[This column was written for the Unz Review]
Frankly, I have never considered USN carrier strike groups as a “Cold War capable” element of the US Navy. Yes, in theory, there was the notion of forward deploying these carriers to “bring the war to the Soviets” (on the Kola Peninsula) before they could flush their subs and aircraft through the GUIK gap and into the Atlantic. In theory, it should have been a 600 ship navy too, but that never happened. In reality, of course, US strike groups were the ultimate “colony disciplining” instrument which Uncle Shmuel would park off the coast of a country disobedient to the demands and systematic plundering of the USA. Since most countries in the 20th century could not sink a US carrier or prevail over the comparatively advanced aircraft deployed on them, this was, all in all, a very safe game to play for the USA.
As for “bringing the war to the Soviets”, the truth is that had it ever come to a real war, the US carriers would have been kept far away from the formidable Soviet cruise missile capability (delivered simultaneously by aircraft, surface ships and submarines) for a very simple reason: every time such an attack was modeled a sufficient number of Soviet missiles successfully passed through the protective cordon around the carrier and successfully hit it with devastating results (while sinking a carrier is not that easy, damaging it and making it inoperable does not take that many missile hits).
And that was long before hypersonic missiles like the Kinzhal or the Zircon!
Truly, as an an instrument to deter or defeat the Soviets the USN strike groups were already obsolete in the 1980s, that is long before the the Russians deployed their hypersonic missiles which, as my friend Andrey Martyanov explained in his books (see here and here) and on his blog (see here), basically made the entire US surface fleet obsolete not only to fight Russia, but also to fight any country which possesses such missiles. Such countries already include India and China, but there will be many more soon, probably including Iran!
Today, however, I won’t discuss the missile issue, but what happened recently on the USS Theodore Roosevelt, which you probably know about: her captain got fired for writing a letter (according to his accusers, bypassing the chain of command) asking for help because his crew got infected by the virus. His letter was published by the San Francisco Chronicle and you can read it here.
Interestingly, when the captain, Navy Capt. Brett Crozier, left the ship, his sailors gave him a standing ovation:
Next, Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly called Captain Crozier “stupid”. That also became public, and he had to apologize and resign (clearly, Modly is not exactly a genius himself!). Then even more of the crew of the carrier got sick, including Crozier himself!
This is what is known in the US military jargon as a “clusterbleep”…
There is, however, also a lot of interesting stuff coming out from this story.
First, the obvious: USN carriers cannot operate effectively under a bio-attack (a truly weaponized virus would both be much more transmissible than SARS-COV-2 and it would be far more deadly). This also indicates that they would probably do no better under a real chemical warfare attack either.
Considering that in reality USN carriers are a instrument of colonial repression and not ships to be engaged against the USSR (which had real biowarfare capabilities), this makes sense (while most university labs & the like could produce some kind of virus and use it as a weapon, truly weaponized viruses, the kind effectively used in special delivery systems, can only be produced by a limited list of countries). However, in theory, all the formations/units/subunits/ships/aircraft/armor/etc of a military superpower should be trained to operate in case of a nuclear, chemical and biological attack. Clearly, this is not the case with US carriers, most likely because nobody in the USA really expected such an attack, at least not during the Cold War.
For the current situation, however, I think that the lesson is clear: the USN simply does not have an effective capability to operate under NBC attack conditions.
By the way, this appears to also be true of the French, whose only carrier has 30% infected sailors!
Second, I agree that going outside the chain of command is wrong, but let’s also consider the following here: the fact that the USS Theodore Roosevelt was having a large number of infected sailors is not something which could have been kept secret anyway, especially while in port. Not only that, but how do we know that Capt. Crozier did not write other memos through the regular chain of command before he wrote the one which became public? After all, any such memos could very easily be classified and never made public.
Finally, I will admit that my sympathies are squarely with the man who placed the lives of his men and women above all else, and not with the bureaucratic drone who put procedures and ruffled feathers above the lives of sailors and called the real officer “stupid” for his actions (wait! a USN carrier captain stupid?! Somehow I don’t think so…..).
At the time of writing (April 14th) there have been 600 sailors from the Theodore Roosevelt who contracted the virus and one death.
Finally, over 4000 sailors have now been evacuated from the ship (1000 are still onboard to operate the nuclear reactor and other key systems).
In other words, the USS Theodore Roosevelt is now completely inoperable!
The quoted CNN article concludes with:
Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. John Hyten told reporters Thursday the US military needed to plan for similar outbreaks in the future as the Defense Department works to cope with the virus’ impacts. “I think it’s not a good idea to think the Teddy Roosevelt is a one-of-a-kind issue. We have too many ships at sea, we have too many deployed capabilities. There’s 5,000 sailors on a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. To think it will never happen again is not a good way to plan. What we have to do is figure out how to plan in these kind of Covid environments,” Hyten said.
Yet more proof that the USN never took a bioattack threat seriously.
To be honest, it seems that the US Army has similar problems, here is a map of affected US bases I found on Colonel Cassad’s blog:
It appears that the US-based forces never expected any real attack (other than maybe one by terrorists equipped with small arms) so NBC security was never a priority.
[Sidebar: Note, in Russia, at least so far (April 14th), there are zero cases of servicemen infected with the virus. This will almost inevitably change in the future, but for the time being, this is true, in spite of having Russian military units helping to fight the virus both in Russia and outside. Just saying…]
However, this is not a fair comparison. First, bases located on land have far more interactions with the outside world than ships, even ships in port. Second, and much more importantly, in case of a pandemic or chemical/biological attack, bases located on land can better isolate those affected, bring in more resources or quickly disperse the personnel to better protect them. You can’t do that on a ship. In fact, the bigger the ship, the more it looks like an “armed cruiseliner” which, as we now all know, is a gigantic Petri dish.
Questions such as those above will only increase in number as the pandemic finally shed a much-needed light on the shocking reality about “the best! most powerful! best equipped! and best trained military force in the Galaxy!”: it can’t even protect itself from a relatively weak virus, never-mind defeat a competent enemy.
Will we get answers? Eventually, probably yes. But for the time being, the US is all about covering your ass while pointing fingers and blaming others (especially China, Russia and even the WHO!). This strategy has been an abject failure for the past decades and it will be an abject failure in the future.
[Sidebar: Trump’s latest decision to defund the WHO (to whom the US already owes a ton of money anyway) is arguably his worst act of “international PR seppuku” which will further increase the disgust the USA already inspires worldwide. As for our Israeli friends, they are proud that their Mossad actually steals medical equipment from other countries: after all, every Israeli know that Jewish blood is sacred, while goy blood is worthless. Another case of self-inflicted “international PR seppuku” for “the only democracy in the Middle East”]
But since that is all US politicians know how to do, this is not stopping anytime soon. Likewise, what is known as the “carrier fiction” will be upheld for as long as possible, especially since there is a lot of money involved for the US ruling classes.
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My morning laugh: “As for our Israeli friends, they are proud that their Mossad actually steals medical equipment from other countries: after all, every Israeli know that Jewish blood is sacred, while goy blood is worthless. Another case of self-inflicted “international PR seppuku” for “the only democracy in the Middle East”]
There are 12 carrier fictions the USN owns. That’s a lot of floating scrap metal.
A good use for them would be to gift them to coastal nations (Africa for instance) that have need for electricity. Let the nuclear power produce something worthwhile for the poor people near the ports.
And maybe repurpose some sections fo the carrier for hospital use. (Bill Gates will repurpose the hospitals for vaccinating all living creatures, but maybe God will strike him dead in the meanwhile.)
regarding mr gates, said in olden times…. a reputation arrives on foot and departs on horseback.
there is nothing like a like strong light shined into a dark closet to affirm the truth of this.
“regarding mr gates, said in olden times…. a reputation arrives on foot and departs on horseback.”
Please don’t regard this as criticism. Actually, I’m glad that you mentioned this famous and true statement. But I’m also pretty sure that this statement is from the (for me greatly admired) French writer Jean-Marie Arouet, for the outside world better known under his writers name Voltaire.
They actually had a real time exercise & horror experience about this 9 years ago, on the ‘N’ in NBC, at Fukushima 3/11/11 just offshore Japan’s coast were a flotilla consisting of the George Washington & the usual escorts IRRC, & it got hit with that huge radioactive plume downwind in the ocean as it was steaming in.
Everything was contaminated, carrier, planes, & crew first directly, then via the air intakes. It had some basic NBC warning sensors onboard, but after they went off, what to do?
So it returned stateside to that the Washington state are, site of the notorious Hanford nuclear test disposal area for complete strip down took a full year and half a billion $, again by memory.
So was completely mission incapable from the second it got hit by that plume.
I don’t recall any details of what at least 1 other ship that was affected had to go through, or at what facility.
Rense was one of the few covering this at the time for months.
Tom, I thank you for sharing this and at the same time my hat off to you for coming out and being brave.
While the “pandemic” is marking the end of an era, seen historically really a non era / vacuum, the question remains which ideas will come to fruition replacing the worn down ideological furniture of that era. both twins – rogue bullying neoliberalism and its uncapable fredo sibling socialism – will have to go and make space for new visions. savor the moment, in all its fright and glory. beati pauperes in espirito. happy those of humble spirit…
What I’d like to know; of the 10,000+ international soldiers at the Wuhan Military Games, just before the Covid outbreak, how many, if any, have become sick or tested positive for Covid 19. Thier dispersal back to thier home countries could explain the haphazard delivery of the virus to different parts of the globe.
@Larchmonter, while I may believe in God, it sure is hard to imagine why a benevolant entity would wish the Palestinians should suffer so. Sad!
Very good, and poignant, question about the war games, which are something no one seems to want to talk about or even acknowledge outside of PRC and Russian Federation.
George Webb youtube has been covering the NATO sponsored war games at Wuhan for weeks. He ties in the bio-warfare labs from all the usual suspects and the bio-lab origins. The “games” started in oct 19′ and the virus spread to all the countries represented. The “virus” did not originate at the “Wet Markets” but China’s bio labs did have a working relationship and funding for certain research that aided in the development by mainly “Western”
deep state actors. The means of “delivery” was likely by “aerosol” technique. Webb has daily vids and can be googled or duckduckgo to his site. I’ve stopped giving the link for vids as youtube simply gives a “video not available” message. Gee, I wonder why?
I see that Dr.NG Maroudas has posted a reply on this also.
Sean, the answer to you question will be found on the map. Notice those 2 hot spots in Washington Delaware area of the East Coast? West Point Pentagon Reservation and top high tech U$ Naval base. Near CIA HQ in Langley, Virginia. Handy for U$ Bio Weapons Labs in Fort Detrick and Fort Belvoir, Virginia — where people developed deep lung pneumonia and Fort Detrick was closed down for carelessness. Fort Belvoir which sent infected woman cyclist, Sgt.Maatje Benassi to Military Olympics in Wuhan, China, in October 2019 — three or four months before the outbreak in Wuhan.
There are more cases of Cov19 in the U$A, and more varieties of Cov19 in the U$A than in any other country because that virus was born, bred, grew up and made a family in the U$A. Readers have commented on this subject in previous threads on the Saker.
PS The Saker, writing as someone with experience in military matters, took it as axiomatic that neither side wouldbdeliberately launch a biowarfare agent because of the undoubted certainty of Blowback: “our” agent is certain to come back to ínfect “our” side. So I do not think the U$ Army is deliberately spreading this virus ar,und the globe. Uncle $cam was just being careless as usual.
“In WW2 when the Germans fired the British ducked. When the British fired the Germans ducked. When the Yanks fired everybody ducked.” — Apocryphal
What I’d like to know about the Wuhan military olimpics is how is it possible that the mighty USA participated in Wuhan with 172 “athletes” finished on the medal table in position nr 35….
Behind such powerful nations like Namibia (who brought 3 athletes) or Tunisia (who brought 17 athletes)
If there is a plausible explanation please someone let me know
Otherwise I guess all 172 US militarymembers there where bioweapon specialists
This will not be the end of the US carrier fleet, even though it should. Things will go back to normal, sailors will get better and hop back on those ships. For this to mark the end of anything would mean that the US learned something, no one should hold their breath.
The Military industrial complex has too much riding on the existence of the carrier fleet.
I don’t doubt the tenacity of the MIC but nothing, even evil, lasts indefinitely. Feb 16th was perhaps a more definitive moment for America than CV19 and its undetermined consequences. Rumours abound that several countries are not too enamoured with continued payment for goods in US dollars and Trump giving extra $trillions to the gluttonous 1% at the top of the dung-heap can only expedite the demise of the reserve currency. America’s worldwide standing is in tatters, piracy of PPE, increased illegal sanctions in the midst of a critical medical crisis etc, etc has opened the eyes of previously complacent people and left many more questioning just what is America’s future role on planet earth !
At this moment there is supposedly only carrier eligible servicing on open waters. USS Theodore Roosevelt is in good shape concerned on the technical stand but in quarantine now and according to my resource, ten other carriers are in repair or wanted for maintenance/repair. The brave sailors have momentarily no chance to hop back on their ships, even if are not infected. (I am sorry, I cannot found that resource, but I correctly know, that I have read it just two or three days ago).The monsters are not only obsolete but worn out. For example, maybe you remember the problem of USS Harry Truman. His collapsed electricity instalment forced the captain to return from service in the Atlantic Ocean to base. The repair lasted 6 months.
Thanks for the insightful info. The fact that they are repairing shows intended use. the US will not give up the flet anytime soon.
Of course, they will for they are still invaluable in their beating down poor undeveloped 3rd world nations that don’t comply with the empires central banks directives.
The vulnerability of the carriers, and almost every warship, in the ‘nato’ fleet was demonstrated when the Cook was shut down in the Black Sea some moons ago. Toss in those little Caspian Sea ships that slaughtered the takfiri, and ‘helpful observers’ deep in the mountains of Syria, with Kalibrs and the fear of God was instilled in their fleets. What few know is those little Caspian ships can get in to the Black Sea (not that they would be needed there, Black Sea Flot has plenty of Kalibr armed ships), they can also wend their way to well within Kalibr range of Europe and the rest of the ‘nato’ fleet by wandering up some of the rivers in Russia Proper. Not that they would need to today, but the very fact is they can and I’m sure that little snippet of info leads to some sleepless nights in European capitols every time SehSha rattles it’s saber.
Of interest was not too long after the Cook fiasco, and one other in the Persian Gulf that no one talks about, just about the entire US carrier fleet hightailed it for home base and were supposedly fitted to counteract whatever took down the Cook. Did it work? Not from what I hear.
As far as carriers are concerned, it is far from needed to sink the ship, simply damaging the flight deck, which is not that difficult in the scheme of things, leaves the ponderous behemoth emasculated and an instant liability that can not only not defend itself but can not defend it’s suite of support vessels, which puts the support vessels in quite grave danger.
And the truly frightening thing for the American, and European, tax payers is there are another five under construction, or in the case of two of the latest 100,000 ton monstrosities, in process of the builders trying to get the little details working, you know, like the ammo hoists and elevators to bring aircraft from the hanger deck to the flight deck and the ship wide toilet systems that seem to jam, at a $400,000 cost each event to acid clean, on a tampon or two. Literally.
What we are watching is the sun setting on a vast empire, one that could have done the greatest for our world but instead chose the dark side. None of us here on this blog will live to ripe old age long enough to see the end, and actually I think VVP and Xi will not allow it to actually ‘end’ suddenly because of the instant world wide economic fiasco that would follow a sudden demise, but the tragedy is an empire is slowly dying, an ’empire’ that could have been, might have been and should have been something great, yet chose to be something evil, an evil that was unfathomable in the smoking ruins of late 1945. More’s the pity, and eternal shame, for that.
Never The Last One, ebook edition. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ZGCY8KK A deep look in to Russia, her culture and her Armed Forces, in essence a look at the emergence of Russian Federation.
An Incident On Simonka https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01ERKH3IU March 2014. NATO Is invited to leave Sevastopol, one way or the other.
“None of us here on this blog will live to ripe old age long enough to see the end, and actually I think VVP and Xi will not allow it to actually ‘end’ suddenly because of the instant world wide economic fiasco that would follow a sudden demise,…”
It will be over by 2025, 2030 at the latest.
VVP and Xi may have wanted the Empire to wind down gently but the corona virus happened. From now on it is a spiral downward. With skill and luck it may be a glide and bumpy landing but it is down all the way from now on.
The only danger is that the Empire will lash out with its nuclear weapons in a “If I can’t have it, no one else can” gesture. It could happen, it does have a track record of using nuclear weapons for the most egregious pretexts.
As shown in this article, the United States government has recently granted potential COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers a massive favour:
Thanks to Andrew Cuomo, 19.5 million New Yorkers are now potential lab rats for Big Pharma with no recourse should the cure prove to be worse than the disease.
I think we’ll all be stuck with those vaccines if we want to participate in society, but I recommend being last in line. MSM has the people so scared, I think the “potential lab rats” will be lining up voluntarily.
