The United States has recently been criticized for a dearth of strategic thought. Those in the naval service can rightfully take umbrage at the charge. The Navy and Marine Corps have historically thought strategically. They laid out the strategy for a war against Japan long before Pearl Harbor. I believe they can also claim a share of the credit for setting the military basis for the end of the Cold War with the 1980s Maritime Strategy. As seafarers, the services were born of Alfred Thayer Mahan to think strategically, and that meant using the seas offensively.
Triumph in Strategic Thinking
The author recently attended a conference in Bodo, Norway, that assessed the Cold War on NATO's northern flank from 1975-1989. The conference attendees included Americans, Norwegians, other Scandinavians, and former Soviet officers who were players in the deadly standoff. These are his recollections of a troubled time.
By Lieutenant General Bernard E. Trainor U.S. Marine Corps (Retired)