Editor's Page

But China isn’t the only foe that would give the United States a protracted and costly fight. As tensions with Iran continue to simmer, Commander Daniel Dolan and Professor Ronald Oard, instructors at the Naval War College, speculate on what might be in store for the United States if it tries to force Tehran to abandon its nuclear-weapons aspirations. Citing examples from the Vietnam War, the 1999 NATO bombing campaign against Serbia (Operation Allied Force) and Israel’s 2006 conflict with Hezbollah, the authors paint a picture that should give pause to advocates of bombing Iran.

Were such conflicts to actually take place, they would no doubt begin with carrier-based aircraft playing a vital strike role. That means putting the major assets of the Fleet, the aircraft carriers, within range of Chinese missiles or Iranian swarm boats. Is there another way? Navy Commander Phillip Pournelle thinks so. “More than two decades into the missile age,” he observes, “a new breed of weapons has emerged that will greatly change the way we fight.” The rise of autonomous attack systems, he notes, marks the next step in the “Precision Strike Regime” and heralds not so much the end of the aircraft carrier as a shift in its priorities—a shift that, ironically, returns the vessel type to its long-abandoned, originally intended purpose—that of combat scouting for the Fleet, but one now composed of what the author has termed “missile carriers.”

As always with the Naval Review issue, a special thanks to all those contributors who go the extra distance to bring us the latest developments within the Sea Services: Scott Truver; Robert Holzer; Joe DiRenzo; Chris Doane; Commander Jan Jacobs, U.S. Navy (Retired); Lieutenant Colonel John Berry Jr., U.S. Marine Corps (Retired); Shashi Kumar; and Sam Morison. It’s a year-long process of compiling the information from various sources and then several months to write it up—all while working their normal day jobs! I think I can speak for our readers when I say it’s highly valued and much appreciated.

Paul Merzlak, Editor-in-Chief
 

 
 

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