The existing U.S. fleet organization is based on an assumption of supremacy against any adversary. Beginning in the 1990s, the nation used the post–Cold War calm to shrink the service. The Navy was expanded after 9/11, but with a focus on combating terrorism and projecting precision power onto land, not on winning a maritime conflict against a great power adversary. Today, however, the United States no longer can take maritime global superiority for granted. All corners of the Navy are awakening to the threats posed by China and Russia, and the service’s latest strategic moves reflect this. The new, less predictable ship-deployment scheme (coined “dynamic force employment”) and the return of Fleet Problem naval exercises after a 75-year hiatus will help to change the mind-set of a Navy that has become predictable, overconfident, and reliant on local, isolated warfighting tactics.1
1. Office of the Secretary of Defense, “Summary of the 2018 National Defense Strategy of the United States of America: Sharpening the American Military’s Competitive Edge” (Washington, DC: 2018), 5; ADM Scott Swift, USN, “Fleet Problems Offer Opportunities,” U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings 144, no. 3 (March 2018).
2. LT Joseph Hanacek, USN, “Presence Is Not Deterrence,” U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings 144, no. 4 (April 2018).
3. Wilson Wong and James G. Fergusson, Military Space Power: A Guide to the Issues (Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, 2010), 92–94.
4. Zach Dorfman, “Botched CIA Communications System Helped Blow Cover of Chinese Agents,” Foreign Policy, 15 August 2018.
5. “APT1: Exposing One of China’s Cyber Espionage Units,” Mandiant Intelligence Center, 19 February 2013.
6. CAPT Wayne P. Hughes and RADM Robert P. Girrier, USN (Ret.), Fleet Tactics and Naval Operations 3rd ed. (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2018), 290.
7. Andrew Gordon, The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command (London: John Murray, 1996), 578–901.
8. ADM Scott Swift, USN, “A Fleet Must Be Able to Fight,” U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings 144, no. 5 (May 2018).
9. Nicholas A. Lambert, “Transformation and Technology in the Fisher Era: The Impact of the Communications Revolution,” Journal of Strategic Studies 27, no. 2 (June 2004), 284.
10. Hughes and Girrier, Fleet Tactics and Naval Operations, 17.
11. Hughes and Girrier, Fleet Tactics and Naval Operations, 283.