It is always nice to hear that "we done something right," particularly when that comes from a distinguished Marine. In the February 2008 Proceedings, Lieutenant General Bernard E. Trainor correctly credited The Maritime Strategy of the 1980s with making a significant contribution to the collapse of the Soviet Union by preparing and visibly exercising the U.S. Navy and the Marine Corps for "seizing the initiative at the outset of a war." Not surprisingly, the general focused on the role of the Navy and Marines on NATO's northern flank as an important manifestation of that strategy. However, for those of us who gave birth to The Maritime Strategy at CINCPACFLT headquarters at Makalapa, Hawaii, in the summer and fall of 1977, the offensive operations on the northern flank of Europe that came to be practiced in the 1980s were frankly an "unintended consequence."
Dawn of the Maritime Strategy
A key player in the formulation of The Maritime Strategy provides a behind-the-scenes account of its 1970s genesis.
By Captain James M. Patton, U.S. Navy (Retired)