Fellow Members of the U.S. Naval Institute:
Challenging times continue for the nation, the Sea Services, and for many members of the Naval Institute. It is thus particularly important that the Institute continues its unique role as the only nonprofit, professional military association offering an independent, nonpartisan forum on national security. Especially during difficult economic times like the present, we advocate for a strong national defense and we educate the public on the enduring and vital role that sea power plays in maintaining it. We also promote the sacred obligation America owes to the men and women of the all-volunteer force who serve.
This letter comes as the nation continues to grapple with severe economic distress. Although the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 11 percent in 2010, unemployment hung tenaciously around 10 percent. Most important, U.S. armed forces entered their tenth year prosecuting two wars with significant defense cuts looming, all amid new military powers and civil disorder in the Middle East.