Maritime Strategy--A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower

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  • 8/14/2019 Maritime Strategy--A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower


    A Cooperative Strategy

    for21st Century Seapower

    october 2007

  • 8/14/2019 Maritime Strategy--A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower


    90% of the worlds

    commerce travels by sea;

    the vast majority

    of the worlds population

    lives within

    a few hundred miles

    of the oceans;nearly three quarters

    of the planet

    is covered by water.

    seapower protects

    the american way of life

  • 8/14/2019 Maritime Strategy--A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower


    A Cooperative Strategyor 21st Century

    Seapower represents an

    historical frst.Never beore have the maritime orces o the United Statesthe Navy,

    Marine Corps, and Coast Guardcome together to create a unifed

    maritime strategy. This strategy stresses an approach that integrates

    seapower with other elements o national power, as well as those o our

    riends and allies. It describes how seapower will be applied around

    the world to protect our way o lie, as we join with other like-minded

    nations to protect and sustain the global, inter-connected system through

    which we prosper. Our commitment to protecting the homeland and

    winning our Nations wars is matched by a corresponding commitment to

    preventing war.

    Our citizens were involved in development o this strategy through a

    series o public orums known as the Conversations with the Country.

    Three themes dominated these discussions: our people want us to remain

    strong; they want us to protect them and our homeland, and they want us

    to work with partners around the world to prevent war. These themes,

    coupled with rigorous academic research, analysis and debate, led to a

    comprehensive strategy designed to meet the expectations and needs o

    the American people.

    A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower binds our services more

    closely together than they have ever been beore to advance the prosperity

    and security o our Nation. The demands o an uncertain world and the

    enduring interests o the American people require nothing less.

    James T. ConwayGeneral, U.S. Marine Corps

    Commandant of the Marine Corps

    Gary RougheadAdmiral, U.S. Navy

    Chief of Naval Operations

    Thad W. AllenAdmiral, U.S. Coast Guard

    Commandant of the Coast Guard

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    The security, prosperity, and vital interests o the United States are

    increasingly coupled to those o other nations. Our Nations interests are bestserved by ostering a peaceul global system comprised o interdependent

    networks o trade, nance, inormation, law, people and governance.

    We prosper because o this system o exchange among nations, yet

    recognize it is vulnerable to a range o disruptions that can produce

    cascading and harmul eects ar rom their sources. Major power war,

    regional confict, terrorism, lawlessness and natural disastersall have the

    potential to threaten U.S. national security and world prosperity.

    The oceans connect the nations o the world, even those countries that

    are landlocked. Because the maritime domainthe worlds oceans, seas,

    bays, estuaries, islands, coastal areas, littorals, and the airspace above

    themsupports 90% o the worlds trade, it carries the lieblood o a

    global system that links every country on earth. Covering three-quarters o

    the planet, the oceans make neighbors o people around the world. Theyenable us to help riends in need and to conront and deeat aggression ar

    rom our shores.

    Today, the United States and its partners nd themselves competing

    or global infuence in an era in which they are unlikely to be ully at

    war or ully at peace. Our challenge is to apply seapower in a manner

    that protects U.S. vital interests even as it promotes greater collective

    security, stability, and trust. While deending our homeland and deeating

    adversaries in war remain the indisputable ends o seapower, it must be

    applied more broadly i it is to serve the national interest.

    We believe thatpreventing wars is as important as winning wars. Thereis a tension, however, between the requirements or continued peacetime

    engagement and maintaining prociency in the critical skills necessary

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    to ghting and winning in combat. Maritime orces must contribute to

    winning wars decisively while enhancing our ability to prevent war, win

    the long struggle against terrorist networks, positively infuence events,

    and ease the impact o disasters.

    As it has always been, these critical tasks will be carried out by our

    peoplethe key to success in any military strategy. Accordingly, we willprovide our peopleour Sailors, Marines, and Coast Guardsmenwith

    the training, education and tools necessary to promote peace and prevail

    in confict.

