After one of my posts, critical of the Navy’s performance and leadership, a reader asked me if I really believed that the Navy was that incompetent. The question was asked in a mocking way, implying that the Navy couldn’t possibly be as incompetent as I portrayed it (despite the fact that I factually document and reference all my main points) and that, therefore, I was an idiot who had no idea what was going on with the Navy. Well, the previous post regarding the Navy’s own investigative report showed just how systemically incompetent the Navy has become. The question, now, is how did this reprehensible state of affairs come to be and why is it not only continuing but steadily worsening? I’ll now answer that question.
There are two main reasons.
Priorities – The Navy exists to fight wars. You can dress that answer up with all kinds of qualifiers and descriptors like maintaining the flow of international shipping, fostering international maritime relations, etc. but when you boil it down, the Navy exists to fight wars. That is its ultimate, end function. Everything the Navy does, buys, or decides, should run through that filter. Does whatever it is support or enhance the Navy’s ability to fight wars? If not, we shouldn’t do it. It really is that simple.
With that in mind, ask yourself what the Navy’s current priorities are. They’re gender norming, transgender equality, gender integration, unisex uniforms, sexual assault, tattoos, green energy, diversity quotas, removing “man” from job titles, sensitivity training, etc. Look at the number of departments, people, paperwork, and training sessions that are devoted to these priorities.
The Navy has completely lost its focus on warfighting and that leads us to the next reason.
Peace. The worst condition for any military force is peace. Peace is when you no longer are forced to run everything through the unforgiving and uncaring crucible of survival of the fittest. In peacetime, the crude, rough, vulgar, impolite, warriors – the killers who excel in combat – are systematically weeded out. The very people who should be the backbone of a warfighting organization become the new enemy. They’re uncouth and an embarrassment and the peacetime hierarchy ruthlessly terminates their service.
In peacetime, new weapon systems are no longer subjected the impartial test of combat. Instead, systems get adopted not because they are efficient killing systems but because they are efficient jobs programs, or they enjoy support from some influential Congressman, or they’re a pet project of some highly ranked admiral.
In peacetime, all the hard learned and blood-earned lessons and procedures are abandoned or ignored because there is no penalty for failing to follow them. No one is going to shoot at you if you didn’t have time to service your weapon.
Peace is the enemy of the Navy. Peace is the driving force for incompetence.
There you have it. The Navy has arrived at this sorry state of affairs due to misplaced priorities and the extended peace that the Navy has lived with.
The Navy needs to find those few individuals, like ComNavOps, who have not forgotten why the Navy exists and have the courage to insist that the Navy behave like a warfighting machine and then promote them and follow them. Will that happen? No, of course not. It will take another war to wake the Navy from its long peaceful slumber. Unfortunately, a lot of sailors will pay for that slumber with their lives.