Previous chapters have dealt with the systematic development of the Soviet Navy since World War II; the need of the Western Alliance to use the seas during periods of peacetime, crisis, and conflict; and the growth in naval capabilities of both sides. By virtue of geography, economics, and politico-military commitments, the West is more dependent on the seas than the Soviets. Each side assigns missions to its naval forces that reflect these differences. One major U.S. naval mission is to ensure continued access to the seas under a variety of international conditions, while a likely mission for elements of the Soviet Navy is to deny this access.