Editorial Note – Announcing the War Studies Primer – an introductory course on the study of war

War Studies Primer is an introductory course on the study of war: 28 lectures and over 1,250 slides.

The purpose of the War Studies Primer is to provide a primer, or introduction, to the study of war.

In its current form, the War Studies Primer is presented as a lecture curriculum for a university course that is an introduction to war studies. It is a non-credit, self-study course.

War Studies Primer was begun in 2004, is a work in progress, and will be updated on a yearly basis.

War Studies Primer is made available for your use and reuse and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

Please contact me with your comments and feedback about the War Studies Primer.
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Editorial Note – Naval Year in Review 2007

2007

World Naval Operational News Highlights

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

  • The US military’s recognition that climate change poses a security threat to the U.S. Most interesting was their recommendation that the U.S. government work to mitigate climate change.
  • The Chinese anti-satellite test which showed that China has the capability to destroy satellites in low earth orbit. Could the U.S. Navy operate today without satellites?
  • The Russian cyberwar waged against Estonia, which showed how wars in cyberspace will be conducted. Could the U.S. Navy have defended itself as well as the Estonians did?
  • The success of the surge / Sunni Awakening in Iraq. Remember that the Sunni Awakening began in Anbar Province and was aided by the US Marines first.
  • The seizure of Royal Navy personnel in the Gulf by Iran. Iran continues to take an offensive rather than defensive attitude in the Gulf.
  • The growing sovereignty claims over the Northwest Passage. This year Russia planted a flag on the seabed there, the US Coast Guard opened a base there, and the Canadian Navy funded a class of arctic patrol ships intended to work there.
  • The resurgence of the Russian Navy, funded by petrodollars. Long range patrol flights coupled with the first task force deployment to the Mediterranean Sea since Soviet times means the Russian Navy is (mildly) back.
  • The decreasing size of the Royal Navy. Note though its two new aircraft carriers were formally funded this year.
  • The deepening disaster of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Deepwater procurement program. It seems empowering contractors to oversee their own contracts was not such a great idea after all.
  • The crisis in the U.S. Navy’s shipbuilding program has come to a head with the canceling of follow-on Littoral Combat Ships due to massive cost overruns. Will the U.S. Navy finally take a more hands-on approach to its shipbuilding programs to keep costs down?

Statistics
In 2007, there were news stories linked to on 275 / 365 days – that is on 75% of the days.

In 2007, NOSI linked to 428 articles covering 394 news stories.

In 2007, 118 of these stories (30%) were related to the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard, or U.S. Military Sealift Command.

In 2007, 186 of these stories (47%) were background stories and 4 stories (1%) were historical stories.

The remaining 85 news stories (22%) covered the operational activities of 19 nation’s navies, coast guards, and marine corps:

Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, United Kingdom

In 2007, 177,202 pages of information were read on NOSI by 106,546 users.

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Editorial Note – Naval Year in Review 2006


2006

World Naval Operational News Highlights

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

  • The continued irrelevance of the US Navy to Fourth Generation Warfare. Nearly 4 years after the invasion of Iraq, the US Navy is finally ready to send a brown water / riverine unit to Iraq to patrol the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. What took so long and why was there no sense of urgency?
  • The rising awareness within the US military on the best ways to conduct the war in Iraq, evidenced by the new joint manual by the US Marines / US Army entitled FM 3-24 / MCWP 3-33.5 – Counterinsurgency.
  • The first successful naval attack by a Fourth Generation entity (Hezbollah) against an Israeli naval vessel with a land-based antiship missile, showing how Fourth Generation opponents can reach out and strike naval targets successfully.
  • The rise of Iran as a preeminent regional power in the Persian Gulf, and the implications that could have in a naval conflict in the Persian Gulf.
  • The continued slow but steady rise of the Chinese Navy – will it be peaceful – or not?
  • The increasing ballistic missile defense capability being forward-deployed at sea by the US Navy.
  • The failure of the SeaSwap manning initiative in the US Navy, which shows that too much efficiency can sometimes be a bad thing.
  • The successful use of lawfare, by environmental groups, to impede US Navy use of low frequency active sonar systems.
  • The slow fading away of the Royal Navy, due to continued deep budget cuts.
  • The US Marine Corps devising ways to (literally) shoot troops anywhere around the Earth in a few hours using rockets, showing that long-term planning and thinking is still thankfully alive and well in the Marine Corps???

Statistics
In 2006, there were news stories linked to on 270 / 365 days – that is on 74% of the days.

