Category Archives: Project Trident

Project Trident Call for Articles: Regional Maritime Powers and Strategies

By Jimmy Drennan

Submissions Due: August 31, 2020
Week Dates: September 14-18, 2020

Article Length: 1000-3000 words
Submit to:

The maritime world, as vast and interconnected as it is, exhibits unique circumstances and conditions across its many locales. From the Caribbean littoral to the Baltic Sea, to the Bay of Bengal and the Sea of Japan, specific maritime regions each have their own challenges and context.

CIMSEC is partnering with the Yokosuka Council on Asia Pacific Studies, the Institute for Security Policy Kiel University, and the Dominican Command and Naval Staff School to launch the latest call for articles of Project Trident to highlight the impact of regional maritime powers and strategies on future international maritime security.

Emerging areas of interest include the interconnectedness of regional theaters (e.g., the Black Sea/Baltic Sea nexus, the East China and South China Seas, the Caribbean and East Pacific nexus, and others) and how regional maritime strategies and forces can integrate and adapt to a future of great power competition.

What challenges do maritime forces of smaller and medium powers face in their regions and what strategies may they adopt to confront them? What are the perspectives and roles of smaller and medium maritime powers in great power competition between major states? Is the current structure of the region’s maritime forces appropriate to its maritime interests and the threats they face? What is the longer-term view on how regional maritime powers could evolve? And what role can regional organizations play?

Authors are invited to write on these topics and more as we look to understand the implications of regional maritime powers and strategies on the future of international maritime security.

For this call for articles we are excited to collaborate with our partners, including:

The Yokosuka Council on Asia-Pacific Studies (YCAPS) promotes the study of strategic, diplomatic, and legal issues affecting the Asia-Pacific Region. Capitalizing on Yokosuka City’s unique pool of global expertise and rich maritime heritage, YCAPS builds networks between individuals, promotes dialogue, provides world-class educational opportunities, and enables professional mentorship.

The Institute for Security Policy at Kiel University (ISPK) provides research, analysis, and commentary on conflicts and strategic issues. ISPK is committed to furthering the security policy discourse in Germany and abroad by way of focused, interdisciplinary, policy-oriented research. Moreover, the Institute is involved in the promotion of talented, young academics. Complementing research, publications, and teaching, members of the Institute advise decision-makers in government, academia, media, and business. ISPK’s main research foci lie in German and European foreign and security policy, international security architecture, nonproliferation of nuclear weapons and disarmament, stabilization of fragile states, maritime security, and asymmetric challenges such as transnational terrorism. In addition, ISPK’s innovative Kiel Seapower Series contains symposia, workshops, podcasts, publications, and much more.

The Dominican Command and Naval Staff School is the Dominican Republic Navy’s advanced education program for naval officers to develop leadership and strategic skills for the decision-making process in naval command functions. It provides officers with the necessary capabilities for the execution of naval operations under the framework of international law and regional cooperation. The school receives both officers from other national forces and international guests, and seeks in the dissemination of naval doctrine an element that strengthens both joint and combined operations.

We hope this call for articles generates wide interest from many maritime regions and makes for a diverse range of topics and discussion. Please send all submissions to

View the results of this topic week here.

Jimmy Drennan is the President of CIMSEC. Contact him at

Featured Image: AQABA, Jordan (May 18, 2015) Military service members from Belgium, France, Jordan, Pakistan and the United States employ various ships and aircraft to conduct a simulated assault on a target during Eager Lion 2015 (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Paul Coover/Released)

Announcing the CIMSEC and U.S. Naval Institute Short Story Fiction Contest

By the Editorial Staff of CIMSEC and USNI Proceedings

Fiction has long served as a powerful means for exploring hypotheticals and envisioning alternatives. CIMSEC and the U.S. Naval Institute have partnered to invite authors to share their vision of the future of international maritime security, in this world or another. Authors can explore the future and flesh out concepts for how potential conflicts may play out. They could probe the past, and use historical fiction as a device to explore alternative histories. Authors are invited to submit their stories along these lines and more as they craft compelling narratives.


Open to all contributors—active-duty military, reservists, veterans, and civilians.

Submission Guidelines

Word Count: 5,000 words maximum, 1,000 word minimum (excludes any endnotes/sources). Include word count on title page of short story but do not include author name(s) on title page or within the short story. Submit essay as a Word document online at

Deadline: September 30, 2020. Note: Your short story must be original and not previously published (online or in print) or being considered for publication elsewhere. Limit to one story per contestant.

Selection Process

The Naval Institute and CIMSEC staffs will evaluate all entries submitted in the contest and provide the top essays to a select panel of military novelists for judging. All essays will be judged in the blind—i.e., the judges will not know the authors of the essays.

Finalists will be judged by August Cole, Peter Singer, Kathleen McGinnis, Ward Carroll, David Weber, and Larry Bond.


First Prize: $500 and a 1-year membership
in the Naval Institute and CIMSEC.
Second Prize: $300 and a 1-year
membership in the Naval Institute and CIMSEC.
Third Prize: $200 and a 1-year membership
in the Naval Institute and CIMSEC.

Additional prizes may also be awarded.


The winning essays will be published in Proceedings magazine, and on the Naval Institute and CIMSEC websites in early December. Non-winning essays may also be selected for publication.

