Launch: “Oceans Ventured: Winning the Cold War at Sea”

  • Wednesday, 12 September, 2018
    18:00 - 19:30

A discussion to mark the launch of “Oceans Ventured: Winning the Cold War at Sea” the new book by former US Secretary of the Navy John Lehman.

Dr Lehman was joined by Rt Hon Lord West of Spithead GCB DSC, former First Sea Lord; Dr Kori Schake, Deputy Director General of the International Institute for Strategic Studies; and Rt Hon Lord Robertson of Port Ellen, former NATO Secretary-General.

About the book

In Oceans Ventured, John Lehman reveals for the first time the untold story of the naval operations that played a major role in winning the Cold War.

When Ronald Reagan took office in January 1981, the United States and NATO were losing the Cold War. The USSR had superiority in conventional weapons and manpower in Europe, and had embarked on a massive program to gain naval preeminence. But Reagan already had a plan to end the Cold War without armed conflict. Reagan led a bipartisan Congress to restore American command of the seas by building the navy back to six hundred major ships and fifteen aircraft carriers. He adopted a bold new strategy to deploy the growing fleet to northern waters around the periphery of the Soviet Union and demonstrate that the NATO fleet could sink Soviet submarines, defeat Soviet bomber and missile forces, and strike aggressively deep into the Soviet homeland if the USSR attacked NATO in Central Europe. New technology in radars, sensors, and electronic warfare made ghosts of American submarines and surface fleets. The United States proved that it could effectively operate carriers and aircraft in the ice and storms of Arctic waters, which no other navy had attempted. The Soviets, suffocated by this naval strategy, were forced to bankrupt their economy trying to keep pace. Shortly thereafter the Berlin Wall fell, and the USSR disbanded.

About the Author

Dr John Lehman is Chairman of J.F. Lehman & Company, a private equity investment firm. He served for six years as Secretary of the Navy. He has served as staff member to Dr. Henry Kissinger on the National Security Council, as delegate to the Force Reductions Negotiations in Vienna and as Deputy Director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. He served 25 years as a reserve navy aviator.

Dr. Lehman was a member of the 9/11 Commission and a member of the National Defense Commission. Dr. Lehman holds a B.S. from St. Joseph’s University, a B.A. and M.A. from Cambridge University and a Ph.D from the University of Pennsylvania. He is currently an Hon. Fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge University, and is a member of the Board of Overseers of the School of Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. He serves as Chairman of the Princess Grace Foundation USA.

Dr. Lehman has written numerous books, including On Seas of Glory, Command of the Seas and Making War.