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Alfred Theyer Mahan's Strategy of Forward Deployed Maritime Forces

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The above quote from General A. M. Gray in May 1990, could just as well have been made by the eighth Commandant of the Marine Corps, Colonel Charles G. McCawley, during conversations with Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan at the Naval War College in 1890. Mahan would certainly have agreed with both Commandants as evidenced by his statement, seapower is more than navies for it includes not only the military strength afloat . . . but also the peaceful commerce and shipping .... An analysis of the applicability of Mahans thoughts to the modern scene will support that they are just as relevant in todays age of advanced technology as when first written. This can best be reinforced by explaining Mahans concept of maritime power in contemporary terms. Maritime power is a comprehensive and complex system that contains two subsystems seapower and seaforce. Each of these subsystems has its own specialized attributes. The whole, in its operation, reflects a national maritime policy or strategy. This is the systematic maintenance and use of maritime power to support and advance national well being under conditions of international competition. Maritime power is generated by an economic activity that produces surpluses for exchange to be disposed of through seaborne trade. This process requires the necessary infrastructure of ship-building, ship repair, cargo handling, etc. for its operation. Without such machinery in place, domestic and foreign markets cannot be developed, cargoes cannot be found, ships cannot

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  • Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies

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