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Chris Garett
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Happy Birthday Chiefs! This is an especially good time to reflect on the state of the CPO Community. Therefore this is not a message of pat on the back happiness, but one of where can Chiefs go next. It is about where Chiefs have been and how well the community is developing. This is an important topic of reflection. If Chiefs are not providing the Navy with the best possible leadership and improving their own community, then they are losing ground. This is not acceptable. On this 112th CPO Birthday the Navy is starting the Year of the Chief. Certainly... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2012 at Maritime and National Security Blog
The United States has world class nuclear submarine designers and an exceptional industrial base that crafts those designs into the best nuclear submarines built anywhere. The Sailors of the United States Navy then make them the deadliest on the planet. This is a very potent combination, exceptional design, manufacture and operation and with the VIRGINIA class, exceptional acquisition, a rarity in the Navy. Only one problem, this network that turns ideas to steel1 and steel into a feared combatant is under assault. Yes, politicians again. Fortunately there is a solution, one that goes beyond our borders and helps improve our... Continue reading
Posted Feb 29, 2012 at Maritime and National Security Blog
People and organizations change when there is incentive to do so. It has not escaped the notice of defense related companies, they can best obtain and then retain, generally regardless of cost, any contract by spreading it across as many Congressional Districts as possible. They have been doing this for a number of years and it gets worse as large defense companies acquire smaller ones. Command economic signals via the political flavored acquisition system have replaced performance, value and other tenets of capitalism. This process does little to encourage companies to change or new companies to enter the market. Certainly... Continue reading
Posted Feb 1, 2012 at Maritime and National Security Blog
When a group of individuals bound by trust, tradition, heritage and unselfish service celebrates over a century of that service they must do two things. First and foremost they must celebrate. Then they must also look inward in order to look ahead. First, celebrate. All who know you wish a Happy Birthday to each and every Chief Petty Officer in the United States Navy, wherever you are serving today. The title of Chief Petty Officer will remain eternally connected to that day in 1893. The Chief Petty Officer rank will also carry the happy burden of all those intervening years.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2011 at Maritime and National Security Blog
Defining National Security is an important first step in forming a strategy to actually secure a nation. The elements contained in most definitions refer to survival and safety of a nation and the protection and well being of its citizens. The country must use various means to accomplish this secure national condition from threats that are overt or covert and originate from within or from without. Therefore a succinct definition might sound something like the following one. National Security is both a condition secured by national action and a country’s ability to act to protect its national identity and independence... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2011 at Maritime and National Security Blog
The definition of National Security is most often associated with military or diplomatic action performed outside the United States. The problem is this definition does not account for every possible threat and may elevate problems that are not threats or may ignore problems that are threats. According to Joseph J. Romm in the book “Defining National Security”, the term national security was little used until after World War II. He states a possible origin from Defense Secretary Forrestal’s testimony before a Senate Hearing in August 1945. In this context the Secretary used security in place of defense, though he intended... Continue reading
Posted Jan 28, 2011 at Maritime and National Security Blog
Greatness is not a hollow accolade when applied to the men and women of the United States Navy, now or in the past 235 years. A fledgling nation needed a Navy, a reluctant but pragmatic government provided one. When the job of the Navy was done, that same government disbanded it, distrustful of military force. A nation that relies on the sea must likewise rely on Sailors to protect the nation’s seagoing capability. It was not long before President John Adams realized that the United States would need its “wooden walls” to protect commerce and those who ply their trade... Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2010 at Maritime and National Security Blog
Hezbollah is setting up shop in the United States according to a recent news article. A congresswoman from North Carolina has also sent a letter the DHS Secretary Napolitano asking for a Task Force to investigate this issue. The real sticking point it seems is where Hezbollah is entering the U.S. – from Mexico and allegedly in concert with Mexican Drug gangs. Foreign agents entering the nation illegally and setting up an operation is nothing new to this country. It is now only a few days since 10 sleeper agents for Russia were returned to that country after having been... Continue reading
Posted Jul 14, 2010 at Maritime and National Security Blog
President Roosevelt’s statement to talk softly and carrying a big stick was probably a good piece of advice when the United States emerged as a world power over 100 years ago. It is lousy advice now. More appropriate might be talk softly and let them guess where the stick is today. The arrival of three of the four OHIO Class SSGNs in three different ports in the Asian-Indian Ocean region is the invention of public relations experts, not military strategists. According to news reports, a number of Asian nations urged the United States to push back against recent Chinese aggressiveness... Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2010 at Maritime and National Security Blog
The Navy has an attitude problem. What else could really explain the constant firings of Commanding Officers? Commanding Officers generally meet their end for several popular reasons. Loss of confidence is very popular; a ubiquitous word that covers a lot of ground that the navy would prefer remains covered. Personal behavior is also popular but much less so than loss of confidence. The Navy fired a submarine CO caught drinking and misbehaving with ROTC cadets for this reason – it was out in the open and thus loss of confidence would not work. Less popular and much rarer is the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2010 at Maritime and National Security Blog
Congratulations on a superb 117-year performance streak. What other group could rival the Navy Chief for excellence, dedication and the absolute 24/7 commitment to the mission. Yes, you take liberty, leave and lay about in the Mess, but every minute of everyday there is a Chief within easy reach of an officer or petty officer. Sometimes it just doesn’t sound sincere when others say it, chief’s being indispensible and all, but would you believe John Wayne. At the end of the movie “Operation Pacific” John Wayne as LCDR Duke Gifford is discussing the death of the Chief of the Boat... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2010 at Maritime and National Security Blog
When the South Korean naval vessel Cheonan sank under what are still mysterious circumstances, the immediate suspicion fell on North Korea. There was certainly a very quick effort to spread other possible reasons for the sinking, rocks, and an old mine where offered. A new report indicates that a North Korean sub left and returned to base in a very tight time frame around the sinking of the Cheonan. Although no one can actually and completely understand the motivations of the North Korean ruler, it is clear that the lack of a pattern is a pattern. To give additional context,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 31, 2010 at Maritime and National Security Blog
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Mar 16, 2010
The Acquisition system strikes again. It is a security issue and it is not apparent that either DOD or the defense industry understand that point of view. Lockheed Martin reports that the F-35 Fighter will exceed its stated initial operating capability (IOC) by several years. This is a bind for the Air Force in particular since the F-22 program is basically dead. The Air Force along with other service Program Managers in this joint program seem a bit on the uninformed side – or are not properly briefing their superiors. Allowing your boss, whether the Secretary of Defense or the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2010 at Maritime and National Security Blog
There could be good news in the struggle against the Taliban. Today’s revelation that Pakistan’s Army Chief of Staff recommended LT General Ahmad Shuja Pasha remain as head of the Inter Service Intelligence Agency (ISI) could bode well for the war against al Qaeda and the Taliban, could being the operant term. In the history of the ISI since its founding, curiously be an Australian-born British Army officer, the agency has naturally supported the overall aims of the Pakistani government as long as those aims were also in the best interest of the Pakistani Army. The ISI has notoriously gone... Continue reading
Posted Mar 10, 2010 at Maritime and National Security Blog
The 1,000 Ship Navy is an idea that is slowly losing traction, should it. After a flurry of press briefings, speeches, articles, testimony and even a study by the Australians, the concept of a 1,000-ship navy seems less able to attract attention. On its face it seems a good idea, connect all the nation’s navy’s by a common purpose. It must be a good idea, it already went through the obligatory name change –remember “From the Sea” and “Forward, From the Sea”? It is now the Global Maritime Partnership (GMP) lends itself to an acronym much better. Typically there was... Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2010 at Maritime and National Security Blog
It is not yet apparent in one document how the Obama Administration will approach National Defense or Counterterrorism Strategy. These strategy documents do not have an Obama version and analysts must glean the strategic thinking piecemeal from actions, speeches and testimony. There is no Counterterrorism link on the White House web site, a change from the Bush Administration and there is no updated Counterterrorism policy – the latest being from the Bush Administration, “The National Strategy for Combating Terrorism.” Counterterrorism is important in the current global situation and will be for years to come, a strategy must recognize that fact... Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2010 at Maritime and National Security Blog
One is given pause when the Navy pushes dramatically before Congress and the media to place women on Submarines. While the concern back at the ranch is that the Submarine Fleet will go well below the numbers needed to maintain the right power projection by 2030. Certainly, the money to place women on submarines would not buy even one boat. The more interesting point is while the Navy wants to enhance the submarine force’s warfighting capability with women aboard (according to SECNAV, see post from 03-01-10); at the same time, keeping that warfighting capability at even the status quo is... Continue reading
Posted Mar 2, 2010 at Maritime and National Security Blog
The Navy always seems to have timing and priority problems. Why didn’t the service push women in submarines a few years back? It makes a lot more sense to drive a social agenda in times when it is more favorable to do so. Budgets were not as tight; the economy was not in a recession and the mood for women in combat was not a problem. The right time would have been before the modification of the first four Ohio Class submarines into SSGNs. The design could have easily incorporated women, cost would be a fraction of the overall budget... Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2010 at Maritime and National Security Blog
The mainstream media – even conservative leaning media are describing the Austin plane incident as a possible act of domestic terrorism. It is an interesting link to make since a Democrat congressman from Austin called it an act of domestic terrorism. Therefore, there is some political purpose behind that statement for sure now and it is unfortunate. Once again, instead of taking the opportunity to advance the right position a political leader draws attention down the wrong path. If this idea gets a head of steam valuable resources, time, money and expertise will nonsensically divert to this incident. The facts... Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2010 at Maritime and National Security Blog
Our primary military adversary over the next few decades will be China. There is little doubt on the direction the Chinese are taking with regards to their regional and global ambitions. The military buildup is only for their own security, they say, no need to worry. Recently the Chinese installed navigational light structures on several islands off its coast, gradually walking its territorial waters claim outward. The goal is to obtain the rights to several contested islands and areas with a potential wealth of resources, areas claimed by other nations. Today the President meets with the Dalai Lama, which has... Continue reading
Posted Feb 18, 2010 at Maritime and National Security Blog
A recent National Defense Magazine article again calls the Navy’s Acquisition program into question. This time the topic is undersea vehicles. The operational concept is a good one, using tethered or autonomous vehicles to detect mines or detect and trail enemy submarines; the later performing like a mobile SOSUS net. Great concept – poor execution. A previous post discussed the critical nature of acquisition to our maritime and national security, this is a system, process and program the Navy must get right, but seems to have little desire to correct. The leadership instead consistently pours good taxpayer money after bad... Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2010 at Maritime and National Security Blog
It seems Al Gore has a new recruit, Osama bin Laden. In his latest audio tape, OBL states the U. S. and its industrialized allies are responsible, through their economic policies, for the condition of the world’s climate. It affects everyone, he states and therefore everyone should have a certain level of outrage – enough to boycott the U. S. economy, not to use violence. News outlets have seized on this latest message as OBL’s attempt to broaden al Qaeda’s appeal. They claim the messages intent is to tap into the outrage against the West and the U. S. in... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2010 at Maritime and National Security Blog
The United States has a great opportunity to start something that will transform national security – a consolidated cyber security effort. The concept of cyber security is not new as problem, however the solution is only now forming its bureaucratic boundaries. The government should – really must act before those boundaries solidify and become nearly impossible to breach (think Director of National Security). Although the governments’ intelligence effort has made some progress under the DNI, it is certainly slow, painful, fraught with angst, bureaucratic inertia and has left few broken rice bowls in its wake. In his State of the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 1, 2010 at Maritime and National Security Blog
Yesterday Guido Bertolaso, the man who organized the Italian relief effort in the wake of the L'Aquila earthquake, criticized the Haiti relief effort. Calling it a disorganized vanity parade, the United States was Mr. Bertolaso’s main target. "The Americans are extraordinary, but when you are facing a situation in chaos they tend to confuse military intervention with emergency aid, which cannot be entrusted to the armed forces," Reuters reported him as telling Italy's RAI television. Mr. Bertolaso is well respected for his exceptional organizational skills in L’Aquilla, his opinion is worth noting. This does not mean he is right of... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2010 at Maritime and National Security Blog