Archive for March, 2009

Proceedings Vol. 54, June 1928, No. 304

In World War I, regular naval officers were supplemented by those given direct commissions and graduates of the midshipmen schools of “90-day wonder” fame. Both sources left much to be desired. Neither properly indoctrinated candidates about naval customs, traditions, and standards, nor provided a sound professional foundation. Screening of direct commission candidates left much to be desired. The midshipmen schools had similar screening problems and the grave defect of being far too expensive in the austere 1920s.

A study revealed that the Army’s Reserve Officer Training Corps concept could be modified to meet the Navy’s requirement. In a modern-day irony, a pilot program was undertaken at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland, in September 1924, to test the scheme for the Navy. The initial program was successful and so resulted in the establishment of the full-scale Captain Nimitz describes in his article.

In 1928 Captain Nimitz predicted that NROTC students, such as those who served under his command at the University of California, would prove a sound investment. During the 1930s, the NROTC was greatly expanded as it showed its potential; by the end of the decade, it had become firmly established as the peacetime source of most of the Navy’s non-aeronautical reserve officers. Called to the colors with the Naval Reserve, NROTC officers served with distinction throughout World War II and more than justified Captain Nimitz’s high hopes.

Tom Wilkerson
Major General, USMC (Ret.)
U. S. Naval Institute CEO

The Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps
By Captain C. W. Nimitz, U. S. Navy

Vo. 54 June 1928 No. 304

On 4 March 1925, with the approval of House Resolution 2688, the President put another strong prop under national defense by authorizing the establishment of a Naval Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, the total personnel of which was to exceed 1,200.

First Uniforms UC Class of 1930

Naval Reserve Freshmen, Class of 1930, University of California

In the Act, the term “naval” included both the Navy and the Marine Corps. It was planned to allot four-fifths of the total numbers to the Navy and one-fifth to the Marines, but as yet the Marine Corps has not decided to establish separate units, so that for now, all training is to produce efficient naval reserve officers.

Members of the Naval ROTC are known officially as Naval Reserve Students and the various undergraduate classes are termed Naval Reserve Freshman, Naval Reserve Sophomores, and so forth.

In the words of the Navy Department:

“The primary object of the Naval Reserve Officers’ Training Corps is to provide systematic instruction and training at civil educational institutions, which will qualify selected students of such institutions for appointment as officers in the Naval Reserve. The Naval Reserve Officers’ Training Corps will be expected to supply sufficient junior officers to the Naval Reserve and thus assist in meeting the demands for increased commissioned personnel in wartime.

“The secondary object of the Naval ROTC is to further acquaint the college authorities and the student bodies with the Navy and what it means to the nation. The present influence on American public opinion of colleges and universities and the future influence of present day students make this secondary object of considerable importance to the Navy,”

Funds in the amount of $40,000 were available on 1 July 1926. With this modest sum, naval units were inaugurated at the University of California, University of Washington, Harvard, Yale, Georgia School of Technology, and the Northwestern University. The administration of these units is conducted by the training division of the Bureau of Navigation. The total allowed personnel is equitably distributed between the six institutions and is to be further divided into four undergraduate classes.

The Inspection Party: Adm. L.R. de Steiguer (left), US Navy, commander-in-chief, Battle Fleet, with his chief of staff, Rear Admiral Harris Laning, US Navy, and Capt. W.D. Puleston, assistant chief of staff, inspect the Naval ROTC unit of the University of California, which is under the charge of Captain C.W. Nimitz (right)

 Two naval officers and several enlisted men were detailed to each institution to meet the fall opening of 1926. Sixty freshmen from the class of 1930 at each school began their naval experiences simultaneously with their college careers. Units will not reach their authorized strength until 1929 and will not produce officers until 1930.

At each institution a four-year course in naval science and tactics, including both theoretical and practical work, has been added to the list of courses offered. The basic course is the first two years; the advanced course the second two years. A cruise of 15 days is offered each summer with the emphasis on practical work in seamanship, signals, engineering, and the like. One such cruise is compulsory during the advanced course. All other cruises are voluntary since it is recognized that many students must work their own way through college.

The object of the course in naval science is to supplement the other course taken so that graduates will posses a good education; sufficient nautical knowledge to fit them as junior naval reserve officers; a disciplined mind and body; and self-reliant leadership qualities.

First NROTC unit, Univeristy of California 1926

The basic course requires three hours per week and the advanced five. The subjects taught in the basic course are navigation, ordnance, and seamanship, with engineering being added to form the advanced course. Naval officers of considerable service are assigned as instructors.
Students are selected from those who apply with regard to their physical condition, latent qualities of leadership, the probability of their attending the university continuously for four years, and other courses taken at the university.

Membership in the naval unit costs almost nothing as uniforms and books are government-furnished. The uniforms are similar to those worn by midshipmen at the Naval Academy. Advanced course students are paid a subsistence allowance of about $210. In addition, students are paid 70 cents a day while on cruises and are allowed transportation to and from ports of embarkation and debarkation.

Students who successfully complete the course upon their application will, with the recommendation of the professor of naval science, be given a commission in the Volunteer Naval Reserve. From this status they may become associated with Fleet Reserve and by attending drills they will receive two months’ active duty pay yearly.

Yale Naval Reserve Officer's Training Corps paraded before Yale Memorial at Second Annual Inspection March 13, 1928

From the student’s point of view, the program is advantageous because it enables him to meet the military training requirements required at Land Grant institutions, he receives a well-fitting uniform for wear to social functions as well as drills, and he may make interesting summer cruises. Also he receives, as has been mentioned, over 200 dollars for commuted rations and a commission in the Reserve. The latter should provide a source of satisfaction in that he can serve immediately in times of emergency and meanwhile will receive drill pay if with the Fleet Reserve.

From the government’s standpoint, it cost approximately $700 per graduate and, while the cost may be approximated, the value to the government of each graduate is more intangible. In addition to this value as a naval reserve officer is his increased value as a citizen. We can expect him to be a firm supporter of law and order and of any movement to keep the armed forces in a “reasonably defensive posture.” Moreover, the Navy may be sure that, in his mingling with his business associates, he will preach the gospel of a Navy second to none.

Has the government made a wise investment in the establishment of the Naval ROTC? We think that in the passage of time this question will be answered in the affirmative.



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From CNN:

A U.S. Navy submarine collided with a Navy amphibious ship Friday in the Strait of Hormuz, mildly injuring 15 sailors, according to the commander of the U.S. Fifth Fleet.

The submarine USS Hartford and amphibious ship USS New Orleans are shown in Navy photos.

The submarine USS Hartford and amphibious ship USS New Orleans are shown in Navy photos.

The submarine, the USS Hartford, collided with the USS New Orleans about 1 a.m. in the strait, which runs between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula. It is one of the busiest commercial routes for oil tankers.

Fifteen aboard the Hartford were injured but returned to duty, according to a news release.

Both vessels are operating on their own power.

The nuclear propulsion plant on the 362-foot-long sub was not damaged, but “New Orleans suffered a ruptured fuel tank, which resulted in an oil spill of approximately 25,000 gallons of diesel fuel marine,” the release said.

The New Orleans is capable of carrying almost 1,100 troops and crew. The Hartford carries about 145 sailors.



Fifth ship of the Essex-class CVs. Fifth ship named for Benjamin Franklin…

The date – 19 March 1945. Area of operations – fifty miles off the coast of Japan. Flight ops have been underway since before dawn, beginning with a strike against Honshu and another against shipping in Kobe harbor. On the flight deck, aircraft of CVG-5 are being turned around, serviced and armed for another launch and strike; in the ready rooms, the crews are briefing…

It never takes much — it happens so fast, in the blink of an eye the world turns upside down…

Out of the low-hanging scud-layer a single Japanese aircraft suddenly appears and drops two armor-piercing bombs on the laden flightdeck….

Blink.

Mayhem erupts. A proud ship is mortally wounded, her crew decimated…

Blink

Severed AVGAS lines pour fuel into fires fed from broken aircraft and exploding ordnance on the flightdeck generating rivers of fire…

Blink

Secondary explosions from deep within the ship begin to tear it apart. Fire has spread to the second and third deck. CIC has been knocked out and all communications lost. The ship assumes a 13 degree list as her boilers go off line and fifty miles off the coast of Japan, the USS Franklin goes DIW…

Blink

Yet in the darkest hour of despair heroes emerge. The light cruiser Santa Fe rushes alongside to aid in rescuing crewmembers and fighting the fires, despite the continuing detonations…

Blink

On board Franklin 803 officers and men of ship’s company, flag staff, embarked Marines and CVG-5 and her squadrons are dead. Many are grievously burned and wounded. They fought to save their ship. Some fought to save others souls.

Lieutenant Commander Joseph T. O’Callahan, ChC (SJ) USNR, the ship’s Roman Catholic chaplain —

“… a soul-stirring sight. He seemed to be everywhere, giving Extreme Unction to the dead and dying, urging the men on and himself handling hoses, jettisoning ammunition and doing everything he could to help save our ship. He was so conspicuous not only because of the cross daubed with paint across his helmet but because of his seemingly detached air as he went from place to place with head slightly bowed as if in meditation or prayer.” – CDR Joe Taylor, XO

Awarded the Medal of Honor…

Blink

Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Donald A. Gary led some 300 of his shipmates to safety. He later organized and led fire-fighting parties to battle the blazing inferno on the hangar deck, and entered number three fireroom to raise steam in one boiler, braving extreme hazards in so doing.

Awarded the Medal of Honor…

Blink

Saving a ship is brutally hard and physically and mentally debilitating…but its your ship and with your shipmates and sailors from your battle group you begin to prevail…

Blink

Eventually the fires are out, the list righted, the plant back online and making steam and you begin the long, long journey home to repair your wounds…

Blink

The skyline of Manhattan hoves into view as you make your way to the Brooklyn shipyard and enter drydock…

… bent, broken, bloodied – but unbowed…

… You remember your fallen…

… and then turn to rebuilding for there still is a war on…

… and reborn, you rejoin the fleet.

Blink

The USS Franklin was the most heavily damaged carrier of any action in WW2 – that she survived is testimony to the bravery, determination and damage control skills of her crew. One hundred six officers and 604 enlisted were all that remained to save the ship – the rest were killed or wounded. In the blink of an eye – will it be another aircraft delivering a bomb? A cruise missile? An anti-ship ballistic missile – or an explosive packed boat driven by a suicidal bomber? Maybe a mine — are you ready? Do you “game” your GQ and damage control drills? Do the minimum to get by? Think a 2 hour battle problem is “hard”? Doesn’t have to come from enemy fire — just ask the crews of the

Forrestal

Enterprise

Oriskany

Belknap

How ’bout it DivO? Chief? LPO? Are you ready?



It was an honor to e-interview Adm. Jim Stavridis about Destroyer Captain: Lessons of a First Command. I hope you find this book as interesting as I did. A must read for anyone aspiring to command at sea. Many thanks to Adm. Stavridis for making this interview happen.

Why did you decide to keep a journal and how did you ever find time to write in it as commanding officer of the USS Barry DDG-52?

I felt that taking command of a ship for the first time would be something I’d always want to look back on and remember. Also, for me, the physical act of sitting and writing has a tendency to crystalize my thinking and learning process; so even as I wrote up what happened each day, and what I did, and the decision process — I reviewed, understood, and learned.

What are some of the lessons you convey in your book?

Certainly the majority of what I learned was about myself — especially my own failures, challenges, and responses. I found the limits of my ability, but in doing so liberated myself from fear of failure. I also learned a great deal about what it takes to lead a ship successfully, which includes above all the ability to encourage and trust your crew. People, in my experience, will almost always become what you convince them they are — so if you are encouraging and positive in your approach, they tend to respond in overwhelmingly positive ways. I also found a great deal of value in spending time walking the ship and engaging in dozens of small but important conversations each day with as many crew members as possible. Finally, I found a real enjoyment in trying to teach the younger officers in the wardroom what I had learned along the way about shiphanding, tactics, and leadership. Fundamentally, a Captain is a servant and a teacher to the crew; what I learned was how to balance those two things.

Can you tell us a little bit about your 28 months in command of the Barry?

In very broad strokes, it was a very operational time from early fall of 1993 to December 1995 — we were underway almost 70% of the time. We deployed first off Haiti to participate in a U.N. blockade; then went on a forward deployment that began with the 50th annviersary of D-Day off the coasts of England and France. Next was the Mediterranean, again for U.N. missions under “Sharp Guard” the maritime blockade around the Balkans during the wars there. We were then pulled into the Persian Gulf to respond to a potential invasion of Kuwait by Saddam Hussein, along with the aircraft carrier GEORGE WASHINGTON.

After returning home and a very short yard period of 6 weeks, we were back at sea for very intense oprerational training and preps for a January 1996 deployment. Incredibly busy and the time seemed to fly by.

What is command at sea like?

Exhilarating, exhausting, educational — all at the same time.

Who should read Destroyer Captain?

