We need your help determining what authors and issues will be highlighted at CFAR 2017!  The authors of the top vote-getting articles will be invited to speak at the May 1st event on the article topic, so consider what you’d like an update on or what author you’d like to press with questions.  All CIMSEC members are eligible to vote at the bottom of the page for:

  • Up to 5 nominees in the CIMSEC category; and,
  • Up to 2 nominees in the CNA category

If you’re not yet a CIMSEC member, it’s free and easy to sign up here for eligibility to vote.  And don’t forget to RSVP to the event!

As always, thanks to the generous support of CNA and the U.S. Naval Institute for helping us bring you this event, and congratulations to the nominees!

CNA Category Nominees

Becoming a Great Maritime Power: A Chinese Dream
Mike McDevitt, CNA

In November 2012, then-president Hu Jintao declared that China’s objective was to become a strong or great maritime power. This report, based on papers written by China experts for this CNA project, explores that decision and the implications it has for the United States. It analyzes Chinese thinking on what a maritime power is, why Beijing wants to become a maritime power, what shortfalls it believes it must address in order to become a maritime power, and when it believes it will become a maritime power (as it defines the term). The report then explores the component pieces of China’s maritime power—its navy, coast guard, maritime militia, merchant marine, and shipbuilding and fishing industries. It also addresses some policy options available to the U.S. government to prepare for—and, if deemed necessary, mitigate—the impact that China’s becoming a maritime power would have for U.S. interests.

Naval Coercion and Escalation Control in South Asia
Ryan W. French, CNA

South Asia’s nuclear-armed neighbors India and Pakistan are locked in a decades-long enduring rivalry, with no end in sight.  Both sides are investing heavily in their nuclear arsenals, fielding new delivery systems at a rapid pace.  Meanwhile, ceasefire violations are a common occurrence along the Line of Control in Kashmir, and Pakistan-based terrorist groups actively plot against Indian cities and military bases.  South Asia analysts have long warned that the next major terrorist attack may prompt New Delhi to order a military reprisal against Pakistan.  In the ensuing conflict, escalation could be swift due to the combined effect of mistrust and miscalculation in the fog of war.  To date, the majority of these analysts have focused on air and land warfare dynamics; however, India and Pakistan wield an array of naval options that might be employed during a crisis for signaling or compellence.  This presentation examines these various options and their associated escalation risks, drawing from recent Track II dialogues with regional experts and studies on conflict expansion.

The Future of U.S.-India Naval Relations
Nilanthi Samaranayake, CNA

CNA conducted this study to determine how the United States can advance its naval and maritime relationship with India in the coming five to 10 years. U.S.-India defense relations, especially in the naval domain, have expanded in the past two decades and soared under Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The study analyzes the key factors that have shaped the course of relations between the U.S. Navy (USN) and the Indian Navy and considers India’s possible future trajectories and how they may impact bilateral naval ties. CNA concludes that key factors affecting the evolution of the USN-Indian Navy relationship are mostly beyond the control of the two navies themselves. Despite the wider diplomatic and geopolitical circumstances, there are many overlapping areas of ongoing interest between the two navies that favor closer ties. Finally, this study suggests viewing the increasing importance of the region west of India as a promising area of bilateral naval security cooperation.

Use of Unmanned Systems by the Russian Military
Samuel Bendett, CNA

Over the past decade, Russian armed forces and Russian defense industry have made strides in developing, testing, and fielding domestically-produced unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). While nominally lagging behind their Western and Asian counterparts in UAV reach, distance, and strike capability, Russia nonetheless was successful in using smaller and lighter concepts for ISR purposes, both at home and in conflicts abroad. Specifically, the war in Eastern Ukraine showcased Russia’s use of unmanned aerial systems that enhanced Russian forces’ ability to more accurately target Ukrainian opposition and gain significant advantage on the battlefield. This success was more remarkable considering that Moscow-aligned forces used less-sophisticated UAV technology than is currently in service with Western armies, prompting reviews of emerging new tactics, techniques, and procedures across Russian armed forces. This presentation will take a closer look at current and future UAV developments in Russia, focusing on the novel ways that Russia is using its military in recent crises.

Weighted West, Focused on the Indian Ocean and Cooperating across the Indo-Pacific: The Indian Navy’s New Maritime Strategy, Capabilities, and Diplomacy
Satu Limaye, CNA

In this paper, CNA examines how the Indian Navy’s new maritime strategy and missions, evolving capabilities, and vigorous diplomacy backed by India’s political leadership and Ministry of External Affairs are heralding a more cooperative and activist Indian Navy in what India calls the “Indo-Pacific” region and what U.S. defense officials refer to as the “Indo-Asia-Pacific” region. The Indian Navy’s focus will be on the country’s immediate neighbors in the Indian Ocean and strongly driven by its self-proclaimed “imperatives” (e.g., maritime boundaries, energy trade, protection of overseas Indians and primary areas of geographic interest to India’s west). But a noteworthy emerging feature is India’s expansion of maritime outreach and engagement in the East Asian and Pacific regions. The salience of maritime issues in the East and South China Seas, India’s membership in mechanisms that could promote maritime cooperation, improved bilateral ties to regional countries, and the improvement of U.S.-India relations create opportunities for further Indian maritime engagement to its east with regional and extra-regional partners, including the United States.

CIMSEC Category Nominees

Don’t Give Up on the Littoral Combat Ship – Kaitlin Smith

Other Than War: HA/DR and Geopolitics – Joshua Tallis

Is Sea Shepherd a Navy? A CIMSEC Debate – Chris Rawley, Claude Berube, and Ryan Mewett

Naval Strategy Returns to Lead the POM – Steve Wills

Russia’s Manoeuvring of Conflicts for Enhancing Military Exports – Vidya Sagar Reddy

Sea Control 127 – Dr. Tom Fedyszyn on Russian Navy Ops, Acquisition, and Doctrine – Dr. Tom Fedyszyn

Distributed Lethality: The Future of the Helicopter Sea Combat Community Lieutenant Commander – Michael S. Silver

Terrorists on the Ocean: Sea Monsters in the 21st Century – Robert N. Hein

For Want of a Broadside: Why the Marines Need More Naval Fire Support – Vince DePinto

A Niger Delta Militant Group Declares War on the Nigerian Navy – Dirk Steffen

Norway Faces a New Era of Russian Realpolitik in the Arctic – Daniel Thomassen

Circles in Surface Warfare Training  – Steve Wills

Arctic Security and Legal Issues in the 21st Century: An Interview with CDR Sean Fahey – Sean Fahey

Riding A New Wave of Professionalization and Militarization: Sansha City’s Maritime Militia – Conor Kennedy and Andrew Erickson

Innovative Leadership Development: Why and How – Joe Schuman

I Held an Amazon “Flipped” Meeting At My Squadron and Here’s What Happened – Jared Wilhelm

Farsi Island: Surface Warfare’s Wake-up Call – Alan Cummings

Japan’s Izumo-Class Helicopter Destroyer: An Aircraft Carrier In Disguise – Matthew Gamble



*As a reminder, only CIMSEC members are eligible to vote, but it’s free and easy to become one.*

Fostering the Discussion on Securing the Seas.

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