In an era of great power competition, the U.S. military has had to relearn a number of strategic facts. Perhaps the most important of these is the central role that sealift has played in the United States’ ability to project power abroad. During the Cold War, the U.S. was able to not only deploy large forces overseas but move and sustain entire armies around the world. Today, 90 percent of U.S. forces are based on CONUS. They will have to get to the fight. Over the past three decades, the US sealift fleet has been allowed to decline precipitously. As military leaders have reluctantly admitted, a future high-end conflict might be lost due to a lack of sealift. Fixing this problem has become a strategic imperative for the Department of Defense. I have written a commentary on how to solve the problem here.
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