There should be no question that the U.S. needs carriers, cruisers, and advanced aircraft andestroyers, but there are coming realities unless there are unexpected shifts in policy and funding. Without an investment in modern smaller craft en masse, the federal budget will continue to constrict the Navy’s size, limit its abilities in the littorals, and allow non-state actors to rise, hone and possibly share their skills with other actors. A well-balanced force structure is necessary for the U.S. to respond to a variety of threats, but there must be that balance.
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Thursday, August 6, 2009
The problem with the thesis of this article, which is reproduced below and I agree with, is that the U.S. Navy is a blue water navy ("mask of war") and its leadership wants it to remain that way. Its top leaders are almost always surface warfare officers and its service culture worships the blue water navy. How else has it kept up with all of its traditions like enlisted sailors serving officers on fine china and silver in the officer's mess? Navy personnel look down on operating in the littorals - afterall, that is what the SEALs do and what those Department of the Navy budget sapping U.S. Marines do. Blue water officers don't want to operate in the littorals; afterall, they might get mud on their dress whites if, dare I say it, they have to deploy and lead combat patrols on the Tigris, Euphrates, Amu Darya, Hilmand, Harirud, or Kabul Rivers.