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We've visited the United States Navy Carrier Strike Group and the Expeditionary Strike Group, each of which have attack submarines among their escorts. I touched upon Israel's plans with their small fleet of Dolphin class conventional boats in Israel's Nuclear Option and now I'll round out this line of thinking with an examination of America's submarine fleet.

    72 boats, four different classes, and one very sneaky modified Seawolf class. Everything from bluewater strategic missile platforms to brownwater covert operations. All nuclear powered. No combat losses since WW II. No operational losses since 1968. Let's submerge into their world and take the fleet tour.

 The most common and oldest of boats in our inventory are the forty five surviving Los Angeles class attack boats. Seventeen of the original sixty two have been retired. The final twenty three of the remaining boats have extensive improvements over their sister ships including diving planes mounted at the waterline rather than on the sail. This permits them to surface through arctic ice if their mission requires such activities. The final thirty one boats in this production run have vertical launch tubes for conventional cruise missles.


U.S.S Key West SSN-722 – older boat, diving planes on sail



U.S.S. Santa Fe SSN-763 with vertical launch tubes open


   I write about this sort of thing more than anyone else on DailyKos, but I'm just a competent lay person. It was news to me that there was an external pod for carrying navy SEAL teams. I'll do some digging and maybe produce a diary on special forces operations ...



U.S.S. Greenville SSN-772 bearing an Advanced SEAL Delivery System


  The second most common boats are the Ohio class. The eighteen bluewater ballistic missile boats are split into two duties – the fourteen labeled SSBN bear strategic nuclear weapons, while the four labeled SSGN carry conventional weapons. The SSGN boats are retreads, repurposed at the end of the cold war due to limits on the number of nuclear weapons we are allowed by treaty. This doctrinal change is a very good move – the converted Ohio class, twice the displacement of our most potent surface ship, the Ticonderoga class guided missile cruise, packs 154 cruise missiles. The cruiser only holds 122. And unlike the cruiser nobody knows where an SSGN might be lurking.



U.S.S. Michigan SSBN-727


 Here's a submarine interest tidbit. Propeller designs are kept very secret because knowing their shape would permit an opponent to make educated guesses about how to detect the boat. It's all well and good until an open source intel person finds a satellite photo of an uncovered Ohio class boat's stern. This cat is already well out of the bag and I imagine there are now rules about 24x7 coverage of boats brought into dry dock.





  Military acquisition is a glacial process, but the navy turned rather quickly at the end of the cold war. The Seawolf class was envisioned as the replacement to the aging Los Angeles class. Twenty nine total were planned but only three were actually built before the realities of the collapse of the Soviet union reduced concerns over the Typhoon class boats these were planned to hunt.

 The most interesting of these three is the Jimmy Carter SSN-23.  This boat was lengthened by a hundred feet to make room for navy SEAL teams and other special cargo. Special positioning thrusters permit the boat to precisely position – which is needed for tapping undersea fiber cables.





  Like the later Los Angeles class boats, the Seawolf is built to penetrate Arctic ice.





 The newest boats of the fleet are the six active (thirty planned) Virginia class submarines. This has to be the most useless Wikipedia entry I've ever seen – I'll paraphrase from other sources. This boat bears the same dozen vertical cruise missile launch tubes found in the later Los Angeles class and four tubes for the Mark 48 torpedo.



U.S.S. Virginia SSN-774





 Modern smart torpedoes do things differently than the way Hollywood represents them. Instead of impacting the target they dive under it, explode, and the resulting steam bubble first lifts the ship and the middle, then it falls back into the void left behind, but the ends are still supported. This breaks the keel of the vessel, often tearing smaller ships in half. This short non-English video is the best representation I've found as to the particulars of such an attack.



 


 Given the tensions in the Persian Gulf what do you guys want me to do next? Iranian navy ships and missiles?

Originally posted to Stranded Wind on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 03:54 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  tip jar (0+ / 0-)

    A pair of Trident ballistic missiles are test launched according to the video description. Hopefully one of our more knowledgeable readers can confirm this is the type of missile seen here.



    "Not dead ... yet. Still have ... things to do." -Liet Kynes

    by Stranded Wind on Mon May 31, 2010 at 08:03:34 PM PDT

    •  Cold start (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek, Stranded Wind, confitesprit

      Did you see the bird eject then start?

      The big ones do that

      George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

      by nathguy on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 07:48:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  your knowledge (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        G2geek, confitesprit

        Given your knowledge of these matters I'd be happy if you'd suggest areas I need to cover in order to make this a complete series. I want to do a capstone diary periodically that has a one paragraph precis of each piece for those seeking to understand our military presence and our likely opponents.

        "Not dead ... yet. Still have ... things to do." -Liet Kynes

        by Stranded Wind on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 07:52:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  i ain't much of a navy expert (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          G2geek, Stranded Wind, confitesprit

          that's something i leave to my partners.

          but if you want to talk about the sub force,
          there is some great history on the missions the
          subs were carrying out in the 70's and 80's

          George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

          by nathguy on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 07:54:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah! say more! (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Stranded Wind, confitesprit

            I read about the intercept of the undersea telephone cable in Soviet waters.  That was majorly cool plus or minus dangerous as hell had they been caught.  

            Aside from that and a few similar, I'm basically ignorant of what our subs were up to back then.  So, tell stories!

            •  Seconded! Love this stuff! More, please! (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              G2geek, Stranded Wind

              The only thing I've heard, and it was much more than 3rd hand I'm sure, is about the "discovery" of the final resting place of the Titanic.  I worked for a custom manufacturer in Seattle for a dozen years mid-80s to late-90s, and we made all sorts of cool stuff.  That company made one of the remote-operated tow fish with side-scanning sonar that was supposedly involved with the search (before I joined, although I did work on similar projects later), and the word was that the real target was a downed Soviet sub in the same vicinity, and that the Titanic search was only a cover for the work on the Soviet sub.  Don't know if it's true or not but can state that everybody I knew at the firm believed it.

