From the monthly archives:

September 2013

The USN and Long-Term Strategy

by admin on September 30, 2013

Failure to tether the U.S. Navy to a clear, large-scale and long-term strategy has reduced overall naval effectiveness as a strategic asset, raising a risk of the fleet being frittered away in activities that do not directly support strong strategic (longer-term)  national objectives. (For background go here, here, and here) In years past, the Navy fought […]


Why Fred Harris Matters

by admin on September 24, 2013

I am surprised to see Fred Harris’ ascent to the helm of both NASSCO and Bath Ironworks pass with so little comment beyond the specialist press.  For the Navy, Mr. Harris matters.  He matters a lot–so his promotion cannot pass without note. Mr. Harris is a great shipbuilder, and he has done a wonderful job […]

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What happens when U.S. Navy priorities, Department of Defense priorities and and the Obama Administration’s National Interests are misaligned?  And what are the implications when the differing priorities each suggest a very, very different future for the Navy? There is a dilemma afoot here.  Think back to why the Navy lost the fight to keep […]


There is nothing inherent in the Chinese Navy that makes their fleet more successful than anybody else’s in the world.  By rights, the PLA(N) shouldn’t move the needle; the Chinese Navy is growing, but it is still small, relatively low-tech and untested.  It’s just that the Chinese government has, for the past quarter-century, used their […]


While naval analysts love to compare raw naval power between navies (hull numbers, ship types, gun calibers, etc.), relative assessments of tactical naval performance or strategic effectiveness are harder to come by. Static, hull-based capability measurements are less controversial and far more comforting–I mean, policymakers have been comparing ships and fleet size since Athens first […]


A National Security Strategy is, by nature, a selfish document. If there is a place for timorous national security bureaucrats to embrace their inner Theodore Roosevelt, the National Security Strategy is it. We compose a national strategy because this is where we, as Americans, explain how we intend to secure the survival of the United States. But, […]


MV-22 Osprey as Firefighter: Does it Work?

by admin on September 3, 2013

As California strives to fully contain the Rim Fire–now the 4th largest wildfire in California history–it might be edifying to revisit the progress MV-22 has made in integrating with likely Homeland Security/Disaster Response/Humanitarian Missions on the homefront.  We will start with firefighting–can the Osprey fight fires? Asking the question: A few years ago, I wrote […]


MV-22 Osprey Hits Turbulence

by admin on September 1, 2013

The MV-22 Program Office is on an emotional roller-coaster. Early this summer, things were going well.  The Pentagon inked a big Osprey block-buy.  Sales to Japan and Israel are anticipated.  A big Japanese deployment is underway. But then the Program looses two airframes in two months and gets hit with an IG report trenchant enough to […]