We've been thoroughly covering the dramatic changes in the maritime Arctic recently, but in this issue, we hear for the first time in years from retired Coast Guard Captain Lawson Brigham, known in that service as "Captain Ice." Drawing not only from his vast experience commanding icebreakers—including the first and thus far only single voyage from the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica to the North Pole - Captain Brigham also speaks with authority as Dr. Brigham, based on his in-depth work with the U.S. Arctic Research Commission and various other academic pursuits. As a companion to Captain Brigham's survey of the "New Maritime Arctic," retired Navy Commander John Patch weighs in on the security challenges faced by nations with stakes in the natural resources and shipping routes afforded by a suddenly more accessible and navigable region.
We take you from the top of the world down to Latin America as Navy Commander Pat Paterson urges that immediate steps be taken to regain our influence to the south. A veteran with ten years experience in the region, the author pulls no punches in assigning much of the responsibility for the current state of relations to past U.S. actions in the area and recommends steps we can take to repair the damage. While his views may upset some readers, the open forum encourages thoughtful perspectives from all sides and I hope our audience will respond in kind.
The Naval Review traditionally features contemporary thinkers on military matters, and this issue is no exception. We include here an interview with veteran military correspondent and author Thomas E. Ricks. His latest two books cover the prosecution of the war in Iraq, and he discusses not only that conflict but the new administration's concentration on combating the Taliban in Afghanistan as well. He advances his opinion of recent and current leadership in the U.S. Navy, the "fiasco" surrounding the appointment and un-appointment of retired Marine General Anthony Zinni as ambassador to Iraq, and what he's learned over decades covering the men and women serving in our armed forces.
We are honored to present an exclusive article on leadership, written by retired Navy Commander Kirk Lippold, skipper of the USS Cole (DDG-67) on 20 October 2000, that fateful day when she suffered a terrorist attack in the harbor of Aden, Yemen. This leadership lesson represents the first time Commander Lippold has written or spoken about the event that changed his life forever.
Finally, we take a look back at a seminal moment in the history of the U.S. Navy—the origins of the 1986 Maritime Strategy . Retired Captain James M. Patton, a planner on then-Pacific Fleet commander Admiral Thomas B. Hayward's staff in the late 1970s, was present at the creation and provides an insider's account of the strategy-making process. Rather than merely reacting to Soviet moves, Admiral Hayward advocated swift offensive action to take the war to the enemy. As CNO in February 1979, the admiral spoke to the House Armed Services Committee and addressed the questions, "Why do we need a Navy?" and "What kind of Navy should it be, anyway?" That address, "The Future of Sea Power," was published in our May 1979 Naval Review. Thirty years later, those questions are just as important as they were in those tense days.