But as the US military confronts a three-way alignment that Lehman compares to the Tripartite Alliance between Germany, Italy and Japan before World War II, Lehman says the chief danger isn’t from anti-ship missiles or supercavitating torpedoes. Rather, the main threat to American preparedness, he says, springs from a painfully slow US process for procuring new weapons systems. He also blames recent collisions involving Navy ships in Asian waters on the combined pressures of generational change, and training and budget cuts, on a smaller, peacetime Navy.
“All these problems are fixable,” Lehman said. “We just need the leadership and will to do it.”