Thursday, June 25, 2009

Policing the World

This Naval Institute blog post has this interesting quote:
While the Navy can always be present persistently in areas of our choosing, we lack the capacity to be persistently present globally. This creates a presence deficit, if you will, where we are unable to meet combatant commander demands.

They seem to take it for granted that the national interests of the United States really do require us to maintain a global persistent presence.

I'm certain that they're wrong about that, and I'm inclined toward the view that we should be moving more toward a persistent military absense from anywhere very far from our own shores like we had prior to Teddy Roosevelt's administration. Of course, the world has changed a lot and maybe a good case can be made that we need a persistent military presence in some places, but WWII began without that kind of presense and we won it. Why do we now need to be all over the world? What's the security benefit and/or what's the unacceptable security risk in leaving some of the places we currently have troops? Why not leave Korea? Japan? Europe? I can see the argument for staying in the Middle East, but I'm having trouble seeing it for anywhere else.

So back to the question. If I'm wrong in my view of the 19th century as a good direction to return to military presence-wise, what's the right direction? Where do we need to maintain presence and why? I'm talking about the long term, not when or if we should get out of Afghanistan, but what should our goal be? Where should we keep bases and why? Where must our Navy maintain its presence?

1 comment:

Bartender Cabbie said...

Our Navy must be ready to respond anywhere. It is important to have an ability to respond lethaly in and around the Suez Canal, Persian Gulf and surrounding waters, near the Panama Canal, tips of both the S. American and African continents, Strait of Malacca and in the containment of China and Russia. Obviously we can not be everywhere at once, but need to have the capability to deploy quickly.