Naval officers are an ethical lot. Altruistic and motivated toward the good, they do their best to do their jobs well. But they are drifting slowly from base course, letting naval culture evolve away from what it could and should be.
Faced with tension between competing values, we naval officers tend toward choices that suit us personally or as a military service rather than doing what's best for our mission and our nation. We are losing our intellectual balance in four ways.
We are right to believe passionately that naval power is necessary for this island nation. But do we go too far?
Consider the national security process and our response to it. Starting with an informed view of the world, our political leaders develop national policies to protect our country and our values, choosing strategic themes such as containment, confrontation, and alliances. From these policies we craft a role for the armed forces and evolve strategies—military and naval—that define our mission and the tools we need in its execution.