Even as the United States faces mounting military threats from China and Russia, the Biden administration is pushing forward with a plan to reduce the U.S. armed forces capabilities.
Specifically, recent reports indicate that President Joe Biden’s latest budget proposal — despite tipping the scales at nearly $7 trillion — includes a plan to remove two of the Navy’s ships.
Despite calls from military advisers to increase the military’s ability to defend against Chinese naval fleets, the Biden administration wants to decommission 11 Navy ships and add just nine in their place.
The branch currently has 298 ships, or 57 fewer than Navy officials would like to have ready. A push to reduce that fleet by two more has already attracted fierce criticism from Republicans in Congress.
“No matter the favored phrase of the day — ‘divest to invest,’ ‘strategic pause,’ ‘capability over capacity’ — the president’s defense budget is, in practice, sinking our future fleet,” asserted U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS). “A strong naval footing begins with readiness today and a plan to grow our battle force and command the seas tomorrow.”
He went on to conclude that the president “is risking our maritime security by declining to work toward either of these goals.”
Biden's proposed budget would shrink military end strength by thousands of personnel.
The Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force would all see a reduction in troop numbers. pic.twitter.com/6EKAOkpsFG
— Jacki Kotkiewicz (@jackikotkiewicz) March 13, 2023
The Biden administration’s push to shrink the military are not limited to the Navy’s fleet and are exacerbated by recent trends showing that recruitment efforts are not sufficient to meet the needs of the armed forces
Some critics suggest that the prioritization of so-called “woke” ideological pursuits by military leaders is a key factor in the inability to meet recruitment goals.
“Wokeness in the military is being imposed by elected and appointed leaders in the White House, Congress, and the Pentagon who have little understanding of the purpose, character, and requirements of the institution they are trying to change,” argued The Heritage Foundation’s Center for National Defense Director Thomas Spoehr.
Carlos Del Toro, the secretary of the Navy, appeared to bolster that argument with his recent declaration that one of his primary objectives is fighting climate change.
“The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps team has been working on climate and energy security for a long time,” he said. “And we are accelerating and broadening those efforts. We view the climate crisis much the same way as damage control efforts on a stricken ship. This is an all-hands-on-deck moment.”