Waiting Game

By Dan Dupont / October 21, 2008 at 5:00 AM

Inside the Navy this week runs a story on how the service sees the next administration's National Security Strategy as key to its future course:

“In very real terms, the ways and means must align with the objective the nation wants to achieve,” Adm. Patrick Walsh, the vice chief of naval operations, said at a Marine Corps Association and Marine Corps Combat Development Command dinner here on Oct. 15.

“The overarching national guidance is impactful to a service,” Walsh added, calling the implications of the strategy “substantial” for the Navy.

The next administration faces key Navy policy decisions, such as the fate of the next-generation DDG-1000 destroyer program, the make-up of the Maritime Preposition Force (Future) and how to reach the service’s goal of a 313-ship fleet in the 2020 time frame. How the Navy proceeds will be largely based on the next administration’s broad national security strategy, the four-star admiral said.

Walsh expressed hope that the document would be completed within 180 days. However, the Bush administration, when first elected in 2000, did not release its national security strategy until the fall of 2002, “because of concerns that it would be out of date as soon as it was printed,” he said.