By tapping its informal arrangements and treaties in East Asia, the United States could be that much closer to its goal of a 1,000-ship world fleet.
The Chief of Naval Operations has called for U.S. maritime policy to take advantage of a 1,000-ship navy, a number based on allied and friendly naval forces joining the U.S. Navy in carrying out global missions of maintaining peace and freedom on the world's oceans. This innovative concept in part reflects the depressingly continuous reduction of the U.S. Fleet, a trend beginning in the early 1990s that shows very little sign of reversing.
The Navy's claim on Department of Defense funding suffers from a lessened role in fighting the global war on terrorism and will be further weakened when Congress and the DOD face the reality of having to recapitalize the Army and the Marine Corps after enormous equipment losses in Afghanistan and Iraq. The CNO has also launched an effort to write a new maritime strategy, a much overdue effort to rationalize the Navy's role in the dynamic but terrorism-oriented post-Cold War world of diffuse threats and shifting strategic priorities.