Trouvé via Information Dissemination: Strategic Thinking
The United States must place a premium on that element of its military power that is equally valuable in peacetime as it is in war, and that is sea power. When Great Britain chose to diminish its fleet, it did so because its land Army was already tiny in comparison (and dedicated to homeland defense).
We are not in a similar position today. While America’s land power is honorably engaged in Afghanistan and Iraq, it is the stated policy of the U.S. government to draw down from those wars, leaving an open question as to the future of the Army.
The American people are not likely to support another massive land war soon, and nine years of combat against largely irregular forces should raise doubts about whether resetting the Army makes strategic sense in the face of mounting budget pressure.
Given that American sea power includes a Marine Corps that, in the words of Defense Secretary Robert Gates, « exceeds the size of most world armies, » the right strategic decision for the United States is to accept more risk in the ability to fight extended land wars outside of its own borders and less risk in forces dedicated to the deterrence of adversaries, the assurance of allies, the maintenance of strategic balance and crisis response. In other words, sea power (and to a lesser extent, air power).
Sea power provides the president with scalable escalation and de-escalation options that do not rely on the permission or sanction of another government, a unique feature of the terrain upon, under, over and from which sea power operates.