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February 19, 2024 8 mins

Tensions remain high in the Red Sea with the US taking on continuous attacks from the Houthis and Iran. 

Talking to A&G, military analyst Mike Lyons breaks it down for us.

Hear the entire conversation in a new episode of Armstrong & Getty's Extra Large Podcast....

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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:00):
The official name of that defensive umbrella is Operation Prosperity Guardian.
It's a coalition of more than twenty nations that includes
the United Kingdom, but most of the ships, aircraft, and
firepower are coming from America. When was the last time

(00:22):
that the US Navy operated in this place for a
couple of months?

Speaker 2 (00:26):
I think you'd have to go back to World War
Two where you have ships who are engaged in combat.
When I say engagement, combat where they're getting shot at,
we're getting shot at and we're shooting back.

Speaker 3 (00:37):
You'd have to go back to World War II. Since
the Navy's been engaged in that sort of thing sustained
period of time.

Speaker 4 (00:43):
Sounds like combat to me.

Speaker 5 (00:45):
Let's discuss the developments in the Gulf, in the region
around the world with CNN military analyst Mike Lyons, who
joins us.

Speaker 4 (00:52):
Mike, thanks great to talk to.

Speaker 6 (00:53):
You, Hey one, guys, great to be back with you.

Speaker 3 (00:55):
So does that sound accurate to you? That's the most
engagement our Navy's had since World War Two.

Speaker 6 (01:00):
Probably from a naval perspective. If you take out the
naval air assets that have been participating in combat, you know,
really in every conflict for the past twenty twenty five years.
This is you know, combat towards the ships, you know,
the destroyers, the aircraft careers were always safe, you know,
naval tactics or protect carry at all costs. Well, now
they've got to be concerned about that. The fact that

(01:21):
our enemy is targeting actual naval assets in the water
is somewhat new. And this new thing is this underwater drone.
Doing some research on that coming from irun it loiters.
It's kind of like a loitering torpedo is kind of
the best way to describe it. And the fact that
they were able to shoot that out before it got
close to it. Things are getting dicey. No question for

(01:43):
the naval operators in the Red Cina.

Speaker 4 (01:47):
Just a quick tangential question, Mike.

Speaker 5 (01:48):
I think a lot about the navy for various reasons,
both personal and patriotic. I'm troubled by our lack of
capacity for shipbuilding as China's navy grows.

Speaker 4 (01:57):
By leaves and bounds.

Speaker 5 (01:58):
At the same time, though, with the growings of shistication
of missiles, both ours and the Chinese in particular, I
wonder how long a big manned surface fleet is going
to have the significance it has now.

Speaker 6 (02:11):
Well from a principle of war perspective, it provides mass
on that domain. So I think that's always going to
be there. I'm turned about it as well. I do
think we need to increase our enable capacity, both what
we have in the water and the sea as well
as underwater. We're talking about submarines there as well. So
I do believe that as the Chinese are going to,

(02:33):
you know, kind of rely on the old school gunboat
diplomacy and what's happening in the Pacific, we've got to
match that with similar assets. Now we use our technology
to gain the advantage. But right now that's being flipped
on its head. You saw that sixty minutesry for Norah
O'Donnell talking about you know, we're taking million dollar cruise
missiles and knocking out ten and fifty thousand dollars drones.

(02:54):
Let's say with it, because we have to protect our shifts.
So from an economic perspective, we're not on the right
side of that. We have to you know, kind of
figure that as well. We can we get away with
that because we're prosperous country. We can afford it, but
we might not be able to afford that in the future,
especially as these countries change their taxes. I'm concerned about
swarming technology for example, that's going to impact the battlefield
on the sea.

Speaker 3 (03:15):
Yeah, I thought it was interesting. I mentioned a couple
of different times. They're not exactly sure what they're up to,
Like what's their goal? Picking a fight with the biggest,
baddest bull in the barn and what you know is
an attrition like you guys were just talking about her.

Speaker 6 (03:30):
Yeah, I don't know what the Huthi's goal is, just
just besides from a purely religious perspective, to go meet
their maker there. It doesn't make sense. And that's why,
you know, the rational negotiation with these terrorists don't. It
doesn't go go anywhere because they don't have the same
you know, kind of value sets we do. So they're
going to continue to until until where they've been deterred

(03:54):
or either out of ammunition. They're going to continue to
do exactly that, and the Ron's going to use them.
I think it's a laboratory. And again, the submarine rones
and the surface drones and the things that they're doing,
these unmanned the things, they're easy to they're easy to
get there, and they're easy to deploy.

