A Cooperative Strategy For 21st Century Seapower

A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower is the United States' newest maritime strategy. It was presented by the U.S. Chief of Naval Operations and the Commandants of the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Coast Guard at the International Seapower Symposium at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island on October 17, 2007. The new maritime strategy explains the comprehensive role of the sea services in an era marked by globalization and uncertainty.

The development of a new strategy began in June 2006 at the direction of former Chief of Naval Operations and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen. The last maritime strategy was published at the height of the Cold War in 1986 and needed to be updated to reflect the challenges of the 21st century. This was the first maritime strategy to be signed by the leaders of all three U.S. sea services, the Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard.

A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower is not infused with typical military-focused language. The strategy makes a case for the value of seapower in preserving the American way of life by maintaining safe, global commerce operations across the seas. It acknowledges that there is a global system of connected economies which depends on the freedom of movement across the maritime commons; the principal means for the transit of 90% of the world’s commerce by weight and volume. With such a global interconnection of economies, shocks to the system caused by regional conflicts, terrorist attacks, natural disasters, and war all have potential global impact. The strategy states that U.S. vital interests are best served by having forward positioned maritime forces around the globe, postured in a way to prevent, deter, limit, and localize conflicts, wars, and disruptions to the global system that all rely upon. International from beginning to end, the strategy describes the necessity to forge global partnerships to establish a resilient peace.

During testimony before the House Armed Services Committee on December 13, 2007, General James Conway, Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps said:

The basic premise of our newly published maritime strategy is that the United States is a force for good in the world-that while we are capable of launching a clenched fist when we must- offering the hand of friendship is also an essential and prominent tool in our kit. That premise flows from the belief that preventing wars is as important as winning wars.

Read more about A Cooperative Strategy For 21st Century Seapower:  Expanding Naval Core Capabilities, Development of The New Maritime Strategy, Humanitarian and Disaster Relief Operations and Seapower Strategy, Global Partnerships, Maritime Cooperation

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