During his time in the White House, former President Donald Trump sought to counter Chinese aggression by significantly increasing the size of America’s Navy, and the U.S. military overall.
President Joe Biden and his Department of Defense clearly have different goals, as Trump’s successor has moved to end those ambitions for now, according to the Washington Examiner. Experts are calling Biden’s plan a “divest to invest” approach, which critics claim never works as intended.
Navy’s firepower degraded
The report noted that in addition to abandoning the goal of building 500 new naval vessels by 2045, this year’s “budget blueprint also proposes a 9% degradation in the fleet’s overall firepower.”
Retired U.S. Navy captain and current Heritage Foundation analyst Brent Sadler expressed grave concerns over Biden’s plans, saying, “I was extremely shocked when the budget came out.”
Sadler went on to criticize the logic behind Biden’s proposal, stating that decommissioning existing ships with the goal of turning the savings back into new vessel construction is a flawed approach — an approach attempted by former President Barack Obama that never seemed to work.
“It’s called ‘divest to invest.’ It’s never worked,” the retired military officer explained, adding, “It basically just becomes a divest to shrink.”
He added that many of the military officials who invested in that particular approach to building the U.S. military are still serving under Biden’s watch.
“China will have 400 battle-force ships by the year 2025”
Sadler stressed that the Chinese government is keeping a close watch on what the United States is doing with regard to its military and plans accordingly, saying, “They count missile tubes. They look at how many weapons we could put down range in a salvo. Just in one year, you’re going to take out 9% of your firepower.”
The Washington Examiner report also highlighted recent comments made by Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) to Defense Secretary Loyd Austin, in which she drew startling comparisons between America’s military capabilities and China’s seeming goal to outpace the United States in naval capabilities.
Collins said that China “now has the world’s largest navy, has about 60 more ships than our own fleet, and has surpassed our own 355-ship goal.”
“The Office of Naval Intelligence projects that China will have 400 battle-force ships by the year 2025,” she added, remarking that the United States presently has just 296 ships in its fleet, far short of the requirement set forth by Congress that the U.S. Navy has at least 355 ships in service.
It’s truly frightening to think that if a series of events would trigger any type of conflict or war between the United States and China or any other American adversary, this country might be, for the first time, at a gross disadvantage because of Biden’s policies.