USNI Mission: Don’t fix what ain’t broke

by Craig Hooper on February 28, 2011

I have been traveling, shop so I am a bit late to the party. But I do not like the proposed USNI mission statement change, viagra nor do I appreciate the attempt to ram this change through via a proxy vote without wider discussion. A century-old mission statement–that did USNI good service–deserves at least a year of consideration by the membership.

Instead, I get an email forwarded to me written by the distinguished Norman Polmar:

I am writing to you–fellow members of the U.S. Naval Institute–to urge that you vote against the proposed change of the USNI mission statement that is being mailed out with the March issue of the Proceedings magazine.

The current statement is refined from the original, 1873 mission written at the establishment of the USNI (see below). I believe that USNI members who believe in the principles of our 138-year-old professional organization should strongly object to three words/terms in the proposed change of the mission statement:

(1) “an independent forum advocating”

I believe these words are self-contradictory. The USNI has established itself as the leading international naval–and increasingly “defense”–forum because it has not “advocated” anything but has let authors (military and civilian, of all ranks, genders, and even nationalities) express their opinions. “Advocating” a position will unquestionably deter the USNI serving as an independent forum.

(2) “global sea power”

What does this mean? The Soviet Union from 1970 (the massive Okean exercise) until 1991 was certainly a “global sea power”–does the USNI advocate a rehabilitation of Russian sea power? Or a buildup of Chinese global sea power? Or Japanese? Or …? And, does “global sea power” include a strong merchant marine–which we do not have and will not develop in the foreseeable future? Or fishing fleet? Or ….? Again, “global sea power” is ambiguous and misleading.

(3) “economic prosperity”

Again, for whom? The world?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Craig Hooper March 8, 2011 at 1:22 pm

You and me both. This USNI thing just….looks like John “power corrupts, but absolute power is pretty neat” Lehman is up to his old bureaucratic shenanigans. Again.

Anybody remember the Ill Winds scandal? ‘Bout time that came back up again.


Karl Zimmerman March 7, 2011 at 5:14 pm

I voted “Against” only because there was no “HELL NO!” option…


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