A fleet is more than a collection of ships, and a campaign is more than a single event. With the reemergence of great power competition, naval forces must clearly articulate what naval campaigning means today. How we develop, sequence, execute, and sustain naval operations over time will determine our ability to control the seas or deny their use to our enemies, to project power, and to secure the sea lines of communication in times of crisis.
Naval campaign planning must include not only the Navy’s warfare communities, but also the Marine Corps’. Nearly two years ago, my predecessor, former Commandant General Robert Neller, drew applause at the 2019 Naval Institute/AFCEA WEST Conference when he said, “We’re going to have to fight to get to the fight,” and, “I think we’re going to need more submarines” in a fight against a peer adversary. While those were bold statements from a Marine general, I am ready to take that line of thinking even further. The undersea fight will be so critical in the High North and in the western Pacific that the Marine Corps must be part of it.
1. John T. Hanley, Jr., “Creating the 1980s Maritime Strategy and Implications for Today,” Naval War College Review, (Spring 2014), 8–9 AB.
2. VADM James G. Foggo, USN, and Alarik Fritz, “The Fourth Battle of the Atlantic,” U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, June 2016, www.usni.org/magazines/proceedings/2016/june/fourth-battle-atlantic.
3. Gen David Berger, USMC, Force Design 2030, (Headquarters USMC, Washington, DC: 2020).
4. Dustin League and Dan Justice, “Sink ‘em All: Envisioning Marine Corps Maritime Interdiction”, Center for International Maritime Security, 8 June 2020. http://cimsec.org/sink-em-all-envisioning-marine-corps-maritime-interdiction/44130.
5. ADM James D. Watkins, USN, The Maritime Strategy, supplement to U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, January 1986, www.usni.org/magazines/proceedings/1986/january-supplement/maritime-strategy-0.