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Red Letters #2
You can find Red Letters #1 here.
Can China manufacture their Dong Feng missiles at scale under wartime conditions?
The Dong Feng (东风/Eastern Wind) family of missiles is almost certainly based off of the very old, but reliable US Pershing II technology. These could likely be mass produced under wartime conditions. The bigger question is more advanced seekers and hypersonic glide vehicles. Some level of production will likely remain, but Beijing is counting on stockpiling reserves so that slow production is not an issue.
How are Chinese ATGMs (anti-tank guided missiles) compared to their western counterparts?
Actually pretty good. The HJ-12 (Red Arrow) has a dual mode seeker (infrared/heat and TV/camera imager) with Lock-On Before Launch (LOBL). It has a tandem HEAT warhead able to penetrate APR and ERA to score a big 1,100mm RHA hit. It can also engage in top-attack mode, so it’s basically a much cheaper javelin.
Does China have precision rifle systems?
There was a firestorm of comments on this one a while ago. The PLA likely lacks precision semi-automatic rifles and does not have great precision rifles. It’s not clear whether this is a process, people, or knowledge gap. The PLA bolt-action CS/LR is a simple enough system, but it allegedly struggles to get 1 MOA accuracy at 100m. It gets worse from there, with the standard QBZ-95 assault rifle having 3 MOA accuracy. Note that the QBZ-95 is in the process of being replaced with the QBZ-191, which should have better accuracy at an advertised 2 MOA. The QBZ-191 also has a designated marksman variant, the QBU-191, which is advertised at 1-2 MOA. All all, not great, but it will get the job done. With that said, the PLA likely developed their QLU-131 “sniper grenade launcher” to overcome these precision issues.
Is Mongolia a US ally?
On the whole, Mongolia has embraced its unitary republican form of government and Mongolians likely want to preserve and expand their freedoms. The problem is that they live in the worst neighborhood in the world, residing smack between Russia and China. There are hard limits to what the Mongolians are able to execute, however they are no stooges for their neighbors.
What role would the US Army play in the Pacific?
Planning for the Pacific is currently disjointed. With that said, the US Army is responsible for waging the decisive ground campaign. Areas of concern include Japan’s Southwest Islands, Taiwan, and the northern Philippines. In a protracted war, only the Army has the depth of capability, logistics, and air defense assets to fight back in.
The US Marine Corps is responsible for winning battles and inter-domain maneuver. The USMC will respond as the nation’s 9-1-1 force in readiness to blunt Chinese aggression, but will need to be reinforced by the Army quickly.