The US Navy is plagued by organized crime activities. While most are not illegal, they are highly unethical and far more damaging than any racket John Gotti ran. Billions and billions of dollars are wasted each year by a group of disloyal navy officers known as the "Submarine Mafia". The root of this problem is explained in an article in the May 2002 issue of Naval Proceedings by retired Navy Captain John Byron entitled: "A Navy Out of Balance". He writes "At the top of our loyalty ladder is our warfare community. Each of us belongs to a powerful union that insists on absolute allegiance." He then notes that loyalty to the Navy comes second, and loyalty to the nation last. Amazingly, this revelation of disloyal navy officers did not cause outrage in the press or Congress.
This basic corruption exists in all the Armed Forces, yet the "submarine community" is the worst. Submariners spent a lifetime preparing for a war with the Soviet Union, which collapsed over a decade ago. There are no other major naval powers and no one building a large navy. Although the Russians built a couple excellent subs over the past few years, most all their fleet is rusted and useless. Moreover, Russia is almost an ally, just like former adversaries Germany and Japan. Readers of G2mil will recall that Taiwan can defend itself from invasion without any American help, and the same with South Korea. In addition, carrier battle groups can perform EVERY sub mission. Can anyone imagine a future crisis where the President exclaims: "Where are the submarines?" Nevertheless, submariners insist on keeping "their" share of budgets and only promote officers the rank of Admiral who demonstrate total obedience to their clan. While they view themselves as role models with the highest standards, they continually scheme to deceive and defraud the Navy, the Congress, the President, and all citizens of the United States.
Submariners fill the media and briefing rooms with stories of "over deployments." In reality, attack submarines have done little since the end of the Cold War except to transport their crews on long pointless deployments. Subs cannot enforce blockades since that requires surface boarding parties, and they have no gun mounts and are very vulnerable to small arms fire on the surface since they are nearly underwater already. In the few cases where they launched some Tomahawk missiles or dropped off SEAL commandos, such missions could have been done by nearby destroyers. The old sub mission of providing "intelligence" has been surpassed by satellites and aircraft. In most cases, a sailor can fly to a "target" country on leave and provide far better intelligence with a camera than a billion dollar attack sub snooping off the coast. Finally, the next time a submarine officer talks about the value of submarines to fight terrorism, someone should summon the mental health team from Bethesda to throw a net over the babbling fool.
An article in the July 2002 Naval Proceedings by retired Admiral W. J. Holland demonstrates the mental impairment of career submarine officers. He complains that his fellow Navy officers are unable to grasp the need for a large fleet of submarines. However, his rambling article makes no case for more submarines, it just notes they are "stealthy" and were valuable during World War II. The Admiral plays on the ignorance of his readers by claiming the current sub force cannot meet the "requirements" of the regional commanders, called CINCs. However, no CINC needs submarines, but he has submarine officers on staff dreaming up pointless missions to request. Yes, submarines can sneak into shallow waters, but they can't do anything except sink ships, run aground, or take video shots out of their periscope. Launching Tomahawks near shore is foolish since the fireworks display will attract immediate attention from the enemy ashore and risk destruction of a $2.2 billion dollar submarine.
Submariner smut can also be found at the Navy's Submarine Division "Themes" website. They claim that: "even with 68 SSNs, a significant number of CINC highly desired missions (nearly 60%) could not be accomplished." However, no Americans were harmed because of a lack of subs, and every sane person knows that if 100% of those missions could not be accomplished, it wouldn't matter. They also warn that unless the sub fleet grows to 76: "Southcom will no longer receive submarine support, including support for submarine counter-drug operations; moreover, important Arctic missions will cease." I doubt any American will lose sleep about those prospects. They refer to a 1998 report by the "Defense Science Board", which are groups of insiders formed to rubber stamp what the boss wants to hear. That report was written by the submarine industry with the help of submarine officers by the order of former Undersecretary of Defense, Paul Kaminski, who was rewarded with a board seat by submarine maker General Dynamics two years later. However, that report noted that 62 attack subs were sufficient, which reveals that new "requirements" were recently invented to justify plans for an expansion of the sub force.