Very bad idea. Those new vaccines will NOT be traditional ones but a gene-technology DNA vaccine. This technology is not safe at all and can have hundreds if not more unwanted (or wanted, by Bad Billy the population ‘remover’) side effects.
I agree. I think I did a poor job at being a little sarcastic.
There is nothing in this world that could force me to get vaccine. I doubt mass vaccination will ever happen regardless of the amount of MSM brainwashing. Too many people are against it.
A crozier is a shepherd’s staff for pulling sheep out of harm’s way. Ironic that Captain Crozier got dismissed for living up to his name.
He was dismissed for doing the right thing, but to quote a famous quote, ‘nobody ever said life was fair’. His career is over regardless of who may or may not sympathize with him. If he’s lucky he’ll be posted out to the Arizona Desert and spend the rest of his time in service taking depth recordings in dry gullies until he has enough time in grade to retire.
If it makes you feel any better Auslander CVN COs always have enough time at O-6 to retire from day 1 of setting foot on board. What’s amazing about CAPT Crozier is he gave up what are basically guaranteed admiral’s stars. I wouldn’t worry about him too much, he’s probably sitting on the ISIC staff being treated like a hero while waiting for his paperwork to go through the system. To be followed by a very high paying job afterwards, hopefully.
The captain is a hero. I’m sure he was fully aware his career severely negatively impacted.
Yes – the Captain was a hero, but for reasons other than the official story, so I have heard.
I heard at the time (once extra air defence systems were in place throughout Iraq) that a range of targets inside both Iraq and Syria were to be hit – there was to be first shock and awe style missile attack (C&C infrastructure and air-defence systems destroyed) then an air assault on other key targets. The french and British were to be involved too.
Another unconfirmed report suggested that targets actually inside Iran were to be hit too – against the explicit warnings of both Russia and China.
At the same time action in Venezuela was to take place – thereby potentially re-establishing the PetroDollar and the ability of the US to continue funding its empire.
According to the rumours, there was some kind of coordinated mass “soft-mutiny” – the ships participating in the forthcoming attacks (including several submarines) suddenly got taken out of action – struck down with Covid-19.
Apparently the mutiny on the French carrier was led by US Seal Teams – over 100 on the French carrier, effectively taking the French out of the fight.
It is unclear what / how the British were taken out of commision.
Hidden behind the Coronavirus PlanDemic there are several other plans to restore the global hegemon (the Anglo-American empire), including a fake asteroid / meteorite even on April 29th (a sort of project Blue-Beam meets Deep Impact Hollywood special effect fest involving a 4D projection light show, objects buring up in the atmosphere, and real explosions on Earth for effect).
The Greenland-Blue-Beam projector was to be used (Trump hinted about this when he offered to ‘buy’ Greenland last year) and a similar cause of event in the movie called ‘Greenland’ was to be followed.
Since the collapse of the Syria / Iraq / Venezuela attack due the soft mutiny, the Greenland fake asteroid programe was put in play for 29th April. The movie ‘Greenland’ along with trailers have also been pulled, but one can still be found here on a German site:
We now need to be watch out for fear generation and some sort of created ‘threat from space’ incident on or around 29th April whilst the planet is in lockdown, with medical teams ready, martial law ready, and control grid ready (all ready to be scared by a fake Blue Beam asteroid from space). Already candidates such are ‘1998 OR2’ and ‘Atlas’ have been put out to seed the people.
I forgot to give an example of multi-dimensional 3D or 4D Projection mapping to illustrate how any surface – a building, or a sky that had been prepared with a reflective surface such as a chemical dispersal – can have 3D objects projected upon it using mapping technology. Remember the military are years ahead of the examples on Youtube – so expect quite a show if they go for it. Here is a simple example using laptop computers and commercial lasers to make the point:
Which is strange b/c so many times we have heard about the coming close to Earth asteroid well in advance of its (non) arrival. So why would this particular event not be tracked by the experts and notification well in advance?
Cause its not real, closer to a 1930’s, quick radio war of the worlds martian invader of the Orson Wells variety.
We only got a couple of days notice of the asteroid that shaved earth two days after halloween last year. Randall Carlson is the man if you want to learn about the frequency of cataclysms that have been present for mankind’s history.
An asteroid event would have the potential to have a very positive impact on the psyche of a good chunk of the world’s more selfish population.
The Antarctic cruise ship Greg Mortimer had to be recently evacuated for a coronavirus outbreak involving 60% of the 217 people aboard. That’s a lot smaller than a carrier So the coronavirus would affect a lot more than the carriers, like potentially every surface ship down to a destroyer. Incapacitating the US surface fleet would be a military objective. Apparently a “truly weaponized” virus is not needed. It’s enough to just infect a crew with a reasonable possibility of serious medical consequences for a few of them. This results in ships being taken out of service. Ships seem especially susceptible because of tight quarters and recirculation of the air aboard.
I suspect it may be difficult to clean a coronavirus infection out of a ship, like air is recirculated and the virus gets stuck in the air conditioning and filtration system like Legionnaires’ disease. I have followed the path of various cruise ships in Southern California that appear to have no passengers on them but are going out to sea and doing circles for days. Why would they waste fuel for no reason? Maybe they are trying to flush the virus out and don’t want to do it in port?
I thought the virus can’t live on surfaces for very long. Wasn’t this the result of Dr. Hendrik Streeck’s studies in [town] in Germany?
Couldn’t they just empty the ship for a week or two and the virus would crap out?
Bingo, Katherine! Just to be on the safe side, 14 days and DONE!
“To be honest, it seems that the US Army has similar problems, here is a map of affected US bases I found on Colonel Cassad’s blog”
Apparently those u.s. military personnel training for the Wuhan military games at fort belvior infected a few people stateside before going to China… ;-D
BTW, which one of those red dots is fort belvior?
