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01/02/23: President's Commentary: People Power Maritime Capabilities

Throughout history, maritime operations have proven critical to military success, national security and economic prosperity. No nation flourishes without access to the seas. That was true for the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Persians and Vikings. It was true during the American Revolution, the War of 1812 and both world wars. And it will be true far into the future.

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We live in a time of rapid and dramatic change, but the need for successful maritime operations remains constant. Our adversaries, China most notably, covet influence across the Pacific region to the Artic and Africa and aggressively modernize their militaries with long-range precision missiles and other cutting-edge capabilities—all of which raise serious concerns over control of global waterways.

In an attempt to change the current world order to its—and only its—advantage, China also extends its naval influence by deputizing commercial fishing vessels and building military facilities at ports from Western Europe to East Asia. Not content to abide by the 2016 ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, China also continues to assert maritime rights over nearly the entire South China Sea.

Current U.S. maritime strategy emphasizes that the domain is integral to security and prosperity for America and all nations and calls for cooperation among the Navy, Marines and Coast Guard.

“We are at an inflection point. Our integrated Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard must maintain clear-eyed resolve to compete with, deter, and, if necessary, defeat our adversaries while we accelerate development of a modernized, integrated all-domain naval force for the future. Our actions in this decade will shape the maritime balance of power for the rest of this century,” the strategy states.

The United States will generate a balanced, hybrid fleet that includes undersea, surface, air power, aircraft carriers and expeditionary land forces. Manned-unmanned teaming will increase fleet capacity and expand the ability to distribute forces. Unmanned systems will help provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data, while the networks, battle management aids and data infrastructure provide an actionable operational picture.

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