Professionally converted for accurate flowing-text e-book format reproduction, this unique book examines the ability of American forces to control inland waterways through riverine operations. Eighty percent of the world's maritime agencies operate solely in the green or brown water environments, since these water routes serve as the primary lines of communication for many nations around the globe. Since the end of the Vietnam War, the U.S. armed forces have effectively abandoned the ability to control inland waterways by failing to build or maintain a force capable of projecting seapower into the brown water environment. By ceding this decisive terrain to our adversaries, during this extended period of irregular warfare, the United States risks failure in future operating environments. This paper examines the U.S. Navy's most recent exploit in the brown water environment of Iraq and discusses their severe force-space imbalance with a comparison to the Vietnam-era riverine force. It also sheds light on what it means to control inland waterways, who should take on this responsibility, and how the Iraq insurgency held this decisive terrain. Finally, the paper draws conclusions concerning future brown water environments; and recommends ways the Navy can grow a suitable riverine force and potential ways to improve joint training opportunities.
Controlling the Inland Waterways * Projecting Seapower into the Brown Water Environment * Ceding Decisive Terrain to our Adversaries * Conclusions and Recommendations * Bibliography
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