Scowcroft Center Navy Senior Fellow Mark Seip and Scowcroft Center Intern Alex Clayton write for Defense One on how US naval ambition could be undermined by a lack of adequate funding from Congress:
The top officers of the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard last week released a new national maritime strategy that emphasizes “warfighting first” and “being where it matters, when it matters.” Strong in language and upbeat in tone, they confidently laid out the services’ roles in supporting the nation’s interests around the world. Just three days prior, however, their tone in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee was anything but upbeat. With equally strong language, the same leaders joined the Navy Secretary Ray Mabus in painting a grim picture of the effects of sequestration and the threat it poses to naval strategy if left unresolved.
The nation’s new maritime strategy reflects Congress’ desire for strong US presence abroad in order to make the nation more secure at home. That strong presence requires ships. If Congress is going to require the level of ambition that is articulated in the strategy, then they must end sequestration and properly fund the ships and support the men and women who crew them.