Sea Power in the Twenty-First Century: Projecting a Naval Revolution

Sea Power in the Twenty-First Century: Projecting a Naval Revolution

Sea Power in the Twenty-First Century: Projecting a Naval Revolution

Sea Power in the Twenty-First Century: Projecting a Naval Revolution

Synopsis

As the U.S. Navy enters the twenty-first century, many of the ships, aircraft, weapons, and tactics it employed so successfully during the Cold War will no longer be cost-effective or even effective. Future battlefields will shift the locus of naval action from the high seas into littoral waters, demanding sustained operations in relatively narrow, shallow waters. Naval forces in the twenty-first century must not only meet the traditional requirements of command of the sea--ships, planes, troops, and bases--carrying out forward presence, crisis response, strategic deterrence, and sealift. They must now put these together to obtain the four key operational capabilities of littoral warfare: command, control, intelligence and surveillance, and communication; battlespace dominance; power projection; and force sustainment. The core of the new U.S. strategic concept is power projection, and it envisions naval forces directly leading Army and Air Force elements to influence events ashore, most probably in the Third World. And this navy must be cost effective.

Excerpt

When Dan Eades of Praeger asked me to write this book, I have to say that I resisted. I am not an admiral; I am not even Navy. I am certainly not a crystal-ball gazer. I am, however, a naval historian of sorts. I finally agreed (as you can see) on the idea that history could indeed furnish useful guidance on sea power in the twenty-first century. Those who refuse to learn from history are condemned to repeat it, as you may have heard. That applies to us, too.

In the pages that follow, we are going to take the long view. This means sticking to first principles, especially after we get beyond the first few years. But if I have chosen well, the first principles will be just that, modified by technology as we go, but enduring to the end. Nonetheless, a philosophical treatise this is not. What it is, hopefully, is a guide to action usable by those who must launch us on the next century's troubled waters. Only key points will be covered.

It was Voltaire, I believe, who told Prussia's Frederick the Great that he would debate anything with him he wanted as long as he (Voltaire) could first define the terms. That I resist here, but I do insert necessary definitions along the way. I also provide a glossary, in the appendixes, for ease of reference. Experience has taught me the need for that, at the very least. This book must aim at a wider audience than just the technically knowledgeable, after all. Remember, it is our political masters

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