Strategic Shaping Capability of the Amphibious Force: The Case for Capital Ship Status for the Amphibious Fleet [open pdf - 2MB]
From the Thesis Abstract: "US Navy amphibious ship shortfalls threaten the ability of maritime forces to meet current and future operational requirements. The post-Cold War era is characterized by a marked increase in the use of Amphibious Ready Groups with embarked Marine Expeditionary Units as the preferred crisis and contingency response force. Despite this trend, resource prioritization to the amphibious fleet is lacking when compared to current capital ship vessel programs. The increasingly contested nature of the global commons places United States power projection capabilities at risk. The current and future operating environment requires capacity that exceeds the amphibious ship inventory. Amphibious forces provide operational flexibility and directly support strategic shaping activities. A renewed focus on modernizing and maintaining the amphibious fleet is required to achieve the objectives outlined in current and emerging operating concepts and support national strategic interests."
Ike Skelton Combined Arms Research Library Digital Library: http://cgsc.contentdm.oclc.org/