The True Size of Our Navy

In last night’s debate, Romney mentioned the abysmal size of our Navy, which stands at 285 ships.  It actually is much worse than that.  If you count the actual number of combat surface ships, the U.S. Navy only sails 122 ships (as of June 2011).  Our submarine force stands at 53.

Here is an historical look at the size of our navy starting in 1979.


Roughly, since 1979, our submarine force and combat surface ship forces have been halved.

Unless I’m mistaken, the world’s oceans haven’t shrunk, and in fact, our Green friends claim they are getting bigger!  The underlying technology of our naval forces hasn’t improved that much in 32 years that a shrunken force of 122 surface ships is adequate to defend American interests around the world.

Or, to think of it in another way, Great Britain for instance on has 18 combat surface ships in service and the French 37.  In other words, we can’t depend upon our allies as they have let their navies decline to levels befitting nothing more than a shore patrol force.

Now, I’m not blaming the decline of our navy on Barack Obama, as clearly its slide in numbers date back to the 1990s.  Instead, I’m noting that Romney is correct in pointing out that our navy is lacking the combat ships necessary to confront more than one contingency at a time.

Also, keep this in mind.  A powerful navy tends to keep military conflicts away from our shores.  Peace through strength, in that light, is an inexpensive proposition.

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