"False Assumptions, Wistful Dreams"
(See N. T. Honaker, pp. 70-73, January 1998 Proceedings)
Lieutenant Commander Chris Ratliff, U.S. Navy—Mr. Honaker's piece may be well intentioned, but it is ill informed and flavored with red herring.
He is correct that the submarine force "requires an honest and accurate assessment," but it's hard to be wrong when making an aphoristic, facile statement that applies timelessly to all branches and communities within the military—as well as government, industry, and even one's personal life. He apparently is unaware that the assessment he demands began years ago and continues—with dramatic results and great promise for now and the future.
He is also correct that the United States' overwhelming submarine technology lead eroded in the 1980s—it's hard to be wrong when stating such history. But he is absolutely wrong that the lead may have "evaporated completely" and even more wrong that Russia may overtake us "over the next five to ten years."