Rep Luria Letter to President Biden on Maritime-centric National Defense Strategy - USNI News

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  flynavy1  •  2 weeks ago  •  9 comments

By:   USNI News

Rep Luria Letter to President Biden on Maritime-centric National Defense Strategy - USNI News
The following is a March 26, 2021 letter from Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.) to President Joe Biden calling for a maritime-focused national defense strategy. Luria is a former surface warfare officer and is currently the vice-chair of the House Armed Services Committee. March 26, 2021 President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. The White House 1600 Pennsylvania …

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



April 1, 2021 9:29 AM

The following is a March 26, 2021 letter from Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.) to President Joe Biden calling for a maritime-focused national defense strategy. Luria is a former surface warfare officer and is currently the vice-chair of the House Armed Services Committee.

March 26, 2021 President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Biden,

I write at a critical juncture in our nation's history, as we find ourselves again engaged in a great power competition with two nations who have demonstrated overt hostile intent towards our interests and those values such as individual liberty and human rights that we hold most dear. Because each of the major powers involved in this new era of competition is equipped with strategic nuclear weapons, the focus of these competitive interactions has moved towards open "global commons" such as space, cyber-space, and, I believe, most importantly the world's oceans. I am writing you to request that your administration develop a National Defense Strategy, that acknowledges and prioritizes the maritime nature of the current strategic environment.

I read with great anticipation your March 2021 Interim National Security Strategic Guidance. While I appreciated the overarching theme of diplomacy first and foremost, I am reminded of the words of Theodore Roosevelt, "Speak softly and carry a big stick - you will go far." Many have interpreted this phrase as a call to prepare for war, but Roosevelt intended its use as a prelude to diplomacy. As he noted, "We lay equal emphasis on the fact that it is necessary to speak softly; in other words, that it is necessary to be respectful toward all people and scrupulously to refrain from wrongdoing them, while at the same time keeping ourselves in condition to prevent wrong being done to us."

Since our founding we have been and remain today a maritime nation—a people who understand the connection between the movement of trade and ideas to the betterment of humanity. The authors of the Constitution charged the Congress "to provide and maintain a navy," an order to provide permanent support and protection for key values such as free trade, free movement on the seas, and the defense of individual liberty. Across the span of our history, we have defended free trade, the rights of seamen, and have declared war more than once when those rights have been trampled upon.

It is no accident that the ascendency of the US Navy to global primacy following World War II marked the beginning of a seventy-year era which saw the greatest rise in global economic

output and the sharpest decline in illiteracy and extreme poverty in the recorded history of humanity. Because we spoke softly through our support of ideals, even as we first built and maintained our naval "big stick," the world was interconnected in a manner never imagined.

Today, however, those connections have begun to fray and in no small part because in the thirty years following the Cold War our participation in counter-terrorism campaigns distracted the nation strategically, and we have allowed our naval force to shrink, its readiness to decline, and our supporting industrial infrastructure to rust, and these facts were noticed by those who oppose our values and look to exploit our vulnerabilities. As we decreased our battleforce from 592 ships in 1989 to 375 in 1997 and dropping below the 300-ship barrier in 2003, we also reduced our daily global maritime presence from 150 ships to just over 100 across the same period. Meanwhile, China and Russia rushed to fill the vacuum we created. Piracy, the enemy of free trade, has been on the rise and the two rising competitors, seeking to take advantage of our weakened state, have advanced broad, expansive territorial waters claims over the South China Sea, the East China Sea and the Arctic Ocean. Such claims, if allowed to stand, could create a "cascade failure" of the interconnected global trading system where today, in an 80-plus trillion-dollar global economy, 80% of trade by volume and 70% by value travels upon the sea and a vast majority of data in our information-driven economy travels under the sea via cables. The U.S. and its allies must understand that Mare Liberum, the free sea, is a fragile, all-or-nothing, concept that must be uniformly supported if it is to survive and continue to benefit all of mankind through the dramatic economic growth, prosperity, and improvement of the human condition it has enabled.

I suggest urgency, Mr. President, because the threat to our nation and its interests— on the seas— is proximate and real. Both the outgoing and incoming Indo-Pacific commanders have testified that China may move militarily in the Pacific within the next six years. Before we focus on a Battleforce 2045 plan, we need a Battleforce 2025 plan—and we need it now.

The looming naval crisis in the Pacific will be an all-hands-on deck effort and every available ship will be needed. We must quickly determine what manned and unmanned ships we can build and identify where within our shipbuilding industrial base they can be built—starting tomorrow. Additionally, we should identify which of the soon-to-be-decommissioned ships within our current fleet can be extended and furthermore, evaluate those ships that can be reactivated to provide critical capabilities and naval presence. This will require significant infrastructure investments in our current repair shipyards, and even the identification of additional repair capacity elsewhere within our industrial base.

Now is not the time to cut our defense spending—reality requires that we spend more to meet our defense needs. Today's defense spending as a percentage of GDP does not approach the levels of the 1980s, when we built our fleet to nearly 600 ships—ultimately providing a credible, convincing deterrent to the Soviet Union. In May of 1982, President Reagan signed National Security Decision Directive 32 which succinctly laid out the National Security Strategy of the United States vis-a-vis the Soviet Union and ultimately contributing to its collapse. This directive formed the foundation of the 1984 Maritime Strategy, which is arguably the most successful naval strategy since World War II. A similar, clearly delineated and actionable plan is necessary today.

Today, our fleet of just less than 300 ships is stretched to its limits, yet the demand for naval presence to meet these global threats is as great or greater than in the 1980s. Naval presence is the foundation of our conventional deterrent and we must act rapidly to ensure that we can maintain our maritime supremacy—or else we will cede it to those who do not share our values and the freedoms we uphold. We must be present protecting critical sea-lanes, providing a credible deterrent, and persistently operating in their backyard; China and Russia must understand that if clearly delineated red lines are violated, we will act to defend our allies, interests, and ultimately our values—over theirs.

Samuel Huntington noted in his 1954 article National Policy and the Transoceanic Navy, "The fundamental element of a military service is its purpose or role in implementing national policy… If a military does not possess such a concept, it becomes purposeless, it wallows about amid a variety of conflicting and confusing goals…" I ask you to provide this guidance through a clear and unambiguous National Defense Strategy that is maritime in its focus, designed to protect our broad national interests, backed by the appropriate resources, and anchored by full support of our nation in order to protect the values and freedoms that define us. John Adams once described the Navy as "the shield of the Republic." Mr. President, we must act now if it is to remain so.

[signed]

Elaine Luria

Related



Tags

jrDiscussion - desc
[]
 
FLYNAVY1
Professor Expert
1  seeder  FLYNAVY1    2 weeks ago

I have to agree with Rep. Luria about America's past, present and future need for Naval Supremacy on, over and under the world's oceans.

We are an island nation with requirements to maintain open sea lanes to maintain our economy and way of life.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
1.1  Trout Giggles  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @1    2 weeks ago

I agree with both of you. Naval and air supremacy is key

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
Masters Quiet
1.1.1  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  Trout Giggles @1.1    2 weeks ago

During the Cold War when I served we were respected by our allies and feared by others. Now not so much by either.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
1.1.2  Trout Giggles  replied to  Ed-NavDoc @1.1.1    2 weeks ago

I enlisted near the end of the Cold War, 1987, but it was still the Soviet Union and Clear AFS was still in working order.

Cool place, Clear was.

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
Professor Expert
1.1.3  seeder  FLYNAVY1  replied to  Ed-NavDoc @1.1.1    2 weeks ago

In short.... We've got work to do.

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
Masters Quiet
1.1.4  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @1.1.3    2 weeks ago

Very true but I have serious doubts that can be accomplished with Biden or Harris at the helm.

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Expert
2  Tacos!    2 weeks ago

I feel like this would meet with a lot of resistance in the president’s party.

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
Professor Expert
2.1  seeder  FLYNAVY1  replied to  Tacos! @2    2 weeks ago

Both sides of the aisle Tacos...... They don't want to pay for the Military they want. or more importantly.. need.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
3  Kavika     2 weeks ago

Currently, our DOD budget is around $800 billion per year. We just built another aircraft carrier to the tune of around $13 billion. We have pissed away billions on an aircraft that is useless (F35). Waste in the military is stunning. Now we are to spend more money on our navy to keep the sea-lanes open. 

At the same time, we lost eight Marines and a sailor in a landing craft that was 35 years old and the Marine Corps had cut back on emergency equipment on these craft because of cost. 

We have been in a number of wars since WWII the vast majority of the fighting has been done by ground troops and by far the greatest number of casualties have been Army and Marine combat units. 

Do we need a navy, of course, we do just as we need an air force the sticking point is how much, how many, and at what cost?

 
 
Loading...
Loading...

Who is online



Trout Giggles
Duck Hawk
zuksam
Tessylo


46 visitors