American Naval Thinking in the Post-Cold War Era: The U.S. Navy and the Emergence of a Maritime Strategy, 1989-2007
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
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The study links a description and what is at times an unpleasant analysis of the evolution of U.S. naval strategy from 1989 to 2007, which marked the release of a maritime strategy called A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower, to an explanation of the forces that influenced its course. The study seeks to understand how the U.S. Navy arrived at its current strategic outlook and why it took nearly two decades for a maritime strategy to emerge in an era in which the relative saliency of such should have been more apparent. It argues that the Cold War s unexpected passing did little to alter the conceptual framework that governed U.S. strategy or the structure of American naval thinking, whose respective elements and their interactions pushed maritime-oriented ideas to the margins during the post-Cold War era as they had during the Cold War. It took an implausible series of events for a maritime strategy to emerge, which included the shock that the United States could lose its war in Iraq which called into question long-standing assumptions about U.S. strategy, threatened the Navy s relevance, and brought about a systemically oriented U.S. strategic approach and the appearance of two maritime-minded Navy leaders.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics