Monday, April 07, 2008

Shipbuilding sanity announced at last!

To save you the trouble, I will quote the article in full from the NYT.
WASHINGTON: A program to put the American Navy to 313 ships within three years and built upon a deliberate, well balanced plan designed to produce and maintain a fighting naval force of a size to meet any emergency, a real preparedness program, will be offered to the country within a short time.

It will have the approval of Admiral Roughead and the Naval General Board. The board, of which Admiral Roughead is President, has been working on the plan for the last ten days. Representative Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) ranking member and Representative Gene Taylor (D-MS) Chairman of the House Seapower & Expeditionary Subcommittee, decided after a Conference with his associates that a five year building program was too slow, as even at the end of that time the United States Navy would probably be trending towards a fleet in the neighborhood of 220-250 ships.

After having reached this decision, Rep. Taylor conferred with Secretary Winter, who agreed to ask the General Board to supply Rep. Taylor with the information desired, such information to be requested by Congress. It was explained to Secretary Daniels that it was the wish of the group of Congressmen desiring to see the United States Navy at 313 ships within three years and to promote such a plan without political considerations. Every effort will be made after the report is presented to Congress to enlist the aid of Congressmen from all parties. Rep. Taylor is not partisan in his effort. The strangest part of the move is that it originates from Rep. Taylor, who is a Democrat and at no time has that party advocated increased armament. Developments in the Pacific, such as the submarine and surface ship building program of China, has convinced Rep. Taylor that the safety of the nation demands a big Navy.

The report being complied by the General Board will answer these questions:
- “What is the fighting force of the navies of the world?”
- “Where does the United States Stand?”
- "What will it cost to build a Fleet of 313 ships?"
- “Can this be done in three years?”
- “What is needed to balance up the present navy?”
-“What should be the complement to the Carriers in the number of Destroyers, Cruisers, Submarines, Amphibious ships, support ships and aircraft”
- “Can our shipyards build all the vessels necessary to place the United States at 313 in three years?”
- “Is it desirable to give the country such a strong fleet?

The replies to these questions will be made public probably at the meeting of the House Seapower & Expeditionary Subcommittee tomorrow. Admiral Roughead and his associates will furnish a great deal of confidential information.

The exact status of the United States among the navies or the world is questionable. Since 911 the United States has lost focus on naval developments around the world. Generally speaking", our navy is credited with being the strongest. Such was the statement of President Bush in a in speech made some months ago in Cleveland.

"You have been told that the Navy of the United States is the greatest in the world and will be unchallenged at sea," said the President. "I am sorry to say that experts do not agree with those who will tell you that.” I believe that it is the largest in the world, but it is getting weaker and faces a tremendous challenge after years of almost criminal neglect and mis-management – much of it on my watch. And you must reckon with the fact that it is necessary that it should be our first arm of defense. We face enemies and potential enemies on every ocean on the Earth. Do you think a Navy sinking to below 250 ships is sufficient?”

The argument advanced by President Bush will be used by the Democrats to compel bi-partisan interest in the program that will be offered to the country and Congress under the auspices of Rep. Taylor and his associates.
Hmmmmm. Would be nice to see this happen this way, no? Boy, things sure seem to work fast....those questions sure seem direct and clear. 3 years? Wish.

In case something seems funny about the article, it is because this isn't the original. I have replaced "second place navy" with "313 ship navy" and changed some of the political and Navy names along with some words that didn't seem "2008." I did leave in "The Navy General Board" as a deference to the irreplaceable Sid, who brought this article from the NYT to my attention. This is from 1916. Read the original here.

The Navy General Board. Discuss.

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