America's military faces reductions in force and spending that could have a ripple effect. Proceedings asked the leaders of the world's sea services: Some see U.S. global naval engagement diminishing and the world's power structure realigning itself over the coming decade. In what ways would this affect your navy?
The fundamental element in the current international system is the increasingly widespread globalization phenomenon in which the sea plays a key role. The importance of marine resources will continue to grow, as well as their worldwide demand. In recent decades, global seaborne trade has dramatically increased: more than 90 percent of world trade is conducted by the international shipping industry, and over two-thirds of the world’s total oil production, which is crucial to global economy, is transported by sea. Consequently, most economic and political activities in the world are determined by maritime stability and security.
Since resources are limited and their benefits are unevenly distributed, today’s world is becoming extremely competitive, dynamic and, at the same time, more interdependent. Accordingly, the transnational nature of the multiple threats, risks and challenges in the maritime scenario has become clearly evident and, therefore, an enhanced international cooperation is essential to face them. The United States and its navy are cognizant of the above; the publication A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower clearly expresses the necessity of sharing security responsibilities with other navies.
On the other hand, from Chile’s beginnings, the sea has proved to be an extremely valuable and rich resource for the population. It is Chile’s most important gateway to the world. With 80 percent of total foreign trade carried out by shipping, the Chilean economy relies on appropriate maritime trade routes that enable the efficient flow of passengers, services and goods. Chile is eager to benefit from globalization and is determined to focus all its efforts to achieve global stability and security.
The Chilean Navy knows that the creation of a cooperative security system among like-minded nations—those having the common interests of world peace and political and economic stability—is a real and pressing necessity. In that context, even if there is a decline in the global naval engagement of the United States, our navy will continue to work toward its goals of adjusting to today’s ever-changing globalized world and counteracting ever-present and emerging threats.
The Chilean Navy fully understands that Chile, as an oceanic state, can only achieve progress by maintaining maritime stability and respecting international maritime agreements. Thus, it will actively contribute in reinforcing maritime security, participating in various international initiatives, conferences, exercises and peace support operations. Recently Chile accepted full membership in the Western Pacific Naval Symposium, which it views as an important recognition of our contribution to the world’s current power structure.