Accession Number:

ADA415650

Title:

In Search of an Operational Doctrine for Maritime Counterterrorism

Descriptive Note:

Research paper

Corporate Author:

NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2003-02-03

Pagination or Media Count:

15.0

Abstract:

The threat to commercial shipping posed by terrorist organizations is significant. Large commercial vessels are easy targets for determined terrorists and the value of these vessels and their cargoes make them attractive not only to regional terror groups but also to international organizations with aspirations of disrupting the economic lifelines of the industrialized world. The U.S. Navy has inherited the task of protecting global maritime access to markets and resources. Naval operational doctrine, however, has not kept pace with the threat. Despite a shift in emphasis from blue water operations to the littorals, naval doctrine for the protection of shipping remains focused on conventional air, surface, and subsurface threats. Moreover, the lessons of Operation Earnest Will, the Navys most recent experience with unconventional threats to shipping, seem to have been forgotten. Although the assets, training, and tactical doctrine necessary to conduct a counterterrorism operation in the maritime arena exist, there is no coherent and comprehensive operational doctrine to tie it all together. The U.S. Navy needs an operational doctrine for Maritime Counterterrorism. Some of what is necessary to create this doctrine is already codified in the Canon of Naval Coastal Warfare. The remainder will need to be created from scratch. Contemporary joint doctrine correctly places counterterrorism under the aegis of military operations other than war. Accordingly, the principles of MOOTW are relevant to Maritime Counterterrorism operations. Particularly when considered in relation to the strategies and characteristics of terrorism, the principles of objective, unity of effort, security, restraint, perseverance, and legitimacy serve as solid departure points in the crafting of this doctrine. This paper includes a case study of Operation Earnest Will, which was the Pentagons response to attacks on third country shipping in the Arabian Gulf during the Iran-Iraq War. 20 refs.7

Subject Categories:

  • Naval Surface Warfare
  • Unconventional Warfare

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE