95 Comments
Oct 2, 2023·edited Oct 2, 2023

CDR-

At this point I'm just too cynical. The people above CNO seem to be working for this country's destruction.

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And to line their pockets along the way.

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Oct 2, 2023·edited Oct 2, 2023

I am the son of a Merchant Mariner, and I am a Marine. The declines of our shipping industries, Coast Guard, and Navy fleets and capabilities has been stewing inside of me for half a century. We are late, we are late, we are late. Perhaps not "too"

More (strident, anxious, earnest) voices raised, and laid at the doorstep of every legislator, from every state and district! We ALL need to be aware and concerned.

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I recall a scene in "Red Storm Rising" when a convoy of US Merchies was headed to Europe. The pathetically small number drew the remark that thinking the pathetic size of the Merchie fleet was a good thing was similar to thinking gang rape was a minor social deviation. I don't recall the exact words, but the Congress that has shown itself pathetic on the geopolitical front is little more than a bunch of scum.

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Oct 2, 2023Liked by CDR Salamander

My only criticism is that I read "...as sea levels rise" before I got to the caveat "If you ignore the sacrificial clause to the cult of climate change, that is simply spot on". I want to share your optimism but that Climate Change reference by SECNAV kind of put me off.

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Concur. This sacrifice to the cult of climate is the equivalent of putting pronouns in one's bio. I pretty discount everything else as unserious.

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I kind of get the urge to mail order some clown shoes to people who declare their pronouns in something they write. Lucky for me, I don't have their sizes or addresses. I really can't afford to indulge in all of life's pleasures. My Boomer old age nest egg never anticipated Bidenflation.

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They should become part of Jeff Foxworthy's old skit "Here's your sign."

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I feel like I dis'd old Bill there, giving the credit to Jeff:)

Ron White was my favorite on that first special though.

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The use of the phrase "whole-of-government effort to build comprehensive U.S. and allied maritime power" has some uncomfortable echoes of "soft power" and even "trunalimunumaprzure"....

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I really struggle with this. Anyone could have delivered the SECNAV speech, albeit from a less significant position. We have seen this administration and this SECNAV for a few years. Well before these remarkable words has been an opportunity to drive change in the department, and I do not believe we have seen one iota of significant change driven from him. To the degree remote and autonomous systems are advancing in the navy, that effort was inherited. Have I missed something about taking charge and delivering something of substance on a major surface combatant replacement? Multiple DDG Flight III buys make fiscal sense, but do nothing to expand the shipbuilding industrial base, and arguably delay work the the replacement DDG/CG.

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"Burkes til the Crack of Doom" isn't a bad idea. It's a ship that works (when adequately manned).

Building a larger cruiser is probably a good idea; but we need material transportation and tender hulls worse. Start cranking out small missile boats for presence, ISR and littoral missions.

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We need a moneyball fleet. Flt III is not that ship. FFG would not appear to be that ship either. What I would shoot for:

DDG Flt IV - Make it cheaper and less capable. More value than an FFG would be the goal.

DDG-1000 Flt II - If we need a high end DDGX, just clean this ship as is being done on the first 3 hulls. New combat system and radar. Better point defense.

Then switch from FFG to something even smaller and more versatile. I'd actually say go with the Italian PPA or a scaled up but probably too slow Vard OPC derivative.

Again, after building out the auxiliaries we are missing. We may have to live with lots of FRCs and MUSVs in the meantime (small missile boat)

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Frankly Id step away from our multipurpose superships. Get all the ASW gear and helo facilities off the AAW ships. Don't need it. Build ASW frigates- without Aegis/SPY radar. Dont need it. Focus a ship on a main mission, and dont add anything else.

How much smaller and cheaper could a Burke be if you did this?? What about a Constellation thats actually about ASW??

(Asking for a friend)

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Too many people are even more ignorant landlubbers than me for us to get a great maritime strategy, I'm afraid.

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Once again, Commander is right on most points. But I disagree with his snide remark about climate change. Probably because I live in Alaska, where the effects have been so obvious for so long that even a "conservative" (reactionary?) government - the only US jurisdiction to, by executive order, make it worth a year in jail to drive to the next town during the pandemic - state visitor centers have proclaimed our loss of ice to be an indicator for over 3 decades. Our state university ties the University of Stockholm for climate research - and leads most of the world. Even the most rabid climate activists are TOO CONSERVATIVE. IF we could stop the human caused drivers entirely today - and we cannot - things are going to get far worse than almost anyone expects. Storms. Rising sea levels (except for places like Alaska, where we are still rising due to loss of the weight of ice cover - so sea levels are falling). If you are not budgeting to mitigate storm damage, or to harden bases from storms, you are going to be caught flat footed when operational forces are forced to deal with them WITHOUT having planned to pay for them. There should be NATIONAL research - not just the University of Alaska.

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Oct 2, 2023·edited Oct 2, 2023

Science has so corrupted itself I don't believe a damn thing from anyone spouting climate change. Follow the money.

https://archive.ph/Yttxo

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AGW is a complete hoax. Surprised to find anyone here still believing the nonsense.

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Next you'll be telling me that the satanic day-care sex-abuse cases were just created by the media, government and their paid accomplices in academia.

Yes, the evidence is that global-warmingism is another moral panic created by the media, government and their paid accomplices in academia.

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You don't live in Alaska. The subject isn't controversial here because you can see it. If you have lived here long, you will REMEMBER the way it was in just years and decades ago. We built a visitor center at the Portage Glacier. It has retreated so far you cannot see it from the center any more. When it was built glaciers receded at a pace of a few feet a year. No longer. Denial does not alter facts. Nor does it make you safer. More heat in the ocean waters feeds storms. These will continue to become more frequent and more destructive. Living in denial is irrational and not very effective in protecting our interests.

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Fun fact: All the rise in global temperature the last 2 decades have occurred exclusively in the Artic and Antarctic regions.

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This appears to be false on its face. Ocean temperatures off Florida are at unprecedented levels, for example.

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Oct 3, 2023·edited Oct 3, 2023

" More heat in the ocean waters feeds storms. These will continue to become more frequent and more destructive"

"Continue"

What exactly, other than a bunch of unsupported rhetoric.

https://x.com/RyanMaue/status/1707186652949409907?s=20

https://x.com/PhilALarsen/status/1709075740929691966?s=20

https://x.com/RyanMaue/status/1707961910233083985?s=20

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He said "AGW" or Anthropogenic climate change.

Nobody denies the climate changes. We deny that people are causing it in any appreciable measure.

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Heres the thing... Weve been cleaning up our act for 50 years. How much more do we need to do, and how much more economic (among other) damage must we self inflict over climate??? Much of the rest of the world is far behind what we've done. Even if the US was zero emissions tomorrow... What does that do??

People scream about needing electric cars...but new cars are so low on emissions that eliminating them is overkill. Continued push of climate agenda destroys industries and our economy. The "we have 12 years left" insanity and those purveyors of doom pushing it are doing irrepairable damage to this country. And its intentional. Even the GND authors admitted it wasn't really about the climate...

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Reducing harmful pollution is smart and we've made great strides in that regard.

CO2 is tree food, not pollution.

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"we have 12 years left"

People have been saying that for thirty years

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I remember how they had us convinced in the 70s that we were all gonna need more winter coats 'any time'...😂

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Does the climate change and is it changing? Yes, always.

Does human activity have anything to do with it and should we bankrupt ourselves in order to pretend .04% of the atmosphere makes all the difference? No

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Actually, there are sufficiently significant unknowns. Even if we eventually can quantify the ratio of natural and human causes with considerable precision, we have too little data to do so yet. But it is clear both causes combines are driving us in a dangerous direction at an accelerating rate. It is more than reasonable to advocate mitigating what human impacts we can within economic reason. When we get a better picture, we are almost certain to regret we didn't invest MORE in mitigation measures. I suspect we will find that even climate alarmists will end up concluding even they underestimated what should be done. I have four decades of experience in simulations on powerful computers. The impact of changing the average water temperature (from all causes) is certain to be very difficult to reverse. We have a similar (unrecognized) issue with the amount of O2 in the atmosphere. But there we have so much more than we need (about a quarter) that we have a long time left before it becomes fatal to ignore it. The changing climate is becoming harder to live with already. Making it worse is worse than unwise. So long as we don't adopt reckless measures and wreak the economy in the process.

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Casting no aspersions on you, Lawrence, but GIGO. I think climate change input data has been massaged, cherry-picked and could be flawed. And, for sure, the whole profession of science and its proffered studies have blown much of their credibility since COVID, putting them on par with the media and used car salesmen. Sad state of affairs when trust has been squandered. Further, nothing we do, more than we have already done, will make any difference with China, India most of the rest of the world fouling the Earth as they are. The U.S. is on a path to oblivion with our fixation on Climate Change.

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-- The U.S. is on a path to oblivion with our fixation on Climate Change.

Personal opinion is that that is by design, buy people who know it's a power grab for the elite. With the advancement of automation, the Kerrys and Gores, Gates and McConnells, Clintons and Romneys and Bushes, not to mention the WEF crowd and Klaus Schwab, simply think they don't need as many useless eaters anymore.

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As such, you well know that complex systems are very poorly understood and computer simulation is overwhelmingly dependent on inputs and assumptions. We also know there is no money or grant support to be had without toeing the IPCC line.

We are currently at one of the coolest periods in Earth's geologic history. I don't think we have any significant contribution to the inevitable, eventual, warming at all.

I think "catastrophic" climate change, especially locally, is inevitable, and we should be working to mange to live with it, not destroying our industry in a vain attempt to avoid it. 8000 years ago the Sahara was rich with flowing rivers and annual monsoons. Now it's a sandbox. People didn't do that, and people can't stop it today.

I think it has a lot more to do with cycles in our major heat source (our star Sol) and in earth's orbit and inclination.

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Nice words all around. But, just words.

Any attempt to implement solutions will fall apart immediatley.

There is no way to revive the merchant marine without substantial protection and subsidies throughout every aspect of the supply chain from the steel mills to the shipyards. Thus far, only one candidate for high office I know of resists the siren song of "free trade." (What really hurts is that containerization is almost entirely an American concept.)

As for the Navy, we should first determine its purpose. If that purpose is to resist the entire Eurasian landmass then 590 much less 290 ships will not be enough especially a Navy seeped in the Marxist claptrap of DEI, CRT, LGBTQ, Green Energy, pronouns, etc.

Our maritime problems are symptoms of much deeper problems.

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"We spend decades pretending to be a continental land power. Joined with an almost criminal neglect of our maritime sector deposited at the tail end of a box canyon of our own creation. "

The result of a Congress that is pre-occupied with things at the end of their nose, at the most basic level, the only comprehension they have of the military is rifle & boots or, airplane/helicopter. Ships, submarines, maintenance requirements, material sourcing all too complicated, hence the Army swoops-in and woos the elected-types. Meanwhile, the Beltway Navy naval gazes, glancing down the Potomac thanking themselves they don't have to go down river to Norfolk.

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Well the Navy is supposed to "Naval' gaze. Not navel though. :-)

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Sal, You saw Bryan's article about the Navy Commission he was appointed to which has not begun work as Dems are dragging their feet?

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author

Yes. We live in an imperfect world.

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My only question is, where the heck has the Navy League been the last 30 years? This has been their literal wheelhouse and they've been ineffectual at best.

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Navy League is a dying organization.

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So is the Navy if we don't light the fire.

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Scrap every worthless ship and rebuild.

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Fleet Weeks should be like fashion shows. We should invite the best from foreign navies to "walk the runway" Just so our own people can tour and learn about their ships and practices.

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A glimmer of hope. It is nice to see the leadership using most of the right words and concepts, but I still wonder why we need ‘ a new bold approach’ when the concepts are pretty much unchanged from Mahon’s initial ideas and the Regan era. We should just have maintained the old strategy(ies) and we wouldn’t be doing the fire drill now. I share the distaste for the Climate Change reference (but firmly believe in good stewardship) and really cringe at the Biden administration’s overuse of the ‘whole of government’ phrase borrowed from European socialists.

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Maybe rather than sending $BB to Ukraine in the useless fantasy the Ukes can defeat Russia, which was, is, and shall remain none of our business, we could use those $B to recreate our shipbuilding capacity and again float a 600-ship USN.

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If we were not acting with some success in Ukraine China would have already moved on Taiwan and we still wouldn't have the fleet. Right now is the last chance to start action that may precede their action.

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Now tell me why Taiwan is worth trillions of American tax dollars and thousands of lives. They have the engineering & economic wherewithal to build a deterrent. That they have refused is not our problem. I couldn’t care less if PRC takes Taiwan. To care is to be stuck in a Cold War, “make the world safe for democracy” wilsonian mindset that we eschew here - unless you somehow think that the federal government still believes in democracy here at home, at which point I’d suggest putting down the bong.

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Well, do you think theyll stop at Taiwan?

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Why do you think they won’t?

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Why would I?? Has history really shown its likely? How many nations in history have attacked and invaded, then stopped their march and said "yeah, this is far enough"??? I could be wrong, but i think thats about as rare as a fully functional LCS module.

Look at their incursions into the Philippines recently. Is that the actions of someone you trust to take Taiwan, and then become a best friend to its neighbors?? I dont think so. It looks like the actions of an increasingly belligerent nation that will only be emboldened by military successes and a world that won't reign them in.

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ONCE AGAIN. Government "accounting" is BS. We weren't going to be selling those old vehicles and ammo. So for the cost of transportation, we don't have to scrap them. The personnel training Ukrainians would have still been in the military.

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Some success? 500k+ Ukrainian casualties.

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...and they arent overrun. They arent a Putin puppet state.

Lotsa lives list but thats still some success. Weve declared victory in battles where we had more casualties...

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Not our job. Force Europe to Man up.

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Imagine what they Navy could have done with the money we sent to Ukraine.

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Exactly.

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Built more DDG 1000s and LCSs. That would have benefited no one.

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We could rebuild the substandard base housing.

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But how many jobs for retired O6+ would that provide?

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Not the type of jobs they expect upon retirement.

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Could have done that by not being in Iraq and Afghanistan too, Just need to look ahead.

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A. Spend on maintenance…..or

B. spend on DEI, or

C. Change names on a few more ships, buildings and roads

D. New uniforms?

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Have we updated our manning regulations so that gender-fluid sailors can maintain a full contingent of uniforms for both sexes?

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"D. New uniforms?" It was always my experience that with every new CNO and the new uniform mandated the cost was mostly born by junior Officers and Enlisted, not the taxpayers.

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Just wondering where our Naval War College is in all this. That is an entity whose lifeblood and marrow ought to be Maritime strategy. Surely the President of the NWC and the CNO could have a Ladies' meeting of minds to get us on the right track?

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I was surprised to see that a quick scan of current works by faculty and in the journal shows a real focus on international policy and warfighting. Not what I was expecting from our current Navy.

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author

Well, they just hosted a conference last month ... and it has a webpage where you can review the agenda. All must be well and focused there Captain! https://usnwc.edu/News-and-Events/Events/US-Naval-War-College-2023-Women-Peace-and-Security-Symposium

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Alas, suspicions confirmed. In short: Aw S##t.

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Condolences, Capt. Mongo. Am sure many of us feel your pain too after peeking at the CDR's link.

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Yeah, they and NPS seem to have stopped writing about ships altogether the past few years. This convo got me looking again early in the day and its real bad. MIT posted their 2023 project ships and they are pretty weak. Haven't checked U of M yet.

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Probably focusing in on diversity.

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Naval maritime strategy = maintain the ships we do have in a rust-free state. Until we get that right how can we even dream of a cohesive maritime strategy.

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As a son of a retired Sub Tender/AFDB Los Alamos guy…I ponder…does Hizzoner’s underlying strategy cover how WE are going to do this with only TWO CSGs sailing the ocean blue right now. A third can’t seem to get unchained from the pier…we can only pray our enemies are incompetent as we are…

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What? A newer and stronger Jones Act to keep Wall Street rich.

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Wall Street doesn't like Jones Act. They want free trade. Produce and ship goods using lowest possible labor costs. Americans have no right to earn more than Jamaicans or a Somalis. Investment bankers and hedge fund managers need that extra money. It's not easy having a yacht with a helicopter pad.

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Pete, don't be so glib about what is the crux of the matter. American ships need American crews. Shipping is a global market, and wages are set on a global basis.

I don't know if you know very much about Jamaicans, but they are have a well-educated, well-disciplined labor force which lives in sometimes, crushing poverty. Jamaicans are freaking workers! Because the standard of living in Jamaica is so much lower than in the US, a shipper can pay Jamaicans a quarter of what a US worker would accept. (That does not make an American lazy. A dollar in Jamaica goes four times farther than it does in the US).

There is also the issue of worker safety. A Somilian, desperate to keep his family alive will work in conditions horrifying to any safety officer.

That is not to say that the problem is unsolvable; but, labor costs and safety regulations are a component of the problem.

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You confirm my point. Wages are set globally. Americans cannot expect high wages if they can so easily be undercut thanks to our love affair with free trade and open borders.

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It's hard to make your Washington DC mortgage at the average pay of a Pakistani.

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For some reason the DC suburbs have become the wealthiest part of America.

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