You know it's bad when the President's own national security adviser calls the Secretary of Defense over for a meeting at the White House to explain exactly how the administration is "pivoting" to Asia yet shrinking the Navy and the Air Force. But that's what happened earlier this year. It is no surprise given the administration's budget-strategy mismatch.
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When President Obama unveiled his new strategic guidance in January, highlighted by a pivot to Asia, many assumed (incorrectly) that the Navy and Air Force would reap the benefits. But if the president's own 2013 defense budget request did not make it clear to policymakers already, the release of the Navy's 30-year shipbuilding plan confirms this is a pivot in name only.
The Navy would have fared better merely holding steady at last year's resource levels before the pivot and budget cuts shrank the sea service. Five months later, the administration's new plan stops paying even lip service to a 313-ship Navy, the same 313-ship plan that was considered the minimum needed by the last Chief of Naval Operations.