In the post-World War II world, from Korea to the Berlin Wall, the U.S. Navy played a significant role, if not an obvious one.
It used to be said of the Napoleonic Wars that the storm-tossed British blockade squadrons, "which the [French] Grande Armee never glimpsed" stood between them and the mastery of the world, from which it followed that British sea power had been decisive. What can we say about our own, or our alliance's, sea power in the Cold War? Does its contribution mean anything in the current context? The answers are anything but obvious, because sea power often acts indirectly. Yet unless we can understand its action there is little reason for U.S. citizens to continue to fund the Navy to the necessary extent.