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. Hairman

    @ Robert... I appreceate your comment on freindship with us as neighbors, and for the rest of the posters here. We are neighbours and bickering amunst ourselves is not helpful, I can see the exremeists reading these blogs and laughing at our"Western Culture" and thinking to themselves, " they will be their own undoing"refering to us. Time to stop slamming one another and start working together as neighbours. To 99.9% of the Muslims in this world, You are loved by every law abiding citizen in Canada and the US. to the .01% of radicals that seek to destroy our way of life and that of anyone who doesn't believe what you believe, read the Bible. Your future is already sealed..have a nice day.

    May 4, 2010 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
  2. george

    @ TIM

    you're worse than Joe (on this board)

    "The US hasn’t ever gone to war without being attacked" – Iraq 2003... You mentioned vietnam (good job)

    By reading your post, it is obvious you are wrong on so many levels – the only thing that will cure your insanity and ignorance is time and education... Good Luck. Hopefully, one day you'll become enlightened.

    May 4, 2010 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
  3. Keith M

    We need to bring the navy home. Having had children in the Navy, Air Force, and Marines I am sure we spend a lot of money that we don't need to spend. As a tax paying American I am sure we are spending about 450 Billion dollars we shouldn't be spending.

    If we have military power we will use it. If we have a defense we may not have to use it. For an effective defense we need only about a third of the military we now have.

    May 4, 2010 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
  4. Gary S

    "...regions vital to U.S. security interests...."

    What bothers me is how easily "U.S. security interests" translates to "big oil profit interests." If the feds would incite development of alternative energies, maybe we wouldn't even need to waste our Great Navy's time in those third world areas. I suppose if big banks got their money from Australia we would send our Navy there, too? But we print our own money. We don't burn our own oil.

    May 4, 2010 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
  5. TR

    As a member of the US Navy, it is readily apparent that those that are spewing rhetoric from the left are ill informed about why our military does what it does.

    We protect ships by stopping piracy. This, in turn, keeps commerce at a reasonable price, as opposed to paying steep ransoms.

    We have a presence in the Gulf. Do we have oil interests? Sure. With coutries that WILLINGLY trade with us. It is only fair we protect those interests when they are threatened. But, did you know we also help stop drug running in those countries as well? Do you hear about the COMREL (community relations) projects we do in other countries to build our relations? Do you?

    Unless you are in the military and actually understand what it is we do, you should take the time to pick up a book and read a little history. Stop listening to the pundits.

    Projection of power is necessary to keep those from thinking of doing something wrong from doing it.

    May 4, 2010 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
  6. Scott

    Let's try to avoid taking the ramblings of a "crazy Canadian" and then generalizing about all Canadians. Having served with Canadians in Afghanistan, I can say unequivocally that I'd gladly serve with them again, anywhere, anytime. They were extraordinarily brave, talented, and dedicated. They stood next to us in WWII. They were in Germany during the Cold War. They're still standing next to us today. Yes, in smaller number than ours, but their population is a fraction of ours as well. And when they lose one of theirs, they line the streets as the body comes home. And yes, the war is less popular there than it is here, yet they stuck with us for years. I've often fought with my brothers over the years. But I also knew they'd ALWAYS have my back when I really needed them. In the end, that's what matters.

    May 4, 2010 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
  7. Evelyn Gilliana

    Chris Cardinal you are an idiot. The just a crazy Canadian, go back to your country and do not tell us what to do.

    May 4, 2010 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
  8. IaCheNeHe

    STOP being scared America, wake up! WAR is BAD! Question: when was the last war fought in the U.S , not U.S interests??? Did another country come here and fight it for you? WAKE UP! It's called the "Great Propaganda Experiment" Stop being a part of it. KILL your TV NOW! Get off your Asses and do something positive. Once we Stop interfering with other countries. they (if there is a they) will not have a target anymore. You CAN"T beat pacifists! Just ask the GOP.

    May 4, 2010 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
  9. I SAY

    I SAY...... IDEA # 1 AMERICA needs change.... so either completely BOARD up the BOARDER and stop or send back ALLLLL illegal immigrants... hence freeing up job space for our Americans in need of a job IMMEDIATELY !!!! OR IDEA #2 Make Mexico the 51st State of America and Canada maybe 52nd !!!!!!! CHANGE needs to come ..... And OK joking about the Canada part, but maybe?

    May 4, 2010 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
  10. Mike

    I served in the US Navy for 4 years. I'm not sure what the point is tothis article. From my experience in the Navy and around the world, the following is a complete list of the countries that pose a threat to our Navy:
    end of list.

    May 4, 2010 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
  11. Frank Z

    The game between powers has been like this for centuries. Each country wants to gain advantages over the others in order to be "safe". Everybody understands the rule of the game. So there is no reason for a country to blame the other for neutralizing the weapon it develops. Remember that the invention of the weapon was to neutralize the advantage of the weapon the other country developed in the first place. America defnitely needs its navy and needs it to be strong and the official reaction is quite normal, because the idea of the other country developing weapons against them is not worth celebrating.

    But I think when facing the global financial crisis, countries should coorperate instead of fighting with each other. I am a Chinese. I do hope that the two countries can get along well and Americans can know more about China and Chinese.

    May 4, 2010 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
  12. John Doe

    I agree with Scott. When it comes right down to it, they have our backs in a fight. All the other petty bickering is just that, petty bickering.

    May 4, 2010 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
  13. Spencer

    wow to just a crazy canadian...thanks for embarrassing our Country with your spew. As a Canadian I am thankful that we have the USA right next door because we all know we would need help if our Country was to come under fire. Also thank you to the all that serve both of our Countries and risk their lives to protect us. If all we can do is come on here and toss comments back and forwards at each other we really aren't showing our respect for the men and women who serve. It's sad and scary that weapons like this even exist and threaten so many...

    May 4, 2010 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
  14. mike

    to mike, there's a reason that list you posted is empty, because the US has the biggest military budget in the world. as soon as we let someone catch up then we wont be the top dogs and then China comes knocking on your doorstep to poke you and take your crap.

    May 4, 2010 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
  15. Robert

    Being an eighth generation (yes, I said 8th) Canadian I am very proud of my southern neighbours. My folks were Canadian military and I grew up knowing that if Canada ever got into trouble we could always depend on our fully armed southern army to protect us. Being a military brat I've lived all over the world and so have seen the threats that exist, I say that anything the US can do to minimize the threats to Canada and the US then they should go for it, be it peaceful talks or power projection. There is nothing wrong with having a neighbour that carries a big stick and invites you "over for dinner". I feel very safe in their backyard. I now have dual citizenship and love both countries...proudly Canadian by birth and proudly American by choice.

    May 4, 2010 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
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