The U.S. Navy, under the constraints of budget cuts, is preparing to downsize its fleet yet again. Currently, the Navy faces a shortfall of $9 billion in 2014, but if lawmakers do not remove the sequestration cuts, the shortfall would grow to $23 billion. Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert said the cuts would potentially trim the Navy’s fleet of warships from just over 280 to around 250, the lowest since before World War i.
Despite the Navy’s attempts to be positive about the downsize, it admits that it is in a severely compromised position, and it appears things aren’t going to be changing anytime soon. Back in February, the Navy scaled back its projected fleet size from 313 ships to 306. This is the number of ships it feels that it needs to effectively continue defending America’s interests abroad and carry out the demands of the Pentagon’s current defense strategy. At the time this was announced, many voiced their concerns that this would reduce America’s ability to project its power around the world.