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Pics of the Day: Look Who’s Headed to Sea Again

by John Reed on April 20, 2012

Happy Friday afternoon. It appears that China’s aircraft carrier, the ex-Soviet Varyag is heading out to open seas once again. Still no word on when she’ll have aircraft operating off her flight deck while she’s underway.

Click through the jump for more pictures.

Via China Defense Blog



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{ 145 comments… read them below or add one }

Pat April 20, 2012 at 2:46 pm

What's even the point of operating this piece of garbage if you aren't going to work on flight ops…


gunslinger6 April 20, 2012 at 2:51 pm

They have to learn how to run the ship first, before they can start flight ops. Just saying you have to start at step 1 cant jump to 9 without going 1-8 first.


Skyepapa April 20, 2012 at 2:52 pm

I think we can all count on the Chinese getting there in their own time. If the Brazilians can do it then the Chinese can certainly do it.


bob April 20, 2012 at 6:20 pm

Uhh yeah, the 'stupid' Brazilians as you imply just passed Britain as the world's 6th largest economy, and its president Dilma Roussef just this week visited MIT and Harvard in a collaboration project to share students and research between us and them, involving more than 10,000 graduate and post graduate and post-graduate students/scientists in a bid to jumpstart Brazils technology sector for the 21st century. In the past two years or so Brazil has discovered a major subterranean ocean field just off their Atlantic coast worth trillions of barrels and has partnered (despite some typical operating setbacks and a spill) with Chevron to extract it all, so combined with one of the world's largest ethanol production bases (sugarcane-based), they are definitely set to be 100% energy viable and independent.

China is a giant, and formidable, but they are an insulated economy and their research/tech capacity is limited because of systemic problems, not to mention they either have to buy much of their higher tier equipment, such as the Variag, or acquire new tech through cyber-espionage which they are heavily investing in at the moment.

But despite all that, I know… you assumed Brasil is just some backwater South American country the likes of Columbia or something, albeit a little bigger. Not the case though.


Skyepapa April 20, 2012 at 6:35 pm

Um, I never implied Brazilians were stupid. Maybe you're projecting… I'm not sure. But you support my point very well all the same. The Brazilians are the sixth largest economy, and the Chinese are the second. So, like I said before, if the Brazilians can do it, I'm sure the Chinese can.

Wild assumptions make one look silly, Bob. I'm much closer to Brazil than you might imagine.


tiger April 20, 2012 at 7:10 pm

It did seem like a slight to Brazil the way you phrased it.

SJE April 20, 2012 at 2:52 pm

The Chinese have no experience of even sailing an aircraft carrier until recently.


Skyepapa April 20, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Case in point — that's why they're taking their time.


SJE April 21, 2012 at 9:20 pm

Which is exactly what I was trying to say


Nadnerbus April 20, 2012 at 4:16 pm

Take a look at how long it takes a Nimitz Class to go from completion, through testing, shakedown, then finally taking on an air wing. And that is in a country with 90 some years of carrier aviation under its belt.

The Chinese are taking their time and figuring the whole thing out. It's actually a bit more disconcerting this way, since it's clear they are bent on getting it right and building on this whole experience. If they just threw her out to sea with an air wing right away, then we'd know that China wasn't that serious, and was just into it for the symbol of power, much like Russia.


Jeff April 22, 2012 at 8:12 pm

Who said they aren't gonna work on flight ops, you fucktard?!


Nicky April 20, 2012 at 2:51 pm

$5 bucks says that their will be half a dozen submarines that will be following behind it. Getting Hull photo shots and even pictures of the carrier in operations. I would not be surprise of Japan or the US sends Subs to follow the Carrier


Pat April 20, 2012 at 2:55 pm

Lets hope right! Intimidation factor at its finest…


Jason April 20, 2012 at 2:55 pm

I was about to say the same thing.


STemplar April 21, 2012 at 1:03 am

More likely making sonar recordings.


Nicky April 21, 2012 at 4:54 pm

Hope they brought a lot of disk space for that Recording. I'll bet ya how many sub would be tailing.


passingby April 23, 2012 at 1:08 am

it's going to be in Chinese waters. If US or Japanese subs are found even half a mile inside territory, they will be fired at. Give me 5 bucks now.


Lance April 20, 2012 at 2:58 pm

I dont know why the hype is over this floating target. The carrier is old made in the 80s and isn't Chinese its Soviet with a new Chinese paint job. Biggest thing it lacks plane for it right now so its doesn't have any operational capability a carrier needs planes. Overall nice picks thought.


D'Orville April 20, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Oh crap, ships made in the 80s are obsolete? Someone better tell the Nimitz, it was commissioned in 75.


Praetorian April 20, 2012 at 4:14 pm

The Nimitz, what about the Big E. Oldest ship in the fleet except for the USS
Constitution. And she was just deployed to the Persian Gulf, Commissioned in 1961.


gunslinger6 April 20, 2012 at 4:32 pm

The Big E is also nuclear, were as this one is not.


Praetorian April 20, 2012 at 6:13 pm

Gunslinger, I think the point is, just because the ship was made in the 80′s does not mean it’s obsolete. D’Orville post was sarcastic, and I was feeding into that sarcasm.

passingby April 23, 2012 at 6:32 am

quote: "The Big E is also nuclear, were as this one is not."

that it's nuclear only serves to make things worse as the ship nears retirement. on top of that, it's a menace to the global environment.

FormerDirtDart April 20, 2012 at 4:19 pm

Since it was launched in '88, that would also make the Eisenhower('75), Vinson('80), Roosevelt('84), and Lincoln ('88) obsolete based on their respective launch dates.
Not to mention the 11 oldest Ticonderoga's (CG-52 thru 62),
and all 23 remaining Perry class Frigates
Also, the first 10 Ohio subs, and probably half of the remaining Los Angeles boats.


TMB April 20, 2012 at 6:06 pm

Lance, if you go back and look in the DT archives you'll see pics of their aviation school where they turned the roof of the building into a mock flight deck. Baby steps….


tiger April 20, 2012 at 7:14 pm

Would you be more hyped over India getting nuclear subs & Builing their own SSBN? http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htsub/articles/2


Lance April 20, 2012 at 8:51 pm

Overall yes im not Saying China isn't making planes for her carrier but using old SU-33 copies isn't that BIG of a threat to US navy ships. The Russian retired all but a few Su-33 in favor of the new MiG-29K multirole fighter (it has upgraded sensors and weapons compared to the original Soviet model).

Overall Im not saying age is bad im saying the Soviet technology is obsolete the ship was never upgraded like our Enterprise and Nimitz carriers are so the ship itself is of 80 design and defense which are not as current as ours.


Nadnerbus April 20, 2012 at 11:25 pm

You have no idea what the Chinese have or have not done to update the Varyag. And as has been repeated ad nauseum, this ship is mostly to help the learning curve for China's carrier aviation program, not as a direct competitor to a modern US carrier. But good job getting a lot of people to bite at your troll, once more.


Lance April 20, 2012 at 11:49 pm

Quite being the one arm bandit Naderbus you dont know crap either im going from what US China experts say. Fact is most of China's weapons are crap. This carrier is the basis on the two other carriers China is building so there is not much difference.

Jeff April 22, 2012 at 8:17 pm

Just ignore Lance. He's a retard.

Globalstrat April 21, 2012 at 5:53 pm

Please go and do your homework.
1) There are no aircraft on it, but rarely does a carrier leave any port in the world fully laden. Usually they load at sea because aircraft are a hugely logistical procedure. Loading, shifting, storing and such. No wonder there are no aircraft on it.
2) No aircraft to go on it, or no aircraft that Intelligence sources will admit they know about?
3) Most of the warships in the world (except British T45, US LCS platforms and such) are built upon technology that is 80's vintage or even older. Most submarines owe their tech developments to the 80s.
4) If all the '80s ships were scrapped, the US would not be able to field a Navy. Neither would the French, the Russians or many other nations.
5) The Russians aren't the worst technology inventors about. Sure they've made their mistakes with some hideous blunders but they've wised up.
6) I'd be willing to bet all the tea in China that if you toured whatever it is they're going to call her you'd be fairly impressed. 'Nuff said.


Jeff April 22, 2012 at 8:15 pm

As usual, Lance is a dumbass. Can't see this guy getting any more retarded in the future. But hey, I could be wrong.


Skyepapa April 20, 2012 at 3:05 pm

The hype isn't, or at least shouldn't be, about this carrier. The hype is more about the long game in which China uses this carrier to develop a fine albeit untested (by conflict) carrier ops capability to apply to its first generation of domestically developed and produced carriers. Those won't be second-hand trash heaps. Granted, they probably won't be up to our standards, but they'll be nothing to scoff at.


sferrin April 20, 2012 at 6:58 pm

China will have CATOBAR before the UK. You read it here first.


Skyepapa April 20, 2012 at 7:03 pm

If the reversal from C back to B is true, I believe you.


STemplar April 21, 2012 at 1:02 am

You mean before the UK has it again.


Richard April 21, 2012 at 4:05 am

ahh the old glory days, don't remind me, you'll bring a tear to my eye.


John Moore April 20, 2012 at 3:12 pm

Wonder if it's a political show to do with the Philippin stand off going on?


EJ257 April 20, 2012 at 9:17 pm

India did just test launch an ICBM that can reach Beijing. Coincidence?


Hale April 23, 2012 at 8:21 pm

India already had a a missile that could reach Beijing. India just launched a missile that can reach the US and Europe.

India's new missile literally is aimed at nothing but technological advance, as all of their cheaper and older missiles already cover all of their adversaries.


Nick T. April 21, 2012 at 10:49 pm

I'd go 33/64 on that. Putting on a show like that would be sort of like China. But if the thing has to be pulled into port again then it's all for nought. But if I were China, I probably wouldn't use a carrier. Destroyer or Lander maybe, but not ONLY carrier in their inventory, especially one that hasen't exactly been 100%. Well, not their only carrier, but a floating amusement park isn't much good in a fight.


Jeff April 22, 2012 at 7:34 pm

No, if the Chinese really wanted, they could simply deport all the Filipina maids, and the Filipino economy would collapse. My worry is that them Filipinos are not very bright, and they could overreach, thinking we'd back them up, which we won't.


Hale April 23, 2012 at 8:20 pm

Yeah, China's econmic arsenal is far more effective than a conventional weapons arsenal will ever be. Especially considering it's much more internationally acceptable means of conflict these days. (We're not firing any missiles at the NORKs, Iranians, Venezuelans or Cubans, but we've got them under pressure).


alain April 24, 2012 at 11:51 am

I am a Filipino and I agree with you that people here are thinking that US would back us up in this one. LOL.


alain April 24, 2012 at 11:52 am

Oops. What I meant is that people here are foolish for thinking that US would back us in this one.


Larry Ice April 20, 2012 at 3:31 pm

You don't need planes on a ship you are using as a target. Maybe this is all about fine tuning the sensor systems that will guide their DF21 Ballistic Missiles. They might even perform a demonstration to make a point…


billw917 April 20, 2012 at 3:50 pm

This is their Langley, CV-1, a learning tool.


IronV April 20, 2012 at 3:52 pm

Do not underestimate an enemy.


PolicyWonk April 21, 2012 at 10:32 am

How right you are. The Chinese have always planned for the long run, unlike the USA (where short-term political gains often trump smart policy). They got all the oil deals from Iraq (while the USA suffered the largest foreign policy disaster in US history, leaving a military at its lowest state of readiness since Viet Nam), while the USA simultaneously fuels their military build-up.


passingby April 23, 2012 at 1:16 am

Without knowing the details it's hard to say whether China has got all the oil deals, and if so, bad deals or good deals. One thing is known – the US / UK have been stealing Iraqi oil (extracting without metering). Same thing happening in Libya.


Nadnerbus April 23, 2012 at 6:01 am

"the US / UK have been stealing Iraqi oil (extracting without metering)."

I have not heard this. Do you have a source?


mpower6428 April 20, 2012 at 4:23 pm

thats cosmo, he's chinese.


Skyyking47 April 20, 2012 at 4:37 pm

The only reason for this carrier is to 'wave their flag' in someones backyard. It's just a very big target, just like our carriers, and in my mind, much like the battle ships of the 1940's


TMB April 20, 2012 at 6:08 pm

I remember in high school in the 1990s reading about how a Chinese invasion of Taiwan would be a 500,000 man swimming race with almost no fire support except for a couple missile cruisers. Look where they are now. They're working on it.


tiger April 20, 2012 at 7:19 pm

Hosting a Olympics is flag waving. Building a large blue water Navy is a bit more. This is just one peice of a larger plan.


ZachA. April 20, 2012 at 8:01 pm

Skyyking, it was also a very popular belief in the early cold war that with the employment of nukes that the army was obsolete and their duties should be transferred to the navy and marines. Look where we are now, thank God someone didnt axe the army back then or we would be in a very different world now.


guess April 23, 2012 at 1:57 am

Like maybe if we didn’t have a large standing Army the politicians wouldn’t get involved in so much overseas “situations”


Rex Wilson April 25, 2012 at 5:02 pm

You really don't have a clue do you?


50 cents bridgade April 20, 2012 at 10:55 pm

Yeah, a fine missile target for Chinese DF21 Anti Carrier Missile. The last I read, US Admiral is pissing their pants. Do the US have anything? I guess not. Their only proven military hardware are only used against 3rd world countries. The last time the American fought they got their nose bloodied by the Chinese in the Korean War, the Vietnamese in the Vietnam War, the Al Queda in the Iraq War, the Somalian in Somalia and the Taliban in the Afghanistan War. Even against these 3rd world countries, they are running scare back to the US. Good job Americans, you have just proven that all trillions spend can't even beat the Taliban. Anyhow, Uncle Sam thanks you from the bottom of his heart for the yearly 45% tax rate donation. As for me, I paid 10% tax rate and is enjoying every cent of my hard earned income for my benefits. Can't say much for those dumb US tax payer.


1dollardivision April 21, 2012 at 1:01 am

Your short on facts and heavy on hype. Go troll your garbage somewhere else.


STemplar April 21, 2012 at 11:52 am



Shree April 22, 2012 at 1:51 pm

You n your stupid comments are worth.. guess what?…50 Cents. Trol


Shree April 22, 2012 at 1:51 pm

You n your stupid comments are worth.. guess what?…50 Cents. Trol


Jeff April 22, 2012 at 7:37 pm

Look man, the Talibans are great fighters, probably the best in the world, hands down. So losing to them is no shame. It's time we get our troops home and better protect our own borders with Mexico.


passingby April 23, 2012 at 1:24 am

the people in that region have been great fighters. If I remember correctly, Britain had sent an expedition force of 16,000 in the 1830s. Only one came out alive.


Brandon April 23, 2012 at 10:46 am

Horrible fighters. Just great at intimidating an under-educated population that is afraid of change. You dont have to be intelligent to take advantage of our rules of engagement and good will. That idiot troll is receiving our good will somehow I am sure no matter what country he is in.


Richard Carter April 23, 2012 at 12:08 am

good lord what a blow hard.,,,,,,, i was in viet nam sonnie boy, we didnt loose it the politicans ran and hid under there bed the second some got a bloody nose….
since you know so little history i sugest that you start reading something besides the left side of your head


passingby April 23, 2012 at 1:35 am

gosh, he writes better English than you do. There is point to separate the military and the government. They are one. You did lose. You were far better armed, equipped and supplied than the Vietcong. And you got kicked out of Vietnam despite the astronomical spending that crippled the US economy and started the run toward national bankruptcy.


passingby April 23, 2012 at 1:36 am

edit: meant to say " There is NO point to separate the military and the govt"

damn me.


TMB April 23, 2012 at 2:56 am

When the government tells the military to spend a billion dollars on an electronic fence on the Vietnam border that doesn't work, but then tells its pilots they're not allowed to fire on the ship or train full of surface to air missiles still in their packing crates, or even let their troops cross the northern border to kill the enemy troops shooting at them, do you still lump the government and military in one tidy package?


passingby April 23, 2012 at 3:06 am

absolutely. Why not? The US government was scared of full scale involvement of the Soviets and the Chinese. So it agreed to the terms set by them. It still doesn't change the fact that US troops were far better armed, equipped, supplied and funded than the Vietcong. It still can't change the fact that US troops committed war crimes by killing innocent civilians, polluting the environment, sending tens of thousands of US soldiers to their graves, while devastating a country that had never invaded America, all because of a false flag operation initiated by the US.

Bandon April 23, 2012 at 10:51 am

Agree 100%. Lyndon Johnson and his political strategy was against the Joint Chiefs and ground Commanders military strategy. They conflicted greatly. Even when Nixon came in and reduced the majority of bombing restrictions and operations in Laos and Cambodia he still didnt allow ground operations into North Vietnam.

Buzz April 26, 2012 at 2:47 pm

I'll bet you are one of those under educated dolts thaat think we were defeated in 75. We left in 73. We stopped playing because congress wouldnt let us win the war. The South only folded when the DEMOCRATS in congress voted to cut all funding to S. Vietnam to support the war. The democrats started the war and then hid under the beds and lost it.

This carrier was dry docked for so long because it had to undergo major repairs and refit. When the soviets took it to sea for 6-12 weeks it was in drydock for 6 months.


D Ropel April 24, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Perhaps you should read your history a bit closer. US amphibious landings on the west coast of Korea forced the Chinese and NK forces back ACROSS the Yalu River which is the border between China and NK. McArther wanted to cross the river and destroy the remaining forces and bases in China. The US militarily defeated the NV and the Viet Cong. In fact, the Tet Offensive in 1968 was considered a last ditch effort by the PAVN and the VC to defeat the ARVN and US. This period included Hue and Khe Sanh. The result of this 7 month long battle was the destruction of the VIet Cong and a major defeat of he PAVN – over 100,000 killed compared to about 45000 total casualties for the ARVN and US.

Al Queda is nothing any more except a bunch of misogynists – that means they hate women and girls, since you probabaly don't understand a big word like that.


octopusmagnificens April 21, 2012 at 3:33 am

China can sink a US carrier buying an F-14 to Iran and painting it as one of the USN. Then, the F-14 can approach the carrier and attack by surprise. Is the same tactic used by Will Smith and the USAF in Independence Day.


Richard April 21, 2012 at 4:11 am

yes, that will work just like you say. well done. the captain of the carrier will use his super binoculars, see the f14 100 miles out and say to the lads, oh its one of ours. hopefully you are working for chinese or iranian military, then we can all sleep a little better.


Mike April 21, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Three letters for you: IFF.


Shree April 22, 2012 at 1:53 pm

From where do stupid people like u come man…F14 are retired idiot…and even if they use F-18 somehow they cant even come near the carrier


tiger April 22, 2012 at 4:14 pm

It could have been worse. He could have suggested a giant horse made of wood.


Nadnerbus April 23, 2012 at 12:51 am

Perhaps if they built a large wooden badger…


Mastro April 24, 2012 at 2:48 pm

"What Naval squadron is THAT with"?

"Er- dunno- maybe they reactivated the Intrepid?!?"

"OK- Wave her in!"


Brandon April 23, 2012 at 10:55 am

What a clown. Are you one of those mentally ill homeless people that sits at the public library all day on the internet claiming that your looking for a job as you use tax funded resources to bless others with your truly unfortunate presence?


knightone April 21, 2012 at 5:51 am

Slightly depressing how many view this only from a force projection POV when this new carrier capability delivers excellent training for the Chinese air force and navy in how to practice anti-carrier operations. Now they got a real ship out at sea with weapon systems to train against. Ideal for a Taiwan scenario.


Jeff April 22, 2012 at 7:40 pm

Right, and they call this a "training carrier". Maybe the day will come that it'll be called a "target carrier". Fingers crossed that this won't happen anytime soon.


Hale April 23, 2012 at 8:32 pm

For a Taiwan scenario, a carrier is much less important considering airbases are fairly close across the Taiwan straits. Subs, navy and missiles for making US intervention prohibitively expensive and more missiles, subs, navy along with, overwhelming air-power, and a large sophisticated amphibious landing force to defeat Taiwanese air and take the beaches quickly. China's armed forces is well-prepared in these catagories.

The carrier on the other hand is for conflicts farther ashore, like those potential ones in the South China sea, or those with India.

However, at least for now, China is fine being a rising economic power. They may be modernizing quickly, as any nation with that much money and so much old equipment should, but at least they generally only deploy their forces within what they consider their own territory.


Dave April 21, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Doesn't matter. They won't be able to breath the air in another few years. Look at all the smog!!!


Jeff April 22, 2012 at 7:41 pm

Not before all of our kids turn completely spherical from eating pink slime and dying from diabetes and heart attacks.


passingby April 23, 2012 at 1:49 am

The US government and US corporations are far more dangerous to the country and the people than any other so-called enemies, real or imagined.


Hickelbilly April 21, 2012 at 3:04 pm

Here Am I.


Jeff April 22, 2012 at 7:41 pm



Stop Shouting May 30, 2012 at 5:18 am

Did you mean:
"Here I am, Grandma"?


TH April 21, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Never underestimate the Chinese, they are now in learning stage of how to operate a carrier and maybe in a few years(u should know the Chinese often come in quantities) they will operates 20 carriers. With their economy they can afford it and isn’t their marine salary cost just 1/10 of USA marines? If USA operates 10 Carriers, why can’t the Chinese operates 20?


Jeff April 22, 2012 at 7:42 pm

Why can't the Chinese operates 20? Because they are not fucking stupid.


passingby April 23, 2012 at 1:53 am

I speculate that the US economy will have collapsed before China completes its 10th carrier.


Hale April 23, 2012 at 8:47 pm

I don't think they're stupid enough to spend themselves into oblivion. They'll probably go for around 3-5.

Just look at their main battle tanks. They've built 2,500 cheaper, economical Type 96s, along with a few hundred expensive Type 99 of various variants.

China puts it's economy above all else, I'd higly doubt they'd make he mistake of assuming the role of 'world police'. Policing is expensive, China knows that fact well, no point in doing it beyond it's own borders.


TH April 21, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Never underestimate the Chinese, they are now in learning stage of how to operate a carrier and maybe in a few years(u should know the Chinese often come in quantities) they will operates 20 carriers. With their economy they can afford it and isn’t their marine salary cost just 10% of USA marines? If USA operates 10 Carriers, why can’t the Chinese operates 20?


bwanamakubwa April 22, 2012 at 4:51 pm

You have got it exactly right. I lived in Hong Kong for 30 years and got to understand a little about how the Chinese think. This vessel is being used for training: training not only aircraft operating personnel (they'll be catapulting rocks off the flight deck!) but also their sub crews.
The personnel being trained on this non-operational vessel will then crew the Chinese-made carriers which are already off the drawing boards. The sub crews will have gained important knowledge, too. Let's not forget the Chinese boffins who are improving, all the time, the capabilities of their guided missiles. This aircraft carrier provides an excellent test-bench for them.


Anx April 21, 2012 at 7:32 pm

It is a floating target. They are most likely using their carrier to test and calibrate their new anti-carrier missile system…


Jeff April 22, 2012 at 7:43 pm

Kind of expensive for a target. Still, it'd be good for finding weak points of protecting a carrier.


SnowGator April 21, 2012 at 9:08 pm

The British, with their ships of the line, scoffed at the upstart American navy when USS Constitution and other frigates were launched. Change happens. Think what the Chinese can field in 10 or 20 years with their manufacturing prowess, their 3:1 advantage in engineering graduates, and their ability to accomplish great feats on shoestring budgets.


blight_ April 21, 2012 at 10:00 pm

Americans did build ships of the line, but never had the naval manpower for a large frigate force, let alone one that could crank out enough ships of the line for a wall of battle. If you don't have the bases and the manpower and equipment to deploy numerous powerful walls of battle, you don't even play that game. You go and do something different that lets you strike your enemies despite their strengths.

Which might be what the PRC has planned…


Hale April 23, 2012 at 8:53 pm

China certainly has shipyards capable of building carriers, it's just that they probably lack the technology and are too busy building huge cargo tankers.

China's 33.7% of the world's shipbuilding marketshare, right behind South Korea's 37.45% and far ahead of Japan's 17.3%. US and Europe's share in shipbuilding is negligible on the world-stage, probably why all of our naval ships are expensive as hell.


passingby April 24, 2012 at 3:58 pm

that's probably 2005 stats.

China had already surpassed Korea in shipbuilding capacity, volume of new orders and volume of backlog orders by 2010. ( respectively 41%, 48% and 38% of the world market. That's a very important military capability benchmark


bart April 21, 2012 at 11:11 pm

America, for all it's superior military might, does not have the political leadership to be the worlds foremost power.


Jeff April 22, 2012 at 7:44 pm

What military might? We ought to hang our collective head in shame for losing to the fucking Taliban!


taxingcharlotte April 22, 2012 at 8:50 pm

Jeff, I've seen this post from you a couple of times now. While "losing" is irritating, we have not been "beaten" by the Taliban. By the same token, I think it will ultimately be clear that we "lost" in Iraq. It all depends on how you define the fight and how you define the mission. It's all about what defines "winning." If the definition of "winning" in Afghanistan is a free and democratic society, capable of defending and sustaining itself when we leave… Yes, in that case we have lost miserably. Frankly, if we used the same style of restricted warfare in the 40's, we would still be fighting Nazi insurgents as well. Afghanistan does not want our style of society and the Taliban are willing to be more brutal than their opponents. As soon as we leave, they will be back. Can they beat our military on a battlefield given equal rules of engagement? Not even close.

By any military measure, we kicked the snot out of them. Politically, there was never a possibility of success, if success is defined by installing a western style democratic society that can stand up to those kind of fundamentalist bullies. That kind of victory can only be obtained by unrestricted warfare and re-education of the population over the next few generations. That was never going to happen. The current inevitable result that we see in progress was the inevitable result from the beginning.

In the entire region, the only country/group that has a fair chance of moving forward is the Kurds. They want change, at least to some degree. They can have it if we support them when Iraq falls apart.

So, is winning defined by nation building of future stable allies? If so, major fail. That was going to be a major fail from the get go. They don't want liberty. They don't want women's rights. They like heavy handed autocratic governments. They are used to them.

Is winning defined by going after certain hostile governments and grinding them into the dirt? Well, in that case, big win! Won that part in no time flat. Not sure what the following 10 years have been for.

Now we just wait for all the "freedom fighters" we have supported during the recent "arab spring" to turn into new autocratic, theocratic dictatorships that still hate us. Eventually we will learn to have realistic, straight forward mission goals, accomplish them, and get out.


Jeff April 22, 2012 at 10:37 pm

"If the definition of 'winning' in Afghanistan is a free and democratic society, capable of defending and sustaining itself when we leave… Yes, in that case we have lost miserably."

Oh come on! Of course that is the definition. Remember? The Bush White House and the Obama White house have been saying it for years, more than 10 years that the mission in Afghanistan is to build a stable, democratic society that can take care of its own security. Remember the often repeated refrain, "as the Afghans stand up, we will stand down"? Remember that? That was the mission objective, and HELL YES, we have absolutely, positively, astonishingly, irretrievably, indisputably, and hopelessly LOST to the Taliban. The Taliban have achieved a resounding, humiliating, mind-bending, demoralizing, and foot-up-our-ass victory over our military. Consider theTaliban are armed with primitive, ancient small arms against our "self-proclaimed" best fighting force on earth, with our fighter jets, drones, spy satellites, tanks, MRAPS, and billions upon billions of dollars borrowed from the Chinese and spent, we simply SUCK, ok? I know it hurts our pride, deflates our ego, but WE SUCK at fighting. Let's just settle with something realistic, like securing that fucking border with Mexico. At least we can beat the Mexicans.

"Eventually we will learn to have realistic, straight forward mission goals, accomplish them, and get out."

Riiiight… you are such an optimist, my friend. The Neo-con fucktards are still intact, and now Obama has "pivoted" to Asia. That'll be a real piece of cake, taking on them Chinese. We are FUBAR. This whole fucking country is FUBAR, like that goddamn F-35, fucking FUBAR. But hey, that doesn't stop fucktards like Lance here from verbal whacking off. OUT.


Jeff April 22, 2012 at 10:43 pm

By the way, what we have in Afghanistan is a classic case of wining a battle and losing the war. Remember we still boast that we never lost a single battle to them Vietcons, but that doesn't explain how we ended up hightailing out of there. I believe all the bravo is what the Chinese would call "saving face", but all it does is making fools out of us. Pure and simple


blight_ April 22, 2012 at 11:22 pm

"Remember we still boast that we never lost a single battle to them Vietcons"

G2mil has a running list of engagements that bear up pretty well to actual fact when looked up on independent sources.

TMB April 23, 2012 at 3:04 am

Jeff, that was quite a whiny rant about our military losing to the Taliban, but then in the next post you say we won every battle but lost the war. Which is it? You're right that we've rarely lost battles to the Taliban. The problem is the ones that we don't kill go back to Pakistan for reinforcements, resupply, and come back at a date and time of their choosing. The Vietcong went to Laos whenever they needed ammo or a rest. The Taliban has Pakistan. The failure to deal with those problems lost us those wars. The Vietcong were nearly destroyed when they went balls-out during Tet '68 and later when we went after their supply bases across the border. The Vietcong and Taliban didn't beat us, they outlasted us. There is a difference.

Hale April 23, 2012 at 9:19 pm

An entire space armada couldn't beat the Taliban


Richard April 22, 2012 at 2:09 am


its going out to play with the ruskies


cs4 April 23, 2012 at 6:10 am

The US manages to make more enemies than friends and with a friend like the US, who needs enemies?


Mark Elsbernd April 23, 2012 at 9:34 am

there certainly is a lot of smoke being blown by folks that do not know they're ass from they're elbow!


Earl Kearnes April 23, 2012 at 11:33 am

Sure is smoggy there. The ship is not very impressive. YAWN!!!


tom April 23, 2012 at 9:03 pm

AAAAHHHH SOOOOO the china machine is trying, they are still very far behind American firepower that's for sure but it's always good to keep an eye out on them.What will be the game chnger will be our new rail guns and catapults to launch our jets.Our rail guns will be able to fire much much futher then anything before and the catapults are about to be put into the newest carriers we are building.It will take china a long time to catch up.But like many say never underestimate the enemy oh so true.


tiger April 23, 2012 at 9:34 pm

I hate to rain on the flag waving, who is going to pay for all this?


Jeff April 23, 2012 at 10:26 pm

The Chinese, of course.


Jeff April 23, 2012 at 10:27 pm

Great! Let's sail our fancy new carriers right into the Taliban stronghold of Helmand province and win the Afghan war once and for all, you fucktard!


spamspam April 24, 2012 at 2:04 am

Yeah, a little Saber rattling. Tensions in the South China sea recently and with joint military exercises with the US and the Philippines, China just wants to show that it has a big toy.


Robert Owen April 24, 2012 at 2:15 am

China needs time to build up a carrier force, and the ability to successfully operate it.
Carrier ops are no easy feat.
That's why the PRC bought and refurbished the Varyag. Likely, they recognize, as the Soviets once did,, the real threat of US Navy Carrier Action Groups (CAGs).
The People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), yup, that mouthful is apparently the proper translation, probably wants a carrier force of their own.
I'm sure the Varyag has already been reverse engineered, and the PLAN will probably get sister ships in time.


Jack Spectre April 24, 2012 at 11:00 am

We can't underestimate the Chinese, but really, they are decades away from a large, competent carrier fleet. In those decades we'll still be outspending them 7 to 1. Not to mention, their economy is cooling off and is dependent on Western trade.

The Chinese may develop effective anti-carrier defense that can keep US fleets away from their shores, but I don't think anyone is afraid of a Chinese carrier fleet in the foreseeable future.


Ron April 24, 2012 at 12:11 pm

I cannot wait until some island nation sinks China’s aircraft carrie rwith a silk worm missile China sold them 30 years ago.


Dennis May 1, 2012 at 4:47 pm

This is just like when the US had the old Langley. We learn't how to operate a carrier with the Langley so when Lexington and Saratoga came along we new about basic operations already.
In China's case there is allot to learn but they will learn it fast. They have been sending personnel to train on Brazil' s Carrier where they will learn about operating the carrier itself. Lots to do. Got to learn about flight deck wind speeds and keeping the ship trimmed and balanced for easier landings plus airtrafic control ect. Allot of stuff.
Plus Brazil's carrier has catapults. So they will learn about the steam catapult but I'm sure they will want to skip right to the meglev catapult that will be installed on the Ford. They have the first operational meglev train in Shanghai.
Plus they steal.


Dennis May 1, 2012 at 5:00 pm

Was stationed on a carrier in the US Navy. Please if you dont know what your talking about refrain from comments.
This Chinese carrier is not a fleet carrier but a training one. I'm sure the first generation carrier for China will be quite diffrent possibly with catapults.
There is no way to take an Iran f-14 and sneak up on a US carrier like Will Smith in Independence day. In every plane you have what is call a IFF signature that is picked up by a radar on the ship. Anything with out this signature that does not answer protocal is dead meat.
It's good to have carriers. Aircraft range is over 700 miles more than antiship missles, if the fleets where to meet in open sea like WW1. plus being able to hit airbases in land to destroy enemy strike ability and sink their ships in port before sailing.


Dordrecht1618 July 25, 2012 at 11:07 am

Was wondering what happened to the Friday Pic series? Surely there is more picworthy things that would last beyond April 2012!


Skyepapa April 20, 2012 at 7:14 pm

My point was only to compare one developing country's capability to another. China has more money than Brazil. And money is capability. Simple as that.


tiger April 20, 2012 at 9:01 pm

I think both are above The Developing level today.


Skyepapa April 20, 2012 at 9:58 pm

The G20, that Brazil played a part in founding, disagrees. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G20_developing_natio


octopusmagnificens April 21, 2012 at 4:54 am

I know it perfectly. The camouflaged ship in Independence Day was also a model out of service, but the plan worked.


Mike April 21, 2012 at 2:39 pm

JEEZ, Lance. "MOST Chinese weapons are crap"??? I have a Type 56 Carbine (Chinese SKS) that I've put over 3000 rounds through and it still shoots at 2moa. Crap? I think not. The Chinese were building advanced weapons systema when most European peoples were living in caves. When your knowledge of the topic is limited, you should listen more and talk less. And refrain from disparaging comments without anything but your own prejudices to guide you.


Jeff April 22, 2012 at 8:19 pm

You are the real crap here, Lance, or at least your numbskull is filled with it. Why don't you just fuck off and stop wasting everybody's time here, you fvcktard?


Mike April 21, 2012 at 2:42 pm

BTW we have some 75-85 years of Aircraft Carrier development and training. The Chinese are playing a huge game of "catch-up ball". TMB is right: baby steps, baby steps…


Nick T. April 21, 2012 at 10:57 pm

Taking strategy from Hollywood movies, huh? I may not have served, but a damn sure make sure I know what I'm talking about before I post. And movies aren't good research materiel.

And a far as trolling goes, this is the worst I've seen on here.


blight_ April 22, 2012 at 2:07 pm

I also know that crop dusters can fly a Hornet into the maw of alien spaceships over Area 51 and guarantee VICTORY!

Hello boys…I'm baaaack!


