The Naval Brief: Shorter Taiwan timeline; Expect more FONOPs; USMC’s choice; and more...
Welcome to The Naval Brief, a weekly look at the news and ideas shaping the sea services’ future.
CNO: Taiwan attack could come sooner than expected. The U.S. must be prepared for China to try to seize Taiwan in the next year, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday said Wednesday, USNI News reported. Gilday cited the “Davidson window”: last year’s testimony by Adm. Phil Davidson—then INDOPACOM’s chief—that China could try to take back Taiwan “in the next six years.” That’s too long, Gilday says: “When we talk about the 2027 window, in my mind that has to be a 2022 window or a, potentially, a 2023 window. I can’t rule that out. I don’t mean to be alarmist by saying that, it’s just that we can’t wish that away.”
Abortion travel allowance: Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Thursday announced a slate of initiatives designed to protect female troops and family members’ access to abortion and other reproductive healthcare services. Among the changes: The Pentagon will begin paying for troops and family members to travel for abortions. Defense officials said the repeal of Roe v. Wade has already harmed military recruiting, retention, and readiness.
Expect more FONOPs. The U.S. Navy must continue to sail warships in international waters claimed by China, because “if you don’t push back, and if we don’t take a stand, they’ll just continue to move the ball down the field,” 7th Fleet commander Vice Adm. Karl Thomas said Friday. Even though China stays “right below that level” of violating international order, it has gotten closer over the years, he noted.
Corps’ choice: adapt or succumb. The Marines are “in poor shape to handle the security challenges of the near future,” and must transform to avoid dying “the death of irrelevance,” Marine Corps veteran Dakota Wood writes for Defense One.
Sign up to get The Naval Brief every Thursday from Defense One. Today’s edition was written by Jennifer Hlad, Defense One’s news editor. Caitlin M. Kenney is on vacation. On this day in 1994, the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower became the first carrier to deploy with women permanently assigned when it left for the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf.
From Defense One
When China Pushes, Push Back, Admiral Says // Jennifer Hlad
Seventh Fleet commander says the U.S. needs to continue freedom of navigation patrols in the Pacific.
U.S. Military Will Pay for Troops to Travel for Abortions // Jennifer Hlad
Post-Roe abortion restrictions are hurting recruiting and retention, defense officials say.
The U.S. Marine Corps Has a Choice: Transform or Die // Dakota Wood
If the Corps does not veer from its current course, it will lose the things that differentiate it from the Army and the special operations community.