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Is the USN Obsolete

Is the USN Obsolete

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Published by: oblivionboyj on Aug 02, 2009
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02/07/2013

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Is the US Navy Overrated?
 A Discussion Paper
DRAFT: 15.5B
 The US Navy is the largest, most impressive navy in the world, but is it really undefeatable? (Some Disconfirming Findings)
 An Updated Knightsbridge Working Paper
Copyright 2005 By Roger Thompson, Professor of Military Studies, Knightsbridge University
This is a draft. Do not quote without permission from the author. The opinions expressed hereinare those of the author, and are not to be construed as the opinions of Knightsbridge University.This is a work in progress and supercedes all previous versions. Former US Navy submariner Dr. Robert Williscroft cited an earlier version of this paper in hisarticle“Is the Nuclear SubmarineReally Invincible?” DefenseWatch, Oct. 4, 2004.
cknowledgements
I would like to thank Dr. Andy Karam, former US Navy nuclear submariner and author of thebook Rig Ship for Ultra Quiet; Captain John L. Byron, US Navy (retired), former nuclear submarine commander; Dr. Robert Williscroft, former US Navy Nuclear Submarine officer;Colonel Douglas Macgregor, US Army (Retired), author of the book Breaking the Phalanx;Lieutenant Colonel David Evans, USMC (Retired), former Military Correspondent for the ChicagoTribune; Rear-Admiral Fred Crickard, RCN (Retired); Jon E. Dougherty, investigative journalistand former US Naval Reserve sailor; Squadron Leader J. R. Sampson, RAAF (Retired); Henrik
 
Fyrst Kristensen; Carlton Meyer, former USMC officer and Editor of G2mil Magazine; and Dr.Emilio Meneses (who provided me with much information on exercises between the Chilean Air Force/Navy and the US Navy), for their input, comments, suggestions, and constructivecriticisms of earlier versions of this paper. I would also like to thank Captain Dean Knuth, USNaval Reserve (Retired) for providing me with background information on the sinking of twoaircraft carriers in Exercise Ocean Venture 81 and for reviewing the section titled “David vs.Goliath”,Colonel Everest Riccioni, USAF (Retired), the father of the F-16 fighter program, andLt. Col. Pierre Rochefort, Canadian Forces (Retired) for their advice on fighter combat, Major Lew Ferris, Canadian Forces (Retired) and Major Leif Wadelius, Canadian Forces (Retired) for their advice on ASW matters, Lieutenant Commander Aidan Talbott, RN, for his comparisons of the US Navy and the RN, and Captain JanNordenman, Royal Swedish Navy (Retired) for information on Swedish diesel submarines. My special thanks also go to Dr. Debora Shuger of the UCLA English Department, who kindly gave permission to use her late husband ScottShuger’s unpublished book manuscript Navy Yes, Navy No. Finally, I offer my thanks to all myother sources, who will remain safely anonymous, for their generous assistance.
“The power of the United States in the early twenty-first century is greatly overrated. It is true that it deploys amazing cultural,economic, and military resources, but their efficacy is very limited. Culturally, there is no instrumental power. Economically,U.S. power is awesome and is very good for forcing bad deals on Third World countries, yet it too is difficult to bring to bearconsistently and directly, especially on the other great powers. And the United States is as dependent on the world economy asthe world economy is dependent on it.
But it is in terms of military power that the United States is mostoverrated
.” (emphasis mine).
Professor Chris Hables Gray, 2005
 As far as his comments in general, he feels that the Navy systems are oversold, overpriced, and undercapable
.
He is generally more pleased with the Air Force, but sprinkled criticism of usrather freely.
” – Major General Perry M. Smith, USAF (Retired), reading his notes on a 1974 jobinterview with Secretary of Defense Dr. James Schlesinger.
 
Dedication
Let me begin by stating that the US Navy is an important fighting organization, but it is not aperson. It is not the flag, and it is nobody’s mother or child. It is an employer of hundreds of thousands of people, but importantly, one that has extracted billions of dollars from thetaxpayers. It is not a religion, it is not sacred, and as such, it can and must be subjected torigorous criticism when warranted. It is in the spirit of sincere and constructive criticism that Iwrite this paper. I say this because, despite good intentions, and extensive documentedevidence, often provided by current or former US Navy officers who want to turn thisorganization around, there are some who are apparently incapable of engaging in constructivebut intellectually honest discussion on their current or former service. To these folks, the USNavy
is
America, and to criticize the former is to mock the latter. I dismiss this paradigm, alongwith any and all counterarguments that are based on emotion, hyperbole, willful ignorance,fideism, that rely on the
 Ad Hominem Abusive
, the
 Ad Hominem Circumstantial 
,
IgnoratioElenchi 
, those without specific and documented countervailing arguments (in other words, thosebased on assumed facts that are not in evidence, better known as the old “I think you took thesestatements out of context, but I cannot rebut them because I do not know the actual context, andbasically I do not like your argument so I am just grasping at straws to deflate it” gambit), andthose based on disingenuous and unauthenticated contumacy or prevaricating bromides that donot wash with reality, common sense, or precedent.In this age of rampant jingoism in the US, in which even the most thoughtful and well-reasonedcriticism of the US military is sometimes inexplicably equated with contempt or polemicaldisrespect, some reactionaries might even go so far as to claim a paper such as this must ipsofacto be tinged with “anti-Americanism.” Indeed, Michael Parenti said recently that “With the linkbetween militarism and patriotism so firmly fixed,” in America, “any criticism of the military runsthe risk of being condemned as unpatriotic.” I eschew this simplistic, linear thinking as well, butas a counter to those who do not, I do offer much praise for other branches of the US military,

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