Comment and Discussion

"Taking Care of Our People?"

(See M. Werner, p. 71, January 1999 Proceedings)

Lieutenant Colonel Keith Oliver, U.S. Marine Corps —Bravo Zulu on your January issue! Taken as a whole, this edition is a classic leadership text and should be issued, as is, to the professional schools of all naval services for digestion and discussion.

Of particular note were the writings of two Navy secretaries and two Naval Reserve lieutenant commanders. All four pieces exposed the gutless travesty of gamely trying to "do more with less"—on the backs of our people.  

Rear Admiral Thomas F. Marfiak, U.S. Navy, Commandant, National War College —I would like to compliment Mr. Webb for a powerful and thought provoking piece. There is much merit in his thesis that the military has grown more separate from the nation we serve since the advent of the all-professional force in the early 1970s. It should not be surprising that many in government and in key circles of opinion makers lack personal experience of the military in general, or of navies in particular. But the implication then made—that there might be a group at the center of power seeking to denude the United States of its fleet—seems to be a bridge too far.

This specter is then followed by an indictment of the policy of engagement with China, and the possibility that such engagement could lead to the empowerment of the present regime to the point it might pose a credible threat to U.S. forces in the Pacific region. Any nation of China's size must be weighed carefully in terms of future intentions, but ultimately China's fate will be determined by the force of ideas, not the force of arms.

It is far more accurate, as Mr. Webb does with grace, to point out the uncertainties bedeviling policymakers in the Middle East, in Africa, and in Northeast Asia. Having pointed out that NATO downsizing, which had begun even as we girded for Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, was a return to historical normalcy, Mr. Webb then notes that in the decades before World War II the Navy received the lion's share of the national security budget. Perhaps so, but the Army exercised with wooden rifles, the draft passed by a single vote, and our total forces, on the eve of battle, were woefully inadequate.

Please note: Every commander today, in all services, is acutely aware of the need to maintain our professionalism, take care of our people, and hang tough while the budget battles are fought. We all understand that commitments, operational tempo, force structure, retention, quality of life, and care of our total family are related inextricably.

We also understand that we need better mechanisms for measuring readiness and better means of communicating to our civilian leadership the sacrifices all our services are making to stay on the front lines, forward deployed. Because we understand so well, we continue to wage a successful effort to restore benefits and recognize sacrifices that will enable us to preserve the world's finest maritime fighting force.

Mr. Webb's powerful argument goes on to indict all those who served as senior officers in the Pentagon or in command these past ten years. His litany, "They did not fight . . ," makes a summary judgment that is, on the face of it, indefensible. In downsizing the Navy, from nearly 600 ships to 330, the battles in the corridors of power were significant. Mr. Webb should be reassured; the outcome might have easily been even more adverse had not we demonstrated the essential missions of the Navy and Marine Corps in the Bottom Up Review and the Quadrennial Defense Review.  In addition, in the heavily documented years since, the press has covered the debate on force structure and national budget priorities. Once the budget has been established, senior military and civilian leaders have to decide whether to stay and to work from within, or to resign, making as much noise as possible, but leaving nonetheless.

There is a third way. One could stay, but fold one's hand, waiting fitfully for the end. Fortunately, few opt for such a course. The majority give every ounce of their courage and devotion through the finish line. My hope is that future leaders reading this exchange will think of the implications, for themselves and for the country, before they are placed, as they must be, in the same situation.

Mr. Webb strongly urges military leaders to provide unfettered opinions. My experience is that the admirals with whom I served were not at all reluctant to do just that, but our former Secretary asserts that failure to do so somehow has led to the tough retention statistics we see now. "Not proven" is my judgment. The issue is more complex. I too am concerned that so few aspire to command; we agree completely that command is the center of our military ethic. I too am concerned that commercial opportunities entice so many away. It is not money alone, but leadership and opportunity that drive retention, and ultimately, the operational competence of the force (but I would not dismiss renewal of the retirement system as inconsequential).

We have seen, since Mr. Webb's speech, a historic session here at the National Defense University with the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman and the Joint Chiefs of Staff and unified commanders. Elements of readiness and the future of the force were the order of the day. Since then, we have had an election, seen great change in the political sphere, and witnessed congressional testimony by the senior leadership of the Navy, Marine Corps, and our sister services. Anyone who watched those hearings learned a great deal about courage under fire.

The debate is far from over. After the glow subsides, think of the context. Look for the balanced view. There are serious issues of strategic import for the United States and for our service that must be confronted in the next two years. How we, as a nation, as a department, as a service, resolve them with the support of the Congress and the American people will determine the shape of sea power for decades to come. In the long run, we must pull together. Let us start now.

Harry J. DuMond —This is one of the most profound articles published in your outstanding magazine. Mr. Webb's article should be delivered to every U.S. representative and senator. It also should be required reading for all Navy and Marine Corps officers O-6 and above.

The nation has been warned, and I thank Mr. Webb for his forthright position on the U.S. Navy in these troubled times. I agree that the Navy must lead from within to bring us a respectable number of combatants.

"Five Fleets: Around the World with the Nimitz"

(See W. Bray, pp. 64-68, November 1998 Proceedings )

Captain Philippe Alquier, French Navy, Naval Attaché, Embassy of France to the United States —Lieutenant Commander Bray made some serious accusations against France and its navy with regard to the operations in the Persian Gulf in late 1997 to compel Iraq to comply with U.N.-mandated inspections.

In November 1997, at a time when the crisis between the United Nations and Iraq was intensifying, the frigate Jean de Vienne received a change in orders to join the forces in the Gulf and to cooperate with them. Contrary to what the writer states—undoubtedly Commander Bray was ill-informed—the U.S. Navy was notified in advance of the change. It is preposterous to imply that the French Navy had any aim contrary to the interests of the coalition and U.S. forces in the theater. Commander Bray attributes motives to France that show ignorance of the strength and solidity of relations between the U.S. Navy and the French Navy.

France is one of the main contributors to operations in application of U.S. Security Council resolutions, wherever they are needed. It actively has been involved in all theaters of operation for more than ten years—from Lebanon and the Persian Gulf to Bosnia, Somalia, Rwanda, Kosovo. In all places, the French forces have coordinated closely their actions with their partners, chief among them the United States.

The many operations in which French and U.S. forces have been deployed side by side always have been carried out with the greatest reciprocal confidence. The excellence of relations between the two navies is demonstrated daily at all levels. Americans who have served in the Mediterranean, the Atlantic, the Indian Ocean, and elsewhere know this.

The accusations made in the article are particularly absurd in the case of Iraq because France shares with the United States the same core objectives: Iraqi disarmament and regional stability. These are the goals of the United Nations, and because of them, France, along with the United States and the coalition partners, was willing to take part in the Gulf War in 1991. These objectives constantly guide France's action. They explain France's unfailingly firm attitude, for instance, in the latest crisis with Iraq, to get the authorities in Baghdad to reverse their refusal to cooperate with the United Nations unconditionally. Therefore, France said clearly and publicly that Iraq bore the full responsibility for the subsequent military strike. The U.S. press, which as a whole has welcomed the convergence of views between the United States and France on the Iraqi question, generally has reported developments accurately.

In short, the isolated opinion expressed in the article in question does not reflect the very close cooperation—both military and diplomatic—which the United States and France, the two oldest allies, have in the Middle East, the Balkans, and many other parts of the world.

General C. C. Krulak, U.S. Marine Corps, Commandant of the Marine Corps —I was disturbed by the tenor and thesis of Lieutenant Commander Bray's November article. His otherwise informative account of events involving the Nimitz during the tense days of November 1997 is marred by his harsh criticism of the French, and to a lesser degree, the Russians. His unfounded accusation that the French passed intelligence regarding coalition forces to the Iraqis insults both our French allies and the intelligence of your readers. Simply put, no evidence exists to support that contention. Commander Bray's one-sided account ignored France's significant contributions to coalition efforts and resorted to imprudent speculation concerning the activities of the Atlantique surveillance aircraft and the frigate Jean de Vienne . His conclusions are wrong. The French Navy remains a capable, respected, and trusted partner.

