Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Awesome Idea of the Day

Posting will continue to be very light for a bit since the Missus is having to use our home laptop for work and apparently SOMEONE thinks that her career is more important than making fun of jerks on the internet!

Anyway. . .

Awesome Idea Of the Day

Couretesy of the U.S. Naval Institute:

Unleash the Privateers!

The United States should issue letters of marque to fight Chinese aggression at sea.

Oh Hell YES!

Sign me up!

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Honestly, you had me at privateers, but go on. Let's hear the rationale for it as if we needed one.

Naval strategists are struggling to find ways to counter a rising Chinese Navy. 

Right, right. . . because in the 21st Century, naval battles are a thing that happens all the time. It's not like we engage in warfare by having some dude in Las Vegas press a button to unleash hell from the flying death robots. If one is to continue to be a world power, clearly one needs a swift and stout armada!

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The easiest and most comfortable course is to ask for more ships and aircraft, but with a defense budget that may have reached its peak, that may not be a viable strategy. 

Wait, there's a peak to the US defense budget? When did this happen? There has never in my lifetime been any limit on the amount of money that can be shoveled into the Pentagon. Well thanks a lot, Trump!

Privateering, authorized by letters of marque, could offer a low-cost tool to enhance deterrence in peacetime and gain advantage in wartime. 

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Now that's what I call deterrence!

Hell yeah! International war crimes could give us a huuuuge advantage in war! I mean, it's not like China has a nuclear arsenal or anything. I'm quite certain they don't have ICBMs or anything. We just need to send some desperate Somalis out there to seize their ships and bing bang boom, war over!

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 It would attack an asymmetric vulnerability of China, which has a much larger merchant fleet than the United States. Indeed, an attack on Chinese global trade would undermine China’s entire economy and threaten the regime’s stability. 

Wait. We're talking about attacking commercial vessels?
Commercial as in CIVILIAN vessels?

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What could possibly go wrong? I mean, we're already pretty much a pariah nation anyway. Why not be the country that attacks merchant vessels at sea? What are the Chinese gonna do about it? We're doing it in international waters! Their laws don't apply there. There's literally nothing they could do!

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Oh, right!

Finally, despite pervasive myths to the contrary, U.S. privateering is not prohibited by U.S. or international law.

Well, of course it's not against US law! Why would us being pirates be against our law? But international law? I certainly don't have the time or the energy to research maritime law, but I'm pretty sure it's acceptable, when confronted by piracy, to send Navy SEALS out to put bullets in the pirates' heads. Also, let's say it isn't against the law. Is that really going to matter to China?

Let's say you're walking down the street and you see this young couple stopped at the light.

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And let's say you make the young lady on the back there an indecent proposal. There's no law against that, First Amendment and all that. Do you think it's gonna help to explain to the dude on the front of the bike that your comments were perfectly legal? Like he's gonna say "damn it, I was going to stomp you into a pulp, but I guess you haven't broken any laws, so I will just bid you good day!"

Privateering is not piracy—there are rules and commissions, called letters of marque, that governments issue to civilians, allowing them to capture or destroy enemy ships.

Oh, sure. If we were at war with China, which we are not and never will be, then sure. The government could send out civilians in their bass boats with their hunting rifles to take out Chinese destroyers. Absoultely. But when we are not at war with China, sending a bunch of MAGA hat rednecks out to attack commercial shipping vessels would absolutely be seen as a horrendous crime and an act of war and NO ONE would take our side in this dispute.

The U.S. Constitution expressly grants Congress the power to issue them (Article I, section 8, clause 11). Captured vessels and goods are called prizes, and prize law is set out in the U.S. Code. In the United States, prize claims are adjudicated by U.S. district courts, with proceeds traditionally paid to the privateers.

And obviously this is the key factor. What US laws and US courts think of US citizens stealing another nation's property by force of arms. It's like if someone punched you in the face and then said "the rules of my house say I'm allowed to punch you in the face and you're not allowed to call the police on me." That is a solid legal ground on which to be standing and evryone would have to respect that.

Letters of marque could be issued quickly, with privateers on the hunt within weeks of the start of a conflict. By contrast, it would take four years to build a single new combatant for the Navy. 

Yeah, it takes along time to build a battleship. We could just send people down to Bass Pro Shops to buy boats and then hit the high seas! Who the hell has time to wait? I mean, it's not like we could just go into battle with our current tiny little navy!
Wait, what's that?

As of April 2020, there are 44 active aircraft carriers in the world operated by fourteen navies. The United States Navy has 11 large nuclear-powered fleet carriers—carrying around 80 fighter jets each—the largest carriers in the world; the total combined deck space is over twice that of all other nations combined.

Still, though. How cool would it be to go pirating in one of these?

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Pew pew pew! Take that, Chinese Navy!

During the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, privateers vastly outnumbered Navy ships, with one U.S. official calling privateers “our cheapest and best navy.”4

And as we all know, military technology has pretty much stayed the same since 1812. Any decent sized yacht should be able to take on a Chinese destroyer!

China has built a powerful defensive network around its homeland, sometimes called an antiaccess/area-denial (A2/AD) envelope. As one element of this strategy, China has expanded its navy from a modest coastal force in the 1980s to an oceangoing force of at least 200 ships,

Uh oh! China has how many navy ships now? 200? Well, shit the US Navy only has. . . let's see. . .

The United States Navy is a powerhouse. The fleet consists of roughly 430 ships in active service or reserve. The vessels run the gamut from the massive Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, which stretches more than 1,000 feet, to the Los Angeles-class submarine that slithers 900 feet below the ocean surface.

Only 430?  Four Hundred Thirty little ships to take on the entire Chinese force of. . . at least 200? God damn it we need to get the pontoon boat brigade armed and ready!

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Okay, honestly I feel like you're kinda talking me out of this a bit. You're making it seeem less fun and that is really not cool of you. Don't ruin this for me! I want to be a pirate!
Although now that I think of it, I do get seasick on boats.

Yo Ho Ho and a bottle of Tums!