April 1, 2007  

Sea Power

As the Navy fine-tunes its new maritime strategy, scheduled for public release this summer, the temptation is to make Sea Power 21 its foundation. But Naval War College professor Milan Vego shows why Sea Power 21 is a tactical tome, not a strategic vision. He offers instead a guide for Navy strategic thinking that would lead to total sea control.

British maritime authority Martin Murphy says the Navy can no longer afford to sit out at sea; it must take the irregular fight to where the irregular enemy crouches, close to shore and along the maritime fingers that stretch into urban centers. To take on that specialized task, the Navy needs a special force. He proposes the creation of a “blue berets” unit.

Ned Lundquist counters that wading into brown and green waters may be de rigueur, but these are and should remain secondary roles. The Navy must not abdicate its traditional blue-water responsibilities. A superpower’s dominance, after all, hinges on being master and commander of the open seas.