America Needs its Navy Mr. President
By: Craig Chamberlain
As far as President Obama is concerned the United States navy is as relevant to national security as the horse and sabre cavalry or bayonet charges towards enemy lines. This is nothing new. The Democratic party has long had a hostility towards the US military and the navy in particular as they see it as the biggest tool of imperialism and militarism. Thomas Jefferson, upon taking office, cut the navy to three frigates and some gunboats. Madison kept it that way leaving us woefully unprepared in our second war with the British. The only Democrat who didn’t gut the navy was FDR, for all of his flaws at least he understood that the United States needed a strong two ocean navy to defend itself. That’s something that we need to be reminded of.
Today our navy has just 285 ships. Now, to the likes of President Obama, this is not a big deal. The President and his fellow progressives would point out that while the American navy is smaller than it was 20 years ago, when it had 600 ships, it is still the most powerful naval force in the world. We have more aircraft carriers than anyone else and more nuclear submarines than anyone else. The quality, they argue, not the quantity is what matters.
Now on some level the President is right. Our navy is the most powerful in the world, and we do have more aircraft carriers than anyone else. But here’s the problem. Our naval power is projecting downward, and has been doing so for two decades, while the naval power of our rivals is projecting upwards. President George H. W. Bush started to cut the navy after the first gulf war. President Clinton accelerated the decommission of the fleet, President George W. Bush did little to stop it and President Obama is going after it with a gusto.
If the President gets a second term his automatic spending cuts will take the navy from 285 ships, down to 235 ships. The most conservative estimates from Washington say that the navy needs at least 313 ships to fulfill its obligations and fight on two fronts if needed. At 235 ships we would be able to do little more than patrol and defend our own coasts. But what about all of our advanced technology? Well it’s true that we have more firepower, but for how much longer? Under this administration we’ve scrapped advanced technology, such as the F-22. We’re decommissioning one aircraft carrier already, the USS enterprise, we’re not going to build any new ones under this President, and many of our advanced ship such as cruisers, nuclear submarines and other ships are decades old and well past their prime.
So if President Obama gets his way he’s going to leave us with a navy that is smaller, older, and less able to defend America or to keep the worlds oceans open,safe and free. And believe me the only reason the oceans are as safe and free as they are is because of the United States navy. Without our ships forcing peace and good behavior the worlds oceans would all be like the horn of Africa.
Could the navy envisioned by President Obama challenge China, keep the Persian gulf open, or respond quickly to a crisis? We all know the answer. That’s probably the way President Obama wants it. America needs to be punished and humbled as far as he’s concerned. What better way to do that than to end America’s days as s superpower and leave us virtually defenseless at the hands of our enemies?
America is piling up debt and deficits faster than we ever have and people are right to want to cut spending. But if Governor Romney is elected to the Presidency he should make one exception and put as much into rebuilding the navy as possible. Get rid of HHS and HUD to pay for it, but we need our navy. Romney, if elected, should commit himself to increasing the size of the fleet to at least 450 ships, modernizing the fleet by scrapping ships that are 40 years or older and replacing them with new ships. Restart the F-22 program that would allow the United States to dominate the skies for decades, and make sure that America is able to project strength in any part of the world.
Without a navy we’re crippled, our ability to protect our allies would be gone. We would be at the mercy of emerging naval powers like China, because he who controls the sea controls the land. We would not be able to keep the oceans free for commerce, the Middle East would be completely at the mercy of Iran, who could shut the straits of Hormuz any time they felt like it. The Chinese would come to dominate east Asia and absorb Taiwan, Japan and Korea into their sphere of influence.
President Obama doesn’t think our navy is relevant. Another reason to vote for Mitt Romney.