We need a new Naval Act – Here’s why it’s urgent and necessary


A 2023 naval act, as it did in 1938, can grow the nation’s naval shipbuilding capacity for a potential war with China. It would draw attention to a national security priority while not competing directly with other military service budget needs. It would further protect shipbuilding from fluctuating and tardy budgets that have retarded needed capacity investments. A modern naval act, echoing the nation’s historic success in preparing for war in the Pacific, would galvanize meaningful action. Congress has indicated it is willing to make the needed investments—a new naval act is one way of acting on that intention.

Brent Sadler, Senior Research Fellow, Center for National Defense

As we have commented recently, China’s increasing belligerence and Russia’s flagrant violations of long-standing inter- national borders in Ukraine have shone a spotlight on America’s weak defense posture. Sadly, the nation’s first line of defense and most effective means of distant deterrence of Chinese adventurism, the U.S. Navy, has been unable to build the fleet needed to confront this rapidly changing world. America should act now to meet this threat. 

Here’s how: