I beg to differ. The US Navy is inadequate because of the social engineering that has been going on since daddy Bush's misrule. The problem has worsened by several orders of magnitude since 2000. Assuming the Navy survives, there will be a lot of death in combat until the stupidity gets beaten out of it.
At present, no sane young man will join any of the services, and people like me are warning those men away, and for very good reason.
Australia needs a Coast Guard to police its waters. It does not need a Navy - much less one with nuclear powered submarines - to counter non existent threats of invasion or interfere with other nations like the United States does.
Australian here. Our ENTIRE defense policy, for the last three decades, can be summed up as “Hold on until the Americans save us.”
We send our special forces, and occasionally our regular battalions, to fight in any coalition that the US is leading. Behind all the hype and propaganda about “The Alliance”, we basically trade the blood of our special forces in exchange for the protection of the United States Navy.
To the short sighted idiots in government, that’s a sweet deal. They can spend less on defense, and more on... anything else!
I once made the mistake of reading the Final Budget Outcome, which records what the government actually spent and where. My blood boiled for about three days after, when I discovered that “Indirect Personal Benefits” made up the majority of the government’s cost of operating... and was at least twice the entire defense budget.
It's going to take a while to get the rot out, I'm afraid. Political types will prefer to reduce defense spending to fund entitlements rather than raising taxes to keep them afloat.
"The Vietnam War was a good example. Australian destroyers could quickly replenish tens of thousands of rounds of 5-inch ammunition from the US supply chain. They had ready access to technical support and spare parts as well. The destroyers deployed eight times to Vietnam. Australia sent a British-designed destroyer, once. With 4.5-inch guns, all the ammunition, technical support and spares had to come from Australia or the UK via tortuous supply lines."
Commonality of parts, robust supply chain, and tech support. How non-transformational. If you expect a virtual thousand ship navy to offer serious conventional deterrence, there best be some commonality of components lest a sharp punch in the nose sends yout Tiffany ship limping across the globe back to the Bay of Biscay.
It's very hard for to take this strategic review seriously after reading the executive summary and the first problem mentioned is climate change. How many battleships do you need to combat climate change? The next paragraph is labeled "whole of government approach" or what we might call interagency. From my experience, there is nothing that bureaucrats from different agencies love to do more than get together and sign some document. That is considered an accomplishment in and of itself!
Couple of things. Personally have 44 years in U.S. DoD, which leaves a lot of solidly burned neural pathways and memories of "the way we were". Reality check: we simply aren't "that" anymore. That's across the board / all services. We are a lot smaller, a lot of older / outdated equipment that needs to be retired, and personnel in quantity (see recruitment) and quality (see fitness standards, pronouns, mental health issues, etc).
That applies to our allies (who I spent the last ten years of my GS time working with) and in many cases is much worse. For example, the UK navy had 18 surface combatants at one time in the recent past. Sweden had basically lost track of mountains of their reservists combat equipment, and is now frantically trying to rebuild what everyone remembers as a pretty potent force but will take years to replenish.
Bottom line: Forget what you remember about what we used to be, take a good, hard look at where we are today and will be in the very near future. Because that's what you will be going to war with in the Pacific in the next couple of days / months / (hopefully) years. We need a lot of willingness to change, plus a lot of time and money to avoid huge trouble in the very near future.
Western Military Establishments need to stop following the US Military into oblivion.
Just stumbled across this CNAS live feed with Prof Tanya Monro Aussie Chief Defense Scientist...
I don't miss too much. My only question is if China's moves are aggressive or in response to aggression.
Maybe. But last time I looked at the map I saw a ring of American bases around China. Also, we have a dispute with Canada over the status of the NW Passage. We attacked Libya in 1986 because we did not recognize their EEZ claim. Remember the Line of Death. As for Vietnam, we are hardly in a position to talk about claims. Remember the Gulf of Tonkin?
Yes, our strategic situation is a mess; partly by geography but largely successive governments mismanagement. And yes, there are a lot of people who will gladly divert funds and attention to the latest woke or green agenda.
But I work closely with some of our Navy folk, and I assure you there are pockets of hope. Some senior officers and senior procurement types who see the problem clearly and are working with a very aggressive posture to address the shortfalls. They face lots of bureaucratic resistance, but they’re not giving up.
Our current SecDef should acquaint himself with the history of the 1942 Asiatic Fleet, then start doing his damned level best to avoid a reprise. Seems to me we are somewhere between repetitive history and rhyming history, and we desperately need to break out of the kill box.
The article by the RADM is behind a PAYWALL that requires a FULL subscription to read. So much for influence.
How nice to know.