Implications for the U.S. Navy of a 50 percent decrease in defense spending
Brady, Patrick Hahler
Tritten, James J.
Teti, Frank M.
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This thesis addresses the capabilities of the 300-ship Navy that could be afforded with an assumed fifty percent decrease in defense spending and the restrictions that this size navy would place on U.S. foreign policy. This Navy could fulfill the nation's strategic deterrence requirements for the post Cold War era. The SSBN force alone provides the required EMT to provide the nation with an assured destruction capability. This navy could also fulfill the nation's forward presence requirements. However with the ability to maintain only two CVBGs forward deployed, the Navy would be forced to use non-traditional methods, such as new deployment force structures or a mix of high cost/high capability and low cost/low capability ships, to fulfill this role. The requirements for crisis response can be fulfilled but only at the tactical level of warfare. It is unlikely that this navy could even lift one division to conduct forced entry missions with. Even if one division was lifted, it is too small to conduct forced entry missions even at the low end of the operational level of warfare. This would force the U.S. to rely more heavily on joint and coalition warfare. Additionally, the ability of this navy to handle more than one crisis at a time is doubtful. Finally, this navy could fulfill the nation's reconstitution requirements if given the full assumed warning period (8 to 10 years) to reconstitute forces.
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