March 9, 2009

Filed under: — Chap @ 9:14 pm

Hey, now that’s more like it. USNI blog finally digs into its archives for some interesting articles, and pulls up Samuel Huntington’s “National Policy And The Transoceanic Navy“. MGEN (ret.) Wilkerson says about this:

In this powerful essay, he laid down a challenge to the military services that resonates today even more than it did over 50 years ago: “If a service does not possess a well-defined strategic concept, the public and political leaders will be confused as to the role of the service . . . and apathetic or hostile to the claims made by the service on the resources of society.” And specifically of the Navy, “What function do you perform which obligates society to assume responsibility for your maintenance?”

Huh. “If a service does not possess a well-defined strategic concept.” And the Navy’s current well-defined strategic concept is, uh….

…I’m sure I have one around here somewhere. Maybe in that folder of .ppt files?

3 Responses to “”

  1. Rubber Ducky Says:

    The Navy’s ‘strategic concept’ is defined once a year, in a pair of interlocked official documents. One is the POM (Program Objectives Memorandum) and the other the Navy Budget. Whilst armchair strategists lament the lack of a strategy and card-carrying ‘strategists’ in the various Navy and joint shops devoted to the topic spend endless hours refining slides, the POM folks solidify the strategy in its most concrete terms and the budget shops spend the money to execute it.

    In the normal play, POM leads the way. But in a time of significant change and transition (like, say, when the economy tanks big-time, wars are brought on-budget, and 8 years of unmatched policy profligacy and constitutional abuse come to an end), the new budget will be the earliest sighting of new direction.

    Stay tuned. Lean times ahead for defense. Wish lists and wants will wither in blasts of fiscal reality and true needs be pared to bare sufficiency. A Navy built-to-budget – the austere budget in hand – will perforce have a different strategy. But it will have a strategy – read the emerging POM and Budget to learn what it is.

  2. Chap Says:

    Heh. And you call me an armchair strategist.

  3. Rubber Ducky Says:


    My sincere apology – present company is always excepted…

    You’ll find fruits of my efforts from the armchair in the June 2004 issue of Proceedings – will email you a copy.

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