goal of owning the most important global assets and control the global populace and the elites by turning countries to suzerainties to build a global empire?
– Sustainability. Having built the global Empire, ensure that it can’t be easily threatened, by making each suzerainty and individual, dependent on the Empire. How would the evil plan accomplish this sustainability goal?

Ones one answers these questions they will gain good clarity about the Empire’s strategy, plans and moves. What will be the key CONTROL elements of the plan?

Power and money (elements of GREED) have been the two great corrupting influences on mankind throughout history. In a money democracy (where the fundamental element of influence is the unit of money), the political and legal system is influenced and shaped by systems of power to protect and enhance those systems of power. The rights of individuals and emergent social groups of human beings are irrelevant next to the rights of power systems to perpetuate, dominate and control.

“Those who create and issue money and credit direct the policies of government and hold in the hollow of their hands the destiny of the people.”
– Reginald McKenna, former Chancellor of Exchequer (in England)

Posted by: Max | Jul 3 2021 18:25 utc | 146

Perimetr @143--

Thanks for your reply! I just read the linked bulletin essay and it's along the lines of what I expected from my own NBC training back in 1979, which renders what was portrayed by the TV show to be extremely inaccurate as it suggested survivability within 10 miles of ground zero. I should make it clear that I don't support nuclear weapons and have never understood the mindset that would utilize them. But unfortunately they're a reality in our world, so my mindset has always focused on how one can best defend against and survive another Truman. I'd hoped for a better depiction of reality from that Fear the Walking Dead episode, but was severely disappointed when viewed.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 3 2021 18:35 utc | 147

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."

I love it! But I am troll and part time bot.

I can't help being a retard.
I'm Canadian... eh
At least I'm not a goof tho.
That would be worse in these parts.
Thems fighting words.

Posted by: David G Horsman | Jul 3 2021 18:36 utc | 148

how many dr strangeloves there are in this world, including the author of this blog post. Sitting in Delillo's "endzone" jabbering about this horror like they are coaching a football game.

this is what is meant by "Chinese socialism," the ability to kick some capitalist ass in a nuclear nightmare. a bunch of shylocks trying to better the instruction of their capitalist teachers.

thank God, Gaia, nature, Prakriti, whoever, this planet is melting. people want it.

you are totally enamored w/your ability to blow shit up.

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Jul 3 2021 18:41 utc | 149

@ chu teh (#145),... justice comes in different ways. Time will tell...

Sooner or later everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences. Hubris will meet its nemesis!

“In God We Trust”

Posted by: Max | Jul 3 2021 18:45 utc | 150

Jachrabbit "The Taiwan Straits are an international waterway. If a US ship is attacked there it would be difficult for China to claim that it was merely an internal matter or that it was necessary for defense."

I doubt China will attack a US ship just because it sails through the waterway. I am talking about Taiwan declaring independence in which case China will take control of the island US attacking China on behalf the island. Earlier I had thought US might just stand back and use it as a propaganda tool, but virtualy all US automotive chips come from Taiwan.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 3 2021 19:00 utc | 151

This is the Middlebury institute of international studies web page on China.

I cannot find anything on the supposed missile site. The photo put out is very low definition with positions of supposed silos marked. No high definition of any of the actual silos.
Earlier I had thought the area was between two rows of hills but that was more an illusion the way the topography appears on sat images.
As somebody upthread has pointed out, there is already a wind farm in the vicinity. Planet is the sat pic crowd and those pics have high definition but none are shown of the site. Most likely just more bullshit from yankistan.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 3 2021 19:10 utc | 152


Thear are hills to the south of the site. water runs off those hills and across the plain , not in one water course but many little gutters. I have seen this in more arid regions in Australia. It is not a flood plain, but the will be a name for this geographical feature.

To the north of the site it is relatively flat farming land, but that merges into hills as that strip runs west.
The could be very low hills difficult to gauge height on the sat pics, but defiantly hills to the south and to the north east.

Some of it is actually a genuine food plain. A main water course comes through the hills to the south, there is a dam on that watercourse, emerging from the hills it fans out into many gutters or channels like a delta.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 3 2021 19:22 utc | 153

Reading through the comments, several have linked to the molten salt solar project. Thanks. That looks to what is under construction at the supposed missile site.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 3 2021 19:37 utc | 154

@chu teh | Jul 3 2021 18:23 utc | 145

If DTrump [and his assets] were not long ago recruited as co=assets for opaque, .gov agencies... that would border on the ridiculous-level of derelict-due-to-incompetence.

A bit off topic and untimely, but for the sake of the slower witted contributors such as memesisfailing, I will again point out that if you want to know more about the mob, the cia and the trump, start by looking at "the mary carter paint company" and follow the crooked trail of breadcrumbs from there on.

Posted by: Lurk | Jul 3 2021 19:37 utc | 155

@ max & snake

Thank you for your synergistic analytic contributions. In one of my first posts on this site, I stated that all of these machinations are at the root ena led by the non-natural legal persona. All corporate entities, but also the state are examples of non-natural legal personae. We have literally been hypnotized into believing in these fairy tales, just as we had been in earlier ages hynotized to believe in gods, angels and saints.