An unequivocal standard for responsible commentary is the hallmark of a professional forum. If such a standard is absent in Proceedings , where does it reside? As Commander Bray noted, differences of opinion and motive have punctuated our political dealings with France.

Such is the unavoidable nature of coalitions and collaborative international endeavors. Within our respective militaries, however, close cooperation and a well-deserved sense of mutual trust always have been the rule. Commander Bray's insinuation serves only to widen differences by fueling distrust and suspicion.

I have been a loyal and avid reader of Proceedings for nearly 40 years and always have treasured its objective, thought-provoking treatment of the critical issues affecting our naval services and nation.

I am profoundly disappointed that you have allowed such an undocumented and unbalanced piece to appear in your venerable journal. It clearly represents a lapse of judgment, but I am confident that it is an isolated incident. France, its proud navy, and your readers deserve better.

"Military Virtue & the Future of the Naval Service"

(See M. Dunaway, pp. 76-79, December 1998 Proceedings )

Lieutenant John Callaway, U.S. Navy —Captain Dunaway calls for reflection on ethical and forthright leadership in the current "political context" by sharing his views on military virtue. He laments the lack of written guidance for commanding officers and its suppressing effect on initiative and moral courage. It seems that Captain Dunaway had plenty of opportunity to display his moral courage and audacity. But this opportunity was not when he was vaulting from the bridgewing. He uses the high operational tempo of the ship as a mitigating factor and as a basis for needing this man overboard "drill." He should have viewed that same high OpTempo as an opportunity to use his audacity and stand up for his crew in protest. From my junior officer perspective, he was thinking of the "viability" of his career instead of his crew's well-being. And protecting the well-being of his crew is precisely where his audacity could have been best put to use.

I had heard the story of a commanding officer jumping over the side to do a man overboard drill during my division officer tours. I was incredulous then, and I am incredulous now. Captain Dunaway says in his letter to the Chief of Naval Operations that "no regulations were violated." I think his commodore might have found one if he had looked.

The Uniform Code of Military Justice addresses those who "deliberately and wrongfully" jump from a ship into the sea as committing a "turbulent act which violates the peace and good order to which the ship . . . is entitled." This act is punishable under Article 116, Riot or Breach of Peace. For a commanding officer, I might suggest Article 110, Improper Hazarding of a Vessel. The Rules of the Road state: "Nothing in these Rules shall exonerate any vessel, or the owner, master or crew thereof, from the consequences of any neglect of any precaution which may be required by the ordinary practice of seamen, or by the special circumstances of the case." By jumping unexpectedly over the side, Captain Dunaway placed himself in a situation where he was unable to act in a responsible manner for his ship and therefore violated this rule.

If I were on the board of inquiry for this matter, I would want to know how the executive officer was involved. Was the XO on the bridge at the time? Even before the event, did Captain Dunaway ask the XO to come up with some innovative training ideas? Did the Captain relay his objectives of restoring the faith of his crew to the XO before he jumped over the side? And just what extra dividend did the Captain expect to collect by using himself as Oscar instead of a mannequin? As a crewmember, I expect my commanding officer to remain in control if not by physical presence then by the trust engendered by his position and philosophy as passed down in his Standing Orders. As the commodore of a squadron, I might expect my commanding officers to remain with their vessels while under way except when operational needs require them elsewhere (e.g., on board the flagship for commander's call, observing a boarding, on a familiarization flight). The commanding officer is entrusted with the lives of his crew and the assets of a U.S. warship. By unexpectedly jumping over the side, Captain Dunaway broke that trust.

The zero-defect mindset Captain Dunaway speaks of in his letter to the Chief of Naval Operations is his own, for failing to come to terms with his mistake. Captain Dunaway is having his case heard, and I hope it receives the review that it deserves and not the one that he expects to hear.

John Hayek —I am neither a sailor nor a naval officer; I never have been and never will be. I am a member of the Naval Institute because I believe that whoever controls the world's oceans also controls the world, and the Naval Institute is an excellent way to remain informed.

In his conclusion, Captain Dunaway notes that the nation needs "a naval service worthy of the nation's unqualified trust and confidence." I absolutely agree. As a middle-age citizen who pays a lot of taxes, I would prefer that this money be spent on wages of "rough men who stand a post at night" than for fraternity pranks with guided-missile frigates. This man is a naval officer and was in command of a warship of the U.S. Navy; he abandoned his ship while his crew watched and now wants the Navy to give him the reason why he was relieved of command! Here's one: There is no rule and never will be, for the same reasons naval officers need not be told to flush the toilet after use—common sense and respect for others.

If anyone deserves an explanation, it is people like me. How did he get command of a ship carrying weapons and human beings? Why did it take so long for the Navy to get him off the ship?

Lieutenant David A. Adams, U.S. Navy —When Timothy McVeigh was arrested after the Oklahoma City bombing, he was wearing a T-shirt with a famous Thomas Jefferson quote: "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." McVeigh had twisted Jefferson's ideas to fit his own misguided purpose.

Captain Dunaway's article attempts a similar trick. He articulately latches on to a discussion of possibly the most serious problem confronting today's Navy—a pervasive zero-defects mentality. What Captain Dunaway seems to miss is that zero-defects is about the lack of tolerance for honest mistakes. John Paul Jones charged naval officers to be "quick and unfailing to distinguish error from malice, thoughtlessness from incompetency, and well-meant shortcoming from heedless or stupid blunder." Needlessly endangering the life of a crew member and temporarily abdicating one's command responsibilities qualifies with the latter set of conditions.

In a recent classroom discussion of the incident, not one of the junior officers familiar with Captain Dunaway's case were willing to defend his behavior. Instead, all agreed with Admiral Boorda's assessment that Captain Dunaway had displayed a critical lapse in judgment that put into serious question his ability to command. The fact that Captain Dunaway is still waiting for some senior officer to explain a monumental error in judgment that is cut and dry to a vast majority of officers in the fleet is troubling.

In dealing with our own failures or larger institutional crises such as the Iowa incident, Tailhook, or Admiral Boorda's suicide, naval professionals would do well to heed Vice Admiral James Stockdale's advice that the ultimate test of character is the ability to deal with failure "without succumbing to emotional paralysis and withdrawal and without lashing out at scapegoats or inventing escapist solutions." One point is clear: The zero-defects mindset that exists in today's Navy must be eradicated. Unfortunately, Captain Dunaway's discussion of an inappropriate application of what are otherwise sound military principles has done little to advance the cause.

"Kara Hultgreen Quals at the Boat"

(See S. Spears, p. 63, October 1998; F. Slyfield, p. 10, December 1998 Proceedings )

Captain A. D. Castberg, U.S. Coast Guard Reserve (Retired)— I wonder what the basis was for Lieutenant Commander Slyfield's diatribe. I found the book anything but "self-serving." It was remarkably objective for a book written by the subject's mother.

According to her mother, Kara Hultgreen had many faults, but airmanship was not one of them. Does Commander Slyfield really believe that the JAG report was falsified, that numerous positive evaluations of Lieutenant Hultgreen were skewed because she was female, and that she really was "a pilot of modest ability"? If so, what facts does he have to support his opinion that she was not an able pilot? These are questions of fact, and I expect facts—not opinions—to answer those questions.

