Editorial Note – 2011 World Naval Operational News Highlights

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

  • The withdrawal of US combat forces from Iraq. After nearly a decade and a trillion dollars later, what exactly does the US have to show for it?

  • The troop surge, and subseqent beginning of the drawdown in Afghanistan. What exactly will victory look like there?

  • The NATO combined arms operations against the Libyan goverment. Is this the new model for regime change – sea and air power with a minimal footprint on the ground? (Wait – wasn’t that how we started off in Afghanistan 10 years ago…)

  • The formal reorientation of US strategy and forces from the Middle East to the Pacific to contain China’s rise. Is AirSea Battle the correct way to address the Chinese threat?

  • The world economic crisis leading to US economic turmoil causing US budget turmoil which will result in deep defense cuts. What will these cuts do to the Navy and Marines who must recapitalize their forces whose equipment is worn out after a decade of war and who must now shift their focus from the sand to AirSea Battle?

  • The Chinese Navy continues to deploy its sensor network on land and in space for targeting for its antiship ballistic missile while the US Navy begins to devise countermeasures to it. When will we see this weapon test fired?

  • The first Chinese Navy (actually ex-Soviet Navy) aircraft carrier goes to sea, beating the Indian Navy’s (ex-Soviet Navy) aircraft carrier refurbishment project. When will the Chinese begin to conduct aircraft operations?

  • The Chinese Navy’s deployment of a ship to Libya to evacuate Chinese citizens from a war zone. Should we no long be shocked by Chinese blue-water naval operations around the world?

  • The tension around the Spratley Islands as the Chinese Navy begins to flex its muscles at sea. Will this area be a good place to base the US Navy Littoral Combat Ships and will this be their role in AirSea Battle?

  • The SEAL mission that killed Osama Bin Laden. Who would have bet 10 years ago that it would have been the SEALs who got the kill?

  • (…and yes, I’m tired of mentioning piracy again, and again, and again…so I won’t…)

In 2011, there were news stories linked to on 323 / 365 days – that is on 88% of the days.

In 2011, NOSI linked to 341 news stories.

In 2011, 118 of these stories (35%) were related to the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard, or U.S. Military Sealift Command.

In 2011, 90 of these stories (26%) were background stories.

The remaining 133 news stories (39%) covered the operational activities of 24 nation’s navies, coast guards, and marine corps:

Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, India, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, Pakistan, Phillipines, Portugal, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, and Vietnam

In 2011, 168,013 pages of information were read on NOSI by 120,000 users. There were 76,299 post views (impressions) and 239 fans (members) on the NOSI Facebook page.