All posts by sebman

PhD Candidate, Institute for Security Policy University of Kiel, Germany. Naval strategy and maritime security analyst. Dire Straits fan.

“Strategic Insights” – Call for Articles

And now, for something completely different… of sorts. If you want to expand audience for your ideas, look no further than Strategic Insights, the global maritime security analysis journal of Risk Intelligence from Denmark. Strategic Insights often goes by the short-hand SI, but it should not to be confused with the sports magazine of the same acronym, for it focuses on up-to-date and in-depth studies of contemporary maritime risks rather than on professional athletics or even swimsuit-clad beauties. So if you look like I do in a bikini, it will be much easier to publish in this version of SI! Each one of the six issues per year features an external contributor, and the SI editorial board is soliciting contributions for the 2014-2015 cycle for its new series on maritime chokepoints.

The other SI that is (sometimes) concerned with maritime security.
The other SI that is (sometimes) concerned with maritime security issues.

Anyone with an interest in writing a piece on a major maritime bottleneck of their choice (The Bosporus and Strait of Taiwan have already been taken, sorry) should send a short note Sebastian Bruns, member of the SI editorial board and fellow CIMSECian, at sb@riskintelligence.eu. Please include a short bullet-point list of your take on the maritime security situation and threats to shipping at the chokepoint of your choice (ex: Strait of Gibraltar, Strait of Hormuz, Suez Canal, Panama Canal, or others you may come up with), and 2-3 sentences on your professional background. If your article is accepted for publication – and there is little doubt that the cumulative intellect of CIMSEC members and readers of the NextWar blog will be willing and able to cover all major global choke points – remuneration is 300.00 € (or 400.00 USD) per article and will be paid via bank transfer on the first of the month after publication of the respective issue.

Strategic Insights draws on the focus and geographical coverage of Risk Intelligence’s MaRisk maritime security monitor, but takes a wider look at the nature of maritime risk in different threat locations around the world. Each issue goes beyond facts and figures to consider the drivers of maritime security challenges and how these challenges will evolve in the future.

The focus of Strategic Insights is on security threats and political-military developments with a maritime dimension, particularly non-traditional security issues such as piracy, maritime terrorism, insurgency, smuggling, and port security. The journal is read by players in the maritime industry, law enforcement agencies, think tanks and institutions, and inter-governmental regional security bodies. A particular emphasis is placed on articles that offer policy-relevant and operational analysis relevant to the maritime community. The style is a mix of journalism and academic, length about 2,500-3,000 words. Visit the website for more info and to download your complimentary free issue.

Sebastian Bruns is a doctoral candidate at the University of Kiel, Institute for Political Science/ Institute for Security Policy (Germany). His dissertation analyses U.S. Navy strategy. On the side, he is supporting Risk Intelligence and hoping to one day become a member of the Sports Illustrated editorial board.

Iranian Navy Plans to Alleviate Burden of Global Maritime Responsibilities from U.S.

International Maritime Satire Week Warning: The following is a piece of fiction intended to elicit insight through the use of satire and written by those who do not make a living being funny – so it’s not serious and very well might not be funny.

Iran will take over operations at the naval facilities in Naples, Italy so America can focus on things more suited to its abilities, like reality TV shows.

In the midst of heightened tensions over Iran’s nuclear program and fears of war and a closure of the Strait of Hormuz, the Iranian Navy has announced it plans to help the U.S. shoulder the burden of global maritime responsibilities.  In addition to the recent announcements of maneuvers off the U.S. East Coast and expeditions to the South Pole, the naval Teheran’s Navy is poised to expand its role even further.

“Iran is here to help,” said seven-star Admiral Muhammar Narehet, spokesperson for the Iranian Navy, during a press conference in Teheran earlier this month.  “With our friends, the U.S. Navy, in heavy seas due to political turmoil at home until November, and pressing budgetary issues in clear sight, Iran stands ready to take over global responsibilities.”

According to those present at the briefing, Iran has its eyes on a number of areas where it would be willing to take on operational and strategic burdens from the U.S. Navy.  These include the purchase of the naval base at Naples, Italy, to alleviate both Italy’s and America’s pressing fiscal troubles in the face of the ongoing debt and Euro crises.  Security experts in Brussels, seat of the European Union’s governing body, greeted the proposal enthusiastically.  Admiral Narehet underlined the importance of the measure, saying, “We are currently in negotiations with officials regarding the establishment of a permanent Iranian presence, which help quell the pirates who ply the waters of the Mediterranean and Barbary Coast, bringing the freedom and prosperity we have enjoyed for so long to the oppressed people of Europe.  Of course we have perfected counter-piracy already in our many global expeditionary operations.  Moreover, the local businesses in Naples who thus far lived off NATO and allied Sailors’ pay on R&R will be compensated accordingly by us.”  The admiral wouldn’t reveal where the money came from.

Another opportunity mooted by the Iranians is to fill the gap left behind after the retirement of the American space agency’s space shuttles. “We learned from various sources that many NASA astronauts were in the U.S. Navy.  Thus, we strongly believe that we can fill the void of manned space travel by sending some Iranian navy members to space as well.  Photos showed us that all Space Shuttles are now being sent to museums; we are in the process of purchasing one or two for our own fleet, which already consists of several dozen.”

Yet another proposal floated by Admiral Naheret involves advances in the field of popular culture. Acknowledging America’s leading role in advancing the Navy’s cause through media such as the Village People hit “In the Navy,” the 1986 Tom Cruise movie “Top Gun,” and the 1989 music video by artist Cher aboard the battleship Missouri, Admiral Naharet was excited about the opportunities that dominance of worldwide popular culture could offer Iran.

Iranian Admiral Muhammar Naharet points to the set location where the Iranian Navy will film the re-make of ‘Topgun’

“‘In the Navy’ and ‘Iranian Navy’ have similar rhyme schemes, so it shouldn’t be difficult to make a version of this of our own.  Hopefully we can recruit the same amazing band of hard-working, upright citizens.  And we will get our remake of ‘Top Gun’ into the movie theaters so that the Americans don’t have to make it themselves.  We will use special effects on crucial parts of the film, such as the volleyball match, that’s really central to the plot in my opinion.”

While Iranian sources admitted it would be hard to find someone even remotely like former movie star and recording artist Cher, and that the Iranian Navy doesn’t possess capital vessels such as battleships to serve as an appropriate backdrop, plans are already in the works regarding a re-recording and re-filming of the video for “If I Could Turn Back Time.”

“If you think about it, it was really a wonderful political move to justify the 600-ship Navy of the 1980s – the song title clearly makes its case for getting the Iowa-class battleships out of mothballs, literally turning back time.  And back then, Cher was really hot – what with her leather costume, garter belt, and thong,” said the Admiral, staring above the heads of reporters.  “Cher, oh Cher,” he added.  Phoned the next day to specify plans about a proposed 601-ship Iranian navy and to give a timeline, Admiral Naharet could not be reached for comment.