Our sea services are under enormous stress due to
unprecedented demands being
placed on them in a budget environment that does little to support a
fleet size necessary to meet those
demands. The U.S. military must be
ever ready, ever present — for our
own security and that of our allies.
The tragic events in Paris on Nov.
13 only underscore the importance
being ready, maintaining resolve.
That is why the Navy League’s
America’s Strength campaign asked
the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) to study
this mismatch between demand and
force size, particularly as it pertains to the Navy-Marine
Corps team. That study, conducted by Bryan Clark and
Jesse Sloman, senior fellow and research assistant,
respectively, at CSBA, was released Nov. 18 during a
Navy League press conference on Capitol Hill.
The report, “Deploying Beyond Their Means: America’s Navy and Marine Corps at a Tipping Point,” quanti-fies the supply-demand gap, analyzes how the Navy and
Marine Corps have responded to address it, examines
how the gap is likely to evolve and then looks at possible
options going forward. Ultimately, Clark and Sloman
write in the summary of the study, policymakers have a
choice: “either scale back U.S. aspirations for naval power
and influence or build a larger fleet,” because longer and
more frequent deployments to keep pace with the
demand signal are unsustainable.
Ultimately, they say in the report, “there is no alterna-
tive to more ships. An optimized deployment model can
help to mitigate the negative consequences of a reduced
global presence, but shortfalls will be inevitable.” While
Clark and Sloman offer possible courses of action,
“Executing any of them will require an honest assess-
ment of the Navy’s force posture, readiness, constraints,
and a willingness to accept risks in some areas in order
to maximize scarce resources in others.”
Available at navyleague.org/americas-strength, this
report is yet another important tool at your disposal when
talking about the importance of sufficient funding and
support for our sea services. Never forget that we are an
organization powered by grassroots
initiatives that allow you to drive the
conversation with your lawmakers.
You can make them aware of the
tough decisions, even trade-offs, our
military leaders must make as they
strive to expand capability and main-
tain U.S. maritime superiority.
The Navy League makes it very
easy for its members and other sea
service supporters to make themselves heard. Through our CQ
Engage site — cqrcengage.com/
navyleague — you can be active in a
number of ongoing Navy League
campaigns. Thus far this year, Navy
Leaguers sent 15,377 e-mails to
Congress. Successful campaigns since the start of the program include:
; Encouraged a National Sea-based Strategic Deterrent
Fund funded in both National Defense Authorization
Act (NDAA) and appropriations bills.
; Averted a Department of Homeland Security shutdown that would have led to the Coast Guard working
; Prevented a change to the Jones Act that would have
removed the “built in America” requirement for vessels
transporting merchandise between two points in the
; Encouraged funding of the Maritime Security
Program at the authorized level despite a continuing
resolution that would have underfunded it.
; Encouraged passage of the Howard Coble Coast
Guard & Maritime Transportation Act of 2014.
; Urged passage of the NDAA for fiscal 2015.
; Urged raising defense budget caps.
We are continually updating the site with the most
relevant issues to our sea services. Check often for new
campaigns that need your help.
Remember: Your voice can be heard, and you can
make a difference!
Make Your Voice Heard
By SKIP WITUNSKI, Navy League National President