Fighting the Fleet
recognizes that fleets conduct four distinct but interlocking tasks at the operational level of war--striking, screening, scouting, and basing--and that successful operational art is achieved when they are brought to bear in a cohesive, competitive scheme. In explaining these elements and how they are conjoined for advantage, a central theme emerges: despite the utility and importance of jointness among the armed forces, the effective employment of naval power requires a specialized language and understanding of naval concepts that is often diluted or completely lost when too much jointness is introduced.
Woven into the fabric of the book are the fundamental principles of three of the most important naval theorists of the twentieth century: Rear Admiral Bradley Fiske, Rear Admiral J.C. Wylie, and Captain Wayne Hughes. While Cares and Cowden advocate the reinvigoration of combat theory and the appropriate use of operations research, they avoid over-theorizing and have produced a practical guide that empowers fleet planners to wield naval power appropriately and effectively in meeting today's operational and tactical challenges.