Naval War College Review


Ken Booth


The aim of this essay is to show that naval power can be an unfortunate influence on foreign policy as well as a useful instruments that naval power can contribute to the distortion of foreign policy, as well as to its support; that it can be the vehicle for irrational as well as rational behavior; and that it can bite the hand that feeds it, as well as snarling at adversaries. The essay is an attempt to present the other side of the coin to the neoClausewitzian emphasis on clinical instrumentality, in which armed forces are conceived in terms of the clear-cut missions which they perform in the pursuit of political goals.