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'naval budget' - MaCaulay Honors College Essay


mobious_1 3 / 6  
Dec 9, 2008   #1
I am GSL of THS. I am not posting this so that others may copy it. I am the original author of this piece and reserve all of my rights to it. I am posting it with the SOLE purpose of getting advice on it. DO NOT STEAL MY WORK!!!

Assignment: Pose an original question and answer it. (500 words)

My main concern is that my question isn't clearly understandable, I hope someone can help.

In this post cold war era, a burning question to be answered is whether our Navy should continue to allocate exorbitant sums of money for new warship development, especially when our brave armed forces are primarily engaging in desert and urban ground combat. Prior to the collapse of the USSR, the United States invested tremendous resources into becoming the world's most advanced military super power, with the most powerful Navy in the world, composed of 283 warships. This build up was in anticipation of a war with the USSR. However, since the collapse of the Soviet Empire, it is clear that such a war will never happen.

The US Navy was established in 1789, with a budget of $1,000. In a press release, the Navy estimated its budget for 2009 would be in excess of $149 billion, with $14.1 billion dedicated to new warship procurement. Considering that in November the Pentagon's Defense Business Board told President-Elect Obama that defense budget cuts are essential to our government, one must question whether such grandiose expenses are necessary. In order to determine if spending should be reduced, the role of warships in the global war on terror must be examined.

According to a 2008 Congressional report, the Navy plays an important role in the global war on terror (GWOT), namely through the use of our 11 nuclear powered aircraft carriers, which provide air support to our ground troops. The Navy also provides transportation for troops and supplies while the Marine Corps, a part of the Navy, is deployed to fight terrorism throughout the world, including Iraq and Afghanistan. However, the navy has a sizeable fleet of warships, including 68 nuclear subs and hundreds of destroyers, frigates and other ships, which are designed only to combat sophisticated targets, like enemy warships and submarines. This abundant fleet is usually relegated to providing support for ground forces or policing piracy, while the Marine Corps actually engages in some of the most intense combat.

The proposed 2009 naval budget only dedicates $1.5 billion to the USMC, while $14.1 billion is slated for new warships like the Gerald R. Ford class aircraft carrier. Considering the current type of combat the US Military is engaged in, this appears to be an exorbitant waste of vital funds. The US Navy tonnage, or the combined weight of our warships, is greater than the next seventeen largest navies combined. Although there are potential threats to our nation on the open water, such as the USS Cole terrorist attack, the risk is relatively minimal. The Department of the Navy should be diverting money away from new warships and investing it in the USMC and new aircraft programs like the F-35 fighter jet. Additionally, considering our current deficit, the federal government should reduce the size of our fleet and diverting those funds towards economic recovery. The effects of freeing up even a third of the Navy's budget intended for new warships would put a measure of relief on our debt stricken government.

EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Dec 9, 2008   #2
You do have a clear question: "is our country's large naval flee necessary in today's military theaters?" You might want to narrow the focus of the question a bit, though, given that you only have 500 words to answer it in. To even begin to deal with the question as it stands, you need to analyze how the navy is composed, what roles each type of ship plays in today's military theaters, and how funding is allocated to various navy projects. You touch on all of these, but so briefly as to make the essay seem a bit unfocused. To give a solid answer, you would also have to look at the other goals, besides effectiveness in certain theaters, a large navy is meant to serve. For instance, the existence of such a powerful navy may be one reason why the seas have not become a military theater in action against either Russia or China. Unless you deal with these issue, it will be premature to conclude that funding should be cut, but you don't have room to expand your essay much further. You might try a more focused question, such as "should funding for new warships for the U.S. navy be reduced?" Each of the points you raise in your essay is a solid reason for answering "yes" to that question, and it would be much easier to connect them all together without seeming like you've left out a ton of vital information.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,334 129  
Dec 10, 2008   #3
Wow, I could not even find any mistakes to correct. And as Sean wrote, your question certainly is clear.

As a high school student, you seem to be writing with proficiency that is quite advanced.
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Dec 10, 2008   #4
Much more focused question, with the result that the essay itself is a lot stronger.

Two relatively minor points you might want to look at, though.

First, you follow "the global war on terror" with an acronym (GWOT) that you never actually use again, but you make a couple of references to the USMC without ever specifying that it refers to the U.S. Marine Corps.

Second, in the third paragraph, you say that "the Navy plays an important role in the global war on terror (GWOT), namely through the use of our 11 nuclear powered aircraft carriers, which provide air support to our ground troops" Then, in the fourth paragraph, you say "$14.1 billion is slated for new warships like the Gerald R. Ford class aircraft carrier. Considering the current type of combat the US Military is engaged in, this appears to be an exorbitant waste of vital funds." Possibly your essay would be stronger if you used a warship other than an aircraft carrier as an example here.
OP mobious_1 3 / 6  
Dec 12, 2008   #5
A note to others reading this, the navy was NOT ESTABLISHED IN 1789!!! That's simply the earliest budget recorded on the US Navy's online historical library, history.navy.mil/library/online/budget.htm

I don't want anyone getting confused.

Thank you all for your help, it's really appreciate it.

Yeah, I had meant to take out the Aircraft carrier reference and replace it with the SSN 74 class. I figured other people wouldn't know that SSN 74 class meant Virginia Class Attack Sub, so I undid the change but forgot to replace it with the subs name.

Thanks for reminding me!
OP mobious_1 3 / 6  
Aug 10, 2009   #6
This being here with my full name is causing me problems. Is there anyway my NAME and perhaps my school of origin (not the thread) can be deleted? I'm very sorry. I would normally just edit my post but the editing button is gone.
EF_Simone 2 / 1,986  
Aug 11, 2009   #7
I changed your name and affiliation to initials.
OP mobious_1 3 / 6  
Aug 11, 2009   #8
Hmmmm, well thanks anyway. You know, I'm actually thinking about sticking around these forums, maybe proof reading some essays.
EF_Simone 2 / 1,986  
Aug 11, 2009   #9
That would be great. Welcome back.


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