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US Naval Strategy and National Security : The Evolution of American Maritime Power (Hardcover)
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This book examines the evolution of US naval strategy and the role of American seapower over three decades, from the late 20th century to the early 21st century.
The book describes, analyses and explains how the US Navy thought and exercised maritime power between 1981 and 2011. Beginning with the development and implementation of "The Maritime Strategy" in the 1980s (a ‘Naval Renaissance’, as one author characterized it), covering the 1990s as an era of a dramatically changing world order, and closing with the first decade of the 21st century, this work analyses the contribution of the U.S. Navy to American security through the lens of its statements of strategic intent. The book utilizes the many capstone documents, or strategies, as the guiding thread which runs through the work.
The bok's discussion of these strategies is intimately linked to overarching macro-level events (such as global trends, challengers to U.S. security, and major conflicts, crises, and wars). It also ties the U.S. Navy’s strategy to influential national security strategy decision-makers (such as presidents, secretaries, and Congressional leaders), domestic conditions (such as the state of the economy, public opinion, etc.), and overarching US national security strategies. After establishing the context for each decade, chapters discuss how the various strategies were developed and promulgated, informed force structure, and were implemented operationally. This method allows for a coherent process-tracing of the development of American sea power over strategic watersheds such as the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989) and the terrorist attacks of 9/11 (2001).
To provide an overarching understanding of grand-strategic context, the study, opens with basic chapters on the conditions under which naval strategy in general and U.S. Navy capstone documents in particular emerge. It is written and designed with the objective of serving as a guide for scholars who wish to familiarize themselves with sea power and seapower – keeping in mind the need to carefully differentiate between these terms – and the strategic difference which the U.S. Navy hoped to make. Seapower is understood as having an institutional as well as a functional quality. The book lays out how the US Navy fashioned itself as a tool of statecraft and national security to the political decision-makers at the time, its own cohort, allies, and even antagonists.
This book will be of much interest to students of naval power, maritime strategy, US national security and International Relations in general.