May 4th, 2010
02:47 AM ET

Gates warns of emerging threats to U.S. Navy

U.S. adversaries are developing sophisticated and longer-range combat systems that will threaten the U.S. Navy's dominance in the regions vital to U.S. security interests, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said Monday.

Speaking to Navy officers and civilians at a U.S. Navy association's annual expo, Gates said countries like Iran and China are developing systems that could destroy new classes of Navy ships and aircraft and cost the U.S. billions of dollars in losses.

"Potential adversaries are investing in weapons designed to neutralize U.S. advantages, to deny our military freedom of action while potentially threatening America's primary means of projecting power," Gates said.

He said these countries are developing these weapons to, "neutralize U.S. advantages," because they cannot afford to build the number of ships required to challenge this country.

Gates said Hezbollah used anti-ship missiles against Israel's navy during the 2006 Lebanon war, and Iran is combining ballistic and cruise missiles,anti-ship missiles, mines, and swarming speedboats to challenge the U.S. Navy in the Persian Gulf.

soundoff (127 Responses)
  1. Chris Cardinal

    This is good news: I was worried we wouldn't be able to justify a $900 BILLION military/defense budget against a $500 BILLION discretionary spending program for much longer. Now that I know China is raring to go and Iran has apparently made huge strides in their Navy, I'll gladly send over my tax check to ensure we have bigger boats with bigger guns. Despite the lack of a considerable Naval encounter with another nation in decades.

    Regarding China, I doubt we're on their list of things to blow up anytime soon given our significant trade relationship.

    What's the point of this article, really? Aren't other nations ALWAYS building bigger and more deadly mouse traps, according to the military-industrial machine? Isn't that their justification for the dozens of programs which cost trillions of dollars? Because if we're only just now announcing that other Navies are workin' it, I'm going to be real upset that we've been investing this much up til this point for no good reason.

    May 4, 2010 at 3:17 am | Report abuse |
  2. Drew Brown

    "Potential adversaries are investing in weapons designed to neutralize U.S. advantages, to deny our military freedom of action while potentially threatening America's primary means of projecting power," Gates said.

    We shouldn't be "projecting power" on any countries in the first place. We may not have so many "potential adversaries" if we stopped trying to police the world. I'm not naive enough to say we would have no adversaries, there are loons all over the world, but I don't think we would have as many. The less the better in my opinion.

    May 4, 2010 at 3:36 am | Report abuse |
  3. just a crazy canadian

    900+ billion on the military.the states can't even come up with the right stuff to go to battle.I see a tax hiick for this.god forbid if you go jump into a war and the enemy tries to defend it'self.Against the "GREATEST NATION IN THE UNIVERSE" pfft american propaganda at it's finest. this is a joke "MILITARY FREEDOM IN ACTION" freedom of what? NOTHING.america needs to learn not to be the WORLDS POLICE MAN.just going after small 3rd world countries.if your akken for a fight go fight the chinese...jezz...

    May 4, 2010 at 3:52 am | Report abuse |
  4. just a crazy canadian

    since september 11,2001 america has been out of control how about fixing up the roads and the infostructer instead of your military america uses "freedom"to displace other countries and get people rallied up at home nationalism causes wars! wake up america HELLO THERE the world doesn't go around america and only america i dunno what kinda hate they teach their young students in the us to hate other countries that don't agree with you well it needs to end everything comming out of this is no good and will kill soldiers and more innocent people americas full of themselfs eh how about a thank you for us canadians serving in afganistan with you i haven't heard ONE american say that all they do is hate everyone personaly me and the world is sick of this it needs to stop NO MORE WAR this aint the 20th century anymore it's time for peace...one day one country is going to be sick of your bs and wash it away so smarten up

    May 4, 2010 at 4:11 am | Report abuse |
  5. just a crazy canadian

    a load of good your military did when your economy went under....

    May 4, 2010 at 4:14 am | Report abuse |
  6. Just a Literate American

    Canada man, Canada man, Canada man. Don't be jealous that our country is awesome, and yours is confused "aboot" what language you should speak. This is also why I'm not going to comment on your absolutely horrible use of the English language.

    May 4, 2010 at 4:23 am | Report abuse |
  7. travis

    canadian haha

    May 4, 2010 at 4:25 am | Report abuse |
  8. Just a Literate American

    If you don't care about America so much, then why are you reading OUR news? It sounds like the only person hating other countries for no reason is you. But hey, I wonder why we Americans aren't reading any Canadian news? Hmm...I wonder.

    May 4, 2010 at 4:31 am | Report abuse |
  9. travis

    go america

    May 4, 2010 at 4:41 am | Report abuse |
  10. dirty g

    America should not project it's power anywhere. What a load of bs.China would not attack the U.S as there is no point in destroying each other and as for Iran, well they would be swamped by the U.S easily considering they are sourrounded both sides by U.S troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. They wouldn't need to go in from the sea.

    May 4, 2010 at 4:54 am | Report abuse |
  11. WOW

    U.S. adversaries are developing sophisticated and longer-range combat systems that will threaten the U.S. Navy's dominance in the regions vital to U.S. security interests, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said Monday.

    And those people get paid HOW much ??..hence the name

    May 4, 2010 at 5:16 am | Report abuse |
  12. steven seateck

    I see no reason for Canadians or Americans to start throwing mud at each other.If the fanatics of the world start terrorizing the US how long do you think Canada will be safe?And the wars keep escalding.I am however very disapointed how little Canada,s roll in Afganistan is mentioned.We hear about US and British sacrifices but never too much about when our troops who die.On a percentage basis we have a lot of people there.Our popilation is 37million,you have 240 millian.Do the math.

    May 4, 2010 at 5:19 am | Report abuse |
  13. Brad

    For those of you complaining about American projection of power overseas, look no further than the recent story of pirates firing on a U.S. warship. Without significant naval presence from countries like America (and also recently France), these pirates would have free reign of commerce in the region, forcing shipping corporations to go to extremes of travel or security in order to ensure safe transportation of their goods. The result? Higher prices for YOU at the market and an overall less stable region where said stabilization is much-needed and is not going to be provided by local authorities in the next... well, ever.

    May 4, 2010 at 6:05 am | Report abuse |
  14. America number 1

    I can't believe the Canadians still don't get it. You guys live under the freedom and security America provides!! Don't forget it!! The cop on the beat ,America, has done an Amazing job keeping the lunatics in their place for decades. We should tax Canada and other countries for the services we provide.

    May 4, 2010 at 6:17 am | Report abuse |
  15. Matt

    The US Navy's "projection of power" has nothing to do with anti US sentiment in regions of the world. If you believe that than you have fallen for the liberal propaganda spewed all across the internet. The Navy is deployed at all times to protect freedom of the seas ie Navy Seal snipers putting a bullet through the head of the pirates in the Indian Ocean last Easter. Furthermore the Navy promotes diplomacy through travel. Most Naval ships make frequent port calls in foreign nations allowing Sailors to visit and emmerse themselves in the many cultures of the world. When the earthquake and subsequent tsunami leveled Asia a few years ago, it was the Navy's forward deployed presence that allowed quick reaction and supply teams to perform SAR(Search and Rescue) and Humanitarian Aid to the many victoms from Indonesia to Thailand and many many more. When Haiti was in crisis, it was the US Navy that was first there to lend a hand. The Navy is not forward deployed for warmongering as many would like to believe, but for partner and nation building, and to keep economic supply lanes free. But you liberal knife wielders will believe only what you want to believe...

    May 4, 2010 at 6:25 am | Report abuse |
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