    Guided by the objectives articulated in the National Security Strategy,

    National Defense Strategy, National Military Strategy and the National

    Strategy for Maritime Security, the United States Navy, Marine Corps,

    and Coast Guard will act across the ull

    range o military operations to secure

    the United States rom direct attack;

    secure strategic access and retain global

    reedom o action; strengthen existing

    and emerging alliances and partnerships

    and establish avorable security


    Additionally, maritime orces will be

    employed to build condence and

    trust among nations through collective

    security eorts that ocus on common

    threats and mutual interests in an

    open, multi-polar world. To do so

    will requirean unprecedented level o

    integration among our maritime orces and enhanced cooperation with

    the other instruments o national power, as well as the capabilities

    o our international partners. Seapower will be a unifying force for

    building a better tomorrow.

    Challenges o a New EraThe world economy is tightly interconnected. Over the past our decades,

    total sea borne trade has more than quadrupled: 90% o world trade

    and two-thirds o its petroleum are transported by sea. The sea-lanes

    and supporting shore inrastructure are the lielines o the modern global

    economy, visible and vulnerable symbols o the modern distribution system

    Because the maritime

    domainthe worlds oceans,

    seas, bays, estuaries, islands,

    coastal areas, littorals,and the airspace above

    themsupports 90% of the

    worlds trade, it carries

    the lifeblood of a

    global systemthat links

    every country on earth.

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    that relies on ree transit through increasingly urbanized littoral regions.

    Expansion o the global system has increased the prosperity o many

    nations. Yet their continued growth may create increasing competition

    or resources and capital with other economic powers, transnational

    corporations and international organizations. Heightened popular

    expectations and increased competition or resources, coupled with

    scarcity, may encourage nations to exert wider claims o sovereignty overgreater expanses o ocean, waterways, and natural resourcespotentially

    resulting in confict.

    Technology is rapidly expanding marine activities such as energy

    development, resource extraction, and other commercial activity in and

    under the oceans. Climate change is gradually opening up the waters

    o the Arctic, not only to new resource development, but also to new

    shipping routes that may reshape the global transport system. While these

    developments oer opportunities or growth, they are potential sources o

    competition and confict or access and natural resources.

    Globalization is also shaping human migration patterns, health,

    education, culture, and the conduct o confict. Conficts are increasingly

    characterized by a hybrid blend o traditional and irregular tactics, de-

    centralized planning and execution, andnon-state actors using both simple and

    sophisticated technologies in innovative

    ways. Weak or corrupt governments,

    growing dissatisaction among the

    disenranchised, religious extremism,

    ethnic nationalism, and changing

    demographicsoten spurred on by

    the uneven and sometimes unwelcome

    advances o globalizationexacerbate

    tensions and are contributors to confict.

    Concurrently, a rising number o

    transnational actors and rogue states,

    emboldened and enabled with unprecedented access to the global stage,

    can cause systemic disruptions in an eort to increase their power andinfuence. Their actions, oten designed to purposely incite confict

    between other parties, will complicate attempts to deuse and allay

    regional confict.

    Prolieration o weapons technology and inormation has increased

    the capacity o nation-states and transnational actors to challenge

    United States seapower

    will be globally postured

    to secure our

    homeland and

    citizens from

    direct attack and

    to advance our interests

    around the world.

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    maritime access, evade accountability or attacks, and manipulate public

    perception. Asymmetric use o technology will pose a range o threats

    to the United States and its partners. Even more worrisome, the appetite

    or nuclear and other weapons o mass destruction is growing among

    nations and non-state antagonists. At the same time, attacks on legal,

    nancial, and cyber systems can be equally, i not more, disruptive than

    kinetic weapons.

    The vast majority o the worlds population lives within a ew hundred

    miles o the oceans. Social instability in increasingly crowded cities,many o which exist in already unstable parts o the world, has the

    potential to create signicant disruptions. The eects o climate change

    may also ampliy human suering through catastrophic storms, loss o

    arable lands, and coastal fooding, could lead to loss o lie, involuntary

    migration, social instability, and regional crises.

    Mass communications will highlight the drama o human suering, and

    disadvantaged populations will be ever more painully aware and less

    tolerant o their conditions. Extremist ideologies will become increasingly

    attractive to those in despair and beret o opportunity. Criminal elements

    will also exploit this social instability.

