A naval officer's reaction when reading U.S. Joint Forces Command's (JFCOM) "Capstone Concept for Joint Operations" (CCJO) could be analyzed according to Elizabeth Kubler-Ross' five stages of grief. The reader is initially overwhelmed with feelings of denial and rage by a joint document that can so clearly articulate the most fundamental aspects of joint force warfare with nary a reference to gallant naval battles. The next phase, bargaining, is championed by Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV) staff members who instinctively send urgent change requests to JFCOM containing "maritime strategy stuff." As sadness ultimately gives way to acceptance, a sense of equilibrium is achieved based on the assumption that the half-life of documents like the CCJO is generally no more than two years.
But what if the concept's depiction of joint warfare is correct? Is it possible that while we've been dutifully celebrating the anniversary of the Battle of Midway, an era of warfare has dawned that places the Navy in a supporting role and requires a slightly different perspective on naval power?