Stockpiling gasoline

The gas cans in my garage, well before the Colonial Pipeline hack

When I first heard about the ransomware hack of the Colonial Pipeline, it popped up in my cyber news feed. After a bit of research, in which I realized quickly that my area of the world would run out of gasoline, my wife and I each filled up our vehicles and minimized travel during the week. We watched on the GasBuddy app as station after station ran out of gasoline, with the typical hoarders filling up gas cans like you see above. Luckily, the shortage is essentially over now and life is returning to normal.

My cans were full long before the gas shortage. I have a tractor, wood splitter and wood chipper, all of which required gasoline to run. They will run on regular gasoline, however, I have found that the ethanol in regular gasoline breaks down and damages small engines, particularly the carburetors, so I switched to using ethanol-free fuel. Since the only place that sells ethanol-free fuel near me is out in farm country, I fill up a lot of cans to make the trip worth it.

Probably the largest benefit to ethanol-free fuel is storage. I can easily store fuel for a year without it breaking down. At best with ethanol fuel, you’re looking at 30 days at most. When I saw the gas hoarders filling up, my hope is they realize that gas won’t be good by the end of the month. It’ll sort of still work in your car, but unless you add a stabilizer, it’s going to have water in it.

Which brings up a really good point: why on earth are we still using ethanol? Ethanol has some cleaning benefits for gasoline, in that is dissolves things that gasoline cannot, but with most gasolines having detergents in them anyways, the benefit is pretty minimal. Worse still, ethanol increases deposits on injectors and other components. It gives you plenty of problems, but hasn’t done much to reduce emissions nor wean us off Middle East Oil (only Trump policies do the latter).

Before someone chimes in with “Just use electric!”, let’s point out some flaws. Nobody makes a battery powered wood splitter or wood chipper. While we’re going back to electric garden tractors, they are still pretty pricey. The power in battery tools, while impressive, is not quite there yet. I have an electric and gas chainsaw, and if I’m cutting something over a foot in diameter, the gas chainsaw wins hands down. I have switched over to an electric weed whipper and pole saw, and they are both great. I bet in 5 years that electric outdoor tools will become the norm, but for now, if you need something powerful, you still need a gasoline engine.

If everyone had a 5 gallon gas can with ethanol-free gas, short term disruptions at the pump would cause less hysteria. You can’t do that with E10 gas unless you religiously use that fuel up and refill every month. By continuing to use ethanol, we continue to damage our engines and make us more susceptible to disruptions for little to no environmental gain. Perhaps as we recover from this gasoline shortage, someone will start asking the hard questions about why we’re handicapping ourselves.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

Not making a dent in sexual assault

Military sexual assault has been in the news for an awful long time. This focus has lead to increasing calls for changes to how the military handles sexual assault. The culmination of these efforts is Senate Bill 1789, called the Military Justice Improvement Act. What the bill does is remove the call about whether to prosecute sexual assault from the chain of command to a team of experts that have “significant experience with court martials.”

The bill is lauded by everyone from Kristen Gillibrand to the Secretary of Defense, who magically dropped all opposition. Let’s be totally honest here, for any member of the military, if the President says “You’re going to drop opposition,” that person will find a way to drop opposition to whatever the President wants, or resign. That holds true for both parties, so I don’t think that any flag or general officer suddenly dropping opposition is surprising.

The sad part is that this bill won’t do anything to solve sexual assault in the military. It pretends that the reason sexual assault isn’t prosecuted is because of an unwillingness to bring it to trial. That’s partially true, as most sexual assault cases are handled with Non-Judicial Punishment (sometimes called Captains Mast or Article 15). The reason for that is simple: NJP requires a “preponderance of evidence” to prove guilt, while a court martial requires “beyond a reasonable doubt.” And the military uses NJP to essentially punish someone that they think committed the crime, despite this lack of evidence. Keep in mind too that many sexual assaults aren’t reported, and its impossible to prosecute a crime that doesn’t make it to court. This is true in military and civilian courts.

The second part of this is that sexual assault cases are notoriously low on evidence. Many of these cases are two individuals consuming alcohol or recreational drugs, not thinking actions through and then committing crimes. But try proving consent when you have nothing but statements from each individual. In civilian courts, most sexual assault cases get thrown out for exactly this reason: no evidence to prove something beyond a reasonable doubt. In this regard, because the military can use NJP, it achieves a better punishment rate than the civilian world.

This is easily shown in the 2010 Military Sexual Assault report.

Could not be prosecuted – In FY10, there were 450 final dispositions for subjects accused of sexual assault. Sixty-one percent (274) of these cases could NOT be prosecuted for the following reasons: lack of jurisdiction (13), the offender was unknown (16), the allegation was unfounded meaning it was false or the allegation did not meet the elements of a sexual assault offense (44), probable cause existed only for a non-sexual assault offense (18), the subject died (0), evidence was insufficient (70) or the victim declined to cooperate with investigation and / or prosecution (113).

Initial civilian jurisdiction – In 21 of the remaining cases, civilian authorities initially assumed jurisdiction. Of these cases, 8 were either pending or the disposition was unknown at the time this report was written. NCIS files indicate that the victim declined to cooperate in 1 case. Of the remaining 12 cases in which dispositions were known, charges were filed in 8 cases or 67% of cases. Further analysis is not possible due to lack of information regarding these cases.

Presented for disposition – As a result of the foregoing, 155 of the remaining subjects were presented to commands for a disposition decision. Commanders declined action in 30 cases pursuant to RCM 306(c)(1). Of the remaining 125 subject cases, courts martial charges were preferred (initiated) against 70 subjects, non-judicial punishment was imposed on 36 subjects, 5 subjects were administratively discharged and other administrative actions were taken against 14 subjects. In other words, courts-martial charges were preferred in 46% of the cases in which any type of action was possible.

DoD Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military, FY 2010

So out of the 450 cases that made it to disposition, 274 go away because they simply CAN’T be prosecuted. After that, Commander’s declined action on 30 cases. That’s a massive disparity. I don’t know why commanders decline to prosecute the 30 cases, but its a far cry from the vast majority that lacked evidence. Out of 450 cases, only 70 make it to court martial. The win rate at court martial varies, but its sitting high, around 80-90%. You can actually see those results on the Results of Trial website. These cases had enough evidence that expert trial counsels thought they could win in court and went ahead to press charges.

So, here’s my prediction: this bill will pass and will do nothing to change sexual assault. It’ll actually make it harder to prosecute because anyone accused of sexual assault MUST go to a court martial. There will be some high profile cases that will get put in the news, but if there was evidence, most commanders would have sent a case to court martial anyway.

The other thing it will do is raise the personnel cost of accusation. Since everything must flow to a court martial, any member accused will have to sit around while the cases proceeds, which averages 9-18 months. During that time the person can’t promote, change jobs, or deploy, so accusing someone of sexual assault will become misused by at least a few people to tank careers. Given that the military already ditched its pension and continues to focus on the ghosts of white supremacy instead of fighting China, this will continue to influence high-performing members to seek employment elsewhere.

We don’t want sexual assault in our Armed Services, but when we don’t step back and ask how it is people go un-punished, it leads to taking the wrong actions.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

Take your negative Nancy attitude elsewhere

With rioting in major cities threatening due process, Congress wanting to print money until we look like Venezuela, and Gretchen Whitmer breaking her own travel regulations, its entirely OK to think that the United States has gone a little crazy. I can understand people wanting the way things were in 2019 back. I can understand people feeling cheated out of an election.

But I don’t get the “world is going to end now” attitude. I have friends and family that have said “We’re totally screwed, the United States is over as we know it.” Granted, they said this during the 2008 financial crisis and at multiple times during the Obama administration, but now, this time, its totally real.

If you are one of those negative Nancys, guess what: your crap attitude doesn’t help. Please keep your negative BS to yourself.

Now, if you’re mad at all this stupid situation and want to actually do something about it, then lets talk. Right now, people should be:

  • Securing your online information so that tech companies and antifa have less to exploit about you
  • Identify how you can volunteer at your local election
  • Identify your local election officials and make sure they know you want fair elections
  • Tell your state representatives you won’t tolerate unfair elections and they better do their jobs or they’ll be replaced
  • Band with your neighbors into a neighborhood watch to keep the antifa hoodlums out
  • Even better, identify these people and be prepared to out them to the police. They rely on stealth, once outed, they are pretty cowardly
  • Make sure you’re financially sound. Pay off your debt, get some investments in stocks, crypto and mutual funds, and put yourself on a path to financial freedom
  • Build a second income stream, even if its small it makes you a harder target to intimidate
  • Start meeting like-minded people in your community and build those relationships now

It’s infuriating to talk to people, especially older people that lived through the inflation of the 1970s, to continue to be gloom and doom. Newsflash: it doesn’t help anyone. Being concerned and taking action gets people motivated and excited, and might get the change started that our country so desperately needs.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, the negative Nancy that lives down my block, or any other government agency.

The Post Office again shows why you should not be on Facebook

Well, no surprise, instead of actually delivering mail, the Postal Inspection Service is now worried about scanning for “inflammatory” content. Not actual crimes mind you, but people trying to protest or organize rallies. And not just any protests, like the “peaceful” protests last summer, but any that would be considered “right wing.”

I predict that not only will the USPIS (yup, that’s an acronym only the government can get behind) not find a whole lot, but it will simply drive people underground. It’s too easy to simply not use social media to organize, and if you’re really smart, you’ll organize using something like Signal, which actively makes fun of government organizations trying to break its code and encryption. Anyone using Facebook to organize is a fool and won’t last long.

I’m not a fan of government abusing authority to monitor for non-crimes, so here are a ton of resources you should use to keep the Postal Service’s “elite” force from spying on your non-COVID friendly BBQ:

  • Identity and Privacy Guide. Yup, its a government site. For SEALs. Because lots of foreign governments want to use social media to identify and influence Special Operators. So you can use the same guide they do for keeping their information safe.
  • NCIS Social Media Handbook. Not as cool as the TV show, but this guide helps you secure most of the privacy settings on popular social media.
  • Identity Force Blog. A good read for actual outlines of how bad things happen online.

Ironically, none of these cover Parler or Gab, both of which are considered bad places to be, or so Wikipedia told me, and I would trust Wikipedia to never, ever lie to me.

Here’s the reality. While stupid people will use social media to organize and commit crimes, those are easy to find. I’m more worried about the people with real skills organizing off social media. Those people could plot high end crimes that we’ll never see coming. Those are people like the Unabomber, who unlike the fools on Facebook actually killed people and was difficult to track down. These people will require actual focus, time and effort to track down and stop, and that’s exactly what we aren’t doing when we waste time scanning social media.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

The crypto tidal wave is here. What does it mean for conservatives?

But what’s in your wallet?

Two big cryptocurrency news stories hit recently. This week, Coinbase, a large cryptocurrency exchange, went public on the NASDAQ stock market. It direct listed its stocks and is trading now around 340 dollars a share. When you look into the 8K and other filed forms, you see Coinbase is actually a profitable company, unlike many of the IPOs during 2020. The other big news is that Visa is partnering with Anchorage, a cryptocurrency bank, to process transactions in US Dollar Coin (USDC). It’s big news because most people probably haven’t heard of stablecoins before, only being familiar with the often violent stock movements of Bitcoin.

When I wrote earlier about cryptocurrency, I had in mind that by the end of this year, we’ll have more normal people using crypto and it becoming less of a big deal to do so. For conservative groups, now through the 2022 election cycle is going to be a time where everyone and their brother gets labeled as a hate group. The SPLC deliberate mislabeling of groups that resulted in Visa and Mastercard canceling their accounts was just the first act in the long war. If you thought Facebook and Google filtering wasn’t bad enough, I’m already seeing Parler become “inaccessible” when searching through Google, but pops up just fine on the Brave Browser using Tor.

Cryptocurrency is going to be the way you go about your lives and stop being canceled. If gun stores have their credit card accounts turned off “for auditing purposes” or some other baloney excuse, what are you going to do? Withdraw lots of cash, which not only is declining in value thanks to our printing volumes of money, but is automatically tracked by your bank and can trigger yet another investigation? If you’ve ever taken a large amount of cash on a plane or withdrawn from a casino, you’ll know what forms I’m talking about. And while that level of scrutiny normally sits at $10,000, it can be lowered without much fuss by executive order.

