There are growing concerns over a possible armed confrontation between the US and China over Taiwan or the South China Sea. However, one US officer said her superiors worry more about “diversity officers” than preparing for a possible third world war.
Of those interviewed for the report, 94 percent claimed the US Navy has a “cultural or leadership problem”.
The document said: “Finding and sinking enemy fleets should be the principal purpose of a navy.
“But many sailors found their leadership distracted, captive to bureaucratic excess, and rewarded for the successful execution of administrative functions rather than their skills as a warfighter.
“With China building and operating a competitive fleet, the lack of proper attention on warfighting was of deep concern to many interviewees.”
Beijing has threatened military action to seize Taiwan, which it regards as its sovereign territory.
It also claims almost the entirety of the South China Sea, clashing with rival claims from six other countries.
The Senate report highlighted concerns diversity is being focused on, ahead of military efficiency.
Speaking to its authors, one serving lieutenant commented: “Sometimes I think we care more about whether we have enough diversity officers than if we’ll survive a fight with the Chinese navy.”
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It was produced by Rear Admiral Mark Montgomery and Marine Lieutenant General Robert Schmidle.
Jim Banks, a Republican House member, was one of those who backed the report.
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph he said: “At a time when the navy’s readiness is more critical than ever before this report depicts a leadership that is distracted from the number one threat to American national security, the Chinese Communist Party.”
Earlier this week the Japanese government published its latest defence review, warning of a “crisis” in the Asia-Pacific region.
Taro Aso, Japan’s deputy prime minister, has argued the country should ally with the US against China if Taiwan is invaded.
Chinese president Xi Jinping has vowed to complete the “reunification” of Taiwan with the Chinese mainland.
Taiwan was created by the defeated nationalist forces at the end of China’s brutal civil war.
The communist-led regime in Beijing has never accepted its independent status.