Biden Proposes Shrinking Navy As Focus Shifts To Climate

In the era of increased global tensions, President Joe Biden’s proposed military budget for 2024 calls for reducing the size of the U.S. Navy. Further, the branch’s leadership feels their duty is to address climate change.

Despite calls from senior Navy officers and military experts for naval expansion to counter China’s growing fleet, the budget calls for decommissioning 11 ships and the construction of only nine new ones.

This did not sit well with many in Congress. The top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS), accused the White House of “sinking our future fleet.”

The senator explained that naval strength means readiness today and preparing to grow the fleet and rule the seas tomorrow. Unfortunately, Wicker believes the president is neglecting both goals with his budget priorities.

To make matters possibly worse, Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro is determined to make fighting climate change a top naval mission. He explained his position earlier this month in an address at the University of the Bahamas.

Del Toro said “as Secretary of the Navy, I can tell you that I have made climate one of my top priorities since the first day I came into office.” His Navy, along with the Marine Corps, “has been working on climate and energy security for a long time.”

He told the audience that both branches are “accelerating and broadening those efforts.”

While there, Del Toro reported he met with Bahamas Prime Minister Phillip Davis. The two conversed “at length” about climate change, and his remarks were focused on that controversial topic.

The top naval officer called the climate situation “an all-hands-on-deck moment.” Del Toro added that the concerns over climate change will translate into “energy efficiency, cost savings, maritime dominance, and climate security.”

The Secretary dramatically called the issue possibly “the most complex” the U.S. has ever faced or even humanity “as a species.”

The Navy has for many years set a goal of 355 manned ships, but the Biden administration seems intent on moving in the opposite direction. There are roughly 298 ships presently available, and the last three White House budget proposals called for an even smaller fleet.

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