Editor's Page

Paul Merzlak, Editor-in-Chief

Admiral Daly agrees with retired Navy Captain Rolf Yngve in saying that simulation is no substitute for live training. Captain Yngve's cautionary tale uses late-night talk-show host Conan O'Brien's defeat of Serena Williams in Wii tennis to illustrate the danger of becoming expert at simulation at the expense of not mastering the actual hands-on task. All three pieces in this package acknowledge the usefulness of simulation as a training tool, but warn its practitioners not to rely too heavily on its enticing bells and whistles in lieu of the real thing.


 

Over the more than two decades since its publication, The Maritime Strategy of the 1980s has taken on an almost mythic status. To many in the Sea Services it has become something of a sacred text and the model for any future documents of its type. When, after great anticipation, its successor, A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower was released in the fall of 2007, it landed with a bit of a thud. Perhaps people expected too much. The new strategy had big shoes to fill. After all, its elder sibling had played a key role in winning the Cold War. Former Secretary of the Navy John Lehman, evaluating the document in these pages in November of that year, called it "a bravura performance" but pointed out, as many other critics have since, that it failed to provide a "clear and well articulated statement of what we need to implement that strategy—tightly bound to the strategy itself."

In this issue we look at the machinations underlying the new strategy. Navy Reserve Lieutenant John Ennis, at the time serving on Vice Admiral John Morgan's staff, was involved in shaping the final product and provides our readers with a behind-the-scenes glimpse of exactly what transpired. He reveals that force structure did indeed come up in the sometimes contentious discussions, along with many other considerations. I won't give too much away here but I think you'll be enlightened after reading his " Inside the New Maritime Strategy " on page 68. It may simply be far too early to tell yet what kind of long-term impact A Cooperative Strategy might have on key policymakers. Who knows, perhaps in 2030, we'll be reading an article in Proceedings lauding the strategy as a landmark document. Stay tuned.

 

Paul Merzlak, Editor-in-Chief

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