While our president gets ready to push through his questionable nuclear deal with Iran, the Pentagon is acknowledging an inconvenient truth. The administration will field less of a ballistic-missile killing seaborne fleet than it promised Congress just a few months ago.
“Instead of 48 ‘BMD [ballistic missile defense] capable ships’ the MDA [Missile Defense Agency] estimated the U.S. would have by FY [fiscal year] 2020, the force will be instead 39 ‘BMD deployable ships’ — a difference of nine ships,” reports Sam LaGrone, the editor of USNI News.
That gap is bigger than the numbers suggest at first glance. Typically, only one-third of the fleet is at sea at any one time. That leaves the Navy with about an unlucky 13 ships to cover the whole world at any particular moment.
What’s scarier? The Pentagon estimates it needs about 70 ships.
None of this would be much of a worry if the threat of nuclear-tipped missiles being aimed at us and our friends and allies was going down. But it is not. The threat is growing.
Many experts suspect the Iran deal will fall apart, making the danger of war more likely — and making the global nuclear threat even more gruesome.
Oh, how the world has turned on its head. A decade ago, Washington recognized the ballistic missile danger was real and growing. There was a robust plan to stay ahead of the threat. Over his tenure as president, however, Obama has peeled off programs and capacity like a chef skinning an onion.