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It’s Time to Think Profit and Loss—14
A Crisis of Confidence—14
Expansion of the Regular Membership Category—14
Kennedy & Taylor: Vietnam, 1961—19
Commanders Must Command—20
We Are Here to Stay—20
Just Stay Cool—20
Privacy and Off-Duty—20
Listen to the Troops—20
Exclusion: Homosexuals and the Right to Serve—20
One Mistake Does Not Mean You’re A Brig Rat—24
Canada Is Ignoring Its Navy—25
Going to WestPac Will Be Different—25
Voices from the Central Blue—27
What Manner of Men?—27
We Are Ready When You Are—28
Coastal Patrol: Call the Experts—28
“It’s Time to Think Profit and Loss”
(See W. Carroll, pp. 12-14, April 1993
Franklin P. Blaisdell—I have been a member of the U.S. Naval Institute for more than 40 years. In all that time, the best article I have read was Lieutenant Commander Carroll’s commentary. It was excellent. □
“A Crisis of Confidence”
(See T. M. Gallagher, pp. 32-36, April 1993;
J. D. Brackin, p. 16, May 1993 Proceedings)
Commander Christopher D. Slack, U.S. Navy—After developing a point that news coverage of high-profile cases occurs “prior to proper examination of the facts,” Lieutenant Commander Gallagher proceeds to develop examples based on newspaper reports—notably the “Tomcat Follies” (see footnote 9). A drive for facts might have included interviews with any of the lawyers or leaders involved in the prosecution and review of the case or a review of the documents associated with the detachment-for-cause proceedings and review process—obtainable through Freedom of Information Act queries.
Commander Gallagher missed the big picture on the basic issues of the Tomcat Follies. The administrative actions were not taken in response to complaints by “a female member of Congress”—although that was implied in news reports. The actions were taken in response to a failure of leadership, specifically, the failure to follow explicit guidance—based on lessons learned from the Tailhook convention—that was provided to commanding officers to avoid further public embarrassment to the Navy. Furthermore, the fact that two verdicts were reversed after review by the chain of command illustrates the success of due process in the military justice system.
The Tomcat Follies case provides a shining example of what is right with military justice instead of what is wrong. Despite intense news coverage and outside meddling by those who thought the officers involved should not be held accountable for their actions, the system remained focused on the real issue—a
breach in leadership—and provided due process the way it was designed to do. After reviewing all information—including that derived from personal discussions with the accused—those in the reviewing chain of command reinstated two officers. Again, the system worked as it was designed.
This flawed example, however, should not detract from the basic thrust of Commander Gallagher’s article. There is a loss of confidence in the military justice system, partly because those who report on it do not understand it—especially, the built-in process of reviews to ensure due process. Left to the military, the system works well. Like most other systems, when subjected to external meddling, it starts to run awry. □
“Expansion of the Regular
(See F. B. Kelso, p. 22, March 1993; H. W.
O'Quin, A. Masulaitis, T. R. Daniel, p. 20, May
Chief Storekeeper Bart Longo, U.S. Navy (Retired)—Ns an associate member of the Naval Institute for more than 30 years, I applaud the Board of Control’s decision. To the reasons for this decision that Admiral Kelso listed in his memorandum, I can only add that this reform could only enhance the Naval Institute’s reputation.
I have one related recommendation: A section titled “From the Foc’sul,” in which enlisted members could submit short articles of professional and semiprofessional interest that would be geared to the enlisted reader. □
Lieutenant John E. Shassberger, U.S. Navy—My first reaction to the proposal to expand the regular membership category was “No, this is not a good idea.” However, I changed my mind after giving it some more thought and asking myself, “Why not?”
I would guess that some people who are against the idea are afraid that such a change would decrease the quality of the magazine. After some thought, I cannot see how this change could degrade the quality of Proceedings. First of all, rarely do I see Proceedings being read
Anywhere except in the wardroom. I am doubtful that our junior sailors are a ■ttajor audience right now.
But, what if enlisted personnel in the sea services suddenly realized what a terrific magazine Proceedings is? If my sailors put their noses into the magazine and took the time to formulate opinions °n naval policy and strategy or, better Vet, decided to write for the magazine, 1 Would applaud their efforts!
Full membership for enlisted personnel can only increase our collective knowledge. If they don’t turn out in droves, the Naval Institute and the sea services lose nothing. But by offering Weryone a chance to be voting members, 'he Naval Institute is saying that it is an organization that gives everyone an opportunity to make a difference. □
'‘Kennedy & Taylor: Vietnam, 1961” '
(See W. H. Bagley, pp. 106-115, May 1993 Proceedings)
Arthur J. Dommen—November 1961 was Indeed a crucial period in U.S. involvement in Vietnam and Admiral Bagley does us a service by recreating the circumstances in which the related decisions Were made. Because he served on General Maxwell Taylor’s staff, accompanied I him on the mission to Saigon in Octo- her 1961, and attended his two private meetings with President Kennedy, Admiral Bagley brings important historical evidence to bear on the events and dismissions of that period. Moreover, his service in Saigon in 1951-1953 gave him a Perspective on the dilemma of U.S. re- •ations with South Vietnam that few of President Kennedy’s immediate circle of advisers shared.
