US Navy chasing the impossible

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By Brendan Thomas-Noone*

Several months ago, US Navy Secretary Kenneth Braithwaite said he believed the service was ‘at a turning point’ in its history. The navy’s 30-year shipbuilding plan—projecting what it will look like and what vessels it needs—had just been rejected by the Pentagon.

The plan was reportedly considered too conservative and based on outdated assumptions, including optimistic funding projections. A new plan is being developed by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Hudson Institute, with the navy largely sidelined.

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