Offensive Sea Power Sacrificed for Defenses

January 25, 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman
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The U.S. Navy may have gone too far in emphasizing defensive measures over offensive capabilities, which it may need to rectify quickly. Vice Adm. Richard W. Hunt, USN, commander, U.S. Third Fleet, told the Kickoff Address audience at West 2011 that the recent emphasis on missile defense and cyberspace security may have overlooked the need to maintain leading-edge offensive capabilities in related areas. "We've stepped away and become too defensive," the admiral declared. The Navy needs to develop offensive capabilities to take the fight to the adversary instead of merely being reactive, he continued. Protecting the fleet is necessary, but the sea service must not neglect its strike mission. In particular, while citing the importance of cybersecurity, the admiral called for an offensive cyberspace capability-"look at it from a warfighter perspective," he said.

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