Established military organizations, such as the U.S. military services, have many things – revered service traditions, stable bureaucratic structures, standard operating procedures, and of course distinctive weapons systems.1 Ideally, they should also have a coherent military strategy, one which will guide them in how to fight their wars or how to deter these wars from ever happening. The U.S. Navy is now developing a new maritime strategy, its first real strategy since the 1980s. The Maritime Strategy then was directed toward a single enemy, the Soviet Union. The new strategy faces three very different kinds of enemies: peer competitors, rogue states and transnational terrorists. The new strategy will include such familiar concepts as containment and deterrence, but is should be centered upon the concepts of command of the commons and denial.
In preparing this article, I benefited greatly from the discussion in the seminar led by Professor Richard J. Norton at the 2007 Current Strategy Forum, U.S. Naval War College, June 12, 2007.
1 Graham Allison and Philip Zelikow, Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis, second edition (New York: Longman, 1999).