    These conditions combine to create an uncertain uture and cause

    us to think anew about how we view seapower. No one nation has

    the resources required to provide saety and security throughout theentire maritime domain. Increasingly, governments, non-governmental

    organizations, international organizations, and the private sector will

    orm partnerships o common interest to counter these emerging threats.

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    Maritime Strategic Concept

    This strategy rearms the use o seapower to infuence actions and

    activities at sea and ashore. The expeditionary character and versatility o

    maritime orces provide the U.S. the asymmetric advantage o enlarging

    or contracting its military ootprint in areas where access is denied or

    limited. Permanent or prolonged basing o our military orces overseas

    oten has unintended economic, social or political repercussions. The sea

    is a vast maneuver space, where the presence o maritime orces can be

    adjusted as conditions dictate to enable fexible approaches to escalation,

    de-escalation and deterrence o conficts.

    The speed, fexibility, agility and scalability o maritime orces provide

    joint or combined orce commanders a range o options or responding to

    crises. Additionally, integrated maritime operations, either within ormal

    alliance structures (such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization) or

    more inormal arrangements (such as the Global Maritime Partnership

    initiative), send powerul messages to would-be aggressors that we will

    act with others to ensure collective security and prosperity.

    United States seapower will be globally postured to secure our homeland

    and citizens from direct attack and to advance our interests around the

    world. As our security and prosperity are inextricably linked with those

    o others, U.S. maritime orces will be deployed to protect and sustain the

    peaceul global system comprised o interdependent networks o trade,

    nance, inormation, law, people and governance.

    We will employ the global reach, persistent presence, and operational

    fexibility inherent in U.S. seapower to accomplish six key tasks, or

    strategic imperatives. Where tensions are high or where we wish to

    demonstrate to our riends and allies our commitment to security

    and stability, U.S. maritime orces will be characterized by regionally

    concentrated, orward-deployed task orces with the combat power to

    limit regional confict, deter major power war, and should deterrence

    ail, win our Nations wars as part o a joint or combined campaign. In

    addition, persistent, mission-tailored maritime orces will be globally

    distributed in order to contribute to homeland deense-in-depth,

    oster and sustain cooperative relationships with an expanding set o

    international partners, and prevent or mitigate disruptions and crises.

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  • 8/14/2019 Maritime Strategy--A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower


    Deter major power war. No other disruption is as potentially disastrous

    to global stability as war among major powers. Maintenance and

    extension o this Nations comparative seapower advantage is a key

    component o deterring major power war. While war with another great

    power strikes many as improbable, the near-certainty o its ruinous

    eects demands that it be actively deterred using all elements o national

    power. The expeditionary character o maritime orcesour lethality,

    global reach, speed, endurance, ability to overcome barriers to access,

    and operational agilityprovide the joint commander with a range

    o deterrent options. We will pursue an approach to deterrence that

    includes a credible and scalable ability to retaliate against aggressors

    conventionally, unconventionally, and with nuclear orces.

    Win our Nations wars. In times o war, our ability to impose local sea

    control, overcome challenges to access, orce entry, and project and

    sustain power ashore, makes our maritime orces an indispensable

    element o the joint or combined orce. This expeditionary advantage

    must be maintained because it provides joint and combined orce

    commanders with reedom o maneuver. Reinorced by a robust sealit

    capability that can concentrate and sustain orces, sea control and power

    projection enable extended campaigns ashore.

    Globally Distributed, Mission-Tailored Maritime Forces

    The Sea Services will establish a persistent global presence using

    distributed orces that are organized by mission and comprised o

    integrated Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard capabilities. This global

    distribution must extend beyond traditional deployment areas and refect

    missions ranging rom humanitarian operations to an increased emphasis

    on counter-terrorism and irregular warare. Our maritime orces will be

    tailored to meet the unique and evolving requirements particular to each

    geographic region, oten in conjunction with special operations orces

    and other interagency partners. In particular, this strategy recognizes the

    rising importance and need or increased

    peacetime activities in Arica and the

    Western Hemisphere.

    Contribute to homeland defense in depth.

    Maritime orces will deend the homeland

    by identiying and neutralizing threats

    as ar rom our shores as possible. From

    ostering critical relationships overseas,

    to screening ships bound or our ports,

    or rapidly responding to any threats

    Although our forces

    can surge when necessary to

    respond to crises,

    trust and

    cooperation cannot

    be surged.

