U.S. Naval Power in the 21st Century

A New Strategy for Facing the Chinese and Russian Threat

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This nation’s Cold War and Global War on Terror defense structures need an update.  U.S. Naval Power in the 21st Century provides such a framework for the changed world we live in, offering a detailed roadmap that shows how the United States can field a war-winning fleet that can also compete aggressively in peacetime against dangerous competitors unlike any the nation has faced before.

Brent Sadler presents a compelling new strategy and organizing approach that he calls naval statecraft, which acknowledges the centrality and importance of the maritime domain. While similar in scale and scope to Cold War containment strategies against the Soviets, naval statecraft is much more. It must be to challenge China’s involvement in global supply chains, which gives that country significant financial heft and influence around the world.  Unlike what existed during of the Cold War, however, Sadler provides a unique vision for competing with China and Russia.

Rather than simply calling for better coordinated U.S. diplomacy, military operations, and economic statecraft, Sadler argues for integrating the levers of national power coherently and in a sustainable way.  This is no small feat, and his approach is informed by a long career rich in working with various agencies of government, foreign militaries (including hostile ones), and our allies.  It is an approach imminently appropriate to our times but comes with a realization that the nation is not ready for the competition it faces from China and Russia.

The book is a valuable contribution to the national debate over how best to respond to China’s rise and Russia’s antagonisms.

About the Author

Editorial Reviews

"Brent Sadler’s U.S. Naval Power in the 21st Century makes a detailed case for stronger U.S. diplomatic engagement around the world, backed by renewed naval and maritime power. Those seeking to learn a naval perspective on today’s strategic problems should begin their study here."—Robert Haddick, author of Fire on the Water, Second Edition: China, America, and the Future of the Pacific; Visiting Senior Fellow, Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies
"Brent Sadler has written a provocative and important book. It is especially timely, addressing the important challenges to U.S. national security posed by China and Russia. Sadler, a retired submariner and advisor to senior Naval commanders and civilian defense officials, has the experience and qualifications to address the security problems currently facing the Navy and the nation. His book is particularly valuable for offering a whole-of-government approach to meeting the nation’s security challenges, with the Navy as the necessary central force in guaranteeing national security."—Bernard D. Cole, Capt., USN (Ret.), Author of China’s Quest for Great Power: Ships, Oil, and Diplomacy (USNIP, 2016)
“Brent Sadler’s timely and compelling contribution to maritime strategy and broader strategic thinking is refreshing. He convincingly blends military, economic, and technical insight in addressing the strategic challenges of our time. U.S. Naval Power in the 21st Century stands apart as a thoughtful and convincing call for relevant and renewed American naval power and the imperative of naval statecraft in ensuring American prosperity and global influence.” —ADM Gary Roughead, USN (Ret.), former Chief of Naval Operations
"U.S. Naval Power in the 21st Century describes his [Sadler's] vision for a kind of "naval statecraft" that integrates diplomacy, military operations, and economic development to counter the maritime threats from an empowered China and Russia. The book is an excellent resource for policymakers as there are several concrete recommendations for Congress included in the book. Naval Power is a serious book for policy professionals or anyone who wants to better understand the current state of the U.S. Navy and maritime threats and how the U.S. can better position itself to prevail in great power competition."—Books for Congress
"The problem tackled in this book is the urgent need to recapitalise and reform the US fleet so as to fit it better for an era of enhanced great power competition. The author is Brent Sadler, a retired US Navy submariner who remains active in the US maritime community and is affiliated to the conservative Heritage Foundation in Washington. Sadler sets about his task in an impressively methodical and professional way. There are 60 pages of nicely organised reference notes and a 12-page bibliography. The book is clearly written and logically structured. Overall though, "the goal of this book is to provide a framework for effectively competing with China and Russia, safeguarding U.S. national interests and the global rules-based maritime order”. Quibbles apart, it does just that and is highly recommended."—The Naval Review
"An important roadmap by a retired U.S. Navy Captain of how U.S. naval power needs to adopt to the evolving new warfare environment required to compete effectively against American adversaries, such as China and Russia. This involves deploying a “war-winning fleet,” and a new strategy and organizing approach which the author terms ‘naval statecraft,’ which will enable the U.S. Navy to assert itself in the maritime domain."—Journal of Counterterrorism and National Security


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