This week in San Diego, USNI/AFCEA West 2012 will be examining the issues and challenges associated with a US Military that has reached a “crossroads”.

As has happened so many times in the last century, the signposts to that crossroads are fiscal and not operational. Even with the drawdown in Iraq, and the war in Afghanistan employing just a small fraction (about 90,000) of the 1.44 million US servicemen and women, the driving forces for the coming cuts are budget shortfalls, and spiraling national debt.

Panel sessions include discussion of the future of the Navy-Marine Corps Team (which doubtless will encompass amphibious capabilities), information and INFOSEC requirements for Naval forces, the balance between the warfighting head and the logistics tail, and the looming question of our new Pacific orientation, China.

Speakers include former CJCS Admiral Mullen, Navy Undersecretary (and former Marine Artilleryman) Robert Work, David Hartman, and Medal of Honor Winner SFC Leroy Petry, USA.

As usual, USNI will have a reinforced fire team of bloggers to tell you about it. The unit symbol is below. We will begin in a wedge formation for all around security and flexibility, and then we will do whatever SWMBO tells us to.

If you are going to ask tough questions, and give tough answers, San Diego in January is a pretty good place to do it. The forecast in Vermont is for snow.

Posted by UltimaRatioReg in Air Force, Army, Aviation, Coast Guard, Foreign Policy, Hard Power, History, Homeland Security, Marine Corps, Maritime Security, Naval Institute, Navy, Piracy, Proceedings

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  • could you ask about the real budget driver? personnel costs. in particular first term Marines (i guess it applies to all services though…) who join that already have a family or soon after joining have one and the associated costs with this? years ago a proposal was put forward about requiring first term members to agree not to marry. i realize that’s a no go but what about revamping the system so that we fall in line with the private sector and not adjust income because of dependents?

    is that too bold a step or is it something that is passe’

    one other question i’d like answered is the state of the sea base and if its still relevant especially in light of the amphibious shipping shortfall. should funds be going to an enhanced logistics capability at the expense of achieving a viable assault capability?

    thanks guys. have fun.

  • UltimaRatioReg


    Marine Commandant General Carl Mundy proposed not recruiting married Marines, or allowing first-termers to marry. He was figuratively shot down in flames over the issue. However, personnel costs encompass far more than that, and are the prime single cost category for all the services.

    The sea-basing question is sure to be asked. It has been in other venues, and I will be interested to hear the future of the sea base.

    I just ran in shorts along Harbor Drive. Already having fun!!! 🙂

  • Byron

    “I just ran in shorts along Harbor Drive. Already having fun!!!”

    Thank God that sight is 3500 miles away…shudder 8)

  • UltimaRatioReg

    Beats an ugly old shipfitter, even if he is in coveralls!!!