The Incredible Shrinking Navy
As Russian President Vladimir Putin ratcheted up the battle for control of eastern Ukraine, Joe Biden asked America’s Congress for an $813 billion defense budget next year. This budget is 10 percent larger than the current defense budget. Yet this increase is barely enough to keep pace with inflation. So, the United States Navy will continue on its trajectory toward a smaller fleet. Biden wants to spend 22 percent of next year’s defense budget on the Navy, giving the Navy enough resources to build nine new battleships while retiring 24 old battleships.
According to the Navy’s estimates, its fleet will shrink from 298 ships to 280 ships over the next six years. This is disconcerting as security experts project that China’s fleet will grow from 384 ships to 436 ships over the same period. And while America’s ships are more technologically advanced than China’s ships, the recent sinking of a Russian flagship by a Ukrainian cruise missile has woken many naval officials up to the fact that even hi-tech battleships can be sunk by anti-ship munitions. The U.S. Navy’s top officer, Adm. Mike Gilday, has said that he feels that America needs “a naval force of over 500 ships” to stand up to Communist China.
About 56 percent of America’s shipbuilding budget goes to nuclear-powered subs and aircraft carriers, meaning that the nation’s battleship fleet is suffering as it channels its resources into aircraft carrier groups, floating military bases that weigh 100,000 tons and cost $9 billion each. Yet not everyone thinks this is the right strategy. According to Marine Corps Col. Thomas Hammes (Ret.), America’s carrier groups are like medieval knights—heavily armed and equipped to slaughter any foe they meet in battle but vulnerable to projectiles fired from far away. At a breakfast hosted by the National Interest in 2019, Colonel Hammes recommended that the Navy shift its focus from carrier groups to more missile-armed vessels. These smaller ships would be cheaper than carriers yet able to launch missiles from thousands of miles away.
This is the strategy China is using. The Politburo of the Chinese Communist Party knows their two aircraft carriers will never be able to defeat America’s 11 nuclear-powered supercarriers. So, China has been building smaller ships and equipping them with DF-26 anti-ship ballistic missiles nicknamed the “carrier killers.” They are 46 feet long, weigh 44,000 pounds, and can carry a 4,000-pound payload up to 2,500 miles. With satellite targeting, a DF-26 ballistic missile launched from mainland China could sink any ship in the western Pacific.
Equipping ships with anti-ship missiles could revolutionize naval warfare. Admiral Gilday believes America needs 500 battleships to keep pace with China, but some of China’s new long-range missiles are built to be fired from merchant ships. China already has over 6,600 merchant ships (while the U.S. has about 3,700). So, China could attack U.S. carrier groups like wolves encircle a buffalo in a battle of quantity versus quality.
Yet whether or not DF-26 anti-ship missiles become game-changing technology, the Bible prophesies that Chinese ships will play a key role in America’s downfall. Isaiah 23 identifies Tyre, Tarshish and Kittim as nations that will besiege America in the end time. Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry’s book Isaiah’s End-Time Vision identifies Tyre as the commercial center of the European Union, Tarshish as Japan, and Kittim as China.
These identities are further proved by the fact that these three power blocs control most of the world’s ships. According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, 99,800 merchant ships sailed the high seas last year. The English-speaking peoples (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom) owned 6,251 of these vessels; the peoples of the EU owned 11,920 of these vessels. And the peoples of East Asia (China, Japan, Korea and their allies) owned 38,006 of these vessels. This means that the countries of the Isaiah 23 alliance own 44 percent of the world’s merchant fleet.
If nations start weaponizing merchant vessels with ballistic missiles in a war over sea gates, America and its nuclear-powered supercarriers could be besieged by a vast armada of more than 44,000 ships.
Isaiah has a powerful message for the people of America and Britain. To understand this message, read Chapter 7 of Gerald Flurry’s book Isaiah’s End-Time Vision, “Building Toward a World Catastrophe.”