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New US Navy chief releases new priorities to confront great power rivalry

Admiral Lisa Franchetti, the new US Navy Chief of Naval Operations, has released her priorities to help the US Navy regain the initiative and maintain its edge as the world’s pre-eminent naval force.

Admiral Lisa Franchetti, the new US Navy Chief of Naval Operations, has released her priorities to help the US Navy regain the initiative and maintain its edge as the world’s pre-eminent naval force.

Since the end of the Second World War, the United States Navy has been seen as the world’s pre-eminent naval power, responsible for maintaining the stability and security of the global maritime commons to the benefit of the post-war economic, political, and strategic order.

However, in aftermath of the Cold War, the global centre of geopolitical, economic, and strategic power has shifted away from a world dominated by North America and the European continent towards the ocean-centric Indo-Pacific, a new power has arisen to challenge the post-Second World War order.

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Xi Jinping’s ambitions for the ancient Middle Kingdom have leveraged decades of truly astronomical economic growth off the back of the US-established and maintained world order to embark on the largest peacetime modernisation and build-up of military capabilities since the Second World War, fundamentally transforming the People’s Liberation Army into one of the world’s pre-eminent military forces.

For ADM Lisa Franchetti, the new US Navy Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), reasserting America’s commitment to global peace and security, and ensuring the capacity of the US Navy to maintain the post-Second World War order is a paramount focus for her tenure as CNO.

Outlining this emphasis, ADM Franchetti, in a paper titled, America’s warfighting Navy, highlighted her priorities in the era of great power competition with an emphasis on three key priorities:

  • Warfighting: Delivering decisive combat power.
  • Warfighters: Strengthen the Navy team.
  • Foundation: Build trust, align resources, be ready.

Beginning with the priority of focusing on warfighting, ADM Franchetti stressed that the US Navy would “view everything we do through a warfighting lens to ensure our Navy remains the world’s pre-eminent fighting force”.

Building on this, ADM Franchetti said, “We will prioritise the readiness and capabilities required to fight and win at sea, and the logistics and shore support required to keep our Navy fit to fight. We recognise that we will never fight alone. We will advance naval integration with the Marine Corps and synchronise and align our warfighting efforts with the Joint Force. We will design and drive interoperability with our allies and partners to deliver combined lethality.”

Emphasising the individual sailors and aviators of the US Navy, ADM Franchetti stated, “We will use the principles of mission command to empower leaders at all levels to operate in uncertain, complex, and rapidly changing environments, ready to take initiative and bold action with confidence.

"We will build strong warfighting teams, recruiting and retaining talented people from across the rich fabric of America. We will provide world-class training and education to our sailors and civilians, honing their skills and giving them every opportunity to succeed,” ADM Franchetti explained.

Finally, building on a strong foundation is an essential priority for ADM Franchetti, which she explained, saying, “We will earn and reinforce the trust and confidence of the American people every day. We will work with Congress to field and maintain the world’s most powerful Navy and the infrastructure that sustains it. We will team with industry and academia to solve our most pressing challenges.”

Unpacking this further, ADM Franchetti added, “We will cooperate with the interagency to bolster integrated deterrence. We will align what we do ashore with the warfighting needs of our fleet.”

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