Content

Martin Murphy, Elevating Difference: Regaining the Navy’s Strategic Influence in a Joint World in:

Sebastian Bruns, Sarandis Papadopoulos (Ed.)

Conceptualizing Maritime & Naval Strategy, page 69 - 90

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/10.5771/9783845299150-69

Series: ISPK Seapower Series, vol. 3

Bibliographic information
Elevating Difference: Regaining the Navy’s Strategic Influence in a Joint World Martin Murphy The United States, a giant itself, stands on the shoulders of giants. It is the successor to the maritime powers that have gone before it that have shaped and ordered the global system in what has been called the Oceanic Age. It is the modalities of that Age which have led oceanic navies to be intimately connected to diplomacy, economics, trade, the suppression of piracy and slavery, and to the development of international law. It has also led them to view the use of naval force as a continuum stretching from presence, humanitarian assistance and policing through coercion to warfare. The result is that these navies have been tied much more closely to grand strategy as a cultural norm – and contributed to its formation – than any other part of the military. No great power has prevailed over its opponents during the Oceanic Age unless it was a maritime power. No maritime power has been a great power without a grand strategy. This experience has driven a recognizable naval strategic culture. One that is very separate from other armed services yet at the same time closely linked to the nation's everyday foreign policy, its relations with partners and neutrals, and with potential adversaries. As Peter Swartz, one of the U.S. Navy’s most respected strategists of the last forty years, puts it: For the Navy, the world is its oyster. For the Navy, the World Ocean is a single continuous space on, under and over which it can maneuver at will to exert political and military power. It does not see the world in pieces, as a series of different sea-air-land regional theaters in which the land area is invariably the center. Regionalization restricts the global flexibility of the Navy and afloat Marines and therefore what they can achieve for this country.1 This chapter addresses the strategic culture of the U.S. Navy. It is a militaristic culture. The chapter questions how appropriate this culture is in the geopolitical and institutional circumstances in which the Navy finds itself in the early to mid-twenty-first century; circumstances that include the 1 Peter M. Swartz, Correspondence with the author, 29 March 2019. 69 need to operate jointly with the nation’s other armed services, to share their single-minded focus on warfighting, but in the absence of the grand strategy that is essential for a global navy. It maintains that preserving what makes the Navy different from the other armed services is important but, in a world where the aperture of conflict has widened, it needs to reacquire the skills, resources and strategic understanding required to achieve political, economic, perception and military effects across all-domains. It proposes – given that China has adopted a whole-of-government approach to its maritime interactions – that the Navy must argue for unification at the national policy level where its unique voice can be heard clearly. An organization’s culture is summed up most simply as “what we do around here.” In the abstract it is the sum of its collective values, beliefs and principles that rise out of its history, traditions, purpose and assumptions about the world and its place in it that shape the habits of its members. In the concrete case of the U.S. Navy, culture is distinguished by several special factors. Ultimately, it is a military organization tasked to support U.S national policy by killing people and breaking things while paying due regard to limits laid down in U.S. policy, national and international law. U.S Navy leaders state, without equivocation, that the service’s overriding purpose is to “fight and win our nation’s wars.”2 High-intensity war demands proportionately high levels of attention but, as the British naval strategist Julian Corbett put it, too often naval thinkers have “come to feel [their] sole concern was fighting, and had forgotten the art of making war.”3 Coercion can be exerted and confronted in ways short of war and have played a larger part for longer in “what we do around here” for the Navy than they have for the Army or Air Force. It can continue to do so providing the importance of the maritime domain is recognized by defense and political leaders. It is this maritime domain – and its unforgiving nature - which above all makes sailors different.4 Navies exert power and influence on, under and in the skies above the vast, turbulent, borderless expanse of the world’s seas; where attacks can come from any azimuth; and from those seas into 2 For example Jonathan Greenert, “Statement of Admiral Jonathan Greenert, Chief of Naval Operations, Before the Congress on FY 2013 Department of Navy Posture,” March 2012, 1. 3 Julian S. Corbett, England in the Seven Years War (London: The Folio Society, 2001, orig. pub. 1907), 5. 