Editor's Page

Paul Merzlak, Editor-in-Chief

Some believe that our global and homeland security would be enhanced if the nation were not so dependent on foreign oil sources. Energy independence has been a battle cry of politicians of all stripes going back to the oil shocks of the 1970s: “Wouldn’t it be great if the United States were not tied to unreliable and sometimes volatile foreign sources of oil?” The consensus in this country is predictable, but the outcome could be fraught with unforeseen consequences. For example, what impact would that have on the U.S. Pacific Command, which, Lieutenant Commander Scott Bennie is quick to point out, operates in China’s back yard? “The political ties that stem from today’s global economy,” he cautions, “cannot be overstated.” Strong U.S. relationships with Middle East and North African nations allow the United States to “truly focus on Southeast Asian partnerships and boost its national-security posture in the region” as China and India increase fuel imports by leaps and bounds.

The Pacific isn’t the only region requiring our continued engagement. The Black Sea, historically always of intense strategic importance to Russia, has become so again, as the reawakening bear has stormed into Ukraine, peeled off Crimea, and revitalized its Black Sea Fleet. So where do Russia’s Ukrainian moves fit into the larger global picture? It’s a viable question, as Vladimir Putin continues to flex Russian military muscle in various corners. American Policy Council Senior Fellow Stephen Blank provides a keen inside view of the geostrategic implications of Russia’s new beefed-up Black Sea presence—and what it might portend in regions ranging from Eastern Europe to the Middle East.

In this issue we welcome a new regular columnist with the debut of “Charting a Course” by retired Navy Captain Kevin Eyer. A longtime contributor to Proceedings , Kevin will pull no punches while offering valuable career insights gained from his many years of service. His column will also showcase the accumulated wisdom of some of the top figures in the naval profession today. Kevin’s writings have often generated spirited discussions in the Open Forum, and we are thrilled to be able to feature his work on a more regular basis going forward.

Welcome aboard, Kevin!



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