      •  Based on the principle of incompressibility (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        G2geek, Stranded Wind, confitesprit

        of fluids. The missile rides up in a gas bubble then uses the surface of the water as a launch pad.

        I think that is an older Trident. The newer D-5 has a "virtual" nosecone (rod and a circular plate) that extend from the nose at launch.

        •  it's a steam generator (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Stranded Wind

          the steam is used to eject the bird.

          I was wondering about the Nosespike.

          the Trident had a nosespike but I didn't know
          what generation it came in on.

          I didn't think it was a Polaris because those
          usually have roll stripes on them.

          George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

          by nathguy on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 09:47:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  yep, i noticed that. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        confitesprit

        Missile #1 very clearly did this behavior:  First it emerges from the water, then in perhaps another second or two we see the fire of its rocket motor starting up and providing propulsion.

        Then it appears to waver slightly in flight, as if the guidance system is making corrections to the flight path.  

        Very quickly the flight stabilizes and it's off to the wild blue yonder.  

        Missile #2 was somewhat obscured behind the trail from #1, but it also appeared to start its rocket motor after it had been above the surface of the water for a brief time.  

        Good stuff, or at least "good" in the sense that the existence of these things deters any sane national leader from attacking us or our allies.  

    •  dude, the Rec buttons aren't visible in your TJ (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stranded Wind, confitesprit

      All I have is a Reply thingie but not a Rec/Hide thingie, but I have them for other postings.

      Might be that your Trident missile took 'em out:-)

  •  The last video is badass. (12+ / 0-)

    That opinion is the extent of my military expertise.

    Is the video camera the only device that worked?

    by Inland on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 03:58:56 AM PDT

  •  Interesting diary. (7+ / 0-)

    I'd tip you for your effort, but you have no button.

  •  Well done, SW! (4+ / 0-)

    Compost for a greener planet....got piles?

    by Hoghead99 on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 04:46:38 AM PDT

  •  A good thing to point out: (8+ / 0-)

    none of these boats have greater capability than the ROVs already being used to uselessly watch the oil leak in the Gulf.  They don't have the ability to get that deep, nor the ROVs necessary to do that kind of industrial work.  That's not what they're about.

    Just a side note, for all those screaming "SEND THE NAVY!"

  •  I'm interested in their nuclear power plants (7+ / 0-)

    What kind of power generating capabilities do they have?  And how many homes could one of those babies power?  I've often wondered if neighborhood-sized (or small-town sized) nuke plants would be feasible.  And, these things seem to be be pretty much proven, reliable technology.

    As far as other countries go.. Iran and Israel subs.. and the ranges of their missiles.

    Thanks!  Very interesting diary.

    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

    by Skeptical Bastard on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 05:25:52 AM PDT

    •  Their safety record is stellar. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek, Stranded Wind, confitesprit

      Maybe SW could write about the vision of Hyman Rickover?

      Strength of character does not consist solely in having powerful feelings, but in maintaining one's balance in spite of them. - Clausewitz

      by SpamNunn on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 05:49:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Those reactors are almost idiot-proof .. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stranded Wind

      designed for operation by idiots, resistant to battle damage, etc .. they're not very large, though I don't know what the actual capacity is

      Electronic media creates reality - Meatball Fulton

      by zeke7237 on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 05:56:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Idiots? (14+ / 0-)

        I take some exception to this.  I was a nuclear trained officer, and the people who run these reactors are far from idiots.  Both for officers and enlisted, nuclear training is one of the most rigorous and intensive training in the Navy (I'm talking about academic/skills training here.  I think the SEALS have us beat for intensive physical training :)).  The men, both officers and enlisted, were the best bunch of people I have ever worked with.

      •  Yeah, right... (5+ / 0-)

        ...our oldest nephew was given a deal by the Navy: want your commission, sailor? Sign up for nuclear power training. He had high marks in his classes at IIT, so he's no idiot. Now, his Uncle Jeff, OTOH...

        Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

        by JeffW on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 07:16:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Seriously? (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        G2geek, JeffW, Stranded Wind, confitesprit

        60-70% washout rate at nuc school

        You shouldn't comment about things you don't know shit about.

        The Navy has a stellar safety record because of incredible training. When the incident at TMI happened Naval Reactors stepped in and took over from DOE due to incompetence.

        •  I have a lot of respect for the Nuclear Navy (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          G2geek, Stranded Wind, confitesprit
          That is why I maintain that we can use civilian nuclear power safely, but we need to maintain the same level of training and professionalism that the USN has for their people.

          It won't be cheap, it won't be easy - But I'm convinced that's the only way it can work.

          "Ridicule may lawfully be employed where reason has no hope of success." -7.75/-6.05

          by QuestionAuthority on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 08:30:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Not "idiot proof"... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        G2geek, Quicklund, nathguy, Stranded Wind

        "Sailor proof".

        There's a difference.

        It's not that the operators are idiots, it's just that Naval systems are designed to be as simple to operate as is possible, so that the people won't get overwhelmed under combat conditions.

        --Shannon

        (Actually, nothing can be truly sailor proof... there is nothing that a determined sailor can't fuck up.)

        "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
        "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

        by Leftie Gunner on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 08:03:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually you're incorrect (4+ / 0-)

          The Russians depended on a high degree of automation to make their systems "sailor-proof."

          One of the legacies of Rickover was extensively manual systems, relying on highly trained operators. Higher cost of training, but benefiting on greater flexibility of operations and casualty control.

          •  And the safety records (4+ / 0-)

            of the Soviet and Russian nuclear navies certainly validate that approach...

            The problem for the Soviets was that all of their enlisted men were conscripts, and there was not enough time in their terms of service to train a cadre of skilled enlisted technicians.

            As a Sonar Technician, I not only operated my gear, I fixed it, plus I was in charge of all of the acoustic intelligence information on board the ship and I was involved in the planning sessions for all ASW exercises, not to mention a few... ummm... non-exercises.

            And I did all of that stuff as an E-5. In the Soviet or Russian navies, most of what I did every day would have been done by officers.

            Another example of how the Soviets' manpower approach influenced their systems can be found in their avionics. They continued using vacuum tubes well into the 1980s. Not because they didn't know how to do solid-state circuits, but because a) Tube circuits are immune to EMP, so they still work on a nuclear battlefield and b) you can train your front-line techs to look in the box and replace any tube that's not glowing. You can fix a lot of failures that way, without having deeply-trained technicians.

            The manual approach that we use (actually, we inherited it from the Royal Navy) has always been the "right" way to do it, and the Soviets certainly knew that. They just couldn't implement it, because of the way they filled their manpower needs.

            And guess what...

            We're going the same way. Newer ships are much more highly automated than in the past, and they're steaming with much smaller crews.

            We'll find out if that's the right answer the first time somebody pokes a hole in of them.

            --Shannon

            "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
            "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

            by Leftie Gunner on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 08:36:26 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  skills & automation (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Stranded Wind, justlen, confitesprit

              Ten points to you for doing the hands-on.  I'm particularly surprised that systems operators were expected to repair their own equipment.   I'm sure you must know how rare that is in the civvie world.  

              When you said you were responsible for all the "...acoustic intel information onboard...", did you literally mean collection & analysis, or did you mean control of the collection systems?   This is also in the seriously surprising category.   And IMHO, collectors should (if they are capable) have more say-so in targeting and acquisition strategies, and in analysis of their catch.  

              In fact that idea of these kinds of job descriptions bridging across a number of subspecialties, is part of John Robb's resilience theory (Robb is former USAF intel, highly respected progressive military theorist).  

              I'd be seriously concerned about all the automation getting in where there were skilled humans in the past.  

              De-skilling of humans is a major problem in our entire culture.  As if we're getting lazy or something, and don't want to invest the effort.  Or as if we all believe at some level that we're heading into a Dark Age so we may as well just let it slide.  

              Me & mine aren't going down that route.  My closest friend & tribemate is at this very moment, a) building a piece of hydraulic excavating equipment from components, b) designing another piece of construction equipment to be built later, c) programming and running some impressive practical math on a computer he also built from components, and d) modifying the source code of at least one piece of open-source software to interoperate with the results of his math exercise.  And e) putting out fires (as in, burning houses) in the neighborhood when needed.  

              And anyone can do likewise.  Maybe not those specific things, but at least gaining new skills and applying them to practical tasks.  

              Intelligent animals are toolmakers.  And toolmakers are effective fighters.

              My dude who I mentioned above said, over the weekend, "Fight when you have to fight, and when you aren't busy fighting, make something!"

              •  Not only did we do maintenance and repair (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                G2geek, Stranded Wind, confitesprit

                There are very few "simulated" drills on a submarine

                Reactor scram? Actually scram the reactor
                Loss of electrical? Trip the SSTGs
                Loss of propulsion? Trip the main engines
                1SQ? Spin up the missiles, hover
                Torpdeo targeting? actually track a cruise ship and feed a firing solution to the MK48s

                •  how long did it take to... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Stranded Wind

                  .... return from a scram to normal operating parameters?  (unless that's classified, in which case I didn't ask)

                  And, every time you had a "condition 1SQ" drill, you basically appeared to all the world as if you were actually about to launch?   I have to believe we told the Soviets about that, lest they observe it at some point and freak out thinking we were about to launch a 1st strike (with our 2nd strike weapons: "those sneaky Americans!").

                  •  Fast recovery startup (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    G2geek

                    can be done in a matter of minutes.

                    And no, the Soviets wouldn't know, the boat remained submerged. However if the boomer was being tracked (I don't think one has ever been) the boat coming to launch depth and hovering would have been seen as a pretty hostile act. Our fast boats tracked their boomers for precisely that reason; to sink them before they could launch.

                    •  wow. cold war stuff. (0+ / 0-)

                      So if I understand this correctly: we were engaged in exercises that the Soviets knew were practice runs but they watched like hawks just in case.  And they were also engaged in exercises we were watching like hawks just in case.

                      Someone I knew told me once about the aerial version of that kind of thing.  They used to fly ELINT missions along the Soviet border, and in doing so were routinely met up there by Soviet fighters.  The pilots on both sides were sufficiently skilled as to be able to fly close enough to each other to give hand-signals visible to each other in the respective cockpits.  

                      And the informal understanding developed, that if it was just a routine mission with no actual hostilities, each pilot would hold up a "pin-up picture" in their cockpit window for the other to see.   The US side used Playboy centerfolds, and the Soviet side used "sexy women in tight sweaters" pictures from their industrial products factory calendars and suchlike.  

                      All of this and more, by way of the day to day interaction of the superpower militaries, with layers of informal signals to assure that World War III wouldn't get started by accident.  

                      Works real well when the competing powers are both headed by rational leaders (that is, people who fear death and are primarily concerned with the material wellbeing of their populations), and their militaries are staffed by rational people.

                      Today of course, we face adversaries that are headed by irrational leaders (who embrace death and are primarily concerned with the salvation of their populations, and who have martyrdom ideologies).  And our own military has been dealing with the problem of religious zealots in the ranks, not to mention the obvious issue of religious zealots in our potential adversaries' ranks.  

                      So in that sense, even though the consequences of errors are lower, in that we're not talking about a superpower nuclear exchange, the probability has increased of smaller wars getting started due to miscalculation or bad attitudes down the line.  Paradoxes of our times...

                      •  It was a bit tenser than that. (0+ / 0-)

                        If the subject interests you you might want to research a little bit into the differences in US and Soviet launch procedures. Basically the US required a positive launch order, while the Soviet system was somewhat automated and required a positive order to STOP it.

                        If a boomer came off alert (meaning for some reason it was unable to launch) B-52's were launched. And there was no "exercise" about it.

                        I agree with your premise that in some ways things were safer back then with the two big boys squared off, but when the Soviets came to the conclusion that the only way they could beat us was via a preemptive strike (and we knew that) things were pretty goddamned hairy.

                    •  They have been. (0+ / 0-)

                      When it happens, skippers get fired. It's not common, but it does occur.

                      --Shannon

                      "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
                      "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

                      by Leftie Gunner on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 03:59:57 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

              •  About the intel stuff... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                justlen

                When you said you were responsible for all the "...acoustic intel information  onboard...", did you literally mean collection & analysis, or did you mean control of the collection systems?   This is also in the seriously surprising category.   And IMHO, collectors should (if they are capable) have more say-so in targeting and acquisition strategies, and in analysis of their catch.  

                I was, as the junior STG2 on board, assigned as the Classified Materials Custodian for the sonar division. That meant that I was one of four people on board with the combination to the safe. And if it was opened by any of them, in anything else but an emergency, I had to be there. If it was an emergency, I and the officer who opened it had to do a complete inventory of everything, and present a written accounting to the Captain, along with a report describing exactly why I wasn't there when the safe was opened. My name was on it, it was my ass if anything went missing.

                On the collection and analysis side, we all did some of that, but sonar analysis is more art than science, and some of us were better at it than others. The cream rises to the top, and I was probably the best analyst on board. Of course, being the Custodian meant that I could spend my time on boring-ass midnight watches reading the intel books, plus I always found it fascinating. In any event, if there was a question about any of that stuff, I was the one the officers asked, and I was always included in ASW mission planning. I even got sent to a few conferences on that stuff.

                If I, or the other great analyst we had, said "this looks like X, and we should do Y", we were listened to. It's an information game, and if you don't pay attention to the guys with the data, you die.

                I don't know how it works on larger ships, or in the other branches, but in the tin-can navy, enlisted guys get a lot of responsibility. I've told officers what to do, and they've done it... you have to be right when you make the call, and you have to say it the right way, but if you're good at what you do, the smart officers listen. And the dumb ones don't last long.

                I'd be surprised if any other Navy gives mid-level enlisted men the discretion and authority that we do. If you've never seen it first hand, you'd probably think that the officers are making all the decisions, and the enlisted guys are just a bunch of dumb grunts. That's in no sense true. Brand new officers on a ship get very little respect, other than the formal etiquette kind, unless and until they prove themselves. And coming in and swinging your dick around is  about the worst thing they can do... I've seen officers' careers ended, simply because their middle enlisted guys got sick of their shit, and stopped covering up their mistakes.

                It's a weird, weird world.

                --Shannon

                "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
                "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

                by Leftie Gunner on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 04:21:20 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  thanks for the example. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Stranded Wind, confitesprit

            I've long believed that "smart things breed stupid people," and that over-automation particularly by ubiquitous computers in everything, increases vulnerabilities and decreases resilience, and causes people to get stupid & de-skilled over time.  

            Your example about Rickover's design principle just validated that point.  

        •  In other words... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Stranded Wind, confitesprit
          "The problem with designing something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of a complete fool."

          Douglas Adams

          "Ridicule may lawfully be employed where reason has no hope of success." -7.75/-6.05

          by QuestionAuthority on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 08:23:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Couple hundred megawatts (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        G2geek, Stranded Wind, confitesprit

        Not real bi

        George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

        by nathguy on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 08:23:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  more like 50mw (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          G2geek, confitesprit

          The figures I've seen are in the 50+/- range.

          "Not dead ... yet. Still have ... things to do." -Liet Kynes

          by Stranded Wind on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 09:06:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The S6G used on 688's (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            G2geek, Stranded Wind, confitesprit

            Is approximately 140MW.

            33k SHP, two 25KW SSTG for electrical generation.

          •  Big enough to power a neighborhood. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Stranded Wind, confitesprit

            Decentralized reactors linked by reliable telecoms would provide for a highly resilient grid.  

            Also a 50-MW reactor should be able to offset the intermittency on a 150MW wind farm in a Class 4 wind zone.  

            Thing is, I'm going to guess that Naval reactors were designed for the fact that cooling water is in effectively limitless supply at sea.  So they might not be immediately adaptable to land-based applications, unless some additional systems are added to provide enough cooling water.  

            Any advice from Navy Nuc guys on the latter point?

            •  Huge amounts of cooling water (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              G2geek, Stranded Wind, confitesprit

              are needed. If I remember nuc school correctly the overall thermal efficiency of the plant is about 20%.

              •  oh my. so that's the tradeoff for... (0+ / 0-)

                ... a compact, robust design that can be operated safely under extreme conditions.  

                Hmm.

                And yet, if we reprocessed our spent fuel rods, there is no shortage of uranium (and after that, thorium; different reactor design though).  

                The limiting factor is water, particularly in a world where inland water supplies are going to be highly contested.   OTOH, Naval nucs could be installed on mobile platforms and tethered to docks along a coastline.  They would have all the water they want, could probably provide desalination for clean drinking water as an additional benefit, and could be moved as the sea level rose and the shoreline changed.  

                •  I can tell you (but not why) (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  G2geek

                  Current naval reactor design would never be used in a civilian capacity.

                  Sorry that I can't say why.

                  •  understood. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    justlen

                    I'll assume that Naval and civilian nuclear engineers who are thinking about options for a resilient climate-clean grid, hang out and talk from time to time, and that whatever cross-pollination can occur, does.  

                    The stuff I'm trying to keep track of (aside from any news of new permits being taken out by utilities) includes a) any progress toward building thorium-fluoride reactors, and b) "nuclear batteries," or "micro nukes," such as the 25-megawatt design (yes, 25) proposed by a company whose name escapes me at the moment.  

                    As soon as the first micro-nuke is demonstrated working, and installed, quite a bit of the future may change.  Among other things, these make it feasible to build powerline to wind sites that are otherwise uneconomical due to intermittency: just install a micro-nuke to balance the wind input, and you have basically firm power to justify the powerline construction.

          •  wikipedia says (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Stranded Wind, confitesprit

            http://en.wikipedia.org/...

            http://en.wikipedia.org/...
            (150 some MW)

            figure most of these boats use power in 4/3 pi (L/2) Cubed power requirments.

            George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

            by nathguy on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 09:44:45 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Tacoma, Washington 12/17/1929 - 01/16/1930 (4+ / 0-)

      The USS Lexington CV-2 was used to power Tacoma.

      Here is another link.

      So using a a Naval Ship to provide electrical power for shore facilities is possible and has been done on an emergency basis for short periods of time. I recall that power was provided to GITMO by naval ships when Castro cut power to the base when he had one of his hissy fits.

      Using small nuke plants as a regular power supply to a small city is another matter. You need a lot of scientists and engineers to determine the optimum size and placement of power plants (nuclear and non-nuclear) across the nation to supply power to the grid. There is also a major political component to the problem to address the inevitable NIMBY problems.

      If you are older than 55, never take a sleeping pill and a laxative at the same time!

      by fredlonsdale on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 08:07:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  how to address NIMBY problems. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        confitesprit, fredlonsdale

        (This is from a science fiction short story about ecological disaster.)

        Calculate the number of NIMBYs.  

        Assemble a gray ops team of equivalent size or as close as achievable.

        Assign one member of gray team to each NIMBY, working from top of NIMBY chain of command downward until there are no more gray team members.  

        Equip each gray team member with a smartphone with a Twitter account (this being one of those applications where smartphones and Twitter are actually useful rather than frills), and a simple sheet of codewords.  

        Each gray team member is responsible for recon at his assigned NIMBY's house.  Location of ground cover, location of electric utility power disconnect on side of house, and observation routes, and entry/escape routes.  (If you've read the story, don't spoil the ending now, OK?)

        Upon collecting GEOINT for each target (NIMBY house), determine transportation and logistics.  

        Then pick a night to deploy.

        Each gray team member positions adjacent to his target.  When it appears that the target location is clear of persons outdoors, Tweet the rest of the team, for example the coded version of the following: "Gray 1 to Team, my target is clear."  (e.g. in simple code, "Bird 1 to flock, mice in the nest!")

        In the event of any persons appearing outside at a target location, Tweet the rest of the team, e.g. "Gray 1 to Team, my target is occupied," using the code, for example "Bird 1 to flock, mice in the field."

        When all targets are clear, wait until the top of the upcoming hour, e.g. 11:00PM exactly.  

        At T minus 5 minutes, gray team leader Tweets team to be positioned to go.

        At Zero, all gray team members run up to their targets, emerging from ground cover at the point closest to the building entrance terminal for the electric power utility.  

        They immediately sneak up to each house, open the gray box, and pull the big handle all the way down.

        Click!   And then run, run, run, and get the hell outta' there.

        Instant selective synchronized power outage of all NIMBY houses!

        Next day:  the NIMBYs are asking around:  
        Did you have a blackout last night?  
        Yeah, that was weird, my outside breaker blew.  
        Yeah mine too.  
        Whaddya' think caused that?  
        I dunno.  Surge or somethin'.
        I think it was a brownout and it all blew.
        Gee whiz maybe we shouldn't be against that nucular plant after all.  
        Yep, mebbe not.  

        Victory!

  •  A cool art piece: (7+ / 0-)

    All the Submarines of the United States of America by Chris Burden (ca. 1987), which I saw at the Dallas Museum of Art once. They were all made out of glazed paper and hung from the ceiling. This is the best picture I could find.

    If nothing is very different from you, what is a little different from you is very different from you. Ursula K. Le Guin

    by northsylvania on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 05:26:23 AM PDT

  •  I rode boomers back in the 70s (16+ / 0-)

    SSBN640 (Ben Franklin) class, there were 41 of them and mine was the very last to be decommissioned (just a few years ago). The Kamehameha (SSBN/SSN-642) was converted in the 90s to some kind of SEAL deployment deal, they ripped out the tubes and rearranged stuff so the boat could be used for underwater personnel deployment. We launched 4 Poseidon C-3 test missiles from off the coast of FL in '79 ..

    I sort of fell into submarines by accident (I had joined in '75 under the "Advanced Electronics Field" program .. little did I know that choosing PE (Polaris Electronics) at the end of boot camp meant I was headed underwater :)

    In any case subs are very cool machines. Everyone on board must qualify to wear the dolphin pin, a process that can take a year or more as you must learn pretty much every system on the boat in order to be somewhat useful during damage control.

    Electronic media creates reality - Meatball Fulton

    by zeke7237 on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 05:37:14 AM PDT

  •  Our boomers and fast attack subs still (5+ / 0-)

    give us the ability to project a lot of force that other nations can't counter.  That fleet is aging, though, and our economy (like that of the old USSR) can't stand the strain of maintaining and improving it.  

    When we lose the big stick, talking softly won't be quite as effective.  

    Please write about where we stand, vis a vis other nations, in the modernity of our weapons systems and our ability to project force where it is required.  

    Strength of character does not consist solely in having powerful feelings, but in maintaining one's balance in spite of them. - Clausewitz

    by SpamNunn on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 05:48:07 AM PDT

    •  There are lots of good sources on this. (6+ / 0-)

      With the end of the Cold War, there are plenty of interesting accounts of the submarine competition and the U.S. use of submarines for intelligence operations against the Soviet Union.