4 James A. Winnefeld, “Why Sailors Are Different,” in U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings vol. 121, no. 5 (May 1995), 68. Martin Murphy 70 the rimlands of the world’s continents where the bulk of the world’s population create the bulk of the world’s wealth.5 The spatial awareness of sailors therefore contrasts sharply with that of soldiers. Topography, the “ground,” shapes soldiers’ plans and tactics; they aspires to know what lies on the other side of the hill. Topography is non-existent at sea; the sailor’s view extends to the horizon, which is always receding before him. The soldier, as J.C. Wylie put it, is “hemmed in by his terrain” in contrast to the sailor compelled to consider the extent of an adversary’s global interests up to the possibility of global war.6 Conflicts and even wars at sea have no fronts and are conducted in waters populated with people from neutral countries, which if conflict is prolonged can, using Julian Corbett’s word, lead to their “exasperation.”7 Over the past quarter-century the U.S. Army has become used to fighting “war amongst the people”8 in which distinguishing combatant from noncombatant can be a never-ending challenge. But this has always been the reality at sea where, for the navy, the transition from peace to war has been seamless: there are no “discontinuities between peacetime and wartime… the environment does not change, and operations – except for open hostilities – are not altered significantly.”9 These factors explain the navy’s attachment to independent command and decentralized organization. As deep-rooted cultural beliefs born of global experience they have given Navy and Marine Corps leaders sound reasons to oppose every move towards defense unification right up to and including the Department of Defense Reorganization Act (aka Goldwater- Nichols) of 1986. Defense unification – now referred to more commonly as “jointness” – is the idea that greater centralization of both the operational direction and 5 J. C. Wylie, “Why a Sailor Thinks Like a Sailor,” in U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings vol. 83, no. 8 (August 1957), 811-817; Thomas T. Hayward, “Uniqueness of Naval Warfare,” in Surface Warfare Magazine vol. X (September 1982), 31-32; J. J. Tritten and R.W. Barnett, “Are Naval Operations Unique?,” in Naval Forces vol. VII, no. 5 (1986), 20-30. 6 J. C. Wylie. Military Strategy: A General Theory of Power Control (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1967), 49. See also Colin S. Gray. War, Peace and Victory (New York: Touchstone, 1990), 55-56. 7 Corbett (2001), 638. 8 Rupert Smith, The Utility of Force: The Art of War in the Modern World (London: Allen Lane, 2005). 9 Roger W. Barnett. Navy Strategic Culture: Why the Navy Thinks Differently (Annapolis, MD: The Naval Institute Press, 2009, 41; Tritten and Barnett (1986); Hayward (1982), 31. Elevating Difference 71 headquarters administration of the U.S. armed forces is desirable and beneficial. The idea first emerged in the years following the Spanish-American War. After World War I, support for unification grew in Congress motivated there by the hope that a less costly military could be realized by eliminating the waste and duplication it was assumed were the natural consequences of maintaining two independent armed services. Almost immediately, however, a cloud emerged that hung-over unification throughout the interwar years. Its cause was the desire on the part of the U.S. Army Air Service (that eventually became the U.S. Army Air Forces in 1941 and the U.S. Air Force in 1947) not only to gain its independence from the Army but to absorb the navy’s air arm in the service of a single air power doctrine. America’s aviation evangelist was Army General William ‘Billy’ Mitchell. He, along with his acolytes, viewed all surface forces – not just the navy’s battle fleet – as vulnerable to aerial bombardment and therefore obsolete. His shrewd insight was that his campaign for an additional independent service might be accepted more readily if it was nested inside a larger, efficiency-minded reorganization of all the armed services.10 Mitchell’s views struck at the core of the navy’s institutional identity leaving any sympathy the latter might have had for defense unification – which existed to some degree before 1919 – dead in the water.11 As far as the naval fliers were concerned, agreeing with the Army rebels would have drawn them into a separate service that that did not understand naval warfare. This lack of understanding was the core of the aviator’s problem and cemented their rejection of a unified defense establishment alongside the rest of the Navy and Marine Corps. After 1945, faced by the reality of unification, the Navy mounted a stout resistance. Its core concern was what would happen to the fleet if its performance was judged - or even ultimately commanded - by men steeped in prescriptive doctrine, a regimented centralized command structure and ignorant of naval purposes and potential.12 In practical terms, it was fearful that the Army and a newly-independent air force would create a Joint sys- 10 Vincent Davis, The Admirals Lobby (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1967), 32. 11 Ibid., 31. 12 A concern that animated Alfred Thayer Mahan who attributed the failure of the French Navy under Napoleon to officers who did not understand naval warfare. See Alfred T. Mahan, The Influence of Sea Power upon the French Revolution and Empire, vols. I and II (London: Sampson, Lowe, Marston & Company, 1892). Martin Murphy 72 tem in their image; one that at the Joint Chiefs of Staff level would mimic the tightly-integrated War Department model.13 To begin with its main fears were not realized. The Navy was not unduly affected by unification’s step-by-step encroachment on the services that began with the creation of a single Secretary of Defense in 1949 followed by the gradual concentration of power in the Office of Secretary of Defense (OSD) in the legalisation of 1950 and 1958. Not, that is, until the appointment of Robert McNamara in January 1961.14 The legislative changes had tilted authority over defense matters away from uniformed military officers towards civilian control. Before McNamara no secretary had taken up the authorities granted him by Congress (or never served in office long enough to do so); McNamara did both. He imposed the Planning, Programming and Budgeting System (PPBS), a centralized process that sought to apply the methods of cost-benefit analysis not only to determine the utility of competing programs but to direct the entire Department. His was the approach of an industrial manager applying analytical tools to marry modes of warfare to conflict dominated by new technologies.15 For the Navy, his arrival was a watershed moment. The 1958 Defense Reorganization Act had stripped the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) of operational command of the fleet. McNamara put that change into effect and diminished the CNO’s authority and influence further by effectively stripping from his control important elements of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV), the Navy’s Pentagon headquarters. In the 1950s the CNO’s job was strategic, operational, conceptual and long term; after McNamara it became programmatic, administrative, mechanical and short term. By centralizing authority and the bureaucratic means to exercise it in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), McNamara made it easier for him and his successors to centrally determine and direct U.S. strategy. By effectively grabbing the keys to the Navy’s fate, he made support for any centrally determined and directed strategy appear the only option for the Navy if it was to survive with the ships, weapons and person- 13 Vincent Davis, Postwar Defense Policy and the U.S. Navy 1943-46 ( Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press 2001), 51; William G. Hanne, “The Separatist Case,” in U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings vol. 111, no. 7 (July 1985), 93, 94 and 96. 14 Christopher M. Bourne, “Unintended Consequences of the Goldwater-Nichols Act,” in Joint Forces Quarterly (Spring 1998), 102. 15 Peter D. Haynes, Toward a New Maritime Strategy: American Naval Thinking in the Post-Cold War Era (Annapolis, MD: The Naval Institute Press, 2015), 25. Elevating Difference 73 nel aspects of its identity intact.16 As far as he was concerned, rationalism had trumped parochialism by – in his words – rectifying “the tendency on the part of the services to base their planning and force structure on their own unilateral views of how a future war might be fought.”17 But McNamara was not combining the best of what each service could offer. He was setting in motion the creation of a single Joint culture, which in his case was characterized by hyper-rationality and the superiority of quantitative analysis over experience leading to detailed planning implemented though top-down micro-management. The operating environments inhabited by the Army and Air Force that depended on centralized authority to direct choreographed campaign plans made it easier for them to accept – or at least tolerate – McNamara’s changes. For the Navy, which viewed jointness as coordination not integration, they verged on anathema; verged, only because each service chief retained access to the President. In 1986 Goldwater-Nichols shut that door. Critically, McNamara enacted changes in the Navy’s career paths that began to redirect its best minds into Joint billets, a move that slowly eroded its culture of independent strategic thought and eventually undermined its ability to generate its own strategy and plans: “In the 1940s,” Peter Haynes explained, “the path to promotion to admiral went through OP- NAV’s war planning directorate. In the 1950s, it went through CNO Arleigh Burke’s long-range planning directorate. Starting in the 1960s, it changed to managing weapon systems programs and manpower – and has not changed since.”18 By the early 1980s, supporters of jointness viewed progress towards their eventual goal as too slow. To substantiate their position they pointed to the confused strategic thinking and muddled command structures that afflicted the Vietnam War, the 1975 Mayaguez and 1979-80 Iran hostage rescue disasters, poor interservice planning and communications shortcomings during the 1983 Lebanon mission and Grenada invasion, and soaring defense spending under Reagan.19 A coalition emerged in the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill determined to rebalance joint and service interests. 16 Ibid., 25-27. 17 Statement of Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara on the Fiscal Year 1963-67 Defense Program and 1963 Defense Budget, House Armed Services Committee, 24 January 1962, cited in Haynes (2015), 25. 18 Haynes (2015), 27. 19 James R. Locher III, Victory on the Potomac: The Goldwater-Nichols Act Unites the Pentagon (College Station, TX: Texas A&M University Press, 2002), 4; Steven Wills, “The Effect of the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986 on Naval Strategy, 1987– Martin Murphy 74 The language used in an important 1982 report commissioned by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS), General David Jones, summarized the cause of the problem and the implicit solution: “A certain amount of service independence is healthy and desirable,” the report opined, “but the balance now favors the parochial interests of the services too much, and the larger needs of the nation’s defense too little.”20 The passage of Goldwater-Nichols gave the advocates of jointness much (although not all21) of what they had hoped for. The measure approved included: • Making plain the authority of the Secretary of Defense; • Strengthening the power and authority of the Chairman by ensuring all the corporate functions that had previously served the Joint Chiefs of Staff collectively now reported to the Chairman alone while freeing him from any obligation to consult with the other service Chiefs and secretaries; • Making the unified combatant commanders (COCOMs) responsible directly to the President and the Secretary of Defense and granting them the authority that had traditionally been bestowed on supreme military commanders to ensure they could discharge their responsibilities; • Requiring the President to publish an annual national security strategy based on which the Chairman was to prepare strategic plans within the budgetary constraints laid down by Congress; • Measures to overcome the continuing lack of qualified officers serving on the Joint Staff, a shortage noticeable in planning billets particularly such that Joint planning was viewed as ineffective with the Pentagon 1994,” in Naval War College Review vol. 69, no. 2 (Spring 2016), 23; Kathleen J. McInnis, “Goldwater-Nichols at 30: Defense Reform and Issues for Congress,” Congressional Research Service R44474, 2 June 2016, 3-6. 