"The health of the US Merchant Marine directly effects national security either by its contribution or lack thereof of strategic sealift. The deplorable conditions of the maritime industries, both ship operators and ship builders, has been well documented and extensively publicized. The reasons for the deterioration of the industry are complex. They are deeply rooted within governmental policies and programs, as well as the vested economic and political interests of those involved. Any serious attempt to do more than slow the decline of the merchant marine will necessitate a new approach to fixing the problem. There is little agreement among the participants, except that something needs to be done to insure sufficient sealift for defense needs. This paper assesses the situation from outside the norm, because the norm hasn't worked in the past and is unlikely to work in the future."
Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC): http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/