Naval War College Review


Dan Struble


Now that the Cold War is indeed over, the Navy finds itself in a conflict that poses a real threat to its ability to influence events around the globe. It is a budget war, and the antagonists are not the usual suspects. The conflict is not between the Navy and elected officials--post-Cold War military budget reductions were widely accepted as inevitable. Nor is the conflict with its sister services-the Commission on Roles and Missions has likely settled (at least for a while) the question of who docs what and, hence, what the budget-share percentages are, to within a narrow range.1 This conflict is being waged within the Navy, and it center around the distribution of Navy Department resources. Even here, however, we find the lines of battle drawn in unaccustomed ways. Today's conflict is not over whether the Navy should build more ships or more submarines or more aircraft; it is over whether it will have the resources to build enough of any of these to sustain a navy large enough to place weapons on target when and where needed.