American seapower no longer has the historic margin of dominance it once had, said Adm. Samuel Locklear in a speech to Navy surface warfare officers this year. Restoring the edge starts with a true strategic conversation about the Navy’s 30-year shipbuilding priorities given the budget challenges and emerging threats. Contested Seas online version by Dr. Rebecca Grant and VADM Kevin Cosgriff, USN, Ret. examines those threats, discusses why Washington has struggled to sustain a strategic conversation about the Navy, and argues it’s time for a fresh look at ships for the littorals.
It is the Authors’ belief that the budget-driven approach currently dominating discussions on this subject, and especially in shipbuilding, precludes a broader geo-strategic assessment of the world today and in the coming few years: a world where regional nations not only desire to contest US naval preeminence, but are systematically doing so.
This non-partisan paper highlights some of these realities and offers some themes to launch a balanced strategic discussion that goes beyond the on and on budget debates that predominate.
“We appreciate your taking the time to read and think about this situation and hope it leads to a broad-based conversation in Washington and beyond,” says Cosgriff.