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to   the   defense   of   some   45   sovereign   nations besides its own territories. Even this total does not completely   reflect   the   magnitude   of   the   total defense  problem  for  the  United  States  armed forces. Although  NATO  is  still  our  number  one alliance, our national strategy no longer focuses on  the  central  front  of  Europe  to  the  exclusion of other areas. Our strategy now recognizes with greater clarity the importance of the Norwegian northern  flank.  Likewise,  it  appreciates  the importance  of  the  Greek  and  Turkish  southern flanks. It recognizes the importance of the Indian Ocean  to  our  interests  and  the  interests  of our  friends  and  allies  around  the  globe. Finally, our new national strategy has begun to appreciate how critical the Far East is to our well- being. Equally   worthy   of   our   concern   is   the long-term  security  of  seaborne  trade  in  the western  Pacific.  United  States  trade  with  Asian countries  approximates  its  trade  with  Western Europe  and  is  expected  to  continue  to  expand.  The Asia-Pacific   region   has   become   an   important strategic  center, equaling   that   of   Western Europe. The   United   States   and   its   allies,   not   the Soviets,  are  the  nations  who  must  exercise  sea control in any conflict. We must also control the North   Atlantic   and   beyond   the   Greenland- Iceland-United Kingdom Gap into the Norwegian Sea.  The  Soviets  must  never  rest  comforted  in  the belief  that  their  northern  bases  and  forces  are invulnerable  to  attack  from  the  sea.  They  are vulnerable,  and  we  must  keep  them  so. SUMMARY The two major navies in the world today are those  of  the  United  States  and  the  USSR.  The mission of our Navy is to be prepared to conduct prompt,  sustained  combat  operations  at  sea  in support  of  the  national  interests  of  the  United States. The peacetime mission of the U.S. Navy is to deter the outbreak of armed conflict in which our nation  could  become  involved.  The  Navy  deters such conflict through strategic nuclear deterrence and naval presence. The  wartime  mission  of  the  Navy  has  two basic  functions:  first,  the  Navy  must  be  able  to perform in a hostile environment; and second, it must  exercise  sea  control  and  power  projection. The Soviet navy’s policy is based on a Soviet drive to extend its national influence through the use of maritime activities. To support the Soviet objectives,  the  USSR  has  significantly  improved its  warship,  aircraft,  and  weapons  capabilities. The  Soviets  have  made  their  presence  felt  through show-the-flag  operations  that  include  large  in- creases in at-sea and distant deployment opera- tions. They  have  committed  themselves  to developing  and  maintaining  a  navy  “second  to none.” This  chapter  has  presented  an  interesting parallel   between   the   life   of   Soviet   sailors   as compared to that of the American sailors. It has also  presented  some  of  the  differences  of  the military  efforts  and  forces  of  the  United  States and  the  USSR. The Soviets have achieved significant advan- tages  in  strategic,  nuclear,  and  conventional capabilities. This achievement is a result of two decades   of   steadily   increasing   Soviet   military expenditures,  coupled  with  a  long  period  of Western  restraint.  These  advantages  have  led directly to increased risks to free-world security. Strong U.S. leadership and the sustained support of U.S. defense programs and coalition measures are  essential  for  the  United  States  to  meet  the challenges ahead. International ties between the United States and its allies have resulted in the United States being  committed  to  the  defense  of  many  sovereign nations  throughout  the  world.  The  purpose  of these   elaborate   alliance   systems   is   to   pre- vent  armed  aggression  against  allied  nations. An  armed  attack  against  one  or  more  of  these allied nations shall be considered an attack against them all. REFERENCES Basic Military Requirements, NAVEDTRA 12043, Naval  Education  and  Training  Program Management  Support  Activity,  Pensacola, Fla.,  1992. 1-21

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