Lt. Col. Ralph Peters (Ret.) said the latest collision between a U.S. warship and a merchant vessel in the Asia-Pacific region points out serious problems within the U.S. Navy.
The USS John S. McCain collided with an oil tanker near Singapore early Monday. Ten U.S. sailors were missing following the crash, with five injured.
The incident comes just two months after the USS Fitzgerald collided with a Philippine-flagged container ship off the coast of Japan, killing seven U.S. sailors in flooding aboard the vessel.
Peters, a Fox News strategic analyst, said the Navy is perhaps the "paramount" branch of service for our national defense. He was asked how this could happen again.
"The obvious conclusion is the officers on the bridge and the seamen don't have basic navigation skills. They no longer are drilled in basic seamanship. They don't have the discipline they should. I love the U.S. Navy ... but it's in a bad way right now," he said on Fox Business Network.
He also criticized the "disgraceful" way U.S. sailors reacted when they were taken captive by Iranian forces in 2016.
An active-duty Navy officer echoed the concerns to Fox News, questioning the level of training for young officers.
"It’s not the same level of training you used to get," the officer said.
Peters called out the military, especially in the Obama administration, for turning the armed services into a "social engineering experiment."
"Those sailors did not have the basic seamanship skills, but by God, they got their sensitivity, race relations and sexual harassment training," said Peters, adding that sailors can't fight without adequate navigational skills.
"The neglect, the lack of focus that goes into an accident like this is just appalling," he concluded.
Watch Peters' analysis above.
UPDATE: The Navy has launched an investigation into the accident, including a review of whether "cyber intrusion or sabotage" occurred. "Some remains" of the missing sailors were found in a compartment aboard the ship, the Navy said.