Cohen, Paul
January 1971
Foreign Affairs;Jan1971, Vol. 49 Issue 2, p330
This article focuses on the decline of surface naval power. The effectiveness of merchant ships in ocean transport was the foundation on which Great Britain built her empire, on which the U.S. bases the credibility of her international commitments and by which the Soviet hopes to expand her role in Africa and Asia. That foundation continues to erode under an irresistible tide of technology, the key expressions of which are the submarine and the missile. To many this is an unbelievable assertion, doubly so because its consequences for international relations as they are currently constituted are so massive and, in general, so detrimental. The skeptics, who know from experience that most evaluations of the future occur more slowly than claimed, or not at all, are inclined to wait for results. In this case results could best come from the test of battle. And if the balance between the various forces which are deployed on the oceans lies elsewhere than where tradition has placed it, the resulting surprises could lead to ill-considered remedies. These could be as divergent as surrender of a major goal, or nuclear war. Thus, an understanding of the various technical changes which have occurred since the launching of the Nautilus is inescapable if the planning of foreign policy, and of naval building programs, is to be realistic. That large surface vessels will no longer survive the onslaught of the submarines, surveillance systems, homing weapons, and the rest of the paraphernalia of twentieth-century military technology is a proposition with a massive precedent: the fate of the battleship.


Related Articles

  • Situación actual y perspectivas de la industria naval cubana. Díaz, M. Rodríguez // Transporte Desarrollo y Medio Ambiente;abr-ago2005, Vol. 25 Issue 1, p48 

    The present article tries on the characterization of the Cuban naval industry, the actual situation and perspective of its facilities, for geographical area and organisms, in correspondence with the development of the national fleet of merchant ships, of fishing, coastal traffic and the other...

  • German Calculations.  // New Republic;8/28/15, Vol. 4 Issue 43, p86 

    Examines the effectiveness of Germany's naval military strategy to win its war against England. Plan to starve the English by cutting-off its economic trade by sinking merchant ships going in or out of British or international territorial waters using submarines; Failure of the submarine policy...

  • Mr. Hoover and the Atlantic Pact.  // New Republic;2/26/30, Vol. 62 Issue 795, p31 

    Focuses on the conference of the U.S., Great Britain and Japan, for discussion of reducing their naval strength. Prohibition of design of naval vessels like cruisers, destroyers and submarines; Need to achieve a compromise between the demands of the militarists and the pacifists to reduce...

  • Tight Squeeze Ahead. Mongelluzzo, Bill // Traffic World;5/19/2003, Vol. 268 Issue 20, p40 

    Reports on the impact of a decline in merchant ship availability on the Asia-U.S. marine transportation capacity. Impact of the severe acute respiratory syndrome virus; Relationship between charter and freight rates; Balance between capacity and cargo volume.

  • MAKING WAVES. Cahlink, George // Government Executive;Apr2003, Vol. 35 Issue 4, p27 

    The article presents efforts of the U.S. Navy to redesign its military technology. In the fiscal 2004 the Navy has plans of spending 14 billion dollars for several military enhancement programs. By April 2003, the Navy will select designs for its surface ships and mini-destroyer ships. According...

  • 'Three Sheets to the Wind' Longo, Mark S. // Sea Power;Mar2005, Vol. 48 Issue 3, p56 

    Presents definitions of naval terminologies now used in everyday English.

  • The Venetians tried to reinvent the capital warship in the early 17th century, but times and enemies had changed. Cato, Ralph D. // Military History;Jun2000, Vol. 17 Issue 2, p26 

    Deals with the merchant ships in Venice, Italy during the sixteenth century. Description of a naval battle in the Ionian Sea in 1608 between pirate Jan Castens and Venetian Admiral Lorenzo Vernier; Threats to Venetian merchant shipping; Problems with the Venetian galleasses.

  • The Packet Ship Ernestina. Downey, Judith M. // Footsteps;Sep/Oct2001, Vol. 3 Issue 4, p38 

    Features the packet ship Ernestina in New Bedford, Massachusetts. History of the ship; Impact on packet trade; Source of the name of the vessel.

  • As container traffic slows, technology becomes the key to competitiveness. Martinez, Marialba // Caribbean Business;7/19/2001, Vol. 29 Issue 29, p32 

    Forecasts a slowdown in container shipping traffic growth in Puerto Rico in 2001. Importance of investing in new technologies to successful port operations; Predicted container-fleet expansion and freight rates; Technologies used by major ocean carriers in Puerto Rico.


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics