Congress should create a bipartisan commission to formulate a maritime grand strategy, a new report from the Hudson Institute recommends.
Creating a strategy would be a broad government undertaking having military, diplomatic, geo-strategic, industrial, workforce and budgetary implications, according to the authors, Center for American Seapower Director Seth Cropsey and Deputy Director Bryan McGrath.
The commission should hold both classified and unclassified hearings resulting in a public document with recommendations for both the executive and legislative branches to carry out, the report recommends.
Due to "the time and capital-intensive nature of naval buildups," the president and Congress "should work together to increase the size and capability of American naval power, namely the Navy and Marine Corps," according to the report.
The report also recommends the Navy secretary form a commission for studying the naval industrial base, while the defense secretary begins a parallel study on the air and ground forces' industrial bases.
The Department of Defense and State secretaries should identify nations that are geo-strategically critical to deterring both China and Russia, according to the report.
"Today's level of national spending on American seapower is insufficient to grow the fleet from its current level of 276 ships to the previous administration's goal of a 306-ship fleet three decades from now, much less the 350-ship goal that the current administration seeks by the year 2048," the report reads. "Without dominant seapower, the U.S. would have achieved neither its current wealth nor helped establish and preserve the international order on which greater future prosperity depends."
The authors warn the loss of dominant seapower may result in China setting the rules that govern international shipping.