Category Archives: History

Naval and maritime history section.

A Navy Astray: Remembering How the Fleet Forgot to Fight

The following is adapted from remarks delivered at the annual CIMSEC Forum for Authors and Readers, covering the “How the Fleet Forgot to Fight” article series.

By Dmitry Filipoff

The article series covered many topics so I’ll try to narrow it down and focus on what I feel are some of the more important points.

When those two major reviews came out to try to explain why those fatal collisions happened out in the Pacific, one term that got used to describe how the Navy went wrong was the “normalization of deviation.” And this term is the main theme behind this article series, that the Navy is suffering from very serious self-inflicted problems and is deviating in many of its most important efforts in how it prepares for war. 

What specifically inspired these articles was writing published in Proceedings. Specifically, writing on the new Fleet Problem exercises by Pacific Fleet commander Admiral Scott Swift, and also writing by the Pacific Fleet intelligence director, Captain Dale Rielage, especially an article of his called “An Open letter to the U.S. Navy from Red.” These articles helped spark the series because of how they describe the character of the Navy’s exercises. And given the incredible importance that military exercises have, this issue really sheds light on systemic problems throughout the Navy.

When looking into the Navy’s major exercises, the keywords and themes that kept coming up were traits such as high kill ratios, training one skillset at a time, poor debriefing, and weak opposition.

The structure of training certification in the Navy usually took the form of focusing on individual skillsets and warfare areas – anti-surface warfare and anti-air warfare, and so on. But these things were not often combined in a true, multi-domain fashion. Instead, exercise and training certification regimes often took the form of a linear progression of individual events.

Opposition forces were made to behave in such a way as to facilitate these events. However, a more realistic and thinking adversary would probably employ the multi-domain tactics and operations that are the bread and butter of war at sea. But instead the opposition often acted more as facilitators for simplistic target practice it seems, which is why very high kill ratios were the norm. But more importantly, a steady theme that kept reappearing was that the opposition pretty much never won.

There are so many of these events, so many training certifications that had to be earned in order to be considered deployable that Sailors feel extremely rushed to get through them. And these severe time pressures help encourage this kind of training.

If you are losing and taking heavy losses then you should be taking that extra time to do after action reviews and extensive debriefing to figure out what went wrong, how to do better, and understand why in real war your mistakes would’ve gotten your people killed. The way this kind of conversation plays out is fundamental to the professional development of the warfighter, and it is an important expression of the culture of the organization.

When it comes to debriefing culture within the Navy’s communities you can see a difference in the strike-fighter community, where candid debriefing is a more inherent part of the way they do business, but the opposite was very much true of the surface Navy’s system. And what is being described here also applies more broadly to how things were done for larger groups of ships such as at the strike group level.

But overall the Navy’s major exercises often took a scripted character, where the outcomes were generally known beforehand and the opposition was usually made to lose. Training only one thing at a time against opposition that never wins barely scratches the surface of war, but for the most part this was the best the Navy could do to train its strike groups for years.

So is this common? It looks like all the services have done heavily scripted exercises to some degree, but there is a major difference between what the Navy was doing, and what the Air Force and the Army have been doing for a long time.

Unlike the Navy, the Army and Air Force have true high-end training events that they rotate their people through. For the Air Force this is a major exercise called Red Flag, and for the Army this happens at the National Training Center. They compete against opposition forces that often inflict heavy losses and employ a variety of assets simultaneously. Those forces are composed of units that are dedicated toward acting as full-time opposition for these events, such as the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, where units across the Army rotate through the National Training Center to face off against them specifically. The job of these standing opposition forces is to learn and practice the doctrine of foreign adversaries, and then put that into practice at these events to make for a more realistic fight.

But by comparison it seems the Navy doesn’t have a major standing formation to act as full-time opposition for the high-end fight. And as far as the Marines go, it looks like they have a history of issues that more closely resembles that of the Navy’s.

Now when it comes to the Chinese Navy, those public reports that the Office of Naval Intelligence puts out on foreign militaries paint a very different picture from what the U.S. Navy was doing. The Chinese Navy often trains multiple skillsets at a time, they do not always know the composition and disposition of the opposing forces they are facing off against, and they do not always know exactly what will happen when the event is about to go down.

They’ve been training like this for some time now, and with a specific emphasis on high-end warfighting at the very same time the U.S. Navy was focusing on the low-end spectrum of operations. The Chinese Navy has been focused on learning the more lethal skillset. So in very important respects, the Chinese Navy has been training much harder than the U.S. Navy for years.

Recently there have been some major changes for the U.S. Navy. There are the Fleet Problem exercises Admiral Swift started which seem to be the first consistent and truly challenging high-end exercise events the Navy has had in decades. The COMPTUEX exercise ships do before deploying is becoming more difficult, but through more virtual augmentation. The Surface Navy is going through these SWATT exercises which are now some of the most advanced events surface ships experience before integrating with strike groups.

But what all of these changes have in common is that they only began around two or three years ago. The extent to which the Navy will make the most of them is uncertain. What is clear however is that the corporate memory of the modern U.S. Navy is still heavily shaped by decades of quite unrealistic training.

But exercises go far beyond training. At the tactical level, they are the one activity that comes closest to real war. So exercises are supposed to play a vital function as proving grounds for all sorts of concepts, ideas, and capabilities. This goes to the very heart of one of the most important missions of a peacetime military, which is to develop the force for future conflict. The Navy’s exercise shortfall is far more than an issue of operator skill, it is a sweeping developmental problem.

Consider how you could go about exploring a new tactic, a wargame, or an operating concept. You come up with an idea, and refine it as much as possible through simulations or other methods. And then you finally try it out in the real world through an exercise. You make sure to use serious opposition to see where things may go wrong or backfire. You then rinse and repeat until you have a sturdy, resilient concept. And once you have that, you convert lessons learned in that experimentation into new training, you update the training events, and then rotate your people through those events so they have a chance to learn and apply the new thing.

But this isn’t how force development worked in the U.S. Navy.

When it comes to at-sea experimentation, relatively few warfighting ideas were ever tried in the real world to begin with. But if an idea managed to get tested in some sort of combat exercise it often went up against heavily scripted opposition. As a result, it had few (if any) rounds of trial and error.

But if they moved on in spite of that, the idea was perhaps turned into some publication that was then tucked away in a doctrine library somewhere. And there it’ll sit among many other publications that hardly anyone is really familiar with. 

But if they do happen to be familiar with it, they will not often have the chance to actually practice it and learn it in a live training event. But if they do have the chance to actually practice it, it most likely turned into just another check-in-the-box scripted certification event, lost among the dozens if not hundreds of other certification events that are all competing with each other for the time of the extremely busy Sailor. And the Sailors have no real choice but to rush through them and cut corners just to make due and get out on time for deployment.

