Subs and the New Arctic

Two crucial tasks for the U.S. Navy are to provide security for sea lines of communication (SLOCs), and to defend the U.S. homeland from afar. But the shape of the landscape for 21 st century sea power is changing fast — figuratively and literally. China’s growing naval strength — especially submarine strength — has already been widely discussed by many defense analysts and the Pentagon. The resurgence of Russia’s nuclear sub fleet, both fast-attacks (SSNs) and boomers (SSBNs), is also getting headlines of late — and not reassuring ones. And while the U.S. Navy’s newest sub classes have made quantum leaps in stealth and sensors, in