1st Edition

The United States Navy’s Pivot to Asia The Origins of a Cooperative Strategy for Twenty-First Century Seapower

By Bruce A. Elleman Copyright 2023
    258 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book examines the origins of the US Navy’s 2007 Maritime Strategy, the formation of the US government’s “Pivot to Asia” strategy, and the most recent revisions to this strategy that focus more specifically on China. Besides examining the details of this strategy formulation, the book explores the internal and external repercussions on the US Navy of the Pivot to Asia. It discusses the “Fat Leonard” scandal, which involved bribery and corruption in contracts for the maintenance of the US fleets in the region, and considers the sharp decrease in training and readiness of the Pacific fleet to support the pivot, which in turn led to serious maritime collisions. It also assesses the impact of the pivot on other countries in the region, engaging in the debate as to whether the pivot was necessary in order to convince the countries of the region that the United States had not lost its staying power, or whether the pivot managed to make tensions in the Asia-Pacific worse even while allowing the strategic situation in the Middle East and Europe to worsen as a result of neglect.

    List of Figures

    List of Acronyms and Abbreviations

    Introduction: Why a New Maritime Strategy?

    Chapter 1: A Short History of the Process Behind Writing CS-21: "A Cooperative

    Strategy for 21st Century Seapower"

    Chapter 2: Maritime Strategy Option Echo plus four Original Maritime Strategy Options

    Chapter 3: Fine-tuning the CS-21 Maritime Strategy Document

    Chapter 4: Accolades and Criticism of CS-21

    Chapter 5: The Pivot to Asia

    Chapter 6: The Fat Leonard Scandal and Solving East Asian U.S. Navy Corruption

    Chapter 7: The Capable, the Corrupt, and the Collisions

    Chapter 8: Problems in Paradise: The Harley Education Revolution, Mutiny, and Takedown

    Conclusions. CS-21, CS-21 Refresh, and Novus Ordo Seclorum: The Long-term Impact of the Pivot to Asia

    Chart A

    Chart B

    Appendix 1: The Historical Background of Maritime Strategies

    Appendix 2: Maritime Strategy Alpha

    Appendix 3: Maritime Strategy Option Bravo

    Appendix 4: Maritime Strategy Option Charlie

    Appendix 5: Maritime Strategy Option Delta

    Appendix 6: Bryan McGrath’s Version of Maritime Strategy Option Echo

    Appendix 7: Naval War College Version of Maritime Strategy Option Echo

    Appendix 8: The Final Maritime Strategy Document Issued October 2007

    Appendix 9: CNO Gary Roughead Guidance 25 October 2007

    Appendix 10: Statement by Admiral Gary Roughead CNO 13 December 2007

    Appendix 11: Proposed Outline for MARSTRAT Discussion with PCNO 10 SEP 2007

    Appendix 12: News From the Strategy and Policy Department, Feb. 5, 2013

    Appendix 13: A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower, March 2015

    Selected Bibliography

    About the Author



    Bruce A. Elleman is William V. Pratt Professor of International History at the US Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, USA.