Robert Steele: CNO Realizes We Need a 450 Ship Navy — 22 Years After I Was Almost Fired for Same Idea…
SHORT URL: http://tinyurl.com/450-Ship-Navy
CNO Actual has arrived, more or less, at the same point I defined in 1992. That was the year when I was nearly fired by an outraged mob of Navy Captains for daring to suggest, in the Joint Strategy Board or whatever it was called, that we needed to drop at least two carrier battle groups (as I recall we had 13 at the time), and focus instead on a distributed expeditionary Navy that increased amphibious and littoral capacity from under 10% to just over 30%.
Below are the references. I wrote to various CNOs over the years, receiving only one response from N-85, signed by a Marine Corps Major General who told me, in essence, “go spit in the ocean.”
I am certain of two things. Yes, we need a 450 ship Navy. No, CNO has no one that can do that and simultaneously engineer the necessary 30% cut in the Navy’s budget over 4-6 years. CNO has found the words. Now, can he actually devise and execute a plan to make it so? I doubt this very much. Certainly this is a righteous mission I would be glad to help with.
The orginal shorter version was written in 1999 with help from Ron O’Rourke at CRS and Norman Polmar at Janes. Accepted for publication by USNI Proceedings in that year, it was withdrawn by author after they kept postponing publication in favor of articles from Admirals.
This is a draft updated version that brings in the knowledge I developed in the 1990’s and then presented to the US Army Strategic Studies Institute, on the four threat classes and the four forces after next. It adds the 10 high-level threats from 2004 integrated into a holistic analytic model in 2006. A tiny handful of us have been preparing for this day. We know how to win over Congress, the vendors, and the increasingly anti-military public. We know how to nurture the larger DoD context within which a 450 ship Navy is affordable and achievable.
2001-04-01 “Threats, Strategy, and Force Structure: An Alternative Paradigm for National Security in the 21st Century” Chapter 9 in Steven Metz (ed.) Revising the Two MTW Force Shaping Paradigm (Strategic Studies Institute,April 2001)
1989-12-15 1989 Expeditionary Environment Briefing