National Security

Trump Overrules Navy, Reinstates USS Truman, While Cybersecurity Remains Neglected

Back in March, the United States Navy released a comprehensive 80-page cybersecurity report, warning: “In prior eras, for good or ill, navies shifted their definition from wood to steel to wing, or from sail to steam and beyond. This time technology, not the naval service, or its opponents, have imposed a definition of what navies will be for the rest of the 21st century. Navies must become information enterprises who happen to operate on, over, under, and from the sea; a vast difference from a 355-ship mindset.”

The Navy believes that the era of traditional kinetic warfare is coming to a close and that cyberwarfare will be every bit as important in the years ahead. As such, the Navy wanted to vastly expand spending on cybersecurity and warfare.

President Donald Trump, however, reversed the Navy’s decision to retire the aging aircraft carrier USS Truman. The reversal is expected to cost the Navy $20 billion over the next two decades in upkeep and other costs.

The decision is at odds with the Navy report, which warned that the United States is falling behind China and Russia in regards to cyberwarfare. If and when the next war comes, the United States will almost certainly have a kinetic advantage, but Russia, China, or another foe might be able to leverage cyberwarfare to negate that advantage. The Navy has warned that many of America’s systems, such as satellites, could be taken offline through cyberwarfare.

It’s not just the Trump administration that’s overruling the Navy, however. Many members of Congress urged the Trump administration to cancel the Truman’s retirement, threatening Congressional action if he failed to act.

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Brian Brinker

Brian Brinker is a political consultant and has an M.A in Global Affairs from American University.

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