tv Sea Power CSPAN October 1, 2017 9:00am-9:46am EDT
>> c-span where mystery unfolds daily, in 1979 c-span was created as public service by america's cable television companies and brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. >> good afternoon, unlike any presentation like this, there's a few admin introductions. if there's time at the end, they'll be questions and answers and if you please go to the mic and cue up i would appreciate it. hi, i'm karen lloyd. .. ..
i could provide you a long list of his military assignments but you have probably already looked him up on the internet so i will share nuggets that provide a better understanding how his career places him at the book festival today. he is no stranger to books. he started his love of books when his family was stationed in greece in the early 16s. because there was no armed forces network television he spent his time at the post library. i can totally relate to this. my family was in france at the same time and my whole family, all seven kids were at the
library too. what is striking to booklovers is throughout his naval career, published either articles or books to include midshipmen. i suggest he would tell you his favorite assignment was command of destroyer uss barry from 1993 to 1995. his first literary book, destroyer captain, was about his time as commander of the uss barry. it came as a result of his daily journaling using a typewriter of all things during his 21/2 years on board ship. the result was a compilation of a sense of wandering and mistakes, all of which were intended to convey his time in command was successful, not every day was fabulous and it is not what you accomplished but what you overcome. in his most recent book, "sea power: the history and geopolitics of the world's oceans," james stavridas uses
his naval experience to guide us on a journey through the seas of the world, to consider the value and the challenge from both a personal and international economic system. he helps us understand the significance of the control and power projections. he asks that we be mindful of the geopolitics of the ocean while warning is not to overimagine the importance of our own small voyages on earth. please join me in welcoming a great friend of the library of congress, admiral james stavridas. [applause] >> thank you. i very much appreciate everybody coming out on this drizzly day, kind of a mariners day out there i would say. normally when people hear that marvelous biography, introduction, the first things they say when they see me as i thought you would be taller than
you appear to be. what i would like to do today is just show you a few images. we can go to the first slide please. just going to talk about the oceans, and take 15 minutes and walk through the oceans of the world. then consider in the second 15 minutes what we ought to do about it and the importance of these oceans. let me begin with a line the british royal navy uses, which is fat the sea is one, the sea is one, meaning it connects. most who don't spend a lot of time on the ocean, and i spent 37 years in the navy, 11 years on the deep ocean in that time, don't consider that 70% of the world's water.
by the way, 70% of your body is water. 70% of the oxygen that you breathe comes from photosynthesis in the ocean. next slide please. 95% of the world's trade, the lifeblood of the earth's economy, passes across those oceans. on any given day, 50,000 ships at sea, 3 to 5 million mariners at the. this is an extraordinary, complex ecosystem both in the ecological sense and the economic sense. to give you one last image to hold in your head about the size of the oceans consider this, you could take all of the land in the world and it would fit quite
nicely inside the pacific ocean alone. so the seas are in many ways fundamental to the earth. let's get under way, let's start in the pacific. this is a 1589 antiquarian chart made by a dutch cartographer. you see this continuity is in the misunderstandings in the outline of the pacific, but i invite you to go back 4000 years before that chart was made, bottom right, the voyages of the polynesians who traversed 6000, 7000, 8000 nautical miles, 3000, 4000 years ago. these are ancient seas and none is more ancient than the
pacific. in the american mental map of the pacific this is what we tend to see. it is the second world war when a vast american armada sales across it in 1945. in this period we have more aircraft carriers than we have ships today. the sea is covered by the united states, and we still see ourselves as the preeminent pacific maritime power. but let's look at china's history, here are two vessels. the little one on the left, you will recall from your gradeschool studies, the niño, the pinta and the santa marina, the little one is a model of the santa maria that christopher columbus sailed in 1492, that massive ship behind it, build in roughly the same time period was
the flagship of the chinese admiral, ten times the size that sailed from european waters. china has a deep and abiding history in the pacific and that relationship, the maritime reach of the united states balanced with china's ancient fence of itself as a pacific power is the leitmotif that plays in the geopolitics of the pacific today and we see the chinese navy reaching out, deploying, here is a chinese corvette arriving in pearl harbor, hawaii. china is also bringing its allies and coalition partners into the pacific. this is a chinese destroyer
operating with a russian destroyer. this is also part of our relationship set, prime minister a, reliable partner in the japanese navy, incredibly professional and capable. we also have excellent partners in south korea. together we have a challenge that is in many ways maritime, from north korea, this im jong un is. he is unpredictable, he is unstable, he is not a rational. he has a really bad haircut. the bad news is he is developing
intercontinental ballistic missiles. this will be at least in part a maritime challenge that we will face with our allies and partners, japan, south korea and others and potentially a place where the us and china can work together to solve a significant geopolitical challenge. i will close on the pacific, north korea, upper left, these are chinese ballistic missile, flows through the south china sea, china's construction of artificial islands in the pacific today, the western pacific, we see significant geopolitical competition. let's keep moving, let's go to the atlantic which for centuries has been in many ways a transit zone and nobody from the united states thinks of that north
atlantic without recalling world war i and world war ii, the convoy operations but if you step back in history it is the europeans, particularly the peninsula that has given us christopher columbus, prince henry the navigator, upper left is magellan who circumnavigated the world, less known by bartholomew diaz, the first to sail into the indian ocean. these mariners launched enormous voyages of discovery. in that atlantic today the geopolitical challenge comes from russia, increasing scope and scale of the russian military -- maritime forces.
