March 22, 2014

The Bigger Smaller Navy

So our Navy is shrinking for real, but growing on the books.

Steve Cohen writes in the Wall Street Journal how the "U.S. Navy is stretched too thin."

And we are down to just 283 ships, but for reporting purposes it's 293--that is--because we now include hospital ships, small coastal patrol vessels ("lightly armed [with machine guns]...and not true oceangoing"), and a high-speed transport in the calculus.

Moreover, "only 35% of the U.S. Navy's entire fleet is deployed, fewer than 100 ships, including just 3 aircraft carriers."

According to the Heritage Foundation, gone is the promise of a mighty U.S. with a formidable 600-ship navy, and instead "U.S. naval leaders are struggling to find ways to meet a new requirement of around 300 ships...with "predictions [that] show current funding levels would reduce the fleet to [just] 263 ships."

Sure, today's fleet is comprised of ships more capable than predecessors, but our enemies are also not resting on their laurels. 

China is now building its 2nd aircraft carrier, and Russia has formally secured Crimea home to it's Black Sea fleet. 

The function for military readiness includes not only capability of each, but numbers available to fight. 

There are times that less is more, but less can also be less. ;-)

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Jon Olav)

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