Congressman Randy Forbes (R-VA) has submitted a resolution listing all the reasons why Congress should not make “further cuts to an already tattered force.” Among other things, Forbes observes:
- Whereas over 90 percent of global trade, worth over $14,000,000,000,000, travels by sea;
- Whereas 75 percent of the world's maritime commerce travels through a small handful of international straits and canals, which function as strategic choke points;
- Whereas global energy demand is on the rise and a significant portion of future growth is projected to come from maritime nations such as India and China;
- Whereas the modernization of China's People's Liberation Army appears focused on shifting the military balance in the western Pacific Ocean in a direction unfavorable to United States and regional interests
No prize for guessing the theme – “Don’t cut the Navy” – or why Forbes chose it.
Newport News and Hampton Roads abut the Virginia 4th and are home to major naval bases and shipbuilding industry. Forbes’s district certainly has heard the rumors about decommissioning the USS George Washington in 2016. And other options, like cutting ships from the Ford-class procurement, stretching out the Virginia-class building schedule, or delaying the SSBN(X) purchase are sure to cause far more worry.
But what Forbes omitted from the resolution was just as interesting as what he included – it made no reference to what this all means for the Army or the Air Force. If he’s not going to defend all of the Services’ equities, why didn’t he sacrifice them to protect the Navy? Make no mistake, Forbes’ resolution is about subsidy rather than strategy, but the Pentagon still could save money by playing favorites with the Navy.
Seems that the 1/3 rule mindset applies on Capitol Hill too.