Content

Steve Wills, OPNAV Between Strategy, Assessment and Budget, 1982-2016 in:

Sebastian Bruns, Sarandis Papadopoulos (Ed.)

Conceptualizing Maritime & Naval Strategy, page 51 - 68

Festschrift for Captain Peter M. Swartz, United States Navy (ret.)

1. Edition 2020, ISBN print: 978-3-8487-5753-4, ISBN online: 978-3-8452-9915-0, https://doi.org/10.5771/9783845299150-51

Series: ISPK Seapower Series, vol. 3

Bibliographic information
OPNAV Between Strategy, Assessment and Budget, 1982-2016 Steve Wills Peter Swartz has not only been a naval strategist, but also a scholar of the history of Navy strategy and especially that of its creators and practitioners. His experiences as a staff officer in the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) staff (OPNAV) in the 1970s and in the 1980s first exposed him to the rival camps influencing the development of Navy strategic concepts. Swartz began to study these concepts and after leaving active duty in 1993 and attempted to categorize them within a wider idea of who the average naval officer was in terms of professional thought and outlook. He vehemently disagreed with the notion a vague sense of “tradition” alone motivated the service’s officers, a concept popularized by RAND analyst Carl Builder in his 1989 book The Masks of War. Swartz’s own experience convinced him that forward-deployed operations, their planning and execution by naval officers afloat far from the continental U.S., were in fact the real Navy ethos of itself.1 From this core assumption, Swartz sought to further identify and categorize the groups of officers seeking to create and influence the development of Navy Strategy and their places within the late 20th century and early 21st century officer corps. Swartz identified two distinct, but similar groups of resident on the OPNAV staff seeking to control the definition and development of naval strategy. His efforts drew a pattern resembling Army historian Brian McAllister Linn’s categorization of different types of Army officers based on their intellectual traditions in the 2007 book The Echo of Battle, The Army’s Way of War.2 The two primary competitors Swartz identified working to create and influence naval strategy were political/military analysts assigned to the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations Strategy and Policy (OP-06) strategic concepts branch (OP-603) and the operations analysts working in the Systems Analysis Division (OP-96,) and its Long Range Planning branch 1 See Rebecca Zimmerman, Kimberly Jackson, Natasha Lander, Colin Roberts, Dan Madden and Rebeca Orrie, Movement and Maneuver Culture and the Competition for Influence Among the U.S. Military Services (Santa Monica, CA: Rand Corporation, 2019), 51, 52. 2 Brian McAllister Linn, The Echo of Battle, The Army’s Way of War (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007), 5-7. 51 OP-965. Both were drawn primarily from the ranks of Navy line officers who regularly deployed overseas in support of the rotational Cold War operations from the late 1940s through the present day. While similar in terms of their service, their educational backgrounds were different, with the OP-603 staff primarily composed of liberal arts graduates while the systems analysis division drew primarily from quantitative analysts. Swartz noted that these competitors had wide followings and sought to out-do one another in terms of influencing the development of Navy strategy. He was not the only such witness. OP-96 Deputy (and later Naval Postgraduate School professor of operations analysis) Captain Wayne Hughes had a similar view, noting in a 2002 article that in 1973 he was sometimes called upon to, “smooth strained relations” between OP-96 and the Strategy Branch then led by future CNO Rear Admiral Bill Crowe.3 Both parties competed across the 1970s, 1980s, and early 1990s to influence development of Navy strategy. They came into something of a direct conflict in the early 1980s with the operations analysis cohort suffering a temporary defeat, only to rebound after the end of the Cold War as the lack of a defined opponent tended to reduce the need for defined naval strategy. Although a member of the political/military analysis group and at times among its most partisan members, Swartz discovered that continued interaction between the two groups rather than the outright “victory” of one over the other was vital to the continued development of effective naval strategy.4 While Swartz’s overall description of the U.S. Navy officer corps “ethos” has gained greater acceptance in recent years, his classification of the competing strategy groups has not received similar recognition. This is perhaps due to the relative decline in the influence of both the pol/mil and operations analysis groups due to the rise of the post-Cold War, budgetdriven strategy process identified by Naval Postgraduate School scholar Dr. Peter Haynes in his research leading to his book Toward a New American Naval Strategy. 3 Wayne P. Hughes, Jr., “Navy Operations Research,” in Operations Research vol. 50, no. 1 (2002), 103-111, https://doi.org/10.1287/opre.50.1.103.17786. 4 Peter M. Swartz, U.S. Navy Capstone Strategy, Policy, Vision and Concept Documents: What to consider before you write one (Alexandria, VA: The Center for Naval Analyses, 2009), 78. Steve Wills 52 Origins of the Pol/Mil and Operations Analysis Groups OP-603 Both groups Swartz identified as critical in the development of Cold War U.S. Navy strategy and policy had their origins in the attempts of the broader defense community to respond to the threat posed by the Soviet Union. Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral Robert Carney created the office of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Strategy and Policy (OP-06) in 1955. Carney intended it to serve as the CNO’s dedicated office to manage military planning and policy at the JCS level.5 Its distinct strategy and concepts branch OP-603 emerged in 1978 at the behest of CNO Admiral Holloway and his OP-06 and future Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Vice Admiral Crowe.6 Peter Swartz’s first Pentagon assignment commenced in 1978 as a member of the newly minted OP-603. He later described its roles and functions as follows, OP-603 had been established in 1978 out of three earlier organizations within OP-60 (OP-605C (long range planning), OP-60N (strategic actions group) and portions of OP-601 (NATO). A variety of officers staffed OP-603, but it usually had a healthy contingent of officers with strong academic policy backgrounds. It worked most broad policy and strategy questions for the Navy Staff, including Navy inputs to the Defense Guidance, non-nuclear NSC policy documents, the NATO Defense Planning Questionnaire (DPQ), and strategic homeporting policy.7 The OP-603 office had extraordinary academic credentials as Swartz suggested, achievements beyond most of their naval officer contemporaries. Its creator VADM William Crowe was a Princeton University Ph.D. graduate in political science. Many the staff officers were graduates of the Fletcher School of Law and diplomacy, as well as programs at the University of Southern California, the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), American, Columbia, Johns Hopkins, and Harvard in the 1970s. Ph.D.s serving in OP-603 between 1978 and 1991 included CAPT Roger Barnett, CDR Jim Stark, CAPT Barry Plott, CDR Fred Zuniga, 5 Thomas Hone, Power and Change, The Administrative History of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations 1946-1986 (Washington D.C.: The U.S. Navy Historical Center, 1989), 34. 6 Peter M. Swartz with Mike Markowitz, Organizing OPNAV 1970-2009 (Washington D.C.: The U.S. Navy History and Heritage Command, 2015), 19. 7 Peter M. Swartz, “Threads, Stands, and Lines,” unpublished dissertation draft (1996), 91. OPNAV Between Strategy, Assessment and Budget, 1982-2016 53 LCDR Stan Weeks, CAPT Betsy Wylie, and LCDR Tom Fedyszyn.8 Those with advanced Master Degrees from these same schools serving in OP-603 over the same period included CDR Tom Marfiak, CDR Jay Prout, CDR Obie O’Brien, CDR Ray Conrad, CDR Spence Johnson (OP-605 but closely collaborated with OP-603), CDR Peter Swartz, LCDR Anne Rondeau, and LCDR Jim Moseman.9 Peter Swartz later described them as, “both good ‘building mechanics’ and good ‘national security networkers’ as well as substantive national security sub-specialists. Most had studied Bureaucratic Politics, then in vogue in graduate schools, and took it to heart.”10These men and women also performed well in their regular naval career paths in addition to their academic achievements. Nearly all achieved command at sea if they were unrestricted line officers or received senior staff appointments if not in line for afloat command. Stark, Marfiak, and Rondeau achieved flag rank in their careers. The OP-603 office stepped boldly onto a wider policy stage with its role in the development of the Maritime Strategy from 1982 through the end of the decade. Vice Chief of Naval Operations Admiral William Small first commissioned what became the Maritime Strategy in a December 1981 memo to Director of Navy Program planning and other senior OPNAV officers detailing his thoughts on the problems of Navy program management.11 Small was concerned that navy programs for the construction of new ships, submarines, and aircraft tended to drive the strategy for their employment, when the reverse situation would be a better choice. He wanted to change this so that, “Serious and responsible thought about the naval part of national strategy would eventually become the basis upon which the United States built its navy for the future.”12 Small’s memo provoked action from multiple offices in OPNAV including OP-06 (Deputy CNO for Plans and Policy), OP-095 (Naval Warfare) and OP-96. There was general agreement that the Navy needed a strategy that fit with Secretary of the Navy John Lehman’s 600 ship navy program, 8 Ibid, 107. 9 Ibid. 10 Ibid. 11 Admiral William T. Small, USN (ret) to Captain Peter M. Swartz, USN (ret), “subject: Maritime Strategy Development, The Personal and Professional Papers of Captain Peter M. Swartz,” fax memo from 2 October 1998, Washington D.C., used with permission by the author. 