The Coast Guard is predominately a naval arm of the US Armed Forces. Their motto "Always Ready" is a bit of a teetering falsehood when it comes to combat capability and preparedness. In the coming years it will become imperative that the US should reinforce the USCG with more naval utilities and training, especially if a prolonged war with China becomes a reality. If China and the United States engaged in war it will undoubtedly a long, global war, be felt and seen on the home front and the current capabilities of the USCG are not enough to counter that bloodshed. The USCG has been known historically to fight alongside the Navy and was vital in WW2 in protecting supply lines and securing logistic chains. Since then the USCG has not had much of a war footing and that could be regrettable even if open war does not occur immediately.
In a recent article written in March 2022 Brent Sadler (Senior Research Fellow, Center for National Defense), claimed "Despite historical lessons and the acknowledged dangers of a potential war with China, the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard are not adequately practicing, nor are they fielding, the capabilities needed to fight together effectively. And, such a fight could rapidly evolve from a variety of escalatory paths—to include a gray zone (neither peace nor outright war) confrontation. Today’s Coast Guard is increasingly playing a role in great-power competition, and it, too, must be ready for such showdowns as well as war. A dedicated and well-resourced program is needed to ensure that these two military services are able to dominate gray zone operations and quickly transition to, and sustain, a wartime footing together."
This statement is especially vital if a hot war does break out from this "New Cold War" with China and potentially even Russia. Every US Armed Force should be capable of a war posture to ensure the US foot-hold as the unilateral super power and protect the US's preeminence.