Consider these Naval Cornerstones:
- People matter most
- Doctrine is the glue of tactics
- To know tactics, know technology
- The seat of purpose is on land
- Attack effectively first
- We don't rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training
The preceding truisms are time tested and proven. Here are a few newer truisms for consideration.
- Surveillance enables firepower. The longest ranged weapon in the world is useless if your detection/targeting range doesn’t extend much beyond the horizon.
- Armor sustains combat. Ships need to be able to take a hit and keep fighting. Today’s one-hit mission kill ship designs are idiotic in the extreme. Designing a multi-billion dollar ship that can’t take a hit is just stupid on a plate.
- Stealth is the terrain of the naval battlefield. On land, terrain enables deception, delays detection, and dictates the battle. At sea, stealth is what a ship hides behind. That stealth can come from signature reduction, electronic warfare, decoys, etc. but without stealth in some form, ships are just advancing slowly across an open field.
- Offense wins wars. In recent decades, the U.S. Navy has forgotten that fact. Our main weapon system, Aegis/Standard, is purely defensive. Our air wings are half their size and our aircraft are short-legged and light on weapon payloads. We have no effective anti-ship cruise missile. We have no short/intermediate range ballistic missile. We have no significant offensive mine warfare capability. We have no effective naval gun support capability. We have forgotten how to win a war.
We need to refocus on high end, peer warfare and these truisms offer a good starting point as we design new ships, aircraft, and strategies. Perhaps you have some of your own to offer?