If war comes, will the U.S. Navy be prepared?
Is the U.S. Navy ready for war? A new report prepared by Marine Lt. Gen. Robert Schmidle and Rear Adm. Mark Montgomery, both retired, for members of Congress paints a portrait of the Navy as an institution adrift. The report, reviewed exclusively by the Journal, concludes that the surface Navy is not focused on preparing for war and is weathering a crisis in leadership and culture.
The impetus for the report was a series of recent catastrophes—a ship burning in San Diego last year; two destroyer collisions in the Pacific in 2017. Were these isolated events? Or did they indicate “larger institutional issues that are degrading the performance of the entire naval surface force”? The report surveyed active and recently retired service members of various ranks, conducting 77 candid hourlong interviews. A key finding: “Many sailors found their leadership distracted, captive to bureaucratic excess, and rewarded for the successful execution of administrative functions” rather than core competencies of war.
“I guarantee you every unit in the Navy is up to speed on their diversity training,” said one recently retired senior enlisted leader. “I’m sorry that I can’t say the same of their ship-handling training.”
The decline of America’s military prowess is part of an overall decline specifically forecast in your Bible. Here is what we wrote in our 2016 article “Not Much Bang for the Buck”:
America used to produce cutting-edge military technology at good prices. God blessed America, but no longer. In fact, the curse described in Leviticus 26:20—directed to the ungodly and disobedient modern-day descendants of ancient Israel, of whom America is chief—well applies: “And your strength shall be spent in vain.”
We see this in many ways—the fruitless military missions in Afghanistan and Iraq, for example. This massive waste is both a natural result of failed leadership and also a result of this curse. The preceding verse says God “will break the pride of your power.” These verses describe a nation with ample “strength” and “power,” but it is incapable of using it effectively.
When America was blessed, God said He made it so that “ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword” (verse 7). One way He did that was by blessing the nation with skilled innovators and manufacturers, allowing the nation to have its technological edge. America still has an edge here. But too few in the military take the potential for a major war seriously. The result is a bloated system that hemorrhages money and leaves this apparently invincible nation dangerously insecure.
“Not Much Bang for the Buck,” July 2016, Philadelphia Trumpet