Your free exchange of value for goods is being threatened by a group of left wing nut cases that would be happy for you to die, and that’s not an exaggeration. By attempting to drive conservatives out of the marketplace, they are trying to make the basic day to day transactions and economic engagement so hard that conservatives have little time for anything else. Putting conservatives on a defensive gives these nut cases a chance to push more of their agenda. Boycott all you want, but if you don’t have a credit card, routine living becomes very difficult, and most people will cave if they don’t have another option.

Now is the time to start practicing. Get a crypto account (I recommend Coinbase because its easy, use this link to start) and put some money in it. Practice transferring money from a wallet. Get your hardware wallet and set it up. All of these things will become swamped once the left wing nut cases start really tightening the screws on people. Instead of the Great Toilet Paper Shortage of 2020, you’ll have the Great Cryptocurrency Shortage of 2021. Above all, don’t let losers shut you out of an economy that you helped build and should be allowed to participate in.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

Actually, we should buy lots of Coca-Cola

stock, that is.

Back when Coca-Cola cared about America. From Flickr.

I totally understand the desire to boycott Coca-Cola, Delta and others. And, truth be told, I haven’t bought Coca-Cola in…a long time. The fake high-fructose corn syrup was never good for you, and giving it up helps me maintain a healthy weight. So for me, boycotting Coca-Cola is easy.

Delta might be harder. What if Delta is the only ones to have a flight when I need it? Or, take Amazon and Home Depot. Sure, in many cases I can switch to another company, but at some point, Amazon might be the only place I can find something. Or Home Depot might be the only place I can get lumber at a reasonable price.

Truth be told, at some point boycotting doesn’t work. Unless we want to live isolated on our own 10 acres of land in a bunker with solar power and a well, we’ll have to use the services of places that don’t always line up with our views. Boycotting easily becomes a retreat, because once we stop buying Coca-Cola, why should Coke care about us anymore?

I propose we buy Coca-Cola…stock. Buy up the company. Once you have enough votes, you can kick out board members. When I heard Donald Trump was interested in starting his own social media platform, I thought “Why doesn’t he just buy Gab?” Heck, what if he found a way to buy out Twitter?

Boycotting is too often ceding ground to our enemies. They aren’t really interested in Coca-Cola, they are interested in punishing people they don’t like. Pushing back twice as hard is the only force they understand.

And, an additional note on my cryptocurrency article, based on the good sleuthing of a reader on Coinbase. Yes, Coinbase terms of service do allow for potentially blocking your account. That being said, there are some ways to prevent that from happening:

  1. Sign up with a fake email that you only check while using a VPN. That can keep you from personally having issues.
  2. Get a hardware wallet, like the Ledger X. People can send money to your hardware wallet that you physically own.

I use the Coinbase exchange, but I draw my coins off onto a hardware wallet. That keeps them from getting stolen and keeps my ownership of them secure. I don’t put it past Coinbase to go woke, but right now they have a lot of competition and its REALLY easy to shift to other exchanges, so hopefully that will keep them in check.

Good eye, Sailorcurt! Thanks for doing the digging and asking the hard questions!

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

India pulls a Trump on Saudi Arabia

Oil Refinery, from Wikipedia

One of President Trump’s greatest achievements was to drive America away from importing Middle East oil. It made the United States capable of sitting out any regional crisis, which in the Middle East seems to happen on a frequent basis. For example, if the Iranians threaten to close the Straits of Hormuz, the United States can take its time to act accordingly, not being pressured by rising gas prices at home. Heck, the U.S. could tell other countries to solve that crisis if it wanted to. Having options makes it harder for your opponent to win, and puts you in control.

India is, ironically, fast approaching where the U.S. was in terms of oil a few years ago. India is the third largest consumer of oil (behind the U.S. and China), and it imports almost 85% of that oil. This leaves India vulneable to any oil interruption, and with OPEC cutting production this month, India is actively trying to diversify its energy and vehicle oil usage. This is also why India is OK negotiating with Iran (which supplies 10% of India’s oil), mainly because it doesn’t have a lot of choices.

By the way, none of this is news, it was being called out last year and the year before that, so India “unsheathing a weapon” is a bit of a misnomer, since they’ve been working on this for some time. This could have been a great moment for the United States and Canada to step in and sell lots of oil to India. Not only would it be democracies helping democracies, but it would provide a 1 billion person counterweight to China’s aggression. Plus we’d make money on the deal. What’s not to love?