Commander Slyfield attacks the Navy "front office" (whatever that is), "pusillanimous Navy leadership" (unnamed, of course), and Congress (always an easy target). Lieutenant Hultgreen attacked some Navy leaders and some members of Congress as well. He attacks them for lowering standards and meddling, whereas she attacked them for not giving her an equal chance to qualify for fighters. She was not asking for special treatment, but for equal treatment. That is equal opportunity—not the affirmative action Commander Slyfield seems so anxious to attack. Neither the Navy nor Congress have anything to gain by lowering flight-training standards for women. A disproportionate number of female aircraft casualties will only hurt the cause of gender equity, and I remain to be convinced that either the Navy or Congress is willing to run that risk by encouraging or allowing female aviators to fly high-performance aircraft when they are not qualified to do so.

"A Naval Concepts-Based Vision for Space"

(See R. Bowdish and B. Woodyard, pp. 50-53, January 1999 Proceedings )

"Space Is an Ocean"

(See S. Tangredi, pp. 52-53, January 1999 Proceedings )

Joseph Morsello —The Earth's ability to sustain mankind's demand for resources and a growing population cannot continue indefinitely. It is inevitable that if civilization is to continue advancing, we must take to the stars. Man now is attempting to set sail from Earth as ancient explorers sailed from the continents in search of the unknown. Commercial ventures are planning to explore the possibility of mining mineral resources from asteroids. NASA is leading the way for the international space station; a manned flight to Mars is the next project. The world community is cooperating in opening the "final frontier," but as the technology of space proliferates and the opportunities and wealth of space are realized, conflicts are inevitable. Commanders Bowdish and Woodyard presented a 21st century naval space vision. This vision focuses on current requirements, ignoring long-range conceptualization.

The vast majority of America's assets deployed in space occupy orbits just outside the Earth's atmosphere—the littorals of Earth Island. Presently, all the threats to this littoral area come from Earth-based weapons. Space control, as presented by Commanders Bowdish and Woodyard, incompletely addresses the land-based threat and does not consider any space-based threats. What if the United States is unable to mount a preemptive strike (often impossible because of political concerns) against Earth-based threats? Can U.S. space assets defend themselves? What if a Chinese colony on the moon was the base for attacks on these new assets?

The space-control concept must be taken further to account for every possible aspect of this new dimension of warfare. A detailed threat analysis encompassing the next 5 to 30 years must be prepared. From this analysis, detailed countermeasures can be devised and feasibility studies may begin. The exploration of the development of space platforms similar in mission to Earth-bound naval systems also is required to ensure complete space control. Off-Earth colonies essentially would be similar to the remote European colonies of the 15th century. In Commander Tangredi's words, "Space is an ocean." The planets are islands in this vast ocean. Current naval doctrine, weapons, and platform types are transferable directly to the space dimension. Fighting a war in space would parallel the island-hopping campaigns in the Pacific during World War II. We must investigate our naval history and trace the development of ancient navies into today's modern fleets. With this knowledge, we can begin planning for the future in space.

The opening of space to earthly commercial ventures is vital to the expansion of the world economy and the next step in human history. Just as ancient explorers sailed the oceans, so will later generations sail through space. With this natural human gravitation toward greater things comes competition and conflict.

The concepts and technology involved with endeavors into space are radically advanced. Only through long-range study and planning can we ensure the ability to defend national security now and in the future. The U.S. Navy, by virtue of the parallel environments of Earth's oceans and space, is uniquely qualified to lead U.S. defense efforts in space.

"Free Speech v. Article 88"

(See E. R. Fidell, p. 2, December 1998 Proceedings )

Senior Chief Gordon L. Crume, U.S. Navy (Retired)— The profession of arms is an honorable profession. The profession of politics is not. The standards of conduct should and must be higher in the armed forces. This means we remain loyal to the system of civilian control in the government-and do not interfere in any way with that principle by print, voice, or deed.

Kenneth E. Acon Jr.— Mr. Fidell discussed Marine Major Sellers's letter to the Navy Times and an e-mail petition by military personnel calling for the impeachment of the President. Apparently, Mr. Fidell believes that these incidents cross the line of Article 88, insinuating that both somehow undermine the subordination of the military to civilian control.

Nowhere in either a direct statement or implication did any of these individuals call for a military-orchestrated removal of the President. The people involved in the e-mail were petitioning their representatives in Congress to exercise a constitutionally recognized procedure. Would Mr. Fidell suggest that military personnel cannot petition their congressmen for possible projects in their community, or even increased military spending? If not, what is the difference?

Mr. Fidell seems to think that Major Sellers's comments that "One should call an adulterous liar exactly what he is—a criminal" are contemptuous words against the President. So now speaking the truth is contemptuous? I do not know of anyone who does not believe that the President had an affair and lied to cover it up. Whether he is a criminal has not been decided.

Members of the armed forces stand ready to execute the orders of the Commander-in-Chief, as recent events clearly show. Whether the President is impeached or not, the chain of command will remain intact within the outlines of the Constitution.

The thought of anyone being court-martialed for petitioning Congress for a constitutionally legitimate reason or for speaking the truth offends me. Article 88 has a place—just not in either of these two incidents

Roland K. Mar —Since January 1998, there has been a tremendous political upheaval in the country. The Congress is in the process of deciding whether or not the Commander in Chief shall continue in office. This is no small decision, exciting passions pro and con. We cannot deny this.

Despite our personal feelings on the matter, we must refrain from public comment. This may be hard, but the alternative is to violate the oath. There have been serving officers who have spoken out, and they are subject to investigation and possible penalties under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). This is not because officers are mindless parrots supporting the political leadership, it is because as officers they cannot become involved in political disputes without imperiling their oath, their honor, and the Constitution.

But this is a bare minimum. Officers are not the only guardians of the Constitution. The oath and the Uniform Code cover all in service. Under your command are men and women sharing the opinionated nature of all Americans. Americans cannot be managed. They do not blindly obey orders. They must be led.

Leadership is the reason you wear the insignia of rank. In this case, the path of leadership is not to tolerate words or deeds by your men and women that cross the line of political involvement. They can have their opinions, but not on duty, and not in public.

Every path has two sides. We have examined one side—obedience to the Constitution and the Uniform Code of Military Justice by refraining from comment. There is another side, just as hard, or even harder. It touches our honor and the oath just as closely. It brings balance to what we do and is integral to our duty to protect the American people.

It is our boast that when we enter the service; we swear fealty not to a political party, not to a single branch of government, not to the country. We swear to preserve and protect the Constitution of the United States of America. We swear to serve a document that is not only a blueprint for a free society, but also essentially a limitation on the powers of the government to intrude on the lives of Americans.

While it is unspoken, our service of that limitation is constitutionally vital. Consider the position of the armed forces versus that of the average citizen. The military has access to the use of force far beyond the comprehension or defensive ability of any civilian. While there are laws, procedures, and courts to restrain the misuse of the police power of the state, there is no force capable of resisting the military power of the federal government.

This is the very reason the Founding Fathers opposed the establishment of a standing military force. They feared that a strong military would overawe and intimidate the native genius of the American people. Looking to the nations of Europe, they saw the existence of a military class as a threat to liberty.

Uniquely among the family of nations, our UCMJ places limitations on what the members of the armed forces as individuals are expected to do. It, like all such sets of regulations, demands obedience to command by members of the armed forces. But we stipulate that the orders must be lawful (see UCMJ; 10 USC Sec. 892, Article 92, "Failure to obey order or regulation").

For an order to be lawful, it cannot contravene the Constitution, the provisions of an act of Congress (including the ratification of treaties), or the lawful orders of superiors (see Manual for Courts-Martial ). Members of the armed forces are required not to obey orders that are not lawful. One does so at one's own risk, for failure to obey will bring the consequences of a court-martial to decide the correctness of your choice. Still, one must make the decision as a positive duty.

As at My Lai, members of the armed forces are liable if they obey illegal orders to violate the laws of war as codified by international treaty. No order by a superior can legally compel a member of the services to commit a felony. Members of the armed forces are expected not to violate the constitutional rights of their fellow citizens.

Citizens depend on the honor of those in the services, and their devotion to the oath they swore, in order to trust them with overwhelming power. They trust them to obey the Constitution as the basis of their service. If the moment comes when politicians order a violation of the Constitution, they have the same right to expect a refusal as they do to expect that the military will not interfere in the political process.

Just as we cannot on one hand speak or act against the political leadership in any way while in uniform, we cannot speak or act against our fellow citizens in violation of the Constitution. It is a narrow path, full of responsibilities and risks. It requires we sublimate some of the most basic drives we have as Americans. But it is the path of duty and honor. No one said this job was easy.

"Listen to the JOs—Why Retention Is a Problem"

(See J. Natter, A. Lopez, and D. Hodges, pp. 58-62, October 1998; Crosley, J. Byron, p. 10. November 1998; P. Hall, pp. 17-20, December 1998; D. Schildge, J. Hayward, pp. 20-22, January 1999 Proceedings )

Captain Carl Otis Schuster, U.S. Navy (Retired)—The only surprising thing about this article is that anyone was surprised by the findings. It was like reading a junior officer (JO) retention article from the 1970s. The problems are the same: commitments exceeding resources; spare parts, personnel replacements, and maintenance all in decline while inspections and paperwork are on the rise. The only element missing today is a concern about personnel quality, but there are indications that this too will decline in the near future as our leaders consider lowering personnel entry standards.

Have our leaders learned nothing from their own junior officer days? Have they forgotten coming into port on Friday and spending the weekend preparing for Monday's inspection team arrival? If they have forgotten, they never will attack the root cause of our JO retention problems: a bloated shore structure that uses the fleet to justify its existence. Our shore staffs and infrastructure have not diminished in size or numbers to the same degree as our fleet. Just as in the 1970s, inspections and assist visits examining the ships' problems have grown almost in inverse proportion to the declining resources provided to solve those problems. Where once the inspection teams had to go through 20 to 30 ships a year, they now inspect 10 to 15. Lost in this process is the once-foremost belief that the shore structure exists to support the fleet. Today's reversal of roles is having the same effect that it did 20 years ago.

Given the effect of inspection results on the commanding officer's career and those of his subordinate officers, no one on board ship ever can relax. JOs see that neither their captain nor his department heads are enjoying their jobs. They see no reward at the end of their tunnel. Sacrifice or "paying dues" is a concept common to challenging professions, but people accept it because they believe things will be better once they reach their professional pinnacle. There is no vision of a better future in a fleet that presses its commanding officers to do more with less and tests them with endless inspections to ensure they are doing so.

The Navy would be better served if it reduced its inspection structure and invested more in providing spare parts and maintenance support. This would equate to less down time, less frustration, and more emphasis on those aspects of naval operations that people enjoy.

"The Last Days of Carrier-Based Aviation?"

(See R. Arthur, p. 75, January 1999 Proceedings )

Rear Admiral John B. Nathman, U.S. Navy, Director Air Warfare Division, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations —Lieutenant Arthur questions carrier aviation's continued usefulness. His argument is founded on current cruise missile technology and planned incorporation of the Advanced Gun System in the next generation of surface combatant. This is not a new concept. Although I disagree with his conclusions, I value Lieutenant Arthur's comments. Spirited debate on the critical issues facing the Navy, force structure among them, is always a good thing; it thoroughly shapes our views.

One of the most powerful arguments for use of naval aviation in conducting combat operations from the sea is its ability to effectively shape the battlespace. Applications of high-altitude sensors resident in wide-area surveillance aircraft like the E-2C extend the horizon, contributing significantly to battlespace knowledge and, with the incorporation of the Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC), the broadest expansion of the surface combatants' engagement envelopes. This will allow more naval aircraft to range across the breadth and depth of the battlefield to penetrate, strike, and survive through the use of electronic attack, standoff weapons, force packaging, and proven tactics. The target set Tomahawk that includes Tomahawk Land-Attack Missile (TLAM) and Extended-Range Guided Munition (ERGM) targets is expanded significantly by the use of hard target penetraters, 2,000-pound-class weapons, and precision GPS- and laser guided munitions, all of which are delivered by naval strike aircraft. Offensive counter-air operations are conducted across the battlespace at extensive ranges by carrier-based strike-fighters, providing the air superiority so critical to execution of the Marines' ground scheme of maneuver or battle force positioning.

The evolution of the carrier and air wing combination has been profound. Single-mission strike platforms have been replaced by state-of-the-art multimission strike-fighters like the F-14 and the F/A-18. These provide a combination of high sortie generation and weight of combat power to enable the concentration of lethal, sustained, and precision fires at the point most advantageous to the force commander. When coupled with the new family of GPS-guided munitions (GGMs) currently being introduced to the fleet, the air wing has attained orders of magnitude increase in striking capability. Lethality will be measured in the number of aimpoints destroyed per sortie instead of the number of sorties required to destroy an aimpoint. Our expeditionary forces no longer simply will be enabling forces. Instead, the carrier/carrier air wing, integrated and coordinated with the Amphibious Ready Group/Marine Expeditionary Unit and other battle group assets, will evolve into a Naval Expeditionary Force capable of conducting decisive operations.

The carrier is undergoing its own transformation. The evolutionary path being followed by the CVNX program eventually will provide a significantly more cost- and combat-effective and survivable combat platform from which to deploy the air wing. We must not lose sight of the fact that combat ships exist not only as a method of providing incredible mobility to the weapon system they carry (the air wing) but also to reach, penetrate, shape, or leverage a positive response through their foreboding presence.

The continuing evolution of strike warfare will enable the naval version of network-centric warfare. Metcalfe's Law states that the power of the network is equal to the square of the number of nodes in the network. The aircraft carrier will sustain the launch of dozens of aircraft arrayed across the battle space providing the bulk of the killing power of this netted force. Pushing and pulling information into and out of the net, airborne platforms will be crucial in building the integrated battle space picture that will empower Naval Expeditionary Forces of the future.

What should not be lost on any of us, and particularly the National Command Authorities, is that our Naval Expeditionary Forces are reaching another culminating point in influence and power projection in the world's littorals. Defined by dominant maneuver, precision engagement, focused logistics, and full dimensional protection, we are particularly well suited, positioned, and shaped to provide decisive power and influence for our nation. The relevance of these concepts and the effectiveness of the hard edge of our force, particularly our men and women, were again thoroughly demonstrated just weeks ago by the Enterprise (CVN-65) and Carl Vinson (CVN-70) Battle Groups in the Desert Fox strikes. 

"Replace the Great White Elephants…With LSTs"

(See P. Marghella, pp. 71-73, December 1998 Proceedings )

Captain Bruce A. Gustin III, U.S. Navy —Lieutenant Commander Marghella makes a very strong case for replacing the hospital ships USNS Mercy (T-AH-19) and USNS Comfort (T-AH-20) with more practical, efficient, and affordable platforms. The author suggests the Newport (LST-1 179)-class tank landing ships as prime candidates for such conversion. Not long ago, I went to sea on board the USS Frederick (LST-1184), and was astonished at how much she rocked and rolled in even the most benign seas. The experience gave me a deep new respect for LST sailors, past and present. These ships could be modified by adding external stabilizers on their hulls, but that almost certainly would obviate their ability to run up on the beach—one of Commander Marghella's points favoring conversion of the LSTs.

"Quality of Life at Sea"

(See W. Higgins, pp. 54-57, January 1999 Proceedings )

Lieutenant Matthew R. Walker, U.S. Coast Guard, Commanding Officer, USCGC Manitou (WPB-1302)— Thank you, Lieutenant Commander Higgins, for your look at the quality of life on board ship. I can attest to his argument, having served a two-year tour on a Navy frigate as part of the Coast Guard Navy exchange program. It is alarming that it took a ride on a Dutch frigate to shed light on LI.S. naval practices as ancient traditions and stubbornness.

On board the frigate, there was not one junior officer who did not exclaim his desire to get out of the service—not shocking, considering the life they lead. I remember late sleepers' reveille after midwatch at 0700—absurd! Workdays under way from 0800-1600 then 18002200 meetings in the wardroom.

The enlisted men have a lounge, but not the officers—they have a conference room. The Coast Guard is better at recognizing requirements for sleep, but it still has a long way to go. Commanding and executive officers must divorce themselves from the archaic when planning workdays under way and in port. Have they forgotten what it is like to stand the 0400-0800 and 1600-2000 watches with a workday in between?

COs and XOs need to trust their people and hold them accountable. Assign jobs with deadlines (nothing foreign here) and trust your people to complete them when time allows—which might be at 0200, 1700, or 2215, before or after watch. Who cares, as long as the job gets done? If an officer works best at 22002300, let him sleep during the day if he wants, as long as you get your report on time and he or she stands a proper watch.

Commander Higgins did not touch on in-port work hours, which we need to examine with a logical eye. Here are two work schedules to illustrate this point:

Standard Hours

0700 Officers' call

0800 Begin work

1130 Lunch

1230 Begin work

1530 Sweepers

1600 Liberty


0730 All hands

0820 Begin work after coffee, etc.

1100 Lunch, might not be served yet

1300 Begin work after run, nap, etc.

1500 End work, BS until sweepers

1600 Liberty

Total hours of work: 5 hours, 40 minutes.

Many Coast Guard cutters have implemented the following schedule to allow business-hour time for personal matters, designed to get more hours out of crew and compensate for more than six months away from home port.

Tropical Hours

0645 Muster

0700 Begin work

1300 Sweepers

1330 Liberty, lunch

Total hours of work: 6 hours

I hope Commander Higgins's article is the first step in a new Navy doctrine. The U.S. Navy and the Coast Guard need to change their outdated philosophies. If not, I know a great job with a Fortune 500 company that will set up an office in my home, allow me to set my own hours, and give me a company car. We are in competition with corporate America for the best leaders, so let us not lose for want of ability to change and develop a better work environment.

"U.K. Defense Review Sets Out the Plan"

(See R. Cobbold, pp. 64-68, October 1998; F. Hoffman, pp. 24-25, January 1999 Proceedings )

Peter D. Burridge —Please note the following corrections to Lieutenant Colonel Hoffman's letter:

  • The Strategic Defense Review will result in a reduction in defense spending of a billion pounds, not a million, as stated. A U.K. defense budget of 20 million pounds certainly would give comfort to Saddam and his friends!
  • Also the venerable Kingfisher torpedo plane was manufactured by Fairey (not Fairley) Aviation Ltd., which, while no longer an aircraft manufacturer, is still active in aerospace, producing hydraulic and filtration components.

"Defend America—From the Sea"

(See F. Gaffney, pp. 71-73, October 1998 Proceedings )

Mr. James H. Hughes —Mr. Gaffney rightfully argues for deploying ballistic missile defenses on our Aegis cruisers, taking advantage of our investment in Aegis cruisers and their flexibility.

But he sidesteps the bigger issues. For one, the Soviet Union and now Russia flagrantly violated the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty in letter and in spirit, using it as a cover for their deployment of a national ballistic missile defense far exceeding 100 interceptors and using a connecting network of radars, and using it as a cover for their buildup of long-range ballistic missiles such as the SS-18, SS-19, SS-24, and SS-25.

Mr. Gaffney also sidesteps the role of a Navy theater-wide ballistic missile defense within an overall defense against ballistic missiles using space-based defenses, such as Brilliant Pebbles and space-based lasers. Navy theater-wide can be an effective theater ballistic missile defense, and with more work, also serve as an element of a national missile defense. But a ballistic missile defense would be terribly incomplete without also deploying defenses in space.

"When the Birds Didn't Fly"

(See T. Buell, pp. 76-79, January 1999 Proceedings)

Captain Robert O. Strange, U.S. Navy (Retired )—Commander Buell's article brought back memories from my tours in the surface missile navy. As Commander Buell correctly reflects in his article, indeed there were troubles in the early stages of 3T (Tartar, Terrier, Talos) missile development and their introduction to the surface navy, but valuable lessons were learned and corrected during the formative years of these ships. Yes, there were frustrating times, but there were times in which professional accomplishments made it all seem worthwhile.

As Commander Buell indicated, Admiral Reich and his staff played a key role in turning around the surface missile system program, and these ships ultimately became the workhorses of the fleet during the Vietnam War. There were even some allegations that these ships were run into the ground during this era with increased tempo of operations and the attendant lack of proper maintenance upkeep and repair because of the needs for these multitalented ships and their multimission capabilities.

The article notes the marvels of the Aegis cruiser capabilities of today compared to the missile ships of yesteryear. But is this a valid comparison? Let's compare the missile ships of the 1960s with the ships that were most commonly found in the fleet in that era, the "straightstick" destroyer. Even though the early years of the missile ships had problems, by comparison the additional capability these ships provided over the older, less capable, nonmissile ships in the fleet was considered significant. It is my belief that had it not been for the lessons learned from the 3Ts and these lessons being applied during the development of Aegis, the outcome of the Aegis program might not have been as successful.

Aegis is light years more complex than the system and capabilities that existed in the 1960s in the 3Ts, but will these same comments apply to the Aegis ships of today when compared with ships entering the fleet in the 21st century? Everything is relative, and ship and weapon system development must remain current with state-of-the-art technology.

"‘Mariner-Class': A New Merchant Marine Officer"

(See J. McNulty, pp. 68-70, January 1999 Proceedings )

Captain Robert Allee, U.S. Navy (Retired)— Rear Admiral McNulty's concept of the "Mariner-Class Officer" for the Merchant Marine is excellent for all of the reasons that he presents, plus the economics of the industry. U.S. operators need every competitive advantage they can get, and this concept could safely allow reduced manning by having officers qualified to work in more than one part of the ship.

The federal and state merchant marine academies have the education systems that can produce the complete ship's officers he describes; with the technological support available, there is no reason that we cannot have officers who fill the roles of mates and engineers simultaneously. But having an officer who is simultaneously a mate and an engineer will be met with resistance akin to that which opposed the first women at sea. The concept will be opposed by the unions as a situation that will take away jobs. But having ships manned by 12 people would mean more jobs than having no ships because the costs of a 30-person crew are too high.

It will be argued that there is enough work and responsibility on board ship to justify larger rather than smaller crews, and that the Coast Guard never will permit such reduced manning.

But if one truly were committed to this idea, at-sea work could be redefined and reduced to the essentials of safely navigating and propelling the ship. The Coast Guard will have to be convinced, but if its support is sought early on, it can provide valuable assistance to define the standards that will have to be met.

To make it happen, some company or agency has to take the initiative and make the commitment. The Military Sealift Command operates (either with civil servants or contract mariners) a number of ships that would be good candidates for the concept. Any operating company could commit to it with the introduction of a new class of ship. It is a business decision that—if economically viable—eventually will be made. If it cannot be done in U.S. ships, then it certainly will be done in foreign ones. The unions and the U.S. regulatory agencies must be convinced not to put up roadblocks.

Getting the qualified officers is another issue. Kings Point has been graduating officers with dual licenses since 1969, but they have not become anything like the "Mariner Class." With a generation of dual officers out there, one would think that at least some of them would have taken advantage of their unique status and be leading the industry into this change.

Part of the reason that their effect is so limited is that they are too few. Only a small percentage of each class takes the dual curriculum. For the industry to take advantage of the "Mariner-Class" idea, people capable of taking on the role need to be produced. This does not have to wait for the government or an operator to commit to the idea. At Kings Point, a substantial majority of each class should be so trained. Kings Point can require it of their students, and the midshipmen are smart enough to master both disciplines.

With the academies producing people capable of "Mariner-Class" in sufficient numbers, at least one impediment to the concept is removed. And if no operator steps up to take advantage in the near term, once a critical mass of such officers is reached, they will be in the position to make it happen themselves.

"Coast Guard Is Joint"

(See A. Hindle, pp. 30-33, December 1998 Proceedings )

Commander Don Grant, U.S. Coast Guard Reserve —Captain Hindle presented an informative view on how "joint" the Coast Guard is with the Department of Defense (DoD) services. However, the next step is to offer true "joint" credit to DoD personnel serving in Coast Guard billets, including area planning staffs and joint task forces.

The Goldwater-Nichols Act requires senior DoD personnel to serve in designated joint service billets to attain flag rank. The Coast Guard presently does not have any billets with this designation. With designated joint service billets, DoD personnel would be offered a joint view from the eyes of the Coast Guard and would enhance the Coast Guard's understanding of DoD roles, missions, operations, and doctrine. Jointness is supposed to be a two-way street. DoD personnel have as much to learn from the Coast Guard as the Coast Guard can learn from the DoD.

"Deep Coalitions: Alternate Power Projection"

(See S. Lindsay, pp. 72-74, January 1999 Proceedings )

Commander Sam Tangredi, U.S. Navy —Lieutenant Colonel Scott Lindsay is correct: America requires an interagency and interdisciplinary approach in our efforts to shape a more peaceful world. But his proposal for the use of "deep coalitions" as a method for "power projection" suffers from both definitional and practical weaknesses.

First, the definitional problem: Peacetime engagement is not the same as—nor does it necessarily include—power projection. As Colonel Lindsay correctly points out, there are significant differences on how the term "power projection" is defined throughout the Department of Defense (DoD).

The Navy-Marine Corps team uses the term "power projection" to refer to our employment of forward-deployed, combat-credible forces in achieving desired effects against potential enemies. As examples, a strike by Tomahawk cruise missiles and the landing of a Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) ashore are considered naval power projection capabilities.

In contrast, the Army and Air Force use the term to refer to the deployment of continental U.S.-based forces into regions of potential conflict. Thus, the movement of an Army brigade or Air Force wing from their U.S. base to a forward base—such as to Kuwait or Saudi Arabia to thwart a potential invasion—would be considered "power projection." Joint Vision 2010 —drafted predominantly by Army and Air Force officers—generally reflects the Army/Air Force view, but with an ambiguity that is traditional for most joint documents.

Both definitions describe capabilities used to respond to crisis or conflict (which the author refers to as Quadrant III or IV activities) rather than direct elements of shaping the peace (Quadrant I). The fact that our capabilities may have considerable deterrent effect on the outbreak of war does not necessarily mean that overt power projection is the appropriate way to engage nations with whom we are ostensibly at peace.

Nor can it be presumed that the nongovernmental and business organizations that Colonel Lindsay proposes as "deep coalition" partners have any interest in "projecting American power."

Defining "deep coalitions" as an alternative method of "power projection" has the potential of confusing the natural alliance between humanitarian agencies and the U.S. foreign policy establishment, while adding little clarity to DoD's internal understanding of the necessary attributes of power projection.

This leads to the practical problem of achieving "deep" coalitions in a democracy. Because democracy is founded on the principle of individual self-interest, it is likely that these proposed public-private foreign policy partnerships are destined to be shallow. As we have seen in the issue of sharing satellite technology with China, corporate profit and long term national security interests may diverge. Choosing which business interests are to be represented in the interdisciplinary coalition is a task replete with potential conflicts of interest. In the humanitarian aid field, nongovernmental organizations may not want to "take sides" against an authoritarian regime that does not interfere with aid distribution. In this sort of situation, humanitarian aid might actually prop up an authoritarian regime that is busy spending most of its public funds on weapons development. Colonel Lindsay's assertion that "charismatic DoD and government leadership will bring the civilian sector into the fold" is more than just overoptimistic. The only governments that have been particularly adept at achieving such "deep coalitions" through charismatic means have been totalitarian ones.

But having identified the difficulties, I must acknowledge the grassroots strength of Colonel Lindsay's ideas. Deep national-level coalitions—which Colonel Lindsay structures as a "national interdisciplinary cell for engagement"—may be problematic and inappropriate for power projection, but that does not detract from his core suggestion to invite philanthropists, athletes, entertainers, and others to help export democracy. To some extent, they already do so—because beneficiaries of the fruits of freedom set their own examples. Yet, the geographic military commanders-in-chief could do more to promote such engagement in their respective regions, and "regional interdisciplinary cells" might just prove useful tools in this regard. Effective membership, however, would seem best determined on a case-by-case basis rather than by establishing a standing structure.

Likewise, Colonel Lindsay's proposal for staffing "deployable interdisciplinary cells for engagement" would also seem case-dependent, but the reality is that such "deployable cells" already exist. They are called Naval Expeditionary Forces, which—with slight adjustment to their compositions—could easily include Seabees, Coast Guardsmen, public affairs experts, contracting and procurement specialists, even an Islamic Navy Chaplain. Rather than portray this as part of power projection, it is more appropriate to consider these assets as one facet of the naval concept of forward presence.

Forward presence—the routine deployment of combat-credible naval forces into the potential crisis regions of the world—capitalizes on the international recognized freedom of the seas to allow for a spectrum of engagement activities that can be tailored to the level of political support, international partnership, or crisis response required by circumstances. Forward presence and its contributory engagement activities (the Navy's primary Quadrant I function) shape the peace, and nonmilitary assets can certainly be used to supplement the military aspects of engagement. But instead of creating interdisciplinary cells to duplicate a deployment structure that already exists, it would seem more practical to add civilian expertise—on a voluntary basis—to the already-proven methodology of day-to-day international engagement.

While deep coalitions may prove elusive, willing shipmates of international stature could very well enhance the engagement aspects of naval and joint forward presence, thereby adding nontraditional resources to keeping the peace. After all, who wouldn't want to have a Steven Jobs, a Robert Schuller, or a Michael Jordan along for part of a cruise?

"The Seven Deadly Sins of Network-Centric Warfare"

(See T. Barnett, pp. 36-39, January 1999 Proceedings )

Commander Gadsden E. Rule, U.S. Navy —Dr. Barnett warns against several network-centric warfare (NCW) pitfalls that seem reasonable. And in the supporting discussion, he makes some good points. But his conclusion, that "focusing NCW on the application of large-scale violence, or past wars, is a mistake—especially for our naval forces," is as dangerous as it is clear.

The notion that emerging political dynamics and new technology, as well as recent experience, suggest that the awful violence and bloodshed that accompany a major war largely are behind us is not new. The better part of two centuries ago, von Clausewitz warned us against this strategic trap when he wrote: "Now, philanthropists may easily imagine there is a skillful method of disarming and overcoming an enemy without causing great bloodshed, and that this is the proper tendency of the Art of War. However plausible this may appear, still it is an error which must be extirpated: for in such dangerous things as War, the errors which proceed from a spirit of benevolence are the worst."

While we as citizens of this great democratic nation hope and pray for outcomes in our dealings with other peoples other than the bloody and violent use of military force, especially on a large scale, our armed services always must be able and willing to exercise precisely that kind of force. Our elected and appointed civilian leaders certainly should strive for nonviolent conflict resolution. But a scenario where the security interests of this nation and of the world are best served by overthrowing the rulers of a hostile nation through the destruction of the military's ability and will to fight is all too easy to imagine.

If we prepare for the eventuality of large-scale war, we also should be able to perform the other, less stressful operations (peacekeeping, humanitarian relief, counternarcotics, limited strike, etc.). But the converse does not hold. If we focus our primary attention on the other operations, we—the Navy, Marine Corps, Army, Air Force, and Coast Guard—may quickly discover ourselves unequal to the more daunting challenge of projecting large-scale violence and destruction against an enemy when this is the required response. NCW must continue its primary focus on the forceful defeat of an enemy nation. Let the diplomats, not our naval forces, figure out how to use it for other, more benevolent aims.

