How a new commission will fix disputes over US Navy’s force structure

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The last National Defense Authorization Act included Section 1092, titled “National Commission on the Future of the Navy.” The bipartisan commission will consist of eight nongovernment appointees reporting to Congress. The charter starts more than a thousand pages into the law, becoming a stealth provision.

This section is an important step for Congress to fulfill duties assigned in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution requiring Congress “to provide and maintain a Navy.” It follows the failure of the executive branch to implement any portion of the 2017 law approving the Navy’s 2016 force assessment. This set the goal of 355 ships.

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