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We cannot discuss our needs in the Navy and the Submarine Force without considering the current world situation and our many difficult problems. This new era may lack  superpower  confrontation,  but  it does  not  lack  conflicts, crises, and perplexing issues-political, military, economic, environmental, and social .

First, the Cold War is over, or so the experts tell us. After World War I and World Warn people were talking and writing about how we had won “peace for all time”. You don’t hear that now after the Cold War. The most prevalent, thoughtful view of the next five to ten years seems to be a world of perpetual crisis. Whose crystal ball can see further? The Jane’s Defence Weekly 2 January 1993 edition listed an update of tlashpoints around the world. At the time of that article, there were “26 conflicts raging where two or more countries are at war, or where insurrections threaten the stability of the internationally-recognized government; 23 areas of potential conflict between nations or within a nation’s existing boundaries, where ethnic tensions and rivalries could give way to fighting. Tension exists in a further 24 areas, making a tlashpoint total of 73 hot spots for 1993”. At the U.S. Atlantic Command headquarters, we also keep track of key crisis areas around the world on a status board. Today there are over 59 countries/areas world-wide on the board, ranging from a low level environment for crisis up to imminent crisis or crisis in progress, such as: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Armenia/Azerbaijan, Somalia, Haiti, and Iraq to name a few.

Then there are some familiar names: Libya, estimated to have tons of poison gas; China, selling weapons freely on the world market; Iran (which purchased $40 billion world of arms between 1980 and 1988, worth about 20 percent of its gross national product), continuing to buy military hardware and technology at a rate of several billion dollars per year; and Russia, with high inflation and political and economic problems galore.

Second, the U.S. stilI has the #I military and the #I economy, but we are clearly cutting the military ferociously. For example, over 30 more submarines will be placed out of service this decade and about 40 have already been decommissioned. We’re headed from a Navy of about 575,000 active duty personnel today to about 400,000 by 1998 with something Jess than 400 ships. The budge deficit adds economic concerns.

Proliferation of high technology weapons continues. Iran has received delivery of its first Kilo class submarine and other countries are working to expand or develop a submarine force. Some argue that proliferation of nuclear technology is accelerating; that it is, or will be, easier to get nuclear weapons components, trained scientists, and weapons engineers out of Russia and the former Soviet Union to countries apt to use these weapons for regional mischief. Some nations are developing or buying ballistic missiles with a range of hundreds of miles, which may not threaten us directly but certainly threatens some of our close allies. Richard Nixon (in a recent book) and others argue that the 20th century was the most destructive of all history with more people killed in wars than in all other centuries combined. WilI high tech, high explosive proliferation mean the 21st century will top that?

Population is a problem. More people have been born on earth in the last 50 years than the last 900; the 5 billion population on earth now is likely to double, or at least increase by another 3 billion, by 2010. Further, greater than 93 percent of the growth is expected to occur in the so-called Third World that can’t feed its people now. In addition, 14 countries in the world control about two thirds of the world’s output and 80 percent of the world’s gross national product. The 14 countries include the U.S. naturally, but also Canada, Mexico, and China, but not Russia. To really focus the disparity between the haves and the have nots, consider the Arab (or if you want, the Muslim) world. For example, the average annual per capita income of Egypt is about $750, with Morocco about the same; in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, it is about $25,000. Many of you may have seen the May lOth article in the Wall Street Journal about how satellite TV is rapidly spreading throughout Asia. People there are seeing first hand what life is like in the rest of the developed world. Why should the have nots be satisfied with their meager existence when others are well-off and inattentive to their plight?

Of course, the world still seems to produce its fair share of leaders like Quaddafi, Noreiga, and Saddam Hussein. And who’s to say there isn’t another Hitler growing in Eurasia. We’re still faced by ethnic cleansing atrocities, devastating hunger is served on CNN most nights with dinner, and we’re still beset with a drug flow into our communities that destroys our children.

So these are some of the negatives on the balance sheet: trouble spots around the world; proliferation of weapons; popula-tion growth and migration; economic disparity between nations; and rogue leaders.

What I’ve described is pretty bleak-but it’s not all bleak, and there are some pluses oa the ledger. There have always been crises and even if the world seems to be more unstable, maybe it’s not more risky to the U.S. for several reasons.

First, we’re really working with the Russians to reduce their, and our, nuclear stockpiles. Russia is the only country capable of destroying our way of life in a half hour. Working together we can make progress on a host of fronts. Sure there are problems with the ratification of the START treaty in Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus. We’re working on those. But reducing the stock-piles can’t hurt. Confidence building steps are being taken, albeit warily, including conventional forces cuts, chemical and biological weapon reductions, and the Open Skies Treaty.

Most of our current security challenges are distant from our shores. We’ve got some strategic depth and a fairly good system for determining what’s happening around the world. We have ways of assessing increased tensions and areas of potentially more risk for the U.S. There currently isn’t a global challenge to U.S. standing. We’re working to promote a more stable order in Eastern Europe. And most of the former Warsaw Pact countries want protection, assurance, and even to join NATO.

