[Editor's Note: The September 2011 issue of Modern Ships has run a Chinese translation of this article. You may view it here
Alfred Thayer Mahan remains as relevant today in his logic and operational grammar as he was in the 19th century with his doctrines of capital ship and major fleet action.
The future of American sea power turns on the U.S. Navy's ability to preserve ready access to East Asia, one of two central theaters for U.S. maritime operations. The other, the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf, lies off South and Southwest Asian shores. America's strategic gaze is now fixed squarely on maritime Asia. 1 But costs are escalating while acquisition budgets are stagnant. The result is inexorable downward pressure on the size of the Fleet. The Sea Services' ability to execute the 2007 Maritime Strategy is, as a result, increasingly in doubt.