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Bayonets & Horses

So who uses bayonets these days?  Well, um, the Marines.  And the British still use the occasional bayonet charge.

According to

  1. Karen

    Michael, your crudeness doesn’t advance your argument. Please abide by the CofC. Folks in and associated with the Navy appreciate the distinction, like the people in Hampton Roads in the battleground state of Virginia. I’d invite you to spend some time with seasoned submariners. I’d expect a CinC to understand the distinction, and he would if he’d been paying attention.

  2. Tom Trebicky

    1. Obama doesn’t say we don’t use bayonets and horses. He just acknowledges that we use fewer. Hopefully, acknowledging a truism is still kosher in the world of politics.

    Acknowledges? A matter of opinion, however, it is true that he said “fewer” and that might seem to make it a non-issue.  Yet, we have to look at the whole issue in perspective.

    The president smirkily pointed out that the Navy utilizes the, you know, ships that, you know, planes land on… Does he mean that before his time the Navy did not?  Or that they did not know how to make use of them in a proficient way?  Same argument can be extended to any other self-propelled machinery.  He left that, quite unsurprisingly, unanswered in order to score a point with masses who cannot absorb the whole topic and analyze it in context and on the fly.

    Oh please. So he said ship instead of boat. Same turd, different toilet. That’s petty.

    Is it likewise petty to remind us that the President is also the commander-in-chief of the United States Marine CorpsE? Smile.

    Edit: “if” for “of”.

  3. Instugator
    Michael Labeit: 1. Obama doesn’t say we don’t use bayonets and horses. He just acknowledges that we usefewer. Hopefully, acknowledging a truism is still kosher in the world of politics.

    We actually use more Bayonets. Come on Michael – up your game.

  4. Karen

    Oops. And Virginia isn’t a state, it’s a commonwealth. Sorry, Virginians.

  5. liberal jim
    Michael Labeit: Obama’s remark was a brilliant response to a most marvelously asinine claim by Romney.  Yeah we use a piddling of bayonets and an even smaller piddling of horses. Therefore, what? Romney’s crack about our small navy was one of his worst BS assertions I’ve heard from him.

    I agree with your point.  The US having fewer or more ships than they did in 1916 is a factoid that is void of any relevance.  O’s retort struck me as a bit condescending, but to each his own.   

    Unfortunately the correct question, is the navy properly sized for the role the American people want their country to play in the world’ is never addressed.   Probably because both candidates lack the courage to do so, for to do so would reveal it is the political elites who determine America’s role in the word and not the majority of its citizens.

    PS:  When people begin to appeal to the CoC you can be certain your making some telling points.

  6. Cuban Mike

    A submarine in 1943 is not the same as a submarine in 2012.  They may both be submarines, but there is a marked difference, Mr. President.  Meanwhile, China is very happily using our interest payments to fund their naval expansion at an unprecedented rate.  

    The point about having fewer ships than in 1917 is still a valid one.  We weren’t a global super-power then, merely on of several great powers that emerged out of the the First World War.  We may have more advanced weapons platforms, but the biggest limit to force projection is the number of assets available for deployment.  

    We don’t need as many carriers as we had at the end of WW2, but we must retain the capability to be masters of the Pacific and the Atlantic. 

  7. Gretch68

    I know some people will argue minutae on things like this. I did think Karen’s point about how Navy folks in places like Virginia would feel is well taken.  I also would love to know how members of US Army Cavalry brigades feel about what their CoC thinks about their endeavors.

    However, as a non-military connected woman I just came away thinking bayonets, ships that go underwater and horses…Oh my… 

    Also, was I the only one who upon reflection this morning that thought the “ships that go under water” thing hearkened back to that whole Navy Corpse-man faux pas by Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast?

    One would think that the CoC would at least know the right vocabulary or pay someone to make sure he knows. Apparently those staff people were too busy putting opposition research about birth control pills and Big Bird in binders to be bothered with such trivialities.

  8. Fred Cole
    Michael Labeit: Obama’s remark was a brilliant response to a most marvelously asinine claim by Romney.  Yeah we use a piddling of bayonets and an even smaller piddling of horses. Therefore, what? Romney’s crack about our small navy was one of his worst BS assertions I’ve heard from him.

    Okay, that phrase (b&h) is going to be around for a week, so I actually pulled up the transcript and read who said it and in what context.

    Michael is right about Obama and Romney here.  We should be asking why the number of ships is a metric Romney is using to judge here.  The number of ships we had in 1917  versus today is irrelevant.  

    Romney’s grand plan when it comes to military spending seems to be more, more, more, more, more.  Which doesn’t match strategic or budgetary reality.  

  9. Cuban Mike
    Fred Cole

    Okay, that phrase (b&h) is going to be around for a week, so I actually pulled up the transcript and read who said it and in what context.

    Michael is right about Obama and Romney here.  We should be asking why thenumber of shipsis a metric Romney is using to judge here.  The number of ships we had in 1917  versus today is irrelevant.  

    Romney’s grand plan when it comes to military spending seems to be more, more, more, more, more.  Which doesn’t match strategic or budgetary reality.   · 2 minutes ago

    See my comment above.

  10. Fred Cole

    Despite the hysterical claims of people on the right, the military isn’t hurting for cash and a 1% cut will not gut the military.  

    Romney said 

    The Navy said they needed 313 ships to carry out their mission. We’re now down to 285. We’re headed down to the — to the low 200s if we go through with sequestration. That’s unacceptable to me. I want to make sure that we have the ships that are required by our Navy.

    Is that how Mitt Romney thinks budgeting should work?  If your teenager claimed he needed a Ferrari to get to school everyday, do you automatically give it to him?  Or would you make a rational and independent assessment of actual need and your actual budget and provide accordingly?

    So he gave Obama an opening and Obama hammered him to the wall over it.  Good!  Romney needs to be called out early and often on his bs.

  11. Fred Cole
    Cuban Mike

    See my comment above. · 4 minutes ago

    I saw them.  They’re just wrong.

    It’s like comparing the number of bombers we had in 1946 to the number we have now.  Its irrelevant.  The two are incomparable so much so as to be apples to oranges.

    It’s just a stupid little counting game that falls apart if you apply a little critical thought to it.  It’s designed to win the soundbite game, to take two seconds and when it’s heard only receive two seconds of thought, because once you add that third second of thought, it falls apart.

    Mitt Romney is allegedly a great rationalist, a great manager, an expert, a turnaround guy, if this is the kind of rational analyses he brings to a subject, then we’re [expletive].

    If he’s just trying to throw out a mindless soundbite, shame on him.  He should be better than that.

  12. Mollie Hemingway
    C
    Fred Cole

    Michael is right about Obama and Romney here.  We should be asking why thenumber of shipsis a metric Romney is using to judge here.  The number of ships we had in 1917  versus today is irrelevant.  

    What I find interesting about the line is that Romney stole it from Secretary of the Navy …

  13. Fred Cole
    Mollie Hemingway, Ed.

    Fred Cole

    Michael is right about Obama and Romney here.  We should be asking why thenumber of shipsis a metric Romney is using to judge here.  The number of ships we had in 1917  versus today is irrelevant.  

    What I find interesting about the line is that Romney stole it from Secretary of the Navy … · 2 minutes ago

    Like shouldn’t he know better?  Romney, I mean.

  14. concerned citizen

    Stand back for a minute and look at the big picture.  Romney wants a strong, not diminished, military.  Peace through strength.  

    Obama thinks we should instead focus on things here at home:  building schools and bridges, and hiring more teachers.  

