Is the U.S. Military Actually Ready for a War?

The aircraft carrier USS Nimitz steams ahead of the guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton during Malabar 2020 exercises in the north Arabian Sea, November 17, 2020. (Mass Communication Specialist Third Class Elliot Schaudt/IUS Navy)
There are some worrying indicators within the military bureaucracy about our readiness. They should be fixed immediately.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE T he U.S. faces both the immediacy of great-power competition and the prospect of great-power war. Both of these require a military that is wholly prepared for combat. This preparation includes all the standard aspects of military power — personnel, matériel, and training. But most important and least measurable is intellectual readiness. There is no sign that the armed services, or the defense establishment more broadly, are intellectually prepared for a Sino–American clash.

A military organization’s first peacetime task is preparing for combat. Americans could be forgiven for forgetting this fact, given the state of our contemporary political debate, some of which

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Seth Cropsey — Mr. Cropsey is a senior fellow at Hudson Institute and the director of its Center for American Seapower. He served as a naval officer and as a deputy undersecretary of the Navy.


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