The administration on Thursday announced an ambitious long-term blueprint for Navy shipbuilding. The plan would shift resources to achieve Trump’s promised 355 ships within 10 years and nearly 400 within 20 years, national security adviser Robert O’Brien and Office of Management of Budget Director Russ Vought wrote in the Wall Street Journal, leaning heavily on building a new fleet of small, multimission ships.
The plan is designed to counter China’s rapid military buildup, particularly in the South China Sea, O’Brien and Vought wrote.
But the strategy is dead in the water, as the Biden administration will submit its own budget request to Congress early next year, possibly ignoring or heavily revising the Trump blueprint.
Naval experts said while the plan would have been taken seriously three years ago, submitting it just weeks before Trump leaves office is a political move. If the Biden team tries to reverse it, they are vulnerable to criticism that they are shortchanging national defense.