Announcing the Nominees


Thanks to the input of our readers we’re happy to announce the following nominations for CFAR 2018.  We need your help determining what authors and issues will be highlighted at CFAR 2018!  The authors of the top vote-getting articles will be invited to speak at the May 15th 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.

  • 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 our contributors for helping us bring you this event, and congratulations to the nominees!

CNA Category Nominees

Russia’s Approach to Cyber Warfare
Michael Connell and Sarah Vogler

Understanding the behavior of adversaries in the cyber domain can often be challenging. Attribution issues, the technical nature of cyberwarfare, its recent and rapid evolution, its ephemeral effects, and the covert ways in which it is often used tend to obscure the motivations and strategies of the actors involved.  This paper is an attempt to address these issues as they pertain to a particularly potent cyber adversary: Russia. Russia’s cyber capabilities are highly advanced, and Moscow has demonstrated a willingness to employ offensive cyber in situations other than war to affect political and economic outcomes in neighboring states and to deter its adversaries. To counter this strategy, U.S. policymakers and military planners need to understand how Russia integrates cyberwarfare concepts into its broader military and security strategies. This paper addresses this issue from a theoretical as well as a practical perspective, first by analyzing Russian doctrine and official writings and statements about cyberwarfare and then by examining how Russian cyber forces have operated in real-world scenarios. 

China’s Military Support Facility in Djibouti: The Economic and Security Dimensions of China’s First Overseas Base
Erica Downs, Jeffrey Becker, and Patrick deGategno

In November 2015, China publicly acknowledged for the first time that it is building its first overseas military facility in Djibouti, which is also home to the largest U.S. military installation in Africa. How did China come to establish its first overseas military support facility in Djibouti? What do we know about this facility and how it might be used, and what insights can we glean from the process to better understand where China’s military might go next? This paper provides a preliminary look at the origins of China’s military support facility in Djibouti. It explores the evolution of the economic and security relations between the two countries that led to the establishment of the facility, how it may be used, and what it may tell us about future Chinese military facilities abroad. It also assesses the implications of the growing economic and military ties between the two countries for the United States and the U.S. Navy.

Great Power Competition in the Indian Ocean: The Past As Prologue?
Rear Adm. Mike McDevitt, USN (Ret.)

U.S. Navy planners should assume that the PLA Navy’s presence in the western Indian Ocean will grow, and that new bases and places will be organized to support its expanded presence. U.S. authorities can no longer assume unencumbered freedom of action when electing to posture U.S. naval forces offshore of the Horn of Africa and other East African hotspots. If China’s interests are involved and differ from Washington’s, the Chinese could dispatch their own naval forces to the water offshore of the country in question. The U.S. Navy faced similar circumstances between 1968 and 1991, when the United States and the Soviet Union competed for friends, political influence, maritime access, and bases in the western Indian Ocean region. This paper briefly discusses this period in order to provide some historical context for what might occur in the future. As Mark Twain purportedly quipped, “History does not repeat, but it often rhymes.”

Unconstrained Foreign Direct Investment: An Emerging Challenge to Arctic Security
Mark E. Rosen and Cara B. Thuringer

The Arctic Ocean is a vast maritime region which is bordered by six states that are now coming to appreciate their enormous hydrocarbon, mineral, and other natural resource potential as well as the use of the Arctic Ocean as a potential transit route from Asia to the points in the Atlantic in the U.S. and Europe.  Other states outside of the Arctic have also taken note of the Arctic’s vast and unexploited deposits, especially China. The report takes stock of the current foreign direct investment (FDI) patterns — at the transactional level — with a particular focus on Chinese activity. This study explores China’s current natural resource strategies and compares them to past FDI activities in South America and Africa. This study also makes detailed comparisons of the FDI laws of the six main states that border the Arctic Ocean. Based on the findings, the authors suggest three approaches that could be pursued independently or in tandem, to monitor and indirectly regulate inbound FDI. Regulation is highly recommended because unrestrained FDI can alter the political landscape in those areas (e.g., Greenland) desperate for foreign capital and can negatively impact the Arctic marine environment if extraction projects do not reflect state-of-the art technology or are properly bonded.   The approaches suggested include establishing a set of multilateral Arctic FDI review criteria administered by each nation; an Arctic Development Code; and the formation and funding of an Arctic Development Bank, which would provide private developers with access to local capital (vs. Beijing sourced) to finance infrastructure and resource extraction projects.   

