The sad state of the U.S. Navy

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AeroDillo MkII
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The sad state of the U.S. Navy

Post by AeroDillo MkII » Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:05 pm

In my internet crawl this week I came across two fascinating articles cover a pair of incidents in which two U.S. destroyers collided with two civil cargo carriers within a few months of each other.


The first deals specifically with the collision of the USS Fitzgerald and the MV Crystal in the busy shipping lanes off the coast of Japan.

https://features.propublica.org/navy-ac ... h-crystal/

The second takes a broader view of both incidents, but also the systematic failures leading up to the collisions.

https://features.propublica.org/navy-ac ... se-mccain/

Put together, the two comprise probably the best big-picture view of the how and why - too many responsibilities, too few resources, and a Pentagon culture wholly cut off from the day-today operations of a navy on the other side of the globe. Arguably a large part of this can be laid on the Obama administration, but there's plenty of blame and incompetence to go around.

I post this because in reading the the two reports I was reminded of Edwin Hoyt's The Lonely Ships. A world away and a century apart, Hoyt's book details the struggles of the U.S. Asiatic Fleet from its formation to its death at the hands of Imperial Japan in the barroom brawl that was Pacific naval combat in 1942. But the similarities are eerie - throwaway ships and expendable crews on their own in a dangerous time and place - but also for knowing the fruit born of such short-sighted and under-supported strategic thinking.

I don't much believe that history repeats itself. But as is often attributed to Mark Twain, it does have a tendency to rhyme. If so, given the confluence of technology and politics and ancient civilizations flexing new claws...it's liable to be an interesting decade in the South Pacific.

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n11pilot
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Re: The sad state of the U.S. Navy

Post by n11pilot » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:40 pm

Excellent summation of the situation. The military is always, even at the best of times a struggle between the services' wish lists and the economic realities of a budget but this problem goes far beyond money. During the Obama years it was an open secret that the then Commander-in-chief had little for the military except contempt. While handing out lip service and medals the Obama administration did what it could to shrink the military, reduce its ability to project power and use it as a social experiment as well as a "Green" experiment. However that is only part of the problem the services are top heavy with far too many LMDOs and far too few experienced field commanders. Unfortunately I do not see an easy fix for this.

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