The last time something so dangerous came from the sea was when Jaws hit screens across America in the summer of 1975. This time, the looming menace from the littorals are Navy advocates who see no problem slashing the Army in the coming budget battles and using some of the savings to keep a sleek and powerful 300-ship U.S. Navy prowling the world’s oceans.
Take Chris Rawley’s recent recommendation on the military blog Information Dissemination. He maintains the Army can be cut by 25% — maybe 125,000 troops — and the resulting gaps spackled over with Marine ground-pounders, Navy airpower, and special-ops units. Spoken like a true former Navy officer now working for the U.S. Special Operations Command:
A number of interesting learning points have arisen from the Libyan conflict. Foremost among them for me is the need to massively downsize the United States Army…the US became a secure and strong nation and will remain powerful because of sea power, not land power. And a globally deployed Navy/Marine Corps team, combined with a robust range of airpower and special operators is the force we need to defeat just about any conceivable future threat. So why shouldn’t the Army take a disproportionate share of the impending DOD budget cuts?
As the nation prepares for the most substantial retooling of its military since the Cold War build-down, debates like this are going to become more visceral and intense. But you can ignore them until Battleland brings you the ones you really need to read: when a former Navy officer now working for the U.S. Special Operations Command recommends cuts in the fleet and special operators. Or when a soldier urges subtracting divisions. Until then, it’s all just chum.