(ReclaimingAmerica.net) – United States Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro has declared combating climate change his top priority and as a reason to reduce the size of the Navy, just as the Biden administration proposed shrinking the Navy amid growing tensions with China.
Del Toro’s comments about how he had always prioritized climate change were made on March 1 during a visit to the Bahamas.
“As the Secretary of the Navy, I can tell you that I have made climate one of my top priorities since the first day I came into office,” Del Toro said in an address at the University of the Bahamas.
He also discussed climate change with the island nation’s Prime Minister, Philip Davis, Fox News reported.
“The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps team has been working on climate and energy security for a long time. And we are accelerating and broadening those efforts,” Biden’s Navy Secretary stated.
“We view the climate crisis much the same way as damage control efforts on a stricken ship. This is an all-hands-on-deck moment,” he added.
Del Toro’s remarks in the Bahamas occurred several days before the release of the Biden administration’s proposed budget for 2024, which provides for downsizing the U.S. Navy by two ships.
The shrinking of the Navy is proposed even though senior officers and military experts have urged the U.S. government to enlarge it to counter Communist China’s bigger fleet.
Even though the U.S. Navy’s official goal is to have 355 manned ships, in the past three years, the administration of President Joe Biden has maintained it at around 298 ships but has been seeking to downsize it more.
Thus, Biden’s new budget proposal provides for building nine ships while retiring 11 vessels currently in operation, resulting in a net loss of two ships.
The report notes that in the past couple of years, Congress blocked efforts by the Biden administration to slash the Navy.
“No matter the favored phrase of the day — ‘divest to invest,’ ‘strategic pause,’ ‘capability over capacity,’ — the president’s defense budget is, in practice, sinking our future fleet,” commented U.S. Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee.
“A strong naval footing begins with readiness today and a plan to grow our battle force and command the seas tomorrow. President Biden is risking our maritime security by declining to work toward either of these goals,” Wicker added.
In his speech on March 1, Navy Secretary Del Toro emphasized it was necessary to use the U.S. military fleet to fight climate change by tackling “climate-related events” in the Bahamas.
“There is not a trade-off between addressing climate security and our core mission of being the most capable and ready Navy-Marine Corps team. The exact opposite is true. Embracing climate-focused technologies and adopting a climate-informed posture strengthens our capability to stand by our partners and allies,” Del Toro argued.
Navy secretary cited climate change as top priority as Biden proposes shrinking the fleet https://t.co/yyO0evhDMB
— Fox News (@FoxNews) March 18, 2023