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It was history in the making on Sunday, 26 June, as an international contingent celebrated the opening of the expanded Panama Canal. I was proud to be there with the U.S. Presidential party, led by Dr. Jill Biden. For Panama, the expansion represents a potential for growth in the country’s maritime sectors and serves as a symbol of national prestige. In recognition of its strategic maritime significance, and the value U.S. Southern Command places on forward engagement with the region, the USS Oak Hill (LPD-51) sailed through the canal a few days earlier (using the older and narrower set of… Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by ADM Kurt Tidd, USN in Foreign Policy, Maritime Security, Navy | 
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radio announcer

Please join us on 26 June 2016 at 5pm EDT for Midrats Episode 338: Trans-national terrorism and the Long War with Bill Roggio When the BREXIT dust settles one thing will remain – the Long War against Islamic terrorists. In a wide arch along its bloody edge, Islamic extremism continues to look for new opportunities for expansion, and within the borders of Dar al-Islam seeks to impose a retrograde view of Islam by destroying religious minorities, secular governments, and Islamic modernizers. This Sunday returning guest Bill Roggio will be with us for the full hour to discuss this and more…. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by Mark Tempest in Hard Power, Homeland Security, Soft Power, Strategy, Tactics | 
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skull-piramid

Robert Kaplan’s OCT 2015 article, Wat in the World, is a great tonic to those who think, again, that we are just on the edge of transforming, offsetting, or just plain wishing away the strong, deep currents of history and the nature of man. It is worth a revisit in order for us to make sure we are taking the full view of history and the nature of man as it was, as it is, and as it will be. National Socialism, Communism, Maoism; the last century saw a parade of gore hard to fathom from the 1915 Armenian slaughter, 1930’s… Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by CDRSalamander in Foreign Policy, History, Strategy | 
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Polish Marines acting as the opposition force lay down smoke and flee the beach as U.S. AAVs come ashore during the amphibious landing and DV Day in Ustka, Poland, 16 June 2016

Our theme for BALTOPS 2016 was straightforward: “Baltic Unity and Strength bring Security.” “Unity,” though, is a word tossed around quite a bit without much thought given to the actual definition. So what unifies 15 Allied nations and 2 Partner nations in these Baltic Operations, and — now that BALTOPS is over—how is what we did here relevant to the problems Europe is facing today? The strength of the assets represented in this year’s iteration of BALTOPS was evident from the earliest stages. Forty-three ships and submarines along with eight hundred troops from fifteen Allies and two Partners of NATO… Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by VADM James Foggo in Foreign Policy, Navy, Strategy | 
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During BALTOPS 2016, 15 mine counter measure ships from 13 nations (Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom, and United States) maneuvered in close formation near command ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC-20).

“In the context of the Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) challenge, does what we are seeing unfolding with BALTOPS represent a credible, operational scenario, really?” Mr. Nick Childs, of the International Institute of Strategic Studies in London, asked me this question last week in a phone interview via satellite while on board USS Mount Whitney (LCC-20), the command ship for BALTOPS 2016. Great question! To answer it, you have to consider the elements of an adversary’s A2/AD strategy. First of all, it is easier to keep someone out of an area in the maritime domain than it is gain access. The proliferation… Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by VADM James Foggo and German Navy Cmdr. Tim Amelunxen in Hard Power, Navy, Strategy | 
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swimming-elephant

Alternative Title: Navy Grants Salamander Lifetime Beer Tab at Army-Navy Club’s Daiquiri Lounge. From the start, and we are talking about over a decade ago, surface, aviation, and submarine offices with operational Fleet experience, not theory or PPT hype, warned that both crew manning and mission module concepts as proposed for LCS were problematic at best, and non-executable at worst. They were silenced at best, career adjusted at worst. It took a decade, billions of dollars of opportunity cost, and untold numbers of careers and reputations to get here, but it looks like our Navy is going to take the… Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by CDRSalamander in Navy | 
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Japanese ShinMaywa US-2 seaplane used for air-sea rescue. Image courtesy Wikipedia/Toshiro Aoki

During the earthquake tragedy in Haiti, American aid planes often circled Haiti’s sole open runway for hours. How is this possible for a nation on an island? Would rapid revival of the seaplane capabilities perfected by the United States decades ago, materially improve such situations? And could seaplane technology be a force multiplier aligned with advances in stealthy, electrically-powered “E-Planes”, some of which could be airborne almost indefinitely? In an era which prizes cost-effectiveness, emphasis on the coastal and littoral, and the innovative use of smaller, lighter forces, perhaps seaplane usage merits a review. Today, other maritime nations, and nations… Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by Hy Chantz in Aviation, Cyber, Navy | 
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Moral Bonds of War Word Map

Per last month’s post on the USNI Blog, the Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, General Robert Neller, challenged veterans to “stay connected with those they served with” as an answer to help stop “young Marines from killing themselves.” Strengthening personal moral bonds between veterans is part of the answer. So is strengthening moral bonds between U.S. Presidents, members of Congress and those they order to war. From 1798 to 2016, Congress made 11 declarations of war and 11 statutory authorizations for the use of military force. Congress did not authorize the Korean War. President Truman committed American troops to… Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by CAPT Dan Moore, USN (Ret.) in Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Foreign Policy, Marine Corps, Navy | 
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An undated photo of the ENS S. Ezzat, an Egyptian Fast Missile Craft. VT Halter Marine Photo

In an earlier essay , I described how technology will make the future littoral environment even more dangerous and increase the power and reach of smaller ships and shore batteries. I described the need to test and develop flotillas of combat corvettes and other craft and proposed a few platforms currently being built in the United States for use in this experimentation. My article continues the argument originally made by Vice Admiral Cebrowski and Captain Wayne Hughes in their path setting article on the Streetfighter concept. However, successful combat in the littoral environment will have to be a team sport…. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by CDR Phillip Pournelle in Coast Guard, Hard Power, History, Innovation, Navy, Soft Power, Strategy, Tactics | 
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knox

Please join us at 5pm (EDT) on 12 June 2016 for Midrats Episode 336: “21st Century Knox and The Historical Imperative”: As part of our ongoing series of interviews with the editors of each addition to the 21st Century Foundations series, we will have David Kohnen the editor of the latest in the series, 21st Century Knox, on for the full hour. Kohnen described the focus of the book, Commodore Dudley Wright Knox, USN, as someone who, “… challended fellow naval professionals to recognize the inherent relevance of history in examining contemporary problems. In his writings, Knox cited historical examples… Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by Mark Tempest in Books, Navy | 
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