Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Worse Decade for Shipbuilding

The Carter era with its 450 ship Navy is looking better than ever, especially considering the number of ships constructed these past few years. Here are some figures for the Carter era:

  • 1977-12 ships
  • 1978-14 ships
  • 1979-16 ships
  • 1980-19 ships
And now for the Bush Administration
  • 2001-8 ships
  • 2002-6 ships
  • 2003-4 ships
  • 2004-7 ships
  • 2005-4 ships
  • 2006-7 ships
Admittedly, we are at war with most of the fighting undertaken by the Land Forces, but generally in all past US Conflicts naval shipbuilding increased, sometimes dramatically. Not so in the War on Terror. I think the principle reason is the dramatically increased costs of new hulls due to over reliance on technology. I agree with Robert Kaplan who said recently "Hulls in the water could soon displace boots on the ground as the most important military catchphrase of our time." Especially if we have to fight future Blue Water navies in a war of attrition, as the USN would prefer.

Figures from the Colton Company.