Thursday, March 26, 2009

Naval Hearings, The Ships, The Crews and The Mission in The 21st Century

Several of my blog friends have posts up commenting on the testimony that Thomas Barnett gave before the Seapower and Expeditionary Forces Subcommittee, of the House Armed Services Committee today.

Barnett's opening remark in part:

It is my sense that the current naval leadership views the global environment with great accuracy, understanding its service role to be one of balancing between four strategic tasks: a) sensibly hedging against the slim possibility of great-power war; b) preparing the force for high-end combat operations against a regional rogue power armed with nascent nuclear weapons capacity; c) supporting/conducting ground operations in the struggle against violent extremism; and d) improving maritime governance and security in those regions where today it remains virtually non-existent (e.g., most of Africa's coastline). Using the vernacular of my published works*, I consider the first two tasks (great-power war, war against regional rogues) to fall under the rubric of America's Leviathan** or big-war force, while the latter two tasks (struggle against extremism, extending governance) define the growing portfolio of our nation's System Administrator* or small-wars force.

I will defer to link the previous posts by Mark of Zenpundit who offers this, Barnett in the House!

And from Galrahn of Information Dissemination, who was present to observe the testimony and offer this astute view.HASC Seapower and Expeditionary Forces Subcommittee Hearing and from his blog collegue, the custodian, HASC Hearing Too.

As this was going on, The Bellum: A Stanford Review Blog. posted this about, Chinese Military Spending: Surprise, Surprise.

Highlights include:

Historian Williamson Murray wrote in Orbis last year: “The great difficulty Americans will face in this century lies in their inability to understand the fundamental drives of those in the external world.” The alarm with which the mainstream media has greeted the release of the Pentagon’s annual report on the Chinese military, which shows increased defense spending and continued investment in “disruptive” technologies, confirms Professor Murray’s thesis on a variety of levels.

The staff of Bellum offer these biting comments.

First, our national economic policy is geared to making China an equal, yet we freak out at the result.

Second, our diplomacy has essentially accepted that Taiwan is part of “one China,” yet we similarly freak out at the result.

Third, spheres of influence may be unfashionable in elite circles, but outside of Europe most of the world powers see things by the old rules.
Finally, no defense analyst should be surprised by the conclusions of the report.
It is worth the timely click to check out this insightful post.
It strikes me as more than coincidental that reports like the DOD's surface as hearing are being held to determine the future of the Navies, defense-industrial procurement cycle.

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