This article by Ted Galen Carpenter first appeared in Aspenia on July 22, 2020.
Image: Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Walter S. Diehl (T-AO 193) pulls alongside hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) to deliver supplies and mail by a connected replenishment in the South China Sea August 15, 2016. Picture taken August 15, 2016. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Brittney Vella/Handout via REUTERS.