      The consensus opinion was that U.S. submarines were far, far quieter and more effective than their Soviet counterparts...right up until the Walker family spy ring informed them how easily their noisy boats were being tracked by near-silent U.S. subs. After that the Soviets spent many billions on a huge program to improve the silencing and quality of their submarines, famously buying sophisticated milling equipment from Toshiba to produce much quieter propellers. The last classes of Soviet nuclear attack submarines (Sierra II and Akula) were very large, very fast, and very quiet. They had the potential to be technologically equal or even marginally superior to late Los Angeles class boats, with greater boyancy reserve and damage tolerance.

      However, the Soviets and subsequent Russian Navy never even remotely approached the operational competence of the U.S. Navy, whose submarine fleet has always been exceedingly professional and well run, the legacy of Hyman Rickover's obsession with quality. The current Russian submarine force is largely rusting at dockside. The catastrophic loss of the Kursk was not an aberration; the Russian submarine force really is ineptly manned and led, almost useless militarily.

      The Chinese submarine force is relatively small, but improving steadily from a very unpromising start. Their first class of nuclear attack subs (Han class) had a painfully prolonged development and never proved very good technically; two boats of a new class (Type 093) have been built, though it remains to be seen how good they are; predictions are all over the map. The best Chinese submarines are about 12 very quiet, very dangerous Russian built Kilo class diesel electric boats, and a like number of newer indigenous diesel electric boats. Their force undoubtedly is less skilled and less capable than the U.S. force. However, quiet diesel electric boats are extremely dangerous in coastal waters, and the Chinese are nothing if not fast learners. They promise to be a far more effective navy than the Soviets ever were down the road.

      Japan has a small but high quality force of diesel electric boats. France and England both have small, good quality nuclear attack boat forces, though no match for the latest U.S. boats.  

    •  how far can we get on maintenance? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stranded Wind

      If we decided to hunker down and keep what we have, basically maintain the existing fleet rather than building a bunch of new ones arbitrarily, how long do you think we could maintain credible deterrence and warfighting capabilities?  

      Clearly we need the Tridents or equivalent second-strike capability as a deterrent.  And we need something, I'm not sure exactly what, for dealing with contingencies such as getting through hostile waters into a battle zone.  Most of our foreseeable adversaries are hardly as well equipped.  

      So where does that leave us?

      And this by the way, is the reason we have got to oppose the pork barrel approach to defense spending, such as those fighters the Air Force did not want, and other examples of that kind.   That is totally indefensible (no pun intended).  the priority has always got to be on what our national defense actually requires, not on what will fatten up Congressional coffers.  

      Otherwise we will find ourselves arming for pork, which is the equivalent of disarming for warfare.  

      •  Sometimes it's not pork (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        G2geek, Stranded Wind

        There is a concept of strategic industries. You feed them enough business to keep the expertise. Unfortunately you also have low volume so the per unit cost is high.

        •  two yards strategy (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          G2geek

          It's been determined we need two yards with the skills to build submarines - that's NG is Pascagoula and GE at Newport News (I think).

           The cost is up, but the Pentagon feeds the industries it needs carefully. As a taxpayer I'd prefer we save, but as a business continuity planner I like having two of everything.

          "Not dead ... yet. Still have ... things to do." -Liet Kynes

          by Stranded Wind on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 10:54:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Groton CT does refits, I believe. I have a (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            G2geek, Coach Jay

            good friend who x-rays welds up there.

            rh

            A foolish faith in authority is the worst enemy of truth. - Albert Einstein

            by RoddieH on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 10:55:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ask him/her about (0+ / 0-)

              USS Bremerton (SSN-698) and P. Takis Valiotis.

              We sat in the torpedo room and wagered on which way the hull crack would go as it grew.

              Turns out Elastic Boat was faking the welds (filling the space with welding rods and welding over them). Mr. Valiotis ran away to Greece.

          •  Nuclear shipyards (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            G2geek

            are Newport News and Electric Boat.

          •  and you win that part of the debate. (0+ / 0-)

            Two of everything, geographically dispersed, is a smart strategy.  

            And yet again the question of how to keep all of that capacity productively occupied without having it produce white elephants that various branches of the service get stuck with against their wishes.

            "Here have a new fighter."

            "Oh, thanks, but we don't really need a new fighter right now, and that one has some pretty serious problems...."

            "That's OK, have it anyway!"

            Much better to produce a scenario like:  

            "That fighter design you requested?  Two dozen of 'em are on their way this year.  More coming next year."  

            "Excellent!  Thanks!"

        •  you have a good point there. (0+ / 0-)

          Gotta keep the skills in practice, hands on.  OK, you win that round of the debate; but somehow there has to be a way to keep the skills while at the same time producing something that has military value & relevance, rather than something that a branch of the service will get stuck with despite not wanting it.  

          Immediate intuitive leap: dammit the advantage really is with the attacker, yet again.  

          We need a conventional deterrent that functions in a manner analogous to a nuclear deterrent.  I'm thinking something like ICBMs or intercontinental-range remotely piloted aircraft, that could delivery conventional weapons payloads.  

          The idea being to have something that could bring serious force to bear on a country that attacks us in some way, without having to decide between the high logistical overheads of a regular conventional response, and doing nothing (vs. launching nuclear weapons which we can't do in response to a conventional attack anyway).  

          •  This idea was floated (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            G2geek

            to load conventional warheads on Tridents. It was rejected because there would be no way to tell a conventional launch from a nuclear one.

            As far as a quick global response you might want to look into the X-37B and draw your own conclusions.

            •  oh man am i looking stupid today. (0+ / 0-)

              D'oh!, of course, there would be no way to tell a conventional launch from a nuclear launch.  

              I should have thought of that (blush!).

              X-37B: heh, nothing like dual use to keep the other side(s) guessing.

              Different mission from what I was thinking of in terms of a conventional response to a conventional attack.  Here I'm considering spacewar to be "unconventional" in the sense that taking out a country's satellites is pretty clearly preparation for bigtime hostilities.  (This would make an interesting sci fi plot: Country A attempts to replace one of Country B's satellites with a clone that has some "special software" installed to enable Country A to use it to feed false data to Country B whenever needed at some point in the future.)  

