Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Selling the Sub Force

(Crossposted from Unconsidered Trifles) Bubblehead has an intriguing, thought-provoking posting about the Navy's new shipbuilding "vision". It includes a glimpse as to what might be the future of the surface navy as well as some grim news for the submarine force.

His post--as well as a conversation with another former submariner visiting for the USNA stampede over Army (LOL)--has got me thinking...

...thinking some pretty heretical thoughts for a submariner, that is.

Let me just put it out there as a question: What if the submarine force simply looked at the writing on the wall and raised it's hand and said: "You know what? We're not up to the job. Our ability to contribute to the War on Terror, though valuable in some ways, is extremely limited. At the end of the day we admit: you don't need fifty or even forty subs designed to be SEAL delivery vehicles."

The Sub Force would then say (in my hypothetical conversation): "So, we propose instead that you consider very carefully that terrorists are not our only enemies. And that it would be a dire mistake to be caught unguarded against, say, a Chinese naval/submarine threat or another Korean war, or Iran's reconstituted Russian diesel fleet."

Here, then, is my question for my fellow sub bloggers (& admittedly I am undecided how best to respond to this):

Wouldn't it be better if the Sub Force justified its existence based on some other--more traditional, blue-water ASW--threat than to try to be "sexy" for the war on terror?


At 9:33 AM, Blogger Clay said...

You 'Phins are vital, but your primary opponent is the dragon, and he's a decade or so away. He's coming, that much is clear, but he's "far off" in DC-logic.

As I said - you're vital for shutting down the SLOCs that the Chins will depend on - the Str. of Malacca especially, as well as the approaches to it in the Indian Ocean, plus other chokepoints in the PacRim.

I wish the CNO would drop this fetish with stealth destroyers that run 3 bills a pop and get us more decks out there. More Burkes can't run THAT expensive, and if we can keep a damned technology secret from the Chins, we might be able to uparmor the Burkes electronically.

If I'm the CNO, I want my 688s back, I want more Burkes, more Ticos, no more CVs, and an enalrged Marine Corps.

At 11:55 AM, Blogger Vigilis said...

WS, your points are certainly accurate. In my opinion, the Force is now so downtrodden its current leaders must go-along to get-along and would have to sacrifice careers to advocate such positions, hypothetical or not.

Why don't we have mavericks of the past? USNA is part of the problem, but the nuclear-only route (for officers) is the larger issue. Sub officers are consummate rule followers and that is precisely what the current culture rewards. It must change.

Bolder men will reappear when needed, but we will need to adopt UK submarine officer policy first.

At 3:35 PM, Blogger WillyShake said...

Hey guys, be sure to read the comments left by Alex N. and Chapomatic on this topic over at my blog HERE.


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