October 18, 2017

Why the United States Needs a 355-Ship Navy Now

By Jerry Hendrix and Robert C. O'Brien

If we do not maintain global supremacy on the seas, nations hostile to our principles will fill the gaps. 

One of President Trump’s signature campaign promises to the American people was a 350-ship Navy. The Navy itself has stated unequivocally that it needs a bare minimum of 355 ships to meet the missions with which it has been tasked by our regional combatant commanders. Yet, sadly, it is becoming clear that no real budgetary steps have been or will be taken to fund this promise. Further, there is nothing on the horizon to suggest that anything will change on this front. 

The failure to rebuild America’s fleet could not have come at a worse time. The world has grown increasingly dangerous, with a nuclear madman in North Korea testing an ICBM a month, mullahs in Tehran plotting the takeover of the Middle East, Russia engaging in “frozen conflicts” in Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova, a very hot civil war in Syria, and China appropriating a vast swath of the Pacific to itself. The forgoing list does not even take into account the United States’ continuing wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and dozens of other remote locales where we are in daily combat with al-Qaeda, ISIS, the Taliban, and their assorted jihadi fellow travelers.

Read the full op-ed in National Review.

  • Commentary
    • Defense One
    • April 2, 2020
    Let Them Work From Home

    Earlier this week Defense One reported that senior military service branch representatives requested a one-month delay in the submission of their annual budgets, arguing that ...

    By Susanna V. Blume

  • Podcast
    • March 11, 2020
    Former top defense official Robert Work on "Intelligence Matters"

    In this episode of Intelligence Matters, guest host Admiral James "Sandy" Winnefeld (ret.) speaks with Robert Work, the 32nd United States Deputy Secretary of Defense for both...

    By Robert O. Work

  • Commentary
    • War on the Rocks
    • March 10, 2020
    The Case for a Pacific Deterrence Initiative

    When war broke out in Ukraine in 2014 the Department of Defense moved swiftly to invest billions in near-term enhancements in Europe to address growing military-operational sh...

    By Randy Schriver & Eric Sayers

  • Video
    • February 26, 2020
    Army trade-offs within FY21 budget

    Susanna Blume, senior fellow and director of the Defense Program at CNAS, discusses the Army leadership’s approach to the FY21 budget. Watch the full conversation in Governme...

    By Susanna V. Blume

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia