Prize Essay 1972
FIRST HONORABLE MENTION
Fittingly, the men of the Enterprise spell out Einstein’s theory about mass and energy being two sides of the same coin; for the nuclear-powered attack carrier is, indeed, man’s quintessential example of mass and energy incarnate. It has proved itself as a highly effective unit of the Fleet, but its supporters have difficulty convincing Congress and the public that it could and should play a key role in U. S. foreign policy.
America today is at the end of an era. The power structure which rose from the ashes of World War II is gone; a new order is emerging. The new order, founded on the assumption that the nation has always believed in a purpose broader than itself, will reflect an indispensable American role abroad and greater participation of and with other nations. The new polycentrism evolving in the Communist world also shatters past alignments and presents opportunities and challenges calling for imaginative new doctrines. Enigmatically, the new challenge abroad is marked internally by budget tightening, a hard-eyed scrutiny of military requirements even by sympathetic members of Congress, widespread anti-militarism, and disillusionment among the American people. By whatever measure, the current years will mark for the military professional an era not soon to be forgotten.
Far-reaching cuts in force levels threaten the heart of the Navy surface striking force—the attack carrier—and its role in the preservation of offensive striking power essential to the primary mission of control of the seas. For good or evil, the aircraft carrier has become the focus of both the Navy’s supporters and its detractors. The importance of the carrier, and particularly of the nuclear-powered model as the backbone of maritime striking power, undergirds fundamental issues of national policy and strategic doctrine. Adapting modern technology to a military capability adequate to the needs of national policy is admittedly difficult. When the needs of defense are squeezed within Procrustean limitations of national resources, the task is markedly harder. Under the circumstances, the improvisations of our planners have been capable and often brilliant. Yet, on occasion, military officials have been unable to make a case for themselves before Congress and the public. For all our difficulties, the trend of the times is clearly pointing toward a major increase in the role of naval forces. The scarcity of fresh new thinking at a time when the Navy is being pushed to the fore is all the more difficult to understand. Only in part does the responsibility lie with the blind public rejection of things military in the wake of Vietnam.
In the historical framework of a century of experience prior to the outbreak of World War I, warfare followed a strategy of maneuver formulated by Napoleon and authoritatively applied by Clausewitz. Maneuver dominated technical considerations; technology itself was a “given” and was virtually unchanging. But, in World War I, the traditional operational formulae of mobile warfare finally failed on the battlefield. Opponents found the projection of power on both sides terminating in wasteful stalemates in trenches along unbroken static fronts. Whether from distant lands across disputed seas or from resource bases adjacent to the front, the flower of manhood on both sides was gambled in the sterility of technological subservience to outmoded doctrine. The experience convinced many that new weaponry, the tank, airplane, submarine and machine gun, doomed the classic science of strategy.
In the ensuing half-century, the problem of relating technology to modern strategy was never resolved. The problem of selecting strategies and choosing weapon systems was magnified, in fact, by circumstances quite unlike anything that existed in pre-atomic eras. How are strategic choices to be made in a nuclear rocket era? How can one predict political circumstance of the future world in which long lead items may finally come to fruition? On what basis should such choices be judged? And, extremely important, what are the roles of the military and civilian advisers to the Secretary of Defense who, with the President, must make the final and critical decisions? In earlier days, technology changed slowly over the length of a military or political career. Soldiers and statesmen knew largely from personal experience what they needed to know of military power and the relationship of weaponry to strategy and national security. When modern science and technology entered a “take-off” period of rapid, accelerating and apparently self-sustaining growth, both experience and the collective wisdom of earlier warfare lost much of its relevance. Previously, one did not plan on technological change; he merely adjusted to it. Now we are able to plan technological change, debating whether inventions can be scheduled, and producing weapon systems sometimes called obsolescent while still in production. The impasse between technology and strategy produced the stalemate of 1914; the danger today is the domination of policy and strategy by the galloping speed of technological innovation.
The current laws governing U. S. national defense presume that separate land, sea, and air war are gone forever. The law specifically requires “integrated strategic plans and a unified military program and budget.” Within the unified framework, for example, the role of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier is primarily and essentially to furnish tactical air support for projection of U. S. power abroad in support of American interests. The debate in the attack carrier program today is no longer a question of a new and untried weapon system: the nuclear-powered USS Enterprise (CVAN-65) for several years has been churning the seas as a highly successful and effective unit of the fleet. The question is not one of a new strategy nor of a marked change in policy. The issue and its overtones is essentially a domestic problem with strong inter-Service conflicts which can be understood only within the competing domains of the various Washington fiefdoms. It has taken 20 years for the American public and much of American officialdom to learn that national security cannot be entrusted to cheap and easy solutions or single weapon strategies. It has been only a little less difficult to mafic a case for a highly plausible alternative in a mobile-integrated and largely sea-based maritime strategy.
Each nuclear carrier to date, because of what the Secretary of the Navy has recently referred to as “ambivalence both in the Navy and in the government” has been the focus of prolonged debate. With its thousands upon thousands of pages of study upon study, the debate in itself probably cost as much as the carrier and embarked aircraft. The difficulty of the Navy in making a case for the carrier notwithstanding the level of effort, this is largely of our own making. Some of the reasons are obvious; some are obscure. Despite the reams of paperwork, the requirement for the strike carrier weapon system was never presented to Congress or the Secretary of Defense in terms of a specific national policy/strategy role. In all the analyses and public testimony, the justification was invariably made on the basis of subjective operational and technical considerations, primarily aimed to fulfill a role essentially in competition with another Service in its capability to fulfill the same role. Despite the formal U. S. organization for unified development and support of force level requirements, this major weapon system was nether developed by the Navy to fulfill a unified requirement, nor recommended by the Joint Chiefs of Staff as a unified requirement, nor defended before Congress as a unified requirement, nor analyzed at the various stages on the basis of alternative capabilities to achieve a unified requirement, i.e., of tactical air support, sea or land-based. At best it was “a function shared with land-based air;” whereas a function within a unified plan is non-discoverable. To develop and support such a system as a Service program under circumstances where the Service in question may not have primary responsibility for the role may be the wisdom of expediency. It may also be liable to challenge as clear evidence of trade-unionism, to use Admiral Ernest J. King’s term.
In the extensive debate on the care and nuclear or non-nuclear feeding of the USS John F. Kennedy (CVA-67) in the early McNamara era, most of the issues on the carrier came to the fore. Yet the presumed efficiency of the sophisticated analytical and managerial techniques employed in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, suggests from the public record that the Defense Secretary and his associates were not at all free of subjective judgments. The concern here is not that the judgment was correct or incorrect, only that formal analytical techniques were not used. The Secretary’s statements such as “I am absolutely certain that the six conventional task forces are superior to the five nuclear task forces” offered less choice than the military leader’s traditional “my experience tells me—” in making an analytical judgment. The Defense Secretary displayed also a surprisingly primitive knowledge of seapower. He referred to comparative transit times and deployment of aircraft carriers with amphibious forces in which the greater sustained speed of the nuclear carrier would be of no advantage because of the slower speed of the amphibious assault ships. This is the same argument advanced earlier and demolished by Rear Admiral John T. Hayward: “Fast carrier forces are not governed in their support of amphibious operations by the speed of the amphibious vessels. . . . Tying the carrier force to integral support of slower forces of almost any nature is contrary to good seamanship and all existing doctrine for employment of strike carriers.”
The Defense Secretary and his senior advisers also displayed a surprisingly narrow understanding of international politics and a highly stratified view of the challenge from the Soviet Union. The annual budget messages of the McNamara era illustrated quite clearly the isolation of military strategy from national policy in a power-oriented world. The predilection for “strategic missiles” in preserving international stability contrasts strangely with the need for “usable” forms of power such as Mr. McNamara himself had lamented following the Cuban crisis in 1962. The lack of sophistication and objectivity of the Defense planners in political-military matters, their limited knowledge and apparent unfamiliarity with maritime warfare, and their somewhat simplistic view of the Soviet “threat” are past history now. But they pose serious elements for consideration when professional military advice is also downgraded or not well received. Defense Secretaries have rarely been appointed for their expert knowledge of international politics. Few come to mind with particular qualifications in this respect. The problems are minimized, presumably, by institutionalizing the planning and decision-making techniques. Defense Secretaries without question have been men of extraordinary capability and dedication. But if they should happen to fulfill the Jeffersonian rather than the Hamiltonian model of the public servant, the American system should offer sufficient resilience to cope.