12 John B. Hattendorf, “The Evolution of the U.S. Navy’s Maritime Strategy, 1977-1986,” Naval War College Newport Papers 19 (Newport, RI: Naval War College Press, 2004), 65. Steve Wills 54 and supported the program objective memorandum (POM) that stated the Navy’s planned force structure acquisitions for the upcoming years. It was agreed that OP-603 would take the lead in developing the strategy. OP-603’s branch chief Captain Elizabeth Wylie assigned the work of assembling the strategic document to Lieutenant Commander Stanley Weeks, a surface warfare officer with significant academic credentials, including a Ph.D. from American University in International Relations.13 Weeks teamed with Commander William Spencer Johnson, another surface warfare officer with strong academic credentials from the Fletcher School of Diplomacy.14 He was then serving in the OP-602 office engaged in an effort to expand the number of ports that could support the permanent assignment of naval vessels in the continental United States. Johnson also had experience working directly with Secretary Lehman and spent 27 months assigned to the Joint Staff.15 Weeks and Johnson molded the force structure for their strategy by adding together the force requirements from each of the unified commanders (CINC’s). They also used the CINCs’ own war plans as the basis for the Maritime Strategy’s Atlantic, Pacific, and Mediterranean elements. Much of the inspiration for the plan also came from Admiral Hayward’s war planning for the Pacific when he served as Commander, Pacific Fleet prior to his selection as CNO. Weeks used elements of Hayward’s “Sea Strike” plan, which involved massing carrier groups for strikes against selected targets, as one of the core operational elements of the Maritime Strategy.16 Other current and former OP-603 members played important roles in this initial effort as well. Weeks passed elements of his document through Commander Kenneth McGruther from the CNO’s Strategic Studies Group support staff in Newport (and OP-603 alumnus), and Lieutenant Commander Tom Marfiak (also from OP-603) in order to get their insights into the most recent intelligence on Soviet naval intentions.17 The strategy was extensively reviewed and critiqued by Weeks’s peers and superiors for accuracy and in preparation for the questions that would undoubtedly come from senior officers in response to the briefing. This process, known as “murder boarding” developed highly skilled briefers who would antici- 13 Ibid, 67. 14 Ibid. 15 Author phone interview with Captain William Spencer Johnson, USN (ret), 1 July 2015. 16 Author phone interview with Dr. Stanley Weeks, 16 February 2016. 17 Hattendorf (2004), 70. OPNAV Between Strategy, Assessment and Budget, 1982-2016 55 pate and be prepared to answer detailed questions. Commander Johnson made sure the strategy fit within budget guidelines and served in the role of “adult supervision” for the junior Weeks.18 By the early fall of 1982 the strategy was deemed mature enough to present it to the forward-deployed unified commanders who would need to carry it forward. The venue for this presentation was the October 1982 CNO’s annual naval commanders in chief (CINCs) conference. Rather than hold the gathering in Washington D.C., as had been the case for past events, the new CNO Admiral James Watkins decided to host the conference at the Naval War College in Newport, RI. The fleet commanders who received the briefing were in some ways critical of the presentation. Admiral William Crowe, then serving as Commander in Chief of Allied Forces Southern Europe (CINCSOUTH), warned the Mediterranean Sea would present challenges for implementing the strategy. Admiral Sylvester Foley, the Deputy CNO for Plans and Policy (OP-6) suggested it was arrogant of the Navy to assume it knew so much about intended Soviet operations.19 Despite such criticism, there was enough support to press on with the development of the Maritime Strategy. Its first full briefing was given to Navy Secretary Lehman, CNO Admiral James Watkins and Marine Corps Commandant General Robert H. Barrow on 4 November 1982.20 The rapid creation and approval of this first iteration of the Maritime Strategy cemented OP-603’s role as the strategy experts in OPNAV. The strategy’s close connection with Secretary Lehman’s 600 ship navy concept however brought the strategy branch into conflict with the other OPNAV office whose analytical expertise, particularly in force structure and longrange planning, threatened to scuttle the new Maritime Strategy. The Extended Planning branch (OP-965) had similar academic and operational origins to OP-603, and according to Peter Swartz was a competitor in that, “There was a certain sense of rivalry between OP-06 and OP-090 on occasion, expressed at lower levels by a sense of rivalry between OP-965 and OP-603.”21 While rivals, they had often worked in tandem but the 600-ship navy question set them at odds in a contest that would ultimately prove fatal to one in the short run and perhaps to the other a decade later. 18 Author phone interview with Dr. Stanley Weeks, 16 February 2016. 19 Ibid. 20 John B. Hattendorf and Peter M. Swartz (eds.), “U.S. Naval Strategy in the 1980s: Selected Documents,” Naval War College Newport Papers 33 (Newport, RI: Naval War College Press, 2008), 20. 21 Swartz (1996), 91. Steve Wills 56 OP-965 CNO Admiral Elmo Zumwalt created the OP-965 Extended Planning Branch as an element of the OP-96 Systems Analysis Division in 1971.22 Zumwalt, who was the founding director of the Navy’s systems analysis office in August 1966, was supportive of making decisions “through analysis” when nominated to be CNO in 1970.23 He further expanded the power and scope of the analysis discipline within OPNAV over the course of his CNO term. He brought Rear Admiral Stansfield Turner back as OP-96 in late 1971 and gave him control of the CNO Program Analysis Memorandum (CPAM) process, the service chief’s assessment of all Navy programs in the annual defense budget.24 He founded the OP-96D Cost Analysis Group designed to advise the Navy on program costs in October 1972.25 He also placed control of the Navy’s interactions with the Center for Naval Analysis (CNA) the Navy’s federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) with OP-96, a move that in the words of CNA analyst Jeffrey Sands, “Permitted him (Zumwalt) to overwhelm any opposition with analysis unavailable to anyone who might oppose him, both internally and externally.” Finally, in 1971 Zumwalt created the OP-965 Extended Planning and Net Assessment Branch in order to give a more long-range perspective to his analytical efforts. Subsequently, in 1975 the net assessment function was split off from OP-965 as OP-96N, leaving OP-965 as just the Long Range Planning branch and perhaps setting it on a collision course with OP-603. Both entities were starting to look very much alike. Peter Swartz’s description of the Long Range Planning Branch sounds very much like OP-603, OP-965 was established to develop the Navy’s Extended Planning Annex (EPA), a required Navy submission to OSD showing the implications of the POM for the distant future. It also did speechwriting and special projects for the VCNO, commissioned studies on strategic problems, and handled broad policy questions that had found their way into OP-090. It was normally manned by front-running surface, aviation and general unrestricted line officers and headed by surface warfare officers with strong academic policy backgrounds.26 22 Swartz with Markowitz (2015). 23 Jeffrey Sands, On His Watch: Admiral Zumwalt’s Efforts to Institutionalize Strategic Change (Alexandria, VA: The Center for Naval Analyses, 1993), 38. 24 Ibid, 57. 25 Ibid, 38. 26 Swartz (1996), 91. OPNAV Between Strategy, Assessment and Budget, 1982-2016 57 As Naval Postgraduate School Professor Captain Wayne Hughes remembers, the OP-96 and OP-965 staffs were full of future flag officers including future CNO Admiral Vern Clark, future four star Admiral Dennis Blair, office of Force Transformation lead Art Cebrowski and other future flags like Scott Redd, Bill Hancock, and Grant Sharp.27 Hughes also suggested the overall theme of the OP-96 and OP-965 team when he said of the work in the late 1960s and early 1970s, “In 1966, I was ordered to OP-96, the newly created Systems Analysis division under Rear Admiral Elmo ‘Bud’ Zumwalt. Those were heady times for a young commander. We were on center stage because decisions were going to be made ‘by analysis.’”28 Into Combat: Strategy and Policy Verses Operations Analysis: 1981-1983 The catalyst for direct conflict between the branches was the 600-ship navy force structure concept advocated by incoming Navy Secretary John Lehman in 1981. According to Peter Swartz, OP-965’s long-range planning analysis strongly suggested that Lehman’s 600 ship navy force structure was unaffordable. The long-range planning branch was convinced that defense spending in general and Navy spending in particular would ultimately decrease; making the accomplishment of a 600-ship navy impossible. Criticisms of the 600-ship navy were common at that time, but the OP-965 critique further extended to the Maritime Strategy. As Peter Swartz explains, But to a third group -- perversely taking their cue from Lehman -- the Maritime Strategy was a pipe dream, tied to a 600-ship navy too costly to ever be built. CDR Stephen Woodall USN, insisted that the 600- Ship Navy, and perhaps the Maritime Strategy would prove unaffordable. Woodall was the OP-965 action officer charged with developing and maintaining the Navy’s extended Planning Annex during the early 1980s. Woodall wanted the Navy to face up to and discuss the unaffordability of its planned force structure, so as to make more realistic plans for the future. Lehman and others, however, rejected any such discussion as dangerous, self-fulfilling prophecy, jeopardizing the very program he was trying to implement.29 27 Hughes, Jr. (2002). 28 Ibid. 29 Swartz (1996), 83. Steve Wills 58 While Woodall was but one staff officer, his branch Chief Commander Harlan Ullman, himself a political/military Ph.D. holder from the Fletcher School, also took up the campaign to attack both the 600-ship navy and the Maritime Strategy. Peter Swartz suggests there was some irony in Ullman’s actions given that he was, “the drafter of Vice Chief of Naval Operations ADM William Small’s 1982 directive to OP-06 to develop the Maritime Strategy briefing” in the first place.30 The timing for Ullman and Woodall’s opposition to the 600-ship navy and to the Maritime strategy was extremely poor. John Lehman agreed that the Department of Defense needed, “tools of empirical analysis” that would be, “useful in providing a framework in making judgments” on “quicker, thicker and slicker weapons.”31 His concern was that this tool, “had become the decision process,” and was a dangerous development for a naval officer corps that already had an, “overwhelming engineering bent.”32 Lehman believed that an absolute focus on systems analysis would further limit traditional concepts of strategy from active consideration in the uniformed Navy. He worked throughout his tenure to reduce the influence of analysts within the Navy staff. The focus of his discontent was the OP-96 systems analysis division and its Extended Planning Branch OP-965 that targeted the sustainability of Lehman’s signature 600 ship navy program.33 The OP-965 analysis that was included in Commander Woodall’s 1982 Extended Planning Assessment (EPA) stated that the 600-ship fleet assumed an unprecedented growth in the Navy’s Total Obligational Authority, or the percentage of allotted Congressional outlays for one year, at 8%. The OP-965 office cited historical growth figures that suggested that average TOA growth for the Navy from 1949-1983 was 3% per year. Lehman believed the 600-ship fleet met the strategy conclusions of the last several presidential administrations. His retort was that the 600-ship fleet could be maintained by the planned 3% growth first suggested by the SEAPLAN 2000 study of 1979. Lehman said the post-Vietnam era of limited defense budget growth was in fact an anomaly and that the American people supported the Reagan administration’s planned higher spending. Lehman already faced considerable opposition from Congressional Budget Office (CBO). A January 1981 CBO report bluntly stated that no plans 30 Ibid. 31 John F. Lehman, Command of the Seas (Annapolis, MD: The Naval Institute Press, 2001), 95. 