The Navy Owes Congress Independent Honesty, Not Joint Harmony

CIMSEC – The U.S. is out of space, money, and time for the Navy’s multi-generational plans that avoid uncomfortable disagreements while awaiting tectonically slow shifts in OSD bureaucratic and strategic inertia. In a decade where China seeks ascendance with a likely vassal Russia in tow, the U.S. and its public needs a strong, forward, and mobile military to backstop American interests abroad. The military’s failure to understand its rightful place in answering both to the executive and legislative branches has impoverished the public debate on military and foreign policy matters, and weakened national security. Strong, innovative leadership comfortable with serious but professional public disagreements between OSD and other services is necessary to innovate and advocate for America’s pressing security needs. Such leadership is possible, as proven by Admiral Burke, General Shinseki, General Berger, Vice Admiral Copeman, and others who took the right risks for the right reasons. If Washington headquarters continue to fear dissenting conversations held in public more than war, our Navy – and military generally – will face brutal defeat and the ascendancy of a system determined by strategic adversaries.