Internationalism and the Death of the Navy
We consider budget cuts as vital to bring sanity back to defense spending. By forcing the services to prioritize, we may yet see the end of weapons little different than their Cold War ancestors, forced to fight a new kind of warfare in a new era where giant aircraft carriers, air superiority fighters, and main battle tanks are less vital. Concerning the Navy however, blogger David Axe at War is Boring notices how the Big Ship advocates might circumvent any impending loss of revenue:
The presence of American and French warships in the task force hints at one possible answer: In the future, the U.K. might provide heavy specialty ships to multi-national naval forces, while other nations provide escorts. That would jibe with the U.S. Navy’s concept of the “1,000-ship navy” comprising mixed-and-matched vessels from all over the world.
The “task force” mentioned concerns a rather sizable foray of the British Royal Navy into the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean. Back to the 1000 ship navy concept, we noticed something similar to Axe’s view earlier:
There is a very real possibility that the defense establishment (counting the Congress, Pentagon, and Industry) would circumvent any decline in revenue through “international alliances”. Britain is already doing this by keeping 2 giant and budget busting aircraft carriers in production even while her operating forces decrease rapidly. America is seeking a similar alliance with her “1000 ship navy” plans, allowing the USN to continue deploying very large carrier and amphibious ships, in ever declining numbers, while smaller but urgent threats multiply worldwide. Meanwhile, at least in theory, poorer navies would be called on to do the actual “dirt work” of escort and patrol duties with their smaller frigates, corvettes, patrol ships, and minesweepers.
Well, at least America will still have her Coast Guard doing vital work in littoral waters, with a much more relevant fleet of ships.