Fort Belvior is in “The Pentagon Area” bubble.
This morning as I started my day with coffee in my recliner, I had the wish, “I hope the Saker wrote an article about the decline of the US military…” And he did! I love stories and reporting about the decline of the US American empire – I read John Michael Greer’s story three times, so enjoyeable! (Twilight’s Last Gleaming)
I understand that the end of empire takes time – years and decades – still, every detail is encouraging. The US reign of terror really does need to come to an end. I cringe every time I read about the US bombing more Syrian families, training more terrorists at Al-Tanf, stealing Syrian oil, threatening everyone in the world and their uncle… how long, oh, Lord, how long?
Thankfully the chessmasters in Russia and China are avoiding direct military confrontation with the US, as the US leadership is unbalanced and nuclear-armed. They know that the US is on a trajectory to dismantle itself, to isolate itself, and to bring on its own demise. In the meantime, Russia and China will organize the rest of the world to live peacably with all world states, to develop economically, and to use up the rest of the fossil fuels that are still reachable. After those reserves of stored sunshine are used up, then the world can get on with the task of learning to live within what is available at a daily supply. But that is decades down the road. A century maybe. It’s coming, though; it’s just a matter of time.
The US will end. The industrial age will end. Complexity will end. Life will become much simpler, although much more stark. Everyone will have to work if they want to eat. Those who are wise will get in on this action ahead of the curve, like, today, or tomorrow, or yesterday. In the meantime, the US will continue to crumble, barking and snarling at all, and the global resistance to evil will grow.
Journalists and analysts like the Saker are chroniclers of this journey into the changing of an age, from industry back to an age of working with our hands and animal-powered machinery. It will be a cleaner, more sane world. It will take time, but it’s inevitable.
I think that it is safe to say that the 3rd Reich did not end. The German military lost the physical war but the nazis “paper clipped” West and what we call the “Deep State” is actually the 4th Reich. It inhabits all the usual corporations, government dept heads, academia, think tanks, MSM, etc etc.
This reminds me of argument “tanks are obsolete” sometime in 191x when they invented anti tank rifles.
Carriers have vulnerabilities, yes, like any other military tech. They have usefulness. Later outweighs former, bio-warfare doesn’t changes that.
More importantly, what you describe is vulnerability of all ships more or less, submarines even more. Does this ends them all? Of course not.
And finally, using bio or chemical weapons against carriers (or any ships at that) is ridiculous idea. Problem to solve is how to deliver warhead to distant, mobile, highly defended and packed with sensors. One who accomplishes that will not bother with germs or gas in warhead but will use explosives for instant and guaranteed kill.
So no, this pandemic changes nothing.
I think that you are missing a couple of things here.
First, the main reason why pretty much the entire US surface fleet is obsolete is not the pandemic, but hypersonic missiles. This is why I did NOT mention submarines.
Second, what the pandemic shows, is that the USN cannot cope with one OTHER possible vector of attack.
Third, did you know that Russian ships have a “washdown” capability? The entire ship is covered with something like small sprinklers which can pump water over the entire ship. Of course, this can be useful in case of fire, yet the Russian specifically train to use it against C/B attacks. Even their latest frigates have that. So are they ignorant of C/B warfare in your opinion?
Fourth, you are assuming that a bio attack would have to be delivered like a bomb or a missile, that is not AT ALL the case. A ship will have to be reprovisioned, even a nuclear one. Not only that, but ships take all sorts of people onboard depending on a mission. Finally, they might have to operate in a contaminated environment. So when you speak of a “ridiculous idea” that is just a reflection of your personal ignorance of these possibilities.
Lastly, this pandemic is the perfect way to bring back to the public’s awareness that there are 4 to 5 thousand sailors on these ships which makes ANY successful attack on them prohibitive. Yet, these are extremely fragile ships.
Okay, sure, if you chose to believe that carriers still make sense in 2020, your right. I have no problem with that.
1. By that logic all surface fleets of all navies are obsolete. Not true. Trend is going to smaller, more powerful, stealthy ships, (not keeping all expensive eggs in single basket) something some navies are already doing (Russia) and others will soon follow.
2. I wait for news about infections on ships of other navies, as this is problem not isolated with any particular navy. I don’t expect much word as publishing those information is military secret and should kept private.
3. That capability, except for fire fighting, is primarily used for nuclear fallout decontamination, something very much expected and trained for during cold war. Biological or chemical washing are far, far less on mind of ship designers.
4. If you can bring in laced supply, or malignant personnel on board, it is far more effective to sabotage it using conventional means (explosives) that germs or chemicals. Again, point me to ANY type of anti ship missile, mine, payload in last 100 years that is chemical or biological. There aren’t any. There are only conventional explosives and nuclear, for a reason.
5. Bringing public (read: enemy) awareness of incapacitated crew or bad operational state of own ship is considered treason in most navies, and a gross stupidity deserving reprimand in all the rest. Civilian rules do not apply in army/navy for a reason.
May I respectfully disagree. Large vessel with few thousand sailors is like basket of eggs where tank division is like eggs scattered around field. Either one serves specific purposes and aircraft carrier as a weapon is existing on borrowed time not the tank.
Tanks are well equipped to survive bio attack and other events which large vessels are not.
The hysteria is what got them. In any normal World, they would have just ignored it. Some Sailors get sick, they get better in a couple of weeks. Most of the crew would not even know they were infected. This is not what the hysterical anecdotes tell us, but it is what the data says.
No one the age of active-duty sailors would have died. That cruise ship of old grandpas and grannies didn’t have many casualties.
‘Those whom the Gods would destroy, they first make mad’.