NATO and the United Nations seem to have greater world-wide respect than in the past. The current world situation is the opposite of that under which they were formed . NATO suited the threat and the member nations pulled together for a collective security arrangement that worked for over 40 years. Now that the world situation bas changed, NATO is changing with it-really changing. The use of NATO forces to enforce the no fly policy in the Balkans is an example of this new flexibility. The UN was often stymied during the Cold War by the superpower standoff. Now maybe it can be more effective with improved cooperation by the members of the Security Council. Let’s hope so. In any event, we’re major players in both and we derive great benefits from those associations . Even if we don’t have all NATO allies with us on all issues, their viewpoints are invaluable. Our NATO politico-military consensus operations enhance the trust and bilateral work with our allies. Many of NATO’s greatest achieve-ments are bilateral or trilateral .

Finally,  we  have  a President  and an  Administration  that’s engaged internationally. Never mind the campaign, we’re engaged-maybe not everywhere or doing everything you’d like, but clearly engaged and thrashing away at thorny international problems. We’re respected as a world leader. Our freedoms and openness are envied by much of the world, and they have confidence we won’t abuse our enormous power.

So on the positive side of the balance sheet we have: improved cooperation with our Cold War adversaries; no direct military threats and reduced risks of confrontation; strategic depth to problems; a more pro-active NATO and UN; and the U.S . is still a world leader that’s actively engaged. Fine, nothing new here. But these issues are driving the direction we’re headed probably for the rest of the 90s.

The military isn’t going away. It’s too essential to our leadership, our credibility, our economic viability, and preservation of our way of life. We may reduce but we won’t disappear. The new administration gives every indication it intends to use our Navy, capitalize on the strengths we have today, and not stand for military impotence. We have a strategy that entails strategic deterrence, forward presence (especially by the Navy), crisis response, and reconstitution (not a submariner’s favorite word). I’ll talk more later on strategy. Our overall military size is being reduced and we are restructuring, and have restructured , to meet the new security environment. Some areas will actually see increases. In our immediate future I believe there are at least four growth industries for the military as it’s being applied abroad.

  • Peacekeeping-such as in Somalia. Our involvement will often be in coalitions with other nations, but sometimes we may act alone with the agreement of most concerned parties and surrounding allies.
  • Counter-drug-a big effort which was approached initially somewhat reluctantly by the military. It’s unlikely to reach a successful conclusion soon.
  • Regional crisis resolution {peacemaking)-kicking Iraq out of Kuwait is a prime example of a regional operation of the type which we could face again. Who knows where the next one will be7
  • Reducing or minimizing the spread of weapons of mass destruction and high technology weapon systems.

These are four types of actions in which you can expect more military involvement-certainly in the first three. The Navy and Marine Corps White Paper …From the Sea provides some guidelines for execution of our strategy. It reflects what we’re already doing and have done. These are major changes from the Cold War… .From the Sea is based on nuclear strategic strength, regional area dominance, the ability to project power, and knowing the threats (the battlefield, the air above it, and the sea in front of it). And we’ve got to be able to stick it out.

What I came here to say is that the nuclear submarine plays in this strategy-big time, and not in insignificant numbers.

Our strategic nuclear forces, the Trident SSBNs, will carry an increasing share of the country’s nuclear warheads. The Trident weapon system has long range, is highly accurate, and is cost effective. Advocated by USCINCSTRAT, there’s a new dimen-sion to having an Air Force 4-star general arguing for 18 Trident submarines, 2 crews per boat, and protecting a robust communica-tions system. General Butler knows, and tells people, you can talk to submarines.

We have strategic depth. We expect to fight far from our shores. Remember that in the time it took USS LOUISVILLE to get from San Diego to the Red Sea, a diesel boat wouldn’t have made it much past Pearl Harbor. Our submarines may be tracking diesel boats one day, or sprinting to track a high interest surface ship the next. We have the ability to get ahead of the carrier and be her eyes and ears in close to the beach.

The Submarine Force has changed dramatically over the past two years. The employment of the attack Submarine Force really has been refocused toward littoral warfare with increased emphasis on strike, special warfare, mining, shallow water operations, anti-diesel submarine warfare, amphibious warfare, and carrier battle group (CVBG)/maritime action group (MAG) operations. Two submarines steam with each carrier battle group-East Coast and West. Admiral Miller, USCINCLANT, put together an innovative, controversial adaptive force package for the USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT battle group deployment with Marines plus their helos on the carrier. The ASW planes were left ashore. Initially, I didn’t see a submarine on the list. I asked him how many be wanted. The answer was two. Why? Because they are a force multiplier and contribute to all aspects of our strategy. The shift of submarine tactical control to battle group/joint task force commanders is commonplace. Examples of how submarines contribute include:

