For the past three years, we have put a growing emphasis on reaching and engaging a bigger international audience, and that emphasis has paid off. This year we have a record 26 foreign navy chiefs writing in this issue. The fourth objective of the Naval Institute’s current strategic plan calls for us to “broaden our community.” Reaching a larger international audience and reflecting their views in the pages of Proceedings answers that objective. It also shows that the Naval Institute, while independent of the U.S. Department of Defense, can align its efforts in ways that reflect the U.S. National Defense Strategy (NDS). In this case, broadening our community supports the NDS effort to “strengthen alliances and attract new partners.” And if you’re like me, you will learn a lot from reading the priorities, challenges, and successes of international naval leaders from the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Europe.
This year’s WEST symposium in San Diego (13–15 February) was a huge success. In its 29th year, the conference had more exhibitors than ever before and featured a stellar lineup of senior Defense Department officials and senior and junior officers from the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard who addressed “Sharpening the Competitive Edge: Are We Ready to Compete, Deter, and Win Globally?” If you were not able to attend this year, you can watch all the keynote speeches and panel discussions at www.westconference.org. Mark your calendars now for next year, 2–3 March 2020, for the 30th WEST symposium. We have not yet selected the theme for next year, but you can be certain it will be timely, important, and will encourage insightful dialogue by great speakers.
The Naval Institute has a diverse membership community, including about 4 percent from outside the United States. The Institute works with the International Programs Department at the Naval War College and the Coast Guard’s International Maritime Officers Course to introduce foreign officers to the benefits of an independent forum for greater global security cooperation. The Naval Institute’s independent forum welcomes foreign participants to create engaging debate. These debates and discussions among our members cross all borders so we can work together for greater maritime education, knowledge, and cooperation. Digital membership is by far the most cost-effective way for members outside the United States to receive Proceedings—either via the Proceedings mobile app or through our website. Wherever you are on the globe, the Naval Institute’s independent forum can travel with you, enabling you to stay connected and engaged. In addition, we welcome foreign perspectives, not only in the March special issue, but in every issue of Proceedings, to enrich the open and independent forum
Peter H. Daly
VADM, USN (Ret.)
Life Member and Member since 1978