The following was originally posted as part of a Facebook discussion.
by Rod D. Martin
October 24, 2012
It is just a fact that we today deploy 3X as many bayonets as in the time stated, just as it is a fact that our Special Operators led the conquest of Afghanistan in October-November 2001 from horseback. And it wouldn’t really matter if we have half as many bayonets as you suggest, since the repeatedly self-proclaimed “I’m the Commander in Chief” doesn’t know what standard issue weaponry is for the service which is sent in first and pulled out last.
That’s just absolutely disgraceful all by itself. And it’s also what happens when you’re being fed lines by Michael Moore and Martin Sheen instead of, er, doing the job of the Commander in Chief.
As to the Navy: your theory [that advanced technology means we can greatly reduce the number of warships] might make some sense in a stand-up battle like Jutland, but doesn’t really help so much against (a) large numbers of small littoral craft such as those deployed in the Gulf by Iran; (b) large numbers of scattered pirates such as those off Somalia or in Indonesian waters (through which half the world’s commerce passes); (c) the multiplication of real navies, the new reality of the first part of the 21st century which we really haven’t had to deal with since World War II; or (d) the fact that our need to patrol basically every part of every ocean has only grown, not shrunk, in the past twenty years, and will grow more over the next twenty.
We could reasonably argue about the wisdom of point (d) but we cannot reasonably argue whether this is in fact the demand being placed on the United States Navy.
Finally, exactly what new technology are you talking about? From your lips to God’s ears! I would GLADLY vote for your solution of doing more with less, and it certainly COULD be possible, at least up to a point. But…in fact, we’re flying F-18s from the 80s and 90s, sailing carriers from the 1970s, attack subs from the 1960s and 1970s — and yes, we’re building new ones, but not even a fraction of the number of ancient ones being taken out of service — etc. etc. God only knows when we’ll see F-35s deployed in any meaningful numbers on a carrier (or anywhere else, for that matter: I’m sitting a mile from the only test wing), and by the time we do, several countries will already have working fifth-generation fighters. For goodness sake, we’re still dependent for the backbone of our heavy bombing capability on the B-52, designed in 1948, deployed in 1952 (when were you born, my friend?) and now planned to continue in service till the 2030s!
I’m not arguing we’re not the best, or not the biggest. I’m not arguing we don’t have some good new technology. And the results are clear enough to everyone but liberals: we lost 58,000 guys in Vietnam, we’ve lost significantly less than 5,000 in a whole decade in Iraq. Wow.
But you can’t keep pouring more and more missions onto the Navy (or other services) while continually cutting their capabilities. And just because someone’s drawn up plans somewhere for some cool new technology doesn’t mean any liberal House member voted to fund it, or that anyone’s built or deployed it. This ain’t Silicon Valley. This may come as a shock to you — because it certainly came as a shock to me — but even the Space Shuttle didn’t get color monitors until after the Columbia disaster in 2003; and the “five onboard computers” each Shuttle had up until that time were designed in the 1970s.
It’s amazing what our guys do with the crap we give them. It’s amazing how well they do it while many of them are paid so little their families have to live on Food Stamps. You liberal folks seem so focused on the top-line budget numbers that you miss details like this, and also just how much ocean you’re asking a handful of ships to cover. I encourage you to rethink and reassess: I’ve never noticed Democrat Presidents shying away from committing our forces anywhere and everywhere, not even the current one.