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Which branch of the Military

by TONI H / May 15, 2006 10:37 PM PDT

do you think is the most vital to the USA as a peace-keeper/war-deterrant?

I would believe after much reading lately that it's the USNavy and I'll list a few of the reasons for that thinking.

Ours is the most superior in the world and our SEALS cannot be matched even closely anywhere else in the world. Our technology, techniques, and training are unequalled anywhere.

Other Navies, such as China's, has lots of PEOPLE and SURFACE ships, but these are mostly used for shore patrol. They have very few submarines, which are really the heart of stealth and recon. Taiwan has a pretty decent Navy and as long as they can be kept safe from China attempting to 'bring it back into the fold' they are able to continue to become an extremely wealthy country and flourish. Britian has a pretty formidable Navy, but it still isn't up to par with the one we have. Canada hardly has one. Australia's is small but effective for their needs which aren't many, and I get the impression it specializes in areas the USA doesn't have the expertise in, such as dolphin training for mines and rescues.

I realize that we are in the middle of a land war right now and most funding is needed for that purpose; however, I can't for the life of me understand the huge cutbacks going on right now being made regarding our Navy and can only hope that this is just a temporary situation.

So...tell me what you think and why, please.


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I read, or heard, or was told,
by marinetbryant / May 15, 2006 10:58 PM PDT

can't remember anymore, that a Marine Expeditionary Unit can be inserted in a trouble spot and hold out for 30 days 'til the rest of the folks show up. It is supposed to be self contained, including artillery, tanks, etc. Most MEUs travel via the Navy and either land by beachcraft or helicopters. Being a former Marine I am somewhat partial.


The ideas above are mine and should be believed by everyone!

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Just guessing...
by Willy / May 16, 2006 1:05 AM PDT

Since the world is covered by 3/4's by water it makes sense to have a navy. To "project" naval power has always been a corner stone of the USA gunboat policy. It is however an expensive one, so when you factor in the cost of just keeping any ship, "fueled" you get the idea. Plus, any new ships aren't picked from a tree they cost big time. This isn't just for the navy but any armed forces branch. It just costs so much to even have a standing armed force and to engage in warfare adds to that. To what costs is left to the bean counters to factor in what can and can not be done with for the immediate future and unfortunately that's too common a problem dealing with the "now factor". Remember, we won the cold war overall becuase we out spend the commies and they couldn't keep-up, excluding the diplomacy side of things. The seams of the modern military are getting to be exposed and to what as a nation are we if "left to us" really can afford. Alot of military pork belly spending gets by because the politics of the US spreads it around and few turn it down. In todays $, you fight many WWII's of thier dollars at the time, dollar for dollar excluding inflation/deflation and all that yada-yada. Its really not that hard to figure out, something(some branch) has to give. -----Willy

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While trying not to be biased...
by Angeline Booher / May 16, 2006 1:17 AM PDT

.... I would quickly say "Air Force" :-), that would not be true.

Most of the supplies needed to support ground troops go by sea. Invasion troops, Army or Marines, go by sea. Subnarines patrol, gather intelligence, and can fire ordinance. It also fires missiles at ground targets. Ships can lauch planes and fire ordinance. Thge Navy , the Army, and the Marines have heliocopters.

Navy Seals perform covert activities on and near the shores

Heliocopters carry troops, supplies, support the ground troops, and can fire ordinance. They also perform rescues.

The Coast Guard watches our ports, our waters, boards ships and boats, and performs rescues. They also have heliocopters.

The Air Force has huge cargo planes, both for ferrying supplies, personel, wounded (equipped to give medical care), and heavy equipment.

The fighter and bomber planes go in first, taking out radar installations, enemy troop encampments, heavy equipment like tanks and planes on the ground, airstrips, battles enemy planes in the air, takes out communication and anti-aircraft systems, and others to make the way more clear for the ground troops. AWAC planes continue to patrol the skies, gather intelligaence, spot targets. Un-manned planes gather intelligence.

So I see the branches being intertwined, necessary for the missions.

I have expressed my quarrel with fownsizing before, especially as to turning some functions over to the civilan sector. It was said this was to save money (cut down on costs for housing, active duty medical care, the needs for dependents, no GI Bill to pat for, etc.). But I have my doubts it has saved money.

I also do not agree with the opinion that a "leaner" military is possible due to all of the technological advances and smarter weapons. IMO, this was born of the idea that future wars would be "spot" ones, to which our people could be rapidly deployed. That would be true had we now not learned that is not the case. We just don't have enough humans to be in two full scale wars. I don't think some realize just how thinly we are spread, and the effect this has on those in the war zones. I'll go even futher and draw fire .... we should not start a war with Iran without the strong coalition we had in the Gulf War. If it's neighbors and those with whom it trades aren't concerned (and they are closer to Iran), I don't think it should fall on us to protect them unilaterally from their own folly.

There are aspects and duties of the military branches that are already being shared among them

As to reducing the number of ships, any nation can sail in international waters. "Cargo ships" travel to world ports. We're not the only country with submarines. IMO, we need no less than what we now have on the seas.

Speakeasy Moderator
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Gee, I don't think that today any one
by John Robie / May 16, 2006 2:44 AM PDT

service is more vital than the other.

I've always had admiration for the Marines ever since their vallent effort in capturing those numerous South Pacific islands during WWII. Course the Navy helped tremendously also, like my uncle who drove a landing craft in several of those island battles. Then again the US Army was hard at it ever since the Europe D-Day. The Air Force also helped by clearing most of the sky & bombing factories before D-Day, and then our good Allies with all their military were vallent.

The Air Force (SAC) was the most war-deterrant in the early days ot the 'Cold War' and then later ICBM's and Navy's Nuclear Subs with ICBM's.

Oh, talking about today, the Navy is vital and has a role in peace-keeping/war-deterrant with the SEALS, Carriers, Subs, and Cruise Missles, but I can't say they are any more vital than the other services....

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(NT) (NT) Military intelligence - no explanation needed!
by neocon / May 16, 2006 2:47 AM PDT
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Blue Water Navy Drifting Toward A Desert-Brown Water Navy
by Catgic / May 16, 2006 4:35 AM PDT
So...tell me what you think and why, please. TONI.

Toni, funny (or should it be not so funny) that you should ask.

All the U.S. Armed Forces are vital to the USA as a peace-keeper/war-deterrent. I have jointly worked with G.I.s, Grunts, Troopers, Signal Corps and Airmen from all the other services and have great respect for the fine jobs they have done, are doing and will do in executing their war-fighting/peace-keeping missions.

Having said that, the Sea Service consisting of the Navy ? Marine Corps Team is the CAN DO?Can Do It All Service. Admittedly, I am a bit of partial, but the Sea Services have the full spectrum of forces and war-fighting capabilities needed to wage battle to achieve and keep peace. The Navy and Marines CAN DO IT ALL from the air, on and below the sea, on land and from satellites in space. The Sea Service is an AIR FORCE, ARMY, NAVY & COAST GUARD all rolled into one.

The Navy and Marines steam 24/7/365 and never go dead-in-water or shut down operations The Second Friday Of Each Month For Training like is done by some.

Because there is NO FREE LUNCH in the Navy Mess Hall, you will have permit me to pontificate a bit on the what you think and why part of your question.

Our winning the Cold War against the Soviet Union brought about a change in THE GLOBAL THREAT. During the Cold War the Soviets had a full spectrum of Army, Air and Naval Forces. Therefore, our Armed Forces were structured to fight and win a global and theater war armed with Tanks - Infantry, Bombers - Fighters, Ships - Submarines and Nuke ICBMs.

When Uncle Ronnie Brought Down That Wall, he also brought down the SOVIET THREAT.

Beginning after Reagan under Daddy Bush, continuing through Bubba Clinton and now with Dubya Bush there was and continues to be a massive draw down in the headcount of Regular Active Duty military forces and war-fighting units. We are, in essence, Running-On-Empty as we fight the Iraqi War on the backs of the Reserves and their families back home.

Starting in the early 1990s, we went from millions of Regular Active Duty forces under arms who were trained and at the ready, down to the few hundreds of thousands we have today. Then S#!T HAPPENED with 9/11, and here we are in 2006.

At the top-level we are spending Trillions of U$D Treasure on the Iraqi War, but the trickle down by the time it gets to the individual Armed Forces becomes just Billions or Millions. Recall the HUMMV Ballistic-Armoring and Bulletproof Vest/Body Armor shortfalls. Do the top-level math of total Active Military Force headcount against the overall Armed Forces budget-spending, and the dollar number per trooper, marine, airmen and sailor in the field and at sea...the result will stagger you. Clearly, it is:

Trillions $pent, But Not Hundreds Of Thousands Of War-Fighters Served.

From Page 4, MOROA Transmitter March 2006:

All of the service chiefs are being squeezed to reduce personnel benefit costs in order to purchase equipment. The Air Force and Navy are reducing headcount to allow the Army and Marine Corps to increase personnel. Because of ?Total Force? commitments active and reserve components are greatly challenged by the funding restrictions. http://www.roa.org/mo/MOROAT%200602.pdf

To keep this short let me attempt to present a snapshot of the big picture. Unlike the Soviets, the Arab-Terrorist have no Army, Air Force or Navy. There are no Arab-Terrorist fighter-bomber aircraft flying over the desert or Arab-Terrorist ships and submarines steaming through the desert sand.

Except for the Army and the Marines, all the other Armed Services have been, and continue, scrambling for a Mission. Post 9/11 graduating classes at the U.S. Naval Academy have had record numbers of graduates volunteering to be Officers in the Marine Corps, more then there are billets available. This is because the land war is where the action is.

With the Defense Department forcing the Department of the Navy to severely cut the number Sea Service Ships, Aircraft and Units, the need for ship, submarine and airplane drivers continues getting smaller and smaller. For the first time in our history, a Marine General was made the Chief of JCS.

Numerous Navy aircraft and ship squadrons and units have been and are being disbanded and decommissioned. Google ''Ship and Aircraft Squadron Decommissionings'' to get a sampling of the Right-Sizing activity that is and has been going on since the early 1990s.

Some links to pertinent reading on this subject of the state and composition of our nation?s Armed Forces follow:


JP Cool
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I know one thing, Toni...
by Jack Ammann / May 16, 2006 8:52 AM PDT

...when a couple of Carrier Battle Groups...and I mean the WHOLE "enchilada"...show up on station, who ever there're lookin' at betta pay attention

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Navy and Marines
by dirtyrich / May 16, 2006 10:31 AM PDT

can wage a war themselves. We have the Carrier Battle Groups, which can dominate anywhere on sea or land. The Amphibious Battle Groups have the armaments, manpower, and resources to support and hold an amphibious landing.
Our sub service patrols the seas and coasts, and can strike anywhere at anytime (including nuclear strikes).

Finally, the biggest reason that the Navy and MArines rock - an overwhelming majority of the world's population live in or close to coastal areas.

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(NT) (NT) Which ever branch is holding the nukes
by duckman / May 16, 2006 10:34 AM PDT
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(NT) (NT) Thats both the AF and Navy
by dirtyrich / May 16, 2006 12:42 PM PDT
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by Glenda / May 16, 2006 10:44 AM PDT

Of course Devil

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Toni, this reminds me of an old story about body parts
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / May 16, 2006 1:33 PM PDT

arguing about who's more important. The bottom line is the whole is greater than the some of the parts, and we'd be in tough shape without any of them!

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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You may have missed
by TONI H / May 16, 2006 8:24 PM PDT

part of my point in asking, DK....considering how important the Navy is for the entire group of armed forces we have, you would think (or at least I do) that it would be the one branch that can't afford to have such major cutbacks as what has been going on recently.

I fully realize that with a ground war such as we have that a huge amount of funding needs to go into that direction, but there are other, lesser, branches of the service such as Coast Guard, that could take the hit of cutbacks much easier at this time rather than the military Navy itself. (The Coast Guard is actually run by the Treasury Department or at least it used to be along with the Tobacco and Firearms....go figger)

Although Derek is with the Navy, this question of mine is not geared by bias by me....I've been doing extensive reading about these issues because of Derek's involvement but trying not to slant my opinion because of it.

All branches are important, but it appears to me that the Navy is the backbone and cement that actually melds and holds them all together and should be the last to take serious hits with cutbacks. My opinion....and I'm wide open to serious discussions about this pro and con.


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by marinetbryant / May 16, 2006 10:23 PM PDT
In reply to: You may have missed

The Navy is just a fleet of sea-going taxi cabs for the Marines! LOL

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At least you don't have to
by TONI H / May 17, 2006 12:52 AM PDT
In reply to: Toni

wade to your destination. lol Nor leave a tip....