"Trident Can Fire More Than Nukes"

(See J. Patton, pp. 36-38, August 1998 Proceedings )

Captain F. F. Furtek, Jr., U.S. Naval Reserve (Retired)— Captain Patton's article provides an interesting use for an existing, well-developed national asset. It is well worth keeping the Trident force in commission with new missions as a hedge against the ever-changing world political landscape. I have one suggestion, and can foresee one problem.

Both of these involve the use of Trident in the nonnuclear strike role. The most effective use of the Trident would be as a deep penetrator, to reach down into those underground bunkers alleged to be found in Third World rogue states. The kinetic energy available could be multiplied by adding a deep-penetrating warhead, perhaps borrowed from existing aircraft-launched weapons. That combination would seem to hold at risk any underground weapons-of-mass-destruction factory our intelligence can target. As long as we have decided to reserve a missile tube for this deep penetrator, why not make it a MIRV? Multiple deep penetrators bracketing that bunker could provide an extra measure of comfort, ensuring destruction in case our intelligence on the location is off a little.

But there is a problem in using the weapon this way. We would have to make sure that Captain Patton's "other key political entities" clearly understood (and believed us) the intended target of the missile. Put yourself in the place of the head of state of a country adjoining the intended target-state. Do you believe the phone call telling you that the missile is aimed for the alleged weapons-of-mass-destruction plant, or do you think it is a decapitating first strike aimed for you? What if Boris Yeltsin activated his nuclear chain of command for a Norwegian research rocket? We are using a weapons platform that historically has been associated with nuclear war. I don't think this is an insignificant obstacle to overcome.

"No Home on the Range"

(See E. Okerstrom, pp. 52-55, November 1998 Proceedings )

Keith R. Knoblock —Commander Okerstrom addresses an important issue, but fails to highlight one of the more critical concerns regarding withdrawal of public lands for exploration-development of mineral resources. He stresses protection and nonuse rather than environmentally sound utilization of natural resources.

The author accurately points out that access to military lands is essential for a number of reasons, including the demand for "natural resources." His definition of "natural resources" would seem to include only those that, in his view, must be preserved or conserved. Mineral resources are neglected as a natural resource.

Mineral resources are the keystone of the nation's economy and essential for the production and delivery of our most basic needs: energy, food, water, shelter, and manufactured goods—including military hardware.

America's public lands total 690 million acres—almost one-third of the nation's land area. They have enormous potential for discovery of valuable mineral deposits, yet nearly two-thirds effectively are foreclosed to mineral exploration and development. This includes millions of acres of military lands that are believed to contain valuable stores of minerals.

Although there may be good reason in some instances to remove certain public lands for an exclusive purpose, much of this land could and should serve multiple uses, including mining. Mining can only take place where mineral deposits are found; the public lands offer as-yet unexplored mineral potential.

The United States increasingly is becoming dependent on foreign sources for strategic and critical minerals—the stuff that drives our national defense. Millions of acres of land have been withdrawn for military purposes. Much of this is not used actively by the military and could be opened to mineral exploration and development where such activity would not interfere with the military mission.

Public Law 99-606 authorized a 15year withdrawal extension for six western military installations. That same act permitted selective opening of five of those areas to mineral exploration and development, and directed the Secretary of Interior—with the concurrence of the military involved—to determine which of these lands would be suitable for mining operations. This is good public policy. But the will of Congress has been ignored; no military lands have been opened.

Allowing mining access to military lands could promote optimal use of the land under the principles of multiple use and ensure that there is no interference with military operations and national defense activities. The mining industry can help fulfill increasing national requirements and minimize risky undue dependence on foreign sources—a hot topic today.

Commander Okerstrom should be aware and appreciative of the need to provide opportunities for mineral exploration and development on military lands within the framework of responsible multiple use management.

Good management of these lands can include far more than recreation, tourism, "open-space amenities," and preservation.

A few points in the article need correction. The Bureau of Land Management manages only public domain lands (some 290 million acres). Other federal agencies oversee other lands: The National Park Service manages the National Park System; the Fish and Wildlife Service manages the refuge system; the Indians are responsible for management of tribal lands; and the U.S. Forest Service manages national forests. On another point, the U.S. Bureau of Mines was eliminated three years ago.

"Centers of Gravity Are a Myth"

(See M. Cancian, pp. 30-34, September 1998 Proceedings )

Lieutenant Colonel Frank G. Hoffman, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve— The poor Prussian Clausewitz probably is spinning in his grave at Colonel Cancian's claim that centers of gravity are a myth. Were his conclusions supported, we would quickly shut down the strategy and operations departments at all the service war colleges and save a tidy sum.

Strategy and the operational art still require the intellectual exercise of examining our opponent, discerning his strengths and weaknesses, and gauging the proper time and place to apply military force. To claim otherwise is to ignore anything history has to offer, and to reduce warfare to mere attrition, which is how I read his rationale for mere relational "battlefield advantage."

Were this correct, we would have won in Vietnam in 1965 just like the Office of the Secretary of Defense computers concluded. "Battlefield advantage" equates to a narrow tactical perspective consistent with the systems analysis approach that contributed to our debacle in Vietnam. The system approach is far more comfortable with tabulating everything that can be quantified in war, and ignoring the crucial intangibilities. It captures all the science of warfare, but studiously ignores anything of the art. Notably, the author is a senior official in the same OSD Program Analysis and Evaluation Office where attrition-based models remain an altar for decision. We had "battlefield advantage" in Vietnam, and arguably won all the tactical fights, and still somehow lost the war.

We lost that war, in part, by ignoring strategy and the operational art. A newfound appreciation for all three levels of war emerged. The military climbed out of that deep hole in the 1980s, thanks to an intellectual renaissance at our professional educational institutions. The reintroduction of Clausewitz at the Army and Naval War Colleges, and the revamping of the Strategy and Policy curriculum at Newport are noted contributions to this rise in military art. In complete contrast, Colonel Cancian would have us ignore this piece of history and reverse our long climb out of the intellectual vacuum of a generation ago.

Colonel Cancian labors under the mistaken belief that centers of gravity are the equivalent of the key card in a house of cards; pulling or destroying the right card will bring the whole house tumbling down. This is a strawman argument.

Nowhere in Clausewitz or in the definitions cited in various joint or service publications is the "silver bullet" approach advocated. In fact, many of the historical examples used by Dr. J. Strange in his seminal monograph involve long campaigns targeting critical vulnerabilities to attack enemy centers of gravity over time. For example, the World War II U.S. submarine campaign against Japan targeted raw material imports and oil tankers (unescorted and therefore a vulnerability) to strangle Japan's production and economy (center of gravity). The Germans failed to identify the undefended British radar sites (critical vulnerability), which were a critical supporting capability in its air-defense system. Destroying those sites would have negated the Royal Air Force (a critical capability or center of gravity) from mounting its historic defense in the summer of 1940.

Centers of gravity do exist , but largely at the strategic and operational levels of war. The author's limited historical examples largely were tactical and thus do not support his argument. No one ever has denied that "centers of gravity" were difficult to discern properly and attack. Furthermore, no one—and certainly not Clausewitz—said it was going to be easy. They are not a pane of glass that can be shattered without risk or effort.

While the general drift of the article is off base, the conclusions regarding the need for joint approaches deserves applause. Planners cannot assume that opponents will be shocked or awed, much less defeated, by strikes of a single dimension of war. That is why the Marine Corps also has stressed combined arms as a core competency.

Designing and executing joint campaigns, against future antagonists whose strengths or vulnerabilities we can only guess at, requires the ability to use the core capabilities of all our services—sometimes simultaneously, sometimes in sequence, but always in accordance with the commander-in-chief's operational campaign plans.

“‘The Battle Fleet Must Have Eyes"'

(See W. Smedberg, pp. 89-90, September 1998 Proceedings )

Wayne O. Ouzts —Admiral Smedberg accurately portrays a true need for today's warfighter. A warfighter is one who puts steel on target and/or dies on the battlefield—a 20-year-old American.

So why don't we have tactical unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the fleet? No decision-maker really wants them. UAVs have been around as long as airplanes, but there is no culture of support for them. The lack of objective and decisiveness for the technology has limited its role and future within the naval services. If a service really wants a piece of technology, they get it.

Most people are growing to realize that very few pieces of technology can be turned into Swiss Army knives. Ships are built for missions, planes have rather specific capabilities, tanks generally do one thing well, but for some reason, everyone thinks that UAVs are Swiss Army knives. Versatility, modularity, and state of the art cost money. UAVs must be cost efficient to be accepted. Let's just make one do an important mission well and not one that does everything fabulously but needs fighter escort to take pictures.

Redundancy and survivability are expensive attributes. A tactical UAV should be built to be affordable. Spend your money on assets that carry multi-million-dollar payloads and buy U-2s. What the warfighter needs is a picture if not a movie clip. Who outside of a CinC staff cares about electronic warfare missions? Get me a picture of the 25 tanks 20 minutes away from me. And, I do not care to identify the manufacturer of the tanks by analyzing the welds. Just show or tell me the tanks are on the way.

The Air Force is coming to grips with a problem that all of the services are having to deal with: Who flies the UAVs? The Air Force wants unemployed U-2 pilots, and the Army wants truck drivers. The Navy is probably somewhere in the middle. A UAV can be flown by a trained mature noncommissioned officer or chief petty officer (and there are quite a few of them out there).

I hope someone realizes that our number-one problem on the battlefield with the UAVs is the inability to coordinate, plan, and task the system. Though it is changing, liaison officers in support of the UAV systems usually have been someone who has read a manual on the equipment once and is a card-carrying aviator or pilot. The development of an experienced culture is key to the successful integration of robotic technologies onto the battlefields of the 21st century.

"Could a Small Crew Have Saved the Stark —Or the Samuel B. Roberts ?"

(See J. Lyons, pp. 86-88, October 1998 Proceedings )

Lieutenant Jeff Neumann, U.S. Coast Guard, Executive Officer, USCGC Elm (WEB-204)— It is exciting to hear a senior naval officer express favorable views of the Smart Ship concept. Admiral Lyons' views and opinions demonstrate his willingness to explore the concept: performing the mission using fewer people by using technology. In the Coast Guard, we use the term "optimal crew," and are studying the process in existing cutters. We are building two new classes of buoy tender specifically designed to be optimally crewed. The future of optimal crewing boils down to two basic fundamentals: equipment and mindset.

First, the technology has been around for years: Electronic chart systems married with ship controls have proven to be reliable; machinery plants have been automated; and fire-suppression systems are either automatic or require minimal intervention. It seems that we in the Coast Guard have been on the backside of technology for nearly a quarter century. Eight years ago, I was enforcing fisheries laws on factory trawlers worth tens of millions of dollars that were full of electronic charts, sonar, voice and data satellite communications, fire-suppression systems, and automated machinery that supported a population of 80 workers for weeks at a time, with two or three watchstanders. The cutter I served on was 50 years old, plotted on paper charts, used high-frequency radio to communicate, and had a crew of 60 supporting a six person boarding team—a World War II vintage ship filled with Vietnam-era equipment. The Coast Guard has been struggling for years to reach a balance between maintaining what we have and purchasing new technology during the recent years of budgetary shortfalls. There have been some significant achievements, but the seagoing services must continue to press forward with the purchase of new technology.

Second, the leaders of seagoing services must accept the technology and let the equipment do what it is designed to do. We sail the Elm , a newly commissioned 225-foot, 2,000-ton displacement buoy tender with a crew of 40, compared to the 55-person crew of the 180-foot, 900-ton displacement tender we replaced. Our underway watch consists of one engineer using a computer that monitors and controls nearly all the machinery from one workstation and closed-circuit TV to observe unmanned spaces, and three watchstanders on the bridge: an officer-of-the-deck, quartermaster, and lookout/boatswain's mate of the watch. Our in-port watch consists of five people; we have maintained a requirement to have a 24-hour live watch because we have crew members who live on board. One of our sister ships keeps one person on the ship after the workday. All these steps have required both money and a change in philosophy.

On the money side, although the ship was delivered with many of the technological innovations in place, there were still a number of purchases to be made: UHF radios that can transmit from anywhere on the ship, fire-retardant coveralls for the crew, and extra computer and video monitors. After we accepted delivery of the Elm , our philosophy had not changed. We set up our watch sections as our prior experiences told us to—three or four in the engine room, five or six on the bridge, and everyone had a billet in the repair locker. We soon found that we had run out of bodies with billets and duties left to be filled. Through some trial and error, and finally by developing a trust in the systems, we feel our work and damage-control organizations are at an effective level, without overburdening the crew and keeping operations safe.

Unfortunately, I have encountered some closed-minded individuals who say optimal crewing will not work, that we cannot safely operate and maintain a large cutter with a small crew. Fortunately, those individuals are few and far between. Even those of us open to the concept must continue to learn and grow as technology advances.

Possibly the toughest mental hurdle I have had to overcome since arriving in a command position is, oddly enough, giving up a measure of control and trusting the junior officers and enlisted people to do the job. As a deck watch officer, I was the one standing the watch at night, in control, and I did not realize the effort it took for my commanding officer to retire to the cabin for the evening instead of staying on the bridge. Now, we must all overcome the hurdle of letting the electronics take more control, and learn to trust the systems.

"The Asian Anchor"

(See D. MacKinnon, pp. 62-66, September 1998; C. Jakobsson, p. 22, November 1998 Proceedings )

Commodore R. P. Khanna, Indian Navy (Retired)— I would like to add that nations today have conflict not only with armed forces but also with economic and industrial might. India, with a sound economic base, a reasonably sized deepwater navy, a technically skilled workforce, and adequate infrastructure, can provide a sound base. It is an Asian Tiger, waiting to come into its own and to have closer and friendly mutually advantageous ties with the United States.

India looks to the United States for collaboration in high-tech manufacturing for warships, tanks, and light combat aircraft. The U.S. Navy can use repairs and refit facilities provided by excellent shipyards in India, thus saving millions of dollars and precious time in not sending ships back across oceans for maintenance. In addition to joint exercises and officer exchanges, scientists from both countries should interact on joint projects in both defense and industrial sectors.

Policies are determined by a cultural outlook of a nation. India's constitution, its vibrant democracy, state obligation for human welfare, independent judiciary, and its fearless free press are a solid foundation on which long-term association can be built.

It appears the Americans are not fully conscious of the very large base of shared values and common ideology that exists between the United States and India—a commonality far greater than that which exists between the United States and many other countries.

The high professional caliber of Indian armed forces officers has been acclaimed at the global level. The defense officers abide by the Indian constitution and do not interfere with the political process. In fact, the political authority is supreme, as it is in the United States in defense policy formation.

Further, concept and training in the defense forces has been influenced considerably by NATO doctrine, adjusted to meet Indian conditions and developments in warfare. U.S. officers detailed for staff and higher command courses in India benefit from interaction because of a common language and similarity in strategic and tactical concepts. This also applies to Indian officers selected for courses in the United States.

There is a lack of understanding in the United States of India's potential. In a country of nearly a billion people with an abundance of untapped resources such as iron, coal, gas, and bauxite, and unlimited availability of sunshine, wind, plus hydro power capable of enormous energy, the United States can play an important mutually beneficial role in its development.

India and the United States may be geographically apart, but the world is shrinking, and in the global village, no two large democracies of such size can remain isolated from each other.



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