However, Admiral Bagley distorts the factual record on two points. As these Points are key, centered on the leaders of ttie two countries involved in this relationship, I believe they vitiate the admiral’s analysis and undermine the conclusions he draws.
The first point concerns Admiral Bagley’s portrayal of South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem. It is well known that Diem felt uncomfortable in the presence of Americans. He admired the United States and stood in awe of hs accomplishments and power, which had been explained to him by President Eisenhower when Diem visited Washington in 1957. U.S. military power was demonstrated in visits to Saigon by units of the Seventh Fleet. We should not forget, however, that in spite of having spent years living in exile in the United States
and Europe, President Diem remained thoroughly Vietnamese in his outlook. With Americans whom he did not know, with whom he was meeting for the first or second time (as was the case with General Taylor), he tended to be stiff and to resort to monologues. Perhaps this was the way he thought Americans expected a president to behave. Edward Lans-
dale__ who had known Diem for more
than seven years at the time of the Taylor mission—would never have described him having “little imagination—his thoughts slowed by doubt and deceit, as Admiral Bagley describes General Taylor’s evaluation of him.
Moreover, contrary to Admiral Bagley, President Diem was extremely well-informed about the situation in his own country. I can attest to that personally from my talks with him and with his advisers over a period of two years. One has only to read the memoranda of his conversations with high-ranking officers of the U.S. Embassy and Military Assistance Advisory Group (published in the State Department’s foreign-relations volumes for 1954 to 1963) to confirm this. He made repeated requests for U.S. road-building equipment because he appreciated the strategic importance of the Central Highlands—and he was frustrated because U.S. Ambassador Elbridge Durbrow kept stalling for bureaucratic reasons.
The proliferation of intelligence services in South Vietnam particularly rankled U.S. military men. Their attempt to get President Diem to create a unified intelligence service along the lines of the Central Intelligence Agency revealed their ignorance of Vietnamese culture. In Vietnamese culture, family loyalty counts above all else. Having several intelligence services was Diem’s only way of being sure of getting the truth, because no single report writer would incriminate a relative—or even someone to whom he was obligated in any way whatsoever.
In short, General Taylor was poorly prepared to deal with the South Vietnamese leader. The relationship between the Americans and Diem was a world apart from the relatively straightforward relationship that existed during the Korean War between the U.S. commander of United Nations forces and Korean President Syngman Rhee. By using his experience in Korea to compensate for his lack of knowledge of Vietnam and its culture, General Taylor made a mistake— as his eulogistic biographer, his son John M. Taylor, acknowledges. This fact mattered a great deal in the final balance.
My second point of issue is just as important. As he portrays President Diem
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dismissively, Admiral Bagley portrays President Kennedy unfairly. Certainly decisionmaking in Kennedy’s White House was no paragon of clarity, and it is easy to see why it drove Maxwell Taylor to distraction. But if anyone correctly appreciated the political realities of growing U.S. involvement in Vietnam, it was John Kennedy. Much better than any military man, President Kennedy knew the dangers of “Americanizing” the war in Vietnam. In a 1954 Senate speech, he stated that no amount of military power would allow the French to overcome the disadvantage of waging a colonial war.
President Kennedy saw Vietnam as part of a wider challenge; and he saw it as his duty as the leader of the Free World to meet it. To say that he went in blindfolded, however, is absurd. He believed that the South Vietnamese—with appropriate U.S. help—could defeat the Communists, who depended on the use of coercion and terror, and whose example of the future was there for all Vietnamese to see—the Stalinist police state of North Vietnam. The problems were enormous, of course—beginning with cutting the flow of men and arms across South Vietnam’s land and sea borders— and the fact that the course followed by the United States became a self-fulfilling prophecy of folly can be blamed in no small measure on President Kennedy, who seems to have acted against his better instincts in “Americanizing” the war.
Finally, Admiral Bagley’s suggestion that President Kennedy pursued his actions in Vietnam out of personal ambition is a new theory to me—and one for which there is a complete lack of evidence. While we now know about the great influence of President Kennedy’s father on him, this particular charge is unworthy of a U.S. military officer. □
Editor s Note: Mr. Dommen was Saigon Bureau Chief for United Press International from 1959 to 1961. His article The Place is Vietnam"—coauthored with Cheryl Weissman—will be published in the September/October 1993 issue of the U.S. Naval Institute’s Naval History magazine.
“Commanders Must Command”
(See E. Hebert, pp. 55-59, September 1992; E. B. Hontz, p. 14, October 1992; K. A. Eubanks, pp. 13-14, December 1992; J. E. Lyons, p. 18, January 1993; M. Morris, pp. 23-24, February 1993; M. A. Hess, p. 29, May 1993 Proceedings)
Lieutenant Commander David Kern, U.S. Navy—I share Commander Hebert’s concern for the future success of our Navy.
However, he incorrectly implies that the officers cannot learn the “cardinal aspects of warfare” while serving in engineering assignments.
I stand midway on the path to submarine command having completed my first tour, two department head assignments, and qualification for command. In my experience, the success of any ship depends on the mature judgment, self-reliance, and common sense of her people. The ability to draw on one’s experience and make the best decision possible is a key aspect of command.
If young engineering officers spent their days disassembling condensers and repairing valves, then I would agree with Commander Hebert that they are wasting valuable time. Fortunately, this is not so. Junior officers split their time between running their divisions and qualifying for watch stations—both of which prepare them for command. As they learn to run a division, young officers are tackling personnel problems, conducting training, and managing qualification and maintenance programs. As they qualify and stand engineering watches, young officers learn how to coordinate complex evolutions. They learn practical damage control by leading engineering watch sections through casualty simulations. In qualifying to be en- gineering-officers-of-the-watch, young officers learn to think on their feet. They are taught to deliver propulsion to the officer-of-the-deck in a variety of situations—without sacrificing ship safety. In short, young engineering watch officers learn how the systems of the ship operate and how to employ them in peace and war.
Commander Hebert’s proposal to exclude an officer preparing for command from engineering billets doesn’t make sense. An officer does not need to serve as the engineering department head to understand how to run the ship. However, commanding officers must be ready to employ their ships to the fullest. The tactical capabilities of each ship are as much defined by her maneuverability, endurance, and damage-control capability as by her weapon systems. Tactical challenges will confront these commanders that will require quick thinking and resourcefulness. The captain must meet these tactical tests by drawing upon his knowledge of his ship and crew. The captain’s previous experience as an en- gineering-officer-of-the-watch is as important to his success as his experience as an officer-of-the-deck. Denying officers hands-on experience in engineering and damage control can only hobble them when they become captains. □
(.See D. Evans, pp. 89-91. April 1993 Proceedings)
“We Are Here to Stay”
(See P. Adams et. al., pp. 92-94, April 1993 Proceedings)
(See N. P. Jennings, pp. 95-96, April 1993 Proceedings)
“Just Stay Cool”
(See R. E. Morabito, pp. 97-99, April 1993 Proceedings)
“Privacy and Off-Duty”
(See J. M. Yunker, p. 98, April 1993 Proceedings)
(See K. M. McCrane, pp. 99-100, April 1993 Proceedings)
“Listen to the Troops”
(See G. M. Miller, p.100, April 1993 Proceedings)
“Honor Bound: A Gay American Fights for the Right to Serve His Country”
(See M. Wells-Petry, pp. iOl-102, April 1993 Proceedings)
“Exclusion: Homosexuals and
the Right to Serve”
(See D. L. Carlson, p. 102, April 1993
Orlando Gotay, Jr.—As a part of Philip Adams’s excellent article, I was frankly surprised to see the U.S. Naval Institute dedicate a tangible portion of the April 1993 Proceedings to addressing the current ban on gay men and lesbians in the U.S. armed forces.
I was disappointed, however, in the content of other articles in the package- While I understand that there are divergent views of this issue, I expected better arguments against lifting the ban than the ones that appeared. Despite the authors’ impressive backgrounds and training, they did little more than pander to the readers’ fears. For example, the “shower syndrome” argument is a fallacious one—a very slightly modified version of the 1947 argument that a white man would not take a shower with a black one. Most of the authors seemed to ignore the fact that the only change we want is the end to the prohibition of gay men and lesbians serving in the U.S. military. We do not seek the sanction of sexual conduct—heterosexual or homosex-
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Furthermore, in the book review section, Major Melissa Wells-Petry sharply criticized the book Honor Bound by Joseph Steffan, an openly gay man—and former U.S. Naval Academy midshipman—who advocates lifting the ban. Turning to the next book review—there Was the major again. However, this time, it was her book—that espouses retaining the ban—being reviewed!
Assuming for the sake of argument that Major Wells-Petry is an expert on the matter by virtue of the research she undertook to write her own book, why did Proceedings think she would be an objective book reviewer on this subject? If there was any attempt at objectivity in her review, she did a superb job of camouflaging it.
If Proceedings intended to subject Joe Steffan’s work to exacting scrutiny by having it reviewed by someone most Prone to find fault with it, then the se- iection of Vice Admiral Carlson to review Major Wells-Petry s book was Wholly inappropriate. His review also is a good one when it comes to camouflaging objectivity. “A most scholarly Work,” he says of the book—although he never tells us why. It looks as if Admiral Carlson had this book reviewed even before he opened the cover. It Would have been far more revealing— and significantly fairer—to have had Joe Steffan review Major Wells-Petry s Work. □
Lieutenant Commander John King, Judge Advocate General Corps, U.S. Naval Reserve—Admiral Miller is entirely correct: there is great concern within the enlisted community about the effects of lifting the ban against homosexuals.
At a recent all-hands meeting at my reserve center, the focus swiftly turned
from the stated subject—reductions in the budget and pay billets—to concerns about homosexuals. Here are some of the many questions that I was asked and my answers to them.
► Will homosexuals be allowed to dance together at the enlisted or officer’s club?
I don’t have an answer to this question. Every service club I have been in, as an enlisted Marine and as a Navy officer, has set its own tone. I suspect that open hostility to homosexuals dancing probably would encourage them to go elsewhere.
► Will homosexuals be granted spousal privileges, housing, medical care, and other benefits and entitlements? Probably not. To my knowledge, there are no jurisdictions that recognize same-sex “marriages” as legal.
► What if some homosexual looks at me strangely in the shower? I assume you mean the other person is staring at your body. Tell him or her to stop. You are protected legally from offensive touching, remarks, and perhaps some gestures. However, offensive looks probably are not prohibited.
>■ What if I am told to share a room or other living space with a person known to be gay? I recommend you talk it over with him or her. I have shared quarters with evangelical Christians, vegetarians, and shipmates of both ultra-liberal and ultra-conservative political persuasions— without being converted by any of them. It is important to remember that homosexuality will not be mandatory. However, if you are totally repulsed by the person who is homosexual, go up the chain of command with your concerns.
These questions are merely representative of the many naval officers will face as we ready ourselves for the lifting of the ban. These are serious questions and I emphatically discourage any flippancy in answering them. Our sailors and Marines deserve better.
As happened with the integration of women and minorities, personal acceptance of homosexual sailors and Marines probably will occur gradually. If the officer corps demonstrates both serious respect for our sailors and Marines, and a willingness to carry out our lawful duties, the sea services will pass through this transition—as it has so many others—and emerge stronger. □
Commander Gilbert D. Gibson, Chaplain Corps, U.S. Navy—While ultimately unpersuasive, Captain Adams s article is very instructive because it illuminates three important aspects of the homosexual controversy in a dramatic way.
The first aspect is the intellectual bankruptcy of the pro-homosexual position. The article that Captain Adams most cites—Commander E. T. Gomulka s “Why No Gays” in the December 1992 Proceedings—was filled with pertinent facts from authoritative sources. Commander Gomulka s article also displayed a concern for the well-being of homosexuals even if they are excluded from the service. Captain Adams’ article is highly emotional, with a good deal of unsubstantiated opinion but almost no documentation. He refutes positions that Commander Gomulka did not take and he resorts finally to calling those who oppose lifting the ban “bigoted, narrowminded, hate-oriented.” This calls to mind the modem aphorism that a bigot is someone who is winning an argument with a liberal.
The second instructive aspect of the article is the strikingly clear articulation of homosexuals’ real stake in the issue of military service. Captain Adams states, “If he [Commander Gomulka] means that we want the public to affirm our out-of- the-closet sexual orientation, then he is correct.” Here is the real impetus behind homosexuals’ campaign to lift the
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ban: public affirmation of homosexuality. Behind their plaintive cries of “we only want to serve our country” is their real desire: to have the federal government declare that homosexuality is acceptable and should be affirmed without moral approbation. That is why the debate is so passionate and that is also why the decision, with all its moral implications for our society, cannot be left in the hands of one man paying off a political debt.
The third instructive aspect of the piece is also tragic. A careful reading of works by Captain Adams and others with similar beliefs will show that they are written from a life of great pain. The pain of homosexuals is clear from their words and actions at public events and is displayed dramatically in the statistics of alcohol and drug abuse and suicide among homosexuals. The tragedy is that Captain Adams and others have misper- ceived the source of their pain and consequently misperceived the means to alleviate it. Homosexual activists argue that the problem is not theirs but society’s; that their pain is caused by society’s attitudes rather than their own behavior. They conclude that the alleviation of their pain is possible only by changing society and our moral attitudes. The current campaign to lift the ban is an important part of the struggle to change society.
Captain Adams seems to believe that public affirmation of his sexual behavior will mean an end to his hurt; he is tragically wrong. Believers in God are called to speak the truth in love, and the truth is this: homosexual behavior itself and the lifestyle associated with it are the causes of the pain so apparent among homosexuals. Public affirmation may bring a temporary respite—but the pain will return. Only turning from homosexuality itself will bring permanent healing. Removal of the moral stigma from alcoholism did nothing to change the physical, emotional, and spiritual devastation caused by continuing to abuse alcohol. So it is with homosexuality. Public affirmation will not mean the end of suffering if’the behavior continues.
