One of the best changes we have made to Proceedings in the past five years was moving the Naval Review issue from May to March. Being two months earlier in our annual lookback allows us to provide more timely analysis. It is a daunting task to distill a year in the life of the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marine into 3,500 words, but the review authors provide superb insights into the major stories and decisions of 2022.
To begin, Rob Holzer and Dmitry Filipoff expertly highlight the “critical new capabilities and concepts” the Navy is developing to replenish the battle force in “U.S. Navy in Review.” Wes Hammond and John Quinn provide an in-depth analysis of progress along the path to Force Design 2030 in “U.S. Marine Corps in Review.” In “U.S. Coast Guard in Review,” Joe DiRenzo and David Boyd recount key operational moments for the white-hulled fleet in 2022, interspersed with updates on recapitalization efforts and how the service is answering its recruiting and retention challenges. Guy “Bus” Snodgrass writes the “Naval Aviation and Weapons in Review” for us each year. Looking at lessons from the Russia-Ukraine war and China’s growing antiaccess/area-denial capabilities, Bus provides a sobering assessment. “These capabilities . . . make entering and operating within the first and second island chains a relative nightmare.”
My favorite part of this issue is the “U.S. Merchant Marine and World Maritime in Review” by Shashi Kumar. Proceedings primarily focuses on the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, but the global maritime industry is the backdrop against which the Sea Services operate. Shashi reminds us that 2022 was the year grain shipments from the Black Sea halted for months after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Other supply chain problems continued to impact the global economy as well. This section should be “required reading” for any professional mariner.
The General Prize Essay Contest winners appear in this issue. Mr. Mike Sweeney’s “Submarines Will Reign in a War with China” took first prize. Navy Lieutenant Commander Aaron Marchant’s “Strategy By Other Means” placed second, and “Fighting When the Network Dies,” by retired Captain Sam Tangredi, took the bronze medal.
The American Sea Power Project is back this month with Elbridge Colby’s “A Strategy of Denial for the Western Pacific.” Colby was a principal architect of the 2018 National Defense Strategy—one of the most footnoted sources in our pages over the past five years. In this article, he urges U.S. national leaders to focus on denying China the ability to retake Taiwan. To his thinking, global security and American prosperity hinge on this one key contest.
In this month’s celebration of 150 years of Proceedings, Naval Institute Senior Vice President Denis Clift highlights many “Major Naval Stories” that have appeared in our pages since 1874, starting with Commodore George Dewey’s Asiatic Fleet leaving Hong Kong in April 1898 for what would be the Battle of Manila Bay. Novel takes on the Civil War, Tsushima, Jutland, World War II, Desert Storm and more are included. It is an honor to be part of such rich publishing history.