The Wave of the Future...From the Sea
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV WASHINGTON DC INST FOR NATIONAL STRATEGIC STUDIES
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The Cold War is over, but in its wake we are left with an uncertain world. Although the risk of global war is greatly reduced, the United States and its allies still face threats. As we have just begun to realize, these new threats are often difficult to predict. In response to this challenge, our national security policy is shifting from deterrence of global conflict toward regional, littoral contingencies and conflicts, often in coalition with other nations. With no credible, global naval threat, todays strategic environment has a very different meaning for our maritime forces. The need for separate, independent naval operations at sea for indirect support of the land war has been greatly reduced, and as a result our maritime operational focus has now shifted to littoral warfare and direct support of ground operations. Operation Desert Storm reemphasized the need for the Armed Forces to operate effectively together and to acquire equipment which is compatible. Because joint operations involving all the services provide the greatest range of capabilities for the smallest investment, the Navy and Marine Corps launched an extensive, year-long study of future naval roles and capabilities, in terms of their relevance to the 21st century and a joint warfare environment. The results of that study are known as . . . From the Sea. The Navys new strategy represents a fundamental shift away from emphasis on open-ocean warfighting on the sea toward joint operations conducted from the sea. By exploiting naval access to littoral regions, military planners can realize the power projection strength of naval forces while complementary capabilities of other services punctuate their impact and effectiveness.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics