This thesis analyzes a range of possible future scenarios governing security conditions in the Persian Gulf, in order to determine future requirements for forward-deployed Naval forces in the region. Examination of the past 30 years of U.S. Naval activity in the Persian Gulf provides examples of a full spectrum of deployment options ranging from a nominal presence in the 1970's to the recent deployment of forces unmatched in naval history. Two contrasting scenarios, "best case" and "worst case" are proposed by way of establishing a framework to evaluate the naval presence requirements that may arise in the future. Factors that could effect naval presence in the Gulf are success or failure of nationbuilding in Iraq, the path Iran takes regarding weapons of mass destruction, the progress of the Global War on Terrorism and the perception of American forces by the Arab world. These scenarios reveal the need for sustained naval presence in order to meet the future trends in the Persian Gulf. The Navy's recently implemented Fleet Response Plan calls for "deployment for a purpose." The purpose of naval forces in the Persian Gulf is clear: to provide persistent maritime dominance, power projection and effective crisis response.
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