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Obamaís Unready Navy: Multi-decade neglect has sent our Navy into decline
National Review ^ | 10/24/2012 | Harold Hutchison

Posted on 10/24/2012 6:52:29 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

Barack Obama has never understood why we must maintain a strong Navy or why the decline in the number of ships is such a big deal. He cited the advanced technology of our equipment in his condescending and arrogant quip after Romney raised the issue. Obama’s sneering response — “We have these things called aircraft carriers where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines” — completely missed the point.

In citing high technology, Obama gave us a display of brazen hypocrisy at its finest. On his watch, the Department of Defense has been cutting procurement programs such as the F-22 and the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle. In both cases, our military personnel must now make do with aging alternatives (the F-15C and AAV-7 family of vehicles). The F-15 entered service in 1976, the AAV-7 in 1972. By the 2016 election, both of these systems will be 40 years old, and expected to still be in service for as much as a decade. So much for relying on new technology — Obama has halted production of the high-tech replacements.

The Obama administration’s neglect of the Navy can be typified by the early retirement of the USS Enterprise (CVN 65) and its plans to decommission other naval assets. In August of this year, I outlined on NRO why the Enterprise should remain in service, but the Big E is only the most prominent asset slated for premature retirement. The administration also plans to decommission and scrap six Ticonderoga-class cruisers, although the vessels have as many as 15 years of service life left (even without further overhauls). Maintaining freedom of the seas requires hulls in the water — and the Navy hasn’t even started building the replacements for these cruisers. At present, all we have is a design study called CGX, which may or may not enter production.

This is one area where Obama is particularly culpable: His administration, in an effort to cut costs, proposed the retirement of the USS Enterprise (which his allies in Congress passed in 2009) and the six cruisers. Numerous crises are heating up around the world, as recent events show, but there is no indication that Obama has reconsidered these retirement plans. Certainly, it would not be hard to halt the retirements, and extenuating circumstances clearly warrant a supplemental appropriations bill. None of our carriers or submarines — no matter how high-tech they are — are capable of covering the Persian Gulf and South China Sea at the same time, or the Mediterranean Sea and the Korean Peninsula simultaneously.

Obama and his allies in Congress talk about cutting the defense budget in order to spur “nation-building at home.” Accordingly, they have accelerated the decline, begun in 1991, of the U.S. Navy’s ship totals. What they fail to mention is the fact that China’s defense budget has at least quadrupled since 2000. China is becoming more aggressive around the Senkaku Islands and the South China Sea, in disputes with American allies such as Japan and the Philippines, and they have just commissioned their first aircraft carrier. The Chinese build-up, including new planes, stands in stark contrast to the Obama administration’s negligence in failing to keep the Navy properly maintained.

As the Chinese buy new ships, planes, and armored vehicles, the United States under Obama seems content to stand still. At the very least, the nation should have a quantitative edge in the latest weapons. To that end, the administration should halt the retirement of equipment (including planes and ships) and also build new equipment. If he does not follow this path, Obama will have made America’s task in a potential war with China more difficult.

In World War II, when the United States built a navy second to none, our military had a running start with the Naval Expansion Act of 1938 and the Two-Ocean Navy Act of July 1940 — bills passed long before the attack on Pearl Harbor. But even with that running start, most of those ships did not arrive on the front lines until mid-1943 or later, and many sailors and Marines paid the price in blood for America’s failure to prepare. Who will pay the price today, in the event of military conflict?

New naval construction and the overhauling of older assets also have an important side benefit: new jobs. Spending dollars this way is not the “weaponized Keynesianism” that critics decry. It’s simply a prudent investment — certainly more prudent than the taxpayer dollars lavished on Solyndra, A123, and other green-energy “investments.”

Ultimately, the neglect of the United States Navy has been a multi-decade scandal. Romney is to be commended for proposing to rectify this disgraceful situation, although the 313-ship-force level is still only a little more than half the total of the 600-ship Navy that was able to send six carriers to the Persian Gulf for Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. In this case, Romney’s proposed build-up is a “starter home” for rebuilding the Navy — but much more will need to be done.

— Harold Hutchison is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government
KEYWORDS: bho44; bhodod; military; navy; obama; usmilitary; usnavy

1 posted on 10/24/2012 6:52:33 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

My recently retired Father built nuclear subs, then surface ships for Litton Ind for 30 years. Then he built them for Northrop Grummand for five more before he retired.

You don’t want to hear what he has to say about Northrop! Could he be a little old school and grumpy? Maybe, but he still has the same opinion after a few bourbons which means he’s telling the truth!


2 posted on 10/24/2012 7:03:28 AM PDT by The Toll
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To: SeekAndFind
We have these ships that go underwater...

See, Obama knows about submarines. He really has been paying attention at those intelligence briefings! Take that, you Obama-bashers!

3 posted on 10/24/2012 7:03:50 AM PDT by Leaning Right
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To: SeekAndFind

The Modern DECLINE of MY United States Navy BEGAN with George HW Bush and HIS SEC DEFENSE CHENEY.


4 posted on 10/24/2012 7:06:56 AM PDT by US Navy Vet (Go Packers! Go Rockies! Go Boston Bruins! See, I'm "Diverse"!)
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To: SeekAndFind
The War on Terror has siphoned off funds that would've gone to ship building, aircraft procurement, etc. The time is approaching when the Navy is going to have to employ a different strategy. An aircraft carrier is great, but it needs 40 ships around it to protect and support it. That's a lot of bucks.

I was happy to hear Romney point out that the strategy used to be that we could fight two wars simultaneously, but since the 0bama regime took power, one is the limit. I was disappointed that it wasn't pointed out that our troops have been stretched to the limit with many having served 5, 6 or more deployments to the combat zones.

5 posted on 10/24/2012 7:07:04 AM PDT by The Sons of Liberty ( For AMERICA's sake: Vote for the Mormon, NOT the muslim; The Capitalist, NOT the Communist!)
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To: SeekAndFind

456 P-3s to be replaced by 40 P-8s (if that many). Mine warfare ships to be eliminated. Good luck with that.


6 posted on 10/24/2012 7:17:13 AM PDT by pabianice (washington, dc ..)
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To: SeekAndFind
Maintaining freedom of the seas requires hulls in the water — and the Navy hasn’t even started building the replacements for these cruisers. At present, all we have is a design study called CGX, which may or may not enter production.

Pretty embarassing lack of knowledge by the author here; CGX has been dead for years, and the cruisers will be replaced by the DDG-51 Flight III with the AMDR radar, currently being designed with construction beginning in 2016.

There are a lot of flaws with Flight III (it's going to be incredibly cramped as the DDG-51 hull isn't big enough, and it won't be remotely as capable as CGX) but if you're writing about the Navy for a major website like NRO you should know this stuff.

7 posted on 10/24/2012 7:17:27 AM PDT by Strategerist
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To: SeekAndFind

As much as this guy may be right overall, he loses all credibility the moment he talks about how the Enterprise is being retired early.

The ship was designed for a 25 year service life and is now 50 years old. Her infrastructure is deteriorating, with the worst part being the brittleness in her reactor vessels.

I know people who have recently served on the Ghettoprise. Or the Enterprison. Or the Mobile Chernobyl. The ship has performed phenominal service to this nation far beyond what she was designed for. She’s been rode hard and will be put away wet. The only shame if the situation is that she won’t be saved as a museum.


8 posted on 10/24/2012 7:20:11 AM PDT by tanknetter
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To: All


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9 posted on 10/24/2012 7:22:44 AM PDT by musicman (Until I see the REAL Long Form Vault BC, he's just "PRES__ENT" Obama = Without "ID")
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To: SeekAndFind

In addition we led the charge for open homosexuality in the services


10 posted on 10/24/2012 7:28:22 AM PDT by ViLaLuz (2 Chronicles 7:14)
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To: Strategerist

Will they have the “Richard Danzig” requirements fulfilled? Specifically coed quarters, reduced standards for the females, and I suppose the “Maubus” areas so the sodomites can service each other while out to sea?


11 posted on 10/24/2012 7:29:49 AM PDT by MSF BU (n)
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To: Jeff Head

FYI.


12 posted on 10/24/2012 7:34:09 AM PDT by Army Air Corps (Four Fried Chickens and a Coke)
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To: US Navy Vet

That is correct. This is a bi-partisan effort.


13 posted on 10/24/2012 7:38:16 AM PDT by wiley
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To: SeekAndFind

Submarines are not ships. They are boats.


14 posted on 10/24/2012 7:41:26 AM PDT by knife6375 (US Navy Veteran)
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To: ViLaLuz

And the crossdressers and transsexuals are vying for military service.


15 posted on 10/24/2012 7:42:38 AM PDT by Army Air Corps (Four Fried Chickens and a Coke)
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To: Army Air Corps
Here is my own multi-faceted plan for a complete overhaul and buildup of our entire Defense capability, from policy through individual systems:


US National Security & Military Enhancement Proposal 2012-2024

16 posted on 10/24/2012 7:44:08 AM PDT by Jeff Head ( Freedom is not free, never has been, never will be (www.dragonsfuryseries.com))
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To: tanknetter
I am STILL annoyed that the Enterprise is being scrapped, and I heard it over a year ago!

Yes, I know the reason (it's impossible to remove the reactor vessels without slicing the hull up) and the logic is sound. I don't care. The ship should be saved, if for no other reason than to atone for the national sin of scrapping her namesake USS Enterprise CV-6.

17 posted on 10/24/2012 7:44:13 AM PDT by jboot (This isn't your father's America. Stay safe and keep your powder dry.)
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To: knife6375

RE: Submarines are not ships. They are boats.

But aren’t ships, boats?

All ships are boats but not all boats are ships.

Dictionary definition: A boat is a watercraft of any size designed to float or plane, to provide passage across water.


18 posted on 10/24/2012 7:46:27 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Navy 101: Ships have a pointy end and a blunt end.


19 posted on 10/24/2012 7:50:09 AM PDT by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Exactly like the previous Obama, Jimmy Carter. The saying we he had back then was “the two things a naval officer needs to learn are Russian and life boat drill”.


20 posted on 10/24/2012 8:02:29 AM PDT by Chainmail (A simple rule of life: if you can be blamed, you're responsible.)
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To: Jeff Head
Issue and RFQ for, award, develop and begin building a force of 24 stealthy, AIP diesel electric subs for littoral water warfare.

We have needed these submarines for years.

21 posted on 10/24/2012 8:10:19 AM PDT by bmwcyle
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To: jboot

I agree completely. The USN has two old decommissioned SSBNs (Lafayette class boats iirc) in Charleston SC as reactor trainers. I dontvsee why the USN couldn’t just keep Enterprise and use her in that role. She’d be able to provide 4x the reactors for classes, plus have all sorts of additional space for classrooms.


22 posted on 10/24/2012 8:13:28 AM PDT by tanknetter
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To: SeekAndFind

Bush Sr., Clinton, and Bush Jr. are also responsible.


23 posted on 10/24/2012 8:49:21 AM PDT by chessplayer
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To: SeekAndFind

Wonder who will be competent to operate a larger fleet. Annapolis probably has a multitude of majors other than surface warfare. Reports have also circulated that less than qualified candidates have been admitted.


24 posted on 10/24/2012 9:14:29 AM PDT by ex-snook (without forgiveness there is no Christianity)
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To: US Navy Vet
The Modern DECLINE of MY United States Navy BEGAN with George HW Bush and HIS SEC DEFENSE CHENEY.

Do you mean the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act (with sequestration and passed by Congress a number of years before it actually was allowed to take effect?) Was it veto-proof? I was in the AF at the time and knew that it would result in cuts because it was accompanied by a big change in the rating systems whcih meant that many folks would be disallowed reenlistment. It reared its head during Reagan's Admin and he wouldn't cut military spending or raise taxes as their push to balance the budget caused both parties to stand their ground. I didn't follow all the issues at the time and it kept being pushed back until HW's hapless tenure - not sure what he could have done to stop it.

25 posted on 10/24/2012 9:22:02 AM PDT by trebb (Allies no longer trust us. Enemies no longer fear us.)
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To: US Navy Vet

The Berlin Wall fell.

It was called a peace dividend.


26 posted on 10/24/2012 10:14:18 AM PDT by WOSG (REPEAL AND REPLACE OBAMA. He stole America’s promise!)
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To: SeekAndFind

There are two types of naval vessels, in the humble opinion of the US’s Silent Service (Submariners).

Submarines and targets. Deo Vindice.


