Editor's Note 1/10/2017 James C. Bennett writing in the January 2017 issue of the U.S. Naval Institute's PROCEEDINGS describes the details of a plan for what the Great Catfish has been advocating since April of 2013. The article is titled ALL THE QUEEN'S SHIPS and may be found at page 42. or online @ http://www.usni.org/magazines/proceedings/2017-01/all-queens-ships
Editor's Note 2/5/2015: Since this was published ISIS has arisen in the Middle East and the Islamic Global Jihad has engulfed Europe as Muslims demand the legal and cultural surrender of Western nations through a combination of political and terrorist means under the banner of freedom of religion of Islamic immigrants. The extraordinary social aggression and periodic outbreaks of violence by immigrant Muslim populations in the West and the extraordinary brutality of ISIS has distracted the West from the naval depredations of Russia and China, these continue unchecked just as Namazu described them in 2013, Meanwhile the U.S. Navy is strained by continuous deployment providing sea interdiction and air cover in the efforts against ISIS. Despite the distractions we think the idea of the Great Catfish expressed in this post is valid, timely, and necessary to the survival of Western civilization.
NAMAZU COMPLETES HIS ADDRESS TO THE ENGLISH SPEAKING WORLD
|NAMAZU, GIANT 3,000 YEAR OLD JAPANESE CATFISH AND FORMER DEMIGOD, NOW AMERICAN ADMIRALTY BOOKS BEST KNOWN ANALYST AND COMMENTATOR
Greetings English speaking bipeds. I just write the text I don't dream up the headlines. Our Chief editor Johnas Presbyter wrote that headline which is, I suppose accurate, in a fashion. This essay is the last in the series that I began months ago under the banner "NAMAZU ADDRESSES THE ENGLISH SPEAKING PEOPLES". Over the last few months I tried to give you a very detailed look at the growing sea power arrayed against the West and allied nations, and a detailed insight into the potential for combined strength by forming a core English speaking naval union. I provided a lot of details on individual navies and Coast Guards from Canada to Australia. I also tried to provide you with a lot of details on the Chinese Navy and evolving Chinese Coast Guard and the evil designs the Dragon has for these forces. Unfortunately, absent the assistance of a full blown research staff I found I could not produce such details and make the points I wished to make faster than China could exhibit new misbehavior. History is over taking me so I'm throwing in the towel and going straight to the conclusion, skipping a lot of the detail.
For those of you who love detail as I do, please write our Chief Editor Johnas Presbyter and tell him you support my request for a real research staff. I'm a former demigod, I'm used to being assisted by able minions. I need my minions if I am to bring you the detail you crave faster than events can over run my nearly infallible predictions. Really, how much can a cube farm of young liberal arts majors with computers run? Tell Johnas to quit trying to get by on the cheap, but I digress, back to our subject.
In a nut shell Iran is building up its sea power and threatening the world's oil supply at the Strait of Hormuz. Despite the fact that Iran's navy has in fact participated in counter piracy activity the pirates operate to Iran's advantage in threatening the Strait since they draw quite a bit of naval effort in their own right, and they draw it away from the Strait . Russia is on the rise again and building sea power especially in the High Arctic where its territorial claims bump up against near by neighbors connected to NATO. Their activities also impinge directly on the United States and Canada. This year, as Russia is so clearly demonstrating to the United States that it needs a robust year round U.S. Coast Guard presence in the High Arctic, the Coast Guard budget is being cut right along with that of the U.S. Navy.
The British fleet, which once ruled the waves, has shrunk so much that it has fallen off the radar scope as one of the world's larger navies, being supplanted by the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force, a competent and sizable force but self limited to defensive type ships operating no air craft carriers, or similar "attack" type warships. Japan is predicted to be overtaken by the Indian Navy which already competently operates air craft carriers and missile launching submarines. The good news about India is tempered by the facts that the Indian Navy; one of the few naval forces actually growing among democratic nations, largely an English speaking Navy, ready and capable of joint operations with Great Britain, the United States, Australia, Canada, South Africa, and others; has been pretty much non aligned since the Cold War.