Until we humans understand that these false appearances are but counterfeits of the ultimate reality of our mutual trust and understanding, we will be bound as slaves in the chains of these illusions.

Money, after all is the trust in a concept based upon mistrust. All money-bartering expresses: "I do not trust you, but I do trust your money."

Posted by: Lurk | Jul 3 2021 19:49 utc | 156

Rancid @ 106

How the Left has changed. It may not be a shock that they do, but something to celebrate? Dear oh dear.

I have been spun out about that for a long time. How the left hates Russia as well. Their go to websites are all farcical garbage put out by operatives of the USG.

China has another nuclear nemesis beside the US to worry about. I doubt the US has to worry about getting struck by India. I also doubt that China fully trusts its neighbor to the North as well.

More time and research will prove what is going on in that desert. Information spun out by the media is always suspect.

Posted by: circumspect | Jul 3 2021 19:56 utc | 157

Thanks to those who have provided good info about this being a wind power farm! So much for US 'arms control' experts propagandists, lol!

Thanks also to Oldhippie for that inside info on that goofy Middlebury 'insitute' lol!

I will add a little more technical rocket stuff that some might find useful---specifically in regards the solid versus liquid fuel issue.

@ BG13 who posits that the advantage of liquid-propellant engines is due to the energy density of the propellants.

This is not the case. A brief explanation. The purpose of any reaction engine, whether turbojet or rocket, is to create thrust by accelerating a flowing mass of propellant through a nozzle.

Think of a garden hose---if you increase the PRESSURE [by opening the valve] the flow of water accelerates and makes a much bigger arc in its path through the air.

This shows that it is PRESSURE that is the key to making WORK energy. This is a basic thermodynamic principle that applies to all heat engines [from air conditioners, to cars, to rockets]---only pressure energy can be converted to work energy in any heat engine.

That work energy being the kinetic energy of the fast flowing fluid coming out of the nozzle. As the flow enters the nozzle, the pressure energy is converted to SPEED [kinetic] energy. In other words, the pressure dissipates as the flow speeds up!

This is the very definition of thrust, which is simply fluid velocity times fluid mass flow.

Heat by itself can do no work! Think of a fire in a steam boiler---it is useless without the water turning to steam under pressure, which actually drives the piston or turbine that drives the wheels of the locomotive or an electric generator.

What the heat does is allow the available pressure to do more work. [Getting into the thermodynamic weeds here, this is due to a property called enthalpy, which means a fluid, for instance a rocket gas at a temperature of 2000 degrees, will create a lot more kinetic energy as it expands in a nozzle, than that same gas at the same pressure at room temperature].

Now why is this important in a solid rocket? Because a solid rocket can never achieve the kind of PRESSURE of a liquid rocket!

The solid rocket pressure comes from the propellants combusting in that casing, and their expansion into a gaseous state causes the gas pressure to build up. That is how pressure is created in a solid rocket.

As the rocket propellant is burned up, the volume space inside that casing grows ever larger, and the pressure, therefore smaller. This is the big difference in rocket performance. This is also why the advanced Russian staged-cycle engine technology is so important. It makes much higher pressure, which means the engine does not need to be stressed as highly trying to convert every last scrap of pressure into thrust! This results in greater reliability.

The second point about the liquid fuel advantage supposedly getting smaller as the rocket size decreases is also not correct. In fact, the opposite happens---the bigger the solid rocket, the more efficient it becomes.

This is due to a basic physical principle that is important to all engines---known as the square-cube law. A volume grows bigger by the cube, while surface area only grows by the square. For a rocket that is 10 times bigger, it means it has a 10 times less surface to for its volume!

This is an advantage because most of the weight is in that casing [which is the rocket's surface area]---and that casing must be a robust pressure vessel to withstand the high gas pressures. This means a lot of weight.

It means that the ratio of the mass of the casing [which grows by its area, assuming the same wall thickness] to the mass of the propellant, which is a function of cubic volume, is now much more favorable in the big rocket. Less casing weight per given mass of propellant.

A similar effect is in play in every other kind of heat engine===they all get more efficient as they get bigger. The engine's power grows by the mass flow, which is a function of cubic volume, while its friction losses occur at the wall, which is a function of area that only grows by the square. As a result the bigger engine is always more efficient, all else being equal.

Now as to the question of thrust vectoring a solid rocket. Yes, this is a must. But this is not the same as throttling! Thrust vector only lets the flight vehicle change its course, and can do nothing about its speed.

And it's not possible to have reverse-thrust as on an aircraft engine, since the flow from a rocket nozzle is always supersonic, in fact hypersonic.

This requires what is called a converging-diverging nozzle. A good graphic explanation is found here.

We see that the flow coming out of the combustion chamber is first accelerated by a converging [constricting] passage, which is the same principle as a garden hose nozzle.

This speeds up the flow to exactly sonic velocity at the nozzle throat, which is the smallest cross section area in the middle. After reaching sonic velocity the physics of gas flow curiously REVERSE!

To speed up even more and reach supersonic and hypersonic gas velocity, the 'nozzle' must now get progressively bigger---hence the characteristic bell shape of the rocket thrust nozzle. The maximum exhaust velocity of a chemical rocket engine is about 3.5 km/s. That's about 8,000 mph.

