Naval War College Review

Article Title

The Race to the Bottom


The growing need to protect global shipping routes and the intensification of maritime territorial conflicts have led to a naval arms buildup around the world. Perhaps the most-cited example of this new focus on naval power is the increasing number of countries building or planning new aircraft carriers, but many analysts are more concerned about the proliferation of modern attack submarines. Often considered the ultimate weapon of naval warfare, submarines are versatile platforms able to attack surface ships, conduct antisubmarine war- fare (ASW), deploy mines, and, as they are increasingly equipped with missiles, attack land targets.