Dolphin: Assorted References on Naval Strategy


So Much Strategy, So Little Strategic Direction

Cdr Michael Junge, USN

Proceedings Magazine, February 2012 Vol 138/2/1,308

There is a strategy problem in the Navy. Take as primary evidence that only three and a half years after completing A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower , its primary author is now in favor of crafting a new strategy. 1 That strategy was published only four years after its predecessor, Seapower 21 . And that one came eight years after Forward . . . from the Sea , which itself was a two-year tune-up of From the Sea , which replaced the 1986 Maritime Strategy . In other words, the Navy has changed its strategy five times in 25 years—while its mission has remained unchanged for more than five decades.

Frankly, it’s not that the Navy has a problem developing strategy (five times in 25 years belies that idea), rather the issue is that the Navy no longer has a culture of strategic thought, and the lack of consistent, long-term, cohesive, and followed strategy is but a symptom of this problem. The Navy is now, and has been for decades, a tactical organization seeking, rewarding, and thriving on short-term, one-dimensional thought and quick, often indecisive action.

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