The strength of the U.S. Naval Institute has been the integrity of its open forum. At the 2011 Annual Meeting, its members rose up in indignation to the following proposed change to the organization’s mission statement: “The U.S. Naval Institute is an independent forum advocating the necessity of global sea power for national security and economic prosperity.” But the existing mission—“To provide an independent forum for those who dare to read, think, speak, and write to advance the professional, literary and scientific understanding of sea power and other issues critical to national defense”—carried the day.
Obviously Proceedings can publish only a fraction of the manuscripts submitted. What constitute grounds for rejection of articles that challenge the official views of the Navy Department—and thus perhaps cramp the forum—are clearly in the eye of the beholder. A manuscript submission from nearly 60 years ago offers food for thought.