web analytics
April 24, 2014 / 24 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



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

Share Button

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.

Share Button

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.

Leave a comment (Select your commenting platform)

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

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
Hamas terrorists prepare their version of peace.
Terrorists Greet Hamas-Fatah Unity with Rocket Attacks on Israel
Latest Indepth Stories
Al-Aksa Mosque was claimed to be the site from which Mohammed ascended to Heaven, but it was built nearly 50 years after Mohammed died.

Jerusalem only seems important in the Islamic world when non-Muslims control or capture the city.

Israeli police enter the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City to disperse stone-throwing Palestinian protesters.

Jordan’s king is adding fuel to the fire on the Temple Mount, blaming Israel for violence by Muslim Arab rioters.

Imam Suhail Webb who boasted his Muslim community persuaded Brandeis President Fred Lawrence to withdraw an invitation to Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

At Brandeis, much of what counts as Western civilization got cold feet and won’t stand with Hirsi Ali.

Text of anti-Semitic flyer distributed to Jews in Donetsk, Ukraine on Passover 2014.

But the lesson from this meditation is that hidden behind the anti-semitic act is the greatest light.

As support of their messianic dream, Halevi and Antepli approve dishonoring Hirsi Ali as a ‘renegade.’

If itis a mitzva to eat matza all Pesach, then why is there no berakha attached to it?

When we are united with unconditional love, no stone will be raised against us by our enemies.

The reporter simply reports the news, but it is greater to be inspired to better the situation.

The Big Bang theory marked the scientific community’s first sense of the universe having a beginning.

Freeing convicted murderers returns the status of Jewish existence to something less than sanctified.

“The bigger they are the harder they fall” describes what God had in mind for Olmert.

We, soldiers of the IDF, who stand guard over the people and the land, fulfill the hopes of the millions of Jewish people across the generations who sought freedom.

How much is the human mind able to grasp of the Divine?

Jews have brought the baggage of the galut (exile) mentality to the modern state of Israel.

The Haggadah is an instruction manual on how to survive as strangers in strange lands.

More Articles from J. E. Dyer
Senator Rafael Edward "Ted" Cruz (R-TX).

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

Rouhani-stranglovebombride

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

We are in uncharted territory today. The answers for the GOP going forward may not be found in the events of the past.

Each and every permutation of artificial “fertility” will wind up in court at some point.

He gets that we can’t just sit still, paralyzed by bad press and Democratic talking points.

Obama’s supporters in the media (and no doubt in Hollywood, politics, and the academy) see a light at the end of this tunnel…

I’m skeptical that we have any intention of taking action against Syria – even punitive action, with no view to an outcome or end-state.

Liberty always – always – has to be deliberately established and hedged about with protections.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

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: