web analytics
September 22, 2014 / 27 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Bayonets, Horses and Ships, Oh My

In 2010, the Navy could only fulfill 53% of the requirements for presence and missions levied by the combatant commanders. Cutting this Navy will reduce further its ability to fill war fighter requirements.
Picture_23030HR

As silly, parochial, and partisan as the infighting gets over defense planning and procurement, there is a reason why we have the forces we have, and it maps back to the basic, enduring strategy of the United States.  We intend to control the seas that directly affect us and deter hostile control over the world’s other key chokepoints.  And to do that, we need surface combatants.

What Obama would know if he paid attention to how our armed forces work

That reality of sea control hasn’t changed since the ancient Romans locked down the Mediterranean, and it’s not clear that it ever will.  As an environment for power and confrontation, the sea is sui generis.  Modern threats from the air and under the sea have not made the surface combatant obsolete; they have merely driven it to adapt.

And the surface combatant has adapted, transformed from a platform that was largely about bringing guns to a fight into a platform whose effective purpose is to multitask 100% of the time.  The U.S. cruiser or destroyer can fire Tomahawk missiles hundreds of miles inland; it can deploy helicopters for a variety of missions; it can use guns large and small, and anti-ship missiles, against other surface ships; it can hunt submarines (if not as effectively as U.S. Naval forces did during the Cold War), and attack them if it identifies them; and it can manage maritime air space for any combat purpose and shoot down enemy aircraft and missiles.

The surface combatant creates an envelope of multi-use combat power that moves around with it and acts variously as reassurance or a deterrent.  There is a sense in which the aircraft carrier does that too, but from the maritime power perspective, the carrier doesn’t do all the things the surface combatant does – and that means it requires a protection provided by the surface combatant.  If you want survivable, effective carriers, you need escorts.

Today’s carrier doesn’t have any antisubmarine warfare capability, nor can it reliably defend itself against a barrage of enemy missiles.  Its close-in defenses are not the equal of the Aegis combatant’s anti-air or anti-missile capabilities.  Nor can the carrier launch an anti-ship or Tomahawk cruise missile.   The carrier is there to launch and recover aircraft.  Its power envelope is singular; the surface combatant’s is multifaceted.  The carrier’s air wing has a key role in maritime combat, but that role – like the Air Force’s – is complementary; it can’t replace the surface combatant, which remains the basic unit of naval power.

The submarine is a tremendously capable platform – in a face-off between a U.S. submarine and a surface combatant I’d back the submarine every day of the week – but the sub’s role is also limited.  In a geopolitical world in which “gray hulls” often exert their most proximate influence through sheer, obvious presence, the submarine’s purpose is to be invisible.  The fear of a sub you can’t find is a more powerful motivator than the sight of a sub you can see, which is the opposite of the surface combatant’s effect.  The attack submarine can collect intelligence, launch Tomahawk missiles, and hunt other submarines – and is by far the most effective anti-ship platform known to man.  What it doesn’t do is integrate influence in all the dimensions of naval warfare – subsurface, surface, air, space, the littoral interface, geopolitics, and suasion – as the surface combatant does.

If you want to control the seas, you still need surface combatants.  And since the seas are the pathway to most of what we do outside our borders, there is no such situation as one in which we will only need to do what aircraft carriers do, or only what submarines do, or only what minesweepers or oilers or merchant ships do.  If we do not control the seas, we do not control our security conditions or our strategic options.

Numbers and priorities

How many surface combatants do we need?  Romney proposes a number – a total of 328 ships (the current total is 284), of which surface combatants would represent about 130 – and backs it up with reasoning about a strategic purpose.

Obama’s approach has been budgetary.  Under the constraints of the defense budget reductions proposed by Obama – $487 billion through 2022– the Navy proposed decommissioning 11 ships in 2013, including four Ticonderoga-class Aegis cruisers whose service life has another 10-15 years left.  Three additional cruisers with more than a decade of service life remaining are to be decommissioned in 2014.  As noted at the Navy-oriented Information Dissemination blog, when the proposed cuts were first outlined in late 2011, the decommissioning plan will take out of service cruisers that can be upgraded with the ballistic missile defense (BMD) package – now a core capability for the Navy – while keeping five cruisers that cannot receive the BMD upgrade.

About the Author: J.E. Dyer is a retired US Naval intelligence officer who served around the world, afloat and ashore, from 1983 to 2004.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

3 Responses to “Bayonets, Horses and Ships, Oh My”

  1. Harold Kimmel says:

    Romney speaks in meaningless platitudes to rally support. He wants your Social Security. He wants your Medicare. He wants to privatize everything to give your money to big firms on Wall Street and big insurance companies. He sits around and his advisors tell him to say; “Be strong on defense. It makes you look tough. People vote for tough.” Romney’s only agenda is to destroy the social safety net which has been in place since Franklin Delano Roosevelt and use that money to cut taxes on the wealthiest. It’s all a scam for the simple minded.

  2. Leon Pettyjohn says:

    Romney out of touch with the Matters of World affairs!

  3. Benjamin Istvan Cseko says:

    word

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
ISIS Released Map
The Ally No One Wants In War Against ISIS: The Jews
Latest Indepth Stories
ISIS Released Map

Israel would love to be in the coalition,but it’s never going to happen, because, in the end, most of America’s allies would walk away if Israel were on board officially.

IDF lone soldier and  David Menachem Gordon (z"l).

Why has his death been treated by some as an invitation for an emotional “autopsy”?

Starck-091914

SWOT analysis: Assessing resources, internal Strengths&Weaknesses; external Opportunities&Threats.

Kohn-091914

Strategy? For the longest time Obama couldn’t be bothered to have one against a sworn enemy.

Seventeen visual skills are needed for success in school, sports, and everyday life.

We started The Jewish Press. Arnie was an integral part of the paper.

Fear alone is substantial; without fusing it to beauty, fear doesn’t reach its highest potential.

Fortunate are we to have Rosh Hashanah for repentance, a shofar to awaken heavenly mercy.

Arab leaders who want the US to stop Islamic State are afraid of being dubbed traitors and US agents

National Lawyers Guild:Sworn enemy of Israel & the legal arm of Palestinian terrorism since the ’70s

A little less than 10 percent of eligible Democratic voters came out on primary day, which translates into Mr. Cuomo having received the support of 6.2 percent of registered Democrats.

The reality, though, is that the Israeli “war crimes” scenario will likely be played out among highly partisan UN agencies, NGOs, and perhaps even the International Criminal Court.

Peace or the lack of it between Israel and the Palestinians matters not one whit when it comes to the long-term agenda of ISIS and other Islamists, nor does it affect any of the long-running inter-Arab conflicts and wars.

Rather than serving as a deterrent against terrorist attacks, Israel’s military strength and capabilities are instead looked at as an unfair advantage in the asymmetrical war in which it finds itself.

More Articles from J. E. Dyer
syria_stratfo

It’s likely that some of the rebel factions, including US clients, have indeed made pacts with ISIS

After the 2003 invasion: digging out a MiG-25 buried in Iraq before Desert Storm. Saddam’s jet inventory suffered various similar fates.

Another nation – probably Iran, possibly Russia and/or Syria – is entering the fight in Iraq in a new and fully committed way.

There is now NO possible explanation for not evacuating at least non-essential personnel from the U.S. embassy and consulates in Iraq.

ISIS is executing, slowly but surely, a pincer move on Baghdad.

The ISIS guerrillas are a problem for Iran. It arose because of the Arab Spring and the Syrian civil war.

To investigate Holocaust denial is to enter into a sick world of darkness and brooding fury.

It would be so catastrophic to not increase the debt ceiling that Senators must have the option of avoiding the people’s scrutiny.

Iran could produce enough high-enriched uranium (HEU) for a first nuclear warhead in as little as two weeks.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/j-e-dyer/bayonets-horses-and-ships-oh-my/2012/10/24/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: