Navy Role in Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) — Background and Issues for Congress Page: 4 of 6
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more than 90 percent of the world's commerce moves by sea, protection of merchant
shipping from potential terrorist networks is critical. United States naval forces are
well trained to carry out the mission of deterring, delaying, and disrupting the
movement of terrorists and terrorist-related material at sea. However, the United
States cannot accomplish this monumental task alone. We are broadening our
relationship with the navies of international allies to prosecute the GWOT. We are
expanding the Proliferation Security Initiative to other countries and working bilateral
boarding initiatives in all hemispheres.
We are also integrating intelligence and command and control systems with
other government agencies like the Department of Homeland Security to effectively
evaluate the maritime environment and anything that could adversely influence the
security, safety or economy of America and our allies. We continue to develop the
Navy's role in the Maritime Domain Awareness concept, including ship tracking and
surveillance, to identify threats as early and as distant from our borders as possible in
order to determine the optimal course of action. We are working with the Department
of Homeland Security to develop a comprehensive National Maritime Security
Response Plan to address specific security threats and command and control
Navy Irregular Warfare Office. In July 2008, the Navy established the Navy
Irregular Warfare Office, which is intended, in the Navy's words, to "institutionalize
current ad hoc efforts in IW [irregular warfare] missions of counterterrorism and
counterinsurgency and the supporting missions of information operations, intelligence
operations, foreign internal defense and unconventional warfare as they apply to
[counterterrorism] and [counterinsurgency]." The office works closely with U.S. Special
Operations Command, and reports to the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for
information, plans, and strategy.9
Global Maritime Partnership (Previously 1,000-Ship Navy). The Global
Maritime Partnership, previously known as the 1,000-ship Navy concept, is a U.S. Navy
initiative to achieve an enhanced degree of cooperation between the U.S. Navy and
foreign navies, coast guards, and maritime police forces, for the purpose of ensuring
global maritime security against common threats. The Navy states that
the future of maritime security depends more than ever on international cooperation
and understanding. There is no one nation that can provide a solution alone. A global
maritime partnership is required that unites maritime forces, port operators,
commercial shippers, and international, governmental and non-governmental agencies
to address mutual concerns. Ongoing discussions of a "1,000-ship navy" continue.
The name itself captures the scope of the effort. The concept is not actually about
having 1,000 international ships at sea. Rather, it is more about capabilities, such as
speed, agility and adaptability. Membership in this navy is purely voluntary and has
no legal or encumbering ties. It is a free-form, self-organizing network of maritime
8 U.S. Department of the Navy. Highlights of the Department of the Navy FY2009 Budget.
Washington, 2008. (February 2008) pp. 2-1 through 2-3.
9 Zachary M. Peterson, "New Navy Irregular Warfare Office Works to Address ISR Shortfall,"
Inside the Navy, September 1, 2008.
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Navy Role in Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) — Background and Issues for Congress, report, September 11, 2008; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc809025/m1/4/: accessed September 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.