Operational commanders have seldom employed submarines in wartime as their prewar plans originally envisioned. In the aftermath of the cold war, third world conflicts involving the United States, either unilaterally of as part of coalition forces, appear more likely. Limitations aside, submarines can be a valuable component of military forces used in such conflicts if properly integrated into the operational plans. Now is the time for commanders to consider the operational factors, functions, and principles-the operational art-that must be implemented to effectively employ submarines before and during a third world conflict. This book examines how submarines can be part of the "artistic color palette" used by commanders confronted with a third world crisis. Submarines will never be a panacea in solving a commander's wartime requirements, but often they will be part of the solution. Objective evaluation and decision making processes are impossible unless operational commanders are aware of the potential ramifications their decisions have on a submarine's contributions to joint forces. A commander's decision, or lack of decision, often weeks before commencement of an operation, will determine the effectiveness of the submarines under his operational control. I argue that time sensitive submarine employment decisions are frequently made too late. The book's conclusion contains operational level findings and recommendations to enhance U.S. and allied submarine contributions in future third world conflicts.