Stark Words About the Navy From a Former Navy Secretary
A timely warning from a former Navy Secretary. Beware China and its growing blue-water Navy.
Stark Words About the Navy From a Former Navy Secretary - September 27, 2006 - The New York Sun
Over lunch at the Four Seasons during a hectic week in New York, a former secretary of the Navy, John Lehman, shared his alarm about America's security.
"We're building only five ships a year; we're on the way to a 150-ship Navy" he says. In his view, that is courting disaster. "That is not enough to cover our security requirements," he says. "Seventy-percent of the world is covered by water. We no longer have basing rights around the world. If you have combat operations going on you need air cover and support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and that comes from the Navy. To fly one ton of cargo into Iraq takes 14 tons of fuel. That's not cheap. It's got to go by sea, so you have to protect it. The Iranians, for instance, have very good submarines."
The ultimate threat, he says, is China, which "is now building their 600-ship Navy, to fill the vacuum, and they're very good ships."