[The Global Times reports on special correspondent Song Yuwang Weiqiang] In World War I and World War II, the United States had a unique geographical advantage in the ocean away from the Eurasian continent. But now that advantage seems to be an insurmountable pit for the Pentagon's intentions against Russia and China. U. S. media disclosed on the 8th that the U. S. military has been unable to support a large-scale war across the ocean due to strategic transport capacity has been declining sharply in recent years. To cope with this dilemma, the U.S. military is pushing a new strategy in the Pacific Region - pulling its allies into the "death row."
Continuous degradation of cross border delivery capability
Although the U.S. military has won several local wars in recent years by deploying only naval and air forces that can be quickly mobilized, air bombing alone is still insufficient to deal with heavy opponents and ground forces must be deployed. However, due to the decline in U.S. naval capacity, "if Russia invades Europe tomorrow, the U.S. military may not be able to deliver enough tanks, heavy artillery and other equipment across the ocean in a short time, and may not catch up with Europe in time of war," the U.S. Defense News reported on the 8th.
Reported that the decline in U.S. maritime capacity is rooted in the decline of the U.S. shipbuilding industry, the U.S. today is no longer possible to build large-scale logistics fleet in the past war, maritime transport vessels than in World War II reduced by several orders of magnitude. This means that the US Army does not have enough transport ships to deliver army equipment from Europe to Asia. To make matters worse, the U.S. Government Accountability Office report shows that even naval athletes'ships specializing in wartime shipping are facing an increasing number of hull ageing and equipment failures. If this figure continues to rise, how many transport ships available in wartime will be problematic.
Currently, the U.S. can be used for Large-scale Emergency shipping in wartime, mainly including 46 Rapid Reserve Force ships supervised by the Maritime Administration, 15 ships under the Military Maritime Command, and about 60 commercial vessels flying the U.S. flag in the Maritime Security Plan. However, 46 fast reserve ships are aging, their hulls are about to be over-aged, and many of the book-powered ship engines are nearing retirement. Mark Bootsby, director of the U.S. Maritime Administration, admitted that the average service age of the U.S. military's wartime emergency maritime fleet was 43 years, with about 23 to 24 of the 46 Rapid Reserve Force ships "in need of urgent attention". The Maritime Administration currently has 11,168 crew members available for reserve service, but wartime recruitment of these people can only be "voluntary participation", and once entered a large-scale war, even if the full recruitment of these crew is obviously insufficient.
In the absence of maritime capacity, the United States is unable to rely on air transportation to support the trans oceanic aid Europe war. Hendrix, an analyst at the Telemus Group, a US think tank, says the average American thinks that "everything we need can be airlifted to Europe," but that's not the case - the air capacity of the entire U.S. military is not comparable to three large carriers. According to a report to Congress in March, about 90 percent of the equipment used by the U.S. Army and Marine Corps in emergencies is transported by sea.
Try to rely on allies in the Pacific direction
It is not easy for US troops to cross the Atlantic to confront Russia, and the same is true for China across the Pacific. For this reason, the US Pacific army has launched the new version of the 2 edition of the code "Pacific Road". General Robert Brown, commander of the US Pacific Army, said the latest version of the plan is to reduce the frequency of shifts and to train more troops in some countries, which will help middle and senior commanders become more familiar with each other's operations and further train docking in emergencies, the Army Times said Wednesday. Instead of waiting for the crisis to come into contact, we can build a better connection with our allies.
Colonel Derek Cheng, a spokesman for the U.S. Pacific Army, said the benefits of the Pacific Road 2.0 rotation program are to give the Army more time for basic wartime training, to bring combat readiness to the tactical level, and to further enhance its ability to interact and collaborate with allied forces. U.S. media revealed that despite their inability, U.S. Pacific Army forces are still trying to expand the "Pacific Road" rotation to Indian Ocean countries, hoping to upgrade the U.S. -India "war ready" joint military exercises into multi-service joint exercises.
Try every means to ask for money.
US media believe that the United States is facing a double threat from China and Russia, the risk of declining maritime capacity has sounded the alarm, forcing the United States Navy to rebuild the fleet. "If there is no strong maritime capability, the US Army will not have the ability to compete with big powers".
The US officials responsible for shipping were eager to reach out for money. Mark Bootsby, the director of the Maritime Administration, stressed that the cost of rebuilding the U.S. fleet was enormous, that the cost of purchasing a used carrier could be between $75 million and $100 million, and that the cost of maintaining and restarting it would be close to $30 million. Additional investment may be required if new carriers are to be procured and more reserve shipping personnel are to be recruited. For this reason, the US Navy is trying to reduce the standard to buy dual-purpose ro ro ships or fast support ships. In the Defense Authorization Act of 2019, Congress allowed the U.S. military to buy seven commercial ships to update the aging fleet.
Ma Yao, an expert on maritime rights at Fudan University, told the Global Times that the ability of large-scale marine athletes is an important component of the nation's wartime emergency mobilization capability. After the end of the cold war, the United States appeared in the defense construction of the "re-technology light old tradition" and "emphasis on the front light rear" and other phenomena, the large-scale war emergency mobilization attention to investment is not enough. However, these problems have not fundamentally shaken the ability of the US Army to have the world's leading strategic delivery capability. The decline in the ability of U.S. emergency Navy athletes is only temporary, wartime mobilization demand is not so strong, the United States can also order civilian ships from South Korea and other allies. At present, these problems are more about cost constraints, not capacity constraints.
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