Biden Defense Dept Attempting to Innovate to Meet Current Challenges – Mostly Unsuccessfully

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by James Nault at

New York Times article suggests that Navy innovation issues are mostly an issue with Navy traditionalists and Congressional lobbyists; the truth is that the Biden Administration is pursuing pie-in-the-sky quick fixes to solve a very complex problem

The New York Times recently reported on the difficulty that the Navy is having in attempting to modernize the fleet, especially in times of rapid change: Faced With Evolving Threats, U.S. Navy Struggles to Change:

[T]he focus from Washington on producing a stream of new warships is…creating a fleet that some inside the Pentagon think is too wedded to outdated military strategies and that the Navy might not be able to afford to keep running in decades to come…

At no moment since World War II has the service faced a more urgent demand to embrace new technologies and weapons systems, given the rising threat from a now formidable Chinese military.

The Navy’s top brass talks frequently about the need to innovate to address the threat presented by China. The Defense Department’s own wargames show that the Navy’s big-ship platforms are increasingly vulnerable to attack.

But the Navy, analysts and current and former officials say, remains lashed to political and economic forces that have produced jobs-driven procurement policies that yield powerful but cumbersome warships that may not be ideally suited for the mission it is facing.

An aversion to risk-taking — and the breaking of traditions — mixed with a bravado and confidence in the power of the traditional fleet has severely hampered the Navy’s progress, several recently departed high-ranking Navy and Pentagon officials told The New York Times.

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