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The Eeyore Leadership Model for Our Navy
To paraphrase Papa Salamander's favorite saying, "No one owes you a Navy."
It has been eight decades since there was such a great gulf between the Navy our republic needs to meet a growing threat and the Navy its leadership was planning to have.
As we discussed a month ago, the institutions everyone is relying on to make the future fleet have failed their moment in time.
Another reminder broke above the ambient noise last week, and it wasn't an easy read for navalists looking for firm leadership who - at least in words - give the impression that they have not given up the fight for what we know we need should conflict come in the next decade west of Wake.
Good thing I listened to AEI's scholars Hal Brands and Michael Beckley on The Remnant Podcast to discuss their recent book Danger Zone: The Coming Conflict with China. Folks smarter than me get it ... but it was a little discouraging that they sounded as frustrated - or more - than I am to what looks like a disaster we are sleepwalking in to.
It isn't that the SECNAV and CNO don't know what time it is - they get better briefings than I do - they just seem to have thrown in the towel and are not up for the fight.
The SECNAV sounds, well, like he wishes he took a different job. Looking at his All Hands Message last week, well ... this isn't quite, "Join me in the battle to get our Navy the resources it needs." battle cry to inspire navalists;
....enhance our strategic partnerships, across the Joint Force, industry, academia, and nations around the globe. Those partnerships are critical in everything that we do. There’s no doubt in my mind about it.
I don’t know that we’ll be able to ever match one for one, the number of ships that China is producing. But what I do know is that we can build a very large ‘Navy’ made up of all the ships of all our allies and partners around the globe working together collectively as one, in support of our mutual interests.
So, the Navy needs adopt a passive posture to continue to bend the knee to the Army's Cult of the Joint, publicly traded companies who have payrolls to meet, the grievance studies department at Oberlin College, and act-2 of Mike Mullen's wildly successful "1,000 Ship Navy™?"
Well, if that didn't make you proud and want to recommend to young men and women to join the Navy, this should do it;
...we must all speak up, speak out, and take action to eliminate sexual assault, sexual harassment, and racism from every part of our force.
Disrespectful remarks, jokes, and actions contribute to an environment that increases the risk of assault, it weakens our force, and puts our Nation at risk.
Well, that message was almost designed to depress, so let's see what surge of energy the CNO provided to everyone as we get ready ponder the 1-year anniversary of our greatest national dishonor since the fall of Saigon;
“We have an industrial capacity that’s limited. In other words, we can only get so many ships off the production line a year. My goal would be to optimize those production lines for destroyers, for frigates, for amphibious ships, for the light amphibious ships, for supply ships,” Gilday said at a Heritage Foundation event.
“We need to give a signal to industry that we need to get to three destroyers a year, instead of 1.5, that we need to maintain two submarines a year. And so part of this is on us to give them a clear set of – a clear aim point so they can plan a work force and infrastructure that’s going to be able to meet the demand. But again, no industry is going to make those kinds of investments unless we give them a higher degree of confidence.”
Asked by USNI News after the event if the reason the Navy isn’t ready to send that signal to industry is because of funding, Gilday said, “it depends on the class of ships. Sometimes it’s affordability. Sometimes it’s industrial capacity.”
There is no reason why we should continue to play lip service to an obsolete system created at the creaking end of the Cold War 40-years ago and intellectually vapid Cult of the Joint that goes with it.
We don't have creative friction, we have complacent concurrence.
We need someone, anyone really, to help build a pulse that will drive Congress towards a modern version of the Naval Expansion Act, 14 June 1940.
The CNO is close...very close...but like the SECNAV this is passive - diluted of vigor, and drive.
We either have a moment of greatest threat from China or we do not.
If we do, we need to act as such. If not, then by all means, maintain course and speed.
Post script: As I found out this AM as this post was in draft, our friend Jerry Hendrix is seeing the same need outlined a few lines above. Give it a read.