Keeping America strong: Rebuild our Navy
America's global naval dominance — crucial for national security, U.S. allies and international commerce — can't stay afloat with the current penny-wise, pound-foolish approach to naval shipbuilding.
The U.S. Navy has shrunk “from almost 600 ships” to fewer than half that many in the last 20 years, a decline that President Obama's new defense strategy “threatens to accelerate,” writes Christopher M. Lehman, President Reagan's 1983-85 special assistant for national security affairs, in The Washington Times.
Rep. J. Randy Forbes, R-Va., House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee chairman, tells the Trib that the Navy now can meet only “about 51 percent” of combat commanders' needs worldwide, down from 90-plus percent in 2007.
And Mr. Lehman notes that “the U.S. Navy had no aircraft carrier or even an Amphibious Ready Group anywhere in the Mediterranean” last Sept. 11 when terrorists killed our ambassador and three other Americans in Benghazi, Libya.
Chinese, Russian, Iranian and North Korean threats grow. Yet sequestration and other cuts mean “the budgets are completely driving our defense strategy” when strategy should drive defense budgets, according to Mr. Forbes.
Lehman says “we can step up, or we can continue to reduce the size of our Navy and see our nation's power diminish ... .”
That's a no-brainer. America must reverse course and rebuild its naval fleet.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- James Foley, 1973-2014: Fighting on
- The Thursday wrap
- More foreign aid is no answer to border problem
- School funding canard: Money isn’t the answer
- Rick Perry’s indictment: The real abuse
- Another carbon credit scheme