As a former Naval Officer and Vietnam Fighter Pilot, I am extremely disappointed in Naval Leadership. I have no doubt that both Captain Crozier and the Admiral commanding the task group voiced their opposition to the Vietnam port call and were overridden at a much higher level. If all parties in the Navy were not thoroughly briefed on the dangers of the Corona Virus then Naval Intelligence suffered a colossal failure. No Navy ship should be making foreign port calls during this crisis.
However, the Captain of the ship should not have written his letters. He was extremely naïve in stating that “we are not at war”. Having operated in the South China Sea and had numerous briefings re the Chinese Navy, he certainly should have realized we are in a Cold War with China at least as serious as the one with the Soviets.
It is entirely possible that Chinese intelligence purposefully infected sailors on the ship. Whether they did or not, Captain Crozier confirmed to them that a major U.S. warship could be taken offline without firing a shot.
His actions are symptomatic of leadership problems throughout our military today. President Trump needs to continue to purge the military of the overly political senior officers who have risen during the Clinton and Obama presidencies.
The military has been given a major role in social engineering. That is not what the nation needs. Our primary and only goal for the military must be to show the world that we have overwhelming force and will not hesitate to use it if necessary. All our commanders, no matter what branch, must understand and adhere to this sole objective, social engineering be damned.
I believe that President Trump fully understands this and will continue to show the leadership our military needs in order to change the weakness at the top.