We look forward to receiving your submissions, and for partnering with the U.S. Naval Institute on CIMSEC’s Project Trident to enhance the conversation around maritime security.

Featured Image: “Super Hornet” by Ivan Sevic via Artstation

Project Trident Call for Articles: Stable Seas Wants Your Writing on Ocean Governance

By Curtis Bell

Submissions Due: July 13, 2020
Week Dates: July 20-24, 2020

Article Length: 1000-3000 words
Submit to:

Stable Seas is partnering with CIMSEC to launch the latest Call for Articles of Project Trident to solicit writing on the impact of ocean governance on future international maritime security. Stable Seas, a program of One Earth Future, engages the international security community with novel research on illicit maritime activities such as piracy and armed robbery, trafficking and smuggling in persons, IUU (illegal/unregulated/unreported) fishing, and illicit trades in weapons, drugs, and other contraband. 

From the Sulu Sea to the Gulf of Aden, to the southern Caribbean and to the Gulf of Guinea, navies and maritime enforcement authorities are increasingly concerned about the threats posed at sea by terrorists, violent non-state actors, and even nation states that exploit similar methods. While counterterrorism strategy typically focuses on stopping activities on land, threatening organizations consistently use the maritime domain to transport weapons, raise funds through illicit activities, conduct piracy and kidnapping, and even launch attacks against soft maritime targets.

Ocean governance encompasses a broad spectrum of efforts aimed at maintaining good order on the seas while also preserving the seas themselves. Many authorities and efforts are concerned with illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing that is depleting natural resources. Ocean conservation aims to protect threatened ecosystems critical to human sustenance, endangered species, and the well-being of the ocean itself. Legal theorists and maritime law enforcement authorities debate interpretations of legal regimes such as UNCLOS as they seek to manage their claims and navigate challenges to their authority. Law enforcement agencies of many stripes are enhancing their understanding of the maritime domain as criminal entities look to the world’s oceans with a sense of opportunity, whether to pursue drug trafficking, human trafficking, or black market arms dealing. 

Given these trends, how can navies and coast guards better coordinate with local governments and international agencies in countering violence at sea? What lessons can be learned from instances of good onshore/offshore collaboration? How are governments working together across jurisdictions and in international waters to counter this threat?  

Authors are invited to write on these topics and more as we look to understand the expansive challenges surrounding ocean governance. Send all submissions to

Curtis Bell is the Director of One Earth Future’s Stable Seas program. He created Stable Seas in 2016 and has since led the development of the Maritime Security Index and other Stable Seas research products. Curtis is a political scientist by training and also developed One Earth Future’s quantitative forecasting project. Before joining One Earth Future in 2015, Curtis taught international relations at the University of Colorado and the University of Tennessee. He earned his doctorate in political science at the University of Colorado and has published several academic papers on organized political violence and the politics of fragile states.

Featured Image: Illegal fishing off Gabon in 2011. (NOAA photo)

The Brute Krulak Center Wants Your Ideas on Strategic Chokepoints and Littorals

By Valerie Jackson

Submissions Due: May 25, 2020
Week Dates: June 1-5, 2020

Article Length: 1000-3000 words
Submit to:

The U.S. Marine Corps University’s Brute Krulak Center for Innovation and Creativity is partnering with CIMSEC to launch the first Call for Articles of Project Trident and solicit writing on the impact of strategic chokepoints and littorals on future international maritime security. The Krulak Center facilitates and encourages novel solutions to current and future warfighting challenges to expand the Corps’ competitive edge, and serves as a research support center and incubator of academic innovation.

The importance of the world’s vast oceans is magnified in the littorals and several strategic chokepoints. There are many critical chokepoints around the world that potentially could play an outsized role in strategic competition between world powers or in actual wartime. Littorals are an increasingly important zone of potential competition or conflict due to advanced technology being available to more and more states, and even non-state actors. Piracy and terrorism combine with technological proliferation to complicate commercial enterprise and defense planning for every nation as the littorals become more crowded and ships become more vulnerable.

Considering the evolving global economy, technological proliferation, and the re-emergence of great power competition, how may states and non-state actors operate within strategic chokepoints and littorals to protect their interests or impose their will against rivals and potential aggressors? How may conflict and coercion within strategic chokepoints and littorals affect the global maritime commons and impact freedom of navigation? How may regional and global actors take action to shape outcomes in these crucial spaces?

Authors are invited to answer these questions and more as we ponder the evolving nature of security within strategic chokepoints and littorals across the globe. Send all submissions to

Valerie Jackson is the Director of the Brute Krulak Center for Innovation and Creativity, and has more than 26 years in federal service, principally as a United States Marine. Before coming to the Krulak Center in July 2019, she was an arbitrator in Dallas, Texas. Her areas of expertise include conflict management and resolution, civil-military operations, international relations, and strategic studies. She has led and commanded Marine units throughout her career, and has spent time as an instructor at the Marine Corps Civil Military Operations School and as the senior editor and field historian for the Marine Corps History Division.

Featured Image: September 19, 2016. A night view from the International Space Station of the southern Persian Gulf, centered on Dubai and Abu Dhabi. (NASA)