Editorial Note – Naval Year In Review 2008


World Naval Operational News Highlights

The ten most significant naval news stories / themes this year included:

  • The increasing amount of piracy off of Somalia, and the increasingly ad-hoc response from the world’s navies. It seems the law needs to catch up with reality, and that there needs to be better coordination between the various navies in the region.

  • The continued conflicting sovereignty claims in the Arctic, as global warming does its work. Can this be settled by a treaty?

  • The increased emphasis on humanitarian operations by all navies. Unfortunately, this emphasis is for nought if the devastated country refuses assistance, as Burma did this year.

  • The increased number of Russian Navy exercises in the Mediterranean and Caribbean. Can petrodollars help it to keep increasing its tempo of deployments?

  • The slow but steady ascent of the Chinese Navy on all fronts. Most interestingly, more clues emerged this year as to how its anti-ship ballistic missile capability works.

  • The use of semisubmersibles to smuggle drugs into the U.S. What countermeasures can be effectively deployed against them?

  • The MV-22 Osprey’s first successful deployment in Iraq. Will it be deployed to Afghanistan in 2009?

  • The shoot-down of a faulty spy satellite by a US Navy cruiser. How widely deployed is this capability in the fleet today?

  • The continuing lawfare over US Navy sonar use in training and the potential harm it does to marine mammals, referred this year all the way to the Supreme Court. How closely must the US military follow environmental laws?

  • The continuing crisis in quality and quantity in US Navy ship building. Do the shipbuiders have no shame?

In 2008, there were news stories linked to on 292 / 365 days – that is on 80% of the days.

In 2008, NOSI linked to 408 news stories.

In 2008, 114 of these stories (28%) were related to the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard, or U.S. Military Sealift Command.

In 2008, 152 of these stories (37%) were background stories.

The remaining 142 news stories (35%) covered the operational activities of 23 nation’s navies, coast guards, and marine corps:

Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Columbia, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, United Kingdom

In 2008, 189,995 pages of information were read on NOSI by 115,850 users.