2014 Mine Warfare Essay Contest Third Prize Winner
“It’s fragmented,” said retired Rear Admiral Paul Ryan, former Commander of the U.S. Navy’s Mine Warfare Command, to a Virginia Pilot reporter in April 2014. “There is no single champion for mine warfare.”
And that presents challenges. The post-World War II political history of mine warfare (MIW) in the U.S. Navy—with politics defined as who gets what, when, where, and how—is fraught with a lack of sustained and stable commitment: relatively long periods of benign neglect, disinterest, uncertainty and insufficient funding punctuated by relatively short bursts of grave concern and avid support—usually directly related to some MIW embarrassment recently experienced—but soon followed by relatively long periods of benign neglect, disinterest, uncertainty and insufficient funding as Navy leadership focuses on more important concerns.