The Commanders Respond

By Rear Admiral Gary T. Blore, U.S. Coast Guard

The fact is that maritime security will only be as great as the cooperation between naval powers in the region. It is, therefore, imperative for the development of interoperability and the exchange of information and operational doctrines. In this sense, the best examples of the importance of planning and execution of multinational naval operations are UNITAS and PANAMAX, exercises that develop the capacity of a collective answer to threats and create better conditions for the effective performance of a multinational force.

A strategy, therefore, needs a multilateral dimension to be successful and must be guided by principles sanctioned by international law, with respect to sovereignty and self-determination, non-intervention, and equality among states. These must always be in conformity with the national laws and interests of the participants and directed at the goal of the stability and welfare of the region.

Maritime strategy should also be in synchronization with the wishes of society, valuing the great issues of the present time, such as the quest for the reduction of social differences, human life, and the environment. To be successful, it must avoid the elements that go against these values and intentions.

Finally, the navies and their respective maritime strategies may have a significant role in fostering trust and mutual respect among the states involved in cooperative, joint projects, which is difficult for any one country to execute. With this foundation, the concept of the 1,000-Ship Navy may flourish and multiply.
 

Rear Admiral Minko Kavaldzhiev
Commander-in-Chief, Bulgarian Navy

The new realities in the military-political world have proved that focusing on decision making with respect to local problems only gives rise to new centers of tension. Fighting terrorism necessitates that regional security and stability should be the key factors on a global scale. The increasing importance of the sea lines of communications and maritime domain for transportation of goods, people, and energy-carriers especially, as well as their vulnerability, has determined to a great extent the present tasks and involvement of the navies.

At the same time, the seas and oceans are equally accessible for terrorist activities, illegal transportation of weapons of mass destruction, piracy, and smuggling of goods and weapons. To safeguard the maritime interests of the free world and protect the right of unhindered and safe shipping is a responsibility of all nations and requires adequate, timely, and joint efforts to identify and counter potential threats. In the time we live, however, there is not a single nation's navy that is able to do that by itself.

I am therefore convinced that the building of a navy relying on cooperation with regional and strategic partners, along with interoperable assets of high readiness and mobility, is of vital importance. Drawing up and developing concepts for joint use of naval components by the NATO member countries and the European Union nations' navies, as well as other naval initiatives, are key to the efficient employment of naval forces in response to non-military crises, providing humanitarian assistance, and managing crises at their early stages. Along with the use of economic, information, and diplomatic tools, the presence of a modern navy consisting of coalition partners, deployed close to an area of crisis, will have a strong impact on the regional policy.

Globalization of the information environment allows establishment of both a powerful database and regional systems for surveillance and monitoring of shipping. This will enable integration of other governmental, nongovernmental, and international organizations on a regional and global scale, which will promote maritime security.

It goes without saying that the mere development of a strategy for employment of naval forces will not provide all the answers for accomplishing the task. Modern high-technology equipment must be handled by qualified personnel led by efficient leaders capable of assuming personal responsibility, motivating their teams, and fully aware of the significance of the work they do. The fact that, in most cases, the teams are multinational elicits the need for language and crosscultural training as a vital element for successful work.

I would like to express my appreciation of your interest in the viewpoints of the representatives of the various navies and hope that creation of the new document will prove the common willingness of the nations to cooperate in the field of maritime security, economic stability, and prosperity.
 

Vice-Admiral D. W. Robertson
Chief of the Maritime Staff, Canadian Navy

I certainly believe it is timely for navies to re-evaluate their maritime strategies in order to meet the challenges of the 21st century. When I last commented in Proceedings it was to discuss the concept of the 1,000-Ship Navy and its potential contribution to addressing the range of threats in the maritime domain. Since then, Canadian naval staff have contributed to and participated in various U.S. Navy-sponsored strategic planning discussions to refine that concept, now commonly referred to as the Global Maritime Partnership Initiative (GMPI). It is a sound concept that appears to align well with the collaborative approach to security that Canada has traditionally favored.

I see international collaboration in areas such as the conception and implementation of global maritime infrastructure as a means of providing additional opportunities for confidence-building and relationship enhancement amongst the many potential members of the GMPI construct. Our maritime security cooperation with U.S. authorities is being enhanced across all relevant government departments. Maritime Domain Awareness is a rapidly expanding enterprise in Canada and includes more than just our maritime forces; it also builds on the strengths and expertise of other government departments and agencies. Key to our continued improvement in this important area is the ability to manage and exchange data and information. In future strategies such as GMPI, information exchange remains a crucial component to facilitate interoperability. Of course, the ongoing technical advances in simultaneous data sharing provide benefits and challenges at the same time: more information can be generated but there are many challenges in how that data is shared. As such, under the GMPI construct, we would need a system of standards, much like that which exists in NATO. But how a system of standards for information sharing is implemented might limit partnership, both militarily and commercially. These are issues that need to be considered in the development of any new maritime strategy.

As we individually strive to address our respective national responsibilities and priorities, it is vitally important to remember that broad cooperation needs to be integrated in our future strategic development work. Something truly good will move forward and endure. Canadian author W. P. Kinsella put it most appropriately in The Field of Dreams : "build it and they will come." I welcome any efforts and opportunities to work together on this idea as we strive to ensure the enhanced security cooperation that would underwrite our future effort at sea.
 

Admiral Rodolfo Codina Diaz
Chief of Staff, Chilean Navy

The present Maritime Strategy with its associated Amphibious Warfare Strategy and the 600-Ship Navy document introduced in 1986 has prevailed for so long because it is solid and includes all the basic ingredients independent of the scenario in which it has to be applied. Basically, the concepts it covers are still valid in today's world, taking due account of the present and future foreseen adversaries.

