seaward and beyond. Some of these elements are
ships, aircraft, weapons, and trained personnel.
Equally important are the shore establishment,
well-situated bases, commercial shipping, and
international alignments. The following elements
determine a nations capacity to exercise sea
The character of
and number of its
The soundness of its economy
Its industrial efficiency
The development of its internal
The quality and number of its harbors
The extent of its coastline; and the location
of its homeland, bases, and overseas
territories with respect to sea communica-
The ability to project sea power could be in
jeopardy, and eventually lost, if any of these
elements are weak or lacking.
THE NAVYS ROLE IN THE
NATIONAL SECURITY POLICY
The United States national security policy
strives to preserve our freedom with our
institutions and values intact. We are a global
power with global interests and obligations. The
Navy must be prepared to act at any time to
ensure national security while limiting crises,
controlling escalation, or stopping a conflict. We
must be able to deal with a wide range of threats
to our freedom.
If the United States is to continue to exist as
we know it today, it must have a policy that
recognizes its worldwide commitments. Naval
forces underline Americas commitments and
interests everyday by their presence near friendly,
neutral, and hostile shores. This presence asserts
and reinforces principles of international law and
freedom of the seas on a continuing basis.
Naval forces can be sent to crisis areas at low
cost by comparison with other military forces.
Naval forces require no access or overflight rights
and can stay on station indefinitely. Naval forces
leave behind no physical reminders of their
presence; however, their ability to come and go
at will is a strong symbolic reminder of their
presence. Since World War II, the U.S. Navy has
been instrumental in handling international
incidents that require the use of military force.
NAVAL MARITIME STRATEGY
The United States seeks to deter war; but when
any country starts hostilities or conflict, the
United States defends itself and its allies.
National military strategy rests on three
basic pillars: DETERRENCE, FORWARD
DEFENSE, and ALLIANCE SOLIDARITY.
When deterrence fails to prevent an enemys
attack, the United States responds in one of four
forms. It (1) meets force with force at the point
of attack, (2) increases the intensity of the conflict,
(3) alters the geographic width of the conflict, or
(4) controls the duration of fighting.
Maritime superiority enables us to deny the
enemy any advantage through expansion. It also
allows us to take the conflict to an area where the
enemy does not want to fight. The flexibility of
sea power permits us to outflank a foe, causing
an enemy to spread its forces around its perimeter.
This tactic requires the enemy to commit a great
number of personnel and materials to defend its
otherwise secure flank. The enemy must defend
itself against our submarines, surface ships,
aircraft, missiles, mines, and amphibious and
special forces. With secure sea-lanes the Navy has
the ability to outlast any aggressor.
Any major conflict involves our allies, and we
recognize the importance of their contributions.
The Navy structures its forces, to the extent
possible, to take advantage of the role allied naval
forces play. Allied capabilities in mine warfare,
air defense, submarine operations, and maritime
patrol are important elements in maintaining
Maritime superiority for the United States is
a necessity. The Navy must be able in time of
emergency to venture into harms way. It must
be able to control air, surface, and subsurface
areas to assure access to all the oceans of the
world. The Navy must ensure that access and meet
its operational requirements despite the
requirement for a smaller Navy. To do this, it
maintains the combat readiness of its ships with
the most modern technology and with the
recruitment of dedicated and well-trained