The new maritime strategy calls for a global presence. We need large numbers of corvette-size warships—cheap and tough—to maintain it.
The U.S. Navy needs a new force structure for the new century's challenges. This force should include ships that are inexpensive enough to be plentiful, and robust enough to operate for prolonged periods in inhospitable environments far from the mainstream of U.S. Navy support. Our commanders must be able to commit these ships without reluctance to dangerous waters among the dhows, junks, and oil platforms in shallow seas. In short, we need a small warship that can self-deploy to (and stay in!) areas like the Horn of Africa, South East Asia, and the Gulf of Guinea.