In the nuclear carrier debate, unfortunately, the use of systems analysis has been weak on both sides. The Navy made a rather poor case for the carrier in two major studies for the Secretary of Defense and in much of the subsequent testimony to Congress. Again citing the USS John F. Kennedy debate, a decision on conventional power would clearly make her the last of the non-nuclear propelled vessels. With the Kennedy technologically obsolescent at time of commissioning, the later operational years would find her increasingly a white elephant. The cost of deploying the refueling capability to serve the single surviving non-nuclear carrier at that time will markedly increase operating costs. It is easily predictable, therefore, that she will be taken out of first line service many years earlier than if she were nuclear powered, well before the end of her useful life. Either in service as prematurely aged, or out of service on an early retirement, the net cost of the conventional ship on the yearly average will be higher than of the nuclear-driven hull. Had the Navy planners quantified these facts rather than merely emphasizing in general terms the superior operational performance of the nuclear-powered Enterprise in the Cuban crisis, the systems analysts in the Office of the Secretary of Defense would have had to rebut the Navy argument on the same basis, which really could not be done. Many Congressmen, irritated and antagonized by McNamara’s insistence on correcting their minor mis-statements in the carrier testimony, were predisposed to support the Navy position. The failure on both sides had many reasons; poor systems analysis was not the least.
The debate on the nuclear carrier in the Defense Department frequently illustrated the shortcomings in the decision-making process and the limitations of the cost effectiveness approach through the salience it inevitably attributes, particularly in a budgetary context, to the criterion of purely monetary costs. A careful review of the very lengthy McNamara testimony on the nuclear carrier issue clearly indicated a subjective importance of monetary considerations. He returned again and again to the cost differential. Even though several senators pressed him with intelligent and pertinent questions, he never explained why the advantages of the nuclear carrier were not worth the difference in costs. Partly owing to his own inexperience in matters of the sea, he stated flatly that he did not think the differences were worth the cost. Dubious analogies were cited at length: why he personally was better off buying a medium-priced rather than a high-priced automobile; why a farmer would be better off transporting produce to market in a cheaper, slower truck rather than in a speedier, more expensive one.
Perhaps we are now ready to look into the modern mystery as to why the Navy, always of a strategic cast of mind, did not rush to exploit the dramatic new dimension which nuclear energy offered modern seapower in a strategic sense through the nuclear-powered attack carrier. First, the evidence in the cost-effectiveness studies clearly suggests the need for policy and decision processes to be anchored less in technology than in a broader national strategic framework, less in a preoccupation with means than a concentration on ends. Insofar as the Navy is concerned, the objectives in the struggle for the nuclear aircraft carrier are basic to the existing philosophy of seapower. The strategic considerations making the attack carrier a prominent part of the American force structure are compelling. It is in strategic more than tactical terms that nuclear power becomes so persuasive for seapower. The carrier issue embodies far-reaching consequences for the future development of the maritime service and on preservation of its capability to furnish tactical air power with top performance aircraft. Heavy overtones of service values are involved, but no less so are national strategic requirements for sealift, for an amphibious capability and for antisubmarine warfare. None of these issues has been stressed adequately in fulfillment of the national objective of most effectively projecting U. S. power overseas. The issue of whether power is most effectively launched from land bases or from sea bases is extremely important, but it is ancillary. These are not objectives but alternatives or separate means to achieve a goal of policy. It is largely irrelevant, in national strategic terms, that tactical air support for a hostile operation overseas be sea or land based as long as it is effective. The effectiveness, relative comparison of means and performance factors of both land- and sea-based capabilities in fulfilling a unified strategic requirement were never confronted in the nuclear carrier issue, at least insofar as can be determined from the public record.
In a few Congressional committee hearings and in evaluations made by the Navy for the Secretary of Defense, the capabilities of the Navy and Air Force have been examined individually but not of both, cooperatively, in a unified plan. The Air Force capability to set down a “bare base concept” was reviewed and its initial vulnerability and need for extensive logistic support were noted. The higher cost of the carrier-based tactical air in relative terms was discussed; but the use of both sea- and land-based air in a unified plan was not mentioned.
The Navy has long specialized with the U. S. Marine Corps in projecting maritime power ashore within the range of its sea-based aircraft. There is no such doctrine of combined operations with the U. S. Air Force. Despite the heavy logistic load in moving a prepositioned kit for a minimum base overseas, the Air Force has neither doctrine nor plans to do so in the very necessary role as a combined operation with the Navy. A combined concept of lifting such a base overseas, supporting it logistically by sea and defending it by carrier air until missile defenses and command of the air can be maintained from ashore, is not only feasible but obvious. The experience in Vietnam illustrates the difficulty of defending airbases against a primitive hostile force equipped with rockets, mines, and a guerrilla capability. The Vietnam experience proves that combined defense is feasible; the absence of U. S. land bases in the vast and turbulent region stretching from Adana, Turkey, to Vietnam suggests that a combined defense is necessary. The vulnerability of a base during the critical phase is minimized through carrier air support; the higher cost of the carrier air support is justifiable because the mission can be accomplished in no other way. The net cost of the operation is minimized by landbasing necessary air support and returning the carrier force to a normal readiness mission when the critical phase has passed. The carrier force can also assist in the withdrawal when the crisis situation has been resolved and the reverse operation carried out. This is the essence of preservation of U. S. interests with minimum U. S. presence. The critical issue is the use of both capabilities to serve a common goal rather than each in isolation.
The doctrine is much like long-established amphibious warfare techniques developed by the Navy-Marine Corps team where the most difficult problems of coordination and command have been reduced to simple and widely understood routines. There are no legitimate reasons why similar doctrinal procedures cannot serve equally well for sea- and land-based tactical and strategic air operations. New technology and weaponry such as the advanced manned strategic aircraft (AMSA) may also stimulate study in a cooperative function with sea- and land-based missile programs. Only the primitive state of doctrinal development limits conceptual employment within a truly unified strategy toward common national goals. It is a rare case in which requirements for Navy and Air Force tactical support do not lend themselves to much more effective choices at lower force levels, manpower resources, and net cost than can be achieved by using Service capabilities separately under existing procedures.
Broadening the base of analysis from the Service Weapon system to a national strategic requirement—in other words, from a technical to a political choice—opens far-reaching lines of inquiry. Evaluation of costs and performance factors in a national objective of projecting U. S. power overseas suggests reconsideration of Navy and Air Force basing facilities abroad. Both Services find narrowing choices in base rights on sovereign soil that are free of continual renegotiation at spiralling costs. The Navy has the unique advantage of sea-based support and minimal dependence on fixed installations ashore, a very important consideration. But the Navy, too, is vulnerable to political difficulties from permanent bases. To what degree will future diplomatic problems continue to whittle away at existing installations? What degree of confidence can be placed in the accepted wisdom that if we have allies abroad they will make bases available for our needs?
National policy objectives which require projection of U. S. power overseas also demand today a somewhat contradictory reduction of the U. S. image overseas. U. S. air bases abroad have decreased from 119 in 1957 to 47 in 1971. This is one of the strong arguments for sea-based airpower. The nuclear-powered carrier forces have unique advantages over ancestor models, which may also aid in reducing often arbitrary sounding force levels. Navy spokesmen often make claims that the Navy is not rigid on a force of 15 carriers. One way of more efficient deployment at reduced cost can be suggested by new home-basing policies.* Aircraft carriers can be home-ported overseas at locations such as Barcelona, Naples, Subic Bay, Kaioshiung or Yokosuka. Dependents would live not in vast American ghettoes, but to the maximum extent would be integrated within local communities. If based overseas, morale and economic problems of long separations from families during deployments would disappear. Dependents of the low-paid crewman could live “on the economy,” aided perhaps by minimum purchases of staple food items at cost from general messes afloat. Total subsistence would cost less than in the United States. There would be no need for the expansive and expensive American communities overseas aiming to provide housing, subsistence, and entertainment in the American style throughout the world, but which often and increasingly act as focal points for anti-Americanism. Basing carriers and support ships abroad eliminates transit times and the vast complex of interrelated costs of personnel movement and personnel instability. Crews “shipped on” for the duration of a cruise abroad, as in traditional British custom, can be reassigned or discharged on return of the ship to the States for overhaul. Reduction or elimination of time spent in transit, routine or refresher training and major exercises normally conducted in the United States would allow increased availability in the theater for performing assigned roles, or alternately, to conduct existing missions with fewer ships.
These considerations are not for exploration in detail herein. The point is that current strategic and doctrinal deficiencies subvert objective analysis of force levels on political-military terms and limit evaluations to technological comparisons which are much more difficult to relate to an overall military readiness posture. If one aims at maintaining current readiness with force reductions made necessary by severe cuts in the Defense budget, a wide pattern of new choices is available.
