We mark another historic event this month: It’s been three decades since Great Britain and Argentina clashed in the Falklands War. Navy Commander Jim Griffin believes there’s no better way to mark the 30th anniversary than to note the prescient lessons that emerged from that seminal anti-access/area-denial war—a war that may have more to tell today’s navalists than other, more recent conflicts.
Meanwhile, as unrest in the Middle East and North Africa continues to simmer, the new U.S. military strategy is to “pivot,” concentrating the focus on the Pacific Ocean. But retired Navy Captain Gerry Roncolato, former chair of the Naval Institute Editorial Board, warns that turning our backs on the sites of the Arab Spring might not be a good idea. Regardless, the Navy will be in the middle of it all, tasked with making the shift while still possibly being engaged in the Persian Gulf.
What form could such engagement take? Sanctions against Iran’s nuclear aspirations are inciting that country to make noise about closing one of the busiest conduits of seaborne commerce in the region, the Strait of Hormuz. Armed with lessons learned from Operation Praying Mantis in 1988 and Israel’s fight against Hezbollah in 2006, Navy Commander Daniel Dolan takes a look at Iran’s anti-access/area-denial capabilities and advances a strategy to deal militarily with such a closure. While not advocating preemption, Commander Dolan does urge the United States and the Navy to at least have a plan.
In addition to noting our featured authors, I want to take this opportunity to thank all those who contribute the material to our annual review sections. It’s a lot of work, but they come through every year to bring our readers a vivid snapshot of the Sea Services. We couldn’t do it without them.