ARLINGTON, Va., December. 7, 2022 – RMC Perspective: The Navy needs more capacity to secure America’s interests in the Pacific
Yesterday, I was fortunate to join an event at the Navy League of the United States on America’s Future Fleet. Headlined by the Secretary of the Navy and the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), the event was a dialogue about what the Navy needs to do to equip the future force, accelerate AI innovation, and ensure supply-chain resilience.
I want to thank Admiral (Ret) James Foggo and the Center for Maritime Strategy for the invitation to engage with the Navy’s senior leadership. It was an exceptional event.
Here are some of my takeaways from what I hope will be remembered as a historic day:
100 years prior to yesterday’s event, on December 6, 1922, the US Navy issued General Order 94 which reorganized the Navy and formed the United States Fleet with the Battle Fleet focused on the Pacific. This order truly acknowledged the Japanese threat in the Pacific.
100 years later, will December 6, 2022 be a day in history that set the conditions for the US Navy to ensure its global success for decades to come? Will shifting sands make securing our oceans a priority?
The answer depends on who wins the inter-Service budget wars.
Admiral Gilday, the current CNO, challenged our policy makers to make a budgetary shift from the Middle East to the Pacific. President Biden’s National Defense Strategy (NDS) names China the “pacing challenge” for the DoD and focuses heavily on “integrated deterrence.” From the CNO’s perspective, the US Navy has not been a focus for the last two decades. With seven combat deployments and roughly 3.5 years between Iraq and Afghanistan, I agree that our Nation’s focus was not on the Navy and instead on the sands in the Middle East.
According to Brown University’s Costs of War Project the U.S. Government spent $2.2 trillion dollars to finance the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. If you compare that figure to the cost of a new $15 billion dollar Columbia-class submarine, or even 12 of them for that matter (estimated cost well over $110 billion), submarines seem like a drop in the bucket.
We need to set the conditions for the DoD to win the fight in the Pacific and America needs to start by getting the Navy the capacity it needs. It’s time to pay attention to the shifting sands and prioritize securing our interests in the Pacific.
The Navy needs to expand its capacity through more ships and build the infrastructure to support that capacity. RMC stands ready to ensure that the infrastructure will be resilient and secure. Our Mission Assurance and Industrial Cybersecurity teams do this today and we will continue to do it as the Navy prepares to meet the “pacing challenge” through “integrated deterrence.”
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