What’s important to understand is that training is what makes force development stick. Training is what establishes that final connection between the skill of the deckplate Sailor, and all these warfighting concepts that are allegedly trying to evolve the force.

But so much of what the Navy did for force development didn’t go far because this habit of unrealistic exercising and this overflowing training certification system combined to doom so many warfighting concepts to being untested, unrefined, and untaught.  

For another important example on why training has to be linked with other parts of force development, you can look to the Navy’s wargaming enterprise. These wargames are really important to how the Navy thinks about the future, and among many things these wargames can inform war planning. But if you read more into it, these wargames aren’t nearly as scripted or as easy as the training events, and the fleet often takes very serious losses in these wargames. Especially against China. 

So what could be the implications of having a large disparity between the realism of training and the realism in wargaming? For one, it means the war plans the United States has drawn up for great power conflict are filled with tactics and operations for which the U.S. Navy has made barely any effort to actually teach to its people. To paraphrase a certain Defense Secretary, you go to war with the fleet you trained, not the one you wargamed.

Another major implication of the exercise shortfall was in how the Navy applied strategy to operations, or what the fleet was doing on deployment all these years. The Navy not only has the opportunity to work on force development within the work-up cycle, but also once ships are out on deployment. However, once ships deployed, their operations were mostly focused on missions that contributed little in the way of developing the fleet. 

It should be remembered that many of the low-end power projection missions that dominated Navy deployments during these past few decades, things like security cooperation, presence, and maritime security, were at first not seen as overriding demand signals for the Navy’s time. The strategy and policy documents the Navy was putting out just after the Cold War ended characterized the opportunity to do these missions as a luxury, one that was afforded to the Navy only through the demise of a great power competitor.

When it comes to the major campaigns the U.S. was involved in these past few decades, mainly Iraq and Afghanistan, what needs to be understood is that blue water naval power struggles to find relevance in these kinds of wars. A destroyer or a submarine can hardly do much to fight insurgencies or nation-build. So for the vast majority of the fleet’s ships they usually had to find other things for them to do with their time, including numerous missions that were certainly helpful but often optional

But because blue water naval power just cannot do much for counterinsurgency and nation-building campaigns, in the past twenty or so years of insurgent wars, if any of the services could have made the time to work on itself, it is the Navy.

In spite of their own crushing operational tempos the other services made sure to guarantee a large amount of time and forces for large-scale exercise events. Every year, hundreds of aircraft rotate through the Air Force’s Red Flag exercise, and a full third of the Army’s active duty brigades rotate through the National Training Center.

Compared to this the Navy is very different. It looks like for the past few decades the Navy has been spending almost all of its ready naval power on what the combatant commanders want.

So as the Navy looks to strike a new balance between spending its time on force development versus forward operations, this should be seen as an opportunity for the Navy to finally reclaim some of the fleet for itself, to devote ready naval power toward working on the Navy’s agenda and not just what combatant commanders want.

For example, the Navy will soon be standing up a surface development squadron that is exclusively focused on experimenting for force development. That is an example of guaranteeing time and ready naval power to be spent on solving Navy problems.

But overall, the Navy as an institution hardly recognizes force development as a major driver of fleet operations. Things like trying out wargames and concepts of operation in the real world must be recognized as some of the strongest possible demand signals for the Navy’s time and forces. So as the Navy reconfigures itself for great power competition it has to think about how it will strike a new balance between spending time on forward operations, versus spending time on working on itself.

The fleet can start with the strategic guidance the Navy has to align itself with. There is a new national defense and national security strategy that officially make great power competition the main priority. There is a mandate from the Chief of Naval Operations, for high-velocity learning, to learn better and faster. So what does the Navy need to learn about in an era of great power competition? A large part of that is high-end warfighting. So the Navy needs to identify what specific things have the most learning value when it comes to getting better at that specific problem set.

Look at the learning value of a Fleet Problem or a SWATT exercise, and compare it to maritime security missions or doing security cooperation with a third world nation. It should become plainly clear that these exercise events can teach the Navy far more about high-end warfighting than almost any forward operation. 

Some might say the Navy actually did work on itself in forward operations through exercising with numerous partners and allies. But the U.S. Navy often does not like sharing even moderately classified information with those partner fleets. This greatly limits the willingness of the Navy to flex its capability in front of partners abroad. There is also a lot of wariness over being watched by others when exercising in forward areas. 

And this is one of the major arguments that gets frequently raised about why the Navy shouldn’t do these exercises as much, that great power competitors are watching.

However, this is the modern state of competition. Great power competitors have their own satellite constellations, and they are hacking into your systems every single day, and they already know all kinds of things about you that you’d rather they not know. But this kind of heightened transparency between great power militaries is the new status quo. And for what it’s worth, when it comes to their exercises the Chinese realize they are being watched all the time but that doesn’t seem to be stopping them as much.

If the fact they are watching is enough to stop you from doing these events, then you will have allowed them to deter you from carrying out a vital learning experience. And if your forces are pushing hard in these exercises and defeating some serious opposition while competitors watch, then that could end up deterring them and working in your favor. But if they do happen to learn something from spying on your training then at least recognize that one thing they can never hack or steal is the skill of the warfighter. 

What the Navy has to do is break away from this tunnel vision-like focus it has had on forward operations for these past few decades, and do more to feed the colossal demand signal that is coming from the needs of force development. There are two elements that can drive this demand signal. One is the force development of competitors, and the other is the ever-evolving nature of disruptive capability surprise.

Looking at China, it is critical to understand that the Chinese military is an organization that is completely focused on its force development. They have no significant overseas operations that draw their attention elsewhere. And you can see the aggressiveness of their force development in the scale of their reforms. A few years ago they overhauled their theater command structure, created a new branch in the form of the Strategic Support Force, and cut several hundred thousand troops to shrink the size of the force for more even modernization. So it is important to recognize that the Chinese Military has made sure to retain enough decision space to make significant changes to its force development.

Looking at the Chinese Navy today, because their force has very few overseas commitments, the operating posture of their fleet has far more in common with the interwar period U.S. Navy than the modern U.S. Navy does. This can make them quite dangerous, because like the interwar period U.S. Navy (the Navy that would of course go on to win WWII) their operating posture allows them to spend most of their time on working on themselves.

Going to a second major demand signal of force development, that is disruptive capability surprise. Look at WWI, the machine gun, the trench, and big-gun artillery. When they finally put all these new capabilities together, it created a type of warfare that nobody had really seen before. Because of new technology the nature of tactical success had changed so much, but their peacetime force development failed to detect that. The surprise that came from those new weapons and the deadly tactics they produced was so disruptive that it ripped apart the operational and strategic plans of nations caught in great power war. 

