600 Ships – The Path to Victory started on the 711

I started this clean back in 2012, when my friend Mac wrote it. For some reason I never published it. But, you know, it is just as timely now as it was then, and just as important. To us and to the UK as well, as we both struggle to find the money needed to defend our interests. Here’s Mac:

After the upheavals in the Navy caused by the end of the Vietnam conflict, you can imagine how discouraged many people who wore the uniform were by the time the Carter years were at the three and a half year point. Blend in the miserable economy, high unemployment, interest rates never before seen and you can understand that the country in general was ready for a long stretch of misery.

The fleet was limping along with limited growth and some of the key programs that were in progress (Trident and the Los Angeles Class submarines) were behind schedule, over budget and on the congressional radar for supposed savings. The entire military was in a sorry state and maintenance and upkeep programs on all types of equipment were falling away.

Any hopes that the Navy would gain support by having the first Naval Academy graduate as President were swiftly dashed as the nation realized that Carter did not agree that communism was our greatest chief enemy. His policies were really directed to the arms race and support of NATO policies. The real vision for the Navy was to become nothing more than a bus service to troops that would be sent to Europe in case of an event in the central European countries.  According to Nathan Miller, noted historian and writer “ Naval strategists charged with this plan meant the surrender of the Pacific to the Soviets without a fight. “The Naval equivalent of the Maginot Line has been constructed,” declared Navy Secretary Graham Claytor, Jr.” From Nathan Miller’s The US Navy, A History.

History is not kind to the remaining part of the Carter administration as the Middle east proved to be too surprising and too confusing for the hapless administration to deal with. The fall of the Shah in Iran, the rise of fundamentalist Muslim groups in his place, the invasion of Afghanistan and perceived weakness of the US in almost ever corner of the world destroyed most of the remaining credibility the United States had on the world stage. Much too late in the game, the affects of cutting the fleets growth was being felt all around the world.

600 Ships – The Path to Victory started on the 711.

And once again we are in that spot, with a fleet smaller than it ever was in the twentieth century, and potential conflicts (all legacies of the inept (at best) Obama administration) ranging from Syria and Iran, through Russia, to North Korea and China itself.

Our forces are trying very hard, and they are stretched very thin because the problem areas are all across the world. As I write this it looks like we are gaining control, but there is a long way to go. always we seem to forget:

Si vis pacem, para bellum

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