February, 8

    Will a new year and a new Congress bring us the first view of a new Navy?

    Featured in:

    WASHINGTON — Barring the extraordinary or outright unpredictable, it is nearly certain that next year Congress will empanel its new commission tasked with assessing the “future of the Navy.”

    For all 2023 could bring, I’m most interested in the machinations and, eventually, findings of this group of independent, third-party experts.

    The commission is borne out of the Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act, and its purpose is effectively to hand lawmakers and the Pentagon an unmitigated outlook at how the US Navy’s fleet, to include its aircraft, should look to fight and win in the future.

    READ MORE: Chinese jet came within 10 feet of U.S. military aircraft

    Among other things, the commission will be expected to offer concrete numbers for the mix of ships that make up the fleet, a question that has become a political football in recent years.

    At least ostensibly, they will do so without the natural biases that come into play whenever these types of reports are produced directly by the Pentagon or individual congressional committees.

    Prior to the commission’s establishment, two outside analysts considered the value of such a panel, and came to very different conclusions.

    In an op-ed for Breaking Defense on June 8, John Ferrari of AEI, argued the Navy is at a “tipping point” and an outside panel must be brought in to triage an overwhelming number of issues carefully documented by the expert auditors of the Government Accountability Office.

    READ MORE: F-35 deliveries halted after Texas mishap; new contract finalized

    But later that month, retired four-star Navy admiral James Foggo, now leading the Center for Maritime Strategy, countered the problems of the Navy are indeed well-documented and it is political will that is needed to break the impasse. Another layer of bureaucracy, he said, is unlikely to bring anything new to light.

    Whoever’s right, this commission will have an opportunity to present the White House, Pentagon and Capitol Hill with an objective outlook on the future.

    If they do that, without the natural political biases that usually entangle shipbuilding, then they offer a rallying point for all parties involved.

    READ MORE: New Army light tank under construction

    With their final report, which must be submitted by mid-2024, the panel might just push past the circular conversations that we hear year after year on Capitol Hill. If they can do that — and the jury is out on whether they can — then perhaps one more layer of bureaucracy will prove useful.

    In the new year, I’ll be watching every move this panel makes in the hopes of finding out whether they really will have an impact on the future Navy or whether their work will be so driven by politics that it fades into irrelevancy before it has the chance to make a difference.

    Find us on

    Latest articles

    - Advertisement - spot_imgspot_img

    Related articles

    Su-75 ‘Checkmate’: Russia Could Invite India To Join The...

    Rostec, a Russian state-owned enterprise with operations in a wide range of industries, including military hardware, has expressed its intention to invite India to develop the Su-75 Checkmate fifth-generation fighter jet, reported state-run TASS. 

    Spy Balloon Or Venus? When US Navy Tried Shooting...

    US Navy divers are currently trying to recover the remains of the Chinese spy balloon that was shot down off the coast of South Carolina.

    Catching Up With F-35, Russia’s Su-57 Fighters To Get...

    Russian air force fighters are set to get ‘smarter’ with the introduction of what appears to be an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enabled data linking and sensor fusion system that connects a pair of jets in a networked operation.

    Taiwan Is Deploying ‘Cheap’ Minelayers & Their Mines With...

    Many in Taiwan and their supporters in the strategic community in the United States seem to favor applying one lesson learned from the ongoing war in Ukraine against China to thwart its aggressive designs on the island nation. That makes the Chinese invasion very difficult and expensive by mining its warships in the Taiwan Strait.

    Shooting Down 6 PLAAF Fighter Jets, Meet US’ ‘Revolutionary’...

    A US Air Force F-22 Raptor popped a Chinese “spy balloon” on February 4 using an AIM-9X Sidewinder missile, marking the first kill for the mighty Raptor. Interestingly, this wasn’t the first time the Sidewinder had destroyed a Chinese target.

    US Air Force Prepares For ‘Ultimate Clash’ With China’s...

    The US Air Force (USAF) has finally got its first fifth-generation aggressor pilot for the recently reactivated 65th Aggressor Squadron (AGRS) at Nellis Air Force Base (AFB), Nevada.