Frankly, it’s not that the Navy has a problem developing strategy (five times in 25 years belies that idea), rather the issue is that the Navy no longer has a culture of strategic thought, and the lack of consistent, long-term, cohesive, and followed strategy is but a symptom of this problem. The Navy is now, and has been for decades, a tactical organization seeking, rewarding, and thriving on short-term, one-dimensional thought and quick, often indecisive action.
So Much Strategy, So Little Strategic Direction
The Navy has to work out its strategy-tactics confusion; until then, it will continue to put the budgetary cart before the strategic horse.There is a strategy problem in the Navy. Take as primary evidence that only three and a half years after completing A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower, its primary author is now in favor of crafting a new strategy.1 That strategy was published only four years after its predecessor, Seapower 21. And that one came eight years after Forward . . . from the Sea, which itself was a two-year tune-up of From the Sea, which replaced the 1986 Maritime Strategy. In other words, the Navy has changed its strategy five times in 25 years—while its mission has remained unchanged for more than five decades.
By Commander Michael Junge, U.S. Navy