CIMSEC

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CIMSEC's mission is to build a global community of professionals, academics, and forward thinkers from a variety of fields who wish to further international maritime peace and security through an exchange of ideas and the rigor of critical thought and writing.

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The NATO Alliance's Role in Arctic Security

By CIMSEC 2019-07-19 10:19:50

[By Tyler Cross] Canada, much like Russia, is heavily invested in the Arctic. Ranking second in Arctic interests, it also ranks second in land holdings with 1.2 million square miles found above the Arctic Circle. Canada’s northern borders have also long been secured by the vast expanses of Arctic ice, but they may find their Arctic holdings precariously exposed if ice sheets become non-existent. There exists a dichotomy of Canadian strategy in the Arctic. Of all 28 NATO countries, Canadians...

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The Chinese Merchant Marine Supports Beijing's Security Interests

By CIMSEC 2019-07-17 21:52:33

[By Devin Thorne and Ben Spevack] On a late June morning in 2014, Vietnamese fisheries inspection vessel KN 951 approached HYSY 981, a Chinese-owned mobile oil platform operating within Vietnam’s claimed exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Three Chinese state-owned commercial vessels retaliated by spraying, ramming, and chasing KN 951 for approximately11.5 nautical miles, ultimately doing substantial damage to the Vietnamese vessel’s hull. During the pursuit, these three Chinese tugboats displayed a considerable degree of tactical coordination: there is video footage showing that two boats worked in...

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Divining Russia's Intentions in the Arctic

By CIMSEC 2019-07-10 22:08:13

[By Tyler Cross] In 1827, Sir William Parry of the British Royal Navy made the first serious attempt to reach the North Pole. Captain of the Hecla, he and his crew reached 82°45’ N, a record for humanity for the northernmost latitude reached; it remained unbroken for 49 years. Exploration of the Arctic, closely related with the search for the ever-elusive Northwest Passage, became the fascination of explorer and layman alike during the 19th century. But frozen in time and locked in ice, the...

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Rising Challenges for Maritime Order

By CIMSEC 2019-07-05 17:21:21

[By Dr. Patrick M. Cronin] The United States is a “seapower” in all senses of the word. Its history, prosperity, and security are inseparable from the oceans. Even U.S. states without coastlines depend on global supply chains and markets that move primarily through the oceans. The United States neglects its Navy at its peril. But military power must be accompanied by other types of power, both hard and soft. In his analysis of five maritime great powers, Professor Andrew Lambert...

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Op-Ed: Time to Downsize the Nuclear Attack Sub

By CIMSEC 2019-06-28 13:59:18

[By Duane J. Truitt] It is clear that U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) needs to re-engineer the next generation of SSNs. The bloated SSN(X) (now “New SSN”) concept should be rejected entirely because it is more of the same, but bigger and more expensive. Instead, the Navy should go for a new class of SSN that is far smaller and cheaper than the current Block 5 Virginias.  The key components of a reimagined, redesigned “compact” SSN include four...

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The Deadly Evolution of Abu Sayyaf and the Sea

By CIMSEC 2019-05-24 21:39:24

[By Meghan Curran] On the morning of January 27, 2019, two bombs exploded inside the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, in Jolo on the Sulu Province in the southern Philippines. Tearing a hole through the cathedral during a Sunday service, the bombs claimed 20 lives, injured dozens more, and propelled Islamist extremism in the Philippines back into international headlines. In the aftermath of the blast, Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte promised to “pursue to the ends of the Earth...

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The Case for Unmanned Surface Vehicles in the U.S. Navy

By CIMSEC 2019-05-15 21:46:22

[By Wayne Prender] As U.S. naval forces further develop and implement distributed maritime operations concepts to address great power competition with Russia and China, more ships spread across wider distances will be required. This, in turn, will lead to a changing fleet composition with larger numbers of small ships and vessels of all types, as well as provide the additional required logistical support over expanded distances. Far greater participation of unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) of all types will be needed...

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Autonomous Vessels for Amphibious Assault Logistics

By CIMSEC 2019-05-10 13:15:08

[By Neil Zerbe] After almost two decades of languishing in near-obscurity while U.S. Marine Corps forces were engaged in ground wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps amphibious assault force is experiencing a revival. The reason is clear: this warfighting formation is the one that is most vital in a wide-array of missions across the globe and across the spectrum of conflict. This has been true throughout this history of the Navy-Marine Corps team, and is...

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Op-Ed: U.S. Navy Needs an Unmanned-Systems Squadron

By CIMSEC 2019-05-06 14:01:55

[By Dustin League and LCDR Daniel Justice] The U.S. Navy faces a future where large portions of its fleet will be composed of non-traditional assets. Specifically, unmanned systems comprise a significant portion of the CNO’s “key platforms and payloads” which the Navy seeks to acquire. That direction from the top is further born out in the Navy’s most recent shipbuilding plan which includes 10 large...

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The Limits of the Naval Blockade

By CIMSEC 2019-05-01 17:08:53

[By LT Jason Lancaster, USN] Throughout history, maritime nations have used naval blockades to wreck the economies of their adversaries and bend them to their will. However, the impact of blockade in history has been overstated. Throughout history, blockade has been a part of military success, but it has never been the primary key to victory. Most successful blockades enabled land campaigns to succeed but would not have won wars on their own. Blockades are a...

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