May 4, 2009

US Navy working on seasteads

We are not the only ones to recognize the opportunities offered by the ocean’s dynamic geography. [From The Economist](

> Foreign military bases have both political and practical difficulties. “Seabasing” may offer a solution

> BASING troops and equipment on foreign soil is fraught with difficulty. Even friendly countries can cut up rough at crucial moments, as America found when Turkey restricted the use of its territory and airspace during the invasion of Iraq in 2003. In an occupied country the situation is worse, as a base is a magnet for attacks. Nor can you always put your base where you need it. If a country does not want to host it, and cannot be bribed to, that—short of invasion—is that.

> But no one owns the high seas, and partisans rarely have access to serious naval power. So America, still the world’s only superpower and thus the one with most need for foreign bases, is investigating the idea of building military bases on the ocean. They would, in effect, be composed of parts that can be rearranged like giant Lego bricks. The armed forces could assemble them when needed, add to them, subtract from them and eventually dismantle them when they are no longer required—and all without leaving a trace.

While I’m sure the Navy came up with the idea of modular sea bases independently, the article’s use of the word “Seabasing” looks an awfully lot like our influence.