BSSB.BE AtlanticCouncil 19/02/2019
* There are two kinds of pride, both good and bad. ‘Good pride’ represents our dignity and self-respect. ‘Bad pride’ is the deadly sin of superiority that reeks of conceit and arrogance. – John C. Maxwell
As the 31st Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Richardson serves as the principal naval adviser to the president and to the secretary of the navy on the conduct of war. Under his leadership, Admiral Richardson was responsible for crafting and releasing: A Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority: Version 2.0, a strategy designed to guide naval behaviors and investments in the years to come.
On the eve of the 20th century, the United States emerged from the Civil War and laid the foundation to become a global power, but its course to continued prosperity was unclear. Navy Capt. Alfred Thayer Mahan helped to chart that course, arguing that American growth required access to overseas markets, which in turn required a preeminent navy to protect that access. America became a nation with global interests, and the seas were the path to new frontiers.
- The essence of Mahan’s vision still pertains: America’s interests lie beyond our own shores. What was true in the late 19th century holds true today – America’s success depends on our creativity, our entrepreneurism, and our access and relationships abroad.
- In an increasingly globalized world, America’s success is even more reliant on the U.S. Navy. In fulfilling our mission, it’s important to start with an assessment of the security environment. It is tempting to define the challenge solely in terms of our allies, partners, and competitors – the state and non-state actors on the world stage. While these are critical, it is even more important to understand the dramatic changes that have taken place on the stage itself – the character of the environment in which competition and cooperation occur.
- Fundamentally, the world has become dramatically more globalized, and this trend is accelerating. Our way ahead must account for this new reality. In particular, this Design will address three major and interrelated global forces that are increasingly used, increasingly stressed, increasingly important, and increasingly contested. These three forces energize the quickly changing environment in which the Navy must operate, and if required, fight and win. The first global force is the traffic on the oceans, seas, and waterways, including the sea floor – the classic maritime system.
For millennia, the seas have served to connect people and societies to help them prosper. As the global economy continues to expand and become more connected, the maritime system is becoming increasingly used by the United States and the world as a whole. Shipping traffic over traditional sea lanes is increasing, new trade routes are opening in the Arctic, and new technologies are making undersea resources more accessible.
This maritime traffic also includes mass and uncontrolled migration and illicit shipment of material and people. The maritime system is becoming more heavily used, more stressed, and more contested than ever before. A second increasingly influential force is the rise of the global information system – the information that rides on the servers, undersea cables, satellites, and wireless networks that increasingly envelop and connect the globe.
Newer than the maritime system, the information system is more pervasive, enabling an even greater multitude of connections between people and at a much lower cost of entry – literally an individual with a computer is a powerful actor in this system! Information, now passed in near-real time across links that continue to multiply, is in turn driving an accelerating rate of change – from music to medicine, from microfinance to missiles.
Please join us for an important and timely conversation on the Navy’s top priorities as we enter an era of great power competition, including:
Strengthening naval power at and from the sea
Achieving high-velocity outcomes
Strengthening the Navy team for the future
Expanding and strengthening the Navy’s network of partners
The Commanders’ Series is the Atlantic Council’s flagship speakers’ forum for senior military leaders. The series, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2019, provides a platform to discuss current strategic issues with an impressive audience drawn from across Washington’s policy community, including think tanks, media, industry, embassies, and the US government.
YOUTUBE: Maritime Superiority, we enter an era of great power competition
- The publication is not an editorial. It reflects solely the point of view and argumentation of the author. The publication is presented in the presentation. Start in the previous issue. The original is available at: AtlanticCouncil