Trump Increases His Bluff. Is He Risking The LIves of Our Sailors

DSC_0813Every once in a while I check the status of the Navy to see where the aircraft carriers are sitting. We have 10 of those ships with two under construction but only 5 or 6 seem to be able to operate at any one time.  I believe right now we only have five deployed. I read an article that said the Trump has sent two more aircraft carriers to float around off of North Korea. Having  had his initial bluff on Kim Jung-un (KJ-un) fall flat he is upping the ante.

I’ve written that there is no military solution to the North Korean situation because of the devastation it can wreak on South Korea. That is why as far back as Nixon’s time every American president treads cautiously in dealing with it. We now have the Trump whose ignorance of history tells him he can bluff the North Koreans into doing – what? We don’t know what is in his mind. Does he want to bring them to the negotiation table? What is it that he will require of them? Is he seeking to have them stop their missile and nuke programs? Is that realistic to think he can make them do it short of a war?

Trump’s easy to read. He is a bluffer. He always had his lawyers bluffing for him. Since he had lots of money he could hire the lawyers who could squash anyone who went against him. He often said he never would settle a case preferring to overwhelm anyone who tried to sue him by wearing them down with motions and mountains of paperwork and delay. Any trial lawyer knows how that game is played; you can always wear out the other side and bring them to their knees. Yes, he will settle in the end but only on his terms. If he owed a million dollars he will offer 25 hundred and the litigant on the other side flees in panic. If too many litigants come at him, he goes into bankruptcy. Perfectly legal but it leaves a lot of small businesses holding worthless IOUs and empty promises.

The article noted that Trump told a reporter during the Easter Egg party at the White House that KJ-un “got to behave. “ The carriers identified as being sent to the potential war zone are the Ronald Reagan (CVN – 76) and Nimitz (CVN 68) which are to join the Carl Vinson (CVN-70) which will go there after training with the Australian navy.

The Reagan is the U.S. Navy’s only forward deployed aircraft carrier and is stationed in Yokosuka, Japan. According to the Navy it has not been yet deployed.  Its movement toward Korea which is right around the corner would not be unexpected.  It is surprising it was not sent there first but then again it takes time to deploy a carrier.

The Vinson out of San Diego will be moved up to Korea from the Philippines by the end of April. The Nimitz out of  Kitsap, Washington was there at its Bremerton base less than two weeks ago undergoing training in preparation for its upcoming deployment.  The Navy lists it as being in the Pacific but it most likely east of Hawaii.

Two other carriers are now deployed. The USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) also out of San Diego. The Marine Fighter Attack Squadron VMFA-312 was planning to do landing exercises on the Roosevelt this month. Best guess the Roosevelt which is listed as being in the Pacific is deployed but it is off the coast of California conducting those exercises. The other carrier deployed is the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) which left Norfolk, Virgina in January. It is in the Persian Gulf renamed by the Navy the “Arabian Gulf” because we are mad at Iran. It took the place of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) which returned to Norfolk in December.

Right now deployed at sea are the Nimitz, Vinson, Roosevelt and Bush. Along with the Eisenhower, the Nimitz, Vinson and Roosevelt are our oldest carriers. The Bush is the newest active one. The Reagan if news reports are correct is about to deploy.  The Eisenhower just came back into port so it won’t be ready for a while.

That leaves in order of going on active duty the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) completing its 4 billion dollar overhaul at Newport News, Virginia;  the USS George Washington (CVN 73) scheduled to start being overhauled there this fall;  the USS John Stennis (CVN 74) out of Kitsap, Washington, scheduled to do exercises off Alaska in May despite protest of local residents worried about the spring migration of birds and the commercial salmon season; and the USS Harry Truman (CVN 75) out of Norfolk where it is undergoing repairs and refit. In sum, only the Stennis seems to be in shape to join the three off of Korea if we need more; unless we want to pull the Bush from the Gulf where it is fighting ISIS.

So what is in store. My guess is that Trump will want to pull off one of those limited strikes like in Syria which caused little damage or in Afghanistan in the mountain area with the big bomb strike against ISIS. He looked good in these since he tweeted that his approval rating has gone up since doing them. They were easy. No one could do anything in response to them sort of like the schoolyard bully picking on those who cannot fight back.

He will be looking for a one-off attack on KJ-un if the three carriers do not dissuade him from firing more missiles. He will do that hoping KJ-un has been bluffing and does not want to war with us. If he is wrong, KJ-un’s response will most likely be an attack on a carrier with its five to six thousand sailors. He has anti-ship missiles and developing more sophisticated ones. He will hold off on attacking South Korea at this time since that is his ace in the hole.

