The US Navy can win in conflict but a new strategy to account for a 100% win is needed, but replacing ships in combat needs to be addressed immediately.
According to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. David Berger, there should be some changes to the current strategy of amphibious ships which can win in a conflict, but not 100% foolproof. One other concern is how fast shipyards can fix and replace damaged ships, reported in Breaking Defense.
This is was issued by Berger, who is concerned about how the marine corps may need to change aspects of training and getting equipment. Another is to improve the coordination of all services with allied nations.
He said that current cold war-style warfare might not be enough to counter the threat of missiles from inland locations. China has invested in missile defenses, knowing that it cannot stand with America toes to toes. One concern is that Americans can land a knockout punch, but not without getting hurt, as mentioned in Asia Times.
In a report, authored by Berger "Naval Campaigning: The 2020 Marine Corps Capstone Operating Concept," that gives the method for the Marine Corp and Navy how to fight a battle with an entrench PLA, PLAN that will not engage US firepower directly. Instead, fight the US with more ships and missiles, but not get down in a direct line of sight battle.
Another innovation according to Berger is for amphibious warships and maritime prepositioning ships with emphasis on warfighting ability. Big ships are good but are too but expensive to maintain, but smaller mobile force will be the future.
He also added that the US might be outstripped in replacing and repairing ships, in limited conflicts.
One of the concerns is the speed of US shipwrights might not be fast enough compared to that of China and other US enemies. After World War II, the US got lackadaisical and lost the industrial advantage, cited in Forbes.
One example is the slowdown in naval shipyards that were hampered by the pandemic, and a need for 1,600 reservists to work on aircraft carriers and subs. All the effort just to get the hardware out to sea, as fast as possible.
Berger avoids blaming the navy in having a craft that carries marines slowly to the destination on the globe.
According to him, these ships were built with specific requirements that are from a different era, for its time they were just right with finite resources.
What the Marines want are smaller naval ships that will carry them into striking range with a hard punch into US enemies. Preference for smaller mobile ships than the bigger flotilla now, mentioned in Reuters.
Dakota Wood, a senior research fellow for defense programs said smaller ships are a problem, saying where will all equipment be stowed in these smaller ships.
There are plans for a logistics ship that can creep under fire of presumably Chinese precision weapons. This is a Next Generation Medium Logistics Ship that will resupply at sea and bases anywhere.
It is within Berger's vision to have several Marine Littoral Regiments, for fast deployments and anti-air, anti-ship armaments. These Marine and Navy units might get 30 Light Amphibious Warships soon, but smaller and mobile.
One thing apparent is a unified naval strategy that needs to be addressed. Recently, Mark Esper did not agree to a paper submitted on the subject in 2020 recently. Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist will review it soon, and release it in fall.
Vice Adm. Stuart Munsch, head of Warfighting Development office declined to comment at reporter's request.