Monday, January 26, 2009

CDR Salamander's Submarine Event Horizon

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines event horizon as the surface of a black hole: the boundary of a black hole beyond which nothing can escape from within it.

More colloquially, an event horizon is the distance beyond which our senses and intelligence leave us blind to whatever actually occurs.

Two prime examples appear in today's blogs.


Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi boldly defended a move to add birth control funding to the new economic "stimulus" package, claiming "contraception will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government." ... The revelation came during an exchange Sunday morning on ABC's THIS WEEK.

Pelosi's event horizon: What is Speaker Pelosi's position on illegal Mexican immigration? How much has illegal immigration already cost her home state, California, for instance? Is Speaker Pelosi obtuse, or just hypocritical?

Finally, CDR Salamnder gives his readers A strange alignment... , in which the venerable naval blogger finds himself 'in perfect alignment with him [William S. Lind]: ... the sourcing and education of our officers.'

Lind writes (excerpted for brevity; go to Salamanders for the full paragraphs and link to Lind's underlying book):

All skippers of U.S. Navy submarines, our capital ships, must be nuclear engineers. This is in strong contrast to Britain’s Royal Navy, whose submarine commanders have nuclear engineers working for them where they belong, in the engine room. The other influential community in the U.S. Navy’s officer corps, the aviators, are also primarily technicians, people whose main skill is flying high-performance aircraft.

The major problem with Lind's and CDR Salamander's proposition is quite unlike Speaker Pelosi's hypocrisy or obtuseness. M.E. might even agree with the notion of non-engineering COs for subs, if the timing were better. The timing seems particularly dangerous for the U.S. Submarine Force, at this juncture, however.

CDR Salamander's event horizon: If the announced demise of DADT were to usher in TOTAL (Tolerance of Open Trolling and All Life Styles), submarine recruitment might suffer particularly. Plummeting re-enlistment could justify (at least in the current administration) assignment of females to subs, which, as has already been the case in Australia, may reduce recruitment still further.
Add to problem recruiting a shift to non-engineer sub COs and the premier submarine service in the world might become something less, as Juan Caruso has depicted in his latest cartoon.

NOTE: Don't forget to enter the related Sitting Parlor caption contest. Creative types can have a 'field day' with it.
Submarines are always silent and strange.



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