09 August 2010

Observing a Systems Approach to Naval Power

Galrahn, Observing a Systems Approach to Naval Power,” Information Dissemination, 9 August 2010.

… The US Navy won’t say it, for whatever reason, but China is how they measure themselves. In a perfect world, the US Navy wouldn’t need to measure itself against any single nation – but with everything driven by budgets rather than strategy – it is what it is.

All we are really doing now is charting the potential course for the DF-21D, a course towards a capability that our naval leaders now believe is inevitable. The discussion is no longer what if, rather what now. I think as we observe the journey of this emerging Chinese capability designed to target US Navy forces, we need to continuously revisit anti-access / area-denial (A2/AD) strategies and continue thinking about what it means towards how naval warfare will be fought in the future. It should be noted that all of these discussions begin with force structure – a conversation the US Navy avoids. It is about platforms and systems – two specific force structure discussions the US Navy avoids and communicates with generic terms like modularity (or boxes). This strategic level conversation – in the information age – must take place at some level of detail in the public space – which to repeat a phrase – is a conversation the US Navy intentionally avoids. …