PENTAGON: “It’s perfectly acceptable to say ‘beat Army,'” the Chief of Naval Operations began, and the assembled sailors laughed.

Adm. Jonathan Greenert was making a football joke, but there’s a serious strategic point beneath the smiles. At this morning’s celebration of the Navy’s 237th birthday, the service’s normal pride on such occasions was redoubled by a strong sense that, after a decade supporting ground operations in Afghanistan (landlocked) and Iraq (nearly so), the administration’s refocus on the Pacific means it is now the Navy’s turn to shine. As Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said in his remarks just minutes after the CNO’s, “if you look at the new strategy… it is a maritime-centric strategy.” Keep reading →