One Cheer Only
By Peter Dombrowski
Navalists should be pleased that Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral John Richardson issued his white paper, “The Future Navy.” In theory, the CNO’s words could bring order to the vigorous debates over the Navy’s future fleet architecture.
But they also may be disappointed. The document reaffirms familiar truisms and papers over current controversies—disagreements about the missions of the amphibious force, for example. More important, “The Future Navy” will not communicate well enough with the wider national security community in a way that will make the necessary resources more readily available.
If the Navy asks for more resources, Congress must either vote for substantially higher defense spending or break the historical balance among spending on the three military departments. Either choice will require major changes to past congressional spending patterns, Pentagon thinking, and/or interservice division of labor.