The Officer March/April 2011 : Page-12

Navy CAPT MARSHALL A. HANSON, USNR (ReT.) • diReCTOR, NAvAL SeRviCeS SeCTiON Fight For FuNds Marines and Navy position themselves to fight for relevance while budgets decline. ith the tightening of budgetary belts, chauvinism is on the rise within the Pentagon. The Army will undoubtedly argue that it is central to war planning and budgeting as it has fought the war for the past 10 years and is the primary force for national security during an era of persistent military engagement. The Marines, Navy, and other services will try to make the case for relevance as well. As the various armed services jockey for dwindling funds, the fragile Total Force architecture is in jeopardy. As the cornucopia of equipment and operational funds is at risk of drying up, it will no longer be as easy to champion jointness . With Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates wanting to reallocate $93 billion to other programs–and President Obama suggesting another $78 billion cut in defense over the next five years–all services risk pulling back behind their service ramparts. For example, the Army is looking at losing its major mission in Iraq. Indigenous leaders, such as radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, insist on total withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, which will likely make any withdrawal total. “Six billion dollars is the anticipated savings by reducing the size of the Active Army and Marine Corps starting in Fiscal Year 2015,” said Mr. Gates in a speech made in early January on department budget and efficiencies. “Under this plan, the U.S. Army’s permanent active-duty end-strength would decline by 27,000 troops, while the Marine Corps would decline by somewhere between fifteen to twenty thousand, depending on the outcome of their force structure review.” Additionally, the Army will cut another 22,000 temporary positions that will be unauthorized at the end of 2014. The Marines will point out to their Army brethren that the Army hasn’t fought the war on its own. Proportionately, more Marines have joined the fight than Soldiers. While the Army may have command over allied forces in Afghanistan, recently the theater has been primarily a Marine offensive. Currently, the United States is scheduled to exit the country in 2014. But the Marines fear that they have spent 10 years fighting a different type of war than they were intended to fight, and they 12 the are losing their expeditionary edge. Last June, the Marines, with the U.S. Navy, held a beach invasion exercise called Dawn Blitz 2010. Marine Corps Times described this two-week amphibious evolution held offshore of Camp Pendleton, Calif., as the first such exercise since combat operations began in Southwest Asia. Yet, it’s the Marines’ expeditionary capability that Mr. Gates suggests cutting. The Marine variant on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter was put on probation for cost overruns, delaying, if not ending, production. Mr. Gates wants to cancel the Marine expeditionary vehicle, which will leave the Marines with older, slower amphibious landing craft. Further, the procurement of a new class of prepositioned ships, which forwardly store battle gear and supplies, is being challenged. Ironically, on the same day that Mr. Gates announced cuts to U.S. Marine programs, he ordered an additional 1,400 Marines to Afghanistan. Meanwhile, the Navy has provided the greatest percentage of individual augmentees to backfill for Army and Air Force missions in current conflicts. “The Navy has 53,000 active and reserve Sailors continually deployed in support of the contingency operations overseas serving as members of carrier strike groups, expeditionary strike groups, Special Operating Forces, Seabee units, Marine forces, medical units, and as IAs [individual augmentees],” reported the Department of the Navy in 2010. “On the ground, our Navy has 12,300 active and reserve Sailors in Central Command supporting Navy, Joint Force and Combatant Commander requirements.” Nevertheless, the Navy is feeling insecure that these missions aren’t enough to justify operating its fleets. Mr. Gates has shown an inclination to fund those initiatives that contribute to the current conflicts. Current strategies leave the bulk of the Navy out. In 2007, the Navy included humanitarian missions as part of is maritime strategy to help offset its lack of warfighting opportunity. “[O]ur security and prosperity are linked to the security and prosperity of the world, and that preventing wars is just as important as winning wars,” ADM Gary Roughead, chief O fficer / M arch –a pril 2011

Naval Services Section

Marshall A. Hanson

Fight For FuNds <br /> <br /> Marines and Navy position themselves to fight for relevance while budgets decline.<br /> <br /> With the tightening of budgetary belts, chauvinism is on the rise within the Pentagon. The Army will undoubtedly argue that it is central to war planning and budgeting as it has fought the war for the past 10 years and is the primary force for national security during an era of persistent military engagement.The Marines, Navy, and other services will try to make the case for relevance as well. As the various armed services jockey for dwindling funds, the fragile Total Force architecture is in jeopardy.<br /> <br /> As the cornucopia of equipment and operational funds is at risk of drying up, it will no longer be as easy to champion jointness. With Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates wanting to reallocate $93 billion to other programs–and President Obama suggesting another $78 billion cut in defense over the next five years–all services risk pulling back behind their service ramparts.<br /> <br /> For example, the Army is looking at losing its major mission in Iraq. Indigenous leaders, such as radical cleric Muqtada al- Sadr, insist on total withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, which will likely make any withdrawal total.<br /> <br /> “Six billion dollars is the anticipated savings by reducing the size of the Active Army and Marine Corps starting in Fiscal Year 2015,” said Mr. Gates in a speech made in early January on department budget and efficiencies. “Under this plan, the U. S. Army’s permanent active-duty end-strength would decline by 27,000 troops, while the Marine Corps would decline by somewhere between fifteen to twenty thousand, depending on the outcome of their force structure review.” Additionally, the Army will cut another 22,000 temporary positions that will be unauthorized at the end of 2014.<br /> <br /> The Marines will point out to their Army brethren that the Army hasn’t fought the war on its own. Proportionately, more Marines have joined the fight than Soldiers. While the Army may have command over allied forces in Afghanistan, recently the theater has been primarily a Marine offensive. Currently, the United States is scheduled to exit the country in 2014.<br /> <br /> But the Marines fear that they have spent 10 years fighting a different type of war than they were intended to fight, and they are losing their expeditionary edge. Last June, the Marines, with the U.S. Navy, held a beach invasion exercise called Dawn Blitz 2010. Marine Corps Times described this two-week amphibious evolution held offshore of Camp Pendleton, Calif., as the first such exercise since combat operations began in Southwest Asia.<br /> <br /> Yet, it’s the Marines’ expeditionary capability that Mr. Gates suggests cutting. The Marine variant on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter was put on probation for cost overruns, delaying, if not ending, production. Mr. Gates wants to cancel the Marine expeditionary vehicle, which will leave the Marines with older, slower amphibious landing craft. Further, the procurement of a new class of prepositioned ships, which forwardly store battle gear and supplies, is being challenged.<br /> <br /> Ironically, on the same day that Mr. Gates announced cuts to U. S. Marine programs, he ordered an additional 1,400 Marines to Afghanistan.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, the Navy has provided the greatest percentage of individual augmentees to back fill for Army and Air Force missions in current conflicts. “The Navy has 53,000 active and reserve Sailors continually deployed in support of the contingency operations overseas serving as members of carrier strike groups, expeditionary strike groups, Special Operating Forces, Seabee units, Marine forces, medical units, and as Ias [individual augmentees],” reported the Department of the Navy in 2010. “On the ground, our Navy has 12,300 active and reserve Sailors in Central Command supporting Navy, Joint Force and Combatant Commander requirements.” <br /> <br /> Nevertheless, the Navy is feeling insecure that these missions aren’t enough to justify operating its fleets. Mr. Gates has shown an inclination to fund those initiatives that contribute to the current conflicts. Current strategies leave the bulk of the Navy out. In 2007, the Navy included humanitarian missions as part of is maritime strategy to help offset its lack of war fighting opportunity.<br /> <br /> “[O]ur security and prosperity are linked to the security and prosperity of the world, and that preventing wars is just as important as winning wars,” ADM Gary Roughead, chief Of Naval Operations (CNO), told Congress in 2007. “Building on relationships forged in times of calm, these relationships establish cooperation, common operating procedures, and trust. While we have consistently proven that we can surge materiel and people anywhere in the world in times of crisis, the one thing we cannot surge is trust. We will continue to mitigate human suffering as the vanguard of interagency and multinational efforts, both in a deliberate, proactive fashion and in response to crises.” <br /> <br /> The threat of China also is more prominent in the Navy’s maritime strategy. The battle for Taiwan and the access to international waters in the South China Sea gives further reason for a strong U.S. fleet. However, despite China’s buildup of its navy, the U.S. Navy’s warnings seemed like saber rattling, with the State Department—and even the Secretary of Defense— visiting China in ongoing efforts to seek a diplomatic solution, rather than investing in preparedness.<br /> <br /> The Navy has already taken revolutionary steps to save money: <br /> <br /> It retired ships early to reduce manpower. The littoral combat ship, which will eventually be one-sixth of the fleet, will provide a modular, focused-mission design offering war fighting capabilities at a lower cost. The change from a “deploy-refit-train-deploy” cycle to a “next-to-deploy” surge approach instituted by the previous CNO, ADM Vern Clark, not only increased efficiency, but provided justification to reduce the number of aircraft carriers.<br /> <br /> In a political environment of reduction, to cut further, the Navy will face fewer steaming hours and will be pressured to reduce forward deployment of naval assets in a “world without peer competitors.” <br /> <br /> In addition, with Congress guided by the Quadrennial Defense Review premise that the United States need only prepare for the current irregular warfare and theoretical threat needs not be resourced, strategic thinking will continue to focus on smaller land threats rather than threats from the sea.Yet, the majority of the world’s energy supplies and more than 90 percent of its commerce will continue to be transported across the oceans.<br /> <br /> Much as ROA addressed the China threat (The Officer July–August 2005) two years before the Pentagon publically acknowledged its growing concern, over the next few issues, ROA will look at the rising threats and shifting global balance, which require a strong Navy and an amphibiously capable Marine Corps. The Officer readers are encouraged to submit articles about suggested areas of concern.<br /> <br /> Lost may be re-found Law of the sea treaty may resurface.<br /> <br /> The successful Senate ratification of the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty in December’s lame duck session signals an opportunity to consider other treaties that have been pending action. Treaties in line for Senate approval include the International Law of the Sea Treaty (also known as the Convention on the Law of the Sea), the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, the Ban on Landmines Treaty, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women Treaty.<br /> <br /> Law of the Sea was endorsed by the 2010 Department of Defense Quadrennial Defense Review and backed by both the chairman Sen. John Kerry (D–Mass.) And ranking member Sen. Richard Lugar (R–Ind.) Of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee. They may again try to advance the Law of the Sea for a vote on the Senate floor as they did in 2004 and 2007.<br /> <br /> ROA resolution 10-4 states that the U.S. Senate “deny ratification of the Law of the Sea Treaty,” making this association one of the few military service organizations to come out against the accord. However, the Obama administration supports ratification of the bill, as do Chief of Naval Operations ADM Gary Roughead and past Commandant of the Coast Guard ADM Thad Allen.<br /> <br /> While ROA does not disagree with codification of the articles sought by the sea services, it feels that the Law of the Sea Treaty is too complex, as it includes articles that impact the economy and the environment, with the treaty covering seabed mining, navigation, fishing, ocean pollution, marine research, economic zones, and, in turn, national security. “The treaty does not introduce any new protections for safe navigation on the high seas, but can introduce new risks that could impact the sovereignty over and the economy supported by the sea,” states ROA’s resolution. —MAH

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