              OK, so I'm seeing why we're stuck in this situation where the conventional option requires conventional logistics rather than a pushbutton approach.  

              So far as dealing with subnational groups is concerned, the general approach of using drones and waiting for the right opportunity (e.g. to blow away a car with a bunch of AQ honchos in the back seat) seems reasonable enough.  

              Seems to me that much could be gained by having e.g. a President or a General or Admiral go on TV from time to time and teach the public something about our doctrine & force structure.  The layers of complexity far exceed what most of the public is probably aware of.  

  •  Iran, North Korea (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek, Stranded Wind, confitesprit

    It would be interesting to see the naval capabilities of Iran and North Korea - the remaining bad boys of Bush's 'axis of evil.'

  •  Why U.S. subs won't be much use vs. N. Koreans: (8+ / 0-)

    Due to their unlimited underwater endurance, and lots of disasters involving the diesel-electric powerplants of conventional subs (explosions, fires, poisonous chlorine gas generation by battery leaks), the U.S. standardized on an all nuclear submarine force.

    But the U.S. nuclear subs have some problems when set against North Korea's force of small diesel-electric boats. For one thing, they're friggin' huge. I mean, immense. The Los Angeles class is nearly 7,000 tons submerged, and over 360' long. The Seawolf class is much bigger, and the newer Virgina class boats are nearly 8,000 tons. This is not an issue out in deep mid-ocean water. But in the narrow coastal waters where the Cheonan was sunk, they're simply enormous. Sort of like trying to paddle a 17' canoe in a backyard swimming pool.

    Next problem: nuclear power provides unlimited underwater endurance and lots of speed; but it also requires constant circulation of water to cool the reactor, and there are some unavoidable noise penalties associated with that, even with modern convection cooling systems that minimize the use of noisy pumps. Diesel-electric boats, by contrast, are nearly silent when coasting along on battery power.

    Final problem: shallow coastal waters present a nightmare environment for sonar detection. Wave noise, marine animals, shallow water with multiple bounce/convergence zones for sound propagation...

    Detecting small, quiet diesel electric submarines in this environment is an extremely difficult problem. If a huge, clumsy, nuclear powered U.S. submarine tried to go after very small North Korean diesel electric boats in Korean coastal waters, we might recieve an extremely rude shock. A single torpedo hit will crack the hull of a $2.8 billion 8,000 ton Virginia class submarine like an eggshell, sending the entire crew of 134 to their deaths.

    •  interesting (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek, ER Doc, Coach Jay, confitesprit

      Based on my reading the Virginia class will be better in littoral conditions. We've not had a diesel boat for years and years - I think the Darter was the last, decommissioned in 1989.

      "Not dead ... yet. Still have ... things to do." -Liet Kynes

      by Stranded Wind on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 06:17:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  USS Blueback (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        G2geek, Stranded Wind, confitesprit

        Was the last diesel boat I believe.
        Darter decommissioned December 12, 1989
        Blueback decommissioned October 1, 1990

        From Wiki:
        In February 1994 the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) towed Blueback to Portland, Oregon, where she now rests as an interactive part of the museum and a memorial. Her propeller was removed and installed outside the museum as a National Submarine Memorial. OMSI offers guided tours of the submarine several times a day. The vessel was added to the National Register of Historic Places in September 2008.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/...

        The folded coffin flag is nothing but a receipt from the Masters of War to the pawns in their game.

        by BOHICA on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 07:15:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  We rely on NATO (4+ / 0-)

      for littoral diesel submarines. Our boats are primarily deisgned for blue water operations, such as screening carrier groups.

    •  OK, so here's a stupid question for ya'.... (0+ / 0-)

      Is it possible to build diesel-electric boats that are small enough to be transported by surface ship and then launched at an appropriate distance from shore?

      Or alternately, how'bout something robotic, remotely operated?

      Realistically those things would have two missions: one, intel collection on the activities of the opposing force's navy; and two, attacking that navy for example with torpedos.   How far can we go in terms of creating something that can fulfill those missions either robotically or with minimal crew?

      •  It doesn't make tactical sense to have such (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        G2geek, Stranded Wind

        a platform developed, which probably means it WILL be developed.  We now have excellent SIGINT (Signal Intelligence) capability, including satellite imagery, etc.  As far as having small platforms to deliver torpedoes a la Japanese mini-subs in Pearl Harbor during the attack in December 1941, we can deliver torpedoes by helicopter or other fixed wing air platforms.

        rh

        A foolish faith in authority is the worst enemy of truth. - Albert Einstein

        by RoddieH on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 10:53:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  looks like we've got that one covered. (0+ / 0-)

          BTW, I know quite a bit about the various INTs (I'm actually tolerably decent at three of them:-)   However my knowledge of armaments is limited, hence the stupid questions.  

          Though, I was not aware that NRO could see submerged subs from satellites.  That's impressive.  

          Torpedos by air: yeah that works, problem is it might lose something in the stealth department.  There is something uniquely reassuring about the capability to sneak into an enemy's harbor and sink a bunch of its ships before it knows what happened.  

