PORTSMOUTH, VA: Go ahead and cut our budget across the board if you really have to. But please, then give us authority to move money around to save our top priorities — and give it to us soon. That’s the message, in a nutshell, from the Navy’s top officer. [Editorial note: Just to be clear,… Keep reading →
NATIONAL HARBOR: We all know that, since the end of the Cold War, the US military has vastly expanded its ability to precisely strike targets on the land. The dirty secret is that we’ve unilaterally disarmed our capability to strike ships at sea. The military calls this a “capability gap,” but it’s more like a… Keep reading →
CAPITOL HILL: The United States Navy is negotiating to buy 10 nuclear submarines that it probably can’t pay for. But the service is going ahead regardless, counting on the Pentagon and Congress to make up the money as long as the budget cuts known as sequestration continue. The sequester doesn’t mean the Navy can’t afford… Keep reading →
WASHINGTON: If “this potential operation” against Syria continues into October, when the new fiscal year begins, the Navy’s going to need more money. That, in turn, means Congress has to act. Ideally, legislators would pass a supplemental spending bill, Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Jonathan Greenert said this morning. Failing a supplemental, though, Greenert said… Keep reading →
[Updated 4:30 pm] WASHINGTON: The US Navy has decided to scrap the fire-ravaged USS Miami, whose repair bill from arson had soared to $700 million from $450 million. It’s the first time the Navy has written off a damaged sub since the USS Bonefish burned in 1988, and it brings the attack submarine force down to 54… Keep reading →
Like the Holy Trinity or the designated hitter rule, the concept known as AirSea Battle has been much discussed but little understood. The Defense Department released an official and unclassified summary of the concept for the first time this evening on a Navy website . (BreakingDefense got the document before it was made public). AirSea Battle would break down longstanding barriers:… Keep reading →
[Corrected drug submersible range] WASHINGTON: The automatic, across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration will reduce the Coast Guard and Navy forces available to intercept South American cocaine to record lows, said Rear Adm. Charles Michel, the Coast Guard two-star who commands Joint Interagency Task Force-South (JIATF-South). The result? “The sequestration cuts in aircraft and ships… Keep reading →
CAPITOL HILL: It’s been a rough 48 hours for the US Navy. Yesterday, the Littoral Combat Ship was battered by House appropriators and questioned by a leaked report. Today it was the Senate Armed Service seapower subcommittee’s turn to grill the Navy about its aircraft carrier and submarine programs. While the automatic 10-year budget cuts known as sequestration played a major role… Keep reading →
CAPITOL HILL: Sequestration is not the Navy’s only shipbuilding problem. In the near term, the automatic cuts to the 2013 budget are bedeviling efforts to save money by buying ships in bulk. Negotiators are racing the clock to salvage a multi-year procurement contract to buy 10 DDG-51 Aegis destroyers for the price of nine; Navy Secretary Ray Mabus told reporters today he was “optimistic.”
In the longer term, however, after the 10-year, $500 billion cut in defense spending required by sequestration, the Navy has dug a different hole for itself. The service has crafted a 30-year shipbuilding plan that requires massive increases in funding to levels that the Navy’s acquisition chief Sean Stackley admitted to Congress had not been seen since the Reagan build-up.
“Can you present… a scintilla of evidence” that the 30-year plan can be funded, an exasperated Rep. Randy Forbes, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee’s panel on seapower, asked during a hearing this morning. Keep Reading →
by Rep. Randy Forbes and Rep. Joe Courtney
For a host of security and economic reasons, American foreign and defense policy will increasingly focus on the Asia-Pacific region in the decades ahead. With over 60% of all U.S. exports going to Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) countries and 40% of total global trade emanating from Asia-Pacific, the United States cannot be an impartial observer of events in the region.
That interest should be heightened by the accelerating military and particularly naval buildup that is playing out across East Asia and the Western Pacific in response to China’s rapid and opaque military modernization efforts. Countries from Vietnam to the Philippines to Japan are responding to Beijing’s recent assertiveness and growing military capabilities by investing in advanced systems of their own, fostering a potentially volatile climate in the economically-essential waters of East Asia. Keep reading →