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ABOUT MIKE'S DEFENSE TALK

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The United States spends more on defense than the next 9 countries combined.  Yet, the trend over the last 30 years has been one where each and every year sees U.S. taxpayers getting less and less bang for their defense dollar.  There are number of reasons for this, but the two biggest reasons are the incestuous relationship between the military, defense contractors and Congress, and a woke/DEI agenda that is undercutting  and destroying military effectiveness.

The prescient warning by World War II Allied Supreme Commander and 34th President of the United States in his 1961 farewell speech regarding the Military Industrial Complex has sadly been realized in spades.   Today’s military procurement is about providing the most revenue and profits for defense contractors vs. providing the best mix of weapons and quantity of weapons systems to enable our men and women in uniform to protect our national interests.

This was brought home to me 10 years ago when after hearing about, and reading about the shortage of navy ships I thought to research the possibility of reactivating and modernizing reserve/mothballed Navy ships.  To my shock I found that our reserve fleet was practically non-existent, having been methodically destroyed over the last twenty years.  In particular, it seemed as if ships that could actually be a threat to new ship construction were no longer being mothballed, but instead being destroyed.  

Particularly egregious was the premature retirement of our best ASW ship, the Spruance Class Destroyer (DDS 963). Not only were  DDS-963’s being retired with decades of potential service remaining, but the retired ships were being rapidly scrapped and or destroyed via SINKEX exercises.  For reference, Spru-Cans, as they were affectionately known, displaced roughly the same as the Arleigh Burke destroyer (DDG-51), but they have two 5” inch guns; and prior to the decision to destroy the class, 24 had been upgraded to carry 61 MK-41 Vertical Launch System cells.   So, with unmatched ASW, more guns and a large missile load they were an extremely versatile warship.  Also, having a more hydrodynamically efficient hull, they had quite a bit more range than Burke’s (6000 NM vs 4400 NM).  It should also be noted that our Ticonderoga Class Cruisers are built on Spruance Class hulls.

It is also worth noting that the ships retired and destroyed first, were the ships that been most recently upgraded with the MK-41 VLS systems.  In other words, the most capable ships were retired first and then rapidly destroyed as they were the one’s posing the greatest threat to defense contractors.

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