Sea-Base Bloviation

The next big thing in the world of the defenserati may be “sea basing.” Last week, Gen. Michael Hagee, Marine Corps Commandant, regaled an American Enterprise Institute crowd with his views on the subject, calling it a set of strike capabilities that would allow the marines and the Army soldiers to directly project combat power inland, skipping the step of staging on a beach first. (Read our considerably less enthusiastic take on the issue here.) Proponents envision all services, even the Air Force, being drawn into operations from sea platforms. The Navy sees the concept is central to its future. Still and all, it is viewed with deep skepticism by lawmakers and others. It would be hugely expensive, even if it proved technically feasible.