I would submit to you that Admiral Mahan himself was only secondarily a propagandist for his views and primarily an analytical historian who derived from his studies and writings demonstrable cause and effect relationships between sea power and national greatness.
Manship, H. Kaminer
"Mahan's Concepts of Sea Power,"
Naval War College Review: Vol. 17
, Article 3.
Available at: http://digital-commons.usnwc.edu/nwc-review/vol17/iss1/3