MAYDAY, The Decline of American Naval Supremacy, by Seth Cropsey.
I've not been upset by our shrinking Navy. The term "rightsized" has been used, and being retired military, I thought that I understood the choices we have made.
The author, a former Undersecretary, has caused me to rethink. Maybe we need more, and cheaper, single purpose ships, more subs, and more but smaller carriers.
I have my own doubts about smaller carriers, as big one give economy of scale (something he doesn't directly mention). Three smaller carriers (update of the WW II Jeep concept) to replace one big fleet carrier would carry the same number of planes at almost twice the cost.......bad economics
It is a little hard reading, but I would not be surprised to see members of congress read this new book.........or at least have a staffer read it and brief them.
Update 15 July 13 The Wall Street Journal reviewed the book today. The reviewer, a retired Admiral thinks that it is an important book. He too notes the problem with smaller ships. Half the size is not 1/2 the cost, and he notes that procurement issues are a money pit. Like industry, the biggest cost for the Navy is people. Money spent on automation pays off for the 25 yr service life of a ship. The new LCS costs a lot for it's size, but runs with a crew of about 30. With less automation, a ship with LCS capabilities would need to be larger and crewed with 130.
The admiral notes that an army can be built quickly. As a student, I once saw a case study of how to put an extra million men in the army in 60 days. A Navy takes many years, and expansion depends on the ability on industry to build. According to Cropsy, in the history of the world, no state that gave up naval power has ever recovered it, and no former naval power has remained a powerful nation. (He exempts the British navy, because that was a friendly handoff to a close ally, the USA)
<message edited by tmiles on Mon, 07/15/13 12:47 PM>