VOLUME 13 NUMBER 1 APRIL 2008
SUPPLEMENT TO SEAPOWER
NAVY LEAGUE OF THE UNITED STATES
Navy League Releases Maritime
Policy Statement 2008 – 09
Policy Addresses National Imperative to Preserve Sea Power
The Navy League officially released its 2008–09 Maritime Policy
Statement, “Preserving Sea Power: A National Imperative” at the
Sea-Air-Space Exposition in Washington, D.C. in mid-March.
This year’s statement sounds an urgent call to “reset” the nation’s
maritime services’ personnel and equipment, which are experiencing “burn-out”
as a result of ongoing conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and operations that support
the War on Terror. It also outlines the need to revitalize our maritime industry
and strengthen the overburdened Marine Transportation System, which is vital to
our nation’s economic interests. The annual statement represents the Navy
League’s commitment to ensuring that continued high priority is given to maintaining strong national maritime forces. Below is the Executive Summary, as
excerpted from the Maritime Policy.
PRESERVING SEA POWER
A NATIONAL IMPERATIVE
The Navy League of the United States believes that providing for the common
defense must always be the most important responsibility of the federal government. A strong maritime capability is an historical characteristic of great
nations and vital to our economic well-being. Today, we are seeing emerging
challenges to our maritime dominance. To remain secure, we must maintain
our maritime supremacy. The most important reform that can be made in the
field of national defense is to provide adequate funding for America’s maritime services, which are today the greatest force for peace in the world.
The conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and the broader War on Terror continue
to burn-out military equipment and personnel. We are at the cusp of not
being able to carry out the primary mission of our armed forces … to fight
and win a full-spectrum conflict. Therefore, in order to preserve our sea
power, it is imperative that we “reset” the force— rebuild, recapitalize,
replenish and re-equip our forces while recruiting and keeping the people we
need to win our wars and defend our national interests.
The Navy League supports the imperative resetting of the Sea Services by:
Increasing the Marine Corps’ personnel end-strength to 202,000 and
recapitalizing its combat and support equipment
Providing adequate ship construction and modernization budgets for the
Navy to achieve a fleet of at least 313 ships
Progressively funding the Coast Guard’s Deepwater program and growing
the service to an end-strength force of 54,000 personnel
Training, equipping and manning to successfully engage a major nation
state in all-out-combat must remain the core competency and focus of our
armed forces. If we are to ask our young Sailors, Marines, Coastguardsmen
and Merchant Mariners to go in harm’s way, we must ensure that they have
the equipment and training to survive and prevail.
The Navy League believes that we must protect the Maritime Services’ ability to train in the same environment that an adversary will exploit.
Additionally, the Navy League remains gravely concerned about the deteriorating health of the nation’s maritime industrial base; the loss of skilled
U.S. citizen mariners as the number of critical U.S.-flagged commercial ships
continues to drop; and the intensifying congestion on our overburdened
Marine Transportation System (MTS) — the land, port, water passenger and
freight delivery systems — as international and domestic trade doubles by
2020. Therefore, the Navy League further urges:
Development and adoption of an industrial base cooperative strategy for
government and industry stakeholders to ensure we have the capacity to
build and maintain an affordable fleet capable of surge to meet emergent
demands in a crisis.
Budgetary and legislative measures — including capital and operations-related changes in U.S. tax and maritime regulations — needed to maintain a viable U.S.-flag Merchant Marine.
Efforts to ensure that the MTS is, and remains, adequate and safe to conduct maritime commerce and U.S. military deployments.
The Navy League of the United States believes it is a national imperative to
provide the funds needed to preserve our sea power capability by resetting
our maritime forces to a state where they can carry out their primary missions
of deterrence and, should deterrence fail, fighting and winning against any
enemy, anywhere and at any time. To that end, we believe that a defense budget of four percent of the Gross Domestic Product is the minimum to ensure
that all of our Armed Forces are ready to fight and win our nation’s wars.
Copies of the Policy Statement will be mailed to councils and an electronic version is available online at www.navyleague.org. A limited number of copies are
available upon request from the Public Relations office.
OUTREACH & AFFILIATE
PROGRAMS ON THE RISE
4SEA CADET CORNER
“TUNES 4 THE TROOPS”
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