IFS Insights no. 4, November 2011
US Navy strategy and force structure after the Cold WarAuthor:
Amund LundesgaardNumber of pages:
At the end of the Cold War, the US Navy’s strategy and force structure were primarily directed at fighting a conventional enemy on the high seas. With the fall of the Soviet Union, the relative certainty of the Cold War was replaced by uncertainty about the challenges of the future. A number of threats, such as regional rivalry, terrorism, transnational crime, nationalism, and ethnic and religious conflicts, rose to prominence during the 1990s, replacing the Soviet Union as the main concern.
This issue of IFS Insight investigates the Navy’s strategic ideas after 1989 by addressing change and continuity in the blue water/littoral approaches to sea power in the US Navy. The blue water/littoral priorities of the Navy in this period will be illustrated by the Navy’s threat perceptions, the geographical and operational focus of contemporary strategy documents, as well as the force structure and budgets.
Amund Lundesgaard is a doctoral fellow at the Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies. He is currently studying the maritime strategy of the US Navy after the Cold War.