2023 - The Third Sino-Japanese War (Scenario)

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by t_co, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. t_co

    t_co Senior Member Senior Member

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    Captain Fuchida Hideo's legs itched. They always did during his flight missions. It was the flight suits, he knew, but when he complained to the base doctor, he got a response lifted straight from the Lockheed marketing brochure.

    "...keep pilots warm and enhance combat functionality in high-G maneuvers...constrict the legs to keep blood from pooling in them during long combat missions..."

    Keep him from passing out. He got it. And the helmet wrapped around his bald pate had to pump pure oxygen into his system to assist in that duty, oxygen which only added irritated lungs atop his endless itch. It had to, because his cockpit was only "lightly pressurized" to guard against explosive decompression. The cockpit couldn't be strengthened because the engineers had to save weight. The plane had to save weight to be a better combat machine. The plane had to be a better combat machine so that Fuchida Hideo could live up to his namesake.

    "----," Hideo breathed into his headset. Always, always, always his great-grandfather would intrude on his private thoughts, as if the old gray gentleman was still alive, his ancient Nakajima B5N fluttering alongside Hideo's F-35, the leather-jacketed arm reaching out to fire the green flares signalling the swarm of two hundred planes behind him to vomit their deadly hail upon an unsuspecting enemy, the cocky voice breathing the three-word code phrase that would launch the American Era.

    Of course, no one at the base mentioned his great-grandfather to his face. And no one descended from his great-grandfather mentioned him. After the war, Fuchida Mitsuo, flight commander of the air group that bombed Pearl Harbor, had become a committed pacifist and Christian evangelist. Hideo was the black sheep in his family, the one who had, in his father's words, "thrown away the lessons that his forefathers acquired at the cost of three million dead."

    Being estranged from his family only spurred Hideo to train harder. Sometimes, it felt like Mitsuo's ghost was the only relative who kept him company. Sometimes, it would scowl at him when he tried to slack off in the mundane mechanical tasks of peacetime piloting. And sometimes, in the most inopportune of times, it would appear next to him, distracting him from the task at hand.

    "C'mon, pops. Not the time," Hideo muttered to no one in particular.

    Hideo was the best pilot in his unit. As such, he led the deterrence patrols against Chinese aircraft that tried to intrude on the disputed rocks some eight kilometers below him.

    Barely fifty meters to his right, a Chinese J-31 rocked its wings to tell Hideo that he was getting too close. Hideo ignored the signal. Eighteen hundred meters behind them, another J-31 and F-35 followed at a thousand kilometers an hour. The four planes had been flying concentric rings around, but just outside, the island's territorial waters for the past two hours, and Hideo's legs kept itching.

    The J-31 began to descend, and Hideo was followed to maintain contact. His orders had been the classic ones used in territorial disputes between countries since the deadly clockwork of the nuclear era had been first set in motion. Bug the other guy so much that he either backs off or is forced to shoot first. The American pilots called it "road rage with fighter jets."

    The J-31 kept dropping lower and lower, approaching the clouds. Hideo was glad. A lower altitude meant thicker air, which meant everyone would run out of fuel faster, which meant a shorter mission. Then the dark triangle kept dropping, disappearing into the fluffy white carpet beneath them, and Hideo's confidence wavered. He toggled his mike.

    "How low does this bastard want to go?" Hideo said to his wingman.

    The wingman, a fresh-faced trainee pilot, was some right-wing politician's son who was on the patrol mission to burnish his father's nationalist credentials. In spite of the nepotism, the lieutenant's response was crisp and professional.

    "I'm not sure, Captain, but his wingman is staying at eight-two-zero-zero. Should I maintain contact with him?"

    Hideo gave a curt "Yes", then resumed pitching his F-35 downward. The last two digits on his HUD altimeter blurred as the angle of descent steepened. He punched through the cloud cover, found the Chinese plane, and cursed.

    "Crazy son-of-a-bitch." To Hideo's left, the white band of the horizon had turned nearly perpendicular to his wings. He realized that the J-31 pilot was daring him to follow the Chinese jet into the flat, flawlessly blue ocean. Without terrain features, it would be nearly impossible to judge the distance to the water until it was too late. And Hideo had to closely watch the J-31, which meant he couldn't really keep an eye on the altimeter.

    Hideo tapped the air brakes and stretched the distance between the planes to three hundred meters. Now, if the J-31 pilot really flew into the ocean, Hideo thought, his splash would serve as a prior warning.

    At about one hundred fifty meters of altitude, the J-31 pilot suddenly leveled out. Gritting his teeth, Hideo yanked hard on the stick and followed. The suit did its job, fighting the G-forces and squeezing his lower body and torso so hard Hideo knew he would have marks on his skin for a week.

    Hideo began to pull closer to the J-31, and he saw the wings rock once more. He ignored it. He was now barely one hundred meters behind and to the left of the J-31. The J-31 began to descend slowly, taunting Hideo. He followed.

    The itch returned, much worse now. Hideo finally gave in and reached down for a scratch. At that precise moment, the Chinese plane began to bank right, passing barely a hundred meters in front of Hideo's F-35. The jet wash buffeted him around in the seat. Then his HUD flared red as warning kanji blanketed his field of view.

    The F-35's engine had flamed out upon breathing a load of concentrated jet exhaust instead of oxygen. At five thousand meters, this was a simple issue to fix--simply pull up gently and press the re-ignition button--but Hideo was at barely sixty meters. His turbines flared to life just as the stealth jet clipped the top of the waves.

    Hideo's last thoughts touched on how ironic it was that he was pushing on the gears which his great-grandfather had set in motion.

