Bayonets, horses, and ships, oh my « Hot Air

Obama’s statement suggests that aircraft carriers and submarines (“ships that go underwater”) have made the surface combatant – the cruiser, destroyer, and frigate – less necessary….

Romney thus sees the Navy as a core element of our enduring strategic posture. For national defense and for the protection of trade, the United States has from the beginning sought to operate in freedom on the seas, and, where necessary, to exercise control of them….

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.

via Bayonets, horses, and ships, oh my « Hot Air.

Long read, but I think Dyer made some good points. I’d like to know what our readers think.

6 thoughts on “Bayonets, horses, and ships, oh my « Hot Air”

  1. a slightly simplistic point, but when new ships are costing 2,3,4 times as much as the class they are replacing, surely something has to give, numbers-wise? that’s the argument we get for our current tiny royal navy – our newer ships are X times better etc. (not that the government is too busy spending our taxes on foreign ‘aid’ to nuclear cabale states, grumble grumble).
    the problem lies in there now being no redundancy or reserve in the fleet. god forbid we have a war, because losing even one ship would be a disaster. secondly, having half as many ‘better’ ships in the new class doesn’t mean they can be magically in 2 places at once, politicians.

    1. That vast increase in cost has been a hot button topic at many, many, many naval-centric blogs.

      Part of the rise in cost is quite natural- we expect more capable ships to replace previous classes, and thus to cost somewhat more. Another factor is, of course, inflation. Even very low rates of inflation add up over the 20 or 30 years of a ship class lifetime.

      But one of the biggest complaints about the LCS program is that what was supposed to be a “design to cost” low end ship to fulfill the need for ships in places where the hi end of the battleforce couldn’t be, ended up with almost no cost discipline at all. The insane insistence on extremely high speed drove costs far above what would be expected for a low end ship. Further, choosing two completely different designs, with two completely different combat systems (as a risk reduction strategy in case on approach failed) instead doubled acquisition costs, and lost all economies of scale. But the political pressure to not shut down good paying jobs at either yard means the Navy can’t kill either line.

  2. “We no longer put vessels in mothballs, and threw away still-useful ships, 

    Till Navy strength dropped past 300, with hardly a hull on the slips.
    Our global adversaries took notice, and contemplated war on two fronts, 

    And the Gods of the Naval Engagements said: “You can’t be two places at once.”

    Just sayin’…..

  3. As I ended my Facebook rant on this subject, there is a law that is Asa applicable to us as it was to Nelson and Themistocles: if you want to project power and control the seas you need hulls in the water.

    How anyone can think Obama is intelligent is beyond me. I have trouble seeing him as above average, and the average person is a moron.

  4. Wait, can’t drones take and hold ground? Can’t drones perform NEOs and humanitarian assistance? But drone strikes can solve ANY problem, right? Well, any problem that a SEAL team can’t handle, that is….

    (obvious sarcasm intended)

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