32 Ibid. 33 Swartz with Markowitz (2015), 36. OPNAV Between Strategy, Assessment and Budget, 1982-2016 59 had been made for a major naval expansion despite the fact that the winning 1980 Republican national platform contained a demand for a 600ship navy. A March 1982 report issued by the same agency on the 600-ship navy stated, “As a gross ship total, the 600-ship navy can be justifiably criticized as an inadequate indicator of naval strength.”34 Lehman’s reaction to criticism within the Navy Department are not surprising given this environment of opposition and his strong convictions regarding the 600-ship fleet size. Despite objections from some on the Navy staff, CNO Admiral Watkins and Lehman succeeded in abolishing the OP-96 division office. Peter Swartz states, “OP-96 had been abolished by Lehman in March 1983, in part as a result of a briefing on the Navy’s Extended Planning Annex to the POM, alleging the 600-ship Navy was unaffordable.”35 Along with the OP-96 office went its Extended Planning and Net Assessment branches that had dominated Navy input to the Planning, Programming and Budget System (PPBS), which controlled most aspects of the U.S. defense strategy, programming and spending since the early 1960s. The former members of OP-96 were transferred to the Program Appraisal Division (OP-91), an office with a similar mission to OP-96 and OP-965, but one that did not produce products that traveled outside the Department of the Navy. Steve Woodall left for sea duty and Harlan Ullman retired from active naval service, thus eliminating the last members of the OP-965 team. Peter Swartz described the OP-603/OP-965 rivalry as “unstructured” but the advent of the 600-ship navy brought the contest out into the open with fatal results for OP-965.36 OP-603 took over the remaining, long-range planning aspects of OP-965 and it appeared that long-range quantitative assessment would not return to the OPNAV staff for the near future. The Enduring Legacy of OPNAV Competition OP-603 perhaps became a victim of its own success. The Cold War came to an abrupt end with the collapse of the Soviet Union over the period 1989-1991. In the absence of a peer opponent there was no need for a 34 Peter Tarpgaard, Building a 600-Ship Navy: Costs, Timing, and Alternative Approaches (Washington D.C.: The Congressional Budget Office, March 1982), 1. 35 Swartz (1996), 94. 36 Ibid. Steve Wills 60 “strategy” but rather a policy for managing the Navy in a unipolar world. The incoming CNO in June 1990 Admiral Frank Kelso declared to the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on his confirmation in June 1990 that, “a military strategy needs a specific enemy” and that, “the issues before us today seems ones of naval policy rather than strategy.”37 The Maritime Strategy’s ultimate “successor,” the “From the Sea” white paper of 1992 was tailored to support ground forces in the littorals and ashore rather than confront any blue water opponent. The Maritime Strategy had joint input and involved the other services, but focused on naval missions. The new, “From the Sea” strategy was organized around joint missions and called the Joint Mission Areas (JMA) assessment process. First announced to the fleet in a follow-on policy paper to “… From the Sea” in February 1993, the JMA process identified six Joint Mission Areas and two Support Areas around which to construct OPNAV planning and decision-making.38The Joint Mission Areas were Joint Strike, Joint Littoral Warfare, Joint Surveillance, Joint Space and Electronic Warfare/Intelligence, Strategic Deterrence, and Strategic Sealift/Protection. The support areas were Readiness/Infrastructure and Manpower/Personnel and Shore Training.39 These six missions and two support areas were assigned to teams led by flag officers and senior members of the OPNAV staff. These teams were to draw inputs from the fleet and from the Joint Staff and other services on which systems and programs the Navy should base its budgetary requirements. Their mission was to create an integrated investment approach within each discipline and to propose programs and systems for inclusion in the Defense Department’s Planning, Programming, Budgeting system (PPBS). The JMA process directly tied the Navy’s strategy to its budget process in a much closer way than in past decades, and likely set the service on the path to an ultimate “strategy of means,” a condition best described by one CNO would later remark, “the budget was the strategy.”40 37 “The Nomination of Admiral Frank B. Kelso, Jr USN, to be Chief of Naval Operations,” Hearing before the Committee of the Armed Services, The United States Senate, Second Session of the One Hundred First Congress, 14 June 1990, 326, 327. 38 “Follow-on Papers Expanding on ‘… From the Sea’,” Washington D.C., The Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Memorandum for the Record, 22 February 1993, 4 (Washington D.C.: The Personal and Professional Papers of Captain Peter M. Swartz, USN (ret), The From the Sea file, used with permission by the author). 39 Ibid, 5,6. 40 Peter Haynes, Toward a New Maritime Strategy: American Naval Thinking in the Post-Cold War Era (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2015), 227, 228. OPNAV Between Strategy, Assessment and Budget, 1982-2016 61 Admiral Kelso also radically altered the OPNAV staff to carry out policy in place of strategy. Kelso’s most important and lasting change in his reorganization effort was the creation of the powerful N8 organization and the selection of its leader, Vice Admiral William Owens. According to Peter Swartz, Kelso “Saw changing the process (of OPNAV management and decision-making) as more important than changing the organization.”41 Kelso later stated, “I believed that the ‘give and take’ (of decision-making) needs to be at the flag officer level in OPNAV, and I wanted them to have to focus all the time on what we really needed to do as a Navy and how we needed to spend our money as a total Navy.”42 The JMA process needed an integrator, and not strategists, so the analysis branch returned to OPNAV after a near-decade long exile. Admiral Owens gained control of the of N81 Assessments division, the hereditary descendant of the former OP-96 Analysis division of the 1960s through early 1980s in OPNAV, and placed it at the heart of the new strategy process. N81 was the key to the control of the process, described in the JMA memorandum, “The Assessments Division N81 oversees the assessment process for N8 and provides analytical resources to support the efforts of the JMA and SA assessment teams. The Assessment Division is also charged with integrating the results of the separate assessments into a single investment strategy (the Investment Balance review (IBR.))”43 While originally designed as an integrator of the cross-OPNAV flag officer products, the N81 office “Increasingly became the heart of the JMA process and overshadowed the collective role of the participant flag officers.”44 The 1992 reorganization marked the return of the analysis discipline to a position of power on the OPNAV staff equal and in some ways superior to that of the old OP-96 analysis division disbanded in 1983. There were also key demotions in the power and influence of OPNAV positions not under the direct control of N8. The Deputy CNO for Operations, Plans and Policies (OP-06), who had developed … From the Sea from concept to Navy Secretary signature, was weakened in both rank and influence in the 1992 OPNAV reorganization. The office was re-coded as N3/N5 and saw a number of rank reductions in its subordinate flag officer 41 Ibid, 58. 42 Frank B. Kelso II and Paul Stillwell, The Reminiscences of Admiral Frank B. Kelso II, USN (ret) (Annapolis, MD: The Naval Institute Press, 2009), 686. 43 “Follow-on Papers Expanding on ‘… From the Sea’,” Washington D.C., The Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Memorandum for the Record, 22 February 1993, 6. 44 Swartz with Markowitz (2015), 59. Steve Wills 62 positions. Its Nuclear Weapons Policy Division (OP-65) was downgraded to a branch. Its Fleet Operations and Readiness (OP-64) and Political/Military and Current Plans Divisions (OP-61) had to share the same flag officer director as the combined N31/N52 branch. Its OP-60 Director of Strategy, Plans and Policy (now designated N51), and its OP-603 Strategy branch (now N513) remained, but neither had a role within the new N8 JMA process. Most notably, the OP-603 office lost its role as the first OPNAV office to review the Program Objective Memorandum document. OP-603 had previously conducted its strategy appraisal as part of the CNO Executive Board Review (CEB) prior to the other POM appraisals. The CEB was disestablished as part of the October 1992 OPNAV reorganization. Subsequent lists of POM development assessments make no mention of a strategy assessment. This was perhaps not surprising given the magnitude of change that had taken place from the end of the Cold War through the period of the First Gulf War. Whether by deliberate design or benign neglect, senior Navy leaders viewed “… From the Sea” as a definitive document that would not require significant revision for some time. Admiral Kelso later suggested, “In my judgement, the short white paper … From the Sea, was a pretty good start and I notice it has not changed much (as of 2009). They’ve fiddled around with it, but it’s still pretty much the same thing if you look at it very hard so nobody’s come up with a lot better since then.” Admiral Owens had a similar opinion. … From the Sea, he stated, “recognized that for the foreseeable future, the Navy’s control of the seas would not be challenged and argued that the primary role of U.S. naval forces would be the application of joint military force in littoral areas.” There appeared to be little need for the OPNAV strategy branch in an environment where the strategic situation seemed so settled. CNO Admiral Vern Clark’s (an OP-96 alumnus) term as CNO from 2000-2005 perhaps represented the low-point of the OPNAV strategic community. As Clark said, “The Navy had no business advancing a strategy. That responsibility lay with the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) and the Joint Staff.”45 Since Clark’s tenure ended in 2005 the Navy has produced two “cooperative” maritime strategies (2007 and 2015.) Both moved gradually back toward the idea that not just non-state actors and rogue states, but also potential peers such as a rising China and a revanchist Russia might also be identified by name. Both Cooperative Maritime Strategies were influential and shaped how the Navy viewed strategy and operations, but N81 re- 45 Haynes (2015), 144. OPNAV Between Strategy, Assessment and Budget, 1982-2016 63 tained its vise-like grip on the overall process of force generation through the POM process and force employment through campaign analysis. The Assessments branch gained further power when it was “double-hatted” as the CNO’s close “mini staff” and known as the “Strategic Actions Group 00Z” from 2003-2009.46 Peter Swartz identified this significant shift in the strategist/analyst balance, saying that this new relationship was a, “Littlepublicized, officially-sanctioned, direct, close-hold, back channel of analytical communication between N81 & CNO, used on occasion to circumvent perceived OPNAV chain-of-command filtering.”47 Only in 2016 did N81 see a downgrade in its influence and control over OPNAV processes when the OPNAV N50 Strategy Division, created by CNO Admiral John Richardson, was tasked with creating a strategic input to the POM for the first time since 1992.48 The pendulum swung again. Conclusion In his book The Echo of Battle, Brian McAllister Linn suggests that the way service groups interpret their own history plays a vital role in how they plan for future conflict.49 Likewise, the Navy staff’s strategists and analysts both brought their own interpretation of how the service should engage in creating strategy; whether by political/military or quantitative analysis. In the wake of the end of the Cold War the Navy’s leadership interpreted that it no longer needed the strategy discipline to the same level it did in the Cold War and promoted a concept of strategy by warfare assessments, and ultimately by budget allocation. This change in OPNAV organization that favored quantitative analysis over strategy also fundamentally changed how the Navy planned for future conflict. Instead of focusing on what specific goals the service might accomplish by its actions as was the case in the development of the 1980s’ Maritime Strategy, the Navy became obsessively focused with individual joint warfare missions and the specific force structure that supported them. The ultimate decision to base strategy development on analysis and budgets in the early 2000s was first identified by Peter Swartz in in his 2010 46 Swartz with Markowitz (2015), 97. 47 Ibid. 48 Steve Wills, “Navy Strategy Returns to Lead the POM,” CIMSEC Center for International Maritime Security, 27 October 2017, http://cimsec.org/naval-strategy-retur ns-lead-pom/28990. 49 McAllister Linn (2007), 243. Steve Wills 64 project work for the U.S. Navy History and Heritage Command while working at CNA, entitled Organizing OPNAV (1970 - 2009). Swartz’s research and scholarship on the topic of competing intellectual groups on the OPNAV staff from the late 1960s through 2010, and the effects of that contest on the development of U.S. Navy Strategy is a significant contribution to contemporary naval history. It is also delivers a warning to the naval service about how it views and addresses strategy and what service and academic qualifications are required for that effort. A retired Navy flag officer recently described the current system as one where, “We don’t have an abundance of guys like [Admiral James] Stavridis, who taught himself three languages. There may still be an anti-intellectual feeling in the Navy. The other services have more tolerance for grooming strategists while Navy sees it as simply time away from the real work of operating in the fleet.”50 Another retired Navy Captain said, Now today in the post-Rickover Navy we’ve got this emphasis on technology. At least 80% of academy and ROTC grads are supposed to be STEM majors. This has created a real deficiency in humanities and has led to a decline in how the Navy approaches formulation of strategy. To me the 1986 Maritime Strategy was the last real strategy the Navy had. Today, too many officers tend to approach strategy like a hard science or math problem: if you follow this formula, with these inputs, this outcome will certainly result.51 It is time for the Navy to act on Peter Swartz’s long record of scholarship on the “makers of modern naval strategy” and return to a balance of strategy and quantitative assessment as it formulates the strategies and attendant force structure to defeat a new generation of potential peer opponents. At this juncture, ignoring the opportunity to do so risks more than letting analyses or budgets dictate strategy; it may bankrupt the service. 50 See Zimmerman et al. (2019), 50, 51. 51 Ibid, 51. OPNAV Between Strategy, Assessment and Budget, 1982-2016 65 Works Cited Admiral William T. Small, USN (ret) to Captain Peter M. Swartz, USN (ret), “subject: Maritime Strategy Development, The Personal and Professional Papers of Captain Peter M. Swartz,” fax memo from 2 October 1998, Washington D.C. “Follow-on Papers Expanding on ‘… From the Sea’,” Washington D.C., The Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Memorandum for the Record, 22 February 1993 (Washington D.C.: The Personal and Professional Papers of Captain Peter M. Swartz, USN (ret), The From the Sea file). Hattendorf, John B., “The Evolution of the U.S. Navy’s Maritime Strategy, 1977-1986,” Naval War College Newport Papers 19 (Newport, RI: Naval War College Press, 2004), https://digital-commons.usnwc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article =1018&context=newport-papers. Hattendorf, John B., and Peter M. Swartz (eds.), “U.S. Naval Strategy in the 1980s: Selected Documents,“ Naval War College Newport Papers 33 (Newport, RI: Naval War College Press, 2008), https://digital-commons.usnwc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.c gi?article=1032&context=newport-papers. Haynes, Peter, Toward a New Maritime Strategy: American Naval Thinking in the Post- Cold War Era (Annapolis, MD: The Naval Institute Press, 2015). Hone, Thomas, Power and Change, The Administrative History of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations 1946-1986 (Washington D.C.: The U.S. Navy Historical Center, 1989). Hughes, Jr., Wayne P. “Navy Operations Research,” in Operations Research vol. 50, no. 1 (2002), 103-111. Kelso II, Frank B., and Paul Stillwell, The Reminiscences of Admiral Frank B. Kelso II, USN (ret) (Annapolis, MD: The Naval Institute Press, 2009). Lehman, John F., Command of the Seas (Annapolis, MD: The Naval Institute Press, 2001). McAllister Linn, Brian, The Echo of Battle, The Army’s Way of War (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press), 2007. Sands, Jeffrey, On His Watch: Admiral Zumwalt’s Efforts to Institutionalize Strategic Change (Alexandria, VA: The Center for Naval Analyses, 1993). Swartz, Peter M., “Threads, Stands, and Lines,” unpublished dissertation draft (1996). Swartz, Peter M., U.S. Navy Capstone Strategy, Policy, Vision and Concept Documents: What to consider before you write one (Alexandria, VA: The Center for Naval Analyses, 2009), https://www.cna.org/cna_files/pdf/D0020071.A1.pdf. Swartz, Peter M., with Mike Markowitz, Organizing OPNAV 1970-2009 (Washington D.C.: The U.S. Navy History and Heritage Command, 2015). Tarpgaard, Peter, Building a 600-Ship Navy: Costs, Timing, and Alternative Approaches (Washington D.C.: The Congressional Budget Office, March 1982). “The Nomination of Admiral Frank B. Kelso, Jr USN, to be Chief of Naval Operations,” Hearing before the Committee of the Armed Services, The United States Senate, Second Session of the One Hundred First Congress, 14 June 1990. Steve Wills 66 Wills, Steve, “Navy Strategy Returns to Lead the POM,” CIMSEC Center for International Maritime Security, 27 October 2017, http://cimsec.org/naval-strategy-return s-lead-pom/28990, accessed 16 July 2019. Zimmerman, Rebecca, with Jackson, Kimberly, Lander, Natasha, Roberts, Colin, Madden, Dan, and Orrie, Rebeca, Movement and Maneuver Culture and the Competition for Influence Among the U.S. Military Services (Santa Monica, CA: Rand Corporation, 2019). OPNAV Between Strategy, Assessment and Budget, 1982-2016 67

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Abstract

The 21st century is witnessing renewed tension as conflicts between major powers, serious concerns about future security alliances and global, even generational, security policy challenges arise. In the light of this, naval forces and maritime security, and understanding their underlying strategic rationale, are gaining momentum and importance. What are the roles and missions of naval forces, and how have states and the institutions themselves sought to frame their goals and methods? This book brings together experts from the United States, Europe, and Asia to reflect on how maritime and naval strategy is conceptualised and how it has been used. It celebrates the life and work of Peter M. Swartz, Captain (US Navy) ret., who since contributing to ‘The Maritime Strategy’ of the 1980s as a young Pentagon officer, has been a mentor, friend, intellectual beacon and the foremost purveyor of maritime expertise to the global naval community. With contributions by James Bergeron, Sebastian Bruns, Seth Cropsey, Larissa Forster, Michael Haas, John Hattendorf, Peter Haynes, Andrzej Makowski, Amund Lundesgaard, Narushige Michishita, Martin Murphy, Sarandis Papadopoulos, Nilanthi Samaranayake, Jeremy Stöhs, Eric Thompson, Geoffrey Till, Sarah Vogler, Steve Wills.

Zusammenfassung

Großmachtkonflikte, die Zukunft von sicherheitspolitischen Institutionen sowie transnationalen Generationenherausforderungen bergen eine neue globale Unsicherheit. Vor diesem Hintergrund bekommen maritime Sicherheit und Seestreitkräfte sowie deren Einordnung im außenpolitischen Werkzeugkasten eine zunehmende Bedeutung. Was sind die Rollen und Einsatzaufgaben von Seemacht, und wie haben Staaten und ihre Institutionen maritime Ziele, Mittel und Wege konzeptualisiert? Dieser Sammelband bringt ausgewiesene Experten aus den USA, Europa und Asien zusammen, die ihre Perspektive auf maritime Strategie teilen. Das Buch dient gleichzeitig die Festschrift für Peter M. Swartz, Kapitän zur See a.D. der US-Marine, der seit seiner Arbeit als einer der Autoren der „Maritime Strategy“ (1980er) als Mentor, Freund, intellektueller Leuchtturm und vor allen Dingen als Spiritus Rektor wesentlich zur Schärfung des Verständnisses von Seestrategie in den globalen Beziehungen beigetragen hat. Mit Beiträgen von James Bergeron, Sebastian Bruns, Seth Cropsey, Larissa Forster, Michael Haas, John Hattendorf, Peter Haynes, Andrzej Makowski, Amund Lundesgaard, Narushige Michishita, Martin Murphy, Sarandis Papadopoulos, Nilanthi Samaranayake, Jeremy Stöhs, Eric Thompson, Geoffrey Till, Sarah Vogler, Steve Wills.