I like to think anyone who has ever asked the question, “what is command at sea like,” see your question above. There is certainly a built in, long term audience for the book of young officers who aspire to command and want to know what it feels like from the inside; but I think anyone would be curious. It is hopefully a book that takes the reader deeply into the mind of a Captain — not a perfect one, by far, but hopefully an honest one. As I’ve always said about the book, I’ll let others decide if it is a good book, but I truly believe it is an honest book.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Just thanks to you for taking the time to read the book and write about it. And thanks for your service in the Coast Guard — I’m an enormous fan of the USCG and close friends with Thad Allen, Bob Papp, Rob Parker, Joe Nimmich, and many other contemporaries in the CG.



Posted by Jim Dolbow in Books | 2 Comments
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Big day for appointments.

First, time for Admiral James Stavridis to move from SOUTCOM to go head up NATO/EUCOM, sez Reuters. If appointed, Stavridis will be the first naval officer to be posted at this command, but, even though that’s a big deal, I, personally, am sorta sad that an Admiral who always had exciting stuff for his grab-bag of leftover/experimental warships to do, is heading off to work, well….Afghanistan. Maybe pirates. Maybe the Black Sea.

But the sea is not going to be his primary focus. Enough said.

Sure, the NATO post is quite the perk–tough, important duty, maybe a stepping-stone to something better–and Stavridis is going to do great, of course, but…I’ll miss his cheerful challenges to orthodoxy at sea. We Navy bloggers are more familiar with the steady stream of interesting Stavridis-inspired projects than most in the media, and now, unless we get somebody with similar ideas, I suspect that SOUTHCOM will recede into obscurity. It’s a shame to see Stavridis leave SOUTHCOM…

But, hey, maybe he’s just the guy we need to open new supply lines into Afghanistan.

Second, a former F-14 pilot, Admiral Robert Willard, is moving from the Pacific Fleet up to lead the US Pacific Command. Feels like a strong, logical move, though I’m sure some Air Force people have a perennial hope that one day, an Air Force General will get to be more than an acting head of PACOM.

(But..Air Force gets a consolation prize–SOUTHCOM–where Lt. General Douglas Fraser gets a chance to put his mark on this new command. Hopefully he’ll be just as innovative as the former commander!)

Best of luck to all!



From Reuters:

By Andrew Gray

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Wednesday chose Navy Admiral James Stavridis to be NATO’s top commander as the alliance prepares to step up its efforts in the Afghan war.

Gates, speaking at a Pentagon press briefing, also recommended that Admiral Robert Willard, head of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, run the headquarters for U.S. military operations for Asia and the Pacific.

He would replace Admiral Timothy Keating as head of U.S. Pacific Command. 

The U.S. defense chief additionally recommended second terms for Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Marine Corps General James Cartwright as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs.

Stavridis is now head of U.S. Southern Command, which oversees U.S. military operations in Latin America. Previously he was the senior military assistant to Donald Rumsfeld when Rumsfeld was Pentagon chief.

Putting a Navy officer in the job in the middle of a ground war may concern some, but Stavridis oversees elements from all the U.S. military services in his current role.

At Southern Command, he has integrated military operations closely with the work of civilian agencies — an approach U.S. and NATO officials say is essential in Afghanistan to win over local people in the battle against insurgents.

President Barack Obama‘s administration is reviewing the Afghan war strategy in the face of rising violence by the Taliban and other insurgents. The review is due to be completed before a NATO summit on April 3-4.

Stavridis would be the first naval officer to hold the prestigious post of Supreme Allied Commander Europe.

He would replace U.S. Army General John Craddock, who has been at NATO since December 2006 and is expected to retire. 

NATO FORCE 

About 70,000 foreign troops, including 38,000 Americans, are trying to stabilize Afghanistan. Most of them are members of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force, commanded by U.S. Army General David McKiernan.

Obama last month approved the deployment of 17,000 extra U.S. troops to Afghanistan and could send more — as McKiernan has requested — after the review is complete. 

Stavridis has no previous experience of Afghanistan but he is regarded as intellectual, ambitious and energetic. 

He holds a doctorate in international relations and has cultivated a reputation as a creative thinker, writing a blog and organizing movie nights at his Miami headquarters featuring Latin American films to educate staff about regional issues.

Although Afghanistan would be Stavridis’ priority, the NATO post involves juggling a multitude of issues from relations with Russia to peacekeeping in Kosovo. 

For decades during the Cold War, the supreme allied commander’s job was the preserve of U.S. Army generals, most famously Dwight Eisenhower in the early 1950s before he went on to become U.S. president. 

