Contested freedom of navigation, welcome back.  Absent from mainstream debates about the relevance of military power in international politics since the end of the Cold War, until recently naval power had come to embody the linear progression underwriting Francis Fukuyama’s ‘end of history.’[1] Since the United States had no major enemy left to fight as the Soviet navy faded into the twilight of history, freedom of navigation stood without threats.  The ocean had become the staging platform for the uncontested projection of power of the U.S. and its allies.  Exploiting command of the sea in support of expeditionary campaigns from the Balkans to the Middle East replaced Cold War concerns over securing sea control in the North Atlantic or the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.  Reflecting upon this doctrinal transformation in the mid-1990s, Geoffrey Till remarked that the emergence of requirements for ‘“good order at sea” to manage resource depletion and environmental challenges further added a new dimension to an overall ‘post-modern’ shift in naval affairs.[2]

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