Former vice president Mike Pence blasted the Biden administration for its lack of military preparedness as the threat from China looms in the Pacific.
In a Wednesday Heritage Foundation lecture, Pence sounded the alarm about the growing economic and military challenge Beijing presents to freedom and security around the world. The former vice president cited China's growing navy and dangerous space technologies as reasons for concern and said if the Biden administration does not stand watch on China's military rise, it runs the risk of losing the upper hand.
"The Chinese Communist Party is now the greatest threat to our prosperity, security, and values on the face of the earth," Pence said. "China may not yet be an Evil Empire—but it is working hard to become one."
While Pence applauded the Biden administration for following former president Trump in taking a hard look at the trade and technological challenges posed by China, he slammed President Biden for offering a defense budget that halts Trump's buildup of American forces, the largest since the Reagan administration. Pence pointed to the unpreparedness of the United States' naval fleet, which is driven by meager funding and an overemphasis on critical race theory.
"America must significantly increase the readiness of our Navy in order to ensure freedom of navigation in the Indo-Pacific," the former vice president said. "With the challenges we face at this critical time, the military brass in Washington, D.C., needs to stop wasting time and energy on politically correct nonsense like Critical Race Theory and start focusing on ensuring our military personnel remain the best trained and most prepared fighting force on earth."
Pence's remarks come after the Monday release of watchdog report that polled U.S. sailors on the surface fleet's effectiveness. Sailors said that an overemphasis on diversity trainings and a fleet stretched thin with insufficient resources leave them unprepared for a coming showdown with China. The Biden defense budget shortchanged several initiatives devoted to repairing the military's gap in readiness, such as shipbuilding and funding a vital Pacific defense program.
A former senior Trump administration aide told the Washington Free Beacon that the Biden administration's policies make little sense as Americans approach the "fight of our lives" against China.
"The function of our military force is to train, equip, and prepare to fight and win wars," the aide said. "Yet if you talk to active duty members of our military—officers and enlisted alike—and ask what the top priority they're hearing is, they'll tell you it's all about political correctness. It's about politics instead of warfighting. This is a really dangerous development, this is not where you want to be in the competition of our lives right now against a Leninist totalitarian dictatorship that has military designs far beyond its shores."