The United States is a Global Maritime Nation and is critically dependent on the global commons for our livelihood. Over 90 percent of the world’s commerce travels by sea. Global populations continue to shift to the littoral regions along the oceans’ coastlines, and 21 of the world’s 28 megacities lie within 62 miles of a coastline. Protecting our citizens, allies, and interests in this global system is necessary for both our prosperity and security.
The sea provides the primary global common through which American power is projected. Our Marines (an inherently naval force) and the amphibious warships which carry them, use the oceans as maneuver space in order to influence potential crises from the sea without forcing escalation or aggravating sovereignty. Amphibious forces are designed to provide a wide range of capabilities from the sea. Our Marines can linger unseen over-the-horizon or provide a visible deterrent. Our presence equals access, which creates options and decision space for our Nation’s leaders. With modern aviation and surface connectors, our forces can provide a kinetic strike or responsive maneuver from hundreds of miles out to sea.