27 posted on 10/24/2012 10:19:08 AM PDT by John S Mosby (Sic Semper Tyrannis)
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To: ex-snook

What do you mean? The nude commodore: http://www.navytimes.com/news/2012/04/navy-bahrain-bash-commodore-david-geisler-040812w/

Or, the criminal fraud new female (formerly only male served) submarine officers?:http://www.navytimes.com/news/2012/03/navy-female-submarine-fraud-investigation-030212w/

Or the inimitable screaming looney Capt. Holly Graf, fortunately run out of the Navy?:http://www.susankatzkeating.com/2010/01/captain-holly-graf-plows-down-whale.html

This is some REAL leadership in the brown and black shoe Navy. That and queers who insist on “their space”.
Top to bottom cleanup needed.


28 posted on 10/24/2012 10:29:37 AM PDT by John S Mosby (Sic Semper Tyrannis)
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To: SeekAndFind

BTTT!


29 posted on 10/24/2012 10:59:41 AM PDT by neverdem ( Xin loi min oi)
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To: bmwcyle

Yep. We can learn a lot form some of our allies on this.

With these vessels, we would not have to send in one of our larger, much more heavily manned, and much more expensive Virginia Class into such shallow water to try and do the same job.

And they would be a natural to work in concert with the LCS in that environment.


30 posted on 10/24/2012 1:09:36 PM PDT by Jeff Head ( Freedom is not free, never has been, never will be (www.dragonsfuryseries.com))
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To: US Navy Vet

I would argue that Johnson and MacNamara did far more damage to the US Navy than Dick Cheney.


31 posted on 10/24/2012 5:38:03 PM PDT by Taxman (So that the beautiful pressure does not diminish!)
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To: Taxman

Don’t forget Zumwalt!


32 posted on 10/24/2012 5:58:05 PM PDT by US Navy Vet (Go Packers! Go Rockies! Go Boston Bruins! See, I'm "Diverse"!)
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To: Jeff Head

We don’t have a $25,000,000,000 Economy. I wish we did.


33 posted on 10/24/2012 6:13:45 PM PDT by rmlew ("Mosques are our barracks, minarets our bayonets, domes our helmets, the believers our soldiers.")
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To: US Navy Vet

How could I?


34 posted on 10/24/2012 9:15:24 PM PDT by Taxman (So that the beautiful pressure does not diminish!)
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; Convert from ECUSA; ...

Thanks SeekAndFind.


35 posted on 10/25/2012 4:16:56 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: US Navy Vet

zummies, remember them well.


36 posted on 10/25/2012 7:47:56 AM PDT by knife6375 (US Navy Veteran)
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To: The Sons of Liberty
The War on Terror has siphoned off funds that would've gone to ship building, aircraft procurement, etc. The time is approaching when the Navy is going to have to employ a different strategy. An aircraft carrier is great, but it needs 40 ships around it to protect and support it. That's a lot of bucks.
We have 11 carriers and 285 ships. Even without thinking, your assertion is preposterous. Now here is the reality. By 40, you mean 5: a Ticonderoga class cruiser, 3 Arleigh Burke Destroyers, and a nuclear submarine (Los Angeles, Seawolf or Virginia). Then we have one of 2 replenishment vessels.
37 posted on 12/02/2012 4:46:58 PM PST by rmlew ("Mosques are our barracks, minarets our bayonets, domes our helmets, the believers our soldiers.")
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To: rmlew

When we have to go up against a modern Navy, perhaps the Chi-Coms in a few years, I’m afraid all those carriers are going to be death traps, as they overwhelm them with anti-ship missiles.


38 posted on 12/03/2012 11:38:00 AM PST by The Sons of Liberty ( Fast and Furious , Benghazi - What's 0bama's current body count?)
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To: The Sons of Liberty
When we have to go up against a modern Navy, perhaps the Chi-Coms in a few years, I’m afraid all those carriers are going to be death traps, as they overwhelm them with anti-ship missiles.
Now if only those carriers had escorts designed to shoot down missiles and fighters designed to take out bomberas and incomming missiles.

What is your alternative to the CVBG?
39 posted on 12/03/2012 3:34:16 PM PST by rmlew ("Mosques are our barracks, minarets our bayonets, domes our helmets, the believers our soldiers.")
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