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New Maritime Strategy for the 21st Century Presented in San Diego

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS071018-15
Release Date: 10/18/2007 6:40:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman (SW) David L. Smart, Fleet Public Affairs Center, Pacific

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Patrick Walsh discussed the nation’s new maritime strategy for the 21st century during the Fleet Week Foundation Breakfast at Naval Base Point Loma Oct. 17.

Walsh addressed more than 300 community leaders, business executives, San Diego Fleet Week sponsors and members from the Navy, Coast Guard, and Marine Corps noting the unique nature of the tri-service sponsorship for the strategy, and the important role the San Diego region will play as part of the new approach in the defense of the United States.

“It [the maritime strategy] begins with the support we have in this great fleet-concentration area,” said Walsh.

In response to a letter of congratulations and support for the new strategy delivered from San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, Walsh noted the importance of increased partnering with local communities, allied nations, non-governmental groups and other non-traditional partners.

Walsh said, “We owe it to you (the American people), because in large measure, the world has changed in many ways, and the role that we will play cooperatively is so important to security and stability in the world.”

Walsh also highlighted the wide range of inputs and analytical efforts that went in to producing the new maritime strategy, and in particular pointed out that dialogue with private citizens from around the country through the Conversations with the Country project was an important addition to the formulation. He noted particular themes from these inputs from American citizens to include preservation of a strong country, a desire for protection of homes, families and the American way of life, and for the maritime services to work with partners around the world for a more peaceful and stable globe.

After discussing factors that went into the development of the strategy Walsh outlined key tasks, or imperatives, from the approach to include: limiting regional conflicts with forward deployed, decisive maritime power; deterring war between major military powers; winning our nation’s wars; contributing to homeland defense in depth; fostering and sustaining cooperative relationships with international partners; and preventing or containing local disruptions before they impact the global community.

Walsh also outlined how the strategy would be implemented with a core focus on: forward presence of maritime forces; deterrence; sea control; power projection; maritime security; and humanitarian assistance and disaster response.

Walsh also addressed considerations for how maritime capabilities will be used under the new strategy, and talked about the importance of partnering with allies, relief organizations and the maritime forces of other nations for a long term approach and to do so before a contingency situation.

“We need to emphasize a mix of forces as they deploy,” said Walsh. “The short term goal is to be responsive to our national leadership and meet the demands of the combatant commanders,” said Walsh. “The long-term goal is to do that for a sustained approach, so that when we train, organize, equip and recruit, it’s with that goal in mind.” “If we rely on waiting for a crisis to form relationships, we will be late to the game.”

Walsh concluded with, “When we talk about the influence and dominance of American sea power over time … what’s more important today is what we build in peace. What comes next is generosity, humanity, recognition of other positions without compromise of national interests.”

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