Journal of Political Risk, Vol. 8, No. 4, April 2020
Captain Robert C. Rubel
From a resource point of view, the US Navy has not been doing well lately, its program to expand fleet size to 355 ships, a number that seems to be accepted by the Administration and Congress, has been suffering a series of setbacks. Whether being raided for money to build a border wall, forced to fund the replacement ballistic missile submarine program or constricted due to the need to bolster current readiness, the Navy’s shipbuilding budget is under tremendous pressure, and Congress, despite a desire for a bigger fleet, has not increased the Navy’s top line sufficiently to accelerate ship construction. Moreover, and perhaps worse, the Navy has been unable to produce a fleet structure assessment (FSA) that passes muster with the Secretary of Defense, who doubts the validity of a key assumption that underpins the study.