The ten most significant naval news stories / trends / themes this year included:
- The successful operations of the Russian Navy in neutralizing the Ukrainian Navy during the seizure of the Crimea by Russia, leading to a near permanent presence of NATO warships on patrol in the Black Sea. Can Russia financially afford to hold on to its new acquisition in the long term?
- The aggressive operations of the Russian Navy around the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Australia. How long will these countries allow their borders to be harassed in this manner?
- The successful humanitarian operation carried out in support of the Ebola crisis in West Africa by the Royal Navy, US Marine Corps and US Army. Where will the next humanitarian crisis be?
- The attempted hijacking of a Pakistan Navy frigate by Al Qaeda. What will Al Qaeda’s next naval adventure be?
- The first operational deployment of a laser weapon at sea on the USS Ponce in the Persian Gulf. How will this weapon work under combat conditions?
- The US Marine Corps new and innovative Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Forces for African Command based in Spain and for Central Command based in Kuwait. These company-sized units show the Marines at their expeditionary best. For what geographic region will the next one be created?
- The continued rise of the Chinese Navy and the growing threat it poses to the global commons in its “near seas” coupled with the growing belligerence of China toward Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam this year. How long will the rest of the world allow the “salami-slicing” in the South China Sea to continue?
- The deployment by China of a SOSUS-like underwater sonar network in the South China Sea. Will this begin to neutralize the US Navy’s most potent weapon against the Chinese Navy?
- The inability of the US Navy to design and construct well armed ships that work well (see LCS and San Antonio LPD) and to base new ship designs on problematic older ones (see LCS follow-on frigate and LX(R)). Why does the US Navy continually reward ship builders that produce substandard products with new contracts.
- The inability of the US Navy to agree on a specification for its new UCLASS unmanned aerial vehicle. If your Chief of Naval Operations forbids the public naming of the country you are most likely to fight, is it more difficult to design a weapon to fight against them?
In 2014, NOSI linked to 599 news stories.
In 2014, 295 of these stories (49%) were related to the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard, or U.S. Military Sealift Command.
In 2014, 51 of these stories (9%) were background stories.
The remaining 253 news stories (42%) covered the operational activities of 29 nation’s navies, coast guards, and marine corps:
Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Egypt, France, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, North Korea, Norway, Pakistan, Phillipines, Portugal, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and Vietnam
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