The First Fight For Trump’s Fleet Will Be Domestic

July 10, 2017

Under President Trump’s new SECNAV, the Navy’s first fight will be domestic. Shortly after confirmation, SECNAV Richard V. Spencer will purge the Fleet of some politically and societally-challenging ship names. Count on it. Purveyors of routine DC conventional wisdom may scoff, but a renaming campaign before the 2018 Midterm Elections is inevitable. And it won’t […]

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Talking Taiwan Security at the Hudson Institute

June 30, 2017

The indefatigable Seth Cropsey over at Hudson Institute for American Seapower had me stop by to chat about Taiwan security issues. Despite the heat, it was a good time. Here’s the talk: My fellow panelists and I earned Hudson a little bit of coverage from Seapower Magazine. My takeaway quote there was this: Craig Hooper, […]

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President Trump’s 350 Ship Fleet (Update II)

June 24, 2017

President Trump can get a 350-ship fleet by the next election. Back in November 2016, I sketched out a rapid path for 350 ships. It was built around my central thesis–that the Navy and New SECNAV had to be near to 350 by 2020. There’s still a lot of folks-who-should-know-better who believe President Trump’s promise […]

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Another Mishap: The Wreck of the USS Fitzgerald

June 19, 2017

So the USS Fitzgerald got holed by a freighter. It is unfortunate and tragic that sailors lost their lives. The survivors managed to save their ship–carrying out the mission they’re trained to do, and the Navy, from the CNO down, did a good job of keeping everyone informed. These things happen. Coupled with efforts to […]

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The Reserve Fleet Won’t Make 350

June 13, 2017

In the race to a 350-ship Navy, all eyes are on the mothball fleet. According to the CNO, at a War College speech, reactivation proposals are being mulled for about eight of the twenty-two Oliver Hazard Perry Class Frigates in layup. I’d assume similar proposals are focused on the two “surplus” T-AOEs (Bridge and Rainer) […]

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Yes, Small Boats Are Useful In the High-End Fight

March 26, 2017

The prospect of high-end maritime warfare is no excuse to forget everything about low-end conflict and shrug off the valid, real-world lessons gleaned from gritty, grinding low-end sea conflicts like, oh, the Sri Lankan small-boat war. Sri Lanka demonstrated that small boats are critical in the low-end fight and suggested that they might be darned […]

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President Trump, Nominate A SECNAV ASAP

March 19, 2017

One of the biggest frustrations I have with White House staff (of any party) is that moment when happy West Wing “warrior functionaries” get drunk on their power and start micro-managing, inserting themselves too deeply in obscure Department of Defense operations than is politically healthy. Despite anything the underestimated White House powerbroker Rick Dearborn says […]

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Osprey Down: Learning From Another Hard Landing

February 5, 2017

Last week America lost an MV-22 Osprey, a Special Operator and, in addition, had several servicemen injured in a bungled “fishing expedition” in Yemen. What can we learn from this? Details are trickling out, but regardless of their veracity (first reports are often wrong, and there’s always a lot of CYA in this sort of […]

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The Next SECNAV Is…Philip Bilden!

January 27, 2017

The next SECNAV is going to be “off-the-radar” financier Philip Bilden. Mr. Bilden will be taking on an important post–he’ll run the tip of the spear of any kinetic (and some non-kinetic!) actions the Trump Administration might consider, leading service honored with a Trump-promised 350 ship goal, and his tenure will be blessed with a host […]

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Mulling Bath’s “Bad” Bid

January 19, 2017

Reports claim that General Dynamics Bath Ironworks is trying to force the Navy to grant it a cost-plus contract to build the initial Flight III DDG-51 destroyer. The cost-plus request is a real head-scratcher for observers–and it is an action that should concern every Blue-Water Navalist out there. Obviously, a cost-plus proposal is a pretty […]

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