From the Right



2030 Scenario: US Navy robots, carriers and mines counterattack China

Austin Bay on

No one knows. It has never been tested against a maneuvering carrier battle group.

But in the game's posited 2030, The Australian reports U.S. carrier groups could not engage Chinese forces "without suffering capital losses." Translation: The U.S. Navy lost carriers, a catastrophic defeat.

Ah, but. The U.S.-China military competition is dynamic, and has been for 20 years. The diplomatic and economic competition is increasingly dynamic, given China's lies vis-a-vis the COVID-19/Wuhan virus pandemic.

The Pentagon has explored numerous hostile-China scenarios where U.S. sea, air and land forces reinforce Japan and South Korea or move to deter an invasion of Taiwan.

American and Japanese submarines can severely damage Chinese naval forces and pin them behind the western Pacific's "first island chain" of Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines.

However, mines may be the weapon of choice. Right, sea mines, delivered by subs, aircraft (manned and drone) and perhaps missiles. Unmanned, robotic (autonomous) surface vessels can also mine China's littoral.

Sub and aircraft mine laying is an old but effective method. A mine-laying campaign along China's coast not only hinders China's navy; it embargoes its economy. China now depends on natural resources shipped from Africa and southwest Asia. It is no longer a self-sufficient continental power.


The Navy is developing several inexpensive Unmanned Surface Vessels (USVs) and unmanned semi-submersibles that can lay mines, launch attacks and provide intelligence. Don't snicker. Crude semi-submersibles built by narcotics cartels have sailed from South America to Spain. Did the Navy deploy 200 USVs in the recent war game? Did the Navy mine the Chinese coast?

Here's another scenario: The Navy's robot pawns sacrifice themselves so Navy carriers -- the power projectors on the Pacific chess board -- can deliver a devastating counterpunch.


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