and as we do in the pacific, not insurmountable, not leading to another war but tension that will play out in this maritime sphere, front line ships, in the caribbean off our coast. the third largest ocean after the pacific, and the atlantic, is this is the indian ocean which begins to hit the world stage as a spice route. today is increasingly a zone for everything from piracy off the coast of east africa, hydrocarbons, here we see the interplay of india, a rising superpower, with pakistan, that will over the course of the century drive geopolitics in the indian ocean. we see it today tactically in yemen, in the northern reaches
of the indian ocean and into the persian gulf, where the overlay of shia, the iranian flag, upper right, sunni, the saudi flag by the left, plays out in the waters around the arabian peninsula with our greatest ally in the region, israel, in the middle of that zone so the geopolitical challenges will continue. and of course, we need to recall that iran is an indian ocean power. on the right you see the modern flag of iran. the two on the upper left are the battle flags of cyrus the magnificent and darius the great. the green on the lower chart was the persian empire, the uranian empire at its greatest extent. note all of the coastlines here. we will see geopolitics playing
out in the indian ocean as well. let's go to the mediterranean sea where many of you have sailed on benign cruzs. my wife and i did a wonderful one two summers ago but let me tell you something somber about the mediterranean sea. if i could snap my fingers and bring back to life every sunken warship and every mariner who died in maritime combat in the mediterranean sea, you could walk across that ocean. it is an enormous zone of war. a highlight battle if there is such a thing, the high watermark of islamic drive in the seas off italy against the holy roman empire in a 70s. it is the eastern mediterranean where we see geopolitics most at
play. the united states and russia on opposite sides in the conflict in syria, enormous turbulence throughout the lafond and it leads to this. a maritime challenge, 2 million refugees over the last three years, the eastern mediterranean will be a zone of challenge if not conflict and also because under that eastern mediterranean is an enormous treasure trove of oil, natural gas, disputed among the nations in that region so the mediterranean will challenge us as well but a little closer to home, the caribbean sea was once the vast waterway across which the spanish galleons moved treasures of the americas, bottom left, the panama can now is the beating heart of the us
economy as trade goods flow back and forth and is challenged, it is not geopolitical challenge nation on nation but narcotics, gangs, natural disasters, refugees here as well. all of it leads to significant maritime activity by our coast guard working together with the navy, law enforcement taking the lead. let's go to the top of the world, the arctic, the uss jeanette, bishop sent to the arctic in the 1870s when many cartographers, geographers still had a theory that the top of the world had a hidden temperate zone, just over 100 years ago. the jeanette tried to get through the ice, was frozen in place, many of its crew died.
today the arctic is a little less spicy. here is a newsflash. global warming is real. the ice is melting and it is going to open that northern trade route, increase geopolitical competition, uncover hydrocarbons, on one side is russia, on the other side are five nato nations. the arctic has never seen war. it will be our challenge to ensure that we can continue to say that as the century unfolds. if we are able to say it will be the result of organizations like this, the arctic council which brings together russia and nato, one of the few places we have a coherent conversation. the united states needs to up its game. i am showing a picture of the one operational icebreaker the
us has, denmark, a nation of 5 million, operates 6 icebreakers. we need to improve ourselves in this his own. now, if i could, for one moment i will address the challenges broadly on all the oceans, because the sea is one. fishing, illegal fishing, one fish in 5 card in the oceans of the world is caught illegally, fish stocks declining, probably 50% over the last 40 years. this is a multibillion-dollar business, it is exacerbated by piracy and illegality. additionally, again, global warming is going to change the oceans and attack the ability to conduct photosynthesis for the oxygen we breathe. with apologies to al gore who has often said the lungs of the
earth are the amazon, they contribute. the lungs of the earth are the oceans. that is a very quick voyage around the world. now, okay, admiral, a lot of challenges out there, what do you think? what should we do? what can we do about it, what are the opportunities to engage in this maritime world? this is what the book "sea power: the history and geopolitics of the world's oceans" is about. what are the strategic ideas for the 21st century for our nation and for the world in engaging. let me bring you a quick shot from game of thrones. if you really want a maritime strategist, build me 1000 ships and i will give you this world. we do need to be careful --
capable mariners. how do we do that? we have to listen better. we have to listen more to the oceans themselves, to their health. we need to listen to our allies and partners, listen to our opponents. this by the way is not photoshop, this is a belgian air defense system from 80 years ago. it is not still in operation. listening for incoming aircraft, it is quite innovative but i put it here as metaphor. we need to listen more. we need to do what you are doing at this marvelous book festival, listen to ideas, challenge ideas. this is the naval war college in newport, rhode island, where we take a break from the day today not only listening but studying, reading, writing, publishing. what else can we do for the
oceans? we can hold onto our values. we can hold onto our values. they come from the age of socrates, the ancient eastern asians, buddha through our founding fathers, upper left, the enlightenment, voltaire, principal leaders like angela merkel. we need to work together with democracy, liberty, freedom of speech, those values will help us in the oceans. we need to work with partners. the united states should not become the world's maritime policeman. we should be maritime coalitions. these are french special forces capturing somali pirates. they have flown from a danish warship and refueled from an italian frigate, they operate under the surveillance of a
portuguese maritime patrol aircraft, us intelligence from satellite, these multinational coalitions to create security and environmental improvement are vital. alliances and coalitions. our allies can help us, things like freedom of navigation challenges. we need to do more of this as well from the sea. as i look at the tragedy unfolding in houston i am so proud of the u.s. navy sending two massive ships, a big deck amphibious carrier, a large landing ship, potentially we can send a hospital ship. when i was commander of southern command before being nato commander i deployed hospital ships routinely throughout the caribbean, latin america, my counterpart in the pacific does the same. this kind of humanitarian work from the sea is part of our
ability to leverage the strategy. we need new partners. i would focus this century on india which will be a rising maritime power. we have exercises every year with india, japan and the united states and we need to work within our own military, our marines, coast guard or navy working together within the context i have laid out of international interagency, all of that allows us to interact with international maritime organizations, to work with private sector maritime entities. a small company that uses commercial shipping to measure the ocean's health. it is a powerful, private public connective idea.
we need conversations at all levels about the oceans and we need to read more about the sea. that is why i am happy to see so many people turn out to talk about the oceans. it can be fiction, if you never read the cruel see, get up now, leave and go read it. it is a fabulous book. we should understand the maritime thinkers like chester nimitz. we should understand the battles, the hinges of history like jetland, the rules of the game. understand as we look back through the history of the world, so often, big, big doors swing on small hinges and so often those small hinges are maritime values, solomon saves greece from persia. actium divides the roman empire. for fogger saves the brits, the
pontiff stops islam. jutland preserves the british fleet in world war i. midway is the resurgence for america. these maritime battles matter and we need to understand their impact on the oceans. i will wrap up and i would love to take a couple questions or comments. i talked a lot about the oceans, you will also find a very personal story of my time at sea. many years at sea. the seas can be terrible and challenging, things go wrong and over the last 60 days we have seen two u.s. navy destroyer's in terrible collisions, 17 sailors, to put that in perspective, tragically, we lost in afghanistan this year 11
soldiers. in the last couple months we have lost 17 of our finest sailors at sea. the oceans will challenge us and that is part of the power as well but i will say this. i loved being a sailor. i loved my time on the ocean, the ultimate office with a view. i hope you take time to dip into "sea power: the history and geopolitics of the world's oceans" and learn about the history, geopolitics and what it is like to sail these oceans. thank you very much, thank you for coming out, thank you. [applause] >> we will go back and forth. we will start over here. >> appreciate the chance to hear you speak. i am working on a project on how unreported illegal fishing leads
to destabilization and potentially radicalization. you talked about fishing as regards to ocean health. >> i have a piece coming out called the coming war for fish. it sounds absurd that we would get in a war about fish but the conflict is growing, i point particularly to the south china sea where china has a massive fishing fleet that is encroaching. we can look in the north atlantic and see partners that are traditionally very close come to violent ends overfishing violations. we see indonesia blowing up illegal fishing craft. more and more, we are going to see wars over fish, just as in the past we have seen wars overland, water, oil.
