Editor's Page

What about the other Arctic nations and their intentions in the region? They often appear to be sending mixed messages. Russia, Canada, Denmark, and Norway are pursuing modernized, Arctic-capable assets at the same time as they tout the importance of partnerships. To Christian Le Mière, a fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, this contradiction in rhetoric, diplomacy, and arms procurement is at the heart of the question of whether the Arctic is being secured or militarized.

The prospect of a shrinking ice pack in the Arctic has prompted numerous predictions of increased military and commercial maritime activity there. Shipping executive Stephen Carmel says such speculation is overly optimistic when it comes to international trade. True, the two most-mentioned northern pathways are shorter than current routes, he says, but enthusiasts err by not considering a number of variables—and by failing to remember that the Arctic is but one piece in a very large global puzzle.

With defense spending cuts all but assured, the Navy is facing a serious shipbuilding shortfall. Critics have said its newest 30-year plan won’t pass muster and won’t provide the 300-ship force structure that policymakers want. In our June issue, Rear Admiral Robert Wray tackled this quandry when he presented a thought-provoking plan for more ships and increased capability. Now Steven Paschal, a former surface warfare officer, weighs in with a series of proposals for trimming construction costs of high-end ships such as aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines and turning to corvette-size, single-purpose vessels such as missile craft and conventional subs to meet the nation’s strategic needs. To reach the necessary Fleet size quickly, he even advocates adopting foreign designs already used by our allies but modified to meet U.S. construction requirements. Numbers count, he says, reminding us that “no ship, no matter how good it is, can be in two—or three or four—places at once.”

Paul Merzlak, Editor-in-Chief


Conferences and Events

Defense Forum Washington 2015

Mon, 2015-12-07

Defense Forum Washington will take place 7 December 2015 at the Newseum - Knight Conference Center in Washington, DC.  

Maritime Security Dialogue

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"Goldrick Seminar: 2015"

Thu, 2015-12-03

Guest Speakers & Book Signing

Mon, 2015-12-07

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