Russia’s military spending has been declining in recent years, and is expected to shrink even more in the next few years. Despite this, the US seems to have no problem using Russia as an excuse to keep justifying more military spending. The latest move, from the US Navy, is to form an entire new naval fleet.
The US Second Fleet was dismantled in 2011, both to save money and because there is realistically no need for them. This fleet, which is responsible for the US East Coast and the northern Atlantic, is making a comeback, with Navy officials claiming a “great power competition” against Russia.
Even a cursory examination shows this is nonsense. Russia’s Navy is much older and far smaller than America’s. Moreover, Russia doesn’t have a fleet in the Atlantic in the first place. The closest thing to such a fleet would be Russia’s Northern Fleet, in the Barents Sea, which is focused on the Arctic.
There is no purpose to forming a new fleet on the American East Coast, to counter Russia or anyone else. Yet there appears to be no public debate against doing so. The US Navy knows that Russia can be used to justify anything, and with President Trump promising to build more warships, a new fleet fits nicely into the plan to continue the surge in US military spending.