Suppose the Soviet Union invaded Western Europe. Suppose the global war that was triggered remained merely "conventional."
Few can imagine the Soviets actually doing such a thing, yet the U.S. Navy has a daring new plan in place for fighting a global conventional war with the Soviet Union. It's called "The Maritime Strategy," and it's designed to both deter the Soviets from attacking Europe and defeat them if they do.
The only trouble is, as Jack Beatty discusses at length in the Atlantic, some liberal and conservative military thinkers say the Navy plan is reckless, too expensive, unnecessary and unrealistically optimistic. They also worry that the strategy would quickly escalate a conventional war into a nuclear one.
Simply put, at the outbreak of a conventional war with the U.S.S.R., the Navy plan would safeguard Europe's sea lanes not by defending convoys but by using its carrier-based planes to quickly destroy Soviet submarines in their home bases in northern Russia. Simultaneous naval and amphibious attacks on the edges of the Soviet land mass would pin down its land forces and reduce troops available to fight in Europe.