Remaking The Navy's Officer Culture?
William Lind, best known recently for being completely wrong about his prediction that the U.S. would attack Iran in 2006 and for completely misunderstanding the significance of the "Chinese Song vs. Kitty Hawk" episode, is now holding forth in a new book about what he sees are needed changes in the U.S. Navy. Not surprisingly, given his previous distaste for understanding how the world works, he wants the U.S. to be more like the British Navy:
Lind, who wrote the book’s Navy chapter, contrasts the dominance of engineers in the Navy to what he describes as the preference for tacticians elsewhere. All U.S. submarine skippers are nuclear engineers, “in strong contrast to Britain’s Royal Navy, whose submarine commanders have nuclear engineers where they belong, in the engine room,” Lind wrote.So what do you think? Should we follow Lind's advice and become more like the Royal Navy? Or are we doing a fairly good job as it is?
The first step to remaking the Navy’s officer culture is remaking the Naval Academy, Lind says. The curriculum at Annapolis should focus on “war-fighting,” he writes, rather than engineering, and male and female midshipmen should be educated separately. Co-ed classes create a “stultifying air of political correctness,” Lind wrote. He also recommends sweeping changes to the fleet. The Navy should mothball its Aegis warships, he wrote, because it will never fight an open-ocean war against a peer competitor such as China or Russia. It should use aircraft carriers as cargo ships, carrying supplies or helicopters, if needed, rather than fixed-wing planes.
Lind also recommends the Navy develop its own carrier-launched low-level ground-attack aircraft. The F/A-18 Hornet isn’t built to orbit a battlefield and carry heavy ordnance loads, he wrote, even though that mission will be in ever greater demand.