In an era of “The (Real) Revolution in Military Affairs” – see Andrei Martyanov’s book of that title, the US and its NATO allies (a motley crew) falls well short of the sort of capability necessary to maintain any relevant security through their own military forces. And that’s no lie.
In the Wikipedia entry for Standard Missile 6 (SM-6) – their top of range Surface to Air Missile (SAM) – they have other fancy acronyms for it – says, as the last point of the missile’s ‘advantages’…
“Ballistic target interception capability – Thanks to the new booster, the SM-6 missile has extensive tactical missile defense capabilities; it is capable of effectively intercepting tactical missiles and short-and medium-range ballistic missile warheads upon re-entry. This application does not require modificationof the Aegis CIC.”
Followed by the note…
“The SM-6 Block IB anti-missile will develop hypersonic speed, and in the future it can be used to intercept equally fast gliding targets, in particular, Russian and Chinese missiles and hypersonic blocks (for example,”Avangard”). The US Navy has scheduled an anti-missile test for 2021.”
Well, the planned 2021 SM-6 test has come and gone. It did not go well. In fact it (both missiles fired) missed the target – i.e. failed to stop the incoming test ballistic missile. Thus continuing a trend of US SAM failures in practice and actual ME defense combat – viz failure of Patriots to stop Iranian missiles in Iraq and Yemeni missiles in Saudi Arabia. Further, the BM target for the SM-6 test could not have been of the hypersonic type that could be expected Russia would use in such attacks. If SM-6 can’t intercept normal BM attacks, how would it fare against those missiles Russia can field right now?
The biggest embarrassment though is that the Russians were spectators to the event with at least one of their intelligence gathering ships legally sitting 13 miles off-shore of the Hawaiian island of Kauai and the missile test facility there. The test was delayed in May due to the presence of the Russian ship. For several weeks it sailed off the coast of Kauai.
The Russians, who have a sizable Pacific naval fleet of some 20 vessels, operating somewhere north of Hawai’i and at times within 30 miles of Pearl Harbour according to reports, need have no fear that their own missile advantage, in terms of hypersonic speed, manoeuvrability and accuracy, will be compromised by the West for at least another decade or two – and perhaps never.
That story is related in this article (below) on the gathering of the world’s nations in the Pacific right now. For what? Well, it’s not for what the Pacific Command relinquishing US admiral said earlier this year (this is my paraphrasing of a reported quote)…
…that strategic competition in the Indo-Pacific is not between two nations, it is a contest between liberty — the fundamental idea behind a free and open Indo-Pacific — and authoritarianism, the absence of liberty …where… national power is more important than international law.
The admiral obviously had no idea which side of that inequality his own forces operate, or indeed which description best defines those they oppose. But then confusions of reality do seem to proliferate in US military circles.
For an informative review of the situation, read – “Crowding the Pacific & Pressuring China” – Ann Wright for Consortium News
It makes exciting and challenging reading.
Quoted from Consortium News – “Ann Wright is a 29-year US Army/Army Reserves veteran who retired as a colonel. She is also a former U.S. diplomat who resigned in March 2003 in opposition to the war on Iraq. She served in Nicaragua, Grenada, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Sierra Leone, Micronesia and Mongolia. In December 2001 she was on the small team that reopened the U.S. embassy in Kabul. She is co-author of Dissent: Voices of Conscience.”