20 Cited in James R. Locher III, “Has It Worked? – The Goldwater-Nichols Reorganization Act,“ in Naval War College Review vol. 54, no. 4 (2001), 103. Identifying allegiance to joint organizational structures and approaches as being synonymous with loyalty to the United States was an unworthy but nonetheless persistent (albeit low-level) leitmotif running through the campaign for greater defense centralization. Locher, for example, in the same article, wrote in language associated more usually with conscience and belief, that “Goldwater-Nichols brings to the fore the struggle of each officer to find that balance between loyalty to service and devotion to the larger needs of the nation” (ibid., 113). 21 Wills (2016), 24-25. Elevating Difference 75 devoting too much effort to programming and budgeting and too little to preparing for the long term.22 In the three decades between the Act becoming law and the speech of Secretary of Defense Ash Carter in 2016 suggesting it was time to consider some degree of reform,23 there was general agreement that the legislation had achieved the undeniable plus of improving the military effectiveness of joint operations. The value of everything else, however, appeared to be open to question. Its effect on the efficient use of resources, the hope of Congress for over a century, was practically nil.24 From the perspective of the Navy’s strategy development, Goldwater- Nichols impacted it in four ways: • It removed strategic direction of the Navy from its leadership and transferred what had remained of OPNAV’s control over the Navy’s operational forces after the 1958 reforms to the regional COCOMs; • Global-focused naval leadership and strategy formulation was replaced by regionally-directed strategies that cut across traditional navy geographical areas and nullified its global perspective; • Regional commanders specified the ships and weapon systems that the Navy’s leadership built and managed, and the manpower it recruited and trained, creating a readiness versus innovation tension between the commanders’ shorter-term regional requirements and the leadership’s global and longer-term, material-based development programs; • The Navy’s informal cadre of strategic experts was effectively dispersed by forcing them into Joint jobs rather than OPNAV billets.25 Also, as the 1980s’ Secretary of the Navy John Lehman made clear, relieving the Joint Chiefs of Staff of their collective responsibility for advising the President and the Secretary of Defense and investing it in the Chairman solely, limited not only the scope of the military advice available to the nation’s political leadership but also the policy and priority-setting roles of the service secretaries.26 22 Locher III (2001), 106-108. 23 Lisa Ferdinando, “Carter Proposes Updates to Goldwater-Nichols Act,” DOD News, 5 April 2016 (Washington D.C.: U.S. Department of Defense, 2016), https:/ /www.defense.gov/Explore/News/Article/Article/713930/carter-proposes-updates-t o-goldwater-/. 24 Locher III (2001), 111. 25 Wills (2016), 22. 26 Locher III (2001), 110; Wills (2016), 24; David T. Fautua, “The Paradox of Joint Culture,” in Joint Forces Quarterly (Autumn 2000), 86, who also notes that the Act Martin Murphy 76 These differences amount to a clash of cultures; or, rather, a clash between an established ethos and one as yet unformed. The logic of defense unification – or jointness – is to minimize service-specific variations. Its advocates fear that so long as the separate services exist, they impede the emergence of a joint or “purple” culture in which values are shared or, better still, transformed into a new, domain-neutral homogeneity. How this might be achieved, or benefit defense policy, is unclear. Perhaps the nearest approximation to a new culture unencumbered by service tradition Mc- Namara and his “whiz-kids” built, which although unloved has persisted, are the PPBS procedures that have too often and for too long been a substitute for strategy. On the other side stands the Navy, and others who value heterodoxy. Their fear is that subverting service traditions and silencing individual service inputs leads to a dangerous singularity of thought; that the “friction of ideas” multiple sources of advice generate is natural and necessary not just for joint warfighting but also to deepen and broaden the strategic and policy debates at Defense Department and national levels.27 Interservice competition has its creative aspects because, as Stephen Rosen put it, every “organizations tends to stagnate when it becomes the only game in town.”28 This thread has run through the unification debate for decades, but takes on added salience when the rise of China has made it increasingly difficult to draw boundaries around war and reconcile how we want to fight with how we need to. Competition with China, moreover, will be concentrated more in the maritime domain, and while this could make war more limited might also make it more likely. This is the point where the defense unification debate, specifically about the Goldwater-Nichols model, becomes acutely challenging. The unsurprising mantra of those who argue it needs reform is that what works needs to be retained while changing what doesn’t. Few question that Goldwater-Nichols has been thoroughly effective at the operational level of war: “in forcing the services to act cooperatively in prosecution of war…No other nation on Earth is capable of the military operations the United States routinely accomplishes…(cooperation) is the basic principle of operation in today’s Pentagon that values consensus and cooperation while forcefully reinforced CJCS’s power by giving him control over the JCS agenda and thus over what topics were brought forward for consideration. 