What are the measures of a superpower? For the U.S. it is not just the number and diversity of its nuclear weapons, the size of its Army or the number of ships in its fleet. Being an oceanic power, a critical measure of U.S. military power and a unique strategic advantage for the U.S. is its capacity to move large amounts of forces and supplies across oceans and sustain them while engaged in combat, often for years. 90 percent of U.S. military equipment and supplies move by ships. So, the state of the U.S. government-owned and private sealift fleets is of vital importance to this country’s superpower status. The government-owned sealift fleet is in vital need of immediate recapitalization. Similarly, the commercial sealift fleet, which supports U.S. military and humanitarian activities across the globe, is challenged by foreign competition. Maintaining the U.S. commercial sealift capability requires special laws and policies such as the Jones Act and cargo preference. I have written more on this subject here.
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