As I write this in mid-January, we at the Naval Institute, and doubtless many of our members, are still sorting out our reactions to events on 6 January at the U.S. Capitol. The unprecedented 12 January “Message to the Joint Force” by the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and each of the Service Chiefs punctuated the seriousness of the moment: “We witnessed actions inside the Capitol building that were inconsistent with the rule of law. . . . The rights of freedom of speech and assembly do not give anyone the right to resort to violence, sedition and insurrection. As Service Members, we must embody the values and ideals of the Nation. We support and defend the Constitution.” Strong words for a turbulent time.
This month’s installment of the American Sea Power Project is contributed by one of my favorite authors, Naval War College Professor Jim Holmes. Jim writes for us often and has been a guest on the Proceedings podcast. I like Jim’s writing because it is clear and succinct, and his target audience is junior, active-duty professionals. In “Great Responsibility Demands a Great Navy”, Jim points out that “the scale of the regional and global responsibilities the United States has taken up since its founding is astounding.” He writes, “the Navy constitutes the long arm of foreign policy for this oceangoing republic. Ergo, great responsibility demands great sea power.” Following Jim’s article we include the first of your letters responding to the project, in the “American Sea Power Dialogue” section. As I have written before, your responses are vital to ensuring the project will be less a series of lectures and more of a debate.
What to do about the challenges posed by China and Russia has been a recurring theme on our pages. This month we have a commentary by the Commander, U.S. Strategic Command, Admiral Charles Richard, about “Forging 21st Century Strategic Deterrence” (pp. 12–14) to stay ahead of those nations’ growing and modernizing nuclear forces. Captain Tuan Pham provides an exceptional argument about space-based deterrence, “In Space, No One Can Hear You Bluff”.
While not a medical journal, from time to time Proceedings receives outstanding articles on military medical care. This month, we have three. Lieutenant Commander Matthew Thayer Hall’s “Drones Can Speed Medical Care, Search, and Rescue” won second prize in the 2020 Emerging and Disruptive Technology Essay Contest (sponsored by MITRE). “Revitalize Fleet Search, Rescue, and Recovery Operations,” by Major General Timothy Hanifen, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired), talks about the need for large-scale search, rescue, and recovery capabilities in a fleet-level war at sea. And Navy Lieutenant Olivia Peduzzi introduces us to “The Promising Virtual Mental Health Pilot” that has been helping sailors of the Navy’s Rota-based destroyers. COVID-19 has demanded a lot of flexibility and adaptation across the force, and telemedicine has taken on mental health challenges to keep ships at sea and sailors healthy and functional.
Next month is our annual “International Navies” issue. Until then, stay safe and be well.