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. Brad

    Clarence,
    I agree with 2 of your points. First, the lowering of standards is not only a boot camp problem, but a problem Navy-wide as is the lack of significant repercussions for the challenging of improper authority.

    "The great deterrent to crime is not severity of punishment but certainty of conviction."
    - Lord Parker (1958-1971), Lord Chief Justice of England, 1966.

    I think it is important to point out the "improper" part of that statement as not only are the factors you mentioned slipping, but so are the standards of the leadership. The organization is slipping as a whole, and nothing short of a swift kick in the proverbial ass is going to fix this machine.

    As for the mixing of genders on combat crews, I don't really see how this is relevant. My platform has not yet experienced gender mixing though, so my view is also about as equally irrelevant on the matter, I guess.

    May 4, 2010 at 7:15 am | Report abuse |
  2. Mike

    To Matt..
    It may have taken 2 years for the US to become involved in the war, but without the support the US gave before Pearl Harbor, you would have fallen before we ever became involved!! Besides, if it weren't for the US involvement, be it late or not, you would be speaking German now instead of english!!!

    May 4, 2010 at 7:15 am | Report abuse |
  3. Tryn

    While I read the mudslinging going on here, I feel sick to my stomach. You may see something in this article to beat your chest about – whether it be a political bias, national pride or any other such nonsense. I look at it and see the escalating danger to my son who serves on a submarine. Or my cousin who also serves in the Navy. THAT is the concern. THAT is the purpose of this article. That our men and women are looking at facing more formidable enemies and weaponry. That proud parents of our Naval personnel have more to worry about.

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

    You really think that adversaries would do such a thing as come up with ways to neutralize our navy. NO WAY!!! THey now think we will talk things out and we will be one big happy Obamaville. Each day the world comes closer to a devastating war because no one in the western world has guts or worse still have too many soft politicians who have NO IDEA of what history is all about..
    never in history has weakness kept the peace!!!!

    May 4, 2010 at 7:28 am | Report abuse |
  5. dave stevens

    To all those Canadian bashers and USA bashers out there..settle down!!
    To you Canadian Bashers...your best friends live north of you. We are also supporting Israel 100 percent and you had better as well.
    To all you USA bashers...grow up and count your blessings for god's sake. WE in Canada have been blessed by having them south of us as they are to have us to the north.

    May 4, 2010 at 7:33 am | Report abuse |
  6. Rodney

    I for one appreciate the efforts of our allies in Afghanistan, Iraq, and any else in the world that they serve alongside of the US. To the men and women of our allies and our own troops, Thank you.

    May 4, 2010 at 7:38 am | Report abuse |
  7. Ralph Gentry

    The nature of threats is constantly changing. Big boat in a little ocean is alway a target for a smaller boat Big boat navies are on the wane. May of the posters here should read Mann's book "Influence of Seapower on History".

    May 4, 2010 at 7:41 am | Report abuse |
  8. Mike

    There are times when I get angry at what goes on in the U.S. and I want to leave for Canada. The upper class and a portion of U.S. society does not treat the rest of us with respect and fairness. They for seem reason think that the U.S. population is a consumer market for them to exploit and profit from. I did not serve in the U.S. military to protect them, I served to protect my family. I sometimes get these thoughts like most Americans do about stuffing an IED down their throat. However, because I am a law abiding citizen and a Christian I never act out on these thoughts. I implore everyone else and the terrorist fanatics to do the same. It makes me wonder then why these terrorists are taking their rage out against the rest of us? Why don't they protest the injustices of the world the way Americans are brought up to do by peaceful protest? That has more effect than killing people. The conclusion is that they kill people because they enjoy it. Just like the psychos in Dirty Harry. They do not kill in the name of God or any religion known to man. They are bullies who do not think about the consequences of their acts. Thank heavens for our military and those willing to put there lives on the line to stop the foolishness of a few from destroying it for the rest of us that also to to live under injustice and cruelty. I would have rather these idiots joined us in our efforts in our way to improve the human condition.

    May 4, 2010 at 7:51 am | Report abuse |
  9. george

    There is no need for submarines that can end all life on this planet. I say cut the resource draining navy in half... and spend it on US infrastructure and energy related projects. The navy is becoming increasingly obsolete... just like the tank.

    No country is going to "attack" the US military. Gates knows this more than anyone... just another ploy to expand military projects and maintain something that is not as necessary as it was in the Cold War era...

    I'd rather spend these billions on exploring and colonizing space projects than give it to the military for their proclaimed "maintenace" of domination (which does not exist, in my opinion).

    May 4, 2010 at 7:53 am | Report abuse |
  10. John Morgan

    Please, fix my street first.

    May 4, 2010 at 7:57 am | Report abuse |
  11. Dr_Noo

    America needs to review its "presence" in the world and spending huge amounts on weapons systems for the four military services. We need to start thinking in a different mindset and not doing the same things over and over.

    May 4, 2010 at 7:57 am | Report abuse |
  12. KB

    It's funny how people are complaining that us Americans are sticking are noses into things that aren't our business, yet you then turn around and complain how it took us so long to join WWII. Make up your minds.

    As a memeber of the Navy who is about to be deployed on one of these ships that can be blown up I know about the threats to our ships and our LIVES. Until you come out there with me and put YOUR life in danger... shut the hell up.

    May 4, 2010 at 7:57 am | Report abuse |
  13. larry wi

    I'm amazed at the number of posts that talk against our military strength. When people say things like "we would be better off to ignor our national security, and that we should just sit back and wait for another country to attack us. Do you wing nuts honestly believe that if we did bothing to protect ourselves that other nations would simply leave us alone! My God people "WAKe UP" In reality we are becoming way to weak, and we need to reverse that trend and show our strength of force once again. Iran should not have been allowed to get as they now are, same for Chavez, and that idiot Kim Jong. I for one will not sit idly by and watch my country, my freedoms, and my way of life be threatened by any country, and or anyone! I suggest that all you liberal wing nuts do the same.

    May 4, 2010 at 7:58 am | Report abuse |
  14. Travis

    This is a very poor article that does not describe at all the point to Secretary Gates' speech. Robert Gates did not warn us of emerging threats. He warned the Navy that because of these emerging tactics, we cannot continue to rely on $3 billion Destroyers, $7 billion Submarines, and $11 billion Carriers.

    May 4, 2010 at 7:59 am | Report abuse |
  15. KB

    *our

    May 4, 2010 at 7:59 am | Report abuse |
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