Countering China’s Maritime Might: Time to Rebuild?

This important New York Times essay by Michael Roberts highlights the increasing danger of ignoring China’s growing maritime influence. Mr. Roberts points out that its communist leadership is committed to maritime dominance not only in the Western Pacific, but across the globe.

The United States must respond accordingly and rapidly develop a maritime strategy that recognizes a completely new international landscape. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, America has essentially ignored the precipitous decline of our merchant fleet, military sealift, and shipbuilding infrastructure.

Mr. Roberts reminds us that we cannot ignore the personnel side of the ledger. The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) is the primary source (over 80 percent) of the Strategic Sealift Officers (SSOs) who will command and crew vessels that serve as the logistical backbone of a conflict with China or any other adversary.