Of course, our international coverage wouldn’t be complete without Eric Wertheim’s always-anticipated annual roundup of the latest developments in the world’s navies. In magazine-article terms, such an exhaustive and thorough write-up is a time-intensive and epic undertaking, but Eric, the editor of the Naval Institute Press’s Combat Fleets of the World , brings the ideal combination of perspicacity and love of subject matter to the work.
As combat winds down in Afghanistan, much of the Defense Department’s attention is understandably focused on what comes next. But we can’t afford to forget where we’ve been. Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom took a heavy toll on the armed forces, and, for too many of our troops, the effects will linger. Captain Lori Laraway and her three coauthors, all current or former Navy medical personnel, present their findings on the consequences of back-to-back combat tours conducted with insufficient numbers of personnel. Concluding that recruitment is not the problem, they urge military leaders to better address the issues through training to recognize and deal with stress symptoms.
Command and control (C2) is one of the most important elements of any military operation. Good C2 can lead to success; bad C2 can result in failure and possibly lives lost. Shortly after Admiral Vern Clark became CNO in 2000, he began trying to improve Navy-wide alignment. But his efforts were stalled in 2003, resulting in a hybrid chain of command and a mismatch between authority and responsibility. Admiral John C. Harvey and coauthors tell the story of how this situation was analyzed and eventually untangled—while pointing to the work that remains.
We round out this issue with a commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War Battle of Hampton Roads. What’s different about this article is that it already has been published in Proceedings —as part of the U.S. Naval Institute’s first volume of Papers and Proceedings . Written by Commodore Foxhall Parker, a founding member of the Institute, the story takes us aboard the new Union ironclad Monitor , the so-called “cheesebox on a raft,” and details her monumental encounter with the CSS Virginia (ex-USS Merrimack ) in a clash that changed the face of naval warfare. We thought this a perfect way to mark two significant events of interest to our readers, one for the Navy, and one for the Naval Institute.