The U.S. Naval Institute on Naval Strategy

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In the U.S. Navy, “Wheel Books” were once found in the uniform pockets of every junior and many senior petty officers. Each small notebook was unique to the Sailor carrying it, but all had in common a collection of data and wisdom that the individual deemed useful in the effective execution of his or her duties. Often used as a substitute for experience among neophytes and as a portable library of reference information for more experienced personnel, those weathered pages contained everything from the time of the next tide, to leadership hints from a respected chief petty officer, to the color coding of the phone-and-distance line used in underway replenishments.

In that same tradition, the new Naval Institute Wheel Books will provide supplemental information, pragmatic advice, and cogent analysis on topics important to all naval professionals. Drawn from the U.S. Naval Institute’s vast archives, the series will combine articles from the Institute’s flagship publication Proceedings, selections from the oral history collection and from Naval Institute Press books to create unique guides on a wide array of fundamental professional subjects.

Strategy is described by the Dictionary of Modern Strategy and Tactics as having “a permanent nature, but an ever-changing character.” For more than a century, both the nature and the character of this essential discipline have been explored in depth by contributors to the Naval Institute’s magazines, books, and oral histories. Drawing from those powerful resources, this collection makes clear why naval strategy has always straddled the boundaries between art and science and why its study and employment are essential components of the sea service profession.

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Editorial Reviews

"Comprising a series of essays written by some of America's most illustrious naval names ranging from Stansfield Turner through James Stavridis to Norman Friedman, this fine collection of writings from the U.S. Naval Institute's archive provides an easy way for the modern naval officer to learn from history. Strategy is a complex concept that is too frequently misrepresented in literature. The careful selection and editing of this collection avoids that danger absolutely. As in most of life, very little is achieved in naval operations without a carefully defined and articulated strategy. While focused on naval strategy, this little book is just as valuable for army and air force officers and, indeed, businessmen and women."—Baird
"This book is informative and thought provoking. I recommend this edited volume to all persons who are interested in maritime issues. Readers will gain a better understanding of the important role of navies in implementing the maritime strategy of their country."—Canadian Naval Review
"Naval Strategy is a remarkable anthology of outstanding articles on the subject. The selected articles provide sufficient information to raise alternatives and to further inform debate. This book is not just a tool for professional education, it is also a catalyst for future intellectual discussion. Every serious naval professional and every Ward Room should have a copy."—Australian Naval Institute