Dec 27, 2020
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U.S. aims to achieve ocean edge for the rest of the 21st century

The Pentagon will seek integrated maritime power

Following the publication of the strategy for outer space, the Pentagon issues a new document “Advantage at sea”, which concerns three services – the Navy, the Marine Corps and the US Coast Guard. The document provides strategic advice on how to deal with day-to-day competition, crises and conflicts over the next decade. The document indicates the need to ensure dominance in the oceans in relation to other countries.

The previous document of this kind, titled “Cooperation Strategy for Maritime Power in the 21st Century,” was published in 2015.

“Our Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard must maintain a clear resolve to compete with, contain, and defeat our adversaries, if necessary. We are accelerating the development of modernized, integrated naval forces of all types, “ – reported Commander of Naval Operations, Admiral Michael M. Gilday, Commandant General of the Marine Corps David H. Berger and Commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Karl Schultz. The document emphasizes that “US actions in the current decade will determine the maritime balance of power for the rest of the 21st century.”

The introduction to Advantage at Sea states: “Since the beginning of the 21st century, our three services have watched with dismay the growing power of the Chinese Navy and the increasing aggressive behavior of Russia.”… It is also noted that “China poses the most dangerous long-term strategic threat to the United States”, so “60% of the US Navy is in the Indo-Pacific”… And further in the document it says: “Other rivals, including Iran, North Korea, violent extremist organizations and transnational criminal organizations, also continue to undermine the international rules-based order.”

At the same time, the United States did not ratify the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, which should serve as a fundamental document for international activity. Activities at sea are interpreted by the Americans solely in accordance with their own interests.

The document uses the term “Integrated maritime power in all spheres” (Integrated domain-wide naval power), which implies the actions of the Navy, Marine Corps and the US Coast Guard not only at sea, but also on land, in the air, space and cyberspace.

The authors of the document state that the US economy is directly related to the sea: it is 31 million jobs, 90% of trade traffic in the amount of 5.4 trillion dollars a year, as well as information flows transmitted by submarine cables (daily financial transactions amount to 10 trillion dollars ).

And then it says: “Today the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Russian Federation (RF) are using all the instruments of their national power to undermine and remake the international system to suit their own interests. Both countries support their revisionist activities with regional armed forces and hide their aggressive behavior by mixing military and paramilitary forces with third parties (proxies). “

It is explicitly stated that behind the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative there is a Chinese military expansion in order to establish control over key sea locations. And Russia, according to the authors, “During a conflict, it can inflict a kinetic or cyber strike on Washington, European capitals, or attack underwater communication cables, which will have consequences for the global economy”

The document notes that the disputed maritime territories require “A new focus on maritime control”, while maintaining the advantage at sea presupposes the modernization of the armed forces.

At the same time, it is argued that American “Agile, mobile, expeditionary, scalable, resilient, versatile, networked and deadly forces” do not act alone, but are an integral part of the united US forces, therefore they have a global character.

The document notes: [Американские] The maneuverable strike force consists of several carrier strike teams, surface action teams and expeditionary strike teams, and is complemented by unmanned platforms … Long-range systems and hypersonic weapons will provide a global strike capability against ground targets. Logistics and support ships will go out to refuel, re-equip, resupply, manpower and repair. The Coast Guard will provide a safe, reliable and efficient maritime transport system necessary to maintain forces in a war. “

The Advantage at Sea document postulates that the Navy, Marines and the US Coast Guard will:

– to recruit and train versatile professional staff;

– create material and technical support for advanced operations, support combat-ready rapid reaction forces;

– identify and prevent harmful activities in daily competition;

– work with allies and partners in crises and conflicts;

– to provide constant, all-encompassing, long-range precision fire, supported by flexible integrated networks, with the aim of destroying enemy forces;

– to maintain a viable part of the American nuclear deterrent triad.

It is assumed that the combination of these actions will create an integrated sea power, thanks to which the seas will remain under US control.

Photo: REUTERS / US NAVY, Handout

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