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Tomorrow…Podcast Ep 2. This week our guest is navalist Bryan McGrath (@conswahoo). In a phone conversation with BULL-It Points, Bryan gives his views on the importance of talking to national leaders and the American public about the necessity of seapower and the value of a strong Navy to national security. Additionally, he lays several thoughtful suggestions on how the Department of the Navy can improve it communication efforts.
- The fate of the Soviet Union haunts him, and that insecurity has consequences. He mistrusts not only the enemies his purges have created but also China’s fast-growing, smartphone-wielding middle class, and the shoots of civil society that were sprouting when he took over. He seems determined to tighten control over Chinese society, not least by enhancing the state’s powers of surveillance, and to keep the commanding heights of the economy firmly under the party’s thumb.
- Just as military reform aimed to assert civilian control over the military and spur its modernisation through initiatives like structural transformation and a strategic overhaul, the upcoming congress will likely pursue some structural changes, which can move toward improving governance.
- “Congress been very, very clear in the last few NDAAs that they want to shift oversight of most programs back to the services, and I entirely agree with that. In fact, there were some programs that were transitioned back earlier this year,” Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics (AT&L).
- Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer said the “stress and strain” on Navy crews in the Pacific from the high pace of operations clearly played a role in the accidents in Asia.
- Mr. Spencer said in an interview that he will include recommendations about cultural changes in his review of what happened. That review comes on top of one ordered by Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson, which is expected to be completed in the next few weeks. Mr. Spencer’s review will follow 30 days later
- Speaking to the media on the third day of a five-day visit to Singapore, Vice-Adm Sawyer said: “I think, over time, the balance shifted too much to the operational side, and not enough to making sure that our teams were rested, were trained, were able to go do the things we were asking them to do.”
- “If I had the entire US Navy out in Yokosuka, Japan, I still would not be able to do all the things that everybody would want me to do.”
- The Secretary of the Navy’s (SECNAV) September 1, 2017 direction to conduct a Strategic Readiness Review of the force is an important first step in fostering new and greater relationships between the U.S. Navy and the private sector.
- The U.S. Navy must seize on the momentum of the partnerships created in this initiative, as well as senior leadership’s recognition of the value and potential that private industry expertise, experience, and resources can have on Fleet issues and challenges.
- “Communications is the job of the commander, not just the PAO,” Mattis told a roomful of 4-stars, according to a description of the meeting by Pentagon press secretary Dana White.
- Individuals in the US still manage to spend the equivalent of half a day consuming media. eMarketer estimates that adults will spend an average of 12 hours, 1 minute per day with major media in 2017. People have become more efficient at multitasking, thanks largely to mobile devices (excluding voice), which will take up more than one-quarter of total media time.
Clips of Interest:
My Navy Birthday Wish…
This Friday the Navy will celebrate its 242nd birthday. Like many of our own “off-year” birthdays, few people outside of the immediate family take time to mark the occasion. Please reconsider.Link
Inside North Korea, and Feeling the Drums of War
(New York Times, 05 OCT 17…By Nicholas Kristof) PYONGYANG, North Korea — To fly into North Korea on an old Russian aircraft is to step into an alternate universe, one in which “the Supreme Leader” defeats craven American imperialists, in which triplets are taken from parents to be raised by the state, in which nuclear war is imminent but survivable — and in which there is zero sympathy for American detainees like Otto Warmbier. Link
The world’s most powerful man–Xi Jinping has more clout than Donald Trump. The world should be wary
(The Economist, 14 OCT 17) His grip on China is tighter than any leader’s since Mao. And whereas Mao’s China was chaotic and miserably poor, Mr Xi’s is a dominant engine of global growth. His clout will soon be on full display. On October 18th China’s ruling Communist Party will convene a five-yearly congress in Beijing (see Briefing). It will be the first one presided over by Mr Xi. Its 2,300 delegates will sing his praises to the skies. More sceptical observers might ask whether Mr Xi will use his extraordinary power for good or ill. Link
China congress: Military facelift a sign of bigger changes
