I've got to say that a comment made during the debate on Monday annoyed me.
the exact transcript:
Romney: Our Navy is old -- excuse me, our Navy is smaller now than at any time since 1917. The Navy said they needed 313 ships to carry out their mission. We're now at under 285. We're headed down to the low 200's if we go through a sequestration. That's unacceptable to me.
I want to make sure that we have the ships that are required by our Navy. Our Air Force is older and smaller than at any time since it was founded in 1947. We've changed for the first time since FDR -- since FDR we had the -- we've always had the strategy of saying we could fight in two conflicts at once. Now we're changing to one conflict. Look, this, in my view, is the highest responsibility of the President of the United States, which is to maintain the safety of the American people. . .
OBAMA: Bob, I just need to comment on this. First of all, the sequester is not something that I've proposed. It is something that Congress has proposed. It will not happen. The budget that we are talking about is not reducing our military spending. It is maintaining it.
But I think Governor Romney maybe hasn't spent enough time looking at how our military works. You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military's changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines.
And so the question is not a game of Battleship, where we're counting slips. It's what are our capabilities. And so when I sit down with the Secretary of the Navy and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, we determine how are we going to be best able to meet all of our defense needs in a way that also keeps faith with our troops, that also makes sure that our veterans have the kind of support that they need when they come home.
The comment that annoyed me, of course, is:
"Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military's changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines."
The condescending nature and tone of the comment was VERY un-Presidential, and wrong to boot.
First off, I know that the Marines, at least, are still taught how to fight with bayonets.
"Bayonet charges have been critical events in modern warfare. Gettysburg, and thus the Civil War, turned on a bayonet charge down little Round Top. In the Korean War, the defense of Chip Yong Ni likewise saw a famous bayonet charge, that one by the outnumbered French Foreign Legionnaires. That same war saw a platoon of U.S. Infantry take out machine gun positions with a bayonet charge on a piece of terrain that became known as “Bayonet Hill.” In both Iraq and Afghanistan, British Army units have executed bayonet charges to overcome resistance, most famously in the 2004 “Battle of Danny Boy” at Al Amara, Iraq."
Second, Aircraft carriers have been around since 1918. The USS Langley (CV-1) was in service on March 20, 1922. The Lexington class was commissioned in 1927. Nuclear submarines have been in service since the USS Nautilus was launched in 1954. To act like Governor Romney couldn't grasp the fundamentals of this is nothing but an arrogant ass looking to demean his opponent.
There is a MINIMUM number of naval vessels NEEDED to do the job that they are tasked with. If experts tell you that a certain number is the minimum, what makes him a better judge than the experts? I mean they ARE THE EXPERTS!
AND Obama is gutting not only what we have, but what we would have!
"In citing high technology, Obama gave us a display of brazen hypocrisy at its finest. On his watch, the Department of Defense has been cutting procurement programs such as the F-22 and the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle. In both cases, our military personnel must now make do with aging alternatives (the F-15C and AAV-7 family of vehicles). The F-15 entered service in 1976, the AAV-7 in 1972. By the 2016 election, both of these systems will be 40 years old, and expected to still be in service for as much as a decade. So much for relying on new technology — Obama has halted production of the high-tech replacements."
As for our Navy, "The Obama administration’s neglect of the Navy can be typified by the early retirement of the USS Enterprise (CVN 65) and its plans to decommission other naval assets. In August of this year, I outlined on NRO why the Enterprise should remain in service, but the Big E is only the most prominent asset slated for premature retirement. The administration also plans to decommission and scrap six Ticonderoga-class cruisers, although the vessels have as many as 15 years of service life left (even without further overhauls). Maintaining freedom of the seas requires hulls in the water — and the Navy hasn’t even started building the replacements for these cruisers."
"None of our carriers or submarines — no matter how high-tech they are — are capable of covering the Persian Gulf and South China Sea at the same time, or the Mediterranean Sea and the Korean peninsula simultaneously."
"What they fail to mention is the fact that China’s defense budget has at least quadrupled since 2000. China is becoming more aggressive around the Senkaku Islands and the South China Sea, in disputes with American allies such as Japan and the Philippines, and it has just commissioned its first aircraft carrier."
"In World War II, when the United States built a navy second to none, our military had a running start with the Naval Expansion Act of 1938 and the Two-Ocean Navy Act of July 1940 — bills passed long before the attack on Pearl Harbor. But even with that running start, most of those ships did not arrive on the front lines until mid-1943 or later, and many sailors and Marines paid the price in blood for America’s failure to prepare. Who will pay the price today, in the event of military conflict?"
Dan Emplit WBFD
USN 1986 - 1992