The Navy may be tempted to use scarce investment resources to meet today’s commitments and readiness needs. However, we cannot transform too quickly or radically for a still-ambiguous future and thereby dismantle important elements of today’s forces that have critical roles to play. We must remember that meeting today’s commitments by sacrificing tomorrow’s programs will mortgage the nation’s future security, with no guarantee that future forces would be capable of meeting the demands placed upon them. At the same time, however, if we focus too much on the future, this will increase significantly the risk that today’s forces would not be able to meet current needs. More critically, the quality of life for our Sailors and Marines, and their families, as well, could degrade to such a level that the skilled, motivated, and dedicated people who are the Navy and
Marine Corps will leave the Naval Services for “better” jobs in the civilian economy. In short, it is at our
peril that we fail to fashion a delicate balance between transforming for the future and meeting today’s global commitments.
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