Category Archives: Project Trident

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)

Announcing Project Trident: The Future of International Maritime Security

By Jimmy Drennan

Are you interested in shaping the future of international maritime security? This Spring, CIMSEC will give you that opportunity with Project Trident – a year-long collaboration with influential partners in the maritime community.

Project Trident will feature seven broad topics, each presented by a partner organization in the form of a call for articles, to address multiple perspectives on maritime security. We want to hear your voices: international, disruptive, and seasoned; from academia, industry, government, and military. Topics will range from Emerging Technologies, to Infrastructure and Trade, and even a Fiction Contest! See our partners and topics below. 

Future Trends and Themes

Maritime Infrastructure and Trade – Maersk Line, Limited

Maritime Security in Fiction – U.S. Naval Institute

Maritime Cybersecurity – Cyber Nation Central

Emerging Technologies – (Partnership pending)

Regional Perspectives

Regional Maritime Security Strategies –Yokosuka Council for Asia Pacific Studies

Strategic Chokepoints and Littorals – The Brute Krulak Center at Marine Corps University

Ocean Governance – Stable Seas

Stay tuned for the first call for articles on Chokepoints and Littorals presented by Marine Corps University’s Brute Krulak Center for Innovation and Creativity. The future of international maritime security begins this Spring…with YOU! 

Jimmy Drennan is the President of CIMSEC. Contact him at