Derek said that the Marines they transported got a real kick out of the show of arms that were fired off for their benefit on their way home. He really enjoyed their company, too. They all talked about what great meals they got on-board.


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At least
by marinetbryant / May 17, 2006 10:23 AM PDT

I had the privilege to be on a Navy vessel when our unit went "afloat". The chow was unbelievable. Real meat, milk and more! The other half of the taxi cab joke is Marines are just seagoing bellhops!


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(NT) Ah, but you were a Marine.
by John Robie / May 17, 2006 1:09 PM PDT
In reply to: At least

When I was one of the passengers on a old WWII Liberty ship in the USAF in the 50's the Navy cooks fed us powdered milk and powdered eggs for breakfast. One thing that I thought was good at the time was that they sold cigarettes out at sea for 11 cents a pack in the ships small official store. Have stayed at some Navy land bases and ate good meat, real eggs & milk.

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(NT) (NT) Above is no "NT", my mistake.
by John Robie / May 17, 2006 1:12 PM PDT
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Combine them into one
by WOODS-HICK / May 16, 2006 5:26 PM PDT

all encompassing organization. Separate the wheat from the chafe. It would save tons of money. Lot's of top brass could be retired. All the elite forces could remain. Their is a lot of duplicity in the services. 5 groups reaching for the same dollars. Of course there would be a long transition period.
Giuliani did that in NYC soon after his election creating the largest pd in the country-25K+. That ended bitter rivalry and infighting. It made him the crime stopper NYC needed. Without this action the 9-11 aftermath would have been much worse.

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The Marinejegerkommandoen can give
by kmarchal / May 17, 2006 2:22 AM PDT

the Seals a run for the money and they also have stealth vessels technology ?Skjold".

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The What????
by Rolway / May 17, 2006 4:16 AM PDT

Sounds like your jerking our leg. If it has to be I vote for the Seals. Easier to spell, pronounce. Grin


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And you have the Marine Jagerne
by kmarchal / May 17, 2006 4:39 AM PDT
In reply to: The What????

Who train with and against the US. Navy Seals.

(I would also vote Seals)

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norwegian special forces
by jonah jones / May 17, 2006 4:40 AM PDT
In reply to: The What????
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Boy, Thats some outfit...
by Rolway / May 17, 2006 5:02 AM PDT

Thanks Jonah and kmarchal. Never knew about those norwegian special forces. Learn something new around here everyday.


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Military- for you Toni
by marinetbryant / May 22, 2006 4:37 AM PDT
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Navy- for you Toni
by Catgic / May 22, 2006 7:47 AM PDT

TO: Toni
FM: Joseph ALNAV
SUBJ: Blue Water Navy & Wings of Gold

I wish that I could fly, Into the sky, So very high, Just like a dragonfly
I?d fly above the trees, Over the seas in all degrees, To anywhere I please?
I want to get away, I want to get away, I want to fly away?Yeah yeah yeah

[From Lenny Kravitz's ?Fly Away? ]

Toni, FLY TO:


Click on the picture of the Skinny Dragon?s P3 Orion and enjoy the flight...JP Cool

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by John Robie / May 22, 2006 9:16 AM PDT

Well, a little off subject with what you are asking, but aviation with great pilots in the Navy, Marines, Army, Coast Guard, and USAF, I have been struck with a since of feeling for our pilots/crews that the poem "High Flight"

The poem "High Flight" by Major John Gillespie Magee, Jr, was made into three short films by the USAF and shown as a Television Sign-Off piece that were seen by millions of people across the United States during the 1960's and 1970's. The films featured seperately the F-104 Starfighter, T-38 Talon, and F-15 Eagle with appropriate music.

High Flight:

"Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings,
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.

Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew.
And, while silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God."

Source: "The Last High Flight", Flying, January, 1993, p.36.

President Ronald Reagan quoted the poem in his address to the nation following the loss of the space shuttle Challenger on 28 January 1986.

John Magee Jr was killed in a flying accident at age 19.
On his grave are enscibed the lines:

"Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth - Put out my hand and touched the Face of God."

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Thanks you guys
by TONI H / May 22, 2006 10:28 PM PDT
In reply to: Flying

I enjoyed the films.... and the poem, John

I sent the stuff to Derek, too.


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