    [hr][/hr]
    Captain Kang Zongqi saw the F-35 break into a thousand pieces behind him and gasped with shock. He had never meant for that to happen. To him and his wingman, the job was just a dance to keep the netizens placated, to fill the weekly helmet-cam videos the Nanjing Military Region released on the internet showing how the Air Force was "defending the motherland's inviolable territorial integrity."

    His wingman spoke immediately. "Flight leader, what happened down there? My dance partner just started screaming at me."

    Zongqi dialed up the volume on the international comms channel. A sea of static, then the unmistakeable sound of angry Japanese cursing. Then his wingman cut back in. "Wait a sec, he's climbing and slowing down. He's on my six now, six o'clock high. What the ---- is going on?"

    Kang Zongqi responded guiltily. "My bogey crashed. I don't think his wingman saw it through the clouds, though."

    Zongqi's wingman responded brusquely. "Great. That's just ----in' great. He probably thinks you brought him down on purpose. What are we gonna do?"

    Zongqi fought to remember the vague and poorly-delivered lessons on incident management. "We need to contact higher to get a translator on the channel, and immediately disengage from the mission area."

    Just as Zongqi finished his phrase, the cursing stopped and became a phrase which Zongqi half-remembered from old Chinese propaganda films.

    "Tenno Heika, BANZAI!"

    Oh shit, Zongqi thought. "Watch out, watch out, I think he's about to--"

    The radio suddenly filled with hard thumps and screaming, then cut to silence.

    Zongqi was momentarily stunned, then awakened from his state of reverie by the triple beeps of his radar warning receiver. A cold sweat broke out across Zongqi's shoulders. At such close ranges, the relative intensity of radar illumination nullified the stealth shaping of both planes, and worse yet, the bogey was somewhere above him, giving his missiles a normally inescapable energy advantage.

    The expected pair of short-range missiles poked through the clouds, like the fingers of God. Zongqi popped chaff, then quickly wrenched the black jet into a hard turn towards the largest of the disputed islands, hoping the radar clutter off the rocky cliffs would throw them off. Hurtling over one of the cliffs at barely five meters of relative altitude, he saw one of the missiles impact the rocks, and the other plunge harmlessly into the waves.

    Zongqi grinned. "My turn," he muttered. Scanning the gray murk above him, he saw the missile trails and estimated the relative position of his bogey. His radar confirmed his hunch, a clear blip at his four o'clock. This kid must be new, Zongqi thought, as his radar indicated the Japanese plane was diving towards him, giving up its altitude advantage.

    Zongqi banked hard left in a twisting turn, then pitched his nose upwards. His J-31 slid across the ocean surface like an ice skater, flash-boiling a trail of seawater to steam under twenty thousand kilograms of vectored thrust. One second later, he toggled the afterburners, launching his plane in a near-vertical leap from the sea surface, then lobbed a missile into the gray clouds at an angle to Japanese fighter. Half a second later, the F-35 disappeared in a fireball.

    Zongqi blinked twice, then circled his plane around twice, checking for a parachute from the Japanese plane. There was none. His wingman's emergency transponder was silent, too.

    I'm the sole survivor, Zongqi realized.

    More beeping. He looked down at his fuel gauge, now running close to empty. Zongqi radioed into HQ, informing them of what had happened and that he was going to try and fly as far as he could towards the Chinese coast before ejecting.

    HQ's response added another dose of raw fear into his gut. The Japanese Air Self-Defense Forces had scrambled eight more planes, now only minutes away. His commander advised him to eject as soon as possible, turn on his emergency beacon, and await rescue operations.

    It was only after his parachute had already deployed that Zongqi remembered he was still in disputed waters.
     
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  3. DivineHeretic

    DivineHeretic Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: 2023: the Third Sino-Japanese War

    Biased one sided simulation but nonetheless an interesting read. It gives an insight to the human factor in our current modern dehumanised form of battle management.
    It must be remembered that finally it is the man behind the machine that has to make and execute decisions,more often than not based on his guts. This is usually thr source of misunderstandings and possible errors
    During the early 1990s an Iranian civillian aircraft was downed by an american warship off the persian gulf. The primary reason for this was the fact that the overstressed controllers of the DDG mistook the normal climb of the passenger aircraft to be a steep dive,a hostile act. Result was 294 dead,many of them children.
    Despite the fact that the most advanced systems fed a very accurate picture of the aircraft in question, the controller erred and made a tragic decision.
    A scary thought,isn't it?
     
  4. t_co

    t_co Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: 2023: the Third Sino-Japanese War

    Mostly agree here. Just wait until we start getting to both sides using strategic weapons like IRBMs, stealth bombers, and long-range cruise missiles against each other. The point of this story will be to show that while weapons technology has advanced tremendously, command and control systems, especially those at the top levels of civilian leadership, still remain quite antiquated.

    I have to say though, the simulation is not really biased. The surviving Japanese pilot is noted to be a pilot trainee, which means he would be pretty damn outclassed by a Chinese captain with thousands of flight hours and combat exercises under his belt.
     
  5. DivineHeretic

    DivineHeretic Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: 2023: the Third Sino-Japanese War

    Well the scenario of the first F35 going down has certain technical faults. Firstly the HMS contains the altitude display,the pilot is not required to look into his instrument panel.
    Secondly the F35 has a very limited endurance without air to air refuelling and is unlikely to take part in aggressive patrols.Assuming they did though,I dont expect them to fall out of the sky due to a stalled engine,simply because unless the airframe is subject to a energy draining manuevre. Exception of course is the vtol version.
     
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  6. t_co

    t_co Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: 2023: the Third Sino-Japanese War

    Colonel Wu Taifu set down his head-mounted display and reached for a steaming mug of straight black coffee. Through an opened window in base headquarters, the morning sun glittered off a row of parked fighters, as if the runway and apron were a display case of jewelry made for giants. He closed his eyes and took a sip, letting the strong, clean, aroma--mixed with hints of jet fuel--clear his head.

    There had been three times in his life when he wanted to quit the air force. The first had been eight years ago, when he was shuttling aid down storm-wrecked Jamaican runways in the aftermath of Hurricane Claudette, with Hurricane Erika still bearing down on the island. It was there that he'd picked up a taste for the excellent local coffee beans and met his wife, then a relief worker. They'd helped calm his nerves, but each time he had to thread the big military transport through sixty-kilometer-an-hour crosswinds on tarmac littered with fallen palm trees, he'd promised himself that he would quit when he accomplished the mission.

    He didn't.

    The second time had come five years later, when he'd overseen the closure of an air base. He played honest and inadvertently scuttled a land deal that would have made his superior officer rich. Someone then messed with his controls on a routine training flight, and when they pulled him out of the wreckage, he was miraculously alive, but got the message. He'd come within a final few signatures on the resignation forms when his daughter had asked if he could take her into the sky for her birthday.

    Since they couldn't get rid of him, they kicked him upstairs. He went to command school and came back a regiment leader. Now, as his eyes opened on his spartan office, he thought about quitting once again.

    Two red and two white crosses flashed on his command and control monitor, marking the locations where the planes had been downed ten minutes ago. Slightly to their right, six white triangles and two dotted blue triangles inched closer at an estimated speed of seven hundred kilometers an hour. A Chinese destroyer had picked up six JASDF fighters on its radar shortly after they left Naha Air Base, and a friendly fishing boat recorded a pair of F-22s scrambled out of Kadena on a direct flight path towards the disputed islets. The information, once cleared by the MI analyst, had passed through the new C4ISR network in a matter of seconds, without any need for additional human intervention.

    Eight fighters. Eight fighters total. He'd have to wait until they were gone before mounting a rescue operation, Taifu thought. He shifted in a cushioned office chair borrowed from his wife's office for his bad back and jotted some brief notes down on his military-issue tablet. Then he donned his display headset and dialed the division commander again.

    The official photo of a crinkled, salt-and-pepper man in Air Force blues filled his visor. "General Liang, this is Colonel Wu calling from Feidong Air Base regarding the collision and shoot-down accidents this morning. I just spoke with the flight leader again, Captain Kang."

    "Hold on. Before you go further, let me get the Military Region commander on the line. I just emailed him." His portrait blurred out, and then split in two. The right half was still the same, but the left half was now the grainy webcam view of an ancient-looking man with hair dyed jet-black, cramped beside an infant's carseat. Behind him, tinted glass shaded the crowded mosaic of a morning commute.

    The division commander cleared his throat and spoke, softly. "General Fan, this is Colonel Wu Taifu, commanding officer of the regiment involved in this morning's... incidents. He just spoke again with the pilot involved, and I ordered him to order the flight leader to eject immediately after we received confirmation that a group of American and Japanese aircraft were en route to interdict his return vector."

    The old man nodded. "Good call. If they finished him off, the situation might have escalated out of our control." He then tapped some keys on his laptop. "I have to brief the Central Military Commission as soon as I get into the office. Colonel, did the flight leader give you a breakdown of events?"

    Taifu nodded. "General Fan, please find attached Captain Kang's debriefing." He tapped his tablet and sent over the notes to General Fan's inbox. "At 0700, Captain Kang and his second element, Captain Guo Ling, departed from Feidong Air Base for a demonstration of sovereignty over the disputed islands. At 0750, they reached the islands. At 0812, a pair of Japanese F-35s showed up. At 0832, Captain Kang was engaged in aggressive maneuvering versus a JASDF F-35 when the Japanese plane caught his jet exhaust and suffered an engine flameout, which caused the Japanese plane to crash. The second Japanese plane did not see the flameout due to intervening cloud cover, and assumed Captain Kang had shot down the first plane. Then it intentionally destroyed our flight's second element at 0833, and engaged Captain Kang with missiles and cannon fire. Captain Kang returned fire and destroyed the second Japanese plane at 0835. Then he contacted me about what happened at 0837, and added that he didn't see any parachutes or emergency beacons from the three downed aircraft, and he didn't have enough fuel to return home."

    The old man flashed a wry grin. "Glad to know our pilot kicked some ass." Then his expression turned serious. "Did you"--the old man paused and grimaced--"did you give him an ETA on any rescue attempts?"

    Taifu shook his head. "No, he ditched in disputed waters."

    "Good. He won't like it, but it's the right answer. We can't promise anything at this point." The old man's expression softened. "How long will he last in the ocean? Is there any way we can talk to him?"

    Taifu nodded. "His ejection seat should have a shortwave radio built into it, but the batteries won't last more than five hours. If that's damaged, his helmet's emergency transponder can double as a receiver for manual Morse. He should have a 95% chance of surviving for at least 60 hours, if he didn't lose his emergency water and food supplies in the ejection."

    The old man grinned again. "I'd advise him to swim for the island, just in case." He asked another question, in an innocent tone. "General Liang, how badly does a flameout affect a modern fighter plane?"

    Taifu bit his lip. He knew where this question would lead, and so did the air division commander, who mumbled out a response. "N-not that much, General Fan. Most modern fighters can recover from a flameout in a second or two, at most."

    "So how could it lead to a crash?"

    The division commander was silent for a moment, then replied, "Because our flight leader and his Japanese counterpart were flying at very low altitudes."

    The old man's eyes hardened. "How low?"

    "I'm not sure, General Fan. Perhaps Colonel Wu knows."

    Taifu instinctively glared at General Liang's unmoving avatar. "General Fan, Captain Kang said the aircraft were maneuvering at under a hundred meters. Until the black boxes are recovered, though, we won't be able to get an exact altitude figure."

    The old man frowned and shook his head vigorously. "General Liang, didn't you order our guys to stay above five hundred meters while maneuvering near the contested islands?"

    "Y-yes."

    "So why was he flying under a hundred meters?"

    "I cleared them to, last week."

    The old man's fist pounded his thigh. "Dammit, we worked those rules out to keep something like this from happening. Can you give me a good reason why I shouldn't cashiere you this instant?"

    "Sir, the netizens were complaining that the videos on the internet weren't 'exciting enough.'" Taifu recognized the classic tone of a schoolboy before the headmaster.

    General Fan facepalmed, hard. "For heaven's sake, Xiao Liang, our pilots are not Hollywood stuntmen! Three people--three lives--are gone today because of your idiocy, and many more might be, if both of you don't move your asses." The General turned sideways, looked out the window, and let his expression settle before continuing. Behind him, the expressway had become the twisting confines of an underground parking lot. "Okay. Get a few non-escalatory recovery options on my desk. I'll send our attachés in Tokyo and Washington our version of the events, and ask them what the other side thinks. General Liang, I'm sending you the contact info for the Military Region's press officer and political commissar--you, Colonel Wu, and those two are going to draw up the response. Send me your initial set of plans at 1100. Dismissed." General Fan's image froze, then cut out.

    General Liang spoke up. "Colonel Wu, let's meet in the lobby in five minutes." Then he cut out as well.

    Colonel Wu Taifu sat back in his chair and dialed his wife to tell her he would be coming home late.
     
  7. Bheeshma

    Bheeshma Regular Member

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    What a joke. Japan would whoop China's ass anytime any where.
     
  8. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    Who gets the credit for these extracts?
     
  9. t_co

    t_co Senior Member Senior Member

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    Yours truly.
     
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  10. t_co

    t_co Senior Member Senior Member

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    Sometime twelve years ago

    For a thousand years, Beijing pretended to be older than it actually was.

    You'd be forgiven if you thought, driving down Chang'an Jie (or the Avenue of Eternal Peace) that the imposing, Imperial, maroon-brick palace facing the grand emptiness of Tiananmen Square implied that China, had, forever, been centered on its Northern Capital.

    That's intentional. It took the Ming emperors a million workers to put up that lie.

    For most of Beijing's history, it was a peripheral city. While the bureaucrats and eunuchs plotted their intrigues from Luoyang and Xi'an, and the poets composed their lyrical works in the cool streams and mountains of Sichuan, Beijing sat on the northern border, forlorn, an outpost against the barbarian tribes. The only time it got into the news was when those tribes were causing trouble on the wrong side of the Great Wall.

    First the Khitan--then the Jurchens--every time, some boy would saddle up on a messenger steed, switching horses every two hundred miles, until he arrived, breathless and dehydrated, collapsing in front of the Emperor for dramatic emphasis, and then the dynasty would convene its war council and a grand Imperial army would march out from the Central Plains to crush the invaders with sheer numbers.

    The Mongols put the kibosh on that strategy, though, by blitzkrieging all the way through Southern China too. When they were done, they made Beijing, their point of entry, the capital of their new Yuan Dynasty.

    Understandably, when Zhu Yuanzhang, founder of the Ming dynasty, finally kicked the Mongols out in 1368, he moved the capital out of the city. But his kids moved it right back, so that they could find out if someone was invading them just by looking out their bedroom window. They built a giant palace to go with it.

    It worked. In 1644, the last of Zhu's descendants saw the Manchus coming, suited up, and used a tree in the middle of the palace gardens to hang himself.

    After that, the Manchus, now called the Qing, set up their dynastic capital on the banks of the Yongding River as well. They expanded the palace some more, added a port called Tianjin, went on being the cool kids of China until the Westerners took that role. In the long night that followed, Beijing was sacked twice--first by a Coalition of the Willing, then by Japan. Then Mao came along--a Chinese peasant claimant to the throne, but one fuelled by foreign ideas and found Beijing the perfect place to start his grand experiment of the New China.

    By the late 70s and early 80s, Beijing was showing its age. Stalinist apartment blocks dominated between subdivided siheyuan--tile-roofed garden houses--that looked like women aged beyond any possible dignity.

    And so for the past forty years, Beijing has pretended to be younger than it actually is.

    The result? An orchestra of construction cranes and jackhammering that lasts through the dead of winter and the sandstorms of springtime, pausing only for a few weeks in the summer as millions of Chinese students get ready for the college entrance exams from Hell. Mushrooming on the horizon, your usual assortment of monuments to easy credit, culminating in a seven-hundred foot headquarters for China Central Television that looks like a giant subjected to the ancient Chinese execution of yaozhan, or chopping at the waist.

    It was in one of those unfinished symphonies that my patron and benefactor, a rising star of the New, New, China, told me his history of Beijing. Mr. Zhang Shenghan was one of the big beneficiaries of the building boom. And heading back to Financial Street in his chauffeured black Audi, underneath the smiling photos of Chairman Mao, Zhang Shenghan told me another nugget of wisdom:

    Daughters are always a bad idea.

