Strategic sealift: decisions today to ensure tomorrow.
Fults, Mary Alice
Boger, Dan C.
McMasters, Alan W.
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Strategic Sealift is considered vital for our national security, and is often termed the Fourth Arm of Defense. It is made up of two fleets, one owned and operated by the U.S. government, the other owned and operated by commercial companies and often chartered by the U.S. government. The most recent studies on the status of strategic sealift in the United States, have all indicated that our present capabilities, both fleets, are insufficient to handle anticipated National defense requirements. This thesis is an investigation into our capabilities in light of the recent Persian Gulf war. Some decision makers in Washington are saying that, due to the outstanding results of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, the United States no longer needs an active Merchant Marine. Despite these results our Fourth Arm is still insufficient. This thesis examines the reasons why this is true, and considers possible solutions to this problem, some of which have been provided from both the government and commercial companies. The conclusion is that to ensure our national security the United States must take decisive action now to improve both the government and the Merchant Marine fleets
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