Winslow Wheeler’s three-part series on the Navy that wrapped up on Battleland Wednesday shows that the sea service is up to its old tricks.
To wit, it is impregnating President Obama’s five-year defense program by front-loading today’s budget in a way that creates irresistible pressure to grow its future budgets –even if it takes a marginal reduction in the near term.
Think of this as an emerging right to programmatic life issue, because, for reasons explained by Wheeler, abortion is out of the question, even though a programmatic miscarriage is inevitable.
Any one who doubts this, or thinks this future pathway is unlikely or accidental, need only recall the braggadocio of Ronald Reagan’s chief navy stud, Navy Secretary John Lehman, when he told a seminar in January 1983 at the Brookings Institution, that it was “too late” to stop the buildup to a 600-ship navy.
“We’ve already accomplished it,” he continued, “because we front-loaded (emphasis added) the budget.”
Predictably, Lehman’ 600-ship navy miscarried a few years later in the late 1980s in terms of fleet size, if not money.