Category Archives: Call for Articles

Call for Articles: Redefining Readiness

Submissions Due: May 10, 2021
Week Dates: May 24-28, 2021
Article Length: 1000-3000 words
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By Dmitry Filipoff

In many respects, the U.S. military is torn between preparing for the future versus remaining vigilant in the present. Combatant command demand signals strip ready forces from the services, often leaving them with hardly enough time to reconstitute or exercise for force development (vice force employment). Despite major drawdowns from long-running wars in the Middle East the operations tempo of the services remains high, straining maintenance and personnel, and sending adverse ripple effects throughout organizations. Suffering through these pains has often been justified in the name of persistently engaging with the forward operating environment and being ready to “fight tonight.” Successive Defense Department leaders who serve at the highest levels in the chain of command, who play an important role in adjudicating global force allocation, have managed to do relatively little to change this fundamental calculus. A new strategic era of great power competition has just begun, and the U.S. military services are already paying a hefty price for adhering to a logic designed for yesterday’s threat environment.

In a recent op-ed entitled “Redefine Readiness or Lose,” Chief of Staff of the Air Force General Charles Q. Brown and Commandant of the Marine Corps General David H. Berger warned against this fundamental calculus and described how it is endangering the ability of the services to effectively prepare for great power competition.

They decried orienting readiness toward the “fight tonight” paradigm, which they described as a “handcuff” and “myopic” with “harsh tradeoffs.” This paradigm strongly reinforces incentives to continue fielding legacy platforms and optimizing them for immediate use, instead of the deeper and more evolutionary modernization that can provide a meaningful edge in great power competition. They argue that freeing the services of the “tyranny” of the “fight tonight” perspective will also allow for greater flexibility in developing new strategies. In the eyes of Generals Brown and Berger, “Over past decades, readiness has become synonymous with ‘availability,’” and that they believe “our understanding of both operational and structural readiness ought to place far more weight on factors related to service modernization.” At the core of the problem is how the definition of true readiness has become muddled and distorted.

CIMSEC invites contributors to join the debate on redefining readiness. Important questions include: Ready for what? Ready for when? And what needs to be ready? Does great power competition require a redefinition of readiness? How could the relationship between force development, force generation, and force employment be recalibrated to emphasize specific readiness priorities? What are the risks inherent to such tradeoffs? Does overturning the “fight tonight” model require a major strategic reappraisal?

Contributors can answer these questions and more as the debate on redefining readiness continues. Send all submissions to

Dmitry Filipoff is CIMSEC’s Director of Online Content. Contact him at

Featured Image: PACIFIC OCEAN (Feb. 19, 2021) Sailors perform preflight checks on an F/A-18F Super Hornet, assigned to the “Black Knights” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 154, on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Feb. 19, 2021. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Alexander B. Williams)

Call for Articles: The Future of Naval Intelligence

By Dmitry Filipoff

Submissions Due: March 15, 2021
Week Dates: March 29-April 2, 2021
Article Length: 1000-3000 words
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CIMSEC is running its first-ever topic week on naval intelligence. The need for timely and insightful naval intelligence in a peer competitor world has never been greater. Naval intelligence will be at the center of current and future military concepts, plans, operations, acquisitions – and more. CIMSEC is looking for papers that tackle the future challenges of naval intelligence. 

Topics of interest include but are not limited to: How can naval intelligence better train its professionals? How can naval intelligence better support operational warfighting and high-end force development? How can naval intelligence leverage machine learning and AI tools? What lessons from history might offer insights to intelligence professionals today? How can naval intelligence improve assessments and forecasts? What does naval intelligence need to do to improve integration and proficiency with allies and partners? How do you best lead intelligence professionals? And in a Navy focused on information warfare, is intelligence in the traditional sense still required – or possible?

Contributors are encouraged to answer these questions and more as they seek to understand the future of naval intelligence and how best to support naval leadership and operators.

Send all submissions to

Dmitry Filipoff is CIMSEC’s Director of Online Content. Contact him at

Featured Image: Fire Controlman 2nd Class Ralph Salas observes radar signatures at a fire control station in the combat information center aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Edward Guttierrez)

Project Trident Call for Articles: The Future of Maritime Cybersecurity

By Jimmy Drennan

Submissions Due: Extended to February 22, 2021
Week Dates: March 1-5, 2021
Article Length: 1000-3000 words
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CIMSEC is partnering with Cyber Nation Central to launch the latest Project Trident call for articles, this time on the impact of cybersecurity on future international maritime security. Cyber Nation Central “focuses on industry and government leadership in cyberspace defense, and its mission is to create cyber-secure renditions of physical nations for the U.S. and its global partners.” Cyber Nation Central seeks to spur cybersecurity innovation and bring practical transformation, think tank expertise, and strategic advice to corporations and governments to solve the most pressing problems in national cybersecurity infrastructure, specifically the autonomous and connected systems in transportation, defense, and healthcare sectors.

