Last Modified: Sunday, November 04, 2012 10:11 PM
The United States is a great maritime nation with huge coastlines, ports and commitments all over the world.
To make sure our coasts are secure, the sea lanes open for trade and our National Defense needs can be met, the U. S. needs a strong Navy that can meet all of these requirements.
In the last presidential debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, Romney pointed out the size of Navy had slipped to 285 ships, while the Navy says that a 313 ship fleet is needed to meet its mission.
President Obama’s response was to make a joke of the current downsized state of the Navy, inferring that a larger fleet is not needed because of advanced technology.
Once again the president is ignoring the advice of our own defense experts, as well as outside authorities who agree the current size of the Navy is too small.
In the last Quadrennial Defense Review, done in 2010, the independent, outside experts authorized by Congress actually recommended a 346 fleet Navy.
Romney pointed out that the current 285 ship fleet brings the Navy down to its lowest level since 1916. That is unacceptable.
The oceans of the world are large places. Warships have to be put on constant deployments to be near the places that they maybe needed, either to prevent attacks on merchant ships, which happen off the coast of Africa and other places, or to support our interests abroad.
No high-tech gadget can replace having an aircraft carrier or submarine on site of where they are needed and when they are needed.
You have to rotate ships periodically to keep a constant presence where they are needed, be it in the Mediterranean, North Atlantic, South Atlantic, the vast Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea and countless other places on the globe.
Nor does the president seem to understand the peace aspect of a strong Navy. There is nothing like an aircraft carrier task force setting off the coast of a nation, like Iran, for example, to make aggressive leaders think twice before attacking a neighbor, seizing an oil field, blocking a trade route, etc.
To achieve these vital goals, the Navy needs ships and men enough to carry out the mission.
It is unwise for the president to substitute is obvious lack of military expertise for those who have made careers out of defending this nation.
There is no doubt about it. This nation needs a strong Navy and it should heed the wise advice of those who know what they are talking about.
This editorial was written by a member of the American Press Editorial Board. Its content reflects the collaborative opinion of the Board, whose members include Bobby Dower, Ken Stickney, Jim Beam, Crystal Stevenson and Donna Price.