Business bluffing with lawyers has little downside; all can be eventually settled with money. Bluffing with military forces has tremendous downsides; many lives can be lost playing around with this fire. Just pray Trump recognizes the difference.


5 thoughts on “Trump Increases His Bluff. Is He Risking The LIves of Our Sailors

  1. I see Trump seems to be blaming the Pentagon for the wrong-way naval armada that was supposed to be stationed off North Korea during Kim Jong-un’s missile floor show in Pyongyang on Saturday.

    It seems to me that it would be preferable to believe that Trump was lying, or bluffing , if you like, about the ship movements. The alternative interpretation can only be that the Navy decided to ignore the commander-in-chief’s order, and instead chose to hang out with Australian warships in the Indian Ocean at the height of the crisis (if that’s what it was. )

    There might also be an elephant in this room: the growing obsolescence of aircraft carriers. There’s a feeling that swarms of anti-ship missiles are a cheap and effective way of sinking U.S. carriers. The admirals deny this, but they’re certainly aware of the argument. Could it be that the admirals were afraid of putting one of their precious carriers in the line of fire, especially when the man doing the shooting is Kim Jong-un?

  2. The Trump haters are now playing Air Craft Carrier – moving matches around a kitchen table. Within the enclosed world of their fervid imagination this is what the terrible upstart who overthrew Hillary The Beloved, the Virgin Mother of Chelsea The Future, must be doing. They define the parameters of the Great Game as aircraft carriers.

    The US has more weapon systems than aircraft carriers. It has access to airbases and attack equipment with capabilities that are probably far in excess of that of all the air craft carrier deployments. There is ever a problem with defining an asset. What if the game is being played with other assets? Within the confines of the fake news presenters’ self defined world there are what Rumfeld used tease the naysayers with: Known Unknowns and even Unknown Unknowns.

    With a complete lack of imagination pussymarchers restrict their analysis to subset of Known Knowns. That way the only matchsticks on the table are those they want on the table. The game is rigged and we are all to conclude that Trump is is insane and the sky is falling and there are thousands of killer sharks off Carson Beach.

    Some are even coyly urging the assassination of President Trump by suggesting that is to be expected. That is a dangerous word game. It is open to many interpretations. Laying the groundwork for the acceptance of political assassination by mainstreaming the idea through treating it as an inevitability could be seen as incitement to violence in some circumstances. Again, it is a dangerous game.

    The left, especially, the so-called antifa, is resorting to violence. It is shutting down debate wherever possible. Major corporations such as Facebook and Google are clamping down of free speech by labeling dissident ideas as “Fake News” and adjusting search algorithms to block access to any but the accepted creeds while promoting the liars who dragged America into Iraq. In the Fun House of American politics the mirrors shift perceptions, journalism becomes Fake News, the alleged Fake News is the only real journalism.

    It is the Red Chinese model that is being imposed – We are right no one else can be heard so that we can win the debate. It did not work last November. It did not work yesterday in Georgia where the Anthony Weiner lookalike did not get the necessary 50% plus one despite huge investments of media capital and cold cash. The voters of Georgia were not rolled. This is still America and, with the grace of God, we will not be ruled by the spite of poor losers.

    The election is over. Accept the results.

    1. I hope you didn’t think that I was implying that I believe Trump would be assassinated. I was referring to The Bad Haircut of North Korea in my last paragraph about bullying.

  3. Something to consider. The Bad Haircut lives high off the hog. He eats, drinks and screws blondes. If he were to start a war on a grand scale all that would go away. He is insane but he is probably not crazy. He might just be squealing with delight every time he gets a reaction from Trump. Like Vlad, the Impaler, he likes to see living things struggle because of his actions. The generals under his command probably know that as long as Haircut is alive they can play army in a big way. What he is doing worldwide might not have a final action plan. Just keep on acting insane, keep getting fear reactions, keep threats coming, and they all can play and play and play forever. Push the wrong button and all the fun stops.

    When does a bully stop tormenting his victims? It can be when his victims beat the crap out of him. Not going to happen. When he is disciplined by his superiors. Not going to happen. When he is assassinated. I think this will eventually happen. He has a long leash but he has a leash. And there are people in the top tier that would love to see him gone. They probably wont let him jeopardize the whole deal. Launching a nuke would end NK and I have to think that there are lots of brass that just wont let that happen.

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