FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 18, 2012
By Katherine H. Crawford, Office of Naval Research
ARLINGTON, Va.—The Office of Naval Research (ONR) hosted an acclaimed expert June 18 to speak about maritime strategy in the Pacific, an area of vital importance to the Department of the Navy and nation.
Dr. T. X. Hammes, a distinguished research fellow at the Institute for National Strategic Studies, National Defense University, gave a presentation titled “Offshore Control: A Strategy for an Unlikely Conflict.” This strategy for a confrontation with China—which he views as unlikely—lists assumptions and end goals; prioritizes them; and provides a “theory of victory.” Hammes’ insights into strategic issues in the South China Sea region are based on his 30-year career in the Marine Corps and academic research compiled over decades.
Commenting on traditional U.S. military views on China, Hammes said, “It seemed to me that we never had a coherent strategy, and we were always focusing on technical and tactical innovation. … Let’s get out of the tactical mire of air-sea battle, move up to the strategic level and have these conversations” with U.S. allies. In Hammes’ view, having a strategy in place is key “to prevent a war from starting; and if you can’t prevent a war from starting, you’d better have a way to win it,” he said.
“Hammes’ discussion is part of ONR’s Distinguished Lecture Series, which provides an opportunity to engage and understand a variety of topics relevant to the science and technology arena,” said Dr. Larry Schuette, director of ONR’s Office of Innovation.
Also an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, Hammes is the author of “The Sling and the Stone: On War in the Twenty-First Century” and “Forgotten Warriors: The 1st Provisional Marine Brigade, the Corps Ethos, and the Korean War,” as well as more than 100 articles and opinion pieces in the Washington Post, New York Times, Jane’s Defence Weekly and professional journals.
About the Office of Naval Research
The Department of the Navy’s Office of Naval Research (ONR) provides the science and technology necessary to maintain the Navy and Marine Corps’ technological advantage. Through its affiliates, ONR is a leader in science and technology with engagement in 50 states, 30 countries, 1,035 institutions of higher learning and more than 900 industry partners. ONR employs approximately 1,065 people, comprising uniformed, civilian and contract personnel, with additional employees at the Naval Research Lab in Washington, D.C.