So how to get a sense of that burden, of how much real-world experimentation needs to go into modern force development? Look to how networked combat between great power militaries has never happened before, or how fleet combat between great powers hasn’t happened since WWII. Look at everything that’s evolved since then. Electronic warfare, cyber, missiles, satellites, so much has changed, and our ability to truly know how all of that will actually come together to produce specific tactical dynamics and winning combinations is very difficult to know for sure.

Exploring the cross-domain nature of modern warfighting will be fundamental to understanding this problem. Consider the battleship, how if something is set up to where it’s gun line versus gun line, battleships will rule those engagements. But once other platforms are included, platforms that can act through other domains such as carriers, submarines, and land-based air, you can start to see how the tactics of one can rule out the tactics of another. So how could modern cross-domain interactions play out and reveal what’s decisive? This will drive up the resource burden for force development since it will demand experimenting with many different kinds of opposition at the same time, such as joint forces.

A lot of these questions are already being looked at by organizations within the Navy, but the furthest the analysis is able to go is often limited by virtual simulations. Some months ago we published an excellent piece on CIMSEC where people from the Naval Postgraduate School, mainly wargamers and operations research folks, discussed doing tens of thousands of simulations and models to discover tactics and operating concepts for a new unmanned surface ship. Those kinds of people certainly learn a lot about new tactics. But they will also tell you that they are absolutely craving more real-world experimentation.

Even so, it is still not enough to do realistic warfighting experiments and simulations. What is necessary is the candor and the will to act on their results, and the understanding that if a weapon is failing in the context of its application, then recourse must come through innovating its tactics. And if no tactical innovation can preserve a weapon’s utility, then it must be discarded. However, all the services and not just the Navy have some history of scripting their wargames and exercises in order to satisfy preexisting prejudices. But the politics of programmatics, the industrial base, and service identity should never be allowed to trump responsible force development. What is programatically comfortable today can easily cost lives and wars tomorrow. 

Whether it be the Navy’s paltry offensive firepower, its seriously degraded surge capacity, or poor standards for its vaunted Aegis combat system, the fleet is in dire need of course corrections. Now the U.S. Navy finds itself locked in great power competition against a rising maritime superpower, but only major change can ensure the American fleet will still command the seas. 

Dmitry Filipoff is CIMSEC’s Director of Online Content. Contact him at Content@cimsec.org.

Featured Image: PACIFIC OCEAN (Aug. 4, 2018) – An F/A-18E Super Hornet takes off from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Devin M. Langer/Released)

The Fleet Problem Exercises: An Investment in the Future

By Walker Mills

Introduction

“Foe’s Force Superior.”1

“All ships except those laid up will take part in exercises.”2

“Forty-thousand men of the United States Navy and land forces of the United States Army here began a ‘battle’ at midnight tonight…”3

In the 1920s and 1930s the United States Navy had a problem. The fleet was almost completely comprised of ships that the Navy had never used in combat – the fleet’s last major combat actions were in the Spanish-American War. New classes of platforms that operated under the sea and in the sky threatened to even more drastically change naval warfare than the updates to battleships and cruisers since the last war.4 So the Navy ran a series of large-scale exercises with the goals of preparing the fleet for potential conflict, experimenting with new weapons and tactics, and refining operational plans.

These major exercises, some 21 in all, are unique in Navy history for several reasons. At first glance it is their scale that impresses, they often utilized every carrier and well over half of the battleships, cruisers and destroyers in the fleet for the duration of a single exercise measured in weeks, and that was conducted over thousands of miles of ocean and coastline.5 But upon closer inspection the appetite for innovation and tolerance for risk is even more impressive. Scenarios were truly free-play and designed so that the ‘blue force’ was often likely to lose and fight significantly shorthanded from the beginning.

The Navy conducted Fleet Problems across the Caribbean and the Pacific from Mexico to Alaska and Hawaii to Puerto Rico, with the last Fleet Problem held in 1939. By WWII virtually every senior leader in the Navy had participated in one problem or another either as a direct participant or as a planner. But these Fleet Problem exercises have not often received as much attention as other naval developments during the interwar period like arms limitation treaties and technological changes but the exercises were similarly if not more important in preparing the U.S. naval service for the Second World War.

Martin T4M-1 torpedo bombers of torpedo squadron one fly over USS LEXINGTON (CV-2) on 26 February 1929, shortly after that year’s fleet problem. Note aircraft laid smoke screen in distance. (Naval History and Heritage Command photo)

In 1923, the U.S. fleet conducted Fleet Problem I off the coast of Panama. At the time, the fleet was organized in a way where all of the vessels in the Navy fell under the operational command of the Commander-in-Chief United States Fleet, Admiral Hilary P. Jones. Jones was able to pull ships based in the Atlantic, Caribbean, and Pacific for the exercise or simply “maneuvers” as they were known. The exercise force divided into two parts referred to by color. Each iteration was blue against another color. Blue represented the United States, orange for Japan, red for Britain, and black for Germany. But in the 1920s political developments quickly made clear that the primary naval threat was orange. The Navy even went so far as to transpose Pacific geography on the Caribbean for some of the exercises with Japanese ports in the Windward Islands and the Panama Canal standing in for Manila and Corregidor. The first Fleet Problem focused on defending the Panama Canal from attack and it was scored as a resounding defeat for the defenders – the blue force. But the exercise was considered a major developmental success in that it led to critical assessments like the need to improve fleet communications, especially with aircraft and submarines to coordinate complex maneuvers.6

The exercises were designed to challenge and expand the thinking of the participants – they were not simply Mahanian duels of the battle line. They included, by modern definitions, both hybrid warfare and irregular warfare. The first Fleet Problem started without a formal declaration of war by the aggressor – foreshadowing the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor nineteen years later.7 In the third Problem one of the fleets sent an intelligence officer undercover as a journalist to place notional bombs at fuel depots and key canal control installations and obtained a schedule for the opposing fleet’s transit of the canal.8 In the fifth Problem the blue fleet received an “intelligence bonanza” after cracking the codes used by ‘black.’9 The exercises were also coupled with diplomatic initiatives and often ended with grand reviews of the fleet – huge public relations boons for the Navy.10

The Fleet Problems were often joint – combining land and sea-based forces (the Air Force did not yet exist as a separate service) and challenging commanders to decide which of their forces were the best to achieve their objectives. For example, during Fleet Problem III in 1924, 1,700 Marines landed under cover of night and seized Fort Randolph – a Army Coastal Defense fortification on the Atlantic side of the Panama Canal. Quickly overrunning the defenders, they moved on to seize a nearby submarine base and naval air station. The umpire for that part of the exercise proclaimed “The problem has conclusively shown that a Marine Expeditionary Force is a powerful weapon for a Commander-in-Chief engaged in any such operation…”11 In the next Problem the Marines employed an amphibious tank for the first time in their assault on the island of Culebra.12 The maneuvers also included significant notional, or as they were called at the time ‘constructive’ land forces to generate developments on land that would influence the play of the problems at sea. One Fleet Problem included a constructive expeditionary force of 150,000 soldiers.13 This jointness forced naval leaders to expand their thinking to include expeditionary operations and to try and adapt their tactics to leverage the advantages of land-based aviation and forces. This made for essential training for what would later be the island-hopping campaigns in the Pacific.