    [hr]
    I first met Fang Fei-Na at one of those conferences, the kind with awkward PhDs milling around the open bar trying to look cute.

    That night, I was a grad student from Fudan University. Non-official cover, the way real men do it. The lean, tanned, sly-looking guy in the corner of the Class of 2010 pic? That's me, photoshopped in. Me, with my rectangular designer glasses and designer stubble over the Tom Cruise grin.

    Fang was one of those PhDs that had beauty and brains. Usually, Lady Doctors have neither. Just trust me. When she walked through those opened convention hall doors, I swear, you could hear the conversation volume drop and the collective sound of dozens of horny grad students adjusting their pants. What do I remember from her presentation?

    DNA this, recombination that, magic happens--then boom, 100% yield increase, drastically shortened growing times, drought tolerance, disease tolerance, long permed ringlets of jet-black hair, high cheekbones flaring scarlet, thin waist, c-cup breasts, and an ass encased in a red, tailored, silk qipao. Okay, okay, I was making that up. She was wearing a black business suit.

    Fang researched rice. You know, the beige-colored cereal crop that brown people cook to a golden yellow, yellow people polish to a gleaming white, and that white people prefer to eat while naturally brown. Her project was paid for by one of those giant biotech companies--no need for government funding, not with an idea that hot. Fang's English name was Persephone, daughter of the Goddess of Grain.

    My job was to ---- her.

    I'm one of three male honey traps in the Tenth Bureau. The only spear-chucker on the team though, because there are so few female scientists around. The other two guys took it up the ass for the motherland. My case officer, an owlish fifty-year old who wrote his dissertation on British-American Tobacco and deadpanned censored jokes, assigned me the callsign 'Lucky Strike'.

    Anyhow, so we were at the open bar. Long faux-wood strip packed off to one side of the convention hall, tuxedoed undergrads serving alcohol they couldn't legally drink themselves. A few clumps and pairs of people, then this huge crowd of guys wrapped around Persephone. Sperm and an egg. Classic setup, easy lay. I ordered a scotch and an advocaat, then closed the tab.

    I walked over real slow, waited for one of those moments. You know what I'm talking about. Those moments where a dozen unrelated conversations simultaneously arrive at the same pause. Then her giggle rang out, tinged with a certain claustrophobic hysteria.

    I chuckled. "Guess an angel passed."

    She chuckled back, vocal cords a little tense. Forty envious eyes turned in my direction. I shrugged, flashed my Tom Cruise grin, and reached over all of them, passing her the advocaat.

    Her voice was innocent. "What is this?"

    I lip-synced a bogus reply.

    Know your enemy, after all. If she's spent a whole lifetime indulging her curiosity, make her guess to figure out what you're saying.

    She moved closer, out of the crush of guys, and I told it was 蛋黄酒.

    She asked why. I said it was because she was surrounded by 精英.

    She laughed without reservation this time, and took my hand. I walked with her, shoulders straight, no swagger, no backward glance and smile. After all, it's just business--no need to spike the football.

    Our night together stretched into morning, into tickets at the ferry port and my first trip through Boston proper. The rain kept up, beading on her plastic jacket, shrouding Boy Scouts marching past the monuments to American liberty in matching brown uniforms like the ghosts of Nuremberg past, until she'd stood with me in the midnight clatter of a college bar, and held my hand like a child.

    She was twenty-seven. She was twenty-seven, and both her mother and father were dead.
     
  11. t_co

    t_co Senior Member Senior Member

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    Back to 2023

    First Lieutenant Nakano Kenichi surveyed the ocean below him for a sign of life. He shook his head.

    It had been thirty minutes already, and both friendly transponders were dead. He recorded the warble of a single Chinese transponder, but did not focus on it. They were, after all, the clear aggressors in this engagement. Why should anyone worry about rescuing them? Let the bastard die of thirst in the salt water, he thought.

    Both his squadron leader and wing leaders had been especially nervous after hearing the panicked transmissions from First Lieutenant Ishii, and insisted on accompanying the eight-plane formation out personally. It was no surprise, Kenichi thought, that they were nervous, and even less of a surprise that Ishii had reacted to the Chinese provocation this way.

    First Lieutenant Ishii Akira was his roommate at Naha Air Base. His father, Ishii Shinobu, was a rabid nationalist, a former nuclear engineer who advocated revising Japan's pacifist constitution, massively increasing the defense budget, and acquiring nuclear weapons. He also happened to be the governor of Tokyo prefecture. Akira often spoke of his father in reverent, even worshipful, tones. Yet as far as he knew, the relationship was not reciprocated. Kenichi often had to cheer his rooomate up when his father would chew him out for a poor classroom or training result; the elder Ishii had a close relationship with the base commander and got free access to his son's performance record. And, since, truth be told, Akira was not all that talented of a pilot, those lectures came fast and often.

    Lieutenant Ishii's garbled broadcast had mentioned cloud cover, but the sky outside was clearing. White-specked wavepeaks appeared and disappeared at random across the brilliant blue water as the eight planes continued to circle over the crash site like enormous aluminum vultures.

    Kenichi's mind dwelled briefly on how the old man must be feeling now. Confused? Angry? Hurt? Maybe even a little... vindicated? No, Kenichi, thought. It was wrong to ascribe thoughts like that to a man in such an unfortunate situation. With a silent flush of shame, Kenichi forced his mind to the task at hand. Scan for friendly debris. Circle the area and prevent further Chinese incursions. And await the arrival of two JMSDF destroyers racing up at combat speed.

    [hr][/hr]
    The flag behind the emcee was nearly as tall as he was.

    "Ladies and Gentlemen, the Japan Restoration Party thanks you for attending this fundraising luncheon today. Our first speaker is the esteemed Governor of Tokyo Prefecture, Ishii Shinobu."

    Applause. Applause for the future Prime Minister of Japan, he thought. It was practically inevitable; in the cannibalism of post-bubble Japanese politics, the chairs were soon due to revolve around to him. And yet, he thought, blinking back tears, he would give it all up for one more chance to see his boy, to tell Akira how much loved him, and how happy he made him, happy, and yes, even proud...

    Ishii Shinobu stood up from his seat onstage and approached the podium with firm, purposeful steps. His smooth face betrayed no hint of the turmoil brewing inches behind his eyes. He extended a warm smile, the smile that he knew won him so many votes. "Kuruni", as he was called, was consistently considered not only among the most attractive politicians in Japan, but around the world. He had gained the nicknamed at a Hollywood dinner in the prior decade, when a keen-eyed Asahi Shimbun journalist photographed him sitting next to George Clooney and captioned the picture with one simple word: "Twins."

    Shinobu began to speak, and his smile disappeared.

    "My fellow Japanese, today I come to you not as a Governor, or a Party member, or even a citizen of Japan. Today, I come to you as a father. A father who has recently received the most terrible news possible."

    Shinobu paused, waiting for the murmurs to die down in the audience.

    "As some of you may know, my son, Ishii Akira, joined the JASDF to serve his Emperor and people last year. Recently, he has been defending our sovereign islands against the unrestrained aggression of our western neighbor. Some time ago, I was notified that he--my son, my firstborn--was shot down by forces of that... that country which you are all too aware of, and of which I shall not name."

    The crowd looked amongst each other. Behind Shinobu, a military officer's face blanched as he realized what a gross breach of operational security Shinobu's speech was becoming.

    "For far too long, we have suffered under the aggression of our revanchist enemies and, I daresay, the occasional negligence of our friends. I wish to let you know that if I am elected to lead our people in these next tumultuous years, I will draw the line. No more. I will not apologize for Japan. Never. And should any of those neighbors use our common history to justify their aggression, I will stop at nothing to teach them a lesson, a lesson to respect the absolute safety of the Japanese people, and the absolute integrity of our territory. I give you my word as a loyal subject of our Emperor, and father to a true hero."

    Ishii Shinobu left the podium with steps as firm as those he took to approach it. In his wake, the other speakers heard applause, deafening applause, but all Shinobu could hear was the voice of his son, suddenly a child now, whispering in his ear to wreak a vengeance ten thousand times greater than the hurt which he had received.
     
  12. t_co

    t_co Senior Member Senior Member

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    Why can't I edit any posts or send any PMs?
     
  13. t_co

    t_co Senior Member Senior Member

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    "Want a smoke?"

    Colonel Wu Taifu shook his head. "No, thank you."

    General Liang, commander of the air division, closed his silver cigarette case. "Your loss. Yves Saint Laurent stopped making 'em a year ago." Then he placed them into a shirt pocket and sat down on the curb next to the colonel.

    They'd walked from the lobby to a spot behind a maintenance shed, right next to its rattling air-conditioning unit. The general lit up, took a drag, then spoke in an oddly cheery tone. "Look, I think we're both going to get screwed by this shoot-down--hard. General Fan chews nails and spits napalm, and having to brief the CMC on something like this happening in his Military Region is going to give him a bad case of heartburn." Another puff, followed by a smoke ring.

    Taifu listened, nodded, gave a non-committal grunt of assent.

    "But--I have something that's going to keep both of us alive. And better yet--alive and kicking." The division commander withdrew a small flash drive from his pocket, followed by a red envelope filled with two equally thick bundles of paper documents and yellow 1000-RMB bills. "Here you go. Happy Spring Festival. Keep it safe."

    Taifu stared at the gifts in the division commander's hands. "What is this?" Belatedly, he added, "General Liang."

    "Electronic and paper copies of files on General Fan's son. Seems like Fan the Younger has been engaged in some, uh, extracurricular activities in his capacity as a trader at the Bank of China." The general took another drag.

    Taifu stared at the ground, unmoving. The cigarettes. The furtive conversations. The words which others tossed around casually, but which boggled his mind, the way it had been before his near-death crash. He responded with a voice held low by a wooden sense of dread. "And no one found out?"

    "Nope. General Fan knows of the matter, of course, so when he lifts the axe, let me do the talking."

    Taifu nodded. He took the envelope and flash drive with hands made of lead, stuffing them stiffly into his air-force-issue messenger bag. He knew better than to ask how General Liang had gotten the files, or why he was passing them on.

    General Liang smiled, puffing on his cigarette.

    Both said nothing for a long minute. Then General Liang stood up and clapped his hand on Taifu's shoulder. "Come, old friend. I scheduled a meeting at 0920 with the press officer and the commissar. Let's figure out how to beat those Jap devils."
     
  14. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    You are indeed a Comic fan ..
     
  15. DivineHeretic

    DivineHeretic Senior Member Senior Member

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    Well its a good read in the sense that we come to know the expectation of the knowlegeable class of chinese people ragarding their military. From what I can gather they want it to be a version of the US military.
    A point to be noted is that the japanese navy will position their Aegis integrated DDGs to keep the disputed islands within the reach of their shipborne AA missile,which they can do from a pretty safe distance. It would be very difficult for the PLAN naval aviation to trick it into not reconising the downing of their aircraft or the J31 in the area, and they will act swiftly.
     
