In response to President-elect Donald Trump’s demands for more ships, the Navy reportedly released a proposal last month calling for a 355-ship fleet that would, if funded, be the biggest Navy fleet in existence since the Cold War.
“Whether Congress and the government can actually fund it, is a whole other ball game,” cautioned Rich Nolan, president of the Industrial Union of Marine and Shipbuilding Workers of America, according to the Associated Press.
Meeting the 355-ship goal would require spending $5 billion to $5.5 billion more annually for the next 30 years, as estimated by naval analyst Ronald O’Rourke at the Congressional Research Service. However, many believed this was a far more worthwhile investment than what President Barack Obama has spent the nation’s money on, such as refugees and illegal immigrants.
What’s more, investing in a naval fleet would be a boon for both sailors, who could enjoy shorter deployments, and national security.
“Russia and China are going to continue to build up their navies,” noted Matthew Paxton, president of the Shipbuilders Council of America. “The complexities aren’t going to get any easier. The Navy, more than any of the services, is our forward presence. We’re going to need this Navy.”
That’s truer now than ever because of what Obama has done to the Navy, which, as writer J. Randy Forbes pointed out on National Review pointed out last year, “has shrunk to 272 ships, while a shortfall in aircraft carriers has created gaps in our presence overseas.”
“To mitigate these gaps, the Pentagon has had to deploy smaller and more vulnerable naval vessels to the Gulf, including the two small boats that were captured by Iran,” Forbes wrote. “This year alone, the president proposed cutting the budget for the Navy by $7 billion.”
By January of 2017, the Navy had only 274 deployable battle force ships, which as reported by the AP was “far short of its old goal of 308 ships.”
To say that President Obama has weakened the Navy would be an understatement. He has devastated it, which is why it rests on President-elect Trump’s shoulders to rebuild the ailing service and return it to its days of glory. And judging by his plan for a 355-ship fleet, it seemed Trump was well on his way to doing exactly that.
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H/T U.K. Daily Mail