So it is plainly not workable to reverse this thrust in the way that an aircraft engine does. An aircraft turbofan reverses thrust by diverting ONLY the fan bypass flow, not the exhaust from the engine. Neither of these speeds is supersonic!

Thrust vectoring is accomplished by what is called 'gas dynamic' means, which is a fancy way of saying that they stick a paddle in the exit flow of the nozzle. You can see that in an air-to-air missile here, and in a Scud missile here.

The solid rocket boosters on the shuttle used a different scheme where the entire nozzle was able to gimbal, which is a lot more involved piece of engineering. An illustration here.

This requires a SEPARATE power source, consisting of a small hydrazine-fuel engine, to power the hydraulic pumps that move that mechanism.

Now here is what actual thermonuclear warheads look like. This is a picture of technicians loading W87 warheads onto a carrier bus for the discontinued Peacekeeper ICBM.

Ten such warheads were carried on that bus. You can clearly see the warhead physical size here, in scale to the humans. These had a power of about 300 to 475 kiloton each, about 30 times the Hiroshima blast. [Of course those early fission bombs were huge and weighed several tons].

Now the important thing to note here is that the bus releases those warheads high above the atmosphere. The warheads are given a spin to give them gyroscopic stability on their unpowered and uncontrolled flight to the target, which is many thousands of km. This prevents the heads from tumbling due to air resistance in the atmosphere, which would result in a miss of many kilometers.

So we see plainly that the whole trick to accuracy consists in that launch rocket delivering that bus to precisely that tiny piece of 3D space that I mentioned earlier. Once released, the only forces acting on the warhead is gravity, and atmospheric drag, which is a very significant factor.

This is why being able to throttle the launch vehicle is an advantage for precisely placing that bus and its warheads in the precise spot at the right speed etc. Even the effect of the explosive bolts blowing off to release the warhead must be accounted for, since it produces a force on the bus which can nudge it off course.

The Peacekeeper was a very large solid-fuel rocket and was in service for only 20 years [1985 to 2005]. It proved that large missiles with multiple warheads is pushing the basic physical limitations of solid-fuel rockets.

That is why it is better to use the much greater capabilities of advanced liquid fuel engines for any silo-based missile. Again, here the downside of possibly rupturing a propellant tank does not exist, as on a road vehicle.

And just an additional word about ABM. it has been mentioned in this thread that the Russians have an ABM system ringing the greater Moscow region. This consists of the A135 system that has been in service since the 1990s. This consists of 68 silos with 12 to 16 missiles each.

Now I think Peter also mentioned the updated A235 system that is now being tested in Kazakhstan. There is a good video here of the rocket being loaded off a truck and into silo.

This is absolutely huge size for an interceptor missile. But this missile is now the fastest interceptor ever tested, with a top speed of 5 km/s [11,000 mph]. Obviously this is assumed to be a liquid-fuel rocket.

There are actually several different sizes and ranges of rockets in the A235 system, for short, medium and long range interception; it's not clear which version this might be, but I suspect it is the shorter-range version. The longer range version would use even bigger rockets.

By comparison, the US Ground-Based Midcourse Defense uses a solid rocket interceptor that is also very large.

No speed number is given, but it is almost certainly not going to approach the speeds of that Russian A235 missile. And again, the ability to throttle means the ability to make tighter turns. Just like a car or any flight vehicle, slower speed means tighter turning radius, due to basic physics.

So this is I think an important issue to keep in mind when discussing solid versus liquid. The US has long since placed all its eggs in solid rockets, which do have advantages in mobile applications, but also real disadvantages in silo applications---and especially when it comes to interceptors that need to maneuver [sometimes violently] to catch up to an ICBM warhead.

Sorry for the long post, but those not interested can always skip over.

Posted by: Gordog | Jul 3 2021 20:03 utc | 158

Posted by: Gordog | Jul 3 2021 20:03 utc | 160

Thank you for interesting post. One nitpick though: solid rockets can have various impulse curves depending on grain geometry. They can either have eg. constant thrust, or start strong for some time then go into low thrust cruise mode etc.

What real problem with them is that there isn't throttle control during flight, per command, when needed (like in turns or when situation demands something else, sprint or cruise). So, they are not flexible as liquid rockets, but have their advantages (simplicity, reliability etc) and niche usages, usually as separate stages.

Posted by: Abe | Jul 3 2021 20:19 utc | 159

Abe, thanks. That is correct, and an important detail.

The characteristics of a solid rocket can be tailored [to a limited degree] by various propellant design schemes.

Posted by: Gordog | Jul 3 2021 20:27 utc | 160

As my final mumblings in this thread, lest I become regarded as much as a troll as kiza, I will humbly admit to a stupedous display of innumeracy that I had commited in earlier threads about the origins of the Ft Detrick virus.

As I had pointed to the scientific article published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, Volume 72, Issue 12, 15 June 2021, 106 out of 7389 blood samples collected in 9 states of the USA in the period Dec 2019 - Jan 2020 were found to contain antibody reactivity specifically to tye ovel sars-cov-2 virus.

My grave error was contained in the statistically inferred number of corona cases in the USA before the pandemic was anpandemic. I had made a quick guess that 1.1% of Americans had been exposed would equal to 300.000 unreporeted (or misreported) cases. How could I have been so wrong, off by an order of magnitude?

The correct estimate I later computed to be 106 / 7389 * 331 = 4.75

So in order to correct the record, I will restate that:

before the pandemic was a pandemic, already 4.75 million Americans had been exposed to the novel coronavirus.

Have a nice day.

Posted by: Lurk | Jul 3 2021 20:28 utc | 161


Thanks for the extra technical info on rocket engines. Something I have often thought about with the Russian hypersonic missiles is the velocity of the exhaust gas and the corresponding pressures to achieve that velocity.
Pressures that must be contained by materials that have high strength at exceptional high temperatures.

Every direction I look with hypersonics, there are huge hurdles to get over. The S-200 missile fielded around 1970 was around Mach 7 so the Russians have many years of experience with hypersonic missiles.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 3 2021 20:33 utc | 162

I can't help being a retard.
I'm Canadian... eh
At least I'm not a goof tho.
That would be worse in these parts.
Thems fighting words.

Posted by: David G Horsman | Jul 3 2021 18:36 utc | 149

Heh. To be fair, it took around ten years to cure me of it for good. I think it was the first year or two of the "Trump Era" that was the killer blow. It's really been a political carnival show since then. Hard to take seriously, even though the world is ending. How do you argue with babble?

Posted by: Bemildred | Jul 3 2021 20:38 utc | 163

Peter, thanks!

That link to the JP10 fuel doping is very interesting! It seems the idea is to add explosive materials to ordinary kerosene.

Kerosene is of course a much more practical fuel than hydrogen. They've been hyping hydrogen as an 'alternative' aviation fuel for years now, and the goofy 'science' media still fall for it, lol!

Posted by: Gordog | Jul 3 2021 20:57 utc | 164

My understanding of it was to increase energy density with reactive metals. To fit more BTU's into the same size fuel tank.
Apparently adding aluminium powder to ammonium nitrate explosive takes it well above the energy of TNT.

In looking at these fuels, I went back to take a look at something I had noticed on the Russian supersonic bomber. The color of the exhaust smoke on take off.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 3 2021 21:11 utc | 165

That photo of the wind farm B posted ATL comes from The Washington Post article B's post links to. The photo labels the turbines as being ICBM missile silos under construction and the WaPo article is built around the photo.

The WaPo hit-piece follows the same propaganda strategy used to smear China's programs in bringing education and employment to Uyghurs and other minority groups in Xinjiang. Aerial photos of schools, colleges and factories with boarding facilities are deliberately misrepresented as concentration camps in Western MSM. We should not be surprised that this propaganda ploy has been extended to portray Chinese renewable energy projects as nuclear military installations.

The West performed similar deceit in portraying Libya's Great Man-made River Project tunnels as storage for weapons back in 2011 when NATO forces invaded the country and bombed the infrastructure for that project.

No doubt in their fantasies, the psychopaths in Washington and London have their target sights trained on those projects in China aimed at improving people's lives.

Posted by: Jen | Jul 3 2021 21:11 utc | 166


Posted by: Rêver | Jul 3 2021 21:31 utc | 167

A thought on air breathing missiles. The SR-71 engines were turbine/ramjet. At mach 3 and above all thrust came from the afterburners and it was most fuel efficient at those speeds. As speed increased, less fuel was fed into the turbine and more fuel went to the afterburner. Its maximum speed was only limited by the intake air temperature.
From my understanding, ramjets operate in the high supersonic range, scam jets in the low hypersonic, kicking in at about mach 5. At some point their top speed would be limited by intake air temp. At super heated temps, the air would be very low density so not much oxygen supplied. Perhaps around mach 8 would be the limit of air breathing missile engines?

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 3 2021 21:36 utc | 168

@karlof1 #140

Don’t forget about the Poseydon system. Radars can’t detect it, missiles and lasers can’t intercept it. It’s hard to speculate on the topic, as the exact capabilities of the U.S.’s Integrated Undersea Surveillance System are unknown, but I imagine that Poseydon’s small diameter and its ability to cruise at depths greater than the deep sound channel will require a very expensive re-design of the IUSS to be able to detect it. Depending on the numbers, which we have no way of knowing, it may even be prohibitively expensive (as in trillions of dollars). To add insult to injury, the U.S. can’t really use the “intercontinental torpedos” against Russia, as Russia has a very small share of its population and GDP located near the oceans—there are only 1.7 million people living in Vladivostok, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Magadan, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, Arkhangelsk and Murmansk, and Russia’s economy can live without Sakhalin and Yamal LNG export facilities.

