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A Bi-Modal Force for the National Maritime Strategy

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Presentation on theme: "A Bi-Modal Force for the National Maritime Strategy"— Presentation transcript:

1 A Bi-Modal Force for the National Maritime Strategy
Wayne P. Hughes, Jr. Naval Postgraduate School

2 Two Propositions Since 1950 the national strategy has been a forward maritime strategy with several variations The current variation should be supported with a “bi-modal” force

3 1950s: Samuel P. Huntington’s Heritage
His “Transoceanic Navy” supported a national maritime strategy Not a speculation on a “new direction.” He described what the nation was doing and the Navy role America didn’t need border defenses and we had command of the sea The national interest was served best by forward ops for containment His strategy served the people. Visibly It helped structure the armed forces

4 1970s and 1980s: The Zumwalt-Turner Variation
Specified four “missions” of our Navy Deterrence of nuclear war Sea control to keep oceans safe for trade Power projection overseas Presence for peacekeeping Why change? Because the SU wouldn’t tolerate US supremacy at sea Continued the transoceanic strategy To confront all enemies overseas Prominently the Soviet Union And for positive influence on our friends Prominently NATO and Japan

5 1990s: After the Soviet Union’s Collapse
Resulted in forces for two contingencies Characterization: No peer competitor, small wars disregarded, sea control (still) assumed Navy returned to simple Power Projection Our large ships were cost-effective—in a sea sanctuary Fewer ships (and military overall) after 1990—but with more activity New capabilities: information technologies, long range detection, precision weapons

6 2001: Regard for Terrorists and “Small Wars”
More awareness of stateless enemies Tension and competition between high- and low-end force advocates Enemies found ways to survive new US capabilities; and ugly ways to attack Terrorists made the Weinberger-Powell Doctrine mostly irrelevant Can a new doctrine replace it for stateless enemies?

7 Characterizing the Bi-Modal Force
Focuses on the emerging peer power at one end of the spectrum of conflict And on “small” operations at the other end The two compositions are quite different A “50-50 budget split” is not my position Tensions (mostly healthy) must remain between high and low end advocates

8 The Peer Competitor: China
US aim is to influence, not fight, the Peoples’ Republic Also to affect China by influencing her neighbors “Win” in the long term is by economic and political skills, not warfare. Or so we hope Strategy should look beyond contemporary issues (Taiwan and Korea) Does the PLAN’s growing sea denial force foreshadow sea control aspirations?

9 America’s China-Mode Force Elements
Continue strong Asian presence Robust nuclear deterrent Air and sea forces are central. We shouldn’t invade China Our ISR advantage must be preserved Our C2 advantage must be preserved Logistics of forward support is expensive, but can be aligned against just one state

10 Small Wars and Peacemaking
Terminology (stability ops, irregular wars, counterinsurgency, humanitarian ops, etc.) indicates the first difficulty in force design DoD forces for messy (often non-DoD) command, control, authority, and governance indicates the second difficulty (“The NCA is a hydra-headed monster”) Force elements and command structures are different than for China

11 America’s Small Wars Force Elements
Nuclear “deterrence” is near-meaningless Prevention of even one WMD attack is the aspiration Ground forces are the central component With air combat support And air and sea sustainment ISR will be more heavily HUMINT But with high-tech scouts in distributed ops Navy C2 will be with “hastily formed networks” and must connect to the “1,000 ship navy” Logistics must be ready to move forces swiftly and sustain it in diverse places

12 War In Between After “designing” bi-modal forces, next test them against a threat “in the middle” We fought wars in Korea and Vietnam with forces designed for the Soviets Starting the bi-modal force is low risk—assuming we don’t scrap existing “two contingency” forces

13 How to Transition Gracefully
Start with operational training and education for bi-modal operations Exploits rapid personnel turnover C2 comes close behind: proper networks and adaptive organizations Bi-modal equipment (ships, guns, tanks…) will be in demand and follow

14 Affordability: China We will try to influence, compete, or collaborate with China without a war And keep our economy strong Help our economy by keeping the military budget flat Keep the seas safe and anticipate a PLAN try for sea control

15 Affordability: “Small” Operations
Small operations will be frequent Some will be long lasting Some will involve bloodshed Force packages should be small, to distribute or aggregate on demand Do I need to say, “Try to be selective”?

16 Affordability for Both
Transoceanic operations are costly A uniquely American burden Homeland security must blend domestic defense with overseas offense Homeland security is an all-agencies thing that we don’t shape

17 In Conclusion The National strategy has been and remains a maritime strategy Still transoceanic, but with a new wrinkle of homeland defense It has adapted to changes in the world It is still expensive (especially logistically), but worthwhile Another transition is underway Respond with a bi-modal force Describe it well to hasten the transition Present forces (the legacy) will be with us for a decade or more A safeguard against wars-in-the-middle But same forces will play new roles Pursue bi-modal force elements now—they take time

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