But an Air Force general and a Marine Corps general have held the post in the past decade. 

Top U.S. military officers are nominated by the U.S. president and require U.S. Senate confirmation. The supreme commander’s appointment also must be approved by NATO’s North Atlantic Council of alliance members.

(Reporting by Andrew Gray; Editing by Deborah Charles and Xavier Briand)

***********

Admiral Stavridis is a member of the Naval Institute, has written numerous articles for Proceedings Magazine, and is the author of the Naval Institute Press book Destroyer Captain.



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From Reuters:

Medvedev announces plan to rearm Russia

MOSCOW: President Dmitri A. Medvedev said Tuesday that Russia would begin a “large-scale rearming” in 2011 in response to what he described as threats to the country’s security.

In a speech before generals in Moscow, Mr. Medvedev cited encroachment by NATO as a primary reason for bolstering the military, including nuclear forces.

Mr. Medvedev did not offer specifics on how much the budget would grow for the military, whose capabilities deteriorated significantly after the fall of Soviet Union.

Russia has increased military spending sharply in recent years, but with the financial crisis and the drop in the price of oil, the country’s finances are under pressure, suggesting that it would be hard to lift these expenditures further.

Even so, Mr. Medvedev’s timing was notable. He is expected to hold his first meeting with President Barack Obama in early April in London on the sidelines of the summit meeting of the Group of 20 industrialized and developing countries.

********************************

Russia’s naval buildup should be viewed in the context of her stated intentions. The US Navy would do well to understand what those intentions mean to our allies in Europe and to ourselves in the Western Hemisphere. Russian bombers flying from airfields in Venezuela and/or Cuba make US strategic deployment a much less certain prospect than we have been used to for some decades, but a sizable and capable Russian fleet plying the world’s oceans may be even more of a challenge.



With today’s surface ships so much in the blogosphere, I thought I would go back in time and interview Vincent P. O’Hara about his latest book, The U.S. Navy Against the AXIS: Surface Combat 1941-1945.

What inspired you to write The U.S. Navy Against the Axis?

I wrote The U.S. Navy Against the Axis because no such work existed. It started many years ago when I began collecting information on naval actions thinking to construct a simulation. I discovered that a few famous battles were well described, like Salvo or Leyte, but the most were hardly mentioned. In fact, just identifying all the occasions when large warships exchanged gunfire or torpedoes proved a challenge. I kept waiting for a book to come along that would address this problem, but one never did. Finally, I decided to write it myself.

What makes your book unique?

The U.S. Navy Against the Axis has an uncommon thesis: it argues that the surface forces were critical to the Pacific campaign and that their contributions have never been properly credited. While the combination of fast carriers and submarines eventually guaranteed American victory, in the crucial 1942-43 period carriers were too few and too fragile to secure sea control and submarines were ineffective due to faulty torpedoes. Even as late as October 1944 surface ships repulsed the Japanese assault on the Leyte beachhead after fast carriers and submarines had failed to do so.

The book also contains a great deal of uncommon information you won’t find anywhere else. For example, the only place you’ll find a reference to an action against German destroyers off the Italian coast in late 1944 is in my other book, German Fleet at War. I also try to present the perspective from both sides. The work has many maps and tables and is consistent in its presentation of material. This is an uncommon approach to navy history, but readers have been very receptive.

What were some of the factors that affected the U.S. Navy’s surface forces as they entered World War II?

The book’s first chapter describes these and compares the U.S. Navy to the Japanese, covering topics like training, doctrine, weapons, intelligence, aviation, technology, logistics and other important factors.

The Navy believed that sea power would be gained by sinking enemy warships, most effectively in a decisive battle, and that battleships were the premier weapon to win and maintain sea power. However, the way that war erupted, with the crippling of the battle line, and the fact that it was initially fought in unexpected waters, like the Dutch East Indies, immediately forced the Navy, out of its comfort zone. It had to react applying a doctrine that did not fit the circumstances or the forces available. It was truly a case of adapt or die and unfortunately, many U.S. sailors, particularly in the Asiatic Fleet, did not make it.

Also, the Navy was in the midst of a tremendous expansion and the outbreak of war caught the surface forces assimilating new men and new ships – as well as new technologies, principally radar. To this add the fact that the surface fleet deployed defective torpedoes and some of the results of the early battles come as no surprise.

What are some of the lessons learned from your book that are important today?

