Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Seablindness By Seth Cropsey

How Political Neglect is Choking American Seapower
By Seth Cropsey

“A finely researched combination of strategy, current events, and action-packed scenarios.”
--Former Senator Joseph I. Lieberman

Has the U.S. Navy reached its breaking point? In Seablindness: How Political Neglect is Choking American Seapower and What to Do About It, Fmr. Deputy Undersecretary of the U.S. Navy Seth Cropsey exposes how years of underfunding has left our nation’s most strategic arm of defense - American naval power - smaller today than any point since before World War I.

At the same time, our adversaries are modernizing their naval forces and, increasingly, testing our will to defend the open seas. Drawing on historic conflicts as reference points, Cropsey creates strikingly realistic scenarios in which rival powers like China, Russia, Iran and North Korea challenge our naval supremacy. The results will alarm anyone who recognizes America’s moral imperative to defend itself to preserve world peace and security in an era of emerging and multiplying global threats.

“Seablindness” is an old term to describe a maritime nation’s forgetfulness of the oceans’ role in its prosperity and security. The U.S. is losing the understanding that seapower is essential for protecting our commerce and preventing overseas conflicts from reaching our shores. The U.S. is the world’s most powerful supporter of the international order. If, because of defense budget cuts, the growth of adversary forces, the international order is overturned, our shipping, our ability to communicate with allies, and our position as a great power will be at risk.

In Seablindness, you’ll learn:

·     How the international order that the U.S. has supported since the end of World War II is threatened today by:
·     China’s actions in the international waters of the South and East China Seas;
·     the Russian navy’s forcible return to the Black Sea and its growing presence
                        in the Eastern Mediterranean;
·     its threats to NATO member states along the Baltic Sea; and
·     Iran’s threats to shipping in the Strait of Hormuz, and the virtual certainty that
                        Iranian naval presence will migrate into the Red Sea. 
·     Why U.S. seapower has been shrinking since the end of the Cold War and how President Obama’s administration reduced defense spending by hundreds of billions of dollars.
·     How the defense budget may still be asked to give up hundreds of billions of dollars if Congress and the president cannot avoid sequestration.
·     How an under-resourced and over-stretched fleet is experiencing collisions at sea.
·     How budget cuts affect all of U.S. seapower and the threats that U.S. seapower faces.
·     That to deter a potential enemy, U.S. seapower must change its focus from attacking land targets to commanding the seas nearest to a potential adversary.
·     How the far left of the Democratic Party believe we should substantially reduce our global engagement; yet our potential adversaries are at or nearby the world’s chokepoints. If we cannot assure the freedom of these chokepoints, our ability to conduct commerce and to communicate with allies will be at great risk.

American seapower has not been as small as it is today since before World War I. Unless reversed, it will continue its decline into the indefinite future as politicians ignore the widening gulf between the cost of modernizing and expanding American seapower, and the resources devoted to this most strategic arm of the nation's defense.

Seablindness explains the dilemma. It looks at the consequences of neglect including global scenarios set in the immediate future, the views of America's most knowledgeable military officers, the anxious reactions of U.S. allies, and hard facts to show how a lack of political will is dismantling the nation's global reach and with it, our position as the world's great power.

About the Author: Seth Cropsey served as deputy Undersecretary of the U.S. Navy in the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. He was an officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve from 1985 to 2004. Cropsey is a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C. and director of Hudson's Center for American Seapower. 

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