Admiral: “The Purpose of the Navy is Not to Fight”
I could think of no better way to introduce one of the most astounding quotes I have heard in a long time. This single sentence reported by Guy Sorman in an interview with the US Seventh Fleet commander sums up everything that is wrong with the US Navy leadership, still mired in Cold War tactics of “presence”, attempting to scare our enemies into submission, while a new World War rages around them. Here is the context:
“The purpose of the Navy,” Vice Admiral John Bird, commander of the Seventh Fleet, tells me, “is not to fight.” The mere presence of the Navy should suffice, he argues, to dissuade any attack or attempt to destabilize the region.
The word “vindication” comes to mind as we continue to rant against the Navy’s last century way of warfare, designing ships that are not built to fight and would likely be unusable in a real war at sea, such as America fought in the Second World War, ignoring alternatives to giant 100,000 ton aircraft carriers, 10,000 ton missile battleships, and $2 billion nuclear submarines while our forces make do with an aging and rapidly shrinking fleet too small for the multitude of threats it faces in the new century, not even the minor littoral threats in the Persian Gulf region, let alone traditional Blue Water threats that are arising in Asia.
For this one sentence we can sleep the sleep of the just.
Update-Galrahn says “My first impression after reading this comment makes me want to curse excessively, so I’ll just say nothing for now.”
At the very least, the good admiral should know better than to give such fodder to yours truly, in our ongoing attempts to see the navy reformed to face modern threats.