The Soviet submarine fleet may not be the threat it once was, but undersea warfare remains a critical core competency for the Navy.
Today, with the Navy's attention focused on other matters, antisubmarine warfare—or undersea warfare (USW), as it is now called—does not generate a great deal of attention, let alone passion. Generally, however, it still is recognized as an important Navy mission. The issue is one of emphasis. All warfare areas compete for a share of an ever-decreasing budget, and Navy policymakers must ensure that we are leveraging our assets to achieve maximum warfighting capability with minimum risk. Those who see USW as no longer meaningful say we are pouring dollars into a mission area to defeat a nonexistent threat. USW advocates argue that we have cut this warfare area too far and that the risk is now unacceptable. Determining where the truth lies is the essence of achieving the right degree of emphasis in the area of undersea warfare.