A New Twist to an Age Old Naval Tradition: The Maritime Strategy and its Impact on Humanitarian Assistance and Maritime Security Operations
MARINE CORPS COMMAND AND STAFF COLL QUANTICO VA
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In October of 2007, the U.S. Navy released its new Maritime Strategy. The Cooperative Strategy for the 21st Century Seapower. When the strategy was released, the United States faced complex and challenging situations around the globe. There was no longer a definitive enemy such as the Soviet Union but rather unconventional warfare against non-state actors. The Navy, drawing on the shift in the US. National Security Strategy 2006, drafted a document that called for it to develop six core competencies. The first four were enduring capabilities- forward presence, deterrence, sea control, and power projection and focused on the traditional, hard power aspects ofthe Navy. In an effort to enhance international cooperation and demonstrate Americas goodwill, the Navy introduced two new expanded capabilities - maritime security, as well as proactive humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. The Strategys ability to balance the enduring hard power capabilities with a new emphasis on the expanded soft power made it a unique document. While the Army and Marine Corps find themselves stretched fighting two ground wars in two theaters, the Navys reduced role in these conflicts has afforded them the opportunity to deploy units focused on building partnerships and administering aid. The Navy has begun executing this new Strategy and its subsequent expanded capabilities as a number of ships are underway as part ofthe Global Maritime Partnership initiatives, and proactive humanitarian deployments. The Maritime Strategy stated, preventing wars is as important as winning wars and by executing these two new aspects of the Strategy, the U.S. Navy has met the complex and irregular challenges that face the maritime environment of today.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics