Broke Navy Seeks Foreign Ships for Marines

first_navy_jackHandicapped by a shortage of “gators” or amphibious ships, the Navy is considering taking shipless Marine infantry and Ospreys, and hiring allied ships to carry them. Where the ships could come from is an open question, as it’s unlikely any reliable ally has enough idle gators to close what the Navy identifies as an 8-ship gap for projecting power in the North Africa region alone. Handling maritime crises in two regions of the world simultaneously would be hopeless with the current force structure, but we’d have to try.

The problem is tied up with numbers and budgets. Today’s much smaller Navy has similar responsibilities to its Cold War era self, which had twice as many warships. Moreover, many of the ships the Navy is buying now are so-called Littoral Combat Ships, which depend on stealth for survival, as they have nearly nonexistent offensive and defensive armament. These ships are useless in any kind of power projection that goes beyond simply showing the flag; they have the combat power of Yangtze River gunboats.

The Navy is weighing whether to have Marines hitch a ride on foreign warships, citing a shortage of U.S. vessels due to recent budget cuts — raising bipartisan security concerns about the leverage this could give other countries.

A key concern is whether a warship host nation could deny Marines permission to come ashore.

“Ceding our amphibious ships to other countries — it’s almost silly and I can’t believe it is even an option for the Navy,” said Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., who served as a Marine in Iraq. “Now we are going to have to ask other countries, much less financially stable countries than America, to loan us their ships so that we can base our Marines on their ships. It’s almost embarrassing.”

Along with Hunter, Fox also got disbelieving quotes from former Senator (D-VA) and SecNav Jim Webb, suggesting the apoplexy of this latest bleat of surrender from a Navy slowly disestablishing itself may be bipartisan.  You ought to Read The Whole Thing™.

Who knows, spending some time in foreign hulls getting irritated by the sailors of their navies might cause the Marines to reevaluate their famous disdain for the sailors of ours. 

7 thoughts on “Broke Navy Seeks Foreign Ships for Marines

  1. S

    “much less financially stable countries than America”

    Ah, now I see the difficulty in finding ships….

    Ok, jesting aside, with land based airpower and interior lines of communication on a resource self-sufficient continent there isn’t any reason to go on foreign adventures at all; you could sit behind your oceanic moats and let the rest of the world savage each other. All we ask is that you immediately execute all the Wall Street bankers and destroy the UN and Hollywood.

    1. Raoul Duke

      This would be an option, if it weren’t for that new-fangled invention, the airplane. Oceans are not moats, when your fortress has no roof.

      There is a balance between protecting our allies and interests abroad, and being the world’s policeman. One extreme or the other always gets us in trouble.

      1. S

        Well, I did reference air power, and didn’t even mention the space high ground you once had. Never mind the things you’ve lost, hang onto what you’ve got. To do that, you’d have to do some messy and extensive house-cleaning, and then stand by to repel boarders….because they’ve gone to considerable trouble to fashion you as a cudgel to hammer a new world. Slip out of your master’s grasp now and they’ll be most displeased and come a-chastising even harder than they already mean to. At least you can grasp a rifle while you run to the hills, we here would have to get our mitts on somebody else’s…and when you consider the odds of grabbing even a G36 (eucchhh!), you may perhaps begin to realise there are some much worse off than you……

  2. Aesop

    “Who knows, spending some time in foreign hulls getting irritated by the sailors of their navies might cause the Marines to reevaluate their famous disdain for the sailors of ours. “

    Wait, that would be the same sailors that have abandoned their duty to provide transportation to the Marine Corps for national security missions? Yeah, I’ma go with “Not so much.”

    As the USAF has decided CAS is now entirely optional, and the Navy has decided that the Marine Corps is surplus to their naval mission, perhaps it’s past time to give the AF back to the Army, and put the Navy under the command of the USMC Commandant, and let adult supervision of the two former branches work on getting the nation’s defense priorities back in order.

    Anyone in the former departments who can’t adjust could be trans-shipped over to the TSA, which would doubtless increase the intelligence of both groups.

  3. John b

    Swabbies!!!

    Some really dumb ones are in charge, but they’re “Canoe U” grads, which makes them less swabbies and more political varmints.

    There is just something about that Maryland water that makes aspiring swabbies to become nasty back biting, Floor flushing, lying, cheating, no good, political varmints!!!

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