(BBC News, 09 OCT 17) Of the many noteworthy developments that have characterized Chinese President Xi Jinping’s first five-year term, none stands out as much as military reform, and this reveals a great deal about the coming political trajectory in China, writes political analyst Cheng Li. Link
China grabbed American as spy wars flare
(Politico, 11 OCT 17…By Ali Watkin) U.S. officials consider the abduction an unusually bold act in a long-simmering spy game between Washington and Beijing, one recently overshadowed by a newly aggressive Russia. But U.S. officials and China experts say the two countries are engaged in an espionage battle that may be just as fierce, if far less publicized. Link
Pentagon to shift ‘bulk’ of major defense programs to services, and people may go, too
(Defense News, 11 OCT 17…By Aaron Mehta) Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics (AT&L), believes that her office has been given marching orders from Congress to push the day-to-day management of Major Defense Acquisition Programs, or MDAPs, to the three services. Link
USNI News-CNA Fleet and Marine Tracker: Oct. 10, 2017
(USNI, 10 OCT 17) These are the approximate positions of the U.S. Navy’s deployed carrier strike groups and amphibious ready groups throughout the world as of Oct. 10, 2017 based on Navy and public data. In cases where a CSG or ARG is conducting disaggregated operations, the map reflects the location of the capital ship. Link
U.S. Navy Secretary Foresees ‘Cultural’ Shift Among Sailors, Officers
(WALL STREET JOURNAL 11 OCT 17) … Julian E. Barnes and Robert Wall LONDON—The secretary of the U.S. Navy plans to unveil potentially far-reaching changes in the wake of a deadly collisions at sea that led to the dismissal Wednesday of two top commanders. Link
Rebalancing US Navy 7th Fleet towards training, preparation is key, says new commander
(The Straits Times, 13 OCT 17…By Lim Min Zhang) SINGAPORE – The operational demands on the US Navy 7th Fleet were so high that not enough emphasis was placed on sailors’ preparation and training, said the new commander of the fleet on Friday (Oct 13). This was Vice-Admiral Phil Sawyer’s take on the preliminary findings of two collisions involving 7th Fleet ships this year. Link
South China Sea: Fourth US FONOP in Five Months Suggests a New Operational Rhythm
(The Diplomat, 12 OCT 17…By Ankit Panda) The Trump administration has accepted a higher pace of freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea. Link
The Future of the U.S. Navy—Greater Partnership with Private Industry
(National Interest, 10 OCT 17…By Matthew Krull To improve readiness, capability and proficiency, the U.S. Navy must focus on deepening partnerships with private industry so that commercial expertise, experiences and efficiencies can be applied to the Fleet. Fostering meaningful relationships with private industry would provide a venue for innovative ideas and nondefense industry thinking to be applied to U.S. Navy challenges in areas such as safety, operations and readiness. Link
Navy Releases Final MQ-25 Stingray RFP; General Atomics Bid Revealed
(USNI, 10 OCT 17…By: Sam LaGrone) Last week, the Navy issued the RFP to four industry competitors for the air segment of what will be the service’s Navy’s first operational carrier-based unmanned aerial vehicle ahead of an anticipated contract award by September of next year, a NAVAIR spokeswoman told USNI News on Tuesday. Link
Modernization Funds Slashed For Russia’s Notoriously Rickety Aircraft Carrier
(THE DRIVE.COM, 10 OCT 17… By Tyler Rogoway) The carrier’s long delayed deep refit and modernization program has had its budget slashed in half putting in question the carrier’s future relevance. Link
Mattis to Generals: Start Talking to the Press
(Defense One, 09 OCT 17…By Kevin Baron)On Friday, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis instructed top commanders to speak to the media more freely, Defense One has learned.The secretary is hoping to end a misperception among some senior leaders that they should keep quiet, in part because he wants them to speak up on the looming budget battle in Congress, according to a senior defense official. Link
eMarketer Updates US Time Spent with Media Figures
(eMarketer, 09 OCT 17) Individuals in the US still manage to spend the equivalent of half a day consuming media. eMarketer estimates that adults will spend an average of 12 hours, 1 minute per day with major media in 2017. People have become more efficient at multitasking, thanks largely to mobile devices (excluding voice), which will take up more than one-quarter of total media time. Link
Cyber Security Awareness Month
WASHINGTON (Oct. 3, 2017) An information graphic depicting the dangers of cyber attacks. (U.S. Navy graphic/Released)
Axios Future Trends
(Axios, 09 OCT 17…By Mike Allen) The Axios subject-matter experts — drawing on fresh interviews, and daily immersion in the topics driving change in business, society and the world — bring you this exclusive look ahead. Link