India probably paid attention to history and saw how the U.S. got screwed in the 1970s, plus how President Trump gave the U.S. more foreign independence. They are pushing lots of initiatives like solar cars and solar cells to reduce transportation and home usage, but these take time to build in, and India’s sporadic infrastructure doesn’t help the process. Again, all these initiatives provide opportunities for the U.S. to work with India and strengthen that relationship, something we sure don’t seem to be pushing all that much.

Oil isn’t leaving anytime soon as the fuel of choice, and inter-country relationships will continue to be heavily influenced by who produces, consumes and ships oil. The United States has a pretty significant interest in helping countries like India source their oil from friendly places while seeking to become energy independent in the long term. Not only does it make our planet better, but it makes our foreign policy a lot more stable, and we could all use that.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

No inflation? Not buying it

I affectionately call her The Kraken!

During the early part of 2020, when COVID restrictions were in full swing and everything fun had to arrive in an UberEats or Amazon delivery vehicle, I built a pirate ship. A big, frickin’ pirate ship. Like, adult sized, complete with cup holders for your adult beverages. Home Depot had a massive truck drop off all the lumber, and every weekend until the beginning of summer, there I was, building away on the ship. Luckily, as the summer and COVID dragged on, my kids had something to play on while the city shut down all the other playgrounds.

The lumber I purchased was fairly hefty: 4×4 posts, 5/4 decking board, 2×6 framing, and all of it is pressure treated. Recently I went to add a simple enclosure for my garden, and looked at the price for some 4x4s. And man, did they look expensive. Curious, I pulled up my receipts from the pirate ship project. And sure enough….4x4s had nearly doubled in price.

If 4×4 was a stock, it would have beat an awful lot of the market. I also looked at our Walmart receipts, and sure enough, food prices bumped up a bit too. Gas is more expensive as well.

So I’m super skeptical when I get told we have little to no inflation. In real prices, I don’t see it. Everything is more expensive, and a lot more than the 2% you would normally expect. Maybe that makes me dumber than an economist, but I’ll take my actual experience of buying things over some book knowledge that seems to have no place in reality. Given how high these prices really are, I’m worried that inflation is going to skyrocket once people start buying things again in large numbers. If ever there was a time to worry about inflation, now would be that time.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

Cryptocurrency for conservatives

Cryptocurrency and their symbol, from coinmama

Boycotts and deplatforming seem to be all the rage in 2021. Won’t stand for the National Anthem? People will vote with their remote controls and watch something else. Don’t like someone’s opinion? Easy, just demonetize their videos, like what YouTube is doing to PragerU right now. It’s easy to sit back and watch this as a passive observer when you don’t really care about ESPN or make YouTube videos.

But when your bank cancels your account, or you can’t use a credit card, it makes that passive stance no longer tenable. You might not care about ESPN, but not being able to purchase gasoline with a credit card becomes a regular nightmare. Worse still, what if no major bank will carry your money? Almost all employers pay employees electronically. What would you do?

If that sounds far fetched, its not. Bank accounts associated with conservative groups like the NRA have been under pressure to get canceled. Mastercard and Visa, the biggest names in credit cards, stopped donations to the David Horowitz Freedom Center (although they eventually restored it). Attacking financials hits home for everyone, because you can’t boycott banks, and that makes them a juicy target for radical liberals wanting to hurt conservatives.

While we should all be standing up and fighting these efforts, we should also protect ourselves. If you own a business that risks cancellation, you should be accepting cryptocurrency as a form of payment. Cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin or Ethereum, is a disaggregated ledger system where individual nodes on a network verify accurate transactions, and pay for that with a coin. If it sounds confusing, it is, however, so is trying to understand how banks process your money electronically. A good Bitcoin primer is this video from 99 BitCoins:

More importantly, Bitcoin and other blockchain cryptocurrencies have now been around for a while. Most of the bugs are worked out, and major companies are accepting them as payment. Tesla is the most notable, but add AT&T and even Burger King (only in Venezuela) to that list. Its growing and its not going away.

For conservatives, cryptocurrency offers the ability to pay people in a peer-to-peer mode that nobody can cancel. No government can freeze your account. No financial institution can be bullied into canceling you. Even better, the money transfers between crypto wallets (think of them nominally as the account that holds your cryptocurrency) only lists account numbers. This makes it incredibly difficult to track down or dox people that are frequenting a business or donating to conservative candidates.

