The US Merchant Marine Is a National Security Necessity
By: Benjamin Harrison
The US has a vast coastline but lacks domestic maritime presence, relying on foreign partners for seaborne commerce.
Limited global trade risks ignored. "Global Trends 2040" predicts isolationism, regional blocs favoring resource-rich nations.
China drives world dynamics: adversary or competitor to the US in all scenarios, according to "Global Trends 2040."
Four scenarios assume unencumbered trade between US and China, but ocean transport's role in broken supply chains is overlooked.
China's heavy investments in port facilities and shipbuilding industry surpass the US, leading in global maritime presence.
Threats to sea access historically led to war, but the US overlooks maritime defense while China prioritizes sea dominance.
US merchant fleet dwindled from 3000 ships in 1960 to 182 in 2019, while global shipping giants own hundreds of vessels.
US maritime readiness declines: recent test reveals only 40% of activated ships can deploy, contrasting past successful activations.
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