It is said that no good deed goes unpunished. During President George W. Bush's first term and under the leadership of CNO Vern Clark and Navy Secretary Gordon England, the Navy moved to save billions of dollars through innovative management improvements, including personnel reductions.
The intent was to use these savings to purchase ships, aircraft, and other vital capabilities that otherwise were unaffordable. Unfortunately, the wars in Afghanistan and then Iraq intervened. Those billions saved went to other uses. In this case, the Navy in doing good did not do well.
As I argued last month, the Pentagon is headed for a budget-driven tsunami. The shortfall between needs and actual funding could be in the hundreds of billions of dollars.
Here is a suggestion for deflecting this pending crisis:
Former CNO, now Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen and CNO Admiral Gary Roughead have forcibly and convincingly argued that maritime forces have a crucial role in shaping environments and preventing incidents from becoming crises, and crises from becoming catastrophes.