After years of work costing billions of dollars, the U.S. Navy is scaling back its controversial effort to build a fleet of small, speedy, flexible warships for near-shore patrols—a fleet plagued by design flaws, mismanagement and technical malfunctions.
But the Navy’s not cutting the fleet by choice—and not everyone is happy with the change. The decision to reduce the Littoral Combat Ship program from 52 ships to 40, while also building them all at one shipyard, reflects an ongoing conflict inside the Pentagon over America’s military strategy.
On one side are the advocates of what defense planners call “presence”—that is, stationing lots of inexpensive troops, planes and ships near potential hotspots in order to reassure America’s allies and ward off its enemies, theoretically preventing war without anyone firing a shot.
Read the full article in the Daily Beast.