President Biden’s nominee to be Navy secretary told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday that if confirmed, he will “exclusively” focus on China, which the Pentagon has recently identified as the top “pacing threat” facing the US military.
“If confirmed to the Navy, I am going to be exclusively focused on the China threat and exclusively focused in moving our maritime strategy forward in order to protect Taiwan and all of our national security interests in the Indo-Pacific theater,” said nominee Carlos Del Toro.
There are plans in Washington to expand the fleet of the Navy to 355 ships to match the number of combat ships China has, although in terms of tonnage, the US has much more naval power than Beijing. During his confirmation hearing, Del Toro said he supports the plan. The Navy currently has an estimated 293 battle-ready ships.
When asked by Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) if it’s “vital” for the US military to be able to have the ability to prevent a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, Del Toro replied, “absolutely.”
With Washington focusing on confronting China in what the US now calls the Indo-Pacific region, the US Navy plays a major role in this strategy. US military leaders are now hyping up the threat of China whenever they can to justify more spending and ask for more resources to their areas of command.
The top intelligence official of US Indo-Pacific Command urged people in Washington to take the “threat” from China more seriously at an event last week. “I’m wondering in Washington how many folks are truly persuaded by the warning which the intelligence community has already provided, regarding the dangers that exist within this decade, soon, now, with regard to the nature of the Chinese threat, and how it manifests, and what to do about it,” said Rear Adm. Mike Studeman. “We would say the danger is clear and present already.”