The Pentagon has directed the Navy to assume a ``greater presence'' in the western Pacific by adding at least one aircraft carrier and five nuclear submarines over the next decade, according to a draft of the Pentagon's review of strategy and forces.....and we need to build non-billion dollar ships with range (not DDX - not LCS). The Pacific is a huge body of water that will laugh at a ship named after a buzz word.
The increase will put half the Navy's aircraft carriers and 60 percent of its submarine fleet in the Pacific and is largely driven by the Pentagon's concern over China's increased military might, according to a congressional defense analyst.
China announced last March that its military spending in 2005 would grow by 13 percent. That followed increases of 11.6 percent in 2004, 9.6 percent in 2003 and 17.6 percent in 2002.Who here misses Barber's Point?
China's military buildup is ``unprecedented'' and ``is proceeding quite rapidly,'' U.S. Pacific Command commander Admiral William Fallon told Congress at the time. It includes short- and intermediate-range missiles, submarines and Russian- made Su-30 fighters, Fallon said.
``The fleet will have greater presence in the Pacific Ocean consistent with the global shift of trade and transport,'' says the final draft of the review now circulating on Capitol Hill.Good news for Bubblehead and his buddies.
``Accordingly, the Navy plans to adjust its force posture and basing to provide at least six operationally available and sustainable carriers and 60 percent of its submarines in the Pacific to support engagement, presence and deterrence,''
As part of the increased presence, the review recommends that the Pentagon in 2012 increase production of the General Dynamics Corp.-Northrop Grumman Corp. Virginia-class attack submarine to two annually from the current rate of one a year.Faster please.
In a section on emerging military powers, including Russia and India, the report says ``China has the greatest potential to compete militarily with the United States.'' The pace and scope of China's build-up already puts other regional military balances ``at risk,'' the draft says.
``China is likely to continue to make large investments in high-end military capabilities, emphasizing electronic and cyber-warfare, counter-space operations, ballistics and cruise missiles, next-generation torpedoes and advanced submarines,'' it says
These emerging capabilities, the vast distances of an Asian theater and basing challenges the U.S. would face in a potential conflict ``place a premium on forces capable of sustained operations at great distances into denied areas,'' according to the draft.