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Coming in from the Cold

Episode 2: The Cold War at Sea

In this episode of Coming in from the Cold, Bill welcomes Rear Admiral Mike McDevitt (Ret.) and Commander Steve Wills (Ret.) to discuss the Maritime Strategy of the 1980s. McDevitt and Wills recall some of the key players surrounding the development of the Maritime Strategy. This includes CNA analysts who used open-source data to hypothesize that the goal of the Soviet Navy was to protect their ballistic missile submarines. Additionally, they point to Secretary of the Navy John Lehman, who helped convince the Reagan administration that a 600-ship fleet was necessary to challenge the Soviet Navy. Finally, the group discusses the key role that perception played in the Maritime Strategy, enhancing deterrence by reinforcing in the Soviet mind the idea that they could not win a war with the United States.

CNA Office of Communications

John Stimpson, Communications Associate