The book shows how doctrine was applied in battle. In the beginning results were largely negative. The process by which U.S. doctrine was rewritten, and honed to the point where new ships manned by draftees and skippered by reserve officers could outfight Japanese veterans is rich in lessons we can apply today in besting the asymmetric foes we face. The failure of our enemy, the Japanese, to apply a similar process is likewise relevant. For example, the U.S. Navy Against the Axis demonstrates the importance of intellectual honesty. Even as late as the battle of Leyte Gulf, the Japanese believed they had won a great victory because they tabulated the destruction claimed by their airmen and sailors and concluded they had destroyed the American Fleet. And this was on top of their destruction of the American fleet off Taiwan the month before. Rather than questioning their interpretation of their own intelligence, they wondered where the Americans were getting all these fleets from. At the beginning of the war the Americans suffered from a similar problem, but we quickly learned better.

The importance of adaptability is another lesson. The actions of the surface forces and the way relatively junior officers were willing to test new solutions was an important ingredient in America’s eventual victory. The home-brewed development of CIC is one example, the adjustment of torpedo depth settings in battle is another. There are many others.

Do you have plans for another book?

The Naval Institute Press is publishing my next book, Struggle for the Middle Sea: The Great Navies at War in the Mediterranean Theater, 1940-1945 in June 2009. This work examines the Mediterranean theater with a focus on surface combat. It relies heavily on Italian and French material and tackles many of the old myths about Italian competence or French motives that haunt traditional Anglo-centric histories of this campaign. I am also a co-editor of a very exciting work on the Navies of the Second World War that the Naval Institute Press will publish in 2010.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I would add that the U.S. Navy Against the Axis is based largely on primary sources for the Americans, the most helpful of which were individual action reports for many of the ships involved, and the Command Summary (Grey Book) produced by the Pacific command. On the Japanese side I was able to commission or secure translations of the Senshi Sosho, Japan’s official history, for all the actions involved. I also used ship’s actions records, the Monograph series, interrogations and translations of individual accounts.

Finally, I very much enjoyed writing this book. It is a work of passion and I have been pleased by the reviews it has received. Most particularly, I am happy that the reviewers have universally noted it is a well written and accessible work because I write to be read.



Interesting piece of news from the Associated Press this morning:

“Sunday, March 15, 2009

TEHRAN, Iran — State TV says Iran and China have signed a $3.2 billion gas deal to produce more than 10 million tons of liquid natural gas over the next 36 months.

The deal was signed in Tehran between Iran LNG Company and a Chinese-led consortium, the report said.

The Chinese company will build a line to liquify gas in Phase 12 of the giant South Pars Gas Field in southern Iran. It didn’t give further details.

The United States is pushing for China and others to abide by United Nations sanctions aimed at pressuring Iran to rein in its nuclear program.

Iran has trumpeted recent energy deals as a vindication against U.S. efforts to isolate Tehran.”

There is very much to read in this bit of news. China’s pursuit of her national interests (securing energy sources, come what may) are driving her actions worldwide, and these have and will continue to be at loggerheads with the interests of the US and her allies.

Talk of China’s desires to be a part of the “International Community”, or a reliable member of the Global Maritime Partnership reflects our own inability to perceive China for the complex rival she is; sometimes partner, sometimes economic rival, sometimes military adversary. She is perfectly willing subvert US/Israeli interests regarding the isolation of Iran, and let them both deal with the consequences of a nuclear state there, as long as LNG can flow into China’s expanding industrial furnace.

Which brings up the recent incidents with the USNS Impeccable, and the subsequent suggestions that the incident was the result of anything other than a deliberate test of US resolve and capability. This and the P-3 incident in 2001 were NOT the result of some “little emperor”, as ADM Zumwalt’s comments have been posted to suggest, (Comments that characterized US warship skippers as “brash and competetive”, to wit, slightly irresponsible and with questionable judgment, that angered US Navy commanders), but rather carefully scripted actions designed to elicit a response.

When the evidence stacks up, including the PLA Foreign Minister’s non-statement to the US Sec State regarding the incident with Impeccable, it should be clear that China is not a friend. She is a major player on the world economic stage, and a growing potential adversary on the world’s oceans and littorals. The US Navy must maintain a surface and subsurface fleet that can effectively counter PLAN capabilities, so that we don’t find ourselves on the wrong side of a maritime denial effort on the part of China, leaving a critical area of the globe for the US to the exclusive grasp of what may become an implacable and harsh enemy.



h/t JJC 



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