against aircraft and missiles or for bombarding shore
targets. If aimed at ships, the targets will most likely be
small, fast, patrol craft. These crafts deliver missile or
torpedo attacks in coastal waters.
Sea power today includes many aspects of the naval
strength of a nation that did not exist in the last century.
Sea power now encompasses maritime industry and
marine sciences. These industries and sciences add to
our national economy by exploring new resources for
food, freshwater, minerals, and even living space.
Figure 20-1 shows a Carrier Task Group, one
concept of sea power today. Sea power is a unique
resource that nations can use in the oceans. We use it to
reach political, economic, and military goals in times of
peace and war.
The seas are our lifeline for survival. In addition to
being a barrier between nations and a broad highway for
ships, the seas are an important source of food,
minerals, and metals. We use oceangoing craft to get to
these riches. The development of these craft has resulted
in the need to provide for their protection.
A well-established theory for the economic
advantage of a nation is to produce goods and services
and exchange them with other nations. Throughout
history, nations that have traded this way and conducted
a strong foreign trade have prospered and grown in
economic and political strength. Those that have failed
in commerce have also failed as world powers.
Throughout history, no country has ever become a
world power without a strong foreign trade. All
countries generally have raw materials, but they often
have limited quantities. Countries then trade with each
other to get needed materials. Modern nations with
highly complex economies need more raw materials
from other countries. We can often obtain many
manufactured goods cheaper from other countries than
we can produce them locally. As a matter of economic
reality, most nations must trade or decline in strength.
Until recently, Americans believed that our raw
materials would last forever and that we could live
without help from any other nation. With our population
growth and the advanced technology of the United
States, this concept has changed. Today we rely heavily
on trade with our world neighbors for raw materials. We
need that kind of trade to keep our economy strong and
our work force employed.
Figure 20-1.U. S. naval sea power.