this is a war over protein. it is increasingly the principal source of protein around the world. think of it in the context of oil or water or another resource. to counter it we need international interagency, the things i talked about, we are going to need robust cooperation, not just the navies of the world but the coast guard's of the world as well. a big topic, thanks for raising it. >> i served a couple years in afghanistan. what i am wondering about has to do with these acts about people getting killed, ships getting hit in the side. it doesn't seem to me the people who are commanding these ships
don't know what they are doing. i don't believe that. can you give some idea why these are happening? >> i can. i had the same reaction you did, seems beyond the possible coincidence the two navy destroyers would be hit and have a tragic loss of life over such a period of time. the navy is conducting thorough investigations and they will look at any possibility for cyber intrusion or lacked of deliberate collision. i think that is unlikely. more likely, i will give you 5 things and do them fast. bad leadership, the captain might be a terrific manner but the officer of the deck is afraid to call, has a temper, bad environment on the bridge. equipment, our radars working, early warning system is built into the number 3 training, are
we pushing our people too fast and not giving them enough time in the basics of seamanship and navigation, operational tempo, those particular ships driven too hard, were people not getting rest, you would never want an airline captain driving you who had not received his or her mandatory eight our best. i can assure you is bridge watch standards are not getting eight hours of rest. fifth and finally i would say number of ships in the u.s. navy. we need 350. every responsible analyst agrees, we have 270. those ships are being pushed hard. it won't be any one of those but my bet is it will be a combination of them. >> i read in your chapter about
how you see the middle east as a cold war. why do you consider it cold? what would take to turn it? >> as i was writing the book a year ago it seems cooler than it does now. the cold war analogies come from the shia sunni tension which is religious in character, under made by geopolitical tension between persian and arab. those of you, most of you are christian so we have seen this movie before in the christian faith. it was called the wars of the reformation, 1500s catholics and protestants with an overlay of geopolitics, spanish empire, british, netherlands become ground 0, one third of europe's population is killed.
it lasted 100 to 150 years. no historical analogy is perfect] rings the bell and the world is getting hotter, not cooler. >> i recently -- a former sub commander, blind man's bluff, i found a great read. the question is, is there a chapter supposed to be written, the american submarine forces and as part of our triangular strategy, national defense. >> the subsurface world will continue to be absolutely crucial. the tension there is whether or not at some point there will be a technology that effectively
renders the oceans transparent to overhead sensors. submarines are able to continue to be very well hidden. as long as that is the case by they will be in the end the preeminent platform of war. it hurts me to say that as a destroyer officer. if i were an aviator it would really hurt me to say it about the carriers but submarines because of their cloak of invisibility until that is pierced is at the center of the strategy. it is important we build them, invest in those technologies, second and final point, our allies operate submarines effectively as well as we do, on diesels, in close, so when you marry up the allied diesel capability to the us nuclear capability that is a very potent
ability to control the fees and project power. >> my father is in the army, we have been hearing north korea is said to be more of a land-based conflict, you describe -- can you expand on that? >> it is particularly maritime from the defensive perspective of the united states, as you may have seen over the weekend, north korea launched a missile over japan, the ability to knockdown those long-range missiles which is what we are worried about with north korea in the macro sense. much would be based on destroyers operating at sea. secondly, i don't advocate this. i don't think there is a good military option against north
korea but if we are forced to take one the ability to control the ocean approaches to north korea and cut off their ability to come off after our aircraft carriers will be crucial because our land-based air on the korean peninsula would be highly at risk. those aircraft carriers can move 1000 miles a day, operate 75 attack aircraft, nuclear power, don't need to be refueled, that capability and mobility around the peninsula would be crucial. i don't mean to say the efforts of the army and air force won't be critical, big doors swinging on small hinges. the maritime piece of this both defensively and authentically from the carriers will be crucial.