From a partner navy's perspective, the following additional aspects are worth considering:
 

  • Rapid response structures. Today's scenario is characterized by uncertainty and change, hence new threats of an entirely unique sort arise beside the old ones that still persist. Consequently, a special focus should be made on rapid response structures that include a combination of a maritime domain-awareness network, rapid inter- and intra-theater maritime transportation, forces that are forward deployed, and other forces at home, in their respective countries. For this last case, those forces closest to the threat focus will be first to respond. Here is where the 1,000-Ship Navy concept comes into play, sharing the load of providing maritime security in common interest of the international community, both regionally and globally. This will also compensate for fewer ships in the U.S. Navy and alleviate their operational tempo, which conveys genuine commitment to common interests and true interoperability. Sharing all necessary information on a timely basis will be vital.
  • Foreign assets in U.S. Navy battle and expeditionary strike groups. Continue to deepen the concept of cooperation favoring more and better integration of foreign assets into these organizations to include not only combatants, but also foreign logistic, amphibious, and Marine units. This will, in the end, lead to legitimate cooperation and ensure interoperability.
  • Increase emphasis in the North-South axis. Although the U.S. tendency to view the world with an East-West orientation is understandable, it is time for the importance of the North-South axis to be recognized. This has been often discussed but rarely accomplished and will further support the 1,000-Ship Navy concept in those regions where there is great potential for mutual cooperation.
  • Peacetime operations. An important part of this strategy should be peacetime operations, to include disaster relief by using sea power to extend goodwill through aid and comfort to those in need.
  • Finally, with regard to those aspects that are considered worth avoiding: Emphasize the use of sea power as a messenger of peace, prosperity, and partnership, rather than making reference to it only as an instrument of war.
  • Although peace operations are very important, so are those at the warfighting end of the continuum. Therefore, friendly nations should not be seen only as policing forces, but also as partners in regular warfare.
  • Sea basing is a great idea that provides options, but it should be implemented taking due care of the effects it may generate in friendly nations. The management of this concept, as it is, can make the United States appear to tend toward isolation and as not needing help, which is in contradiction with the concept of cooperation.

Admiral Guillermo Barrera Hurtado
Commander, Colombian National Fleet

It is important for the international community to align efforts to prevent the oceans from being used for international criminal activities including terrorism; trafficking in narcotics, arms, munitions and explosives, and humans; proliferation of arms of mass destruction; illegal immigration; irrational exploitation of resources; piracy; actions that affect the marine environment; and restraint of free navigation. The navy of Colombia considers it important to consider these aspects and the following specifically in the new marine strategy of the United States:
 

  • Establish, within these objectives, a proposal for creating an international legal mechanism of cooperation, led by the UN, permitting navies and maritime services of different countries to work together to counteract the commission of international crimes.

This project will consider, among other things, the creation of a control system for worldwide marine traffic, which will allow the permanent monitoring of all global marine navigation with the object of counteracting international crime. This will also assure an excellent international system of search and rescue.

The execution of this project entails the creation of an operational mechanism, at tactical and technological levels, that will produce the conditions of interoperability necessary to permit an immediate response with fluid interaction to guarantee success.
 

  • Include within the U.S. maritime strategy mechanisms for technological cooperation among countries to advance science and technology projects to confront international threats such as terrorism and narcotics trafficking.
  • The existence of these threats also makes it necessary to contemplate the strategy of fortifying the capabilities of the U.S. Navy at sea, in coastal waters, and rivers. This implies a large-scale realignment in U.S. politics, the development of U.S. strengths, and doctrine. To accomplish this in the most efficient manner, the U.S. Navy should seek the advice of the smallest fleets, such as the navy of Colombia. Such fleets have had to confront these types of threats in the past, their knowledge base is significant, and they have much to teach in these matters.

Vice Admiral Hans V. Holmstr
Commander-In-Chief, Finnish Navy

In recent years, Finland has paid special attention to the direction in which the world's maritime countries have aimed their strategies and through those, their activities. A few development trends clearly stand out from the rest.

Because of intense globalization as well as economic and social networking, the world maritime connections and their safe and undisturbed use have become a very important strategic factor.

In Finland, as well as across the European Union, the dependency of all of Europe on the sea and on the undisturbed functioning of maritime conveyance is recognized. When estimating future development, it has also been found that the vast majority of threats aimed at Europe are connected with the sea and its use and control. Of the different threats, terrorism, smuggling, illegal entry, environmental disasters at sea, as well as threats aimed at the security of seafaring, have been brought forward more vigorously.

Based on the above, when considering the new tasks of navies formed through surveys conducted by different maritime countries, one can clearly see that lower level tasks than war, such as crisis prevention and management, have risen to a level even with the traditional tasks of warfare. These tasks also include the securing of maritime connections, which has clearly become more important in the last few years.

Lately, in many crisis management operations, some of which are still ongoing, the surveillance and control of maritime traffic in the area of operation has been of crucial importance to the success of the entire operation. At the same time it has been of vital importance to secure the undisturbed passage of so-called friendly maritime traffic.

Therefore, in the international operational environment, one sees that there is an increasing need for more varied and demanding crisis management activity at a level below war. Crisis management requires greater flexibility and a more rapid capability to react from both the troops and equipment to be used. There must be continuous adaptability to a changing security situation. This has meant that many traditional European maritime countries, including Finland, have had to adopt new modes of operation. In the development of naval forces, this has meant making use of new technology and emphasizing the versatility of vessels. A modern fighting ship is now required to have ever greater capabilities to respond to many different kinds of asymmetric threats in three and even four spatial dimensions.

Below are the operational models that we in Finland, as a maritime nation that is very dependent on the functioning of maritime traffic, have developed and continue to develop both as a nation and as a member of the EU and partner of NATO.

For years we have constructed our system based on the fact that securing our maritime connections and protecting maritime traffic requires the close and continuous cooperation of authorities, ports, shipping companies, and businesses. For this cooperation to be possible, the Finnish maritime authorities, including the navy, border guard, and maritime administration, have built a system for maintaining a recognized maritime picture that is exceptional even in world proportions.

In Finland all maritime authorities share the same maritime picture, into which target and situation data is jointly gathered from the sensors and active units of the various authorities. As a maritime actor, the Finnish Navy has been very active in developing the arrangements needed for maintaining the recognized maritime picture. The Navy is also currently responsible for the maintenance and further development of these arrangements. Partly as a result of these efforts, Finland is internationally recognized for expertise in the field of executive assistance and related technology.

Finland is a partner in Multinational Experiment 5, under U.S. Joint Forces Command, by surveying the need for information among crisis management participants and developing the information technology services that support them. As the chair country, Finland leads the Maritime Surveillance project within the European Union, the aim of which is to develop a system for a joint recognized maritime picture among the countries of the European Union by 2010.

I have the following thoughts on the second question regarding things that the United States should avoid in its new strategy:

It is important to seek and find the strengths and special know-how of each country and its navy. These strengths should be put to good use and further developed with a view to international interoperability. It is always good to remember that any given sphere and area of operation is best known by the people and peoples who live there.

National characteristics and abilities have come about as a result of the special characteristics of, among other things, the different cultures and seas in the area. This results in the capability able to respond most effectively to demands in the area in question.

These are the principles according to which we Finns have acted in our own maritime areas and according to which we have taken part in different crisis management operations. We are ready to share our thoughts and discuss these issues with all maritime countries that are willing.
 

Admiral Alain Oudot de Dainville
Chief, French Navy

Globalization induces huge geo-strategic changes and influences every aspect of human activity. Some of those changes represent a chance to improve our way of life; some lead us to more exposure and vulnerability.

We will have to cope with new threats and risks: climate changes, accelerated technological developments, asymmetrical threats and terrorism, energy and water resources issues, cultural tensions, and, obviously, nuclear proliferation. They will all threaten global and regional prosperity and stability.

Sharing the analysis of this changing environment, the French Navy supports Admiral Mullen's vision of the necessity for a rethinking of the tenets of naval strategy, to respond to these emerging security issues and to identify the new spectrum of roles and missions of naval forces. The global connection and interdependency of national economies will reinforce the maritime dimension and, obviously, the naval dimension. We know that our navies, because of their flexibility, mobility, and reactivity, will have a key role to play in enhancing security and stability.

We also know, however, that translating this into concepts and capabilities is not easy. It encompasses at least finding new articulations between homeland security and international/foreign security, between civil and military authorities, actions and missions, between private and public implications, as well as between various levels of international partnerships-regional and global-and interagency cooperation.

As a long-time established national navy, we have gathered experience and have been successful in maintaining a balance between our naval component and the other French armed forces. Our forces are ready, on the one hand, to face traditional, high- and low-intensity conflicts. On the other hand, they are capable of countering threats to maritime security such as terrorism, weapons of mass destruction proliferation, piracy, drug trafficking, illegal immigrants and fisheries, weapons smuggling, and damage to the environment.

I must emphasize the call for international cooperation. We know that no nation can cope alone with these challenges nowadays. There cannot be a single authority granted with a comprehensive power of policing the seas, both in terms of legitimacy and budget. As Admiral Mullen stated, the issue is no longer sea control or supremacy, but to maintain the safety and the freedom of the seas for the common wealth of the world. Thus, the Marine Nationale is developing a strategic approach based on bilateral and sub-regional cooperation, able to express local and national behaviors in a common view of our shared interests. This strategy is in keeping with developing international cooperation, which requires more extensive interoperability, communication, and information exchanges in order to achieve a global maritime network.

We are thus extending the current concept of "from the sea" to the wider concept of "naval contribution to global security."
 

Vice Admiral Wolfgang E. Nolting
Chief, German Navy Staff

One of the main characteristics of the present security situation is its volatility. While this furthers progress in technology and offers opportunities, it also confronts the increasingly networked global system with new threats and challenges. The number of players has risen considerably, with both new adversaries and new partners in various international organizations. While naval forces must continue to be prepared for traditional warfare, new tasks to provide for international peace, stability, and security in the maritime domain will increasingly challenge our forces.

In the future, navies will have to be prepared for both dealing with disorder and providing maritime power projection in a joint and combined environment. Good order at sea is a prerequisite for free trade, prosperity, and security. Control of the sea provides access to unstable regions and allows for early crisis response and conflict management. Many navies of the world are actively engaged in those tasks. They participate in operations for NATO, UN, the European Union, or for the Global War on Terrorism under U.S. command. Jointness and inter-agency cooperation have, thus, become an integral part in military planning.

Navies have proven to be well prepared for mutual cooperation under different command arrangements. They are using a common language and common procedures mainly developed over decades in the NATO alliance. With respect to the future, NATO has also proven its ability to shape the transformation of armed forces in general, with the NATO Response Force as the test bed for the transformation process. With NATO's outreach activities such as the Partnership for Peace Program, it is no longer a members-only club, but open to all nations willing to participate in security activities in any region.

Permanent transformation requires additional coordination, including joint inter-service consultation on the national side. Agreed alliance positions will be of high influence in this process. The U.S. Navy's involvement in alliance activities and development, based on its strong position in Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, can help to bring more attention to naval aspects of security.

So, when being asked to specify what we expect most from a new U.S. maritime strategy, it is not so much specific strategic aspects, but rather an active involvement in the alliance, since the lessons learned and shared provide a sound basis for naval and military cooperation in any coalition and organization. While it might take some time to reach agreement on a way ahead in such an alliance, it allows for close cooperation at short notice whenever required. It is, therefore, vastly superior to any ad hoc arrangement where it might be necessary to reinvent the wheel.
 

Vice Admiral Dimitrios G. Goussis
Chief, Hellenic Navy General Staff

This year's questions support well what we view as a principle for any maritime strategy, namely a clear recognition that strategy should be developed as an ongoing dialogue. We are honored to participate in that dialogue. Our brief comments recognize the fact that in the voyage of U.S. maritime strategy, the ship and her crew will not sail alone.
 

  • The crew. When sailing through the uncharted waters of strategy, the ability to understand the environment and respond effectively is emphasized. Area expertise, cultural sensitivity-but not value blindness-historical knowledge, and a structure that allows people to communicate ideas that also promotes action are deemed prerequisites.
  • Charts and navigational aids. A continuous appraisal of the selected strategic course is deemed mandatory, because of the inherent instability and transitory character of the geopolitical horizon. Paradoxically, to support this appraisal, one has to rely more on unvarying principles than on temporary utilitarian calculations. Moreover, the global nature of U.S. involvement requires a difficult correlation between U.S. charts and local charts produced elsewhere.
  • Sailing in company. Cooperation not only recognizes the need to share the burden, it is also framed on a candid acceptance of the need to satisfy partners' security concerns. To have a thousand ships, one has to ensure that ship owners see an undeniable positive value for their stakeholders when participating in the formation, one that while not dependent on the slowest vessel does not leave her behind. Formation rules are also required to be based on a clear and unwavering adherence to international law, the only set of rules of the road being a common heritage to most and an aspiration for all formation participants. Also, involvement with the commercial shipping sector will only benefit the overall effort.

Ithaca may be a chimera for all you know. It is the voyage that makes the sailor. Strategy will be judged not only by the attainment of a desired end state, but more important, by the way one makes the voyage. Humility and respect for the odd phenomena to be encountered at sea are time-honored traditions for sailors. The U.S. Navy's ethos and praxis unavoidably belong in the forefront of any efforts to disseminate a U.S. global strategic vision.

A final note of caution: The commons cannot be commanded. Beware of sirens that promise this contradiction in terms.
 

Admiral Paolo La Rosa
Chief, Italian Navy General Staff

My vision for the employment of maritime forces in today's scenarios revolves around two strategic concepts: integrated maritime surveillance and projection of capabilities at sea and from the sea. Their combined implementation not only increases security in the maritime environment, but also allows maritime forces to best express their inherent expeditionary and constabulary roles, through the improvement of intrinsic capabilities such as mobility, flexibility, versatility, and logistic sustainability. Combined with the catalyst effect of cooperation and dialogue, these elements are crucial for success in modern operations, which are mainly focused on peace support and crisis response. This is especially true if further enhanced by the dual role of certain military capabilities in sustaining missions of a civilian nature, such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

These concepts well suit navies with large budgets, extensive resources, and wide reach, provided they are properly transposed at the global level. If they are, they will effectively support the defense and foreign policy of countries with global interests and wide international visibility, such as the United States.

This transposition process requires the U.S. Navy to assure an effective role wherever necessary around the world, properly capitalizing on existing regional and local initiatives, possibly creating links among them, and fostering coordination with pertinent international organizations, alliances, and coalitions. This action is consistent with the 1,000-Ship Navy concept and with the development of global fleet stations.

All this is even more important in a world where more than 90 percent of trade travels by sea and maritime security is poised to become the most critical element for worldwide stability. An interagency approach to maritime security-not just at national but also at the international level-is essential to properly support the best use of maritime forces and their contribution to military operations and civilian initiatives.

In the current geo-political situation, to adequately include these concepts in the United States' strategy, the Navy's transformation process should combine the requirements of keeping costs down and achieving timely results. Shared, efficient interoperability thus becomes the key element allowing for both achieving global support and providing concreteness to its strategy.

National military organizations should avoid the adoption of transformation methods that require unacceptable interruptions of their core and supporting activities. Besides the timely achievement of its results, the chosen method should also limit costs to be compatible with budget constraints, which inevitably affect the public sector. We should avoid adopting radical methods such as transforming change of management processes.

In our specific case, methods such as the developmental change process, which encompasses too narrow a scope with respect to the reach of the strategy to be implemented, should also be avoided. Indeed, a transitional transformation of U.S. maritime forces might obtain the necessary consensus and effectiveness while also achieving the required level of information exchange with other key international players.

The risk of adopting either an exclusive or excessive focus on asymmetric threats in the implementation phase of the selected change strategy should, similarly, be avoided. Traditional maritime warfare areas will thus be given sufficient attention and allocated adequate resources. Indeed, conventional threats have not disappeared. Traditional naval skills should not be lost given the long lead times necessary to recover them, in terms of crew training, operational skills, asset availability, and mission readiness.
 

Admiral Eiji Yoshikawa
Chief of Staff, Japan Maritime Self Defense Force

The United States is taking significant steps to establish and preserve security and stability throughout the world. To that end, a U.S. maritime strategy must adopt a more global and pluralistic viewpoint to ensure the greatest likelihood of success in this challenging endeavor.

From a global perspective, a maritime network based on the premise of the 1,000-Ship Navy is essential when confronting transnational, seafaring threats such as harbor terrorism and the proliferation of WMD. Moreover, the 1,000-Ship Navy is key to the establishment of maritime security the world over, and is the foundation upon which efforts such as the Global War on Terrorism and the Proliferation Security Initiative rest. By creating a fully capable, maintenance ready, forward deployable, interdependent maritime response to world events, even in the most remote areas of the world, security will be significantly improved.

As a prominent world leader, the United States might be inclined to develop a strictly global-minded maritime strategy. Given the various challenges each world region presents, however, a regionally focused strategy is not without merit. For example, in the Asia-Pacific region, there are lingering international Cold War disputes that have yet to be resolved. Furthermore, as more and more threats from disease, natural disasters, terrorism, and piracy emerge, uncertainty and mistrust have taken hold, and bitter regional disputes have surfaced. Given the complexities and challenges unique to each of the world's regions, maritime strategy based partly in regional response readiness makes sense, particularly in areas where humanitarian assistance and disaster relief are required.

Finally, consider the United States and its maritime strategy from a bilateral viewpoint. Throughout the world, establishment of strictly bilateral agreements between the United States and its partners have proven quite successful, particularly at the regional level. Specifically, consider the U.S.-Japan alliance within the Asia-Pacific region. Over time, this alliance has become the cornerstone of the entire region's security framework. At the heart of it lies the strong relationship between the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) and the U.S. Navy. Continued interoperability and cooperation between the two navies will serve to sustain the overall alliance that is essential to continued security throughout the region. This is an important challenge for the JMSDF, now and in the years ahead.

The maritime challenges facing the United States are rapidly changing and evolving. Perhaps it is time for the United States to call upon and truly require its friends and allies to lend a hand. Perhaps this is a time for delegation and shared responsibility among partners. No one nation should have to bear the burden of global security alone. Japan and other partners are ready to share this burden with their longtime friend, the United States.
 

Admiral Song Young Moo
Chief of Naval Operations, Republic of Korea Navy

The Republic of Korea (ROK) is situated in the most important area of northeast Asia. Geographically, the Korean Peninsula is a natural area for conflict between maritime and continental powers. Historically, it has been the theater of wars where the military powers of China, Russia, Japan, and the United States confronted each other. Today, the impressive development of its economy and the exportation of goods and services in the fields of information technology and heavy industries enable Korea to draw attention as a pillar of northeast Asia's commercial traffic and trade circulation and the focus of a new economic bloc.

The reality, however, is that the peninsula's security situation is becoming unstable because of the uncertainties generated by the People's Democratic Republic of Korea (DPRK) development of nuclear weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles.

The ROK Navy is facing up to these security challenges by promoting its Reform 2020 to build a naval force to achieve specific objectives. These are to contribute to world peace, maintain balance among the countries in the region, and forge a sound democracy on the peninsula by letting it permeate the DPRK's closed dictatorship without a clash of arms, which would be beneficial to all neighboring countries.

The concept of strategies such as the 1,000-Ship Navy and the World Fleet Command, which the U.S. Navy is promoting to prepare for supranational threats such as terrorism, WMD, piracy, and natural disaster, is not only equivalent to our Reform 2020, but also is the required strategy concept today to maintain peace in northeast Asia including the Korean Peninsula.

The countries around the peninsula, however, may disagree with this change because of their interests. It is, therefore, the task of the ROK Navy to determine what kind of relationship we need to maintain with those in disagreement. To best solve this, it is necessary to admit the mutual raison d'état , maintain a peaceful system, and respect international order.

Such regional characteristics should be reflected in the new U.S. maritime strategy. The United States needs to promote activities including peacetime exercises and mutual personal exchanges to cope with emerging threats such as terrorism, WMD, piracy, and natural disaster, especially in Asia, including the Korean Peninsula and southeast Asia.

Moreover, the concept of littoral warfare, which rapidly responds to the element that threatens shoreline countries, should be included in the U.S. 21st-century maritime strategy. Further, to prevent conflict and quickly manage crises, its focus should be on the deployment of forces in frontline waters and on effect-based operations that enable a rapid and effective response. For this to happen, a system that can improve interoperability with allied countries should be a priority.

Through the application of advanced civilian information technology, the ROK Navy is promoting a reform to establish systems that enable information exchange and sharing as well as maintenance and logistic support. This will serve as a great opportunity to enhance the interoperability with the U.S. Navy.

Another threat of the 21st century is natural disasters. Just as the USS Mercy (T-AH-19) provided relief and medical support in Southeast Asia in 2006, the ROK Navy contributed to maritime security by successfully carrying out a humanitarian mission with the dispatch of an amphibious ship to Indonesia in 2004. It is expected that the navies of both the ROK and United States will join in the effort to contribute to world peace by actively participating in similar large-scale natural disaster relief missions.
 

Brigadier General Boutros Abi Nasr
Commander, Lebanese Navy

In an increasingly economic interdependence of businesses and governments largely made possible by maritime shipping, the Law of the Sea Convention has limited the areas of the high seas and brought much of the oceans under varying levels of state control. Consequently, especially in a complex and less predictable world, there is a need for a coordinated international maritime approach.

From this perspective, U.S. maritime security policies guided by the tripod of vision, presence, and power will affect other nations. The United States acting alone cannot succeed in securing the maritime domain. Accordingly, a powerful coalition of nations is needed to maintain a strong, united, international front of coordination and cooperation, intelligence and information sharing. Therefore, we propose that the U.S. Maritime Strategy include the following elements:
 

  • Enhance international cooperation by implementing standardized international security practices to ensure goods and people entering a country do not pose a threat.
  • Detect, deter, interdict, and defeat transnational criminal and piracy threats in the maritime domain, and prevent its unlawful exploitation for purposes such as terrorist attacks, criminal activities, and WMD proliferation.
  • Safeguard the maritime domain and its resources from environmental destruction.
  • Counter and combat illegal seaborne immigration.

