I often disagree with Galrahn at Information Dissemination, but I also greatly enjoy his work and especially the thought provoking discussions in the comments over there.
Two great posts over there right now. First, the challenge for the Army to be expeditionary in light of the “Pacific Pivot” strategy. The challenge is finding a way to make the Army light enough to deploy, and yet heavy enough not to get blown off the map. Obviously, I disagree with G on how best to achieve that. But I’m not blind to the fact that it IS a challenge.
Second, a look at what the fleet’s disposition will be in coming years. G looks at the various theaters, and the expected forces that will be available to them.
The pivot to the Pacific has completed, and this major pivot ends up being 4 Littoral Combat Ships, 3 amphibious ships, and 2 Joint High Speed Vessels. I am very unclear how the politics of the pivot to Asia somehow became a public diplomacy centered around the maritime domain with the US Navy doesn’t even move a single major surface combatant or submarine to the Pacific as part of this touted pivot.
The obvious answer to G’s question in that paragraph is that the Navy learned its lessons about forward basing prior to World War II. It’s arguably safer to forward deploy, than to forward base. The Japanese were capable of striking Pearl Harbor. If the fleet in December ‘41 had been stationed in San Diego (as the commander wished), they wouldn’t have been able to gut the heart of the fleet. The inherent Mahanian flexibility of a fleet is its ability to move to where the action is.