The Navy Chaplain Corps expects me to provide pastoral care for all members of the service. My church expects me to work toward healing and reconciliation among people and between individuals and God. Reconciliation and healing for homosexuals do not begin with forcing a change in society’s moral judgments or military policy. They begin with recognizing who truly has a problem and Who truly offers a solution. □
“One Mistake Does Not Mean You’re A Brig Rat”
(See J. F. O’Connor, pp. 101-102, December
Captain E. V. Howell, U.S. Marini Corps—Contrary to Lieutenant O’Connor’s article, one nonjudicial punishment (NJP) does not make a Marine ineligible for reenlistment unless it results from a violation that shows a calculated disregard for good order or for the welfare of fellow Marines—e.g., illegal drug use.
The Enlisted Assignment Branch at Headquarters Marine Corps considers all reenlistment requests in accordance with Marine Corps Order PI040.3IF (Complete criteria for reenlistment eligibility can be found in paragraph 4102 which states that a Marine may not have more than two NJPs in order to be eligible for reenlistment.).
Disciplinary actions such as NJPs are important factors in determining competitiveness for reenlistment. However, Marines’ overall performance and the commanding officers’ recommendation are the primary factors influencing the retention determination.
First-term Marines must compete for available reenlistment slots established by the First Term Alignment Plan. The goals of the plan are to ensure tha* Marines are retained only if there is a valid need for them and that those retained will have ample opportunities for promotion and a full career. Because of the very competitive nature of retention today, each Marine’s total performance and qualifications are evaluated. Some of the factors considered in determining a Marine’s overall performance include: proficiency and conduct marks (or fitness reports for sergeants and above), rifle range score, Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery scores (which can indicate growth potential in some fields), physical fitness test score, fitness for world-wide deployment and rigorous combat duty, military occupational specialty credibility, completed professional military education, any commendatory action, conduct record, and the commanding officer’s recommendation for reenlistment.
This detailed screening is a product of the highly competitive reenlistment environment resulting from the increasing number of Marines who want to remain in the Corps and a shrinking force structure. For instance, during Fiscal Year 1993, more than 24,000 Marines will end their first term of enlistment, but only 3,325 can be retained.
But even in this environment, one NJP does not generally cause a Marine to be
est level of public support in recent years. From our contribution to the Persian Gulf War—three warships that had one of the highest intercept rates of any coalition navy and the only non-U.S. task force commander—to Somalia, where HMCS Preserver (AOR-510) has just completed four months assisting relief efforts, Canadians are seeing their Navy in action.
This year, Canada will mark the 50th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic, during which the Canadian Navy became expert in antisubmarine warfare. With the return to the fleet of the first modernized Tribal-class destroyer—NCSM Algonquin
(DDH-283), which has been the SNFL flagship since April 1993, and the arrival of the first of the City-class frigates, HMCS Halifax (FFH-330), it is expanding its expertise into antiair warfare and antiship warfare. Through its reserves, the Canadian Navy also has embarked on the introduction of a mine-countermeasures capability. By 1995, Canada will have a balanced fleet, ready to meet the unknown challenges of the next century.
Yes, work is still being done on such issues as submarines and new replenishment ships. However, the current public debate on new helicopters will ensure that the optimum Canadian solution is achieved. Besides, it is what living in a democracy is all about.
noncompetitive for reenlistment. In many cases, “youthful indiscretions” have not prevented first-term Marines from reenlisting. We still reenlist some young hard- chargers who may have “colorful” episodes but whose loyalty and contributions overshadow their problems from the past. Our intent is for the reenlistment screening process to use the “whole Marine” concept to select the most qualified Marines for the available spaces. We are open to suggestions for better ways to retain the best Marines, but every Marine must understand the current environment and policies in order to participate in productive discussion about doing the best for our Corps and our Marines. □
“Canada Is Ignoring Its Navy”
(Sec A. M. Wooley, pp. 83-87, March 1993;
P. W. Cairns, pp. 30-32, May 1993 Proceedings)
Commander Bryn M. Weadon, Canadian Navy—I don’t know why Mr. Wooley Painted such a gloomy picture of the Canadian Navy. It’s true that we are undergoing a change with the end of the Cold War; however, it is a change for the better. For example, we are receiving state-of-the-art equipment and enjoying the highest public awareness in 20 years.
Mr. Wooley is concerned about increased emphasis on protection of Canadian sovereignty. Unlike that of the United States, our Coast Guard is a civilian agency whose vessels are not armed. Over the past decade, like other nations, Canada has experienced increased threats to its maritime sovereignty from such items as illegal fishing, drug trafficking, and smuggling of illegal immigrants. Our government has responded to this challenge by increasing the level of assistance the Navy provides to other government departments. If protection of a nation’s maritime sovereignty is not a valid primary mission for a navy, I’m not sure What is.
As for “decreased emphasis on the Protection of the sea lines of communication,” the number of ships on Canada s east coast has declined because the number on its west coast have increased. Vancouver, British Columbia, has become one of the busiest ports in the world, thereby requiring a shift in the balance of our naval resources. Canada is, however, anything but isolationist. The Canadian Navy still provides a ship as part of the Standing Naval Force Atlantic (SNFL), participates in all major NATO exercises, and maintains a high level of involvement in United Nations peacekeeping operations.
Canada’s Navy is enjoying its high
Finally, there is another constant in Canada’s navy—its men and women. Despite what in the past has been described as less than adequate equipment, they are well-known for their superb training and professionalism. The Canadian Navy is at the forefront of current social issues; mixed-gender crews, the employment of homosexuals, and operations in both of Canada’s official languages. Whether they are Regular Force, Reservist, or civilian, the people of Canada’s naval community will continue to live up to its motto; “Ready-Aye-Ready.’ □
“Going to WestPac Will Be Different”
(See D. P. Wood, pp. 84-86, February 1993 Proceedings)
Lieutenant R. D. Coons, U.S. Navy One of the assumptions that Lieutenant Wood based his proposed Western Pacific (WestPac) deployment cycle on was; “A reduced submarine threat [that] will allow U.S. aircraft carriers to operate with few or no U.S. antisubmarine forces in company.” This statement appears to be based on the perception of a fading submarine threat; a perception that boldly contradicts facts and figures available in the open press.
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As of December 1992, there were 151 operational submarines in the navies of the WestPac area; 28 more are under construction or planned. Certainly, some of these are older submarines of limited capability; however, they are at least as capable as the World War II boats that were deadly in the Battle of the Atlantic and effective in strangling Japan’s lines of supply in the Pacific. Many are modem patrol submarines—e.g., the Type 209-
Whatever type of submarine he coni' mands, the captain of one of these boats will know his local operating areas better than U.S. forces and, during time* when detection by U.S. forces is mini' mal, will minimize his indiscretion rate by using short snorting periods to main' tain a full battery charge. While on battery, he will be virtually undetectable by passive sonar systems, which the U.S- Navy relies on for large-area search and detection of submarines.
The counter to these submarines is ships using active sonar—but even this is no guarantee of success. Because the submarine is small and most likely to be coated with anechoic tiles, it will present minimal target strength for active sonars- Operating in shallower waters, U.S. loW- frequency/high-power sonars will suffef from degradation due to reverberations and increased background noise. Helicopters with dipping sonars can overcome some of these problems, but only at the cost of embarking sufficient numbers to use them in more than a reactionary role- This leads to trade-offs in terms of flight deck space on the carrier and a reduced number of escorts.
It would be imprudent, therefore, to assume blithely that a battle group will not be attacked by enemy submarines- Furthermore, the submarine will not likely attack with missiles—which out antiair-warfare systems have a chance to defeat—but with heavy torpedoes. The heavy torpedo is more dangerous and harder to detect, evade, and counter than any other weapon—e.g., mines—currently employed by a Third World country. The submarine’s combination of firepower and stealth poses a considerable threat to an aircraft carrier operating close inshore. We ignore it at our peril.
Our new doctrine—“. . . From the Sea”—demands that the Navy be capable of operating in littoral seas where the submarine is most capable. As we develop the plans and capabilities to carry out our new roles, we should remember hard-won lessons of the past, especially that stated most succinctly by Winston Churchill in 1943: “The defeat of the V- boat is the prelude to all effective aggressive operations.” □
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“Voices from the Central Blue"
(.See W. J. Luti, pp. 33-38, December 1992;
R. M. Johnston, p. 18, February 1993; L. S. Mackay, pp. 23-24, March 1993 Proceedings)
Douglas Burnham—After reading Lieutenant Mackay’s thoughtful rebuttal to the current crop of strategic air power enthusiasts, all I could say was, “It’s about time!”
A lot of military writers have made the mistake of saying that the Persian Gulf War vindicated strategic air power theories. However, the most effective air operations were those that shaped the battlefield—i.e„ destroyed supply lines and front-line equipment—not those which destroyed targets in and around Baghdad. The destruction of some factories and other “strategic” targets may be beneficial, but not as important as reducing the ability of an enemy’s army to fight. Saddam Hussein was ready to fight on despite the destruction of his command-and- control centers. Only the destruction of his army in the field and the very real threat that the coalition army could enter Baghdad caused him to seek peace.
Attacking an enemy’s centers of gravity in order to win on the battlefield is a Valid concept. However, for political leaders who want a neat, sanitized war, there Will be a temptation to try to win a war hy hitting only the enemy’s centers of gravity. This helps explain the undying fascination with “surgical strikes.”
There is a place for strategic air power and for hitting the centers of gravity in the circles of influence—and it is in softening up an enemy army. While air Power can do this job well, it is very important that successful strategic air operations not be viewed as a replacement for the actual destruction of an opposing army. Using air power to shape the battlefield should remain the first priority for U.S. aviation planners. Once this is accomplished, they should focus on providing close air support to the ground forces while they finish the job. □
What Manner of Men?
Colonel Bruce F. Ogden, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired)—It is profoundly disturbing to me to be confronted on a daily basis by military professionals—both in and out of uniform—who advocate direct combat roles for women.
Is there one veteran who survived any amphibious assault in World War II who could support such lunacy? Is it conceivable that Admiral Chester Nimitz Would have ordered women to man the cruisers and destroyers that battled the Imperial Japanese Navy at Guadalcanal
or the submarines that fought within sight of the Japanese mainland? Who can imagine women lowering themselves on ropes dangling from the flight deck of the sinking USS Lexington (CV-2) 125 feet into the open sea? Could Colonel David M. Shoup have ordered women over the seawall to assault Japanese positions on that bloody beach at Tarawa? Is there a man alive today who would have had the audacity to advise General Douglas MacArthur to assign women to transport weapons and ammunition on their backs over the Owen Stanley mountains in New Guinea? Does anyone believe for a moment that General Dwight D. Eisenhower would have assigned women paratroopers to the nighttime airborne assault that began the invasion of Normandy? Can any survivor of the Battle of the Bulge state that he would have been able to tolerate the presence of women in their foxholes, tanks, and firing positions while being bombarded and attacked by the Germans? Is it possible for any veteran who fought at Chosin or anywhere else in Korea to state unequivocally that they know a single living female who would have been capable of sustaining the daily rigors of combat in those environments ? Could Lieutenant Colonel Ernie Cheatham have conceived, let alone offered, a rational justification for female riflemen, machine gunners, or radio operators in his battalion during the battle for Hue? Is there one Marine at Khe Sanh who would have tolerated the presence of women during the siege?
Perhaps I have been missing the point altogether. Perhaps the real issue here is: What manner of men would even consider committing women to the living hell of killing other human beings on a regular basis? If men are now convinced that women should be ordered to kill and be killed during the course of routine combat operations, then our society as we have known it no longer exists. Somehow, I cannot see President Clinton ordering his daughter Chelsea to attack Serbian positions in Bosnia—nor can I imagine him explaining it to his wife. Likewise, I cannot imagine Vice Admiral William P. Lawrence ordering his daughter to lead a strike on an antiaircraft position in Sarajevo or any other hostile target on this planet.
Only Senator John McCain can truly begin to appreciate the inordinate pain that his father, Admiral John McCain, was forced to endure from the certain knowledge that his son, then-Commander McCain, was a prisoner in North Vietnam. Would Senator McCain create the conditions that might lead to his daughter becoming a prisoner of war?
It requires no soul searching. I am incapable of ordering any woman to kill another human being except in the extreme exigency of saving her own life or that of her parent, husband, or child. To do otherwise would be an abject denial of the Judeo-Christian ethic to which I subscribe—not to mention the unwritten and unspoken “code of conduct that has been passed from generation to generation, originating in legend, if not in fact, with a band of warriors that gathered periodically around a round table in a castle somewhere in Britain.
The recent announcement by Admiral Kelso that he favors lifting all restrictions for assignment of women in combat is beyond my comprehension. The added spectacle of Senator McCain offering his support—and stating further that it will make resolving the homosexual issue easier—provoked me to remove my Naval Academy class ring and relegate it to the footlocker which contains the other relics of a former life.
Unwilling to concede the issue as it stands, I was heartened by Admiral Thomas B. Hayward’s letter in the April Proceedings in which he concludes: “Where do these experts get this garbage anyway?” It was Admiral Hayward and his immediate predecessor, Admiral James Holloway III, who rescued a Navy that had been forced to the brink by a progressive innovator who believed that the Navy was too conservative to withstand the chaotic liberal confrontation of the younger generation in 1960s America. That generation is now in charge of the federal government. It’s time to dig in our heels again, shipmates. There s bound to be another Holloway or Hayward out there somewhere—awaiting his turn at the helm. □
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“We Are Ready When You Are”
(See V. I. Alexsin, pp. 54-57, March 1993
Lieutenant Commander Melissa Harrington, U.S. Navy—As the desk officer on the Navy Staff for the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe for almost four years, I have had a front-row seat for the astonishing changes in the relationship between the U.S. Navy and the Russian Navy. From a politico-military affairs perspective, the most dynamic change has been the swift development and rapid growth of networks of military-to-mili- tary contacts with formerly communist nations.
I agree with the thrust of Rear Admiral Aleksin’s article—that enhanced contact between our two navies will accelerate the improvement in U.S.-Russian relations. While many of his suggestions have yet to be acted upon by either side, some are being applied and have accomplished quite a lot—despite some strict fiscal constraints.
One of the most significant new contacts has been the establishment of a forum for informal discussion with the Russians. In fact, as a member of the U.S. Navy delegation to the first U.S.- Russian navy-to-navy staff talks, I met Admiral Aleksin last May in Moscow. Both navies agreed to hold additional talks on an annual basis, and the next round was held this May in San Diego. With topics ranging from shipboard safety and damage control to quality-of- life issues, these meetings are intended to supplement the continuing annual Incidents at Sea consultations—with the kind of expanded agenda that Admiral Aleksin endorsed.