I believe it was Caroll Quigley (in “Tragedy and Hope”) who termed pouring money into projects like aircraft carriers (and other naval vessels, which now don’t even have to be usable) and many high-tech military projects “pyramid building.” I see the same process in the exponential growth of symphony orchestras in Europe and elsewhere to provide employment for the conservatory graduates they produce in reckless numbers, the exponential increase in “universities” in the English-speaking world, and so on.
Quiqley’s explanation was that when any capitalist system reached its mature phase, it produced more than it could sell at a profit, and more (fractional reserve/usury-based) money than could be spent without rupturing the system.
The solution adopted, as in ancient Egypt, was pyramid building — spending on useless, symbolic enterprises that got money into circulation as personal consumption without upsetting the apple cart.
(PS: to anyone wanting to understand US history from 1010-1963, T&H is indispensible). It’s famous [or notorious] for a reason).
“The solution adopted, as in ancient Egypt, was pyramid building — spending on useless, symbolic enterprises that got money into circulation as personal consumption without upsetting the apple cart. ”
Or, as Keynes(?) put it- digging holes and filling them up.
Why did the USN not go immediately into emergency response mode at the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak?
The US military has had standing active duty NBC capabilities (chemical engineer brigades, mos’s dedicated specifically to this type of threat, throughout all branches) since I can remember.
A military element as central to strategy as an aircraft carrier, and compliment, should have immediately become an effective fortress, full spectrum security and emergency response protocols should have been in place at once upon threat determination.
Given the United States’ intelligence gathering capabilities, a great big old ‘umm, what the heck just happened and why’, does not seem unreasonable.
The ‘my attorney advised me to remain silent’ answer is simply absurd, and absolutely not founded in reality.
I don’t understand what the sailors who tested positive weren’t just put into hazmat suits and removed from the ship. With 5,000 on board, surely they would not be missed.
I expect this is a dumb question—but not sure why. Hence, the question . . .
So the sick sailors leave, but what about the virus they left behind on all sorts of surfaces on the ship?
The entire ship would have to be decontaminated, but this could be inconvenient in the middle of a military operation…
The admirals and captains all said “Our men are stronger than this flu”
In one infamous case a rail-car of 2,000 men was ordered shipped south 1,000 miles from ft-riley (kansas); On arrival 100% infection and 1/2 the men died, along the way 1,000’s of civilians were infected, the soldiers were packed in cattle cars. On arrival when the Lieutenant who ordered the men to be transferred heard the outcome, he asked to be alone, and blew his brains out.
More men died of the ‘flu’ during WW1 than from combat, the #1 cause of death in the ‘trenches’ was this flu. 1918-1919 50-100M people died,majority civilians.
The US Mil every single ship at sea and port was +80% infected, and all the admirals kept saying “Just the Flu”.
Also, what set of circus clowns elected to keep their men and women, to apparently include commanders and captains, in the dark about thr reality of this threat, and why? How much of the chain of command was compromised in this manner (by which I am referring to the state of compromise resulting from the lack of disclosure and accurate and effective dissemination of vitally critical intelligence to chain of command operating in whatever theaters under threat)?
Honestly, these questions are just for starters.
Just how far does this problem reach? Just exactly how compromised are the sons and daughters of our nation under these conditions?
It might have been just the opposite, the military, seeing their own demise in the private setting that they are not able to control, finally had to pull their last trigger in hopes that the private bullet would strike its target.
But instead, and perhaps on purpose, the public bullet missed its target and instead ricochets into an ammo dump and blows up the squadren. Which was well on its way to irrelevancy anyhow, so either way the bullet does its job, and all that’s left to pay are the consequences. Oh the irony of it all.
Israel is the only US aircraft carrier that doesn’t float.
That is true, the Zionist occupied Palestine is a stationary aircraft carrier for Anglo zio plots. But that’s ultimately a disadvantage, as they are going to be used as a hostage in the middle east as Iran progresses in its missile capabilities. While also sending it out to the different resistance factions. Just listen to various leaders of Hamas, they openly say the advancement of their weaponry is from the guidance of Iran. Iran will continue tying the rope around the Zionist neck in increments. Even in the recent attack on the US at the ayn al Assad base, the Iranians quickly warned that any retaliation from the US would lead to the leveling of one of the Zionist occupied cities, they also mentioned the emirates, which is just a stooge kingdom. This is why the US always brings up Iran’s missile capabilities, it’s to protect themselves and the Zionists in Palestine, but they can’t do much at the moment.
>Israel is the only US aircraft carrier that doesn’t float.
Britain/ UK has long been considered a US aircraft carrier masquerading as a nation.
Oh. And northern Australia has recently been designated a “lillypad” from where the US can attack China.
Building aircraft carriers is a massive make work program for US shipyards. Plain and simple. Imagine trying to get elected with a shipyard in your district if you don ‘t support the MIC. Good luck.
Carriers are now being used as ‘trip-wires’, the same as planting a battalion-sized unit forward in Poland or the Baltic States. It plants the flag, and has a certain limited utility. However, all know it can be overrun. The importance is in the ambiguity. If I take this out (carrier or unit), will it ‘flash’ into nuke-tipped combat? Am I willing to take that chance? Most politicians won’t, so carriers are good-to-go (until they aren’t)…
Regarding ships and C-V, I can see a world where ship personnel are treated like astronauts going to the International Space Station. 2-4 weeks before boarding the ship, you report to a staging facility. There, you are effectively ‘quarantined’ for the duration of your stay. You can train and converse via computer with your family & friends, but you are isolated. You probably take a helicopter ride to your ship, with pilots having been similarly ‘cleared’. Nobody gets shore leave during the cruise, ever. And visitors are put-up in a tent on deck, and kept segregated at all times.
