Posted by: cousindampier | 30 June 2011

The possible decline of the Navy

Information Dissemination – American Just Isn’t That Into You Admiral

Much moreso than the other services, the Navy seems to be the most important branch of the military for the next decade.  Quite likely, the United States will not be intervening in any other country with such a massive force.  The Marines can go back to being Marines, with this happening, and stage small interventions; and SOCOM can continue to do what it does (and rather effectively).   By no means should the Army be ignored, or stripped of funding.  If anything, the experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan teach to think through to the strategic end (especially the mundane area of logistics) and to be flexible in approach.

The Air Force is in the most acute position.  Drones have very much taken hold, but I can’t recall any reconciliation to the advanced fighter-drone debate.  The USAF will want more F-22’s, and they are awfully expensive, and can really only be used for one thing.

The Navy, on the other hand, will likely get funding cut because of the reason stated here.  The story isn’t great.  But nobody is trying to tell a story.  It is perhaps overkill to use a carrier for a humanitarian operation, but rather than focusing on the ships used, the sheer adaptability and how ubiquitous the Navy can be ought to be played up.

The US is going to shuffle back from major engagements for a while.  The Navy is the force which, historically, has always continued to show an American presence.  That role it is perfectly suited for, can perform to a high standard, and keeps the American presence constantly abroad.  Running naval exercises with southeast Asian countries looks good in southeast asia.  Calling at pretty much any port is exciting (except NZ: Can’t bring the nuclear things down here).  Having an aircraft carrier show up, or take part in an exercise, is amazing.  Just seeing an aircraft carrier is amazing – who sees one and things, “Borrrrring!”

So the Navy is missing a huge opportunity, and will probably suffer for it.  And it is a shame.  The Navy has a strong tradition of showing the flag (remember the Barbary Wars) and even with the somewhat-maybe-we’ll-see-if-it-happens- defense cuts, the Navy can make the strongest case of nearly any branch of the service to keep its funding up.

I forget who said it, but maintain a navy and raise an army.  Ships take a long time to appear, much longer than soldiers.


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