Small Ships Revival: From Cold War Anti-Invasion and Guerrilla Warfare Tactics to Highly Capable Force Multiplier in Littoral and Expeditionary Warfare
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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Does the United States Navy have a capability gap with regards to establishing and maintaining sea control in a hostile, littoral environment Milan Vego argues that future warfare at sea will predominantly be fought in the littorals. Similar to urban warfare, the littoral environment allows flexible and sophisticated adversaries to apply multiple types of warfare and develop unexpected strategies tailored to the environment and the coastline. Future conflicts may therefore present the U.S. Navy with an adversary that is capable of exploiting the littoral environment to nullify the advantages normally enjoyed by the U.S. Navy. Concurrently, the U.S. Navy has been unchallenged at sea since World War II and one may argue that the U.S. Navy has in the last decades taken sea control for granted. Sea control is a prerequisite for power projection, and sea control in the littorals demand certain capabilities tailored to the littoral environment. The U.S. Navy lacks these capabilities including the necessary experience, and one may therefore argue that there is a gap in U.S. Navys ability to establish and maintain sea control in a hostile environment in the littorals. However, Allied nations have the experience to operate in the littorals and the mindset of a coastal state - comparable to future potential adversaries of the United States. In the littorals smaller ships may complement larger ships and thereby contribute to filling the capability gap and solving the challenges of the littoral environment.
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Naval Surface Warfare
- Unconventional Warfare