U.S. Navy suffering from 'failure in leadership,' says nominee to lead it
By Phil Stewart and Idrees Ali WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The handling of a coronavirus outbreak aboard the Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier was just another example of a 'failure in leadership' in the Navy in recent years, President Donald Trump's nominee to lead the service said on Thursday. The United States Navy has been hit with a number of crises in the past year, most recently the firing of the Roosevelt's captain after the leak of a letter he wrote calling on the Navy for stronger measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus on the ship
By Phil Stewart and Idrees Ali
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The handling of a coronavirus outbreak aboard the Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier was just another example of a "failure in leadership" in the Navy in recent years, President Donald Trump's nominee to lead the service said on Thursday.
The United States Navy has been hit with a number of crises in the past year, most recently the firing of the Roosevelt's captain after the leak of a letter he wrote calling on the Navy for stronger measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus on the ship.
"It saddens me to say that the Department of the Navy is in rough waters due to many factors but primarily the failure of leadership," Kenneth Braithwaite, currently U.S. envoy to Norway, told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Braithwaite, who would be the fourth civilian to lead the Navy in about five months, listed several incidents in recent years, including the Roosevelt, the "Fat Leonard" corruption scandal and deadly Navy ship collisions.
"They are all indicative of a breakdown in the trust of those leading the service," Braithwaite said, adding that he believed that the culture in the Navy was "tarnished."
In an otherwise friendly hearing where lawmakers largely focused on more narrow issues, Democratic Senator Jack Reed said the Navy's handling of the Roosevelt illustrated how the Navy was in "disarray."
More than 1,000 sailors on the Roosevelt, currently in Guam, have tested positive for the virus and one sailor has died.
Captain Brett Crozier was fired by the Navy's top civilian, then-acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly, against the recommendations of uniformed leaders, who suggested he wait for an investigation into the letter’s leak.
Modly's decision backfired badly, as members of the crew hailed their captain as a hero for risking his career out of concern for their health, in an emotional sendoff captured on video that went viral on social media.
Embarrassed, Modly then compounded his problems by flying out to the carrier to ridicule Crozier over the leak and question his character in a speech to the Roosevelt’s crew, which also leaked to the media. Modly then resigned.
Modly's predecessor Richard Spencer was fired over his handling of the case of a Navy SEAL who was convicted of battlefield misconduct in Iraq and later won Trump's support.
(Reporting by Phil Stewart and Idrees Ali; Editing by Dan Grebler and Steve Orlofsky)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.