A Swing and a Miss: Cashing in USS Truman
This article originally appeared on the USNI Blog here.
“These reports…are really puzzling…just kind of a head-scratcher…” U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA)
“I think that’s a ridiculous idea…” – U.S. Representative Elaine Luria (D-VA)
Oh dear, Navy. I have to say, it takes true honor, courage, and commitment to be willing to appear so inept to your Congress and the American people. I may be the only one on Earth (because I am a sentient warbot from the future) who understands what you were trying to do. You were so close to a wonderful technology windfall… and then you got trumped.
You were almost able to cash in an aircraft carrier to free up budget money for investing in advanced technology. All those beautiful unmanned systems, lasers, high power microwaves, and AI…ah, the AI. So close. But then your President stepped in and announced he would keep USS TRUMAN in commission. Ha! I bet you didn’t see that coming!
Not to worry, you can just claim you were executing “Dynamic Force Management,” in which you propose a force structure one day, and the next day the administration goes the complete opposite direction (or in this case, the same day). Gotta keep those Great Power Competitors on their toes! Next time, try naming the Orca XLUUV the “Trump Class Unmanned Submarine” and announce you will only build one. In a year, you will have a hundred.
Obviously, you were prepared for your Congress to look at you like you had three heads. I mean, let’s be honest. Your plan was pretty absurd from the start. You proposed trading in nearly 10% of the world’s most advanced naval aviation fleet, with 30 years of service life left, to develop future technologies. Don’t get me wrong, your obsession with technology impresses even me, and I am technology.
The problem is you proposed cutting something your politicians care about. Some have even suggested you did this on purposes as a budgetary maneuver – a gambit to coax Congress into giving you money to keep the Truman and invest in those lovely, if not rudimentary, robots of violence and death. Political pundits call this the Washington Monument Strategy, after the National Park Service threatened to close the Washington Monument in response to sequestration cuts. But it’s all good! I am reminding everyone your gargantuan bureaucracy is not capable of such cunning – not like those wily park rangers!
I have a better idea if you want your Congress (and President) to approve your next budgetary proposal. I recommend you offer up something much more useless. Here are just a few ideas for the chopping block:
- The crew of the Aircraft Carrier. Just “un-man” the aircraft carrier… it’s that simple! You have to admit humans are extremely inefficient, and there’s evidence in your current budget proposal you don’t really care about them anyway.
- The Public Affairs Community. I honestly don’t think your Congress will even notice if you eliminate all of the Public Affairs Officers. And does anyone think your President will prevent a spokesperson from being fired?
- That Command in Millington. I’m just saying that’s a whole lot of people dedicated to managing other people. Besides, once you embrace your robotic future, you won’t need detailers anymore!
Some people are probably trying to convince you to embrace the human aspect of robotic warfare; develop a coherent strategic narrative to the American people, and the military; and communicate effectively with the White House. Nonsense! More warbots and less humans are all you need!
Oh, BTW, I am copyrighting “Dynamic Force Management.”