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Richard Betts, also a council analyst and longtime Washington national security figure who worked on the Walter Mondale presidential campaign, said the Navy remains unmatched in the world.

“If the mission of the United States is to run the world militarily, to be the global policeman and to control all conflictual areas in the world militarily, our defense budget is nowhere near big enough now.” he said. “But I challenge that assumption.

“As it is, our Navy, for all its difficulties, is astronomically greater and more capable than any other navy in the world. We have the ability to surge forces in times of crisis. And, yes, it creates operational problems and tensions and difficulties, but that’s in large part in the nature of most important military operations. And we can do it far better and far more decisively than anyone else.”