Speaking of donating, since we’ve seen a fair amount of doxxing of people who donate to PACs, Political Action Committees can accept cryptocurrency, and its happening more frequently. Conservatives that think they shouldn’t get hassled about legal donations should consider telling their candidates to take cryptocurrency. Most PACs right now immediately cash the cryptocurrency into US Dollars and report it, which is fine, and it still maintains a decent level of anonymity for the donor.

Now is the time to get started. I recommend all conservatives learn about cryptocurrency, get a cryptocurrency wallet, and purchase some common cryptocurrency (Bitcoin and Ethereum are good candidates due to their popularity). For individuals, you should get an account that allows easy bank transfers, such as Coinbase, which doesn’t charge for ACH transfers. Even better, Coinbase has a series of short videos that teach you about different cryptocurrency and pay you in small amount of crypto to help you get started. If you use this link, it also helps me out.

For businesses, Coinbase offers a commerce site, https://commerce.coinbase.com/. The site generates a separate commerce wallet for common cryptocurrency and makes transferring to your commercial bank account easy. Even better, if your bank tries to cancel you, you can hold your money in cryptocurrency until you setup at a different bank.

Cryptocurrency is going to be the conservative answer to financial cancel culture. Now is the time to start, so that when the times get bad, you’re one step ahead of the liberal juggernaut.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

China fails faster than the US Navy in shipbuilding

Image courtesy of USNI

In the 1950s and 1960s, the term “Made in Japan” was a way of pointing out the poor quality of items, particularly vehicles, coming from Japan. Recovering from World War 2, Japanese manufacturing was just getting back on its feet, while America had enjoyed not being bombed or nuked into submission. But the Japanese were pretty industrious, and while American cars continued to decline in quality, particularly in gas mileage, Japanese vehicles slowly improved. All that was needed was a spark, and when the oil crisis happened in 1973, imports of the more fuel efficient Japanese cars soared. “Made in Japan” no longer implied poor quality.

“Made in China” is going through the same throes now. The picture above is the LUYANG III destroyer. If it looks uncannily like a US Destroyer, you’re not wrong, and capability-wise, its pretty close in many respects. The PLA Navy is on pace to crank out 2-3 of these every year. That alone is scary, but more importantly, the LUYANG III represents a Chinese 3 step building plan that involved failing fast, then making a big investment.

China didn’t have the most robust ship building, and its first LUYANG model, the Type 052B, was more of a test platform. They built two of these and learned a LOT about shipbuilding in the process. The Type 052B isn’t very capable in a big fight, but the point was to build something and be OK at failing a lot.

The next failed step was the Type 052C. Here China added extensive air search capabilities and used only Chinese systems. They also made these at different shipyards, exposing them to the issues created when you build ships in an enterprise. It’s not a bad ship, but again, was built to teach the Chinese how to build warships.

Enter the Type 052D, the LUYANG III. Extremely capable warship. Now that China has the right design, its cranking these out quickly. There are 13 in service and 11 in construction now. To put this in perspective, in 2019 the US Navy commissioned 2 new destroyers, and 8 total ships, one of which was an aircraft carrier.

Speaking of aircraft carriers, China is working on carrier #4 now. You’ll see the same “fail fast” pattern here as well. First carrier was a Ukrainian purchase. It sucks, but it was mostly designed to teach China how to operate with a carrier. The second carrier was China’s first Russian-knock off, the Shandong, and it taught the Chinese how to build something pretty large. The third carrier, with an estimated 85K tonnage, will likely be completely Chinese design and help iron out bugs in the design process. Talks about carrier number 4 being nuclear are already happening. I’m guessing that when China begins carrier #5, it will have a design it likes and will crank out 10 of them in a row.

In the meantime, we can’t get a US shipyard to crank out a warship on-time or on-budget, and we’re cutting the shipbuilding budget anyway. We have more experience than the Chinese Navy, but that gap is closing as the Chinese deploy around the world, including near constant deployments to the Middle East and Europe.

Give it five years, and China’s Navy will have the numbers and equipment to be better than the US Navy in nearly any combat situation. That should scare us.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.