China has built a navy that some think may actually number 930 ships. Many of these Chinese ships would be of very limited utility outside the relatively confined waters of the China Seas. But they make it very difficult for the U.S., the Philippines, and Japan to police the China seas which the Chinese claim as closed waters belonging to them like a lake all the way out from the Chinese mainland to the "First Island Chain", some of which you could throw rocks at from the beaches of the Philippines. The U.S.Navy, the world's most technologically advanced is now down to a little over 200 war ships and falling. Every other English speaking navy and Coast Guard is under a budget ax just when the enemies of freedom are taking to sea.
With the U.S.Navy committed around the globe there is no option of concentrating power beyond a certain point in any one trouble spot. Our technologically superior war ships when mixed in with those of our various regional allies have been a fairly effective deterrent against most trouble. But if the US has to face a serious naval threat from a nation state rival like China, the US is in a poor position. China has used veiled threats of nuclear retaliation against our ally Australia if their fleet comes to our assistance in a naval war in the China Seas. India may well decide to sit on the fence if things come to blows as China continues to try and wrest territory from Japan and the Philippines. China may not have any units as capable as a U.S. carrier task force, but sometimes "quantity has a quality all its own." That was the lesson of the Bismark where a group of older and smaller British ships ganged up on the battle star of the day, and while suffering casualties including the sinking of the HMS HOOD brought the BISMARK to the bottom of the sea like a pack of wolves on a lone buffalo. The democratic states, especially the English speaking democracies are being challenged for control of the seas by people who dislike the concept of freedom of navigation.
Great Britain is an island nation and introduced the world to the concept of freedom of navigation. There was a time when every British subject knew how dependent they were on the sea for the British economy. If we had to judge by the size of their navy and merchant marine today it is not so clear that there is any widespread public understanding of their sea dependency today. The United States which occupies the length and half the breath of an entire continent is dependent on sea transport for 66 of 77 strategic materials vital to the US economy. Canada is in similar shape, Australia and New Zealand even more sea dependent. Yet in each of these nations naval budgets have been shrinking since the end of the Cold War and continue to shrink.
Hear me English speaking bipeds and lovers of freedom everywhere. You are now in a two front naval Cold War. The Bear wants all the subsurface treasures of the Far North, and the Dragon wants all of the Far East and they both are pursuing this offshore avarice through naval means. No conquering army is going to cross your beaches, you won't notice your form of government change, but you are headed for poverty and chains none the less. These ascending naval powers are not ideology driven this time. Both the Bear and the Dragon have shifted from Communism, though one retains the party apparatus, to thug state/crony capitalism. Once they rule the seas they will decide which of those 66 strategic materials you get, what you will do with them, and what prices you will charge. Western living standards will plummet. Once the Bear and the Dragon rule the seas you will not be able to challenge them, and neither will your children. But it is not too late.
The English speaking democracies still have the naval lead collectively, and the necessary linguistic, cultural, and naval cultural similarity to meet the challenge collectively and win.
What is needed is a grand English speaking naval union around which the other democratic powers in any region can organize when necessary. The United States Navy's air craft carrier tasks forces and missile carrying submarines are the technological center piece that will keep the English speaking naval union technologically ahead for decades. But the sheer numbers of U.S. Navy warships will probably continue to decline as the US economy continues to labor under it crushing debt and incredibly inept governance. The United States must reverse the fortunes of both its Navy and Coast Guard and build up their fleets.
Canada must build up its fleet as well and arm its Coast Guard especially in the High Arctic. Great Britain must try to get her hull count up to pre- Falkland strength.
The Bahamas, Belize, and other small English speaking democracies must develop completely self sufficient Coast Guards and try to contribute to the larger union fleet some smaller craft such as mine sweepers and coastal patrol craft. The South African navy needs to expand to be able to project power or civil relief half way up the African continent on both the Atlantic and Pacific side as well as control the seas off the Horn.
New Zealand must understand that it is dependent on the rest of the English speaking world's Navies for survival if things go truly hostile and open itself up to hosting the war ships of every English speaking navy without questioning what type of arms they are carrying. Australia must stop its own decline in naval strength. Finally the entire English speaking world needs to approach India and come to terms that would bring the Tigers into the fold. India lives in a very rough neighborhood. She has an emerging economy and is far from having lifted the majority of her population out of poverty. Yet India has decided very wisely to fund a very serious navy.
In WWII one of the allies' greatest weaknesses was their relative lack of naval power in the Indian Ocean. Today we have the world's largest democracy operating what will soon be the fourth or fifth largest navy in the world on that ocean. It is basically an English speaking navy steeped in both Indian and British naval tradition and exceedingly competent. At the moment it is operating a mix of ships acquired all over the world including Russia but starting to replace the aging parts of the fleet with the excellent products of their own industry. Yet this nation is basically non aligned, neutral towards the rest of the democracies. The English speaking world must do everything in its power to bring India into the fold.
The best way to do that is to trust them to be the chief enforcer of international law and freedom of navigation on the Indian Ocean. The English speaking nations must back up India's natural desire to be the overwhelmingly dominant naval power in the Indian Ocean. The English speaking nations must help India acquire a fleet that is especially inter-operable with the British, American, and Australian ships and task forces, not because we want them to join in our campaigns outside of the Indian Ocean but to ease our ability to back them up in the Indian Ocean if the need arises. What the English speaking world and free world generally need from India is a reliable sheriff for the Indian Ocean, The west needs that off its to do list if we are to break the naval backs of the Dragon and the Bear. India has to understand that naval dominance by the Bear and the Dragon means economic slavery for them, as well as the rest of the world.
The goal is to end the Naval Cold War the same way the first Cold War ended, by breaking the bank of the thug powers. The keys are team work and bringing the Tigers into the Western camp. China has only two real allies and both are unstable North Korea and Iran.
Russia has pretty much scared the crap out of its neighbors including China. They may both want to crush the United States but they aren't exactly reliable allies. By contrast the English speaking nations are formal allies and cultural cousins in many ways who have been able to rely on each other over the last 100 years without fail. If the English speaking navies can form into a cohesive fleet able to reliably move in any one direction at once and constantly re-enforce each other and willingly place national units under the command seeking re-enforcement a fleet second to none can be built and organized at a price that won't break any one nation's budget. But China and Russia won't be able to surpass such a fleet without spending themselves out of existence.
The Soviet union was never beaten or even joined in battle by the West, it simply went broke trying to keep up the arms race. The English Speaking World has real allies among powerful non English speaking nations because when it ruled the seas as it still does, it ruled benignly, encouraging order, freedom of navigation, free trade, and safety. Everyone knows the Dragon and the Bear don't have that in mind, so they have no real allies. If the English speaking nations unite in a virtual naval union , especially if India can at least be converted into a dedicated partner in the same goals, other non English speaking naval states that already cooperate with, or are bound to English speaking naval powers by formal defense treaty will rally to the naval union flag. In short united we can rule the seas on a budget. The Dragon and the Bear can not. If they try for very long one or both will again go the way of the Soviet Union. Thankfully, the other major irritant of the Western World, the Islamic Terrorists aren't real naval powers. But while the West has been focused on them it seems to miss what is going on at sea with the Dragon and the Bear. As I have said before. English speaking bipeds hang together or surely you will all hang separately!
I can't say that I will speak no more on this, because the Dragon and the Bear make news almost daily with their maritime territory grabbing activities. But I will never again attempt a series of articles detailing all of the minute facts related to such a large theme unless or until Johnas gives me my minions. Use the comment section to convince Johnas to spring for a cube farm of computer armed liberal arts majors for me. Thank you!