The Origins and Development of a Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower 
Peter Swartz, William Rosenau, and Hannah Kates

This study describes and analyzes the origins, creation, announcement, and dissemination of the U.S. Navy–Marine Corps–Coast Guard Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower: Forward, Engaged, Ready (CS21R), published in March 2015. It also describes reactions to the document’s publication, and provides a series of conclusions, observations, and recommendations derived from the initial description and analysis. Its emphasis throughout is mostly on the Navy, although the document was a tri-service effort signed by the heads of the three U.S. sea services, with a signed preface by the U.S. Secretary of the Navy.

NATO Maritime Strategy for a New Era: “These Aren’t the SLOCs You’re Looking For”
Steve Wills

Discussion surrounding the announcement of a new NATO Maritime Command for the North Atlantic seems to have settled on the assumption that there is again a vital “sea line of communication” (SLOC) between North America and Europe as there was supposed to be during the Cold War. There was a great deal of planning on both sides of the Atlantic for major reinforcement of NATO ground and air forces in Europe in the event of a Soviet invasion using convoys of supply ships, much as was done in the two previous World Wars. The Soviet Union had a large fleet of nuclear and conventional submarines and it seemed very clear that Soviet admirals intended to fight a third “Battle of the Atlantic” in the event of war to prevent Western resupply of NATO. However, this scenario bore no resemblance to what the Soviet Navy actually intended to do in case of war. Current geostrategic conditions and military force structure levels make a “fourth” such Atlantic convoy battle even less likely than was envisioned by many in 1985. The United States and its NATO allies and friends should carefully examine the current geography and force structure of the Russian Federation before embarking on another round of mirror-imaging of adversary intentions.


CIMSEC Category Nominees

Three Hard Questions for U.S. Maritime Strategy in A Digital Age – Frank Goertner

Tropical Currents: SOUTHCOM’s 2018 Posture Statement – W Alejandro Sanchez

Chinese Maritime Strategy for the Indian Ocean – David Scott

Hyper Converged Networks and Artificial Intelligence: Fighting at Machine Speed – Travis Howard

History’s Data for Tomorrow’s Navy – Frank Blazich

China: Connected Strategic Themes Across Contested Global Commons, Pt. 2 – Tuan Pham

Evolution of Chinese National Security Debates on Maritime Policy – Sherman Xiaogang Lai

Hainan’s Maritime Militia: All Hands on Deck for Sovereignty, Pt. 3 – Andrew Erickson and Conor Kennedy

The Battle of Locust Point: An Oral History of the First Autonomous Combat Engagement – David Strachan

The Gate of Tears: Interests, Options, and Strategy in the Bab el-Mandeb Strait – Jimmy Drennan

Fighting for the Seafloor: From Lawfare to Warfare – Kyle P Cregge

Return of the Sea Control Ship – Pete Pagano

The U.S. Coast Guard in the South China Sea: Strategy or Folly? – Michael D. Armour

Why Are Our Ships Crashing? Competence, Overload, and Cyber Considerations – Chris Demchak, Keith Patton, and Sam J. Tangredi

Black Swan: An Option for the Navy’s Future Surface Combatant – B. A. Friedman

The PLA Navy’s Plan For Dominance: Subs, Shipborne ASBMs, and Carrier Aviation – Richard D. Fisher, Jr.

What the Loss of the ARA San Juan Reveals About South America’s Submarines – W. Alejandro Sanchez

Breaking the Anti-Ship Missile Chain – Dick Mosier

How Australia’s Maritime Strategy and Partnerships in the Indo-Pacific Upset China – David Scott

Narco Submarines: A Problem That Will Not Sink – W. Alejandro Sanchez

Chinese Maritime Strategy for the Indian Ocean – David Scott

The Navy Needs To Do More Than Rebuild For The Future, It Needs To Reinvent Itself – Frank Goertner



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