Since the beginning of the twentieth century, submarines have been the weapon of choice for weaker naval powers that wish to contest a dominant power's control of the seas or its ability to project power ashore from the sea. This is because submarines have been and are likely to remain the weapon system with the highest leverage in a battle for control of the ocean surface. Hence, antisubmarine warfare (ASW) will always re-main the most important element of the U.S. Navy's core mission-sea control.
Cote, Owen R. Jr, "The Third Battle" (2003). The Newport Papers. 16.