R_S_M May 30, 2012 at 5:15 am

This is awesome! Love you man!


octopusmagnificens April 23, 2012 at 8:00 am

Transformed into a CH-53, the Decepticons attack a U.S. base in Qatar. The Americans allow the false helicopter to take land inside the perimeter.


STemplar April 23, 2012 at 11:39 am

85% of the casualties in WW2 were non combatants.

As far as war crimes go that's a pointless debate since the notion is silly and given that the Taliban are a walking war crime in every way they operate pretty much boils down to intent. We don't intend to kill non combatants, they intentionally target them.

Discussing the tech gap is also drivel because it isn't like the Taliban are resisting with native resources. They are being bank rolled as well, their sugar daddies just can't get them the same level of resources. If US forces were just as down trodden there wouldn't be any war since there would be no way to move and sustain 100,000 Americans to the other side of the planet.

There haven't really been many wars where anything was completely settled. I'm not sure what victory would be in people's minds who think it is a failure. WW2 certainly didn't resolve everything and it is constantly looked at as the 'good war' with finality, when it reality it really was neither. It was just big, but at the end of the day it was a war.

You could post less and just say your a political hack with a bias axe to grind, you don't make a single point at all with this post.


taxingcharlotte April 23, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Ok, I made a mistake and fed the trolls while trying to make a larger historical and political point. A wasted conversation. You make a fairly straightforward point and you get newspaper talking points in return, rather than conversation.

Jeff and passingby are clearly not students of history. First off, let’s define “kicking the snot out of….” In both Iraq and Afghanistan, we had dictatorial, autocratic governments with solid control of the country and the population. In both cases those governments and their military resources were wiped out in about the same time it takes to get an appointment from your cable company. A long time to be without cable, to be sure, but from a historical perspective that’s about as lopsided a victory as you could possibly ask for. Both governments were almost immediately reduced to small groups hiding in the hills or running across borders. That would be kicking the snot out of them.

Meanwhile Jeff, you and I obviously agree that from a political perspective, the Taliban will get the win ultimately. It will be a political win, since they failed miserably from a military perspective. When we leave, they will immediately start killing more women and children than we could ever kill accidently, until they have a stranglehold on the population again. You and I disagree that Mexico would be an easier fight. From a military perspective, Canada could mangle them. Politically though? Politically, I’m not sure Mexico would be any easier than the Taliban.

By the way, complaining about women and children being killed sounds great as an emotional appeal, but historically speaking, the complaint has little traction. The very fact that so few collateral deaths get so much attention in our culture is a key sign that you should be complaining about the other side’s treatment of civilians, not ours.

And no passingby, history suggests that an equality of equipment and supplies would not have resulted in a different outcome. If the Taliban had comparable equipment, they would still be hiding in the mountains and Pakistan. Frankly, Arab armies are historically poor in terms of maintenance, discipline, and organization. It is supposed that this is a result of cultural differences. Individually, Arab solders are brave as lions, as the saying goes, but history demonstrates a lack of higher levels of cohesion and discipline. It is likely the number one reason why Israel has not just survived, but survived intact for 70 years despite being outmanned and outgunned, attacked multiple times on multiple fronts, when they had clear technical superiority AND when they did not. That’s the difference. The Taliban will return when we leave. They will have to because they did not survive intact. Militarily, they folded like a house of cards and were driven into the hills to wait for the day that we leave. If you think women and children will be better off when we have finally stopped “killing” them, you say as if it is deliberate and part of a military strategy, you are very much mistaken. That is unless you are one of those liberals who believe that women should be barefoot and pregnant, not go to school, and fine to murder or abuse when they get out of line and mouthy. If that is ok, yes they would be better off under Taliban rule.

That the Taliban may get the last laugh is a valid point, though I doubt any women or children will be laughing. To suggest that this is a result of military prowess is simply absurd. You should be complaining about the direction and choices of the political leadership. What Jeff complains about has nothing to do with the military. Last snack, no more feeding times.


gunslinger6 April 23, 2012 at 11:42 am

Which i agree, a ship built in the 80's is not obsolete. My statment where I said "I agree" was to that is "overall nice pics"


passingby April 23, 2012 at 3:53 pm

irony + contradictions.

you don't understand the US govt. or its history.


Jeff April 23, 2012 at 7:43 pm

Carl von Clausewitz famously defined war as 'an extension of politics'. If we don't win politically, then we lose militarily.


passingby April 24, 2012 at 4:50 am

LOL. lame as usual.


passingby April 24, 2012 at 4:58 am

taxingcharlotte doesn't actually know history and most other stuff he/she was talking about. Anyone who claims, thinks / believes that the US has ever been interested in spreading democracy or human rights, or has the right to kill civilians to accomplish what the puppet figure heads have purported to do is likely to be a retard, brainwashed fool, complete idiot, hired propagandist, a corrupt lobbyist, a shameless politician, or the likes.


passingby April 24, 2012 at 5:12 am

LBJ didn't have a strategy. He knew **** about warfare, the economy, and sound governance. LBJ knew a lot about dirty filthy politics, murder, backdoor dealings. But foreign policy and international affairs?? sorry, no, he had orders to follow and superiors to answer to. He's a puppet, just like his successors.


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