In October 2007 the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard released their combined proposal for maritime strategy: A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower. As would be expected, given the group preparing the report, the strategic importance of the world’s oceans was stressed. The report lists six key tasks, or strategic imperatives:
- Limit regional conflict with forward deployed, decisive maritime power.
- Deter major power war.
- Win our Nation’s wars.
- Contribute to homeland defense in depth.
- Foster and sustain cooperative relationships with more international partners.
- Prevent or contain local disruptions before they impact the global system.
These tasks will be accomplished by improved integration of the sea services, improvements in intelligence gathering, and training.
To be fair, this report is a forward-looking strategic plan, thus it was not overloaded with details. That being said, the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) was not overly impressed with the document. The members of the HASC were particularly critical of cost overruns and delays in systems procurement. For example, the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), has been continually delayed, and its original cost of $220 million per LCS, has risen to $375 million per LCS. This caused the Navy to cancel it order of LCS-4 in November 2007.
It is of note that report mentions global warming. Climate changes is mentioned, suggesting that global warming will open the waters of the Arctic, thereby expanding the area of responsibility of the sea services.