Do not act shocked ... do not avert your eyes ... look harder
Own it. You voted for it.
We started the "Keeping and Eye on the Long Game" over a decade and a half ago. Many of you have been loyal members of the Front Porch since that time, so I know you are not surprised where 2021 finds us.
Look at it. Don't avert your eyes.
You ... yes you ... allowed this to happen because you elected the people you elected and promoted those you promoted. You allowed other priorities to creep in where maintaining the world's dominate navy should have been #1.
Sadly, many are either refusing to accept this fact or are acting as if it all of a sudden snuck up on them. Fire them all.
China was already in the midst of a shipbuilding spree like few the world has ever seen. In 2015, Xi undertook a sweeping project to turn the PLA into a world-class fighting force, the peer of the United States military. He had ordered investments in shipyards and technology that continue at pace today.
By at least one measurement, Xi's plan has worked. At some point between 2015 and today, China has assembled the world's largest naval force. And now it's working to make it formidable far from its shores.
In 2015, the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) had 255 battle force ships in its fleet, according to the US Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI).
As of the end of 2020, it had 360, over 60 more than the US Navy, according to an ONI forecast.
Four years from now, the PLAN will have 400 battle force ships, the ONI predicts.
Go back to 2000, and the numbers are even more stark.
"China's navy battle force has more than tripled in size in only two decades," read a December report by the leaders of the US Navy, Marines and Coast Guard.
I didn't make this another in the Long Game series by post title for a reason. We are here. You have the Long Game intersecting with another long term project here, The Terrible 20s.
We did not get here by accident. This was by design via the natsec leadership - uniformed, civilian, elected and appointed - by both political parties.
Again, it is a matter of "when" not "if" the communist Chinese will challenge us. When they do, it will mostly be - if we are smart about it - a naval and air war. If the results are less than victory for the USA, it will be a hard break on a phase of history that has been with us for decades.
There is not much time. Demand answers. Demand proper priorities. Demand action.
If not, then prepare yourself for a nation and a globe neither you nor your children will recognize.
You think the people of 1913 were shocked by where they found themselves in 1933, you don't even what to imagine with two decades after a shift to a Sino-centric world would be like.