Despite all the claims to the contrary, the U.S. Navy remains essentially a blue-water force. Its rhetoric on the shift toward fighting in the littorals is not reflected in its current or projected battle-force composition. Traditionally, the Navy has emphasized the need for large, highly capable, high-cost platforms optimally suited for operations on the open ocean. Relatively large numbers of surface combatants are now in service, capable of conducting a wide range of missions in high-intensity conflicts. But the cruisers, destroyers, and nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs) are too large to be effectively employed in the littorals, especially in the enclosed and semi-enclosed areas known as narrow seas.
Finding Our Balance at Sea
The U.S. Navy needs to restructure for all types of maritime conflict.
By Milan Vego