House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces Chairman Wittman and Ranking Member Courtney host a hearing to explore the challenges and opportunities of Amphibious Warfare in a Contested Environment.
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Chairman Wittman, Ranking Member Courtney, and distinguished members of the committee: thank you for inviting me to testify today on the architecture and operations of the future fleet. This subject is both important and timely.
Chairman McCain, Ranking Member Reed, thank you for inviting me to testify today on this important and timely subject. The United States is at an inflection point in its national security. After enjoying almost three decades of military superiority, the United States now faces competitors with strategies and capabilities that could circumvent, undermine, or defeat the defense posture and forces of America and its allies. In some regions and mission areas, the U.S. military is already behind those of its potential adversaries. If we fail to reshape our military and implement new ways to deter aggression, respond to provocation, suppress terrorism and insurgency, and protect the homeland, we risk the security assurances upon which our alliances are based and, with them, the security and economic health of the United States.
The United States faces a very different set of security challenges than it has since the Cold War. Great power competitors such as China and Russia improved their military capabilities over the last two decades while America focused on Middle East insurgencies, and now appear willing to challenge the international order.
Over the last fifteen years, the Department of Defense spent more than $24 billion buying a mix of capabilities to defeat guided missile threats to U.S. and partner naval forces and land installations. Despite DoD's urgency, these investments have not resulted in air and missile defenses with sufficient capacity to counter large salvos of ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and other precision-guided munitions (PGMs) that can now be launched by America's enemies.
Today the Navy and Marine Corps are facing a fundamental choice: maintain current levels of forward presence and risk breaking the force or reduce presence and restore readiness through adequate training, maintenance, and time at home.