          •  I don't think that's quite true. (0+ / 0-)
            1. Tracking submarines from space using satellites? If only. Ocean water is opaque to any feasible satellite imaging modality. Infrared and visible light are attenuated almost immediately by a few score feet of water. Magnetic anomaly detection is only effective over very short ranges, which is why detectors are towed by surface ships and helicopters, and fitted to the tail end of low flying anti-submarine aircraft. There were rumors about satellite tracking of the perturbation of surface wave patterns due to submarine wakes about 20 years ago, but I believe there was nothing to it. Radio signals from submarines can indeed be detected, which means they do their best not to use radio communications. Which segue's to problem #2.
            1. Remotely piloted robot submarines are not useful militarily, mostly because the only reliable way to convey commands to them is via a cable to a nearby mothership, which kills the whole stealth thing. The near-impossibility of communicating with submerged submarines is one of their few weaknesses. They risk detection when they come near the surface to stream a radio antenna. The U.S. Navy has an ultra-low frequency radio system buried in the bedrock of the upper Midwest that transmits messages through the earth (no, really) to submerged submarines worldwide. Problem is, the extremely long wavelength and low frequency means it can only transmit a few characters a minute. It's therefore useful only for transmitting a command to submarine commanders to come to the surface for more conventional radio contact...or, you know, sending the launch code to the Trident 'boomers'.
  •  Nice job (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ER Doc, JeffW, Stranded Wind, confitesprit

    "The man who never alters his opinion is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind". William Blake

    by egarratt on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 06:23:43 AM PDT

  •  Actually, how about a compare/contrast (4+ / 0-)

    Pakistan/Indian navies?

    Thank you for providing a very interesting series.

    If I were to design a trojan horse to bring down the Republican party, it would bear an uncanny resemblance to Rand Paul. - #104758

    by mydailydrunk on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 07:41:54 AM PDT

  •  What was not mentioned is the (7+ / 0-)

    caliber of sailors (officer and enlisted) who man these platforms.  They are the Navy's best.  Those who were unacceptable to cut the  submarine community were relegated to our community (Surface Warfare) back in the 1980s when I served.

    One of the most critical pieces of tactical information shared here is the role of the cruise missile, whose range probably is in the neighborhood of 4,000 miles now.  With an SSGN carrying around 150 missiles, that's enough to really put a dent in North Korea's military, and they know it.  So do the Iranians.  Coupled with the sub's stealth capability, these platorms are truly lethal.

    It takes a very special individual to learn all those complex systems on submarines, and how to operate them efficiently and safely.

    The U.S. Navy's submarine force is second to none.

    Good diary.

    R.Haynes
    (former) LT USN

    PS I still hate how the "bubbleheads" used to say there are only two types of platforms, "submarines and targets."  But I always respected them for what they were capable of doing.

    A foolish faith in authority is the worst enemy of truth. - Albert Einstein

    by RoddieH on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 07:46:17 AM PDT

  •  I was on the SSN 637 USS Aspro from (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek, Stranded Wind, confitesprit

    74-76.  This brings back memories.  Stationed out of Pearl Harbor, it was a fast attack sub.

    "I will no longer be labeled, except as a human being."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 07:52:58 AM PDT

  •  Topic Suggestion (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek, Stranded Wind, confitesprit

    With respect to a diary on Iranian military capabilities. I think it'd be valuable to look at Iran's ability to manufacture a wide rage of military hardware.  Since 1979 they've put a lot of emphasis on self-reliance.  They build their own main battle tanks, personell carriers, missiles, and rather recently entered the jet fighter club.  That puts them among the small number of nations with the ability to build their own weapons systems... USA, Russia, China, the EU, Sweden, perhaps India.

    Self-sufficiency is a salient point WRT Iran and the ongoing use of economic sanctions.

    •  hard to do (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Quicklund, confitesprit

      That's very, very deep. I'd be inclined to do a series on their equipment, noting along the way which ones are home built.

      "Not dead ... yet. Still have ... things to do." -Liet Kynes

      by Stranded Wind on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 09:07:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That'd work (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Stranded Wind, confitesprit

        The main concept is to drive home the significance of supply and related matters when it comes to formulating strategy against a potential adversary. I suspect 90% or more of the DKos readership does not realize how advanced the Iranians are when it comes to military self-sufficiency.

        So even a short sidebar touching on the Iranian domestic weapons industry would be highly valuable.

        Well, that's my 2 cents.  In today's economy, who knows when I'll have two coins to rub together again.

        •  My knowledge of Iranian Weaponry is 25+ (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Stranded Wind

          years removed now, but as far as their Navy is concerned, I suspect the bulk of it is centered around high speed patrol boat structures with Anti-Air, Anti-Ship missiles and a few 50 mm gun mounts, possibly an Otto Malera-type 76 MM gun on the bow.  I think they have something like 2-4 submarines, not sure.

          Again, my knowledge of their weaponry is really dated.

          It goes without saying those SOBs were behind / funded / supplied the terrorists that killed the Marines at Beirut International Airport in 1983.

          rh

          A foolish faith in authority is the worst enemy of truth. - Albert Einstein

          by RoddieH on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 09:58:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  one man's terrorist (0+ / 0-)

            Is another man's freedom fighter. Remember when Iran had a democracy? And we helped the Shah overthrow it back in the 1950s? They just want us to go the fuck away. And I can hardly blame them.

            "Not dead ... yet. Still have ... things to do." -Liet Kynes

            by Stranded Wind on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 10:22:38 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That is a CRITICAL Part of Middle East history (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Stranded Wind

              Mossadeh was democratically elected until the CIA decided that Shah Pahlavi was more friendly to western oil interests in 1953 (I believe it was '53).  With Pahlavi introducing the SAVAK: the dreaded Iranian equivalent of the Gestapo in the Sixties and Seventies, again with CIA support, any semblance of democracy disappeared.  With the Iranian Revolution in the winter of 1979, culminating with the return of the Ayatollah Khomeini while the Shah was busy seeking cancer treatment in the U.S. with the approval of President Carter, America's relations with Iran went into the deep freeze from that point forward.

              This in no excuses Iranian intrigues in a variety of terrorist organizations, including direct involvement in anti-American forces in Iraq.  But it explains WHY there is such hostility toward America.

              Regrettably, 95% of America either does not know this history or they don't care.  It's easier being Jingoistic than thinking things through.

              rh

              A foolish faith in authority is the worst enemy of truth. - Albert Einstein

              by RoddieH on Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 10:50:33 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

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