In 2006, NOSI linked to 556 articles covering 505 news stories.

In 2006, 171 of these stories (34%) were related to the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard, or U.S. Military Sealift Command.

In 2006, 201 of these stories (40%) were background stories and 17 stories (3%) were historical stories.

The remaining 116 news stories (23%) covered the operational activities of 20 nation’s navies, coast guards, and marine corps:

Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Greece, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Norway, Pakistan, Russia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, United Kingdom

In 2006, 216,179 pages of information were read on NOSI by 119,473 users.

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Editorial Note – Naval Year in Review 2005


2005

World Naval Operational News Highlights

The operational story of the year was the occupation of Iraq, and the tremendous challenges it continues to face due to the lack of planning for the post-combat phase of the war.

  • Several recurring themes were identified throughout this year’s naval news stories, many of which persist from last year:
    • Continuing piracy on the high seas, particularly off of Africa, that is beginning to be slowly addressed.
    • The threats terrorists pose to ships.
    • The continuing rise of the Indian Navy, backed by an extensive ship building program and naval exercise schedule.
    • The acknowledgement that China is becoming a rising naval power, as China recognizes the importance of protecting its sea lines of communication in order to protect its economic development.
    • The inability of the U.S. Navy to articulate and commit to a consistent ship building program.
    • The dangerous nature of submarine operations, evidenced this year by the collision of the USS San Francisco with an undersea mountain and the fire on board a Chinese submarine exercising in the South China Sea.
    • Concern over the damaging effect that low frequency active sonar has on marine mammals.
  • Significant naval operations this year included:
    • Extensive naval assistance in operations other than war including the USS Abraham Lincoln and USS Bon Homme Richard along with assets of the Royal Navy / Royal Australian Navy / French Navy in the Indonesian tsunami relief effort in January, the USS Bataan in the Hurricane Katrina relief effort in August, the USS Iwo Jima in the Hurricane Rita relief effort in September, and the US Marine’s Pakistan earthquake relief effort in October.
    • There was no ship-to-ship combat this year.
  • The most significant operational naval news story of the year was the Israeli Navy exercising with NATO forces for the first time.
  • The naval training story of the year was the assignment of US Marine forces to the US Special Operations Command, where they will assume a large role in training foreign militaries.
  • The most significant personnel naval news story this year was that some US Marine units are now serving their third combat tour in Iraq, and this is putting a huge strain on them professionally, personally, and psychologically.
  • The most dramatic naval news story of the year was the English rescue of a Russian Navy minisub crew which was tangled in fishing nets in the Russian Far East.
  • The most disappointing naval news story of the year was the documentation of continued deficiencies in the Advanced SEAL delivery system mini-submarine, which render it effectively non-operational.
  • The naval procurement story of the year is the continued saga of the former Soviet aircraft carrier Varyag. Is China refitting it for operational use?
  • The naval aviation story of the year was the last combat cruise of the F-14 Tomcat fighter in the US Navy.
  • The most ignored naval news story of the year remains port security in the U.S., or the lack thereof.
  • The most surprising naval news story of the year was Japan allowing a US nuclear powered aircraft carrier, the USS George Washington, to be homeported there for the first time.
  • The most welcome naval news story of the year was the slow redevelopment of the US Navy’s brown water riverine naval capabilities, for use in Iraq.
  • The most technically significant naval news story of the year was the first successful use of a nonlethal sonic weapon to protect a cruise ship from a pirate attack off of Somalia.
  • The most bizarre naval news story of the year was Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi dictating the operational deployment of the hospital ship USNS Comfort to benefit his constituents during Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.
  • The quietest naval story of the year was the extensive war planning underway in the US for strikes against Iran to neutralize its nuclear weapons capability.
  • And finally, the naval news story of the year with the most potential long term significance for the third year in a row was the continued rise of 4th Generation Warfare techniques in Iraq and Afghanistan. How will the U.S. effectively address 4th Generation Warfare?

Statistics
In 2005, there were news stories linked to on 308 / 365 days – that is on 84% of the days.

In 2005, NOSI linked to 864 articles covering 777 news stories.

In 2005, 343 of these stories (44%) were related to the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard, or U.S. Military Sealift Command.

In 2005, 236 of these stories (30%) were background stories and 51 stories (7%) were historical stories.

The remaining 147 news stories (19%) covered the operational activities of 24 nation’s navies, coast guards, and marine corps:

Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Netherlands, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey, United Kingdom

In 2005, 254,437 pages of information were read on NOSI by 136,797 users.


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