27 Fautua (2000), 81. 28 Stephen Peter Rosen, “Service Redundancy: Waste or Hidden Capability?,” in Joint Forces Quarterly (Summer 1993), 36. Elevating Difference 77 discouraging unseemly service-orientated posturing.”29 It makes sense for U.S. forces to exploit this unique capability by developing concepts such as Multi-Domain Warfare.30 The culture emerging out of Goldwater-Nichols was a top-down Armystyle command structure driving a land-centric regional approach grounded in programmatic, not strategy. Multi-Domain Warfare, while it extends into what the U.S. armed forces refer to as Phase 0, cannot be confused with forms of Chinese and Russian unrestricted warfare derived from political warfare, and stretching the warfare into civilian life and the virtual world.31 Mike Vlahos’s 1993 warning that jointness is inward looking and “does not focus our minds on the next challenge and the next war” was prescient.32 29 Bryan McGrath, “The Unbearable Being of Jointness,” in U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings vol. 136, no. 5 (May 2010), 41. 30 Greg Grant and Paul Benfield, “Get Out of Your Lane: The End of Discrete Domains,” War on the Rocks, 26 January 2017, https://warontherocks.com/2017/01/ge t-out-of-your-lane-the-end-of-discrete-domains/; Kelly McCoy, “The Road to Multi-Domain Battle: An Origin Story, “ Modern War Institute at West Point, 27 October 2017, https://mwi.usma.edu/road-multi-domain-battle-origin-story/; Sydney J. Freedberg Jr., “Army’s ‘Multi-Domain Battle:’ Jamming, Hacking & Long Range Missiles,” Breaking Defense, 27 September 2016, https://breakingdefen se.com/2016/09/armys-multi-domain-battle-jamming-hacking-long-range-missile s/; id.. (2018a), “Services Debate Multi-Domain: ‘Battle’ or ‘Operations’,” Breaking Defense, 10 April 2018, https://breakingdefense.com/2018/04/beyond-multi-domai n-battle-services-brainstorm-broader-concept/; id., “Army’s Multi-Domain Unit ‘A Game-Changer’ in future war,” Breaking Defense, 1 April 2019, https://breakingdef ense.com/2019/04/armys-multi-domain-unit-a-game-changer-in-future-war/. 31 Ofer Fridman, Russian Hybrid Warfare: Resurgence and Politicisation (London: Hurst, 2018; Liang Qiao and Xiangsui Wang, China’s Masterplan to Destroy America (Panama City: Pan American Publishing Company, 2002); Chloe Diggins and Clint Arizmendi, “Is War in the Sixth Domain the End of Clausewitz?,” Blogs of War, 13 December 2012, https://blogsofwar.com/is-war-in-the-sixth-domain-the-en d-of-clausewitz/; Deric J. Holbrook, “Information-age warfare and defence of the cognitive domain,” The Strategist, 13 December 2018, https://www.aspistrategist.o rg.au/information-age-warfare-and-defence-of-the-cognitive-domain/; Elsa B. Kania and John Costello, “Quantum Hegemony?,” Center for New American Security, 12 September 2018, https://www.cnas.org/publications/reports/quantum-hege mony; Gregory C. Allen, “Understanding China’s AI Strategy: Clues to Chinese Strategic Thinking on Artificial Intelligence and National Security,” Center for New American Strategy, 6 February 2019, https://www.cnas.org/publications/report s/understanding-chinas-ai-strategy. 32 Michael Vlahos, “By Our Orthodoxies Shall Ye Know Us,” in Joint Forces Quarterly (Autumn 1993), 110. Martin Murphy 78 The best way to retain Goldwater-Nichols’ achievements while overcoming its strategy shortcomings is to raise strategy formation to a higher government level. In this context, its failure to correct the Department of Defense’s (DOD) traditional strategy weakness appears critical. The Act required the President to write a national security strategy every year and every one has fallen short.33 The blame for this cannot be laid at unification’s door alone; as Colin Grey noted, the connection between war and policy has been a persistent weakness in U.S. defense thinking.34 This disconnect is no longer tenable. Great power competition has returned.35 The U.S military is gearing up in expectation of the high-intensity, technology-dependent and firepower-focused war it prefers. Even for the U.S. this form of war is hugely expensive and highly destructive. In an increasingly complex and interconnected world, America’s adversaries have found ways to potentially lessen that expense while exploiting our weaknesses. George Kennan defined political warfare broadly as “the employment of all the means at a nation’s command, short of war, to achieve its national objectives.”36 America’s failure to unify its foreign and defense policies effectively has presented adversaries with the opportunity to exploit emerging technologies and political measures to circumvent its military superiority.37 Not that the Pentagon has ignored these changes.38 On the military and technology side of the equation, there is a general recognition that DOD needs to become more agile in its decision-making.39 However, it also 33 James R. Locher III, “Statement before the Senate Armed Services Committee – 30 Years of Goldwater-Nichols Reform,”10 November 2015, https://www.armed-s ervices.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Locher_11-10-15.pdf, 6. 34 Colin S. Gray, “The American Way of War: Critique and Implications,” in Anthony D. McIvor (ed.), Rethinking the Principles of War (Annapolis, MD: The Naval Institute Press, 2005), 28. 35 Department of Defense, Summary of the 2018 National Defense Strategy of the United States (Washington, D.C.: Department of Defense, 2018), https://dod.defense.g ov/Portals/1/Documents/pubs/2018-National-Defense-Strategy-Summary.pdf. 36 George Kennan, “Policy Planning Memorandum,” U.S. Department of State, 30 April 1948. 37 Paul A. Smith, Jr., On Political War (Washington, D.C.: National Defense University Press, 1989). Political warfare is a broad church that includes economic, financial, information and psychological war. 38 Sydney J. Freedberg, Jr. (2018b), “Russia, China Are Outmaneuvering US: Generals Recommend New Authorities, Doctrine,” Breaking Defense, 15 June 2018, https://breakingdefense.com/2018/06/russia-china-are-outmaneuvering-us-generals -recommend-new-authorities-doctrine/. 39 McInnis (2016), 2; Locher (2015), 1. Elevating Difference 79 needs to be more broad-minded in recognizing and assessing threats that are increasingly diverse and complicated, can emerge with astonishing rapidity thanks to networked communication, and require new ways of thinking and acting if they are to be confronted effectively.40 Goldwater- Nichols was, after all, predicated on the Cold War’s stable and predictable environment and its clearly defined threats and political guidance. As Kathleen McInnis put it, the “international security environment was already demanding when the Goldwater-Nichols legislation was enacted, yet most observers agree it has become significantly more complex and unpredictable in recent years.”41 To remain effective every organization needs to be redesigned as its external environment evolves. In the view of James Locher, who played a pivotal role in Goldwater-Nichol’s gestation, the DOD typifies a twentiethcentury organization. Drawing on the work of the management scholar John Kotter, he contends that experience over the past 15 years has shown that the department is incapable of fulfilling its responsibilities efficiently and effectively. Its internal processes generate reams of data – slowly – but lack the ability to resolve conflicting views constructively. Its mission-orientated ethos is not imbued with a culture valueing information-sharing, collaboration and team results. Consequently, like other organizations that have failed to make the transition from the last century to this, DOD finds it difficult to adjust to a rapidly changing environment.42 The world is littered with corpses of big organizations that could not adapt. From a strategic perspective, however, the crucial challenge is fixing the U.S. national security system. Locher’s views have clearly evolved from observing U.S. national security policymaking at close quarters and matured beyond his previous Goldwater-Nichols advocacy. In his judgement, the whole system of U.S. national security institutions is “profoundly broken.” Organizationally this is centered on the National Security Council and its committees.43 According to Richard Hooker and Joseph Collins it is hamstrung culturally by the wide gulf between civilian and military leaders that need to cooperate to make effective strategy: “Civilian national security decision-makers need a better understanding of the complexity of military strategy and the military’s need for planning guidance,” to prevent strategy foundering on poorly defined or overly broad objectives related 40 McInnis (2016), p. 10. 41 Ibid., 11. 42 Locher (2015), 2 and 14; McInnis (2016), 13-14. 43 Locher (2015), 3. Martin Murphy 80 only weakly to available means.44 Paucity of policy leads to poor strategy. For their part, senior military officers need a “deep understanding of the policy/interagency process, an appreciation for the perspective of civilian counterparts, and a willingness to embrace, not resist, the complexity and challenges in [the U.S.] system of civilian control.”45 The United States has known for over one hundred years the policy gap exists, with over fifty years of experience that defense unification, on its own, is not the way to bridge it. It is pointless, in Locher’s words, making “difficult changes to DOD in the false hope of circumventing national security system limitations.” Limitations, moreover, extend to Congress where no one single committee oversees the entire national security process.46 All of the national security missions require a whole-of-government approach and it is no longer possible to pretend otherwise. The implications of the shifts that have taken place in the geostrategic environment – and the DOD’s largely technocratic and astrategic response – are, for the Navy, profound. However, there are few reasons to believe that giving the Navy greater strategic autonomy absent a significant change in U.S. defense policy formulation will result in a materially different outcome.47 The Navy’s own strategic skills and resources have undoubtedly withered because of the slow but relentless pressure of unification culminating in Goldwater-Nichols. But the main obstacle to change within the Navy is not a dearth of strong, independently-minded thinkers, but its culture: ingrained habits of thought are more difficult to change because they are shared by members of Congress and among voters. Not, however, that these cannot be overcome; after all, the Navy has done this twice in its history already. But for that to happen – and be sustained – key constituencies in the Navy, Congress, among voters and now in the Joint community need to be aligned behind any new direction. 44 Richard D. Hooker, Jr. and Joseph J. Collins, “Reflections on Lessons Encountered,” in Lessons Encountered: Learning from the Long War, ed. by Richard D. Hooker, Jr. and Joseph J. Collins (Washington, D.C.: National Defense University Press, 2015), 413, cited in McInnes (2016), 23. 45 Hooker and Collins (2015), 413. 46 Locher (2015), 3-4. 47 “It isn’t that there is no room for the Services to engage in strategy development; it’s just that history shows that when such attempts have been made, their beneficial effects have been focused on the Services’ Title X functions more than actual national strategy” (Robert C. Rubel, “What Critics of the Navy’s Strategy Get Wrong,” War on the Rocks, 6 January 2015, https://warontherocks.com/2015/01/w hat-critics-of-the-navys-strategy-get-wrong/). Elevating Difference 81 The Navy’s first major cultural shift began in the years after 1880. Its figurehead was Mahan. It involved the obliteration of the old commerce war and coastal defense navy with a new, oceanic, battle-fleet navy in tune with the values of the Progressive Age. Its birth coincided with that of the German Navy and, for many of the same reasons, was imbued with a similar spirit of militarism. The second was realized after 1945, although it was born in the central Pacific in 1942. Its figurehead was Secretary of the Navy (later first Secretary of Defense) James V. Forrestal. This navy obliterated the Japanese battle fleet, overturning the idea that navies existed to fight one another and, replacing it with the hitherto revolutionary concept that a navy could achieve strategic effect from the sea far inland, built an aircraft carrier fleet in its place. We are now in the dog days of the Forrestal revolution. What both shifts had in common was a militaristic core in tune with the twentieth-century’s way of war. China of the twenty-first century presents an explicitly different threat. While undoubtedly amassing a hightechnology force capable of confronting U.S. military power symmetrically, it has also weaponized other arms of state power, under a centralized, Party-based command structure, that together must be confronted on their own terms. On the water this is best summed up by the fact that while the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) may have 300 ships, it has another 350 large ships in its coast guard and maritime militia that are designed to prosecute political warfare in the East Asian littoral and, potentially, further afield.48 The U.S. Navy anticipated these developments in the external environment. It recognized they would demand responses at both the high and low levels of the spectrum of conflict or, perhaps more accurately, the spectrum of competition. In 2007 it issued the Cooperative Strategy for Twenty-first Century Seapower (CS21).49 No document is perfect and CS21 certainly had flaws. It made no mention of China, although its authors en- 48 David Axe, “U.S. Navy Nightmare: The Chinese Fleet Doesn’t Have 300 Ships, It Has 650,” The National Interest, 30 January 2019, https://nationalinterest.org/blog/ buzz/us-navy-nightmare-chinese-fleet-doesnt-have-300-ships-it-has-650-42822. Axe points out that while the U.S. Navy had 285 ships in its battle force as of mid-2018 (compared to between 313 and 342 expected in the 2020 PLAN fleet), the U.S. Coast Guard operates around 240 cutters greater than 65 feet in length and MSC operates 120 logistics, cargo and support ships. Adding them to the Navy's warships results in a combined U.S. fleet of 645 ships with military capability. 49 James T. Conway, Gary Roughead and Thad W. Allen, A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower (Washington: Department of Defense, 2007). Martin Murphy 82 visaged that subsequent versions would. Instead it focused at the low-end on terrorism and other unconventional threats including nuclear proliferation and piracy. Nonetheless, as Bryan McGrath, CS21’s lead author explained, Chinese analysts clearly understood that the “strategy advanced an argument about the defense of the global system,” and interpreted it “as meaning that the United States would defend the system it had designed and led. Additionally, they understood that the strategy intended to help the United States retain its global leadership position.”50 It would do it, moreover, in cooperation with other states with common interests in a secure and stable global maritime order. The political challenge it presented to a state which had maritime ambitions, but few friends, was obvious. This was not enough to convince critics in the Navy and on the Hill. For them it ran against the grain of the Navy’s culture as they understood it. The follow-on 2015 strategic vision A Cooperative Strategy for Twenty-first Century Seapower: Forward, Engaged, Ready (CS21R) effectively took the Navy back to where it was before the original had reminded the service that a strategy that was distinctly “maritime,” going beyond the purely naval to include political and economic measures, was not only possible but necessary as a counter-weight to the overly militarized tradition stretching back to the navalism of the late nineteenth-century.51 “If one were looking for an elaboration or expansion of maritime-systemic thought,” Haynes’ noted drily, “one would be disappointed.”52 CS21 was also a conscious attempt by the Navy to fill the policy gap. Critics accused it of looking upward; of trying to persuade policy-makers to provide the guidance its strategic community needed.53 That it did so by 50 Bryan McGrath, “How Will China View the New Maritime Strategy?,” Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, 8 April 2015, https://amti.csis.org/how-will-china-vie w-the-new-maritime-strategy/. See also Andrew S. Erickson, “Assessing the New U.S. Maritime Strategy: A Window into Chinese Thinking,” in Naval War College Review vol. 61, no. 4 (Autumn 2008), 35-53. 51 Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., Jonathan W. Greenert and Paul F. Zukunft, A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower: Forward, Engaged, Ready (Washington D.C.: Department of Defense, 2015), The U.S. Navy has issued two strategy documents since CS21R: “A Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority,” Version 1.0. U.S. Navy Chief of Naval Operations, January 2016 and a revised Version 2.0 in December 2018. Version 1.0 was characterized as providing “initial steps along a future course to achieve the aims articulated in CS-21R,” while Version 2.0 was “a continuation of Design 1.0” as no major course change was deemed necessary. In other words, the Navy continuing to steer away from the politically-informed, maritime-systemic challenge to China’s global ambitions laid down in CS21. 52 Haynes (2015), 248. 53 McGrath (2010), 42. Elevating Difference 83 suggesting a policy solution was not out of character. Of all the services, the Navy feels the absence of national policy most acutely because, like all oceanic navies, it has practiced cross-domain warfare for almost its entire history, inhabited a geographically and strategically borderless world, where the boundary between peace and war is blurred by continuous political, economic, legal and military competition. The affinity between naval and grand strategy has always been close. That withered with the passage of the 1947 National Security Act, and during the era of nuclear-induced strategic neuralgia that followed, as the Navy sought to align itself with the prevailing U.S. strategic orthodoxy by doubling-down on its military character. But in an age when it needs to confront China – a state that has adopted a comprehensive maritime posture – it needs to adapt again by crafting a corresponding but competitive strategic vision, resurrecting the economic and diplomatic skills it had prior to Mahan and needed now to blunt Chinese maneuvers across the political-military spectrum.54 For, as former Pacific Fleet Admiral Scott H. Swift has written: China itself does not just rely on sea power to achieve its objectives. It is using all elements of national power. China’s tactical actions are shaped by an operational framework; informed by a robust, integrated government mosaic of policy; and derived from a well-thought-out, active, assessment-informed national strategy. Their strength comes from the collective sum of all these parts. If it is to be successful, the U.S. government must do the same.55 The unification the Navy, and the nation, needs is unification at the level of national defense and foreign policy across the federal government. Strategy cannot arise out of a vacuum. Only by filling this policy-strategy gap at the highest political level can any of the services have the guidance they need to achieve true cross-domain effects in a political context; and only by bringing other areas of government into the defense and security framework can political warfare be waged effectively. 54 “For much of the 19th-century the Navy was deployed globally in a half-dozen forward squadrons that worked in a whole of government manner (not militarily joint) with the ever-expanding Diplomatic corps and Consular Service (not the Army), forming relationships and undertaking activities that CS21 argued for today” (Peter M. Swartz, Correspondence with the author, 29 March 2019). 55 Scott H. Swift, “Foreword,” in Andrew Erickson and Ryan D. Martinson (eds.), China’s Maritime Gray Zone Operations (Annapolis, MD: The Naval Institute Press, 2019), xiii. Martin Murphy 84 The intention here is not to undermine unification at the theater and operational levels of war. It is not to create an office or organization dedicated to producing one answer amounting to a de facto decision to be rubber-stamped by the President.56 It is not a panacea; it does not guarantee that the United States will adopt a less militaristic and more flexible force structure that plays to the Navy’s unique contribution to national security.57 What it can do is provide the Commander-in-Chief with advice uncompromised by consensus that fills the “well-thought-out, active, assessment-informed national strategy” lacunae that Scott points to. This is the point where service contributions matter. Domains are different. It is right and natural the domain-specific services should fight to gain acceptance for their insights and experience.58 Their input here can provide the domain detail and the connections between them that is essential for making effective cross-domain activity possible at the policy and grand strategic levels. The Navy needs to regain the space to think in grand strategic terms again and with effect. To do so it must recognize – as the Mitchellites did at the outset of the air power debates – that its cause is better served by supporting a wider effort to reform and unify policy formation at the national level. It will take a two-pronged approach to enable this to work to the Navy’s and the America’s advantage. First, it must nest its ambitions and unique perspective within a wider unification effort aimed at forming a maritime-focused, U.S grand strategy. Second, it must nurture the skills necessary to make its upward-focused contribution to grand strategy formation effective. As J.C. Wylie wrote: Let there be no delusion. Even though all [three armed services] serve the same common purpose and do so in all the honesty and sincerity of able and dedicated men, they do not think alike…differences of judgment, the clash of ideas…are the greatest source of military strength that the nation has…nothing would be more dangerous to 56 Hanne (1985), 88 and 91. 57 While the 2018 National Defense Strategy is the most coherent strategic document of its kind of the Goldwater-Nichols era, its heading is to take the U.S back to major war as the only possible justification for use of force. 58 See Rebecca Zimmerman with 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), xiv. Elevating Difference 85 our nation than comfortable and placid acceptance of a single idea, a single and exclusively dominant military pattern of thought.59 For war to be an effective extension of politics, and for war to be continued by political means, unification needs to be extended to the policy level. This, in turn, will require a clearer determination of what the national security strategy needs to deliver and professional staff at that level who can net assess inputs from multiple sources. In this context, and for the nation’s defense policy to regain its balance, policymakers need to hear the Navy’s independent voice clearly at this level once again. Works Cited Allen, Gregory C., “Understanding China's AI Strategy: Clues to Chinese Strategic Thinking on Artificial Intelligence and National Security,” Center for New American Strategy, 6 February 2019, https://www.cnas.org/publications/reports/unders tanding-chinas-ai-strategy. 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Zimmerman, Rebecca, with 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). Elevating Difference 89

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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.