  • Surveillance We cannot overemphasize the importance of early and accurate knowledge of potential adversaries. Submarines are relied upon very heavily in this area. We’ve been supporting the multinational effort to enforce United Nations sanctions in the Baltic region since last year. In counter-drug operations we quadrupled our involvement last year. This year will be busier. If U.S. forces are likely to get involved, you can bet SSNs will be there soon.
  • Strike. Submarines make a sizable contribution to our overall strike capability, particularly where covertness and low risk to our forces are necessary. We do over 300 exercises a year. And we deployed a longer-ranged version of the torpedo tube launched Tomahawk missile this year.
  • Battle Space Dominance. We’re working hard on anti-diesel ASW tactics and can contribute a great deal off the beach in unfriendly waters; unseen, unheard, without surface or air control issues. We’re good at targeting small surface combat-ants. We’re getting better at finding mines. We haven’t forgotten about deep water and shallow water ASW. That’s still our most challenging problem. The submarines we may have to go up against only get quieter.

Communications with the CVBG used to be a significant shortcoming. We fixed it; it’s not an issue now, but we must keep up with the rest of the Navy as communications systems evolve. We have over 20 SSNs with demand assigned multiple access (DAMA) equipment installed now. Our first extremely high frequency (EHF) unit is installed and has started testing.

By the way, we started work this year with amphibious task forces. They asked for us. The same principles that make us useful to the CVBG enhance our utility to the amphibs. As the amphibs consider long term forward operations, they may need our help.

Special operating forces are perhaps the strongest advocates of submarines as their major covert means of getting ashore. Our work with these forces vividly illustrate the joint commitment of our military effort. Last week I was aboard one of our SSNs with 22 Navy SEALs, 17 Marine Force Recon guys, a nine man Army Operational Detachment, and, believe it or not, an Air Force master sergeant communications specialist/combat air controller. While a submerged lockout/lockin capability is important, a dry-deck launch may well be the best way to get large numbers of these people ashore, without the encumbrance of SCUBA gear.

So I expect the SSNs to be involved in practically all the peacekeeping and peacemaking regional issues our country faces. Our versatility is well recognized. The submarine’s capability for surveillance is just too valuable to be ignored.

Recently, when the Unified Commanders were asked to validate the forward presence requirements for submarines in the next century, their numbers were essentially identical to those submitted last year for the Joint Chiefs of Staff study on SSN force levels. Those numbers, when released, should make the shipbuilders happy and argue that we must continue to build submarines. They should be quiet, affordable, multi-mission platforms; stealthy, with long legs, capable of working and communicating covertly with all types of U.S . forces; able to keep the big picture, and ready to hit with a big stick. I doubt we’ll ever be able to afford all the people and ships we want; we’ll always rely on our technology. We may not be much ahead of the rest of the world, but we’d always better be ahead.

Technology is the key to maintaining a modern, capable Submarine Force. In my view, our biggest technology challenges are:

  • Communications. As the rest of the Navy evolves to higher frequencies and data rates, we must maintain seamless connectivity and compatibility with all joint forces and our NATO allies. Some of you are already involved in studying this issue for the National Security Industrial Association (NSIA). One of the most challenging aspects for submarines will be antenna design to fit space constraints and withstand submergence pressure.
  • Mine Detection and Avoidance. A major problem area today. We need to be able to find and avoid mines, particularly in the shallow littoral areas. We can’t afford to yield the battle space to a few inexpensive mines. The amphibs in particular need our efforts. We may be able to use our special forces in the future to help in this area.
  • Shallow Water and Anti-diesel ASW. It will be increasingly challenging. We need to improve our capabilities against quiet diesel and other non-nuclear submarines, and improve the effectiveness of our weapons against them in shallow water.
  • Affordability in Submarine Design, Construction and Mainte-nance. We need to find innovative ways to cut costs or the numbers of submarines that we can afford will be far less than our current fleet requirements. We must maintain the industri-al base which allows us to design and build the best submarines in the world .
  • Special Warfare Enhancements. As our older submarines retire, we need to find ways to enhance the capability of our LOS ANGELES class SSNs, ensure that our new submarines have a robust special warfare capabil ity, and improve commu-nications and imagery transmission to better support these missions.
  • Rapid Retargeting for Tomahawk Missiles. This is not unique to submarines, but we must keep up with the rest of the Navy since we carry a large portion of the available cruise missiles.

In summary, there are many crises and challenges in this changing, dynamic world . Th~ proliferation of technology will make our Navy’ s job more difficult in the future while the world’ s sociological and economic problems are likely to multiply. Demand for the services of the Submarine Force in this environment is likely to increase, not decrease, even as we reduce in numbers. Certainly, we intend to maintain American military preeminence through this era-ready to defend American interests wherever they may be. We have already shifted from our Cold War operating patterns; have dramatically changed what we do with our submarines, who we talk to and how; and changed who we work for and what we expect fro. our Commanding Officers. There will be more changes. There are many technology issues. We look forward to the submarine community’s new ideas and innovations-especially affordable ones-to help us keep our Submarine Force ready for what we’ll have to handle tomorrow.

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