    Romney makes his point, using the 1917 figure as an illustration.  Obama has a snide, sarcastic comeback about horses and bayonets and also “we have these things called aircraft carriers…”  

    And according to the liberal media and some on this site,  Obama wins the point?   I just disagree.  Romney looked presidential and in control, talking about big things such as America being strong economically and militarily.  In contrast, Obama was adolescent, thin-skinned, and small.

  15. Cuban Mike
    Fred Cole

    Cuban Mike

    See my comment above. · 4 minutes ago

    I saw them.  They’re just wrong.

    It’s like comparing the number of bombers we had in 1946 to the number we have now.  Its irrelevant.  The two are incomparable so much so as to be apples to oranges.

    It’s just a stupid little counting game that falls apart if you apply a little critical thought to it.  It’s designed to win the soundbite game, to take two seconds and when it’s heard only receive two seconds of thought, because once you add that third second of thought, it falls apart

    The point is flying over your head because you’re not opening your eyes.

    1. The navy is our main line of defense.

    2. Our fleet is aging with fewer ships being built than being mothballed and broken up.

    3. Our main geo-political rival is undergoing an aggressive naval expansion.  Unlike us, they only need to focus on one ocean.

    You seem very angry and your retorts are quite petty.  Have a nice day, I won’t continue to push on this rope.

  16. The Mugwump

    We’re picking nits, people.  Let me make the case that Romney failed to make.  Obama is no friend of the military.  He would prefer to roll all military spending into social programs given the opportunity.  We’re spending nearly a trillion dollars annually (of borrowed money, no less) to do exactly that.  We can’t have both a welfare state and a potent military.

    What I heard from Mitt was not a robust declaration of conservative principles, but a sop thrown to “moderates” to make himself sound reasonable.  What I saw was a politician at work trying to get elected.  I hope he finds his conservative principles once he’s elected, or it’s going to be more of the same.  Dr. Rahe once described Mr. Romney as a managerial progressive.  Will the cat change his spots?  He’s going to have to prove it to this voter.  Otherwise, I’ll be the first man on the barricades leading a Tea Party insurrection.  Mr. Romney, you have been warned, sir.       

  17. Fred Cole
    concerned citizen: Stand back for a minute and look at the big picture.  Romney wants a strong, not diminished, military.  Peace through strength.  

    Its not a contrast.  There’s no contrast.  They both believe in big government and huge military.

    Does this look diminished to you?

    m.png

    Please.  Obama’s not going to diminish the military.  People on the right like to think he will because that’s a reason to vote against him.  People on the left like to think he will because that’s a reason to vote for him.

    But it ain’t gonna happen.

    That chart, as disgusting it is, as unnecessary as it is, as wasteful as it is, will continue.

  18. Cuban Mike

    `Paules, right on.

    Objective No. 1: Defeat Obama.

    Objective No. 2: Keep Romney’s feet to the fire.

  19. The King Prawn

    As a submariner let me explain the difference in types of navy ships. There are two: boats and targets.

  20. Fred Cole
    Cuban Mike

    The point is flying over your head because you’re not opening your eyes.

    1. The navy is our main line of defense.

    Against what?  Armadas of Iranian dreadnoughts?  

    There is no power threatening the mainland United States.  There is no invasion force to stop.

    2. Our fleet is aging with fewer ships being built than being mothballed and broken up.

    And we’re replacing them, and each replacement does more stuff than the one it replaces.

    From the above link:

    John Pike, director of GlobalSecurity.org, notes that it is difficult to make comparisons between ships that are even much more recent. “Today’s aircraft carrier has about 10 times the lethality of an aircraft carrier of 20 years ago, due to the advent of precision munitions — in the old days, it was sorties per target, now it is targets per sortie,” he said.

    So best to compare to the number of carriers we had 20 yrs ago.  And if lethality is the measure, we need one tenth the number now that we needed then.  If any.

    Comparing the lethality of a top of the line battleship from 1916 to a carrier of 2012 is ridiculous andpointless.

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