August Member Round-Up

Welcome to the August 2015 Members’ Roundup! Last month CIMSEC members have examined a range of major maritime security issues, including the new U.S. DoD Asia-Pacific maritime strategy, Iranian capabilities in the Persian Gulf, and NATO’s northern threat from Russia in the Arctic.

Beginning in the Western Pacific, Bryan Clark gave a presentation at the Hudson Institute concerning the missile threat China poses to U.S. regional allies and U.S. forward deployed forces. The discussion centered on China’s missiles and their ability to deter U.S. regional influence, primarily through limiting the operational capabilities of U.S. surface fleets in conflict. Harry Kazianis, for The National Interest, provides further details regarding the Chinese missile threat by describing the challenge U.S. sea-based interceptors, such as the Aegis based SM-3 and SM-2 Block 4, will have in engaging ballistic and conventional missiles such as China’s DF-26 or DF-21D. For further reading, Zachary Keck, also for The National Interest, identifies additional Chinese missiles posing threats to U.S. forces in the Western Pacific.

CIMSEC’s founder, Scott Cheney-Peters, along with members BJ Armstrong and Bryan McGrath, contributed to CSIS’ Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) with commentary on the new DoD Asia-Pacific Maritime Security Strategy. The review offers an evaluation of the pace at which U.S. military capacity in the region is being strengthened relative to China. Also provided was an analysis of the strategic importance of distinguishing conflict and coercion in the region. BJ Armstrong further analyzed the new DoD strategy in his article for War on the Rocks, where he also provided a historical context for U.S. naval operations in the Asia-Pacific.

Scott also joined Harry and The Diplomat‘s Shannon Tiezzi for a panel discussion on the latest South China Sea developments hosted by the Project for the Study of the 21st Century. You can watch their chat here.

Continuing on China and Asia-Pacific regional security issues, James Goldrick for The Interpreter, discusses the challenges the Taiwanese Navy faces regarding China and a high-level threat environment. Mr. Goldrick identifies key features of Taiwan’s future acquisition program for the Navy – emphasizing submarine hulls and major systems, guided missile destroyers, fast attack missile-carrying catamarans and mine warfare technologies.

A refreshing perspective offered by Vijay Sakhuja in the Nikkei Asian Review considers joint Search and Rescue (SAR) operations as a platform for increased inter-governmental relations in the South China Sea. With regional pressures reaching critical levels, he contends joint SAR operations would reduce tensions by creating a safer maritime environment while also promoting regional dialogue and cooperation.

Leaving the Asia-Pacific, another Zachary Keck National Interest article considers the U.S. Navy’s strategy to combat Iran’s asymmetric naval doctrine. Mr. Keck highlights capability improvements being implemented to date to overcome the challenges faced at joint war game exercise Millennium Challenge 02 (MC02), including deployment of Longbow Hellfire Missiles aboard Littoral Combat Ships. Also from The National Interest, Robert Farley delivers an overview of Iranian weapons and tactics that provide Iran with aspects of strategic influence in the gulf region, including C-802 cruise missiles and irregular warfare strategies.

To conclude the August roundup, ADM. James Stavridis, for Foreign Policy, provides insight on current NATO defense capabilities while emphasizing the increase in Russian military operations in the Arctic. ADM. Stavridis describes Russia’s aggressive territorial claims near the Lomonosov Ridge, increased air patrols and the establishing of Arctic Brigades, as well as NATO’s capability to respond to an increasing Northern threat.  ­­

Members of CIMSEC were also active elsewhere during August:

At CIMSEC we encourage members to continue writing, either here on the NextWar blog or through other means. You can assist us by emailing your works to

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