An unarmed Trident II missile launches from the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Maine off the coast of San Diego. The U.S. military is not ready to fight a major war with China , let alone a war against China and simultaneously another against Russia , North Korea , or Iran . That’s bad. Very bad.
The Heritage Foundation outlined this troubling incompetence in its annual Index of U.S. Military Strength, released on Tuesday. Considering Russia’s war in Ukraine and President Vladimir Putin’s associated nuclear threats, North Korea’s escalating ballistic missile tests, Iran’s nuclear brinkmanship, and the rising risk of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan — some analysts expect it between 2024 and 2027 — the American military’s disposition is an urgent concern.
Heritage rightly notes that the Navy’s fleet is too small, its warships overdeployed, and its personnel undertrained. This is driving up maintenance costs and delaying repairs while undermining readiness. More shipyards and repair yards are needed, and closer to the prospective fight, such as in Guam or Okinawa.
The fleet must be diversified. Procurement and support need to be shifted away from supporting outdated platforms, such as aircraft carriers, and toward weapons better suited to fighting China , such as manned and unmanned attack submarines. China’s anti-ship ballistic missiles are a potent threat that could keep American aircraft carriers away from where they are needed in the East and South China Seas. This would reduce the range of their aircrews and could keep them out of the fight. The Navy should at least endorse reforms like those offered by Bryan Clark and Timothy Walton to improve the refueling and fighting abilities of carrier air wings. Similar bold changes have, unfortunately, been blocked by members of Congress , who continue to put home-state cronyism and pork before the nation’s need […]
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