Jerry Hendrix, late of the Naval Historical Center and now a fellow at CNAS, addresses a letter from Randy Forbes (R-VA) to CNO Admiral Greenert. Read it all on DefenseOne.com.
A response, but certainly not a rebuttal. I think the good Captain (Retired) is spot on with his assertions of the victory of the “Technical Rickovers” over the “Humanities Mahans”. And that the very lack of being able to verbalize the importance of seapower is a major factor in the dearth of strategic eloquence from our Navy leadership.
When senior admirals speak strategically, their message can be summarized as “we do what we do because we have always done what we have done. The oceans are peaceful, we created that environment, and there is no need to change the formula.”
Indeed. We are saddled with senior Navy leadership that assiduously avoids meaningful discussion about why the US Navy is building a fleet so entirely contrary to the requirements of the Cooperative Strategy. Inherent in that avoidance is the unwillingness to discuss true ship numbers, or anything approaching a proposition for a high-low mix. We have ever-smaller numbers of very large and very expensive warships which bodes poorly for forward presence. The result is an increasing tally of unmet requirements, and of capital ships being employed in very low-end missions, to the detriment of other missions more appropriate and important.
That shipbuilding is a colossal mess, with LCS being the poster-child, should be no surprise. This is the Navy, after all, that has its senior leadership in critical c0mmand positions offering up such gems as the Navy’s mission not being war at sea, and the most dangerous threat to US interests in the Pacific is not China or North Korea, but global warming. And, though less openly now, the rather curious assertion that forcible entry is no longer possible or required, that somehow the sea as strategic or operational maneuver space is an outmoded idea.
Have a read, folks, and let me know what YOU think of Hendrix’s assertion.