The Fleet Problems helped drive innovation in the Navy and gave naval leaders and Congress the information they needed to design a modern battle fleet. Some of the early lessons were the inability of legacy submarines to keep up with the battle line – leading to the development of faster and larger ‘fleet’ submarines. The Fleet Problems also led to the requirement for supply ships capable of cruising at twelve knots or faster. It was during maneuvers in 1924 that the Navy first employed the “riding abeam” or  the broadside method for underway replenishment.14 In the 1930s that the Navy developed the concept of “carrier task forces” and proved that carriers can operate most effectively and magnify their offensive combat power when separate from the fleet.15 Conservative thinking argued that aircraft were better employed defensively or as spotters for battleship guns but this was ultimately rejected based on experiences from the Fleet Problems. Repeated experiments and exercises eventually created a naval air arm that “became the principal means of naval strike by the end of the war…”16 The experiments were field by live-fire against target ships and the use of dummy bombs against specially modified ships covered in wooden planking. It is worth noting that in the Fleet Problems alone the U.S. conducted more mock air attacks on ships than were actually conducted by all combatants in the First World War – and sunk in training about half as many large warships as were sunk in the war.17 It was this experimentation that laid the groundwork for the Navy to develop an unmatched naval air arm during the Second World War.

The U.S. Navy aircraft carriers USS Ranger (CV-4), foreground, USS Lexington (CV-2), middle distance, and USS Saratoga (CV-3) lie at anchor off Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii, on 8 April 1938 during exercise Fleet Problem XIX. (Wikimedia Commons)

The maneuvers were a significant undertaking – requiring months or a year to plan. For support in designing and in assessing the Fleet Problems, leaders relied on the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. During the months between problems the Naval War College also ran many sophisticated wargames that continued the practice of innovation and experimentation at a much lower cost. The games also contributed directly to the refinement of the operational plans for war in the Pacific. The wargaming was so intensive and exhaustive that Admiral Chester Nimitz would later glibly state that the Newport war games had predicted almost every event during the Pacific campaigns of the Second World War.18 The Fleet Problems were also effective because they were mostly public, and naval leaders presented the conclusions directly to Congress. They were also covered in the press, helping exercise conclusions influence budgetary decisions in the most direct manner.

Conclusion

Today, like during the interwar period, the Navy is trying to reimagine itself and operationalize new technology and new concepts. The integration of several classes of unmanned surface vessels and aerial systems again will mandate changes in the tactics and operations of naval forces. The U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander, Admiral Scott Swift, wrote last year that the Pacific Fleet is trying to use the Fleet Problem model for exercises, albeit on a much smaller scale, yet still they have been a resounding success.19 Other commentary in the pages of Proceedings and the Center for International Maritime Security (CIMSEC) have also called for the Navy to revisit the large-scale free play exercise of the 1920s and 1930s.20, 21 The Navy should look back on the high-priority it placed on innovation and experimentation during the Fleet Problems. Certainly, the Navy did not have the readiness problems or operational commitments then that it does now, and today’s fleet shoulders a significant humanitarian and constabulary commitment. But the value of doing large-scale exercises to prepare for war must be appropriately weighed against the myriad variety of demand signals.

The Fleet Problems were not easy to facilitate in their own time. The Interwar Navy was much smaller and more fiscally constrained with only about 90,000 men and dealt with especially severe Great Depression-era budget cuts.22 Stringent naval arms limits after the First World War meant that some of the Navy’s newest and most technologically advanced ships were scrapped or sunk as targets to keep the service within treaty limits.

Innovation and experimentation are never free and rarely cheap, but the Fleet Problems of the Interwar Navy offer a successful case study of how to go to sea to prepare for war even with limited resources.

Walker D. Mills is an active duty Marine Corps infantry officer. He is currently assigned to the Defense Language Institute in preparation for an exchange tour in Colombia. These views are presented in a personal capacity.

References

1. “40,000 Men Guard Canal from ‘Enemy’,” The New York Times ( 23 January, 1929).

2. “Navy to Maneuver in Pacific in 3 Months,” The New York Times (27 December, 1931).

3. “40,000 Men Guard Canal from ‘Enemy’,” The New York Times ( 23 January, 1929).

4. Norman Friedman, Winning A Future War: War Gaming and Victory in the Pacific War, Naval History and Heritage Command (Washington D.C.: 2017) 7.

5. Albert A. Nofi, To Train the Fleet for War: The U.S. Navy Fleet Problems, 1923-1940, Naval War College (Newport, RI: 2010) 327.

6. Ibid, 55.

7. Ibid, 52.

8. Ibid, 63.

9. Ibid, 75.

10. Ibid, 23.

11. Craig C. Felker, editor, Testing American Seapower: The U.S. Navy Strategic Exercises, 1923-1940, Texas A&M University Press (College Station, TX: 2007) 95.

12. Nofi, To Train the Fleet for War, 67.

13. Ibid, 60.

14. Ibid, 61.

15. Geoffery Till, “Adopting the aircraft carrier: The British, American and Japanese case studies,” chapter in Military Innovation in the Interwar Period, Cambridge University Press (Cambridge, U.K.: 1996) 221.

16. Geoffery Till, “Adopting the aircraft carrier,” 225.

17. Nofi, To Train the Fleet for War, 30-31.

18. Norman Friedman, Winning A Future War: War Gaming and Victory in the Pacific War, Naval History and Heritage Command (Washington D.C.: 2017) 6.

19. Scott H. Swift, “Fleet Problems Offer Opportunities,” Proceedings, Vol. 144, No. 3 (March 2018).

20. Dale Rielage, “Bring Back Fleet Problems,” Proceedings, Vol. 143, No. 6 (June 2017).

21. Ryan Hilger, “Fight the Next Fleet Problem in the Solomons,” Center for International Maritime Security (28 January, 2019) http://cimsec.org/fight-the-next-fleet-problem-in-the-solomons/39529.

22. Nofi, To Train the Fleet for War, 13.

Featured Image: Martine T4M-1 torpedo bombers landing on USS LEXINGTON (CV-2) on 26 January 1929, during that year’s Fleet Problem. (Naval History and Heritage Command photo)

In Grateful Memory: Andrew Marshall and His Quest for Questions

By Mie Augier and Wayne Hughes

Introduction

In the outpouring of appreciation following the passing of Andrew W. Marshall, many people paid tribute to different parts of his work, to include understanding the weaknesses of the Soviet economy, net assessment as a way of thinking, and the emerging power of China. His many friends and admirers wanted to give credit where credit is due.

