U.S.Navy's Atlantic Fleet Submarine Force Commander Says That Russia And China's Ballistic Missile Submarine Development Will Impact How The U.S. Deploys Its Fleet
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|U.S.Navy Photo of Russian Navy Northern Fleet DELTA IV class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarin|
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According to an article in MIlitary.com by by Kris Osborn: "The Navy’s top Atlantic Submarine Force commander said Thursday that Russia and China’s ballistic missile submarine development will impact how the U.S deploys its fleet."
About that we have no doubt. We also have no doubt that under the Obama Administration U.S. naval strength continues its free fall at a time when naval challenges are rising including not one but two potentially hostile peer fleets one of which is numerically superior though lagging in quality. Now in addition to demands on our fleet in the Middle East, the China Seas disputes, Russian challenges in the High Arctic, lets add this new home guard issue. Through out the cold war one of the major force multipliers in our anti submarine efforts was the U.S.Coast Guard.Coast Guard Hamilton Class high endurance cutters and a number of other high to medium endurance cutters carried sonar and anti submarine warfare (ASW) ordinance. After the fall of the Berlin Wall with the congress clamoring for a "peace dividend" all of the armed forces including the tiny multimission Coast Guard were expected to sacrifice funds for Congressional vote buying social programs. The Coast Guard jettisoned anti submarine warfare. The ASW weaponry was removed from the ships that had it and the ASW pertinent rates were disestablished. There hasn't been a Coast Guardsman in Sonar Operator school since the wall came down. Some pretty credible ASW equipment does lend itself to "plug and play" and the Coast Guard's new National Security Class Cutters, and a number of other classes of Coast Guard vessels can probably find space and electricity to run some minimal ASW detection and destruction equipment. But the Coast Guard needs Congressional authorization and funding. We do not propose resurrection of the of the Coast Guard ASW mission in lieu of Naval ASW force growth. But given the budget crisis, cost of plug and play ASW gear compared to the number of built from scratch ships required ; the Coast Guard offers at least something of a home guard that is deployable forward, and a credible partial deterrent almost immediately and for comparatively low cost.
We are in the early stages of a global naval chess game being imposed on us by two rising powers who aspire to superpower status and seek to be the sole superpower on the planet. At the moment China and Russia are more like fellow travelers than true allies, they have serious border issues and competition, but both want to eclipse the United states, neither wants to fill the resulting vacuum with a partner. Both are rapidly building large highly sophisticated navies while we are busy shrinking our own. Worse our usual allies such as Great Britain, Canada, Australia and other parts of the Anglosphere are shrinking theirs as well. Japan is threatened by the Chinese navy directly as is building up her Maritime Self Defense Force, but constitutional restraints limit the types of ships she can build and strictly limit the services role to defense of the nation. Japan can not join presently in collective defensive arrangements with such nations as the Philippines. Around the world free peoples are being challenged by the old Dragon and the Bear once again. At the moment in time when we most need a strong U.S. Navy/Marine Corps/Coast Guard our lack of adult leadership in Congress and the White House has put the U.S. naval establishment on the ropes. The U.S. media either doesn't understand the issues, doesn't care, or prefers to live under the jack boot of foreign powers. Every American needs to understand how seapower is used, even short of open hostilities to effect and control the sea lines of communication and gain economic ascendency. Forcing our shrinking fleet to track and deter submarines with missiles capable of destroying our cities means that we are more likely to not have the right kind and number of naval forces to deter aggression where the Dragon or Bear really want to apply it such as in taking islands from the Philippines and Japan, expanding and enforcing their claims in the Arctic, or causing mischief in the Mediterranean or Black Seas where we are already dangerously weak.
HERE IS A LINK TO THE RECENT MILITARY .COM ARTICLE BY KRIS OSBORN