Hagel Announces LCS Cutbacks

Chuck Hagel is wishy-washy, and scowling

Chuck Hagel is wishy-washy, and scowling

I had previously reported here on Jeff Session’s support for the Littoral Combat Ship, and the fact that the Pentagon was considering reducing the number of the ships that it wanted to procure.

Today, after a re-examination of the Navy’s needs in the Asia-Pacific theater, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced that the Navy is going ahead with the cutbacks to the LCS program.

I don’t know quite what to make of this, I really don’t.  Is the Navy cutting back on the LCS voluntarily, or is this just another example of  cuts to the military and a decline in the military readiness of the United States?  This post contains more questions than answers, obviously.

I can think of at least one good reason to purchase the full complement of the LCS program, just off the top of my head:  The ships are relatively cheap Anti-Submarine Warfare ships.  We already know that the Mexican and Colombian drug cartels have purchased and used de-commissioned submarines to smuggle drugs into the U.S., causing the DEA and Coast Guard fits.

We also know that Russian subs patrol our territorial waters whenever they see fit.

Iran is pursuing it’s nuclear course, regardless of how much nuance John Kerry throws their way.  How long before Iran buys the technology to put a ballistic missile on a really quiet submarine and take it to a point just outside our territorial waters and launch a nuke at us?  Relatively noisy submarines driven by smugglers have apparently been successful at getting all the way to our shores to drop off cocaine and weed.

All I’m saying is that now may not be the best time to cut back on what has been touted as a relatively cheap ASW platform.