  16. t_co

    t_co Senior Member Senior Member

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    Yep. The thing is, from the timelines given, the engagement was over in under 4 minutes, which was too fast for the Japanese DDGs to respond. That actually illustrates one of the limitations of shipborne AA versus carrier- or land-based naval aviation--shipborne AA will always be slower and more passive than carrier planes to an airborne threat. Because of that, shipborne AA also has a much lower "trigger threshold", since planes can afford to fly closer and try to figure out what is coming while ships can't. Hence, ships have a much greater chance of accidentally shooting something down that you aren't supposed to (like the example you cited above).
     
  17. DivineHeretic

    DivineHeretic Senior Member Senior Member

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    U r right for the most part except that four minutes would be more than sufficient for the DDGs to generate a complete picture of the unfolding situation and and prepare a firing solution. Not to mention that even after the incident has occured and the 4 minutes have passed the Chinese J31 will still be on the radar (And IRST tracker) screen trying to find its way out. Whether the commanders decide to take action or wait further is a different matter though.
    5th gen fighter warfare will significantly reduce the time available for AA measures,which compresses timelines for actin and reaction if you will.which is why we are seeing more and more decisions being left to automated systems.
     
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  18. t_co

    t_co Senior Member Senior Member

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    Yes, quite true. I think here part of what happened was that the novice Japanese pilot reacted completely unexpectedly for either side because of his familial pressures and lack of proper training in crisis management. Plus, imagine the situation to a DDG commander: you're not technically at war, you see blips on a screen that disappear. One of your pilots reports that he is under attack, but you don't have orders from your superiors to engage. You report back to HQ but don't get a timely response. Do you fire? Do you hold fire? I can't imagine a single naval captain that would react without hesitation in that scenario. No professional soldier wants to be the man that escalates a mere peacetime crisis into a full-blown war.
     
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  19. t_co

    t_co Senior Member Senior Member

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    Very much so, in terms of operational standards and weapon quality. In terms of mission, though, China's defense planners envision a less expeditionary and more "sea-control" role for the armed forces. China's going to be looking for bases overseas that protect its oceangoing trade, while retaining enough of a land army to deter potential aggression. China isn't going to be invading places for regime change, because its current institutional structure profits from trading with and slowly changing unfriendly governments rather than overthrowing them at the barrel of a gun.
     
  20. Shirman

    Shirman Regular Member

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    @t_co ,

    You r quoting all this from some comic book or u yourself have made this all up,

    If so i really want some Chinese Tom Clancy type military non friction books. It would be a great in my series of military book collection

    Thanks in advance........
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
  21. t_co

    t_co Senior Member Senior Member

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    A thousand kilometers to north of Nanjing, in a windowless conference room, the Central Military Commission of the Communist Party of China gathered. The room was arranged as usual for their meeting. Name cards arranged in a never-changing order sat with parade-ground precision down each side of a long, dark, oval of mahogany. A pad of paper and two sharpened pencils sat ready for each committee member, although the pads were never used.

    At the head of the room, on a large screen, the wizened face of General Fan, head of the Nanjing Military Region, loomed over sets of tea prepared for Admiral Sun Jianguo, Exective Vice Chairman and day-to-day boss of the CMC, and Army General Yuan Hua, the Chief of Staff.

    Other senior officers and officials filed into the room, dropping their own notepads at the usual places along the sides of the wide table. The room felt crowded, though it was actually less full than usual. It had been cleared of the aides and staff officers who normally sat against the side walls, ready to provide their bosses with the details of any issue.

    General Fan was not the only one who wondered why they were not at the table with the generals and Party officials.

    He recognized why the room was crowded, though. Even through his webcam, the tension was so thick, he could almost cut it with a knife. The VIPs gathered in small clumps, immersed in separate conversations, but the tone of chatter was far from banal.

    In the last twenty minutes, General Fan had hurriedly conferred with the Chief of Staff, General Yuan Kun. The Chief of Staff was the senior operations officer in the Chinese military. Together, they went over the details and discussed likely questions and answers on operational matters that he and Yuan would address at the 1000 meeting.

    Over the past five years, General Fan had learned that General Yuan liked to look as though he were in control and could handle every question brought up by his boss, the Executive Vice Chairman, or any of the dozen or so officers and Party officials gathered around the large conference table. But Fan also knew that Yuan expected him to jump in quickly if Yuan's sometimes shaky grasp of relevant details threatened to become apparent. As had become glaringly obvious over the years, when General Yuan dumped a problem into a Military Region commander's lap, he left it there.

    Far better to prep the kindly gentleman so he could blather his way past any uncertainty and then clean up problems later, Fan thought. He pawed at his tablet again, checking his slides and the corrected version of Colonel Wu's briefing notes. As he glanced up, Executive Vice Chairman Sun Yan marched through the door with the Chief of Staff, and unexpectedly, the General Secretary himself. Admiral Sun motioned the General Secretary to take his own chair while a staff officer hurriedly brought another ot the head of the table for the Vice Chairman as the attendees took their places.

    The Executive Vice Chairman sat down, looked at the Chief of Staff, and commanded immediately, "Let's hear it." His sharp tone brought all eyes to General Yuan he stepped up to the podium.

    "General Secretary, Vice Chairman, esteemed comrades, I'll begin with a video clip we recorded ten minutes ago. Then I'll provide a brief situation report on this morning's incidents. General Fan will provide greater detail on the operational background, and then the Executive Vice Chairman will give us his thoughts on future operations." He looked down at his script while his staffer swapped General Fan's face for the video of Ishii Shinobu.

    "This clip," Yuan continued, "was recorded at 0920 hours from the Japan Broadcasting Corporation, NHK."

    The Chief of Staff nodded at his staffer and Ishii Shinobu's smile appeared, stretched a half-meter wide. Subtitles scrolled below it.

    "As some of you may know, my son, Ishii Akira, joined the JASDF to serve his Emperor and people last year. Recently, he has been defending our sovereign islands against the unrestrained aggression of our western neighbor. Some time ago, I was notified that he--my son, my firstborn--was shot down by forces of that... that country which you are all too aware of, and of which I shall not name.

    For far too long, we have suffered under the aggression of our revanchist enemies and, I daresay, the occasional negligence of our friends. I wish to let you know that if I am elected to lead our people in these next tumultuous years, I will draw the line. No more. I will not apologize for Japan. Never. And should any of those neighbors use our common history to justify their aggression, I will stop at nothing to teach them a lesson, a lesson to respect the absolute safety of the Japanese people, and the absolute integrity of our territory. I give you my word as a loyal subject of our Emperor, and father to a true hero."

    The tape ended abruptly and General Fan's face reappeared. While Yuan returned to his notes, the commission sat silent, except for the Chairman, who shifted in his chair, reached for a pencil, and began to calmly take paper notes.

    The Chief of Staff resumed his presentation. "This morning, two of our fighters were engaged with their Japanese counterparts in a demonstration of sovereignty over the disputed islands. One of the Japanese fighters suffered an accident and crashed, which the other Japanese fighter interpreted as due to hostile action. The other Japanese pilot fired upon and destroyed one of our fighters, and was in turn engaged and destroyed by our second pilot, Captain Kang Zongqi of the Ox Squadron, 771st Regiment, 3rd Fighter Division." On cue, a map of the islands with red and white crosses appeared beside General Fan's looming face. "Immediately after the engagement, the Japanese and Americans scrambled eight fighter planes to interdict Captain Kang. After contacting home base, he was notified of the situation and ordered to eject."

    "At this time, our satellites have spotted two Japanese destroyers operating in the vicinity, and the US 7th Fleet is making emergency preparations to sally forth from Yokosuka Naval Base. Stealth bomber assets at Andersen Air Force Base also appear to be going on high alert."

    "In addition to the American and Japanese response, there are three further factors that complicate the situation." Yuan paused for a drink of water. "First, as the video hints at, one of the Japanese pilots--we are not sure which--was the son of Ishii Shinobu, the far-right leader of the Japan Restoration Party, and the likely Prime Minister following the Japanese elections in the next few months. Captain Kang did not report any parachutes from the three other downed airplanes, which means his son is likely dead. This will likely make future diplomacy with Japan extremely difficult."

    "Second, there is no hard evidence to corroborate with Captain Kang's version of events, since all aircraft ditched in disputed waters. This means that the Japanese or Americans may be able to spin an alternate version of events as the truth, at least until we recover a black box or flight recorder."

    "Third, Captain Kang is still floating in disputed waters. We can communicate him, but his food and water supplies will only last him for another two and a half days, and we might, for the same reason as the second issue, have problems trying to rescue him."

    "General Secretary, Vice Chairman," Yuan continued, "we have put our sea- and land-based air-defense networks on alert, scrambled interceptors and AWACS to patrol over international waters in the East China Sea, and tasked a team from the Nanjing MR to draft up a non-escalatory rescue plan for Captain Kang. We've also sent our version of events to our attaches in Tokyo and Washington, and tasked them with getting a pulse on the reactions of the Japanese and American national security establishments. These responses have been limited to defensive preparations only, so as not to unduly alarm the Americans--we are treating the incident as a regrettable multiple mid-air collision, and downplaying the shoot-down angle." Yuan put down his notes, a signal for questions.

    The General Secretary sat up. "Admiral Sun, General Yuan, that message can't hold given Ishii's remarks. The Politburo will have to make a public statement confirming briefly what we know and what we're doing about it. And we'll have to make that statement today."

    "I agree, General Secretary. With your blessing, I'll task a member of the CMC staff to work with your team on that."

    General Fan chimed in. "The folks working on the rescue plan already include a press officer, so they'd be a nice addition to whatever roster you're putting in place to handle the PR angle."

    The General Secretary nodded. "Good idea. General Fan, get them on board as well." Then he paused, glanced down at his tablet, and looked back up. "Okay, here are our priorities: first, we need to avoid escalating this incident any further. Everyone here has done an admirable job of keeping this low-key, let's keep up the good work. Second, we need to rescue Captain Kang--both for his sake and for our country's sake. If the Japanese pluck him out of the water or off the island, it would make the rest of the world into think they own the islands. General Yuan, I assume you know what to do?"

    The Vice Chairman nodded.

    "Good. On the civil side, we need to get our message out in front of the world with whatever evidence we have--long-range radar records, anything. And--someone needs to figure out what this means for Sino-Japanese relations over the next year. I'm not convinced this is going to completely wreck things, at least not yet. Vice-Premier Zhang Shenghan will be in charge of the civil side." He turned to face the room. "All of you might remember him as the bright kid who cleaned up the mess at Shenyang twelve years ago."

    Then he pushed back his chair and stood up. "Thank you, Admiral Sun, General Yuan, General Fan, and the rest of you as well. Admiral Sun, after you meet with the CMC staff, meet me at Zhongnanhai with whoever you've tasked this to. I'll let you know the exact time."
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013

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