‘U.S. Carriers Vulnerable to Electromagnetic Attack’ Says Chinese Columnist

Writing in People’s Daily Online, Li Hongmei argues that the days of the U.S. employing carriers to project power into the western Pacific are numbered. Her article, “Carrier domineering mentality obsolete” suffers a bit in translation, yet offers a window into Chinese strategic thought. The basic point of the story is that carriers may be easy targets for attack. What really caught my eye, however, was the list of potential “carrier killers:”

Unfortunately, no matter how the U.S. is sentimentally attached to Carrier, and however amazing aircraft carriers are as weapon systems, over time, the powerful warships’ offensive efficacy has declined, especially in the missile age. They can be sitting ducks when encountering carrier killers like missiles, tactical nuclear weapons, and electromagnetics.

“Electromagnetics” can be a carrier killer? No context is provided, so one cannot tell whether this is an error in translation or perhaps an allusion to some kind of EMP weapon. People’s Daily offers a disclaimer that “[t]he articles in this column represent the author’s views only. They do not represent opinions of People’s Daily or People’s Daily Online.” People’s Daily, is the official newspaper of the Communist Party of China.

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