We can have 350 ships, 50 amphibs, 25 percent more overseas presence, 20 percent more wartime capacity, and use 10 percent fewer people, all with no new money.
President Barack Obama’s strategy of January 2012 asked the Department of Defense to think differently, and to find ways to do more with less. The serial budget crises, the looming peace dividend, and the rising costs of shipbuilding all require us to reconsider every facet of how we do business. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus said recently to the assembled flag wardroom of the Navy: “We have to innovate, think, act, and deliver.” Indeed, we are collectively rethinking much about our surface Navy—the way we acquire and build ships, the way we make them ready, and the way we employ and sustain them. The following should add grist to that innovation mill.