The difficulty in relating technology to strategy and policy is that in the past, each service chief determined for his service in isolation its major technological and support requirements. The role of the service today, however, is no more, no less than to “provide, train and equip” forces for unified operations. Until recently the Services rarely operated as a unified force and had few, if any, common technical agreements, even in such important matters as belt buckles and butcher’s aprons.
Lacking unified operations, no unified strategic doctrine evolved in World War II, Korea or Vietnam; the three Services continue to pursue essentially independent strategies simultaneously. Military leaders had no critical problems in accommodating competing service requirements in the past only because the level of resources was generally adequate for all reasonable “requirements” proposed by the Services.
Central to the above discussion is the fact that American military leaders reflect the American ethic in their dedication to technology rather than to philosophic doctrine. In the Navy in particular, the theories of Mahan for 50 years provided an intelligent, internally consistent and popular rationale for a concept of U. S. defense built around a large and strong Navy. The Mahan strategy was and is intellectually satisfying, not only as a masterful and epigrammatic tying together of many complex factors, but also because it seems to obviate the need for further productive intellectual effort. His strategic ideas provide final-sounding answers to the hardest issues before the military strategist, thus appearing to free subsequent planners from further consideration of these basic and difficult matters. With doctrinal concepts satisfied, it was natural to indulge the American fascination with technology and to devote the bulk of our energies not to strategy but to weaponry and the practical details of ship design, training, and tactical planning, confident in the assurance of working within unassailable strategic guidelines. In the Navy, above all, the leader became a weaponeer and not a strategist.
When changing concepts of modern war appeared to challenge basic assumptions of Mahan’s thinking, it was particularly difficult both to recognize the changing circumstances and to avoid merely interpreting events in such a way as to support the doctrines of Mahan. We are witnessing today, for example, a serious challenge on the seas by sleek, modern vessels of the Soviet Navy. To what degree can the new Soviet presence be interpreted as a serious challenge to the declared policy of freedom of the seas, or conversely, as a challenge to the necessary command or control of the seas which to Mahan was a violation of freedom of the seas?
Traditional modes of thought have approached the study of strategy through time-honored components such as the “principle of the offensive.” The “principle of surprise,” the “principle of concentration,” the “principle of security,” and so on. These eight or ten abstractions, depending on the authority, are more commonly used in the Army and Air Force than in the Navy. This is understandable. The ground and Air Force roles are less complicated, narrower in scope, interdependent, and tied to much less variation in choice of weaponry.
Only a navy can offer a self-contained and fully independent force with an integral ground warfare capability in embarked marine forces, an offensive and defensive maritime war capability, a self-sufficient afloat logistic capability and a “strategic air command” in both the ballistic missile submarine and strike carrier task forces.
A theory of strategy requires a clear appreciation of purpose, objective, or effect desired if one will attempt to assess its validity. On this basis the elements of strategy appropriate to the broader vision of modern maritime war can best be analyzed through two and only two fundamentals, the “Principle of the Objective” and the “Principle of Control.” The Principle of the Objective, the cardinal rule to which all others must succumb, is the dictum of Clausewitz that the purpose of military power is to achieve a political goal, that war is merely “the continuation of policy with an admixture of other means.” It is a violation of the principle of the objective to allow technology to dominate strategic considerations, or to allow either to control policy. Strategy in war may not be determined by technological means without close consideration of the political ends. The rise and fall of world powers has been more widely influenced by faulty objectives or faulty strategies toward achievement of these objectives than by any other cause.
The other rule of strategy is the essentiality of preserving or maintaining control or influence in order to achieve the objective. Control can be internal or external, embodying military and non-military factors. Military elements include geography, weaponry, morale, technological change, environment, organization, communications, intelligence, and above all, time. All vary and interact both dependently and independently. In the broadest sense, the achievement of the aim in war is some measure of control over the enemy. Some observers may feel, for example, that control is not possible where nuclear weapons may be resorted to. Yet we study hurricanes as particular phenomena of awful violence; we seek to understand them in the hope that understanding is the path toward eventual control. Lightning is another phenomenon of violence. Once Benjamin Franklin was able to demonstrate that lightning is an electrical phenomenon, understanding was such that we could proceed to the development of lightning arresters. Control of possible destruction by lightning with the aid of arresters did not mean the elimination of lightning, nor weather control the end of hurricanes; so it may be with the study and control of war. Strategy, in short, is not the science of destruction but the art of control.
The Principle of the Objective and the Principle of Control offer a theoretical framework both for new attempts at conceptualizing Mahan with relevance to the modern world, and for analyzing the modern world in its consistency with national views in the employment of power.
If one interprets the new Soviet naval policies in terms of the Principle of the Objective and the Principle of Control, it would appear, based on publicized U. S. and Soviet objectives in the Mediterranean and despite the presence of the U. S. strike carrier forces, that control of at least the eastern Mediterranean has passed to the Soviet Union. In other areas the United States is much more fortunate. The increasing level of Soviet fleet activities in the East Africa-Indian Ocean region, at a time when overcommitments of the U. S. fleet prevent an American presence, may exert potentially effective dividends as a political influence. Because of the grossly inferior geographic position of the U.S.S.R., however, the Soviet influence throughout the Indian Ocean basin is minimal at least as long as the Suez Canal remains closed.
Should the Canal be allowed to reopen in the face of U. S. political and military interests to the contrary? if Suez is reopened, control of the Canal would be vital to control of the Indian Ocean and much of South Asia. Whatever advantages the central geographic position of the Soviet Union conveys in political-economic terms is largely countered by its physical isolation from the sea. Geographic realities exert a severe handicap to global maritime war and undermine any hope or expectation of Soviet control over the vast Atlantic and Pacific reaches in event of hostilities. Here the role of aircraft carrier becomes the vital element. Lacking a base structure on the littoral of the world oceans and with small likelihood of achieving one, the Soviet Union can contest wartime control of the great oceans through its far-ranging submarine forces, but only in a negative sense. Lacking both carrier-based aviation and friendly shores, it is difficult to see how it can hope to exploit the degree of control which its surface and undersea forces may hope to gain in the unfolding pattern of a war at sea. Only the carrier force with its self-contained aviation can rule the domain of Neptune in the vast mid-ocean reaches.
It is the dispassionate analysis of competitive political goals of the United States and Soviet Union which clear the deficiencies in current strategic thought and the domination of strategy by technology. How much honest and truly analytical thinking have we as military leaders contributed to extend Mahanist concepts as a fundamental framework on which to hang needs of modern defense? The gods have been very good to the Navy in recent years. But it is more by default than design that the Navy will become the politically preferred branch of the Armed Forces. The question is whether the Navy is intellectually ready to assume such a role. We continue to make heavy weather in presenting a plausible case before the Congress and a critical American public. Little is apparent in other than the most casual terms as to what the Soviet Navy and merchant fleets currently comprise as a force in international politics. U. S. military and national leaders have learned hard lessons of political war and the technique of the guerrilla in recent years. Have we progressed to the point of realizing that the guerrilla and demands for “no big power control” over the seas adjacent to former colonial areas may both originate from the same source?
The case for the carrier, as rarely in recent history, is central to current U. S. foreign policy. Mobile sea-based power flourishes in an era of withdrawal from foreign military commitments and supporting base structures abroad. The mobile sea-based projection of power can hardly be duplicated by any other force. The guerrilla with primitive logistic support is a political threat to fixed installations of the past generation. Armed with sophisticated rocketry, he will be a far greater hazard for the next. In both he has made a more persuasive case for sea-borne tactical air support than a fiscal year of cost effectiveness studies. The capability to establish a land base in a hostile area as a current unified planning objective depends critically upon gaining and holding control of the air and defense perimeter until external security can be passed to the ground forces. Combat support and reinforcement of a land base under pressure may depend critically upon access from the sea. Freedom from one-sided allied commitments and freedom from political problems of overflight rights may limit access from anywhere but the sea. The question is not one of whether sea- or land-based forces can best achieve a political objective. The real capability is how best the unified forces of the United States can pursue national goals well beyond the individual capabilities of any of its component elements.
A graduate of the U. S. Naval Academy in the Class of 1939, Captain Schratz had extensive duty in submarines during World War II. During the Korean conflict he commanded the USS Pickerel (SS-524) and then served in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations until 1954. He graduated from the Naval War College in 1959 and continued on the War College staff. He was the Joint Chiefs of Staff Representative at the Eighteen-Nation Disarmament Conference, Geneva, Switzerland, until 1964, when he was assigned to the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense. A Wilton Park fellow, Mershon scholar, and Ph.D. candidate (Ohio State University), he was a member of the faculty of the National War College prior to his retirement. He is now Director, Office of International Studies, University of Missouri.