>> i am a contributor to strategy, i have written quite a bit on the south china sea especially as it applies with the un convention. if you could touch on that? >> i can. is everyone on the same sheet? south china sea, big body of water, china claims it is a territorial sea, that they own the entire body of water. they show us a line, we own everything inside it, we own all the hydrocarbons, a territorial sea, we will control the shipping, we will simply annex it. as though the united states simply declared the gulf of mexico a us territorial sea. it is a preposterous claim. it has gone to the international court, it has been soundly rejected. china continues to front this claim and supported by building
artificial islands, that is chinese territory, that is chinese territory, they are playing a long game, their hope is overtime, simply become tired of the challenge. if i were a chinese strategist i would do exactly the same thing because what china does not have our hydrocarbons. china needs those. part of their long-range plan. i don't think we are going to go to war about this. i think we will challenge them on the high seas, fly airplanes over there artificial islands, steam power ships through their territorial sea, continue to make the case for international law, that we are observing and enforcing customary international law as described by the international courts. if we stay in the game and stay
serious we will avoid a real confrontation. if we back down we will regret that. >> seems like among naval officers the awareness or general understanding of seapower and naval power comes and goes whenever a major book is written. or something tragic happens. what can we do to maintain common awareness consistently about seapower and its importance when we are constantly developing it? >> great question from someone named minerva which picks up on athena, the goddess of wisdom. the world's preeminent international lawyer probably up here in history, the great
strategist james stavridas. i will take your point of how we maintain a level of knowledge and understanding. the answer is the old-fashioned way which is education. in our rotc programs at the naval academy and officer candidate school we take graduates of the universities, we need to ensure we are not only covering administration and inspections and all the important things we want a young officer to know, but also our history and why strategy matters. that plug into the educational process for the naval officer needs to occur at every step and when you go through war college in your late 30s and even executive education programs like we have done at the kennedy
school, there is no simple easy way to do this other than education. >> i have a phd from the fletcher school, my grandfather was in that stage as well and if you want to fight, join the army. two points, they have built fees ports that we see in japan for the us fleet, the japanese attack on pearl harbor, they are building ports all over the world especially pakistan, and building one right next door. the indians are thinking from the indian navy. how do you deal with these
issues? >> china is building a massive overseas military base in djibouti. the second chart i showed you with choked points you will find this program. they are using the playbook in front of us. the answer is when you want to deal with the network you have to have a strong network. we need to leverage our strongest comparative advantage which is our allies, partners and friends. this is why india, the alignment of the united states, india and japan is so powerful. the short answer is that they will build a network, we need to strengthen our network. i would argue back to values, our democratic alignment with nato, japan, australia, gives us
a much bigger pool of partners then china. we have time for one more here is one more there. >> i'm a retired air force officer. i wanted to thank you for your amazing contribution and service to this country and your comments -- my portion was usurped. the strategy with the chinese in the south china sea. two observations. as an air force guy the picture before the naval war college just before the naval war college photograph, the national war college in the background? >> it looks like it. it is actually not. i have been theories research, go ahead and ask a question. >> the word around town is you married 3 levels above your
authorized pay grade. i mentioned that because your wonderful wife laura taught our children in preschool at saint aidan's, thank her for that. >> so kind, thank you very much. young lady, you have the last question. >> good afternoon. you said nato countries and russia need to work together to combat global warming. is nato doing that? >> a terrific question. i think nato is helping because it creates an alignment of nations who share fundamental values as we talked about. they can be nato helps us because the nato nations together have 52% of the world's gdp. they had enormous economic capability to address these challenges. thirdly, nato provides a forum, a place where these nations can gather and discuss crucial issues to include the security
challenges that come from environmental degradation. i would argue nato is a force for good, a multiplier effect would be if we can convince our russian counterparts to join at least in that conversation. we may disagree with russia on syria, ukraine and cyber, but can we not agree on the challenges to the environment and the ocean? there is a chance of that. in that sense nato is a force for good. let me close by saying thank you all for coming out today, thinking about the oceans and supporting this festival, the national book festival. it is an honor to be here. [applause]
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