Maritime Warfare and the Importance of Sea Control

Julian Lindley-French and Yves Boyer

in The Oxford Handbook of War

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199562930
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Politics & International Relations

 Maritime Warfare and the Importance of Sea Control

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When considering maritime warfare, there are two points to bear in mind from the outset. The first is that the object of maritime warfare is ultimately to affect outcomes on the land. The second point is that success in maritime warfare requires the ability to operate at sea, in the air, and on the land. Maritime warfare can best be understood through an appreciation of the strategy it is intended to serve. It might in the first instance be helpful to illustrate the point by reference to the British experience. The benefits of a maritime strategy are not confined to island nations. The ability to use the sea for its own purposes is vital to any nation that relies on maritime trade for its existence and similarly, for those with exposed seaboards, to ensure they cannot be invaded. In fact, any nation that has a desire for security, wealth, and power needs to be able to use the seas freely and assert their right to do so when necessary.

Keywords: sea control; maritime warfare; maritime strategy; maritime trade; seaboards; maritime arm

Article.  6577 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; International Relations

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