Lance Janda, a military historian at Cameron University, said Trump's claim requires further explanation."The thing is, numbers are not everything," Janda said."Technology has advanced in areas like electronic or cyber warfare and missile defense, so we're stronger in those areas," Holmes said."But we let a lot of basic skills and technologies atrophy after the Soviet Navy's demise in 1991.We tend to have smaller numbers of really expensive, really capable ships. It’s bad if you lose any." While the size of the fleet has shrunk, it remains powerful compared with other countries. We face much greater threats in the realms of cyberwar, space war and nuclear weapons than we do at sea." Michael O' Hanlon, a security expert at the Brookings Institution, a centrist-to-liberal group, agreed with that assessment.
Brian Slattery, Heritage Foundation’s Center for National Defense policy analyst, said that those who decry ship count as a valid measure of power "discount that our adversaries’ and competitors’ navies have advanced, as well.
"Even though American aircraft carriers are launching more sophisticated aircraft than they were decades ago, competitors such as China and Russia have developed new technologies to deny those carriers access to waters in their regions, including advanced anti-ship ballistic missiles, quiet diesel submarines, and their own modern aviation assets." Former President Barack Obama has already begun the process of growing the Navy.
The Obama White House embraced a long-term plan that would elevate the Navy to 300 active ships in 2019 and keep it at or above that level through 2045.
President Trump is committed to reversing this trend, because he knows that our military dominance must be unquestioned." The size of the Navy’s fleet has been a familiar talking point at least during the past two presidential campaigns.
But many of the past claims we have fact-checked compared the fleet to 1917, or 100 years ago, when technology was considerably different. We found that his numbers are correct, and that there are valid concerns about the size of the Navy.