Modularity Will Help Protect the Maritime Commonsan in 2007, there is every indication that the global maritime commons will figure even more prominently in international commerce than it does today. The need to ensure free and open use of the seas will only increase in importance. That job demands the presence of ships if not across the full expanse of the maritime commons, at least in each choke point. However, the Navy is unequipped to handle the wide-ranging problems that this involves today.
Intel co-founder Andrew Grove discusses a concept called “strategic inflection points” in his book Only The Paranoid Survive. Leaders must identify these points, he explains, and guide their teams through them. Grove characterizes them as times when fundamentals are significantly changing.1 A growing number of factors indicate that the U.S. Navy faces such a situation today, a “salt-water” inflection point.