Posted by: S | Jul 3 2021 21:43 utc | 169

A few days ago, Andrei Martyanov, who occasionally comments here, posted this comment at his blog:

"I didn't know that it is already deployed on some ships but International Naval Salon 2021 (aka IMDS-2021) in St. Petersburg [Link at original] did produce some sensations in weapons, and the most important of them is the introduction of the new AD complex Resurs (Resource) which is already deployed on a number of Russian Navy's corvettes. First, in Russian, creators of NPO Almaz and Fakel explain:

"Two missiles, one medium to short range (from 1.5 to 40-50 km) 9M96M and short range 9M100 (from 0.5 to 15 km), both in VLS. The complex is designed based on principle 'one target-one missile' and full 'shoot and forget' capability. Now get this, read attentively:

"'‎"Any ship's detection radar' with sufficient accuracy characteristics can provide targeting to the Resource complex, Pavlov added. This will make the installation of the complex on existing ships cheaper.‎...

"Basically anything which has VLS can carry a mix of these missiles which can intercept pretty much anything flying above M=3.5. Suddenly, even such platforms as project 21631 missile corvettes can carry a number of such missiles and serve as AD umbrella for a strike group of similar ships, because it will be able to launch Poliment-Redut's 9M96 [Link at original] too in the nearest future."

These are naval applications that certainly have a land-based counterpart. And as he's intimated elsewhere, missiles equipped with their own internal AI guidance that don't rely on external radar or satellites will come next. Do recall Putin's admonition about whoever gets the lead on AI will have an exceptional advantage until that window closes.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 3 2021 21:52 utc | 170

@Anonomi #141

Oh, I see. Each tower with its surrounding mirrors occupies 13 km². Now it makes sense. I mean, the size seems absolutely colossal, but maybe that’s a normal size for a concentrated solar power plant.

Posted by: S | Jul 3 2021 22:00 utc | 171

Off topic but video for you Gordog. I new this bloke a bit on a gyro forum. He was out of Alice Springs in the Northern territory, and I was out from Charleville in Queensland, Would have liked to have a few barrel races with him.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 3 2021 22:00 utc | 172

Tyzenfloot @ 102:

with modern and near future satellite surveillance techniques I wonder how much security there still is in keeping large missile launchers mobile. You can(or will be able to) keep track of where all the launchers are in realtime.

Keeping track of any particular spot on the earth's surface continuously and in real time is in reality a distant dream, and only happens in action movies, where the bad guys can never seem to get away from the omnipresent eye in the sky!

The physical reality is that spysats need to be in a polar orbit.

This is a low earth orbit of about 500 km that lets state of the art optics make out fairly small objects on the ground.

The sat orbits around the earth in a basically vertical plane, circling around from north to south pole about once every 90 minutes or so.

At the same time, the earth is circling about its axis of rotation, which is of course aligned with the poles. This means that one sat will only see a particular spot on the earth only once every few earth rotations, ie days!

If you want to see a spot continuously, you would need a HUGE constellation of sats. They would all need to be in polar orbit, but spaced out along the meridian lines. That way, as one sat loses sight of a particular spot as the earth turns, the next one on the next meridian over will bring it into view.

But that isn't enough either, because each of those sats is circling the earth from pole to pole continuously also.

So you need multiple sats on each meridian, so that as one flies over Russia say, and loses sight as it ascends towards the arctic, the next one coming up from the equator can take over that field of view that has been vacated by its predecessor.

The cost of putting up such a huge spysat constellation would be astronomical [no pun intended]. It would easily dwarf the cost of the mobile ICBM launchers it is designed to keep track of!

And if something like this were ever to be achieved, it could be countered by camouflage [Maskirovka] and deploying numerous dummy launchers moving about.

An even bigger problem is actually trying to hit one of those mobile launchers with an ICBM, even assuming you can keep track of the entire target landmass continuously.

It takes about 30 minutes from launch for an ICBM to hit its target. The target coordinates are programmed at launch and cannot be changed once launched. [This is because ICBM guidance cannot carry any radio equipment, since those could be jammed or even spoofed; imagine launching an ICBM only to have it come back and hit your own country].

Once the target country identifies those launches with its early warning radars and sats, it is then simply a matter of moving those launchers before the warheads arrive to its former location, as identified by the spysats. All the spysats could do is to watch as the warheads dropped on empty ground!

It's not a scheme that has any chance of success.

Road mobile is still a uniquely survivable ICBM leg, perhaps even more so than subs, which can be sometimes located, although with great difficulty.

Posted by: Gordog | Jul 3 2021 22:07 utc | 173

S @171--

Thanks for your reply! No, I hadn't forgotten about it or Mattis's bluster that it didn't alter the strategic balance. But it's clearly not a defensive weapon.

Both Putin and Xi are intelligent enough to know that at some future point parity will again be reached, which is why Putin at least insists on nuclear weapons negotiations. Imagine the horror that would present itself to a future Cheney or Truman after launching a first strike salvo and watching all their missiles get swatted away before reaching their release points knowing they have no means to stop the Russian/Chinese counter-strike--the strike their military assured them would never occur. Yet, I have confidence that neither the Russians or Chinese will launch a first strike as such a crime is unthinkable for them, so that's why I only look at the scenario from one angle. And that begs yet another question:

Having developed as close to an air-tight nuclear defense shield, will enough trust ever be re-established between Russia/China and NATO to allow for the decommissioning of such a system? Yes, I don't trust "my side" whatsoever thanks to the socio-pathology of those in power and those who will likely gain control in the future.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 3 2021 22:25 utc | 174

@Anonomi #121, #141

The satellite image of what is alleged to be a missile silo under construction in Yunmen is quite different from the photo of Yunmen concentrated solar power towers from the Bloomberg article. Also, the areas filled with mirrors are about 300 meters in radius (assuming track width of 2.5 meters), not 2 miles.