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  • 8/14/2019 Maritime Strategy--A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower


    security and awareness in the maritime domain. In doing so, transnational

    threatsterrorists and extremists; prolierators o weapons o mass

    destruction; pirates; trackers in persons, drugs, and conventional

    weapons; and other criminalswill be constrained.

    By being there, orward deployed and engaged in mutually benecial

    relationships with regional and global partners, maritime orces will

    promote rameworks that enhance security. When natural or manmade

    disasters strike, our maritime orces can provide humanitarian assistance

    and relie, joining with interagency and non-governmental partners. By

    participating routinely and predictably in cooperative activities, maritime

    orces will be postured to support other joint or combined orces to

    mitigate and localize disruptions.

    Implementing the Strategy

    To successully implement this strategy, the Sea Services must collectively

    expand the core capabilities o U.S. seapower to achieve a blend o

    peacetime engagement and major combat operations capabilities.

    Expanded Core Capabilities

    Although the Sea Services conduct many missions, the ollowing six

    capabilities comprise the core o U.S. maritime power and refect an

    increase in emphasis on those activities that prevent war and build


    Forward Presence. Maritime orces will be orward deployed, especially

    in an era o diverse threats to the homeland. Operating orward enables

    amiliarity with the environment, as well as the personalities and behavior

    patterns o regional actors. Mindul o the sovereignty o other nations,

    this infuence and understanding contributes to eective responses

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    in the event o crisis. Should peacetime operations transition to war,

    maritime orces will have already developed the environmental and

    operational understanding and experience to quickly engage in combat

    operations. Forward presence also allows us to combat terrorism as

    ar rom our shores as possible. Where and when applicable, orward-

    deployed maritime orces will isolate, capture, or destroy terrorists, their

    inrastructure, resources and sanctuaries, preerably in conjunction with

    coalition partners.

    Deterrence. Preventing war is preerable to ghting wars. Deterring

    aggression must be viewed in global, regional, and transnational terms

    via conventional, unconventional, and nuclear means. Eective Theater

    Security Cooperation activities are a orm o extended deterrence,

    creating security and removing conditions or confict.Maritime ballistic

    missile deense will enhance deterrence

    by providing an umbrella o protection

    to orward-deployed orces and riends

    and allies, while contributing to the

    larger architecture planned or deense

    o the United States. Our advantage in

    spaceupon which much o our ability

    to operate in a networked, dispersed

    ashion dependsmust be protected

    and extended. We will use orward

    based and orward deployed orces,

    space-based assets, sea-based strategic

    deterrence and other initiatives to deter

    those who wish us harm.

    Sea Control. The ability to operate reely at sea is one o the most

    important enablers o joint and interagency operations, and sea controlrequires capabilities in all aspects o the maritime domain, including

    space and cyberspace. There are many challenges to our ability to exercise

    sea control, perhaps none as signicant as the growing number o

    nations operating submarines, both advanced diesel-electric and nuclear

    propelled. We will continue to hone the tactics, training and technologies

    needed to neutralize this threat. We will not permit conditions under

    which our maritime orces would be impeded rom reedom o

    maneuver and reedom o access, nor will we permit an adversary to

    disrupt the global supply chain by attempting to block vital sea-lines

    o communication and commerce. We will be able to impose local sea

    control wherever necessary, ideally in concert with riends and allies, but

    by ourselves i we must.

    As a declaratory

    strategy, this document

    challenges the

    sea services to

    evolve an expanded

    range of integrated


    to achieve enduring national

    strategic objectives.

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    Power Projection. Our ability to overcome challenges to access and to

    project and sustain power ashore is the basis o our combat credibility.

    Our advantages will be sustained through properly sized orces,

    innovative technologies, understanding o adversary capabilities,

    adaptive joint planning processes and the prociency and ingenuity o

    our Sailors, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen. We will maintain a robust

    strategic sealit capability to rapidly concentrate and sustain orces, and

    to enable joint and/or combined campaigns. This capability relies on

    the maintenance o a strong U.S. commercial maritime transportation

    industry and its critical intermodal assets.

