All posts by Nam Nguyen

Nam is a Maritime Warfare Officer in the Royal Australian Navy. He holds a Bachelor of Business and is currently completing a Master of Philosophy at the University of New South Wales.

Members’ Roundup Part 3

For this week’s Roundup we have a variety of topics and the first book to be featured as part of this series! For a maritime-focused community it is always beneficial to explore topics that are not normally featured in the usual debate. This week, topics include cyber power, an analysis of conflict management in the Central African Republic, as well as a topic that is close to my heart: the early years in the Royal Australian Navy.

Fellow CIMSEC-ian Billy Pope writes about cyberspace and how it is contributing to our understanding of ‘power’. This article is a continuation of the ongoing Personal Theories of Power Series, which is a joint Bridge-CIMSEC project. Far from being an overzealous campaign arguing that cyber is a game-changer, Pope argues that the future of cyber will take two paths. Firstly,  that cyber will extend and extenuate existing capabilities. Secondly, that it will see greater utility as a political tool. I believe this will make great reading for those interested, especially for those who are not necessarily well-versed with the topic.

Patrick Truffer, from Offiziere, writes about conflict management in the Central African Republic. Since the middle of September 2014, MINUSCA, with the support of the transitional government, has been responsible for stability in the Central African Republic. Critics posit that ,despite repeated failures, conflict management strategies have not been modified. MINUSCA also ignores the root causes of the conflict. Patric argues that this is therefore unlikely to lead sustainable stabilisation.

David Stevens, a naval historian based out of Sea Power Centre, Australia, has recently published a comprehensive history of the Royal Australian Navy in World War One, available here. It should provide an interesting read for this interested to learn more about the modest beginnings of a relatively ‘young’ navy. For further discussion on the topic, also consider perusing an recently published article on the ABC’s website (Australian version) discussing David’s work.

Elsewhere are our members have been busy writing from several continents:

Darshanna Baruah: “Managing Indo-Pacific Crises” The Diplomat (with Koh Swee Leah Collin)

Zachary Keck: “The Faux US-China Climate Deal” The Diplomat

Dave Majumdar: “Pentagon Kicks off New Technology Initiative” USNI News

Felix Seidlers: “Russia-Chinese Naval Exercises in the Mediterranean?” Seidlers Sicherheitspolitik.

Once again, it is our hope that by sharing the fine work of our members we can all benefit from their insights and contribute more to the debate. This, of course, is not limited to just articles and books; we also welcome summaries and key points discussed at events organised or hosted by CIMSEC members.

Please email to share your great work with us.

Members’ Roundup Part 2

Welcome back to this week’s Members’ Roundup. I hope that all of you found last week’s post enjoyable reading for the weekend. As mentioned previously, the idea behind this series is to be able to collate and disseminate works of all CIMSEC members. So if you, or if you know that another member, has published recently, then please send an email to

This first article focuses on a more traditional debate regarding naval strategy: “As we approach the centenary of Mahan’s death it is time to reexamine our modern conceptions of sea power”. Over at gCaptain, Benjamin Armstrong shares his thoughts on balancing the competing requirements of the naval service moving in to the future. This discussion is particularly important as many Navies around the world are facing significant cutbacks in funding and personnel. Thus an examination of Navies’ roles in future can provide a good basis for this debate.

But wait! This week we  have two contributions from LCDR BJ Armstrong. Over at the US Naval Insitute’s Blog (and on the 239th birthday of the US Marine Corps) BJ shares with us his thoughts on talent management, using the story of Major General John Lejeune’s early challenges as an example of this. Sometimes the service knows what it is doing, but if Lejuene’s story is anything to go by, sometimes the service gets it wrong.

In the 21st century we are seeing a paradigm shift of perceptions of power and how that impacts on global affairs. Admiral (retd.) James Stavridis shares his thoughts on how the changing nature of power shapes our world, in an interview over at Thought Economics.

I believe that the Admiral will be a regular feature of this series in the coming months. His career, and the topics that he writes on, provides us with a variety of topics to discuss outside the maritime domain and regularly visiting the relationship between these subjects will be important as we navigate the challenges in maritime security.

Once again, we respectfully ask that you email so that we can share your great work here at CIMSEC.

Nam is a Maritime Warfare Officer in the Royal Australian Navy. He holds a Bachelor of Business and is currently completing a Master of Philosophy in International Security Studies at the University of New South Wales. He joins the CIMSEC team as its new Director of Member Publicity.

Introducing: The Members’ Roundup

A Call For Submissions! 

This weekend we begin a new series for CIMSEC followers called the Members’ Roundup. My name is Nam Nguyen and I will be joining the team here at CIMSEC to promote and share the great work that many of our members (and guest contributors) have published elsewhere.  Engaging in the maritime security debate occurs in many forums and sharing our own analyses with a wider reader base forms an important part of the process.

Here is a brief list of some recent articles published by CIMSEC members which will provide some ‘light’ reading moving into the weekend:

super highway– For those seeking a new book for the coming holidays,  be sure to first have a look at Matthew Hipple‘s review of Admiral Chris Parry’s new book, Super Highway: Sea Power in the 21st Century

– Among the many roles that our President, Scott Cheney-Peters, performs he is also writer on an wide array of security topics as I am sure many of you are aware. You can find his recent musings on the U.S. Navy’s purpose and another piece on how trends in the East China Sea have affected the U.S. Rebalance in Asia here and here respectively.

A senior Russian defence official has announced that France will go ahead with the delivery to Russia of one of two Mistral helicopter carriers.

– The current Dean of the Fletcher School, Adm. (retd.) James Stavridis, provides his thoughts on a ‘bold’ initiative that could salvage the infamous mistral deal. Also, you can read a recent interview from The Shorthorn and the Admiral’s view on education.

– At Information Dissemination, Steve Wills returns fire at some critics on the new DDG 1000 program. He draws much of the discussion to focus on the new capability delivered by the rail-gun technology.

– For those who have a strong interest in undersea warfare our member Naval Drones shares some new technology on display during the US Fifth Fleet’s International Mine Countermeasures exercise.

– Finally, we have Nilanthi Samaranayake on Sri Lanka-Chinese relations after Xi Jinping’s visit and what this means for India’s outlook on Sri Lanka.

As the challenges within the maritime domain become more complex, so too does the debate and a wider audience is reached. The featured content in this series can be blog posts, online articles, journal articles, book reviews or podcasts. If you have written an anything or know another member who has, we wish to share this here at CIMSEC. You can do this by emailing me at

Until next time!

Nam is a Maritime Warfare Officer in the Royal Australian Navy. He holds a Bachelor of Business and is currently completing a Master of Philosophy in International Security Studies at the University of New South Wales. He joins the CIMSEC team as its new Director of Member Publicity.