Posted by: S | Jul 3 2021 22:36 utc | 175

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 3 2021 21:52 utc | 172

I been following about Resurs complex since Martyanov's blog post, but I got to say there isn't much concrete info about it except that "sales pitch" from gun show (where producers tend to exaggerate a bit) so I would take it all with a grain of salt.

What we do know about 9M100 (short range) and 9M96M (med range) missiles is that first one is intertial/IC in terminal phase, while second one is IR guidance + radar in terminal, meaning they can be launched at known target location and let them run without corrections (fire and forget).

This is scenario described by producers (deployment on small ships without guidance/tracking radars, using only rough target position established by surveillance radars).

But this is far from great solution, as both missiles seems to use IR for midflight, so they can't be used reliably during bad visibility or complex env. situations (lot of targets, flares, smoke etc.) meaning they have to have clear line of sight to its target. Even midrange 9M96M seem to depend on it as it uses radar only in final stage (10-20km? depending on target size, I don't know) to ensure good interception and resistance to decoys.

So, IMO, system theoretically works in ideal conditions, but is far from reliable when things get complex - unless they are provided with in flight updates from platforms with other sensors (eg. ships with good enough radar). IMO it is great self defense addition to small vessels which lack any missiles/good radars, but far from dedicated AA defense bigger guys already carry. But this is all theoretical as we still don't know much about it.

And about AI and Putin's statement - I really believe he is just trolling US. AI, so far, is one overblown hype train. What really did bring advance in recent decades is computing power increase (miniaturization) and comm/network power that enabled sensor fusion & real time data extraction at unprecedented scale. This has nothing with AI.

Don't forget, all drones and fancy new toys in wars today are nothing more than glorified remote controlled vehicles, not some robot AI wonders.

Simply put, when Elon and other AI fanatics manage to finally build fully level-5 autonomous car (that drives, recognizes environment correctly and calculates right decisions so you can reliably put lives under its control) - and a lot of experts see this as a far away dream - only then we can start talking about AI bringing advancement to military sphere as well.

And it is far easier to make level-5 autonomous car that *don't* go into battlefield where other "pedestrians" and "cars" launch missiles at it while trying to jam it using lasers and EW and actively camouflage themselves. Battlefield is very noisy, smoky, complex chaotic situation - and they still haven't figured out how to make it even under laboratory conditions.

Posted by: Abe | Jul 3 2021 22:41 utc | 176

Gordog @175--

China provided an excellent graphic and video of how that would work when describing how communications took place between their new space station and its ground support stations.

From where I sit, the game's over and the Outlaw US Empire lost, so it's time to enter into the post-game negotiations. Unfortunately, I don't represent the Empire, and those that do refuse to see that the game's over.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 3 2021 22:44 utc | 177

Abe 177

AI? perhaps basic as yet perhaps not. One Russian antiship missile that is fired in salvos or groups has the main group low, just one at higher altitude to guide the pack. If that gets taken down, another gains altitude and takes its place.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 3 2021 22:52 utc | 178

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 3 2021 22:52 utc | 179

Well you are talking about P-500 Bazalt and similar missiles designed in `60 and `70s but that is just simple programming, not AI. There is no intelligence there, but just simple algorithm missiles follow.

AI would imply some form of learning and recognizing situations where solutions are not pre-programmed (and a lot more), a task only human operators can accomplish today and in foreseeable future.

Aside from that, AI is used for things that really have nothing to do with AI in semantic sense - so even this may be another level of trolling by Putin. There are some poor US intelligence schmucks brainstorming what did Putin think when he said "AI".

Posted by: Abe | Jul 3 2021 23:00 utc | 179

Abe @177--

Thanks for your reply! Lots of excellent points that can only be qualified by combat conditions. As to AI, I look at what's happening with quantum computing advances and 6G applications and see them as AI enablers. As with the initial Star Wars defense vision, these are very futuristic developments that will take time to become reality. And I doubt Putin's trolling as he talks up AI and other advanced tech with young people pretty much every chance he gets, yet he understands that AI is only one actor from a suite of actors that must work together for the desired result. Putin's quite lucky as he's privy to all Russian tech advances and likely most of China's too.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 3 2021 23:02 utc | 180

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 3 2021 23:02 utc | 181

Thank you for your points.

IMO, Putin is intelligence guy and president of Russia - it is his job to say what is in *best* interest for Russia. Now, if this means leading whole world on wild AI goose chase while he knows real power lies somewhere else - he would do it 110% with great confidence and sincerity, smiling - because it is his job and he takes is seriosly.

Don't forget, Russians keep their secrets, especially about their most important future weapons, always did that.

Posted by: Abe | Jul 3 2021 23:16 utc | 181

@Gordog 160
Thanks for having answered my questions. However, I mentioned available energy density, not referring to some mystic E=mc2, just the energy available by chemical combustion, where the mechanical energy to move something is always created via pressure (which is neither energy nor force, I suppose you are familiar with basic physical formulae), happens that way in a rocket and in all kinds of combustion engines. If your point concerning the scaling would be true, especially the small rocket engines would be liquid propelled - but they are not, AA/smaller SA rockets including MANPADS.
The conservation of momentum seems to be valid also for solid fuel rockets, opening a nozzle in either direction, creates the opposite impulse of the leaving combusted gas. E.g. moving the nozzle to allow for some deflection. This is according to the known physics a reduction in thrust and such throttling.

Posted by: BG13 | Jul 3 2021 23:20 utc | 182


I have heard the term 'machine learning' used, but not so much now though.

Thinking about AI and I think about western propaganda, where yesterdays propaganda becomes facts to build today's propaganda.

A machine learns something, but if that is wrong, it will still be used to support the next thing it learns....

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 3 2021 23:31 utc | 183

This article has the high def sat pics of the foundation excavation for the salt towers.

I wonder what sort of magical Chinese weapons these will become as the towers begin to take shape?

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 3 2021 23:44 utc | 184

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 3 2021 23:31 utc | 184

Yes, machine learning is similar and used interchangeably with AI by lot of folks. All of those spread like plague trough lot of industries (IT mostly), promising some magical gains and power not possible before (seeing future, mostly). All companies now promise "AI enhanced/enabled" this and that, while it mostly boils down to massive surveillance and data collection (eg. FB and such) in hope by analyzing it some new conclusions will be available.

IMO, all that sounds like a "software" solution to "hardware" problem. Military with better hardware will still have edge over enemy, and it still isn't clear what would that AI do really? Drive planes/tanks instead of humans? (we already got that with drones). Do some strategic/nuclear/defense decisions quickly instead of humans? (not gonna happen, there are lot of oldie movies explaining why). Predict future? (fat chance, all supercomputers can't predict weather, fog of war is far thicker).

Anyhow, I didn't hear Putin talking about nuclear powered cruise missiles or tsunami making gigantic torpedoes in 2001. He only talked about them in 2018 when Russia let the world know they have those superweapons.

So, if Putin is talking about AI now as superweapons of tomorrow, you can sure as hell bet Russia is working on something else completely.

Posted by: Abe | Jul 3 2021 23:59 utc | 185

@Anonomi #141, @S #173

The satellite image in the Washington Post article of what is alleged to be a missile silo construction looks nothing like the photo in the Bloomberg article of Yumen concentrated solar power plant construction. Also, the distance between what is alleged to be missile silos is about 2 miles (3219 meters), while the distance between power plant towers is, in my rough estimation, about 600 meters (assuming track width of 2.5 meters). So it doesn’t look like the structures shown in the Washington Post article can be explained as being part of the Yumen CSP project.

Posted by: S | Jul 4 2021 0:12 utc | 186

BG13 @183,

Look friend, I'm not here to take condescending and snide remarks from someone who tosses a lot of GIBBERISH. Much less be lectured about physics, from someone who knows NONE!

...pressure (which is neither energy nor force, I suppose you are familiar with basic physical formulae)

That tells me all I need to know about your level of IGNORANCE. I suggest you pick up an introductory thermo text and find out about PRESSURE ENERGY, ie flow energy.

You've got a heck of a lot of nerve for a know-nothing!

Posted by: Gordog | Jul 4 2021 0:27 utc | 187

About pressure energy. Some useful basic info for various know-nothings here who think it's okay to be impolite and disrespectful. From wikipedia:

Since a system under pressure has the potential to perform work on its surroundings, pressure is a measure of potential energy stored per unit volume.

It is therefore related to energy density and may be expressed in units such as joules per cubic meter [J/m^3, which is equal to Pa].


Pressure = Force x Distance / A x Distance = Work / Volume = Energy [in joules] / volume [in meters cubed]

Posted by: Gordog | Jul 4 2021 0:41 utc | 188

The 'A' in the above is for AREA.

Posted by: Gordog | Jul 4 2021 0:45 utc | 189

Abe 186

I should have put more thought into the concepts of machine learning vs machine thinking before bringing up those soviet missiles. Machine thinking can be extremely complex, but always constrained to what has been programmed into it.

With machine learning, what is programmed into it is merely a starting point but no boundaries to constrain it?
The more I think about it, a machine like that would need lots of emergency stop and emergency manual override buttons. it learning and future thinking would be determined by what was programmed in at the start. Just a small mistake or unknown there could lead to some interesting stuff.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 4 2021 1:11 utc | 190

So, if Putin is talking about AI now as superweapons of tomorrow, you can sure as hell bet Russia is working on something else completely.

Posted by: Abe | Jul 3 2021 23:59 utc | 186

Yeah, I agree, AI is bullshit. "Strong" AI didn't work out, so they came up with "data-mining" and "deep learning" to keep the technical mumbo-jumbo hot, and to have something useful to do with mountains of trivial data scraped from the web. Dumb asses. Having spent all that money snooping on everybody, they had to find a use for it.

Businesss people, "Capitalists" are dumb as a brick when it comes to that sort of thing. All they know is bookkeeping. They are gullible, and they are gulled.

Reality is massively parallel, and chaotic in the mathematical sense, everything happens at once, and nothing is absolutely predictable. No Turing-type machine is up that job.

If you want something like human inteligence, you are goiong to have to grow it, evolve it, like we do.

I am not worried about military robots. They will be gone in the first few days. Drones are a lots more dangerous, but lack situational awarenessm, the "sensory fusion" the military makes a fetish of.

Humans have it all, we are many, fun to make, self-maintaining, and can replicate themselves. Machines depend on us, not the other way around.

We need to stop believing all these con-men who claim to be wizerds. We leasrned all about wizards in "The WIzards of Oz", but nobody seems to get the message.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jul 4 2021 1:17 utc | 191

Bemildred 192
AI or machine learning will come. Like nuclear, it may be like letting a genie out of a bottle, but somebody will bring the machine learning out of its bottle , at which point, it can never be put back in.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 4 2021 1:23 utc | 192

While I support the idea that China needs to increase the size of its nuclear arsenal to counter the warmongers in Washington, I suspect this is not the explanation for what is being built on this site. About 190 km west of this location just outside Qilizhen is a concentrated solar power station and I suspect that that is what is going to be built on this site. 100 of them will give a total output of 5GW. The Gilizhen power station is about 2.8 km in diameter which would fit in with the 3 km separation between silos suggested in the Washington post. Watch that space.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jul 4 2021 1:24 utc | 193

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 4 2021 1:23 utc | 193

We disagree. I don't believe in the genie. No problem.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jul 4 2021 1:29 utc | 194

Short and to the point. Dunno about you but I probably won't be around long enough to see if I am wrong or right.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 4 2021 1:35 utc | 195

Peter AU1 @Jul3 19:00 #152

I doubt China will attack a US ship just because it sails through the waterway.

I agree but the Chinese can't keep USA out and any mistake (or ff) could mean a state of war. If an invasion looks likely, USA could send many ships into the straits. If a USA ship or aircraft is damaged in the "fog of war", USA will demand that China back-down (end their attack on Taiwan) or else ... One could imagine many problematic scenarios.

I am talking about Taiwan declaring independence in which case China will take control of the island ...

Taiwan doesn't need to declare independence. Declaring themselves to be a nuclear power is independence without crossing Chinese red-lines.

Earlier I had thought US might just stand back and use it as a propaganda tool, but virtually all US automotive chips come from Taiwan.

They are already milking the China-Taiwan brouhaha for propaganda and IMO will continue to do so until the time is ripe for Taiwan to announce a nuclear capability. Then they will say that Taiwan was "forced" to become a nuclear power to protect their freedom (again playing into Western narratives).


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 4 2021 1:48 utc | 196

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 4 2021 1:35 utc | 196

Yeah, can't know for sure; though I believe one might be able to get a handle on it mathematically, meta-mathematically, but very hairy stuff, I know I'm not up to it anymore, if I ever was.

The way you know they can't is they keep failing, and it's the same kind of failure. I have watched a long series of wizards who were going to fix software and bring Godlike machines to us. They all wind up like Musk's "self-driving" cars, they can handle the easy, regular problems with not too many things going on at once. After that. they need a human in the loop, or it's much too slow and too wrong. Humans make errors too, lots of them. Machines out in the real world make more. They have speed, they do not have flexibility, they only do what they are told to do, by people.

Genetic algoritms are interesting, but like I said, you have to grow them, and it is stil a very special solution to a particular problem.

My regards to you.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jul 4 2021 2:02 utc | 197

I look at both concepts and history to look at the future. A different way of looking at things I guess.
For the average person of the early 1940's, the power of the atomic bomb would have been very much in the realm of science fiction. In the 80s a mobile phone required a shoulder strap. Now Chinese machinery manufacturers are building earth moving machinery that can be operated from anywhere. Remote mine in Australia generally do a fly out fly in thing for the employees. With 5G the machinery operators could simply go to work in a building in a city, climb in the cab of their machine and operate it. With 5G the machines cab does not have to be on the machine.
Machine thinking has been around for some time now so for me in looking at tech advances of the past, the next step there is machine learning.
Not trying to convince you of anything here, rather just explaining my way of looking at things.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 4 2021 2:38 utc | 198

Cobalt 60, baby! Lets go woo hoo

Posted by: Bing Bong | Jul 4 2021 2:49 utc | 199


Right, but that is not AI. That is remote operation, with computer assistance, and a controlled operating environment. That's what drones do too. Now they want to put sensors all over the roads to make the computer in the car not have to be so smart. So it goes.

Those trucks are drones. The Russians big combat drone does not wander around the "battlespace" by itself either. Like the ground "terminator", it is for attacks on well-defended targets, heavily armored, lots of firepower, and no expectation of lasting long in combat with either humans or other drones. A few ATGMs and it is toast. It is too expensive except for special cases, like frontal assaults.

The Russians still use a lot of analog stuff, integrated analog, and I believe that is because digital is too slow. I suspect a lot of the difficulties the military wizards have had with costs and lack of progress is because they abandoned their anolog development and tried to do everyrhing the "easy" way with digital.

But no point in arguing.

Posted by: Benildred | Jul 4 2021 2:58 utc | 200

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