Turning Mahan On His Head

Ullman, Harlan
July 2006
U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings;Jul2006, Vol. 132 Issue 7, p12
Conference Proceeding
The article analyzes the role of U.S. naval forces in the context of naval theorist Alfred Thayer Mahan's book "The Influence of Sea Power upon History." In contrary to Mahan's assumptions, today's extremist enemy is not driven by economic competition. The author says that technology has erased any notion of geographic borders and control of access. The author also emphasizes the need to set broader political context for applying military power. When Mahan wrote this book, rating sea power was easy. Things have changed now. The influential work of Mahan must be re-examined before applying it to naval forces today.


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