Expectations are high for the Navy's new maritime strategy. Its greatest accomplishment, however, may be answering the question so many are asking these days: "Why do we need a Navy?"
The new maritime strategy called for by CNO Admiral Mike Mullen last June and expected out later this year, seeks to formulate an underlying philosophy for maritime affairs related to the circumstances of the present and the immediate future. Undertaking this effort becomes important when political and military conditions appear to question the roles of the Navy and so hazard the continuing applicability of the Navy's historic dimensions. The Navy must define itself clearly, because failure to do so leaves such a definition in the hands of people, offices, and institutions that have little understanding of the sea, negligible appreciation of the nature of maritime conflict, and no empathy for the historic lessons that form the cornerstone of naval service.