We in the Navy of the United States are anchored in the strong holding ground of our successful past, yet already we feel and see the leading indicators of a storm that threatens to wreck us at our hard-won anchorage. We face not a small squall and some temporary discomfort, but a typhoon more ominous than any we have encountered since 1944. This time it is a typhoon of change. Now is not the moment for backward-looking nostalgia, timid inaction, nervous knee-jerk reactions, or mere hope. We must weigh anchor, pick the right course, and do all the difficult things necessary to sail onward at best speed, within the typhoon, through new and uncharted seas.
America is the land of opportunity and transformation it thrives on both. Naturally, American Sailors are used to change and excel at it. The Naval Services led the way in steam, ironclads, carrier aviation, amphibious warfare, nuclear power, and sea-based missiles. To preserve our naval preeminence, we must continue to be at the forefront of innovation and adaptation.
The purpose of this Newport Paper is to stimulate thinking, discussion, and new approaches within the Navy. It is meant to be a primer for every Sailor of new seas. Not an academic work, it is more firmly rooted in my own observations and perceptions than in the scholarly work of others. Some of the unusual conclusions presented here grew out of wide-ranging and spirited discussions held among the leaders of the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets in the spring and summer of 1997.
Make all preparations for getting underway.
Rig for high winds and heavy seas.
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