The December 2020 reveal of a major cyberattack on U.S. federal networks reaffirmed the ever-growing importance of cybersecurity. The need to defend computer networks against attack now influences almost every aspect of the global political and economic landscape, and the maritime sector is no exception.

Maritime networks are inherently distributed and vulnerable to attack. One cybersecurity firm noted after a year of investigation that “shipping is so insecure we could have driven off in an oil rig.” Criminals, terrorists, and nation-states are taking note. In the last three years, cyberattacks on maritime infrastructure and shipping have increased 900 percent. Norwegian Cruise Line and Carnival Corporation each suffered network breaches in 2020; the cruise industry is a particularly desirable target due to the amount of personal and financial data they carry. Shipping companies have already incurred hundreds of millions of dollars in losses resulting from computer virus infections, and some speculate that the financial impact of coordinated attacks on certain ports could rise into the billions.

Cybersecurity has rapidly become an essential element of naval warfare as well. Not only must navies be able to defend their own networks, but they must also maintain offensive and maneuver capabilities in the cyber domain. Given the dependence of modern warships on electronic data and networks, achieving maritime superiority in conflict may soon be impossible without first achieving cyber superiority.

Authors are invited to write on any topic related to maritime cybersecurity, particularly the following:

1. What investments, infrastructure, and technological innovation should governments and private entities pursue to achieve maritime cybersecurity

2. How could cybersecurity shape future naval conflict and naval force development?

3. Given the global rise in cyber whaling,1 what measures should be taken to “cybersecure” maritime senior leaders and executives from threats specifically targeting them as the holders of the most sensitive “digital crown jewels” (data, access, etc.)? What domino effect could this method of cyber warfare cause in maritime security?

4. Is cyber “security” even possible in the burgeoning cyber “arms race”?

5. With cyber-hacking becoming less and less prevalent as a technical problem and, instead, 97 percent of hacking crimes done via social engineering, what behavioral training should maritime entities undergo to foster a culture of cybersecurity?

6. What maritime cybersecurity policy areas should lawmakers rethink or consider introducing, and to what end?

7. What improvements could be made in cybersecurity technology distribution speed and effectiveness? How can the cyber supply chain be improved?

8. What cybersecurity recruitment and talent management strategies should maritime entities pursue?

Authors are invited to answer these questions and more as we consider the future of maritime cybersecurity. Send all submissions to

Jimmy Drennan is the President of CIMSEC. Contact him at


1. Phishing that targets the most senior stakeholders of organizations through their (1) professional networks/devices, (2) personal networks/devices containing professional information, and (3) families’ home networks/devices, allowing hackers to exploit the information to breach the broader organizational network.

Call for Articles: A Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority

By Dmitry Filipoff

Submissions Due: February 19, 2020
Week Dates: February 24-28, 2020
Article Length: 1000-3500 words
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U.S. Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Gilday recently released a Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority, which identifies primary lines of effort for how the U.S. Navy will look to evolve. In this time of great power competition and unprecedented technological change, the Navy will be greatly challenged to pace the evolving threat environment, and this Design seeks to meet that challenge. As the Design proclaims, “Modern naval operations are in rapid transition, demanding the integrated, multi-domain capabilities of our fleets. We will respond to this transition with urgency.”

The Design ambitiously outlines serious changes and reassessments on the course of the Navy. Among them include an assessment of the Optimized Fleet Response Plan to evaluate the Navy’s force generation model, a pledge to integrate more closely with the Marine Corps, and the creation of a Warfighting Development Campaign Plan. Additionally, the Design emphasizes how the Navy should prioritize fleet-level warfare through the regular execution of large-scale exercises, and how cyber and information warfare must become more deeply ingrained in the Navy.

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Authors are encouraged to write about these lines of effort and others contained in the Design, the underlying assumptions that may need reevaluation, and how the Design could best serve to guide the evolution of the Navy. Please send all submissions to

Dmitry Filipoff is CIMSEC’s Director of Online Content. Contact him at

Featured Image: PACIFIC OCEAN (Dec. 4, 2019) An MV-22B Osprey assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 165 takes off from the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8). Makin Island is conducting routine operations in the eastern Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jeremy Laramore)