CAVASSHIPS Podcast [Mar 04, ’22] Episode 38…Special Guest Rep. Mike Gallagher


Welcome to the CavasShips Podcast with Christopher P. Cavas and Chris Servello…a weekly podcast looking at naval and maritime events and issues of the day – in the US, across the seas and around the world. This Week…the world’s attention remains focused on Russia’s war on Ukraine, a conflict that undoubtedly will affect the military and defense calculations of all the world’s significant powers. What will change? What has changed already? We’ll talk with a key member of the House Armed Services Committee, Representative Mike Gallagher, who also represents the Wisconsin district where the US Navy’s Freedom-class littoral combat ships are built.

In this Week’s Squawk Chris Servello discusses the need to learn lessons from Ukraine.

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This Week’s Naval Round Up:

The aircraft carrier USS GERALD R FORD is back in service after a six-month refit and modernization period at Huntington Ingalls’ shipyard in Newport News, Virginia. The ship got underway February 25 and is carrying out a series of qualification trials off the Virginia coast ahead of its first deployment later this year.

The Virginia-class submarine OREGON was delivered on February 26 from General Dynamics Electric Boat in Groton, Connecticut. The Block IV submarine will be commissioned in May.

On March 3 Poland announced it had chosen the Arrowhead 140 design from Babcock International and Thales UK for a new class of multipurpose frigates, beating out German competitor ThyssenKrupp. The Arrowhead design is based on that of the British Royal Navy’s new Type 31 frigates already building in the UK. The three frigates will be built in Polish shipyards and mark a significant upgrade for the Polish Navy.

And on a sad note in a very sad conflict, an image emerged March 3 on social media confirming that Ukraine’s largest warship, the Krivak III-class frigate HETMAN SAHADACHNIY, was sunk pierside in a shipyard in Nikolayev, where it been undergoing a long-term refit. Unable to get underway, the ship reportedly was scuttled by its own crew.

Servello Squawk:

It’s hard to argue with any of what Mike Gallagher just shared… Divesting to invest without a near term plan seems even more silly now then when it was first offered as a bridge to future technology.  Integrated Deterrence failed in preventing conflict in Ukraine and now it seems to be a non-starter as a serious grand strategy for dealing with China.

I give the Administration and our allies credit for how they are navigating this crisis, but more is needed if we are to prevent similar events from occurring in Asia.

Our naval and national leadership must realize that today’s thinking, planning and budgeting is insufficient in dealing with state on state competition and conflict. This doesn’t mean but just to buy or spend money on legacy platforms that have proved ineffective. It means we get our act together and quickly evolve our thinking.

In this regard the lessons from the Russian invasion may actually be a gift to the United States…it may be the wake up that is needed to force serious thought, serious investment and serious leadership now, instead of kicking the intellectual and strategic can down the road.

Our window for preventing and if necessary repelling an invasion of Taiwan began when the Russians invaded Ukraine. Let’s ring out every lesson of why integrated deterrence failed, let’s make right short and long term investments in hard power and let’s ensure we are ready to prevent and repel Chinese aggression before another democracy is attacked. 

  Time is a commodity the free world no longer enjoys. 

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