U.S. submarines have long given pause to would-be aggressors. But as the subsurface fleet ages, retaining our edge will be a challenge.
Deterrence is widely accepted within America’s body politic as a prime objective of our national- security structure. That is not to say, however, that it is a widely understood concept. Indeed, commentary on the topic is often either over-expansive or oversimplified. The truth about deterrence is this: Of all the forces the nation needs, only those capable of taking the right action at the right time are effectively deterrent. The deterrent force is the warfighting force that keeps the peace. It is, therefore, a critical force.