Forging Coalitions

The decline in the size of the United States Navy (now under 280 ships – a dramatic decrease of the Reagan-era U.S. Navy of almost 600 ships has given the United States more impetus to partner with other navies to secure the global commons. But while the intent is there, many wonder just how this can occur.

In my article in the May 2017 issue of the U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, “Can We Make the Global Network of Navies Work?” I address this issue head on, and suggest that the United States would be well served to, as the article’s subtitle suggests: Start at the “High End” with Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense.” Here is part of what I shared:

“More than a decade has passed since then-Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral Michael Mullen unveiled the concept of a 1,000-ship navy at the International Seapower Symposium in Newport, Rhode Island. In introducing his idea, Admiral Mullen stated, “As we combine our advantages, I envision a 1,000-ship navy—a fleet-in-being, if you will—made up of the best capabilities of all freedom-loving navies of the world.” 2 Later renamed the Global Maritime Partnership, the concept caught on as other nations also came to realize that no single state had the assets to ensure security on the seas or even to respond adequately to lesser threats, from piracy, to criminal activities at sea, to natural disasters.”

“While globalization has had extensive beneficial effects, one of its most serious downsides has been the worldwide proliferation of ballistic missile technology, and the concomitant spread of the means to produce weapons of mass destruction (WMD). More than 30 countries deploy ballistic missiles today, compared with only nine just a few decades ago. Potential enemies possess both ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction, and today’s rogue leaders view WMD as weapons of choice, not of last resort.”

“There is no more propitious time for the U.S. Navy to lead the way in stitching together a robust Aegis BMD global enterprise to protect our nation, our forces forward, and our allies and partners from the threat of ballistic missiles armed with weapons of mass destruction. With U.S. Navy leadership, this opportunity to shape a “high-end” partnership under the auspices of a global network of navies may well be the sine qua non of international defense cooperation to address the challenges brought on by globalization.”

Want more? Read the full article here.