EMC Chair Symposium: Sea Control and Foreign Policy

Randy Forbes, senior distinguished fellow of U.S. Naval War College (NWC) Foundation and former representative, gives remarks to NWC students, staff, faculty and guests during his keynote address on sea power and national strategy during an EMC Chair Symposium on Maritime Security, “Sea Control and Foreign Policy,” held at NWC in Newport, Rhode Island.

About this Event

Event Information

Apr. 04, 2017 - Apr. 07, 2017
8:00 a.m.
U.S. Naval War College, 686 Cushing Road, Newport, RI 02841

U.S. Naval War College

This fifth maritime-centric EMC Chair symposium builds on the 2016 release of “Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority,” which noted the “U.S. Navy has been a cornerstone of American security and prosperity.” The symposium will consider future directions of US foreign policy and reflect on demands the country places on the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard to advance and defend national interests. Participants from DOD, academia, and the policy community will convene in Newport to discuss the implications for sea power as the Design challenges the Navy to “Deepen operational relationships with other services, agencies, industry, allies and partners – who operate with the Navy to support our shared interests.”

Derek S. Reveron, National Security Affairs and EMC Chair

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Keynote Addresses:

Ambassador Paula Dobriansky

VADM James G. Foggo, III, Director  Navy Staff

VADM Thomas S. Rowden, Naval Surface Forces

Representative Randy Forbes

Panel 1: The Future of U.S. Foreign Policy

The 2016 "Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority" maintains that U.S. interests lie beyond her own shores. With a new presidential administration, panelists will explore the question of what U.S. interests are and how to best serve them, particularly but not only in reference to U.S. maritime power.

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Panel 2: Seapower and Great Power Dynamics

While there are important forms of cooperation among the US, Russia, China, and India, the four powers will independently shape the international security environment. With significant investments in maritime capabilities, the four navies are increasingly operating outside their geographic seas and the “Design” notes “the United States is facing a return to great power competition.”

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Panel 3: Echoes of the First World War in the Twenty-First Century

Within hours following the formal declaration of war against Germany in April, the President of the Naval War College, Rear Admiral William S. Sims, stood among the first American commanders to arrive at the European front. Out of necessity, Sims subsequently assumed the role of senior U.S. Navy officer in European waters. He simultaneously pioneered efforts to negotiate joint wartime collaboration with U.S. Army General John Pershing within the temporary wartime context of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF). By July, Sims also served as the ranking U.S. Navy representative to the Anglo-French Allied Naval Committee. Drawing from British naval traditions, Sims referred to his headquarters as the “London Flagship” and set key foundations in shaping contemporary U.S. Navy concepts of strategy and command.

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Panel 4: Geo-economics and Maritime Security

Economic interconnections between nations and regions are crucial for the national security of any country, because how energy and resources, finished goods and services, and capital and labor flow from place to place create geo-political realities.

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Panel 5: Technology, Innovation, and Force Structure

The U.S. Navy has been at the forefront of science and technology. In the 19th century, it was LT Albert Michelson who measured the speed of light on the shores of the Severn River at the Naval Academy. In the 20th century, it was Admiral Hyman Rickover who pioneered nuclear propulsion.

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Panel 6: Sea Control

Sea control comes in many varieties. Alfred Thayer Mahan exhorted commanders to win "command of the sea," meaning "overbearing power on the sea which drives the enemy’s flag from it, or allows it to appear only as a fugitive; and which, by controlling the great common, closes the highways by which commerce moves to and from the enemy’s shores."

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