Belmont Club » Is Amphibious Warfare Obsolete?
Walk Gates’ limitations backwards in reverse order.
What level of budget should be available? Trillions spent on housing boondogles, health care boondogles, and green boondogles benefit only corrupt insiders and low skill allies like the SEIU/Acorn. The real cost is in draining resources from the national defense. America could and should spend 3X as much on its military.
How many carriers do we need? Remember that in a crisis two carriers operating together are not just twice as effective as one but almost three times as effective. More is much more efficient and in a war we will need to have multiple carrier formations sustained in at least two distant parts of the world. Potentially even more will be needed on short notice also you need to maintain three times as many carriers as you keep forward deployed. One third of the big ships will be unavailable at any time due to maintenance. Half the available ships can be kept forward deployed. Even the best force cannot sustain a higher level of operating tempo in peace time. So if you will need four battle groups available on short notice, two off East Asia and two off the Persian Gulf, as a minimum, then you need to build and keep at least 12 CVBGs.
The arguments for naval gunfire support and the Marine Corps mission is simple. Over 70% of humanity lives within range of sea based gunnery and an amphibious assault. That is where the targets are.