Better than Vogon poetry ... over to you URR!
(With sincerest apologies to Mister Kipling)
The Gods of the Naval Engagements
As I sail crosst the world’s big blue oceans, from every shoal and reef, I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Power Point Brief. Seen through LCD magic, I watch them promise and pledge, But the Gods of the Naval Engagements, warn that we not lose our edge.
We were six hundred ships when they met us. They showed us without doubt, That a balanced fleet is important, and we shouldn’t leave anything out. But we found they were not Transformational, nor pursuing the next shiny light, So we said that we wanted a Navy, whose job it was not to fight.
We made sure we got face time with Admirals, they seemed to prefer the Chiefs, Not having to justify billets, like the Gods of the Power Point Briefs, They told us when we were dreaming, and when our ideas would not work, But we said they didn’t understand us, or were hidebound Cold War jerks.
With the Hopes the Thousand Ship Navy, they seemed totally out of touch, They said most of our allies can’t help us, and the ones that can, won’t much; They denied that they’d challenge the Russians, or sail with us to hostile ports, So we worshipped the Power Point Briefers, and their hundred-and-four slide reports.
We championed “Optimal Manning”, a big savings in manpower alone, A skeleton crew was sufficient, and shipboard maintenance postponed. But in a short time things got rusty, and our equipment gave out or it quit, The Gods of the Naval Engagements reminded: "Unmaintained ships go to shit."
Diversity, we said, made us stronger, it would help us in battle, to win, By selecting not the most qualified, but by quotas and color of skin, Till our Sailors were so disenchanted, and doubted Diversity’s claim, And the Gods of the Naval Engagements said: "Fairness is being treated the same."
We no longer put vessels in mothballs, and threw away still-useful ships, Till Navy strength dropped past 300, with hardly a hull on the slips. Our global adversaries took notice, and contemplated war on two fronts, And the Gods of the Naval Engagements said: "You can’t be two places at once."
We gave us a 50-knot “sea frame”, and said we should build fifty-five,
Built for Littoral Combat, where we admitted it wouldn’t survive,
A pitifully small pop-gun up forward, short range and a maintenance fright,
And the Gods of the Naval Engagements said “Warships must be built to fight!”
Then the Gods of the Power Point tumbled, and the Navy admitted it erred,
With time spent on meaningless training, things of which no warrior cared. We found we had lost naval gunfire, mine-countermine, and auxiliaries, too, And the Gods of the Naval Engagements, dusted off old lessons anew.
“This transformational nonsense, it keeps us from doing things right, Those who win wars must be warriors, and the Navy stand ready to fight. In tough, sturdy, powerful warships, with trained and disciplined crews,
Will deter the enemy most times, and win far more fights than they’ll lose.
The direction in which we are heading, will find our fleet second-rate,
A Mahanian challenge from China or a nuclear Mid-Eastern state.
They may deny us strategic access, or make us abandon our friends,
In a world once whose oceans and sea lanes, our Navy controlled end to end.
For the Navy exists to fight wars, and maintain control of the seas, With trade and free navigation, to go unhindered wherever we please. Ignore history’s lessons at your peril, but don’t think your enemies would, And build a Navy for fighting and not some damned Force for Good!”
UPDATE: Important update. First of all, EagleOne takes and undercurrent and runs with it ... like a champ. Read it all.
Second, in it he links to a very good post by another friend, Bryan McGrath. Again, you need to read it all.
Soak it in; and ponder.