Naval Strategy and Operations in Narrow Seas

Naval Strategy and Operations in Narrow Seas

Naval Strategy and Operations in Narrow Seas

Naval Strategy and Operations in Narrow Seas

Synopsis

This book aims to explain in some detail the characteristics of a war fought in narrow seas and to compare and contrast strategy and major operations in narrow seas and naval warfare in the open ocean.

Excerpt

This book began as a research project in the Center for Naval Warfare Studies at the us Naval War College at Newport, Rhode Island, and was completed during Milan Vego’s recent time there as Professor of Joint Operations. Thus it is not surprising that the book contains a balanced blend of theory and practice. It is designed both to stimulate ‘open and vigorous debate’ on the concept of naval strategy and operations in narrow seas among professionals, as well as to be of service to the current practitioners of the operational art of war in narrow seas.

The loose use of terms such as ‘strategy’ and ‘operations’ has caused (and still causes) confusion among historians, both civilian and military/ naval. Relying on definitions developed by the German practitioners of armed violence, Vego establishes the theoretical basis of the book by introducing the reader to the terminology employed at the Naval War College. Vego defines strategy as ‘the art and science of applying all sources of power in peacetime and in war to accomplish strategic objectives’. He then breaks strategy down into four sub-components: national or national security strategy (‘the art and science of applying and coordinating all the elements of national power…to achieve national objectives’); coalition or alliance strategy (‘the theory and practice of applying and coordinating all the sources of power of a coalition or alliance for the achievement of coalition/alliance aims’); military strategy (‘the art and science of applying the armed forces of a nation to accomplish national strategic objectives by the application of force or by the threat of force’); and naval or maritime strategy (‘the art and the science of using sources of military power in a sea/ocean theater to accomplish naval elements of military strategy’). Finally, Vego defines the current us concept of operational art as ‘the theory and practice of planning, preparing, conducting, and sustaining major operations and campaigns aimed to accomplish operational or strategic objectives in a given theater’. in all, a methodology worthy of the Prussian War Academy!

Having established the theoretical parameters of the book in Chapter 1, Vego devotes the following 13 chapters to analyzing operations in narrow seas throughout history. Here, Vego paints with a . . .

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