Naval Agility

Critical Initiatives

Nations have historically struggled with resource limitations as they sought to advance comprehensive security strategies. The way a nation prevails through history depends on their agility in adapting to their evolving security environment, successfully leading change, and conserving precious resources.

This paper encapsulates earlier works, ‘Agile Defense’ (2011), and its sequel, ‘Agile Defense: Sustainable Cost Reduction on the Path to Greater Agility’ (2014). It continues the discourse on the imperative of institutional and operational agility, with a focus on the Navy and Marine Corps. This update reflects shifting priorities in the emerging threat environment of 2019. That said, the common threads that define, strengthen and operationalize agility persist: adaptability, innovation, collaboration, visibility, and velocity.

Our goal in publishing this paper is to highlight the challenges facing our United States naval forces and to set our views on the most compelling ways forward to address those challenges. This point of view builds on our leading knowledge of the government defense environment from working with defense organizations across the world, and further draws on specific insights gathered through interviews with senior naval officials.

In short, Navy and Marine Corps leaders must move forward in achieving a culture of agility, accountability, and enhanced lethality to address the requirements of the modern security landscape and the challenges presented by an alarming array of actors in that environment.

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