Yes, USN was caught flat-footed by C-V. It was not ’emitted’ as part of an overall WWIII offensive. Plus, the two-week ‘invisibility’ aspect (infectious, but with no obvious symptoms) made it a ship-buster. I suspect that procedures are being put-in-place as above which will be unpleasant but workable…
Agree with saker about the utility of carriers in a peer to peer nuclear war. They would be targets for a few missiles, not much else. Regarding biowar or chemwar, not much point in wasting time using either upon ships at sea when a simple high explosive missile warhead would do the trick faster and more effectively.
The coronavirus problem the u.s. military is facing, and this includes shipss at sea, is not a biowarfare problem, but a medical problem. They are simply not prepared or equipped to deal with large scale disease outbreaks.
Good idea but 50% have no symptoms
To add basic protection to infection see to it that the crew have good nutrition and take sufficient vitamin D to keep their blood level at about 50 ng/ml. Also discourage alcohol and other substances that weaken the immune system.
I am not surprised of the clusterbleeb that is unfolding in the USN and soon in all other military branches. This is the result when you boost ‘parade/show off capabilities’ and don’t take into consideration real military needs. As, Saker, says the US military is nothing more but colonial police so no surprise that US military is just a polished veneer of enormously bloated money sucking black hole.
I am very disappointed that the US Navy did not order the Roosevelt to stay at sea and to stay operational throughout the outbreak. It would have been a good test of the intestinal fortitude of the crew, and the combat worthiness of the carrier, through stressful conditions that would be less than a fire and a whole lot less than an attack.
Captain Brozier is a “people person” more than a combat commander. When a carrier deploys it is expected to be “at war”. That’s why they launch and recover aircraft in all but the most extreme conditions. That’s why their air defenses and submarine defenses are on alert at all times.
Contagions have swept ships’ crews at various times throughout history. Eventually, the crew would acquire immunity to the disease. Even if there were a mortality rate of 10%, the ship should still be operational.
The world would have learned a lot more about COVID-19 and a lot faster if the Navy carried on.
I think this all comes down to the feminization of combat units in the US Army and Navy.
I remember listening to a presentation by Admiral Hyman Rickover in the 1960s to a committee in the US Congress. (He is regarded as the “Father of the US Nuclear Navy” and a submariner to the extreme.)
Admiral Rickover confidently proclaimed that his submarines could sink the entire American carrier fleet in a matter of days. Not one of the Congressman challenged his assertion. (To the best of my recollection, no one -not even President Kennedy- would challenge Rickover when it came to naval matters. He had a commanding presence about him and men of all ranks deferred to him.)
Still the US Navy continued to rely on the aircraft carrier as its primary combat vessel. They had no choice. Even today, the most effective weapon available to the United States for force projection remains the aircraft carrier. The Chinese know it; and the Russians know it. That’s why their navies are focused on carrier destruction rather than force projection by their own forces.
Back in 1970, a Navy captain told a few young officers of which I was one, that in a war with the Soviet Union, the United States expected to lose 3 to 6 carriers (depending whether it was a surprise attack or one which had been anticipated). But, after a few very intense weeks of aerial and naval combat, the Soviet navy would be utterly destroyed.
It would not surprise, me if our current naval commanders expect the same outcome.
What I find curious about this whole incident is that how it went public. The captain and the Navy are openly discussing the weaknesses of the US carrier fleet in the SF chronicle…
During WWI, the flu was ravaging the armies of all sides but nobody revealed the extent of the damage and any mention of the flu was censored in the newspapers.
So does this mean there is a new era if openness in the US armed forces? An era of US “glasnost”?
Unfortunately not a new era. This is the same Anglo Zio Capitalist Century of War which was initiated by Great Britain’s declaration of WW1 against Germany and Turkey, which caused the worldwide may.m thatmled to epidemics. The so-called Free Press was muzzled at that time, it never blamed the epidemic on the war. The Fre. Press blamed WW1 on “German Militarism” — Germany was an Industrial rival to Great Britain. And now, towards the end of the AZC’s Century of War, that same Capitalist owned Free Press is exaggerating this virus to blame Communist China — an industrial rival to Exceptional U$A.
Dr N. G.M.
Yes, they quickly swapped Russiagate with Chinagate. Let us hope thiey don’t build this up as a “declaration of war by China”….
I must say there seems to be some investment in the notion that carriers are still a force to be reckoned with.
I can only assume that these posters are engaged in wishful thinking or are just shills, for all the good that does on this forum. At best they are tripwires and very costly ones at that. The Ford class boondoggle is shaping up to be the F-35 of the navy, with lift that dont work and catapults that frazzle and need hours of reset time. One missile dropping strait down at mach 9 into the deck and the show is over. As mentioned above they were very good at third world intimidation and punishment, but in the face of moderm ballistics there is not a defense system that can protect them.
In regard to blue beam, Greenland and manufactured crises….it looks a bit like predictive programming.
I am quite curious about that in regard to how it will shape up….atmospheric projections? Drops from outside the gravity well? Earthside detontions. It certainly would be the mother of all events as far as shutting down everything and plunging us all into a very dark age indeed.
I recall back in the day when the first item of gear shed by GIs arriving in Vietnam was their gas mask thereby nullifying the first thing to protect during NBC attack–your lungs.
The second thing many of them shed in the early days of the war was their Colt M-16. They were garbage rifles, unfit for combat until redesigned. But the preferred weapon for those who actually went out on patrols was an AK-47. A Marine friend of mine, a Sgt. led his patrols with a Mossberg shotgun. Warfare was close in the Mekong Delta.
Punji stakes were more feared than gas.
It’s clear that the carrier fleet is not for fighting near peer adversaries, being vulnerable to advanced missile systems, but in force projection against essentially unprotected states, in what used to be called “gunboat diplomacy”. Also a jobs and profits program.
And yes, clearly they are completely unprotected from any kind of biological/chemical attach as well, but that probably never seemed very likely to them.