Wasting this money is outrageous as the Social Security trust fund is looted to pay for this phantom war. For those unconcerned about America's retirement system, this money could be used elsewhere in the Navy. Navy carriers are deploying with fewer aircraft each time because of a shortage of new jets. The Navy also needs money to fill the shore fire support gap by reactivating two battleships or purchasing modernized MK-71 8-inch guns for its destroyers. The Navy has shelved plans to buy new command ships and just decommissioned its only major mine warfare ship; the USS Inchon. Finally, the US Army cannot rapidly deploy large combat forces overseas to places like Kuwait because the Navy has ended purchases of T-AKR roll-on/roll-off transport ships.
Meanwhile, the submarine mafia stalled the planned drawdown to a force of 50 subs at 68, and has even begun to grow the attack submarine force. The planned deactivations of the USS Jacksonville (SSN-699) USS Houston (SSN-713) and USS Norfolk (SSN-714) were recently cancelled and the Navy will spend two billion dollars to refuel their nuclear reactors and upgrade their systems for another decade of unneeded "service". Meanwhile, the Navy continues to give away ships it truly needs in service; like the FFG frigates and LST amphibious ships which were retired a decade early to save money.
While the media and Secretary Rumsfeld debated the value of the Crusader artillery system, no one took notice of the $6 billion in new funding added to defense plans to convert four SSBN "Ballistic Missile" subs to fire Tomahawk missiles. This program began last year as part of "emergency anti-terrorism funding" which dodged Congressional committee review which would have exposed this racket. These SSBNs were selected for decommissioning in 1993, yet disloyal navy officers kept them in service and plotted this SSGN Scandal which will add NOTHING to the US Navy. In addition, keeping these subs in service violates a disarmament treaty with the Russians.
Hopefully, Secretary Rumsfeld will show leadership and immediately cancel the SSGN program and reschedule the deactivations of surplus attack subs. Then a bold step is required to slap some sanity into submarine officers by ordering every attack submarine to its home port for six months. This is good strategy since they provide nothing more than easy target for terrorists as they sail into foreign ports. Submarine Admirals will have a fit and predict dire consequences, but the only disaster will be realization that attack submarines are nearly useless in this era and there is no need to send them on long deployments. This will allow leaders to understand the logic of rapidly drawing down the Cold War submarine fleet down to 40 submarines by 2004.
Therefore, Navy does not need 2-3 new Virginia class submarines each year as mobsters insist, only one new attack sub each year which should be made at Newport News shipyards in Norfolk. This will allow shipyard workers to shift between nuclear carriers and submarines. Suggestions that this will result in higher costs due to a lack of "competition" are laughable. This work is all a racket, evidenced by the $2.2 billion price tag, which is three times more than a modern destroyer. If a major new naval power arises in the coming decades, this number can be increased. More likely, improvements in satellite and airborne detection systems will make submarines obsolete sitting ducks. Submarines are valuable, but the United States needs no more than 40 attack subs today, and needs no SSGNs.
This will end all government contracts for General Dynamics' Electric Boat division in Groton, Connecticut. Unless these yards can build ships the world needs, like cruise ships or cargo ships, that communist enclave will collapse just like the Soviet Union. Local politicians will plead that thousands of shipyard workers cannot find high paying private sector work because they have no real skills. However, if they want to fund a communist jobs program in Groton, they should follow Fred Reed's advice and pay them to build pyramids. The materials cost much less and they will produce something Americans can visit. Meanwhile, civilian leaders need to address the rampant corruption in the US military and start by dismantling the submarine mafia.
Carlton Meyer editor@G2mil.com
G2mil editorials may be freely distributed without permission
August 2002 Articles
Letters - comments from G2mil readers
Call Macgregor's "Groups" Divisions - 5000-man divisions
SARAS - surface-to-air radar aiming system
Guns and Bullets - more commentary
US National Security: Illusions versus Realities - a brilliant summary
The Clash of Battling War Plans - an invasion of Iraq could get nasty
Previous G2mil - July 2002 issue
Library Tour - visit G2mil's library
Library Entrance - members only
All material in G2mil Copyright 2002 G2mil, patents pending on some items. Links to www.G2mil.com are encouraged.