On Naval Power
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV WASHINGTON DC INST FOR NATIONAL STRATEGIC STUDIES
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All too often, the terms naval power and sea power are used interchangeably. But naval power, properly understood, refers to a direct and indirect source of military power at sea. Obviously, the main components of a naval power are the navy, coast guard, and marinesnaval infantry and their shore establishment. The term sea power coined in 1849 originally referred to a nation having a formidable naval strength. Today, this terms meaning is much broader it now describes the entirety of the use of the sea by a nation. Specifically, a sea or maritime power comprises political, diplomatic, economic, and military aspects of sea use. Naval power played an extremely important and often vital role in the lives of many maritime nations. This scenario is not going to change in the future despite claims to the contrary by some influential thinkers. The threat of major conflict at sea might look distant or even unlikely today. Yet it would be unwise to exclude the possibility altogether. Very often, the fact that naval power might play an important part in conventional deterrence- or, in the case of blue water navies such as the U.S. Navy, in nuclear deterrence-is either overlooked or ignored. Navies, and coast guards in particular, perform important and diverse tasks in peacetime and in operations short of war.
- Naval Surface Warfare