Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral Jonathan Greenert entered his post in September 2011 with the goal of “refreshing” the Service’s 2007 Maritime Strategy, “A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower.” As the Team Leader for the 2007 effort, I applauded his decision and briefed his transition team on my thoughts on how it should be updated. In my view, the 2007 Strategy was right for its time, but in the interim, the strategic environment had changed substantially, warranting a sharper, more focused approach. Chief among these changes were the fiscal condition of the United States and the increasingly unpredictable behavior of China in the Western Pacific, neither of which were central to the 2007 document.
There are reports that the rewrite is nearing completion, and that the new strategy will be ready for public release in the near future. On the off-chance that there remains room for debate, I offer the following suggestions for the new document.