With Russia’s reemergence as a menace in Europe, the U.S. Army has been laying the foundations
to fight once again on the continent it defended through most of the
20th century. But if war were to break out tomorrow, the U.S. military
could be hard-pressed to move the number of tanks, heavy guns and
equipment needed to face off with Russian forces.
And even if the Army could get there in numbers, then the real problems would start: how would the U.S. sustain them?
The U.S. sealift capacity — the ships that would ultimately be used to
transport Army equipment from the states to Europe or Asia — is orders
of magnitude smaller than it was during World War II. Combine that with
the fact that the commercial shipbuilding industry in the U.S. is all
but gone, and the U.S. can’t launch the kind of massive buildup of
logistics ships it undertook during wartime decades ago.
Among the ships the country has for sealift and logistics forces, the Government Accountability Office has found a steady increase in
mission-limiting equipment failures, which raises questions about how
many might actually be available if the balloon goes up.
The ships the U.S. counts among its ready stock available for a
large-scale contingency are 46 ships in the Ready Reserve Force, 15
ships in the Military Sealift Command surge force, and roughly 60
U.S.-flagged commercial ships in the Maritime Security Program available
to the military in a crisis,
The 46 Ready Reserve Force ships, overseen by the Maritime
Administration, are old and rapidly approaching the end of their hull
life, as are many of the senior engineers who are still qualified and
able to work on the aging steam propulsion plants.
We’ve solved the problem of war
foolish Pentagon not designing tanks that fit neatly in standard containers.
I mean you joke but that actually sounds like a fantastic idea. Or introduce a double-wide container and make it mandatory to use for [insert common import that is suitable] (Also I seem to recall tanks are also taller than containers, but I’m not quite sure)