One issue that Waltz points out is that the U.S. doesn’t have enough ships. As such, to build new ones would be inefficient because of the time it would take. Given this lack, he warns that if a war ensued with any level of attrition in the Pacific, this could result in horrible implications.
“Outnumbered and without the capacity to replace, refuel, and provision our troops, we would struggle to deliver victory,” he writes.
Because of this, Waltz calls on the United States to develop an efficient maritime strategy to avoid significant damage to the economy, national security, and the U.S.’s international standing.
“Such a strategic design starts with recognizing our nation needs American-built and crewed ships, but we also need help changing our nation’s maritime trajectory,” Waltz posits, citing that “China now has more than 200 times the shipbuilding capacity of the United States." “In the race with our greatest adversary, we need a mix of US, Japanese, South Korean, and European-built ships in a Reagan-style build-up,” he suggests.
Moreover, Waltz suggests using drones to compliment efforts to improve shipbuilding, explaining that “smaller, cheaper platforms are easier to build and provide an affordable path for quickly ramping up the size and reach of our nation’s fleets.”
The Florida Republican then called on Congress to “cultivate a finance and regulatory environment to make civil and commercial shipbuilding industries more competitive globally,” adding that they should also “close loopholes that permit private equity funds to flood Chinese shipyards and harness those resources for domestic projects.”
Given the need to bolster the U.S.'s national maritime strategy, Waltz points out that he sponsored legislation in this year's NDAA that would hold the Biden administration accountable for instituting the strategy.