The Corner

National Security & Defense

Rebuild Our Navy

Over at Foreign Policy, Blake Herzinger makes a bracing argument for radically re-capitalizing the United States Navy, even if it means cuts for the Army:

Without going too far into the esoteric world of the defense budget, the Army receives approximately 40 percent more funding than the Navy for its personnel costs and only slightly less for operations and maintenance ($57 billion to the Navy’s $60 billion). In terms of acquisitions, the Navy receives far more, but the ships being built must also serve Army requirements. They provide support for the Army’s mobility as well as its sustainment.

The Navy maintains enormous ships that would transport approximately 90 percent of the Army’s required equipment to the theater of battle in a major contingency. But even this fleet of sealift vessels is rapidly becoming obsolete.

What is more distressing of all is not just that our Navy has lost its capacity for action, it’s that our capacity for building and launching world-class ships at a decent speed is deteriorating.

The United States became a world power by becoming a two-ocean naval power, outliving the British naval supremacy, and defeating Britain’s one-time junior partner in it: Japan. Our prosperity and security depend on open sea lanes.


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