For the last
three decades, the U.S. Navy has issued a "new and improved maritime strategy"
document every two or three years. This time around, it came as no surprise
that Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response is now considered part of
the "Core Capabilities" of the US maritime forces, along with;
- Deterrence (the SSBNs and
their ballistic missiles).
- Forward Presence (keeping
naval forces stationed all over the planet).
- Maritime Security (insuring
that U.S. maritime trade is not interfered with).
- Power Projection (being able
to get a lot of combat power to anyplace on the planet, on short notice.
- Sea Control (being the most
powerful naval force on the planet.)
The report noted that Global
Warming will likely cause more problems to coastal areas, where most of the
planets population lives. To help deal with unrest in coastal areas hit by larger
storms and flood, American naval forces (which includes the marines and coast
guard) are improving the linguistic skills and cultural expertise among their
personnel. The navy has been much impressed at how appreciated their efforts
were in providing prompt disaster relief during the last few years. Must have
more of that. The new document all makes much of keeping the world peaceful,
and less about fighting wars.
To the historian, one thing
you get from this strategy document is that the navy is not really thinking of
major naval battles, but of putting out brushfires and doing good works. World
War II is finally over for a navy that has lived in its shadow for sixty years.