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Implications for the U.S. Navy of a 50 Percent Decrease in Defense Spending

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Master's thesis

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This thesis addresses the capabilities of the 300-ship Navy that could be afforded with an assumed 50 percent decrease in defense spending, and the restrictions that this size Navy would place on U.S. foreign policy. This Navy could fulfill the nations 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 nations 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 costhigh capability and low costlow capability ships, to fulfill this role. The requirements for crisis response could be fulfilled but only at the tactical level of warfare. It is unlikely that this Navy could even lift one division with which to conduct forced entry missions. Even if one division were lifted, it would be too small to conduct forced entry missions even at the low end of the operational level of warfare. This would force the United States 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 nations reconstitution requirements if it were given the full assumed warning period 8 to 10 years to reconstitute forces.

Subject Categories:

  • Administration and Management
  • Naval Surface Warfare
  • Undersea and Antisubmarine Warfare

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