replaced the commander of the 7th Fleet and ordered a two-day "suspension of ship operations" to review operating and safety protocols.
The Navy brass is being very tight about this business, but if you know the Navy you know what they are arguing about behind the scenes. These days the Navy fights with airplanes, long-range missiles, and commandos. Its officers spend most of their time at Annapolis studying engineering, because of all the hi-tech systems they need to manage. Many regard the Navy as a giant career ladder that they spend their time in the service climbing, wondering when is the right time to cut out for a lucrative management career with some defense contractor.
A faction of Naval officers has long been very worried about all of this. They fear that the Navy is losing what ought to be its core competency: sailing ships. Good sailors do not accidentally blunder into giant cargo ships in the open sea, as in the first of the two recent incidents. And in a crowded place like the Malacca Straits, they exercise extreme caution to avoid collisions.
So I'm sure that in the Pentagon and at the Washington Navy Yard there is a lot of shouting about whether the Navy is judging officers by everything except how well they can handle ships, and whether that needs to change.