Towards a Balanced Fleet: Options for a 21st Century Navy
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
Pagination or Media Count:
This monograph studies the challenges facing the U.S. Navy in 2009. It presents two historical analyses that attempt to draw a parallel between todays strategic environment and past environments. The first historical analysis centers on the development of U.S. maritime strategy since 1970. After almost 40 years of maritime operations, the stability and coherence of its strategy remain remarkable. U.S. Navy missions over the past 40 years have focused on four mission areas sea control, power projection, naval presence, and strategic deterrence. The strategic concept of the Navys most recent maritime strategy departs somewhat from the past. A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower adds two additional missions maritime security and humanitarian assistancedisaster relief. This is a dramatic change, but it is a change that fits the current environment. The second historical analysis is a comparison of Britains Royal Navy of 1850-1900 with the U.S. Navy of 2009. The strategic environment that the Royal Navy faced during the last half of the 19th century mirrors that faced by todays U.S. Navy. The Royal Navy analysis illuminates the importance of the following themes policing the commons, remaining first in shipbuilding, and developing a balanced fleet. Through these historical analyses it is possible to identify potential courses of action for the U.S. Navy. The author recommends continued investment in theater ballistic missile defense for U.S. Navy ships to counter a growing area denial threat. A second recommendation is to reduce the number of aircraft carriers and redirect funds to increase the size of U.S. surface and submarine fleets. The current strategic environment demands smaller but more numerous forces to accomplish the six mission areas expressed in A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower.
- Humanities and History
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Naval Surface Warfare
- Undersea and Antisubmarine Warfare