    Maritime Security.The creation and maintenance o security at sea is

    essential to mitigating threats short o war, including piracy, terrorism,

    weapons prolieration, drug tracking, and other illicit activities.

    Countering these irregular and transnational threats protects our

    homeland, enhances global stability, and secures reedom o navigation

    or the benet o all nations. Our maritime orces enorce domestic

    and international law at sea through established protocols such as the

    Maritime Operational Threat Response Plan (MOTR). We also join

    navies and coast guards around the world to police the global commons

    and suppress common threats.

    Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster

    Response. Building on relationships

    orged in times o calm, we will

    continue to mitigate human suering

    as the vanguard o interagency and

    multinational eorts, both in a

    deliberate, proactive ashion and in

    response to crises. Human suering

    moves us to act, and the expeditionary

    character o maritime orces uniquely

    positions them to provide assistance.

    Our ability to conduct rapid and

    sustained non-combatant evacuation

    operations is critical to relieving the plight o our citizens and others

    when their saety is in jeopardy.

    Implementation Priorities

    Implementation o this strategy will require that the Sea Services

    demonstrate fexibility, adaptability and unity o eort in evolving to meet

    the enduring and emerging challenges and opportunities ahead. Specic

    initiatives in support o this strategy must be vetted and tested over

    At all echelons of

    command, we must

    enhance our ability to

    conduct integrated

    planning, execution,andassessment.

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    time through experimentation, wargaming, and continued operational

    experience, with periodic oversight and unifed guidance provided by the

    senior leaders o the Sea Services. While many initiatives must come to

    ruition to enable this strategy, three areas will receive priority attention:

    Improve Integration and Interoperability. The combatant commanders

    increased demand or mission-tailored orce packages requires a more

    integrated approach to how maritime orces are employed.

    Marines will continue to be employed as air-ground task orces operating

    rom amphibious ships to conduct a variety o missions, such as power

    projection, but they will also be employed as detachments aboard a

    wider variety o ships and cutters or maritime security missions. Sailors,

    Marines, and Coast Guardsmen, teamed in various combinations o

    security orces, mobile training teams, construction battalions, health

    services, law enorcement, and civil aairs units to conduct security

    cooperation and humanitarian assistance missions, illustrate adaptive

    orce packaging.

    Homeland deense is the most obvious example o the requirement or

    greater integration. It is not sufcient to speak o homeland deense

    in terms o splitting the responsibilities and authorities between the

    Navy and the Coast Guard along some undefned geographic boundary.

    Rather, the Sea Services mustand willwork as one wherever they

    operate in order to deend the United States. Consistent with the

    National Fleet Policy, Coast Guard orces must be able to operate as

    part o a joint task orce thousands o miles rom our shores, and navalorces must be able to respond to operational tasking close to home

    when necessary to secure our Nation and support civil authorities.

    Integration and interoperability are key to success in these activities,

    particularly where diverse orces o varying capability and mission

    must work together seamlessly in support o deense, security, and

    humanitarian operations.

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    Expanded cooperation with the maritime orces o other nations requires

    more interoperability with multinational partners possessing varying

    levels o technology. The Global Maritime Partnership initiative will serve

    as a catalyst or increased international interoperability in support o

    cooperative maritime security.

    Achieving the requisite level o integration and interoperability will

    demand a high degree o coordination among service headquarters stas

    to ulfll their responsibilities o providing, training, and equipping

    orces. Furthermore, Navy and Marine Corps component commanders

    and Coast Guard unctional commanders will play a central role

    in determining how maritime orces are organized, deployed, and

    employed. This role involves identifcation o combatant commander

    requirements and articulation o how their respective service capabilities

    can be integrated in innovative ways to meet those requirements.

    Close coordination among, i not outright integration o, maritime

    components may be required to do this eectively. At all echelons o

    command, we must enhance our ability to conduct integrated planning,

    execution, and assessment.

    Enhance Awareness. To be eective, there must be a signifcantly

    increased commitment to advance maritime domain awareness (MDA)

    and expand intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capability

    and capacity. New partnerships with the worlds maritime commercial

    interests and the maritime orces o participating nations will reduce

    the dangerous anonymity o sea borne transport o people and cargoes.

    Great strides have already been taken in that direction, and the National

    Strategy for Maritime Security has mandated an even higher level o

    interagency cooperation in pursuit o eective MDA. Maritime orces

    will contribute to enhance inormation sharing, underpinning and

    energizing our capability to neutralize threats to our Nation as ar rom

    our shores as possible.

    Critical to realizing the benefts o increased awareness is our ability

    to protect inormation rom compromise through robust inormation

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    assurance measures. Such measures will increase international partner

    condence that inormation provided will be shared only with those

    entities or which it is intended.

    Adversaries are unlikely to attempt conventional orce-on-orce confict

    and, to the extent that maritime orces could be openly challenged,

    their plans will almost certainly rely on asymmetric attack and surprise,

    achieved through stealth, deception, or ambiguity. Our ISR capabilities

    must include innovative ways to penetrate the designs o adversaries,

    and discern their capabilities and vulnerabilities while supporting the

    ull range o military operations. We must remove the possibility o an

    adversary gaining the initiative over orward-deployed orces and ensure

    we provide decision makers with the inormation they need to deter

    aggression and consider escalatory measures in advance o such gambits.

    Prepare Our People. Given the

    distributed nature o the orces

    executing this strategy, we must

    properly prepare Sailors, Marines, and

    Coast Guardsmen or the challenges

    and opportunities ahead. We are

    creating a dispersed orce under

    decentralized authority in a world o

    rapid inormation exchange. Maritime

    orces will normally operate in a

    less concentrated manner than they

    do today, and junior leaders will be entrusted with a higher level o

    responsibility and authority or carrying out important aspects o

    strategically important missions. Junior personnel will be required to

    interact with a ar greater variety o U.S. and multinational partners

    and indigenous populations than their predecessors. Proessional

    development and unit training must be rened accordingly. Operations

    as an integrated team require improved mutual understanding o

    respective service or agency capabilities and cultures, which can be

    achieved through expanded interagency teaming o students and

    instructors throughout training, education, and sta assignments.

    Similarly, i we are to successully partner with the internationalcommunity, we must improve regional and cultural expertise through

    expanded training, education, and exchange initiatives.

    Signicantly, this strategy requires new ways o thinkingabout both

    empowering individual commanders and understanding the net eects

    o dispersed operations. Such operations require a broadly shared

    responsibility among: the on-scene commander responsible or ensuring

    As it has always been,

    these critical tasks

    will be carried out

    by our people

    the key to success in any

    military strategy.

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    actions are in accordance with the commanders intent; the higher

    commander responsible or providing intent and guidance to subordinates;

    the parent service o dispersed orces responsible or ensuring that units

    are trained, equipped, and culturally prepared or the missions they

    will undertake; and, nally, the regional commanders responsible or

    determining appropriate orce levels and readiness postures.


    This strategy is derived rom a thorough assessment o the Nations

    security requirements. It does not presume confict but instead

    acknowledges the historical act that peace does not preserve itsel.

    Looking across the wide maritime domain, it calls or a broad portolio

    o core capabilities to support our vital interests, realized by well-trained,

    highly motivated and ably-led people.

    The strategy ocuses on opportunitiesnot threats; on optimismnot

    ear; and on confdencenot doubt. It recognizes the challenges imposed

    by the uncertain conditions in a time o rapid change and makes the case

    or the necessity o U.S. seapower in the 21st Century.

    As a declaratory strategy, this document challenges the Sea Services to

    evolve an expanded range o integrated capabilities to achieve enduring

    national strategic objectives. Further experimentation, operational

    experience, and analysis are necessary, as is sea service commitment to

    building upon the ideas that this document puts orward. However, the

    Sea Services cannot do this alone. The diverse elements o the greater

    maritime community must be inspired and supported as they invest to

    secure peace and prosperity across the maritime domain.

    The Sea Services commit to continuing the process o collaborative

    strategy implementation in the years ahead. United States seapower is a

    orce or good, protecting this Nations vital interests even as it joins with

    others to promote security and prosperity across the globe.

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    united states seapower

    is a force for good,protecting this nations

    vital interests even as

    it joins with others

    to promote security

    and prosperityacross the globe.

    seapower will be

    a unifying forcefor building a

    better tomorrow.

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