To enhance the maritime security capabilities of other nations, the United States is invited to work closely with other governments and international and regional organizations. Specifically:
 

  • Coordinate and prioritize international maritime security assistance by allocating economic assistance to developing nations.
  • Maximize domain awareness by expanding international arrangements that promote enhanced visibility of the maritime supply chain.
  • Use U.S. position-of-trust to prevent development of power vacuums and dangerous arms races, thereby underwriting stability by precluding threats to regional security.
  • Build a future vision on a basis of "Partnership of Peace" in regional theaters to win hearts and minds.
  • Improve the defense capabilities of U.S. friends and allies. Demonstrate the U.S. commitment to defend common interests and encourage responsibility sharing.
  • Increase U.S. naval presence, posture, and operations with other navies to help alleviate the interoperability problem as more sophisticated U.S. equipment is developed.

The United States Maritime Strategy has to offer a good plan for carrying out international interests and objectives against transnational threats, for containment, and resolution. It will be weakened by failure to enhance international cooperation; therefore it should avoid solipsism and unilateral action in the international arena to gain credibility.
 

Vice Admiral Jan-Willem Kelder
Commander, Royal Netherlands Navy

Our thought process has been shaped by three premises: We consider it in our direct (national) interest that the U.S. Navy remain ready, capable, and relevant. Second, most navies in the western world are under severe political and financial pressure, which has resulted in smaller navies with fewer personnel. The U.S. Navy runs the same risk of dramatic cuts, which makes the issue of resourcing and empowering the Global Maritime Network an urgent matter. Third, we should aim for interlocking, complementary strategies that recognize the changes in the maritime domain and take into account the political and military reality in both Europe and the United States.

Since the end of the Cold War, a new maritime reality has gradually come into existence. From the multitude of changes, the following five mega trends are critical to our understanding of that new reality.
 

  • The maritime domain has become a heavily fragmented arena made up of a great variety of operational, administrative and legal regimes, jurisdictions, and arrangements. A great variety of agents are active in the domain: governmental and semi-governmental, national and regional, military, and non-military.
  • Mankind is going offshore, but our ability to protect our growing interests in the maritime domain has not developed in step, hence we witness the development of a maritime security gap.
  • Western navies are under political and financial pressure, which results in smaller navies. This development becomes painfully clear when compared with the rapid expansion of navies in the East such as those of India and China. The good news is that the Western European inclination to cooperate and willingness to pool resources has never been greater.
  • Navies formerly held a monopoly in the maritime domain; they virtually owned it. This has changed decisively. A multitude of agencies and commercial interests are developing a maritime dimension, and as a result the navies' market share is diminishing rapidly.
  • The dominant legal paradigm has always been freedom of the seas. There is growing evidence that it is being replaced by the security of the seas paradigm. Mankind cannot afford to let the high seas become safe havens for terrorists and polluters. Hence, the issue of maritime governance has shot up on the political agenda.

These mega trends point to a crucial challenge within the maritime domain: to identify mechanisms that will make coherent and effective multi-agency and multinational governmental action possible. Cooperation is therefore the key concept of the new maritime reality. There is no alternative: either Western European navies step up their cooperation and integration or they risk being marginalized. This need should be mainstreamed in our thoughts, actions, and strategies.

As a label for this general willingness to cooperate, we suggest the term "maritime consensus." The acknowledgement and assertion of this idea is the first step to make the Global Maritime Network work. This network is based on two interlocking and complementary strategies: resourcing and empowering.

We believe in the Global Maritime Network concept and perceive it as having many facets. Sometimes it is a set of rather loosely integrated capabilities, at others, a tightly knit and solid maritime coalition.

Western European navies have in common that they are shrinking and are allocated increasingly tight budgets. They nevertheless strive to remain first-rate navies with first-rate operational capabilities. The Netherlands Navy will no longer be a force with the full range of organic war-fighting capabilities. But we can offer a limited number of high-quality operational capabilities. We are very good at mine countermeasures, maritime interception operations, boarding operations, and training other navies, among others. We cannot do everything, so we must concentrate. Our aim is to spend our money wisely and invest in front-line capabilities.

On the strategic plane, the U.S. Navy is the global reach of the United States and its power-projection capability wherever and whenever required. This role is conducted mainly by carrier strike groups and SSBNs. The service's role at the operational level encompasses classic maritime tasks. Its third role, at the tactical level, is where we observe an increased need for maritime special forces, which can be employed worldwide to conduct operations with a strategic effect.

Resourcing the Global Maritime Network is important, but it is not enough. The network needs to be empowered-facilitating cooperation or systems integration.

Financial pressures and political imperative may push the U.S. Navy toward the strategic and the tactical level, thus leaving a void in the operational middle. That development need not necessarily be detrimental. It is complementary to what is happening in Europe. European navies, with the exception of France and the UK, do not have the extensive power projection capabilities, or the global reach to employ special forces on a large scale. They tend to pitch their capabilities precisely on this operational middle.

The Global Maritime Network is operative at the operational level. It can be supported by small and medium-sized navies pooling their assets. But the network needs to be empowered by a party that is large and strong enough to provide the necessary interfaces to make the cooperation effective and coherent.

"We need to hang together or we will surely hang separately" is a well-known phrase in EU circles. The dominant trend for Western European navies is to concentrate their capabilities on the operational level. Given their tight budgets they need to find meaningful ways of pooling resources. If the U.S. Navy can deliver the element of smart integration, it will be an indispensable party within the maritime domain: ready, capable, and relevant.
 

Rear Admiral David I. Ledson
Chief of Navy, Royal New Zealand Navy

This year's question is one that I choose not to answer specifically. Quite frankly, I have no wish to presume the U.S. Navy's willingness to read the gratuitous advice of a Chief of Navy from the small navy-albeit a professional, versatile and capable one-of a relatively small country in the South Pacific. I think, however, that in a generic context the question is a relevant and interesting one to reflect on. So I offer my thoughts and submit them, in much the same way a stone is thrown into a pond, to let their metaphorical ripples extend to where they will. If none touch against the shore, then so be it.

Everything I've read about strategy gets straight into complex definitions. The best I have was provided to me at the U.S. Naval War College, and it's along the lines that strategy links means with ends and takes into account the level of risk attached to any mismatch between these two elements.

If we take the means bit, then we have to decide whether our strategy will inform how we use the existing force structure-or whether it will influence the acquisition of future force structure and maritime capability and its employment-or will it be sufficiently enduring that it can be used concurrently for the two purposes.

I think the ends of any maritime strategy are very straightforward at the strategic level, and we need to keep the concepts and language as simple and unambiguous as we can. The strategy must aim to contribute to the prosperity and security of all the citizens of the country-in my case, all New Zealanders.

There are some useful concepts in this basic idea. The first is that navies through their maritime strategy make a contribution to the end state; they cannot achieve it by themselves. The second is that they can, through what they do, add to a nation's prosperity. In other words, the view that navies have a net cost to the country is turned on its head; net, we provide a financial benefit to the country and its citizens. And third, it's about security, which is a much broader concept than that encapsulated in bumper stickers such as "Fighting and Winning the Nation's Wars," and one which brings into play the multi-agency teams.

In simple terms, navies have two general roles. The first is associated with what is often identified as homeland security. I view it as the exercise and assertion of sovereignty, which for many countries extends from the land out into the sea for a considerable distance and over an extensive area. The second is the promotion and protection of national interests. This is achieved by navies deploying overseas on what some call defense diplomacy and others, strategic shaping operations.

The focus of some navies on warfighting is something that, while it may serve elements of our navy well, limits a broader-based understanding of the value we add to the nation. Fundamentally, it does not effectively give an appropriate profile to conflict prevention, which is associated with the defense diplomacy task. The work that navies do in preventing conflicts is as honorable, important, and a more frequent occurrence than going off fighting wars-and it is indisputably cheaper.

Related to this, navies would be better off developing strategies within the context of "The Spectrum of Operations" rather than "The Spectrum of Conflict." Ships at sea do only two things, sometimes concurrently-exercises and operations.

Finally, much of strategy is developed in terms of platforms. There is, today, an increased need to encompass the human dimension. The history of navies has never been really only about ships, it just gets told that way. Fundamentally, it has always been a story about Sailors.
 

Rear Admiral Jan Finseth
Chief of Staff, Royal Norwegian Navy

Over the past several years, the Norwegian Navy has been transforming from a typical anti-invasion navy to a modern complementary navy with limited expeditionary capabilities. The main part of the transformation will be completed in 2010, and our new navy will then be tailored for littoral and coastal maritime operations, meeting our national as well as NATO demands for a rapid maritime response force. Even though our aim is to be expeditionary, we will never come close to the United States in such respect; our aim is to enable full integration in any maritime NATO operation, U.S. led or not, requiring our niche capabilities.

There are three salient points:
 

  • Interoperability is a success factor. As a small navy it's paramount that whatever we can offer to NATO and the United States, it should be a fully interoperable capability, which is seen as relevant. In order to integrate, the tools and systems must be compatible and, as such, it is foreseen that the United States will drive NATO and other nations into using new technologies now and in the future.

In this process, I would like to underline the need for common standards, and I thus encourage the U.S. strategy for the 21st century to emphasize the need for interoperability among all maritime forces in the operations area.
 

  • Norway can contribute tailored, sustainable niche capabilities. The main one, as I see it, is to be an enabler for maritime or joint operations requiring access to any coast or shore, either to control the area or to enable other forces a safe access. Currently, we enjoy excellent cooperation with other NATO nations and are in the process of formalizing future cooperation.

I believe, however, it is essential for small nations such as Norway to build on what we can do and demonstrate to other nations and NATO that we have something to offer that is needed and sustainable.

Small vessels and specialist forces designed for extreme coastal conditions are what we can offer as part of our new national-tailored task group. In my view, the U.S. strategy of the 21st Century should focus and encourage smaller nations to commit tailored forces as gap fillers.
 

  • Acceptance and trust among nations is paramount. To be trustworthy, we need to ensure common training grounds and exercises, and our forces need to meet regularly to build the acceptance and trust needed. Norway still allows for national and NATO training and exercises. National commitments to real-life operations will always be directed by the political leadership, but any future strategy being devised by the United States or other nations should take on the challenge of integrating much-needed capabilities from other nations. Only then can we ensure that these capabilities are being identified and developed among all navies.

Admiral Muhammad Afzal Tahir
Chief of Naval Staff, Pakistan

Rear Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan, in 1890, identified that naval power plays a vital role for the projection of national power across seas. In light of his thesis, the United States adopted a strategy, relevant to the time and environment, which led to the emergence of that nation as a super power by the end of World War II. During the Cold War, the U.S. maritime strategy was based on deterrence, forward defense, and alliance solidarity with the strategy centered on the Soviet Union.

Because the U.S. orientation was heavily focused on Europe and Japan, the remaining world was viewed with less importance, and the United States resorted to crisis management only in those areas. Two cases in point are Cuba in 1956 and Afghanistan in 1979. After the Cold War, the United States continued with the same strategy with no modifications, despite the emerging threats evidenced by incidents such as the attack on the USS Cole (DDG-67), 12 October 2000. The events of 9/11 jolted U.S. strategists to find a solution to the existing environment.

We live in an era of interdependence, and it is impossible for a single country to ensure its security all by itself. Today's strategy, therefore, should be commensurate with the present environment. The international community needs to work together to ensure freedom of the seas for all, while guarding and preserving it against the threats by non-state actors, miscreants, and countries with regional hegemonic designs.

Terrorism is the prime threat in the prevailing environment. Terrorists enjoy two advantages, their asymmetric means and the time of their choosing. Piracy, drugs, and trafficking of humans and small arms are also serious threats that need to be addressed in the new strategy, as they complement terrorism. The terrorism threat requires tremendous resources for monitoring and policing of sea lines of communication around the world. This requires the formation of a coalition involving local navies to share intelligence and resources.

Another threat to the United States is from countries aspiring to be regional powers. Although this notion is a threat to world peace and stability, it is also viewed with concern by the smaller states, which do not want to be marginalized. Therefore, U.S. strategy should be focused on maintaining the balance of power in various regions.

The future U.S. maritime strategy needs to ensure freedom of the seas for all nations and develop cooperation and alliances so that regional balances of power are not disturbed. This will ensure greater involvement of the international community, which in turn will help in combating global terrorism.
 

Admiral Eduardo Darcourt Adrianzen,
Commanding Officer of the Peruvian Navy

The Peruvian Navy, in adherence with its government's policy, shares the vision of a need for cooperative maritime security. In such an environment, effective naval action guarantees the freedom of maritime trade and the development of each country's productive activities. By extension, it also guarantees securities of regional and global interest.

Peru, because of its characteristics as a traditionally maritime country and its geo-strategic position in the Pacific basin, recognizes the threats and challenges presented to the maritime activities. Acting in accordance within its jurisdiction, as well as outside it through cooperation with many international agencies, Peru is active in preventing use of the sea for illegal activity and in promoting its appropriate use for the common welfare.

Cooperative work on a global scale should be included in the general strategy, as should development of a legal framework in accordance with international law and the policies of participating states. The strategy should involve non-military actors such as port authorities and business communities. It also must face the challenges of interoperability based on information and intelligence exchange, operational conveyance combining different capabilities in technology, as well as doctrine.

We consider that compromise and cooperation in increasing global maritime security, resulting in a combination of effort, will generate synergetic effects and surpass the efforts of any individual navy.

In the March 2006 edition of Proceedings , Admiral Jorge Ampuero Trabucco, the Peruvian Navy commanding general at that time, highlighted the importance of not intervening in other countries' internal affairs. We believe that this reservation is coincidental with Admiral Mike Mullen's pronouncement that his vision of the 1,000-Ship Navy should be about "good neighbors interested in using the power of the sea to unite, rather than to divide. The barriers for entry are low. Respect for sovereignty is high."
 

Fleet Admiral Roman Krzyzelewski
Commander-in-Chief, Polish Navy

From the Polish Navy point of view-and in accordance with important aspects of the Polish national interests-the new U.S. Navy maritime strategy should be aimed at:
 

  • Successful neutralization of newly emerged global threats, in particular the networked terrorist threat.
  • Effective force projection from the sea onto the land, which may be the logical reaction to the observed threatening rogue states' activities. The U.S. Navy's developing technological potential creates quite new and revolutionary capabilities in this area of interest.
  • Maintaining the dominant deterrence role in the world and the capability to win major combat operations. Having blue-water capability is fundamental for the new strategy, as it was for the successful previous one.

Worthy of mention is the 1,000-Ship Navy approach. In my opinion, the self-organizing philosophy as the basic concept for this should be avoided. Tentatively, I would prefer:
 

  • Leading role of the U.S. Navy in developing the 1,000-Ship Navy global structure.
  • Inclusion of the existing regional maritime security initiatives.
  • Making good use of the NATO Conference of National Armaments Directors' well-advanced Maritime Domain Awareness initiative and NATO's established procedures and standardization experience. Direct NATO involvement in the 1,000-Ship Navy creation might be an interesting option.
  • Winning favor with the United Nations for the great idea of the 1,000-Ship Navy as a means guaranteeing a safer world. It is worth mentioning that the civilian Automatic Identification System and Vessel Traffic Service maritime security systems originated with the UN's International Maritime Organization. There is no doubt that direct UN involvement and blessing of the concept could be of paramount importance for some states that are ready to contribute, but trying to avoid such open demonstration of sympathy with the United States or NATO.

It would be a great disadvantage for the new strategy if the Sea Power 21 concept were abandoned. The focus should be rearranged, with Sea Power 21 's main operational activities included in the new strategic effort. The network centric warfare and dispersive character of the navy should be emphasized in larger scale, and modified appropriately for embracing new 1,000-Ship Navy capabilities. At the same time, efficiency of the combat force must be maintained.
 

Admiral Melo Gomes
Chief of Staff, Portuguese Navy

The U.S. strategy is crafted at the global level, as required by its status and responsibilities. The strategy of a small navy is quite different. We strive to be proactive and involved as much as possible, so that our contribution to world security may be as relevant as our size permits. We have historical responsibilities toward allies and friends and try to honor those through candid cooperation and frank exchange.

Our relationship with the U.S. Navy is within this framework. It is one of mutual support in those niche areas where we may have more in-depth knowledge, stemming from historical and cultural ties. These put us in a privileged positio

 

Rear Admiral Blore assumed the helm as Program Executive Officer of the Coast Guard's Integrated Deepwater System in April 2006.

More by this Author

None found for this author.

Events and Conferences

None found for this author.


 
 

Conferences and Events

2014 U.S. Naval Institute Annual Meeting

Wed, 2014-04-16

U.S. Naval Institute members and supporters are cordially invited to attend the 2014 U.S. Naval Institute Annual Meeting...

View All

From the Press

Guest Lecturer

Sat, 2014-04-19

Guest Lecturer

Sat, 2014-04-19

Captain Bernard Cole

Why Become a Member of the U.S. Naval Institute?

As an independent forum for over 135 years, the Naval Institute has been nurturing creative thinkers who responsibly raise their voices on matters relating to national defense.

Become a Member Renew Membership