A New Look at Seapower: What is Old is New Again

14 November 2016.

These two, seemingly unrelated news clips are, in fact, linked through their common concerns over an apparent return to Cold War concepts of naval strategy. The common denominator is the rise of Russian sea power both under and on the surface of the oceans. In the first item, the Norwegian admiral questions the need for the growth of Russia's blue water navy when the country's present status would only call for a regional navy. The second article is concerned with the growth in the number of submarines in the world and the fact that they could present future challenges to the US Navy in its exercise of "freedom of navigation" and thus the ability of the United States to use its Navy as an instrument of diplomacy. Together, the articles lead to several questions on the nature of 21st-century sea power; specifically, has it really changed from the closing days of the 20th century. Thinking about recent Russian maneuvers and the problems naval coalitions face in the seas of the Horn of Africa and the Gulf of Oman, it would seem that there has been little change in sea power since the end of the Cold War. In fact, it might appear that we are witnessing a return of Cold War-style naval strategies. Is it time to dust off the books by such eminent naval thinkers as Mahan, Corbett, and Cable? But we should also be asking ourselves, "What capabilities should be built into future generations of warships" It certainly seems that a return to ASW is warranted.




Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *