U.S. Navy Ships: Why We Need More!

As we watched the Navy ships count shrink year by year we began to wonder, who was going to mind the store? President Ronald Reagan had a vision of a 600 ship Navy to meet the two ocean commitments of the United States. Then the USSR fell and there was a rush to cash in on the Peace Dividend. The Peace Dividend is a political slogan popularized by US President George H.W. Bush and UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the early 1990’s, purporting to describe the economic benefit of a decrease in defense spending. Well, the world has not changed. It is as hostile to us now as it was in the 80’s. How much Navy do we need? More than 350 ships, for sure.

110410-N-IC111-058 PACIFIC OCEAN (April 10, 2011) The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) and ships from the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group and the Indian navy transit the Pacific Ocean during the conclusion of Exercise MALABAR, a bilateral training operation with the Indian navy. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kevin B. Gray/Released)
PACIFIC OCEAN (April 10, 2011) The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) and ships from the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group and the Indian navy transit the Pacific Ocean during the conclusion of Exercise MALABAR, a bilateral training operation with the Indian navy. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kevin B. Gray/Released)

BY ED MORRISSEY AT HOT AIR:

US Navy: Say, maybe we do need a few new ships.

Critics have long claimed that the US Navy’s size has shrunk too low, the victim of short-sighted post-Cold War calculations and a lack of investment. Yesterday, the Chief of Naval Operations finally agreed. Speaking at an event in Washington, Admiral John Richardson told his audience that the rise of Russia and the spread of ISIS will take a larger force than planners envisioned:

The U.S. Navy will likely increase its requirement for a 308-ship fleet given the rapidly changing world security situation, including the U.S. battle against Islamic State, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson said on Thursday.

Richardson said the Navy was reviewing an assessment completed in 2012 and updated in 2014, before Russia’s reemergence as a “global power competitor,” and the start of the U.S.-led campaign to defeat Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria.

“I would bet a paycheck that it’s going to be a number greater than 308 ships, just by virtue of the additive nature of the complexity and the contestants that are confronting us right now,” Richardson told an event hosted by Washington defense consultant Jim McAleese and Credit Suisse.

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