Speaker 3 (04:12):
I saw your tweets about Russia and Ukraine. Ukraine lost
a major city over the weekend to Russia. But you
seem to say Russia is not quite on the verge
of winning. What's going on there?

Speaker 6 (04:24):
No, I don't think so. I think that. You know,
for the last four months, they've expended about forty thousand
soldiers that have been lost on their side and all
kinds of battle damage assessment from thirty square kilometers. You know,
there's not this immediacy with regard to Russia breaking through

(04:45):
on an offensive operation. Ukraine's got to go into a
defensive mode now and and stop any kind of counteroffensive.
And what Russia's doing is taking back some of those
areas that they lost during that counter offensive in the
past nine months. But Russia is learning, they recognize that
they've they ask forces in certain areas they'll be successful.
That this area Aft Difcas in the middle of this
very long front, and you know, you look at it

(05:08):
from a strategic perspective, it looks like a divide and conquer,
but they just still don't have the resources to do that.

Speaker 3 (05:13):
Now.

Speaker 6 (05:13):
Eventually they might if they Ukraine government doesn't get resupplied
the military, I think't resupplied in the next let's sake,
thirty sixty ninety days. They're running out of ammunition, no
question about that. Artillery. We saw Denmark decide to give
all of its artillery inventory to Ukraine. That's a that's
a nice gesture. But they need the fifty or sixty
billion dollars of aid that's that would come from the

(05:33):
from the West in order to have this fight to
be sustained for the next couple of years. And what
we'll do is take stock things out of our stocks,
send them to Ukraine, and rebuild them here in the
United States. So it's kind of a win win from
a political perspective. But I guess right now neither side
wants to give the other side any kind of political victory,
which is it's going to hurt the Ukraine military.

Speaker 4 (05:55):
It's interesting to watch the arguments.

Speaker 5 (05:57):
Listen to the arguments here domestically, particular on the right
side of the aisle between those who are staunchly in
favor of helping Ukraine and those who seem to think
it's a bad idea for a variety of reasons. But
there doesn't seem to be a lot of disagreement in Europe.
The EU is remarkably united in thinking Putin's a hell
of a threat.

Speaker 6 (06:15):
Right, yeah, and look what he's done to Nivaldi now.
And he does this because it's getting closer to the election.
He picks and chooses when he wants to assassinate people.
And you know, these kind of bloody leaders, they exist
because they take their they take their opponents out before
they you know, they get close to becoming more powerful.
But yeah, over the weekend you saw the foreign minister

(06:38):
of Latvia and Lithuania make comments about the threat as
they are close to Putin, They're close to what's going
on in Russia there. We've got to get you know,
the Germans and the French and know others involved and
start spending more money. Only seven countries in NATO are
meeting that two and a half percent goal that they're
supposed to be for GDP.

Speaker 5 (06:57):
That's just not enough, my clients, CNN Military analyst Mike,
it's always great to talk before we let you go
on this President's Day. Are there any is there a
president or are there a couple that you admire, particularly
that you think about a lot read about a lot
to maybe use his role models.

Speaker 6 (07:16):
There's so many. I've studied them. JFK was inaugurated in
the year of my birth. I guess, but I guess
my favorite president has got to be Abraham Lincoln. If
you go to the Lincoln Memorial and you look above
the statue that the great statue that exists in that
the monument to him, and there's a quote above it
and it says something goes like this. I don't have
it exact, but it's like, for who we saved the nation,

(07:37):
the memory of Abraham Lincoln is enshrined in this temple forever.
And I was with that and said, you know, forever
was a long time. You know, I'm sure the Romans
put up a lot of statues and said the memory
of this guy is going to be here forever. So
the soldier I get to the Lincoln Memorial, I look
up and there, I said, you know, I would look
around here. It's going to be defending this place someplace
because the United States said his memory is going to
be here forever.

Speaker 4 (07:57):
That's a good one.

Speaker 5 (07:59):
Yeah, Amen to that, Mike, Thanks very very much, good
to talk to you.

Speaker 6 (08:02):
Thanks guys, thanks for having me.

Speaker 4 (08:05):
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