Steve Cohen, an attorney at KDLM, and a former member of the Board of Directors of the United States Naval Institute at Annapolis, writes in the New York Observer : “Reckless Cuts to US Military Spending Leaving America Vulnerable.”
Cohen writes: “For the first time since the end of World War II, the United States won’t have an aircraft carrier in East Asian waters. Defense funding shortfalls have dictated a four-month gap between the departure of the USS George Washington from its homeport of Yokosuka, Japan and the scheduled arrival of the USS Ronald Reagan. The George Washington will then be out of service for three to four years while it undergoes nuclear refueling and refurbishment.”
“Though the US Navy says their concerns are overblown, the foreign media in the region have given the story a considerable amount of attention. One reason for our allies’ concern is their profound unease about China’s intentions. A recent poll by the Pew Research Center found that 93% of Filipinos, 85% of Japanese, and 83% of South Koreans are worried that China’s territorial ambitions could lead to military conflict. And significantly, those concerns have become more pronounced since Pew’s similar survey a year earlier.”
Areas for focus, according to Cohen, include weapons acquisition, ways for the defense industry to “have the incentive to say, ‘Sorry Admiral, that is a really bad idea,'” and retiree benefits.