This brief note complements the many tributes. We aim to capture elements of how he was thinking more than what he was thinking. We emphasize a few key characteristics: How he viewed the world, the nature of his interdisciplinary mind that focused on the importance of questions, and reflections on what future generations of scholars and practitioners can learn from and be inspired by.

Already in his youth, Marshall had an extraordinarily open mind, a lasting appreciation for history, and a Midwestern humbleness and modesty that stayed with him.1 As a child, he read widely at the public library, and bought books when he got a little money. Always respectful of people, he treated everyone alike; ideas and thinking had no rank or titles. Living through the depression and interwar years, he was aware of the broad societal and geopolitical underpinnings and implications of war and peace, and the centrality of human nature. He came close to becoming an academic after studying at the University of Chicago with scholars such as Milton Friedman, Frank Knight, and Rudolf Carnap (and meeting other emerging social scientists such as Herbert Simon and Kenneth Arrow).

But his interests were always broader than what one or two disciplines could encompass. At RAND, he found an institution that could accommodate his broad range of interests and his passion for helping the country think better about matters related to national security, and where he could begin developing an intellectual framework for that. There he found individuals with similar and complementary interests such as Herman Kahn, Herbert Goldhamer, Nathan Leites, and James Schlesinger. He also came to see the importance of organizations both as a lens for understanding the behavior of nations and national security players, and also as facilitators (or sometimes, inhibitors) of better strategic thinking. 

A Quest for Questions

Andy Marshall’s work at RAND provided important insights into key strategic issues – a focus that he would continue and develop later at the Pentagon. For example, he developed the early elements of the long term competition framework, and worked with Graham Allison, James March, and others to develop different lenses (rational, organizational, and bureaucratic) for understanding governmental decision making. He was involved in the early developments of scenario planning and wargaming exercises at RAND that emerged in large part in reaction to other major developments at RAND: systems analysis and game theory. 

What is important is not just what he did and the studies he worked on or who he mentored, but also how his character and style helped him think the way he did. Underlying Marshall’s perspective was an emphasis on questions. Focusing on questions helps one get the right diagnosis of a situation because one is less inclined to reinforce what one already believes, and researching the empirical issues one is naturally led to also cross disciplinary boundaries. As he began to look into academic underpinnings for long term strategy and strategic thinking, he began to challenge existing ways of thinking about strategy and behavior to develop a broader view.

Essential in Marshall’s mind was the centrality of human nature and insights from organizational behavior. Very early on, Marshall and his close friend Herman Kahn would go on long walks on the weekend in the Brentwood area, talking about the importance of human nature to understand conflicts. Many colleagues at RAND didn’t share their enthusiasm for trying to generate empirical insights, preferring instead to apply existing theory – especially systems analysis. Over time, Marshall found research from bio-social anthropology, zoology, psychology, organizational behavior, business strategy, and cultural studies to be useful in developing insights about how culture influences individuals, organizations, and the behavior of groups, which was often quite different from theories of opponents’ strategic cultures. He engaged the work of Lionel Tiger and Robin Fox on understanding ‘men in groups.’

In the 1960s, Marshall began a decades-long friendship with James Schlesinger, who started as Marshall’s research assistant at RAND, fresh out of the economics program at Harvard. The two of them embarked on a mission to develop broader strategic thinking at RAND and insights into how the Soviet Union really worked, as opposed to how it behaved according to game theory and systems analysis. They used elements of different conceptual frameworks including the studies of Herbert Simon, Richard Cyert, James March, and the psycho-cultural works of Nathan Leites. They suggested setting up a program or even a department of organizational behavior at RAND. They were convinced that a broader understanding of the Soviet Union would lead to understanding how poorly our intelligence estimates of the Soviet economy really were. They studied organizations both as a lens to understand our opponents and as something that would help develop better strategic thinkers.

As anyone who has tried to integrate work from different disciplines knows, mixing different perspectives while keeping the diagnostic focus is very difficult. Centripetal forces of academic disciplines meant working within single disciplines would produce failing prescriptions. Thus for Marshall, it could have been easier to ‘give in,’ but he always cared more about getting useful insights, not academic or political approval of his own career or bureaucratic survival. “We are here to inform, not to please,” he’d say.

He did not waver in challenging us, and himself, to think about national security in the broadest sense. No single theory or perspective has it right. Marshall believed if one looks for only one dominant perspective, one runs the risk of producing a trained incapacity for strategy and strategic thinking. He and Schlesinger thought about this in the context of RAND, for instance in advising the then-incoming president, Harry Rowen, how to restructure and better organize RAND. Rowen wrote to Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara about his organization’s strengths and weaknesses, and Marshall and Schlesinger wrote several memos on how to get better strategic thinking at RAND along with some of the organizational trends to be aware of.2

Their emphasis on the importance of long term, interdisciplinary thinking is just as important for think tanks and educational institutions today. These issues of how Marshall thought about things are central to his later development of net assessment as an interdisciplinary approach.

Legacies and Lessons  

Pursuing better empirical insights into strategic issues was for Marshall a lifelong calling, in addition to his distinguished career of public service and time at RAND. While we can never replicate his thinking, his legacy gives us many things to consider and build on for the future, whether in the education of future strategists, in our own thinking and doing strategy, and in our service as U.S. citizens. Marshal’s work includes many profound lessons.

Understanding the world as it is, not as how we might wish it to be. Marshall found it important that we approach strategic issues from a variety of perspectives, including national and organizational culture and demography, as important drivers of the future strategic environment.3

Finding value in outlier ideas – and in others’ ideas in general. This may sound straightforward, but it is not easy, because it implies always questioning one’s own beliefs. Seeing beyond one’s own favorite perspectives, ideas, and biases implies always questioning one’s own thinking. Questioning oneself is not most people’s favorite activity. But it is important both as a way to achieve better insights and to foster innovative thinking in others. He thought organizations often tend to edge out people with different ideas. John Boyd is an example of an innovative thinker and outlier who Marshall thought highly of.

Appreciation for understanding and gaming unthinkable futures. Marshall knew from his days at RAND that we need not just understand the likely futures, but also, and perhaps especially, the less likely, less likable, and more unthinkable ones (a theme that Herman Kahn also elaborated; Kahn’s essay, “In Defense of Thinking,” speaks to that).4 Marshall exploited wargames and case studies as ways to explore alternatives and what they might mean. From the early gaming exercises, his focus was on being as realistic as possible by including people with a variety of backgrounds and expertise; and by focusing on processes, not goals. Games facilitate cross-disciplinary discussions and collaborations to help players with diverse backgrounds understand contingencies they would not otherwise have thought of. Games were ways to instill better, broader strategic thinking by forcing participants to think through and formulate strategies.

Marshall believed the discomfort that comes with uncertainty goes hand-in-hand with exploring the boundaries of what one knows. Gaming was one way he taught decision-makers to be more comfortable with uncertainty and ambiguity. He believed in case studies and wargaming as participatory forms of learning and manifestations of an interdisciplinary approach. He knew that case learning can include counterfactuals, or ‘what ifs,’ and a way to learn from failures and avoid blind alleys.5   

Marshall appreciated the roles organizations play in national security, and also for fostering or hindering sound thinking about national security questions. Much insight could be gained from a better understanding of how peer competitors’ organizations work, how their routines and operational codes evolve, and how their organizational structures, cultures, and practices are interrelated. What strengths and weaknesses influence their strategic decision-making? A better appreciation for the importance of how we organize to nurture strategic thinking in military educational institutions is important today, especially in the light of the recent Education for Seapower report’s emphasis on developing better strategic and critical thinkers. Marshall was the exemplar of a great strategic thinker who thought critically, long term, and organizationally.

Conclusion

The passing of Andrew Marshall may mark the end of an era in the history of Cold War strategists because his role in shaping U.S. strategy lasted many decades and was unparalleled. So, too, was his modesty, his humbleness, his caring about others, and his always questioning mind. He combined devotion to thinking and to the country and the need to understand with a gentle and patient spirit. He exemplified the best that any era can hope to achieve when it comes to the difficult but vital vision of how to think more strategically to help his country.

Perhaps the most important lesson is how Marshall sought value from areas outside his own domain and expertise. Rooted in his genuine humbleness and curiosity, he did not follow the natural human instinct to ‘do what we know how to do best,’ and instead chose to pursue knowledge in areas he didn’t know well, and keep pursuing questions. When Marshall died, the country lost his strategic, human, intellectual, and moral compass. His quest for questions now rests upon us.

Dr. Mie Augier is a professor at the Graduate School of Business and Public Policy at the Naval Postgraduate School. She is interested in strategy, organizations, innovation, leadership, and how to educate strategic and innovative thinkers.

Captain Wayne Hughes, USN (Ret.) served thirty years on active duty, commanding a minesweeper, a destroyer, and a large training command. In retirement has taught, done research, and served as a Dean at the Naval Postgraduate School for over thirty years. He is a distinguished author of the U.S. Naval Institute.

Endnotes

1. He almost never talked about his own work or approaches. His modesty was even embedded in his language (most of the time he said “we” or “one”, not me or I …). Not imposing his own views or perspectives or theories is a significant part of his approach to strategy and emphasis on diagnosis, rather than prescription, as it helps get a better understanding of the situation and what forces might shape the future. The combination of his humbleness, interest in diagnosis and a broad and questioning mind set him apart from almost everyone else, especially in academia.

2. They also suggested, in collaboration with Richard Nelson and Sidney Winter, that the aforementioned organizational behavior department be instituted. While this and most of their suggestions didn’t materialize, they became grounds for Marshall and Schlesinger’s work on net assessment over the next decades.

3. Nathan Leites’ work on the operational code of the Soviet Union is a very relevant way of appreciating others; something that one could fruitfully develop with regards to China, too, especially in light of the national security strategy emphasis on peer competitors. How they organize; how they perceive; how they think, is all very central to our competitive advantage and how we might fare in war.

4. See for instance his piece “In Defense of Thinking” https://www.hudson.org/research/2211-in-defense-of-thinking

5. Teaching cases of historical failures also can help us be more comfortable by talking and learning from them.

Featured Image: Andy Marshall attends his retirement farewell ceremony at the Pentagon on Jan. 5, 2015. (Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz/U.S. Air Force)

Blockade: An Imperfect Strategy

By LT Jason Lancaster, USN

Introduction

Throughout history, maritime nations have used naval blockades to wreck the economies of their adversaries and bend them to their will. However, the impact of blockade in history has been overstated. Throughout history, blockade has been a part of military success, but it has never been the primary key to victory. Most successful blockades enabled land campaigns to succeed but would not have won wars on their own. Blockades are a politico-economic form of warfare that can quite often have unexpected political results. Modern calls to defeat China solely through an “easy and bloodless” naval blockade understate the physical difficulties and political challenges of a successful blockade, ignore that successful blockades support events ashore, and that blockades have not been successful as standalone campaigns.

Legal Definitions of Blockade

The San Remo Manual on International Law applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea includes the requirements for a blockade. It must be announced, and all neutral and belligerent states should be notified of the blockade. It must be effectively maintained by a force as close as is required to be effective. It must not bar access to the ports and coast of a neutral state. It must be applied impartially to vessels of all states.

A blockade is not lawful if it has the sole purpose of starving the civilian population or denying it objects essential for survival, or the damage to the civilian population outweighs the military advantage of the blockade. The blockading belligerent shall allow the passage of medical supplies for the civilian population or for sick and wounded members of the armed forces.1 These requirements are designed to allow maritime states to conduct operations while minimizing the suffering of the civilian population of belligerents.

Quarantine is not a blockade. According to the Navy Commander’s Handbook on Operational Law, “the goal of quarantine is de-escalation and a return to the status quo ante.” The goal of a blockade is “denial and degradation of an enemy’s capability.”2

The British Blockade of Napoleonic and Revolutionary France

While some have argued that British blockades were the reason for victory over Napoleon, the blockades were not the root of victory. Even though they caused economic hardship it was not severe enough to force France to make a lasting peace. 20 years of blockade took its toll on cities like Bordeaux that relied on foreign trade and industries set up around imports like refining sugar, but the loss of such trade did not cause France to surrender. 20 years of bloody war from the Russian Steppes to the coast of Portugal caused the French empire to collapse after repeated military defeats ashore.  

From 1793 until 1802 and between 1804 and 1814, Great Britain conducted a close naval blockade of France and her allies. Throughout the wars of the 18th century Britain had refined the techniques and logistics of supporting a fleet on a hostile shore for sustained periods of time. Despite the idea that the primary purpose of the blockade was to strangle French commerce, the real purpose of the blockade was to prevent the French from invading Britain or Ireland. Despite the arduous blockade, the French twice managed to land forces in Britain and Ireland during the war. The blockade did limit the size and effectiveness of the landings. Humorously, the French invaders that landed at Fishguard, Wales surrendered to the local women who had come to look at the strange invaders.

Throughout the war, the close blockade of Brest was hotly debated. Was it better for ships to be beaten and battered off the stormy Biscay coast, or to maintain the fleet in port in expectation for the French to come out? Ships were lost in wrecks or damaged sufficiently to be sent back to British dockyards for repairs. These losses impacted the overall strength of the blockading force if the French did come out.3 Parallels can be drawn between the surface fleet today and the Royal Navy of 1805. The dockyards were full of ships desperately needing refit after years at sea, but the number of qualified dockyard workers had dwindled in both private and public dockyards. Shortages of skilled dockyard workers meant that new construction took longer than expected. HMS Royal Sovereign, Admiral Collingwood’s flagship at Trafalgar, was still in construction after 12 years, almost 3 years longer than normal for a first rate ship of the line.4    

The British blockade had an economic impact on Europe, but in some industries the impact was to preserve the traditional production method and delay the introduction of the new mechanized production methods used in Great Britain. The British blockade and the French Berlin Decrees banning trade between the continent and Great Britain certainly affected trade, but only seldom did it cause production to cease entirely. There were shortages of raw materials like cotton, but the cotton mills only went idle for a few months in 1808. The price was sometimes 2-4 times as high as that paid in Britain. From 1790 until 1810, French cotton consumption increased threefold while in Britain consumption increased fourfold.5

The blockade had unexpected political repercussions for Great Britain. The British blockade of France and her allies helped cause a war with Denmark in 1801 and the United States in 1812. Many ships from occupied places like the Netherlands ended up registering their vessels in neutral nations like Denmark and Sweden to continue trading. According to international law goods that were not contraband in neutral vessels could not be impeded. However, neutral goods such as hemp, pitch, tar, and pine logs were used to build and support naval vessels. Wheat was a neutral good but its dual use could make bread for the average French citizen or the citizen soldier. Britain argued that when the entire nation was in arms, was there a difference? Annoyed at British interference in their trade, Denmark, Sweden, Prussia, and Russia re-created the League of Armed Neutrality. Britain sent a fleet to Copenhagen, where Admiral Nelson fought a bloody battle with the Danes and persuaded them to surrender the remainder of the fleet. This combined with the death of Tsar Paul ended the League and its threat to the blockade.

In 1812, the United States declared war on Great Britain over the issues of free trade and Sailors’ rights. Many American citizens had either moved from Great Britain or could have been considered British subjects because of when they were born in America. The Royal Navy, perennially short of Sailors, impressed them from merchant ships. To a nation fighting for its life, often times alone, the nationality of a Sailor might matter little, especially since the British government believed that subjects could not change their nationality and had “an inalienable right to their service.”6 In 1807, the HMS Leopard stopped and searched the warship USS Chesapeake, a U.S. naval vessel for deserters, took four and hung one of them. It was a step too far. President Thomas Jefferson stated of the affair, “Never since the Battle of Lexington have I seen this country in such a state of exasperation as at present, and even that did not produce such unanimity.” While this incident did not cause the United States to go to war, it played a role following continued British harassment of American merchant ships.

From 1805-1813 the U.S. and Britain negotiated over the meaning of neutral shipping. Despite these negotiations, by 1806 120 U.S.-flagged vessels had been seized by the Royal Navy. The British position insisted that American vessels must carry non-American goods to an American port, unload them, pay duties, reload them, and then they were free to transship them to any country. The U.S. position was that as a neutral nation they had the right to ship any goods anywhere.7

In 1806, the U.S. also challenged British ideas of what constituted a blockaded port. American diplomats challenged the idea that the entire coastline could be blockaded by proclamation, but rather that warships had to create, “an evident danger in entering.”8 The U.S. Congress responded to British and French declarations of blockade against each other with an embargo on some British manufactured goods in the expectation that economic policy might force the British to accede to American demands.9 The twin wounds to trade and national honor through impressment eventually meant that the U.S. preferred to fight than continue to submit to such injustices.       

The British blockade hampered but never destroyed French trade. It made enemies of neutral nations, and did not expedite victory. Despite continued victory at sea, the Napoleonic Wars demonstrated that while a maritime power may contain a continental power, in total war a continental power must be defeated ashore.

Union Blockade of the Confederate States

Interestingly, if Britain would have acquiesced to American policy on blockade, then the Union blockade of the Confederacy may never have been legal. Despite the Union blockading the ports of the South, the Confederacy maintained open ports through almost the entire war. While the South suffered ever increasing shortages, blockade runners continued to supply the Confederate States and only the dominance of the northern armies compelled the South to capitulate.

The Union Navy began the war with 90 ships, including 40 steam vessels and 50 sailing ships. Not all of those ships were ready for war. Some were in the naval dockyards, some were stationed across the globe in California, the Mediterranean, Asia, and Brazil to protect tradeVessels stationed overseas would take up to six months to return to the U.S.10 At the outbreak of war, there were only three vessels ready for war on the Atlantic coast. It would take time for the Union Navy to marshal the forces required to conduct an effective blockade of a 3,500 mile coastline.

The Confederate and British governments did not believe that the Union Navy could successfully blockade the entire Confederate coast. However, the Union Blockade Strategy Board looked at the problem differently. Instead of worrying about the entire coastline, the Strategy Board broke the required blockade down to major ports with transport connections to the rest of the country. This drastically reduced the amount of coastline that required blockading. The Strategy Board utilized the United States Coast Survey’s records to examine the inlets, waterways, and ports of the South and decided that the primary ports of entry to blockade were Richmond, Norfolk, Wilmington, Charleston, Savannah, Mobile, New Orleans, and Galveston. The James and Elizabeth River channels leading to Richmond and Norfolk were blocked by Fortress Monroe and began the war well-blockaded. The remainder of the ports required blockading squadrons.

The initial organization of the Union blockading squadron consisted of one squadron blockading the Confederate coast from the Virginia Capes to Key West. This was later divided into North and South Atlantic Blockading Squadrons. The North Atlantic Blockading Squadron was responsible for the blockade between the Virginia Capes and the border between North and South Carolina. The South Atlantic Blockading Squadron was responsible for the blockade from the North and South Carolina border to Key West. In the Gulf of Mexico there was the Gulf Blockading Squadron which was also subdivided between east and west; the Eastern Blockading squadron watching the port of Mobile and the Western blockading squadron watching the port of Galveston and the Texas coast.

The Union blockade of Confederate states. (Mark A. Moore)

Ironically, the rights that the U.S. had gone to war with Great Britain over during the Napoleonic Wars were abandoned when the northern states declared their blockade of Confederate ports. The Trent affair almost brought Great Britain into the war against the north. In November 1861, two Confederate diplomats were traveling to London aboard a British flagged mail packet, the Trent. The ship was then forcibly stopped and searched by a Union frigate. Despite the protestations of the Trent’s captain, the two Confederate diplomats were taken into custody by the North and detained at Fort Warren, Massachusetts. The British government and press were outraged by the insult to their flag and international law. The two officials were released because the British government demanded their return and began some military preparations.11 

While the blockade grew ever more effective, it was never entirely effective. Throughout the second half of 1864 the port of Wilmington received 3.5 million pounds of meat, 1.5 million pounds of lead, 2 million pounds of saltpeter, 500,000 pairs of shoes, 300,000 blankets, 50,000 rifles, and 43 cannon. The Army of Northern Virginia and the Army of Tennessee received new uniforms and equipment.12 This does not mean that the blockade did not cause shortages amongst the population or the army, but that as an offensive strategy blockade alone would never defeat the South.

The only effective way the North closed Confederate ports was by physically capturing the port or destroying the fortifications and ships defending the port and occupying inland waters. Savannah was not captured until December 1864 when General Sherman took the city from the landward side. The South Atlantic Blockading Squadron had supported the northern army as it bombarded Fort Pulaski into submission. With the mouth of the Savannah River closed, Savannah lost its appeal as a blockade running destination. Likewise, the port of Mobile was not captured by Admiral Farragut; however his capture of Fort Morgan and the CSS Tennessee meant that blockade runners could not reach Mobile. Oftentimes, northern efforts to close a port simply shifted blockade running to another port. The Union offensive against Charleston in 1863 shifted blockade running to the port of Wilmington which because of the geography was even more difficult for the northern fleet to blockade than Charleston.

Blockading China

A blockade of China would be an immense undertaking. Chokepoints like the Malacca, Sunda, and Lombok Straits would all have to be guarded. However, the Law of the Sea recognizes a 200 NM Economic Exclusion Zone (EEZ). Neutral nations’ EEZ must be respected by combatant nations. To effectively police the chokepoints of maritime Asia, Malaysia and Indonesia would have to support the U.S. position. But neither of them are U.S. treaty allies and it is a major planning assumption that they would automatically support the U.S. side in a conflict. China would certainly exert great amounts of pressure on those states to remain neutral.

An average of 52 oil tankers transit the Malacca Strait a day, and the sheer number of possible boardings and prize crews could rapidly overwhelm the combat forces enforcing the blockade.13 A more effective means of blockading China would be a massive mining campaign. During World War II the British flew 20,000 minelaying sorties in the Atlantic Theater. These sorties sank 683 Axis ships while losing 450 aircraft. Only 150 Axis ships were sank by British surface and subsurface vessels. In 1945, the U.S. Army Air Corps helped isolate Japan from the rest of the world, starving Japan of resources.14 Despite the historical successes, the U.S. has not kept pace with the rapid technological changes in mine technology. Today, the bulk of U.S. mines are air-dropped, but the U.S. would have difficulty sewing air-dropped minefields in the face of the PLAAF and Chinese air defenses.

Conclusion

Throughout history blockade has been used as a strategy to deny adversaries foreign trade and prevent enemy warships from going to sea. However, neither blockade mentioned solely won the war. Troops ashore decisively defeated enemy armies and seized territory to win those wars. A “bloodless distant blockade” is not a magical panacea to bend China to U.S. will. A blockade of either country will stress U.S. resources to the limit and carries unknown diplomatic risks. It has not worked in the past, and will continue to fail as a standalone strategy in the future. It is an effective aid to victory, but no secret weapon.

LT Jason Lancaster is an alumnus of Mary Washington College and has an M.A. from the University of Tulsa. He is currently serving as the N8 Tactical Development Officer at Commander, Destroyer Squadron 26. The above views are his own and do not reflect the position of the Navy or Department of Defense.

References

  1. San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea, 1994.
  2. S. Navy Commander’s Operational Law Handbook NWP 1-14M, 2007.
  3. National Research Council. 2001. Naval Mine Warfare: Operational and Technical Challenges for Naval Forces. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/10176
  4. Francois Crouzet, “Wars, Blockade, and Economic Change in Europe, 1792-1815,” Journal of Economic History, Vol. 24 (1964).
  5. Nicholas Tracy, The Naval Chronicle: The Contemporary Record of the Royal Navy at War, Volume III 1804-1806, (London, Stackpole Books, 1999), pp 12-13.
  6. Brian Lavery, “Nelson’s Navy: The Ships, Men, and Organisation, 1793-1815” (Annapolis, Naval Institute Press, 2000).
  7. Alfred T. Mahan, Sea Power in Its Relation with the War of 1812 (London, Sampson, Low, Marston & Company, 1905), pp 2-4.
  8. Robert M. Browning, From Cape Charles to Cape Fear (Tuscaloosa, University of Alabama Press, 1993).
  9. Jefferson Davis, The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government Vol. I, (Richmond, De Capo, 1990).
  10. Stephen R. Wise, Lifeline of the Confederacy (Columbia, University of South Carolina Press, 1988).
  11. Jason Glab, “Blockading China: A Guide”, https://warontherocks.com/2013/10/blockading-china-a-guide/commentary, October 1, 2013.
  12. Sean Mirski, “Stranglehold: The Context, Conduct, and Consequences of an American Naval Blockade of China,” Journal of Strategic Studies, http://carnegieendowment.org/2013/02/12/stranglehold-context-conduct-and-consequences-of-american-naval-blockade-of-china-pub-51135, February 12, 2013.
  13. Edward Ingram, In Defense of British India, (London, A. Wheaton & Co., 1984).
  14. Noel Mostert, The Line Upon A Wind, (New York, Norton, 2008).

Bibliography

[1] San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea, 1994, Section II Art. 93-104

[2] U.S. Navy Commander’s Operational Law Handbook NWP 1-14M, 2007Pg 4-10.

[3] Tracy, Nicholas, “The Naval Chronicle: The Contemporary Record of the Royal Navy at War, Volume III 1804-1806,” (London, Stackpole Books, 1999), pp 12-13.

[4] Brian Lavery, “Nelson’s Navy: The Ships, Men, and Organisation, 1793-1815” (Annapolis, Naval Institute Press, 2000), pg 66.

[5] Francois Crouzet, “Wars, Blockade, and Economic Change in Europe, 1792-1815,” Journal of Economic History, Vol. 24 (1964): pg 578.

[6] Alfred T. Mahan, Sea Power in Its Relation with the War of 1812 (London, Sampson, Low, Marston & Company, 1905), pp 2-4.

[7]Ibid, pp 104-108.

[8] Ibid, pg 110.

[9] Ibid, pp 114-115.

[10] Robert M. Browning, From Cape Charles to Cape Fear (Tuscaloosa, University of Alabama Press, 1993), pp 2-3.

[11] Jefferson Davis, The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government Vol. I, (Richmond, De Capo, 1990), pp 402-403.

[12] Stephen R. Wise, Lifeline of the Confederacy (Columbia, University of South Carolina Press, 1988), pg 1.

[13] Jason Glab, “Blockading China: A Guide”, https://warontherocks.com/2013/10/blockading-china-a-guide/commentary, October 1, 2013

[14] National Research Council. 2001. Naval Mine Warfare: Operational and Technical Challenges for Naval Forces. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/10176 Pg 18.

Featured Image: Battle of Mobile Bay (Louis Prang/Wikimedia Commons)