As the Director of the Navy’s Strategy and Policy Division for the past two years, my mission has been to thoughtfully translate higher-level direction into Navy-specific planning and programming guidance to inform our global posture, capability development, and partnership-building efforts. Nowhere will this strategy translation be more important than in the Navy’s support to the ongoing U.S. rebalance to the Asia-Pacific, a region I became deeply familiar with during my previous tours at U.S. Pacific Fleet and Pacific Command. My experiences in the Pentagon and in the region have led me to believe that to implement our rebalance guidance, the Navy must develop a detailed roadmap that clearly articulates a 10- to 20-year time-phased approach. Without such an approach, our system is predisposed to prioritize easily recognized efforts that directly support today’s immediate objectives, at the expense of less obvious efforts that are in fact the initial actions critical to achieving future objectives.
Roadmap to the Rebalance
The Navy needs to take the long view in delineating the ends, ways, and means of its shift to the Pacific.
By Rear Admiral Michael E. Smith, U.S. Navy