Both navies agree with the importance of training and orientation for junior and midgrade officers. Admiral Aleksin proposed that midshipmen from the U.S. Naval Academy have exchanges with Russian naval cadets. During a June 1992 trip to Russia, Admiral Frank B. Kelso II invited the Russians to send a group of seven to ten cadets to Annapolis for an orientation visit. Admiral Kelso also proposed that a midgrade Russian officer attend the 10-month Naval Command College in August 1993—which the Russians tentatively accepted. Since then, the U.S. Navy invited the Russian Navy to send a lieutenant to the five-month Naval Staff College.
In a related matter, the Naval War College and the Kuznetsov Naval Academy have exchanged week-long orientation visits attended by the schools’ commandants and members of the faculties.
The two navies are embarking on some historic cooperation in the field of oceanography. The Oceanographer of the Navy is pursuing an initiative to conduct a military oceanography survey—using air and surface assets—in the Sea of Okhotsk. The United States has invited the Russians to participate in White Trident—an annual Navy Oceanographic Office project that deploys an array of drifting meteorological-data buoys on the Arctic icepack.
At-sea cooperation has been growing between the navies. In addition to the combined exercise in Severomorsk mentioned by Admiral Aleksin, the U.S. Navy has conducted several other passing-at-sea exercises with the Russians. Also, the Russians have been invited to participate for the first time in the annual Baltic Sea exercise. Furthermore, since October 1992, a Russian Navy ship has been operating with the multinational force in the Persian Gulf—in many cases, alongside U.S. Navy ships. These operations have involved a substantial amount of in-port and at-sea training and much interaction between personnel from our two navies—just the sort of contacts that Admiral Aleksin recognizes as crucial to building bonds between our services. The value of these events is not that we agree on everything—that is unrealistic. Their value comes from continued contacts in which dialogue and activities build stronger and more trusting relationships.
Overall, contacts between the Russian and U.S. navies should continue to grow—although fiscal constraints might hamper their growth. It is important to note, however, that since they began in 1989, the number of bilateral military contacts has grown during a considerable reduction in both countries’ military budgets. This is a clear signal that both navies believe that these type of military contacts are important to our emerging relationship. Partial relief from funding difficulties may come from a bill introduced by Senator Sam Nunn (D-GA) and Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN)— which authorizes the expenditure of up to $15 million for the development of military contacts with Russia, Ukraine, Belaruss, and Kazahkstan. Although this relatively modest amount will be divided between the Defense Department, the Joint Staff, and the services, it will enable many contacts to continue.
I was reminded recently of how quickly and substantially our relations with the Russians have changed. Recently, an officer who was leaving the Navy Staff remarked that when he had begun his tour, the Russians were still our acknowledged adversary. His last task on the staff had
been working out the details of a proposal to have U.S. Navy helicopters operate from Russian warships. A great deal has happened in a very short period of time- And, both sides are ready—and on track—to keep moving ahead. □
Coastal Patrol: Call the Experts
Lieutenant Robert L. Desk, U.S. CocN Guard—As ways are sought to cut the defense budget without reducing wat' fighting capability, the focus on consol' idating and avoiding of duplication of ef' fort will become intense.
It is obvious that the U.S. military re' sponse to the world’s trouble spots will include patrol boats. What better way of avoiding duplication of effort—and get' ting a tremendous “bang for the buck”-'" than by designating the Coast Guard a* the sole coastal-patrol-boat force manager —and providing it with the necessary per" sonnel and money to* carry out the mission.
If given the proper resources, the Coast Guard would do an excellent job of ma11' aging the nation’s patrol-boat needs. In fact, it’s a perfect match. The Coast Guard knows patrol-boat operations thof' oughly. Patrol boats have been an id1' portant part of Coast Guard history in both war and peace. The Coast Guard op' 1 erates patrol boats every day as it carries out the wide variety of its peacetime mi5' sions. Many of its senior officers have served on patrol boats and have been patrol-boat commanders.
Furthermore, in addition to providing patrol boats that are fully ready to sup' t port U.S. military operations anywhere in the world, an expanded Coast Guard patrol-boat fleet would allow the service to better meet its maritime law enforcement, environmental protection, and search-and-rescue missions.
There are arguments against the Coast Guard assuming the role of patrol-boat force manager. It is not part of the De' partment of Defense. There is the p°' tential for congressional and public pressure against deploying Coast Guard patrol boats to support military operations at the expense of domestic missions—e.g., drug interdiction. It might be difficult to design and outfit patrol boats that truly are “ready for anything.” Finally, some in the Navy might resent an intrusion into the Navy’s overall responsibility for naval warfare.
While these are strong arguments, they do not overcome the obvious logic of giving the Coast Guard—the nation’5 patrol-boat experts—the responsibility f°r all facets of patrol-boat management. 0