Undeterred by their failure to ransom a U.S. flagged cargo ship, Somali pirates have since brazenly hijacked four more ships in the Gulf of Aden. Heritage has been studying maritime security for years, first issuing a report in 2005. Our latest 2008 report, Securing the High Seas: America’s Global Maritime Constabulary Power, recommended:

  • Doubling the U.S. Coast Guard’s active and reserve end strength over the next decade and accelerating Coast Guard modernization;
  • Expanding the Navy’s stated goal of 313 ships by an additional 37 ships (the preponderance of which should be nuclear powered, including additional nuclear-powered submarines) and focusing Navy operations more on sea control and assured access and less on maritime engagement and security missions; and
  • Establishing a Common Maritime Security Fleet Fund to bolster modernization.

Contrast these policies with the Obama administration’s proposed defense budget which orders the Navy to delay investments in next-generation destroyers and aircraft carriers.