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Thread: Naval strategy, naval power: uses & abuses

  1. #41
    Council Member
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    Mar 2008


    The point of these alliance relationships is to prevent an attack on these countries. The point is not to win once they're under attack.
    Well no. A credible deterrent requires a credible capability. If a potential enemy thinks your forces are only for "wargames" or for "impressing foreign leaders" then, by definition, your forces aren't a credible threat and therefore aren't a credible deterrent. If the enemy believes your force cannot "win once under attack" then there is no credibility. Credibility is dependent on capability. There are a lot of Navies like that - they have platforms that mostly sit pierside, depend on foreign contractors for maintenance, and operate with poorly trained crews that don't practice war-fighting skills. The US Navy isn't one of those navies.

    Now, maybe you can argue the force structure is wrong or whatever, but there probably isn't another Navy in the world that's underway practicing actual wartime tasks as much as the US Navy.

    Besides; prepositioned material and airlift of troops are a quicker and cheaper method of reinforcing said allies than cruising with more than a dozen battlegroups on the seven seas with never more than one or two MEU in range for an as timely reserve (and they would likely wait till many more CVBGs are in the area before they'd actually dare to close in with Taiwan, for example.).
    Naturally you preposition when you can, but that's not always possible and it's quite expensive to put all the stuff you'd need in every single country one is allied with - that's why the US uses prepositioned, preloaded ships with the equipment on board.

    Secondly, you need some redundancy with CVBG's and other assets because part of the fleet is going to be in the yard and then you have the problem of geography necessitating an atlantic and a pacific fleet.

    Again; the size and all is impressive, but the forces would look very different if they were really about waging major wars.
    Ok, I'll bite - what would a Navy that was "really about waging major wars" actually look like?

    Congress politics (including legalised bribery) and bureaucratic dynamics are the real drivers, not actual preparations for war.
    Well, of course Congressional politics is a problem, but it is one of many and probably not as negatively determinative as you suggest.
    Supporting "time-limited, scope limited military actions" for 20 years.

  2. #42
    Council Member Sigaba's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
    Southern California


    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    That's an assertion. Prove it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    I don't have much time today.

    At your convenience, please do provide historiographically credible sources as evidence to support your broad generalizations about modern naval history.

    To be clear, the specific interpretation you offered follows.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    It wasn't abut fighting. It was about having a big stick in great power gaming.

    Few navies have ever built beautiful and impressive battleships or aircraft carriers during peacetime for risking them in battle. Such ships are meant for impressing foreign leaders and for the occasional bullying of a small power, not for peer2peer slaughtering.
    IMO, your argument requires you to provide evidence that the overwhelming majority of naval building programs and concurrent planning were for show, not fighting.

    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    Nobody intended to wage WWIII.

    With respect, I disagree. The Maritime Strategy--along with its plans to build a "600 ship fleet"--reflected the U.S. Navy's intention to fight a global war against the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies.
    It is a sad irony that we have more media coverage than ever, but less understanding or real debate.
    Alastair Campbell, ISBN-13 9780307268310, p. xv.
    There are times when it is hard to avoid the feeling that historians may unintentionally obstruct the view of history.
    Peter J. Parish, ISBN-10 0604301826, p. ix.
    Simple answers are not possible.
    Ian Kershaw, ISBN-10 0393046710, p. xxi.

  3. #43
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
    Denver on occasion


    Quote Originally Posted by Sigaba View Post
    With respect, I disagree. The Maritime Strategy--along with its plans to build a "600 ship fleet"--reflected the U.S. Navy's intention to fight a global war against the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies.
    Maybe it would be more accurate to say nobody wanted WWIII to start.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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