International naval cooperation encompasses the interaction of the U.S. Naval Services with the navies and militaries of treaty allies and partners nations in support of mutual defense. In addition, the term can be used to define other bilateral and multilateral defense and diplomatic activities affecting naval affairs, such as international law, rules of engagement, and arms control.
Activities in support of mutual defense include bilateral and multilateral exercises, international programs such as cooperative acquisition and foreign military sales, combined training, and efforts towards increased interoperability. This volume presents an introductory discussion and selections from Naval Institute books and articles that concern these and other aspects of international naval cooperation.
All naval professionals-without exception-encounter, directly participate, or play a supporting role in naval cooperation. Most apparent roles are those of foreign liaison assignments or service on alliance staffs, such as NATO staffs. But coalition operations have become the norm, and fighting alongside foreign navies is an expected aspect of current and future naval warfare.
International military and naval cooperation is a specifically defined element of current U.S. national security strategy and codified in joint and Service doctrine. Obviously, an understanding of the subject is necessary in order to carry out the strategy.
As part of the Naval Institute Wheel Book series, International Naval Cooperation is intended to provide a basic familiarization to all aspects of the subject and detailed understanding of relevant recent issues and development. Since there current exists no formal training on the subject for naval professionals-with the exception of certain specialized personnel-the book is designed to bridge the existing gap in knowledge.
Such knowledge is as important for sea-going officers and sailors as those serving on staffs-perhaps more so, since it is at sea that cooperation brings practical results.
In articles, interviews and speeches, recent Chiefs of Naval Operations have pointed to the need for high levels of pre-operational understanding and trust between allies and naval partners by using the admonition you cannot surge trust." Knowledge of naval cooperative programs is the first step towards being able to build such trust. And this book builds that knowledge.
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