I’ve got a useful end purpose for the future rusty hanky sturdy US carrier fleet. All 12 of them.
Well, divide them in three combat divisions.
One in San Francisco bay for a tourist visiting program, just along the bridge.
The second in NY harbor entrance, just to make sure there s something other than the Liberty to show to worldwide fans of the american way of life.
The third one, well the Pentagon should open an international bidding: the Israeli bosses lining them up in front of the Port of Haifa – as bid competitors the British lap
dogs with the option of a new tourist attraction in the mouth of the Thames.
Great article, Saker!
I would add, however, that the stated reason for carriers and other surface ships and submarines is definintely not the real reason for their continuing existence.
The US’s economic system, whatever you want to call it, can not and, therefore, must not be separated or isolated from its military-security-industrial complex (MSIC) when discussing literally anything (including the Fed, the stock market, inflation, employment statistics, healthcare, etc. etc. etc.) about the United States of America.
George Kennan was a very influential US VIP for many years.
He said the following just a few short years before the end of the Soviet Union.
“Were the Soviet Union to sink tomorrow under the waters of the ocean, the American military-industrial establishment would have to go on, substantially unchanged, until some other adversary could be invented. Anything else would be an unacceptable shock to the American economy.”
In the years that have transpired since the USSR’s dissolution, Kennan’s prediction has been proven to be amazingly accurate. Kennan’s statement must still be taken very seriously, to the extreme. At the time he said it, Kennan meant exactly what he said. What we average people have a duty to fully realize and fully appreciate is that what Kennan said is even more true today than it was in Kennan’s time!
To elaborate, the US “system” would undergo very serious financial, social and political upheaval if its wars of hegemony and its MSIC were to suddenly be halted without an alternative economic system being fully “designed” prior to them stopping. Here’s just one example of the poilitical/financial/economic/social impact of the MSIC in just one of the 50 United in Perpetual Warfare States of America — Virginia:
Population of Virginia = 8.4 million
Number of Registered Voters in Virginia = 5.7 million
Dollar Amount of Defense Contracts Awarded to Contractors in Virginia from 2000 to 2018 = $734 billion
Number of Defense Contracts Awarded to Contractors in Virginia from 2000 to 2018 = 936,040
Number of Defense Contractors in Virginia = 17,538
What is the likelihood that the voters of Virginia are going to vote for a peacenik for POTUS? Zero.
Is the reason that voters in Virginia select warmongers for POTUS election after election after election that they are brainwashed, or because they vitally depend upon that yearly DoD injection of well over $40 billion dollars, literally forever?
The awful truth is that Virginians know exactly what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. As far as they’re concerned, Mr. Potato-Head or the Tangerine Jackass are both perfectly qualified to hold the title of POTUS. The shocking truth is that the voters in Virginia are not going to vote for a peacenik during the next thousand years.
Virginia is a microcosm of the USA. AmeriKKKans say they want peace, but what they really want is perpetual war which justifies the annual DoD money-injection (which, in turn, requires the Fed to print literally “whatever it takes” amount of USD which pays for those injections from now to eternity) …………… until the bombs drop on Main Street, USA, anyway. Then there will be a very serious, nearly-instantaneous, nation-wide “attitude adjustment”…… in the heads of those still “living”, of course.
All of the above being said, however, and say what you can justifiably say about the Tangerine Jackass, Syria and Iran still exist today as a sovereign states 3+ years after the last “election”. Do you think the same would be true if Hitlery had been elected POTUS? I doubt it.
Remember what all those Russia/China-hating (Deep) State Department “witnesses” who testified at the impeachment hearings had to say? “If the Ukrainians don’t fight the Russians in Ukraine, we’ll have to fight them over here.” That is the mind-set, the qualification, that is required for anyone to get a job in the FBI, CIA, DoJ, etc. etc.
Therefore, here’s the most important question voters who don’t want to experience a nuclear war should ask themselves before entering the voting booth in November. Who do I think will resist the Deep State Department and CIA’s desire/obsession/advice/orders to attack Russia, China, Syria, North Korea, Venezuela, Iran etc. — Mr. Potato-Head or the more-disgusting-by-the-day Tangerine Jackass? (Not that those two morons are the only remaining candidates, but as far as the bewildered herd is concerned, they might as well be.)
Americans in general are not a peace-loving people. They are a militaristic people because their precious “way of life” dictates it.
US capitalism is a War Capitalism, as this US Way of Life is necessarily based upon waging America’s “defensive” wars to steal other countries’ natural resources, maintain American Dollar Imperialism, or subjugate nations that rebel against the USA’s Rules-Based New World Order.
War and militarism are the true basis of the American Way of Life.
I’d point to the bloated (to be kind) US military budget and disregard/disrespect of the rank and file in US military service. So in Iraq and elsewhere mercs like those under Blackwater were making many times more pay alongside and in clear view of service members in harm’s way. Curiously enough there is the same problem endemic in the US corporate establishment.
In any event, insightful article. Happy Easter to those timing by the Julian.
What makes the WHO defunding particularly ludicrous is that the current head of the WHO was handpicked by . . . the Trump administration, in 2017 (and he’s a creep, although he probably had little impact on the ongoing operations of WHO staff). So no, he probably wasn’t conspiring with the Chinese.
please see this series with someone who worked in the US biowarfare program as a lab researcher. If she says it is weaponized, I would demur to her expertise. Just because covid does not seem to fit all the criteria you would have in your dream bioweapon, does not mean it is not one. By all appearances, it seems to have been accidentally released; which might lead one to the conclusion they were anticipating further enhancements of the capabilities via ‘gain of function’ manipulations. Before the virus showed up in Wuhan, it was in the lab at UNC where the research was paid for by both China and Anthony Fauci.