Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Defense Agencies

We scan the Defense agencies on a quarterly basis looking for nuggets on defense spending and changes in fiscal expenditures. Interesting to note what the "most significant" news story was for 2007. One would think that global warming is not exactly an "imminent threat" to U.S. security.

Naval Year In Review

World Naval Operational News Highlights

The ten most significant naval news stories / themes this year included:

* The US military's recognition that climate change poses a security threat to the U.S. Most interesting was their recommendation that the U.S. government work to mitigate climate change.

* The Chinese anti-satellite test which showed that China has the capability to destroy satellites in low earth orbit. Could the U.S. Navy operate today without satellites?

* The Russian cyberwar waged against Estonia, which showed how wars in cyberspace will be conducted. Could the U.S. Navy have defended itself as well as the Estonians did?

* The success of the surge / Sunni Awakening in Iraq. Remember that the Sunni Awakening began in Anbar Province and was aided by the US Marines first.

* The seizure of Royal Navy personnel in the Gulf by Iran. Iran continues to take an offensive rather than defensive attitude in the Gulf.

* The growing sovereignty claims over the Northwest Passage. This year Russia planted a flag on the seabed there, the US Coast Guard opened a base there, and the Canadian Navy funded a class of arctic patrol ships intended to work there.

* The resurgence of the Russian Navy, funded by petrodollars. Long range patrol flights coupled with the first task force deployment to the Mediterranean Sea since Soviet times means the Russian Navy is (mildly) back.

* The decreasing size of the Royal Navy. Note though its two new aircraft carriers were formally funded this year.

* The deepening disaster of the U.S. Coast Guard's Deepwater procurement program. It seems empowering contractors to oversee their own contracts was not such a great idea after all.

* The crisis in the U.S. Navy's shipbuilding program has come to a head with the canceling of follow-on Littoral Combat Ships due to massive cost overruns. Will the U.S. Navy finally take a more hands-on approach to its shipbuilding programs to keep costs down?

No comments: