Student Publications - Graduate Writing Center
CDR Christian Richer, USN | Proceedings
More than a year into the Russo-Ukrainian War, the Russian Navy still serves a land-based, active-defense strategy, reflecting a rocky history. Despite recent modernization efforts, CDR Richer says that the war "indicates that it will be difficult for the Russian surface fleet to succeed in a more challenging conflict . . . presenting a rare opportunity for U.S. and NATO navies to understand a possible future adversary."
Although shipbuilding and weapon development since Russia's 2014 intervention in Syria seemed to revive its navy, the surface fleet's utility and combat power remain limited. The navy struggles to meet strategic requirements even with "improvements in quantity and quality of cruise missiles and the commissioning of new ships."
Richer calls for naval professionals to "learn from Russia’s tribulations to strengthen their own preparedness" for a larger war. ∎ read article
Capt Christian M. Thiessen, USMC; Dr. Douglas L. Van Bossuyt; Dr. Britta Hale | Naval Engineers Journal
The article's abstract is as follows:
Current Counter Unmanned Aerial Systems (C-UAS) rely heavily on low-efficiency techniques such as broadband radio frequency (RF) jamming and high-intensity lasers. Not only do such techniques come at the cost of second and third order effects—such as collateral jamming risks to operational systems, a large RF footprint, and high energy use—but they also present an asymmetry between threat and response. Many commercial, off-the-shelf UAS devices are inexpensive compared to the C-UAS systems historically under focus in DoD acquisition. This work argues for leveling that asymmetry by exploring C-UAS autonomy-on-autonomy options by using cyberattack payload capabilities residing on a UAS. By reducing the attack surface to focus on a particular target, these cyber techniques provide scalpel-edged control to the operator, reducing risk to own systems, RF footprint, and collateral damage. ∎ read article
Daniel Camp; Nathan Vey; Paul Kylander; Sean Auld; Jerald Willis; Jonathan Lussier; LCDR Ross Eldred, USNR; Douglas Van Bossuyt, PhD | Naval Engineers Journal
The article's abstract is as follows:
Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries have begun to proliferate across the U.S. Navy fleet, commercial shipping, and in many other naval contexts. Naval engineers must account for Li-ion batteries when designing new vessels to ensure safety and adequate integration of the batteries into ship electrical systems. This article examines current Li-ion battery usage and predicted battery requirements for the U.S. Navy’s operating force in 2035 and 2045 from a mission engineering perspective and surveys battery chemistry, energy density, charge/discharge rate, safety concerns, etc. Projections of future battery requirements for the operating force in 2035 and 2045 are developed which clearly show that several classes of vessels will have significant growth in Li-ion batteries aboard the future fleet. The role of Li-ion batteries, however, will likely be limited to running specific subsystems or equipment and will not replace ship generators. This will remain true until the energy density of battery technology even begins to approach that of petrochemicals, which is many years away if possible. With recent high-profile Li-ion battery fires aboard civilian vessels, this research makes clear that Li-ion batteries will become more prevalent aboard ships over the next 20+ years and that naval engineers must begin accounting for Li-ion batteries now. ∎ read article
MAJ Kelley Jhong, U.S. Army | War on the Rocks
Artificial intelligence (AI) tools are proliferating, becoming increasingly accessible to users without especial technical knowledge. However, dividing those who interact with AI into technical "experts" and non-technical "users" creates particular problems and missed opportunities in the case of special operations.
As MAJ Jhong notes, special operations forces will be at the vanguard of AI usage in the operational environment; therefore, they "may be called upon to assist with . . . determining the most appropriate AI approaches," as well as testing and evaluation of systems. Moreover, they "often operate at the tactical edge in semi- to non-permissive environments and, thus, require the ability to troubleshoot their equipment unassisted" and to "assess whether the data being fed into the AI system is relevant, current, and representative" of real conditions.
Thus, "if special operations forces want to fully employ AI applications in the military and drive their evolution," they will need "skills, education, and knowledge beyond those of a general user." The author proposes that "each special operations team [have] at least one individual with more advanced AI knowledge" to be "adequately poised for an AI-driven future." ∎ read article
Also see the author's Outstanding Thesis on "how SOF should evaluate AI technologies to conduct operations in the information environment."
CDR Abubakar S. Nura, Nigerian Navy | Small Wars Journal
As part of their competition for global influence, the United States and China have turned their attentions to Nigeria, an important economic player in West Africa, creating for it both challenges and opportunities.
U.S. strategy with respect to Nigeria comprises activity in the economic, health, education, and governance sectors, including promotion of bilateral trade, investment in small and medium enterprises, and support for economic reforms. Meanwhile, China, which is making substantial Belt and Road investments in Africa, has concentrated in Nigeria on energy and infrastructure; it has also established more than 150 businesses in the country and has facilitated direct currency exchange between the yuan and naira.
The U.S. strategy aims to support the long-term robustness of the Nigerian market economy, but with a relatively slow pace of implementation to match; Nigeria's relationship with China addresses its immediate needs for trade and infrastructure development, although at the cost of some economic security. To maximize benefit from these complementary relationships, the author argues, Nigeria should leverage its policy of non-alignment to "ensure that it balances relations with both great powers . . . in consonance with its national interest and other core international values" while taking steps to mitigate obstacles and drawbacks. ∎ read article
ENS Sarah Clark, USN | Proceedings
First Prize, NPS Foundation and U.S. Naval Institute NPS Essay Contest
An increasing focus in naval aviation on the technical capabilities of uncrewed aircraft has, the author argues, neglected a burgeoning identity crisis among pilots, who increasingly must grapple with the fact that "the physical root of their identity"—operating aircraft from within the cockpit—"is being replaced."
This situation is not new to the Navy, as demonstrated by the transition from sail to steam in the 19th century and the QH-50 drone antisubmarine helicopter in the 1960s. Such technological challenges to identity not only "create conflict among personnel, but they also affect overall force effectiveness" and create resistance to innovation.
Today's aviation innovation calls for "a common identity for operators of all aircraft types," reinforced through consistent messaging at all levels, including discarding the categories of "manned" vs. "unmanned," and through "career paths . . . [that] reinforce unity." Leaders can thereby "minimize internal conflict and increase naval aviation’s ability to project a united front against adversaries." ∎ read article
Also see the author's Outstanding Thesis, "Removed From the Cockpit: The Pilot Identity Crisis and the Rise of Uncrewed Aircraft in Naval Aviation."
CDR Christopher Landis, USN | Proceedings
Various authors have identified the Navy’s need to improve its cyber operations and electromagnetic maneuver warfare (EMW) capabilities; however, they have also overlooked the true source of the problem: the lack of specialization in either area afforded by the current cryptologic warfare (CW) and information professional (IP) career paths, which "often alternate between cyber-related jobs and signals-related jobs."
This approach "will not help develop the most effective cyber operations or EMW workforce"; indeed, "having to relearn one’s trade at each duty station diminishes readiness, but also sailor job satisfaction and retention."
Thus, the author says, "the CW and IP communities should be realigned as signal warfare and cyber warfare communities" by recoding existing billets. Under this "more effective community structure . . . their training will be more relevant for longer and their enhanced expertise will increase the Navy’s lethality and reduce risk to its missions." ∎ read article
Also hear the author's interview on this article with CIMSEC.
MAJ W. Barrett Martin, MAJ Michael K. Tovo, and MAJ Devin Kirkwood, U.S. Army | Journal of Indo-Pacific Affairs
The article's abstract is as follows:
This article explores various requirements needed for the Department of Defense to be competitive in the Arctic region. In particular, the role of US Army Arctic Special Operations Forces should be developed and leveraged as part of competitive operational solutions. While capability definitions and gaps remain a persistent doctrinal challenge in development and implementation, history, culture, exercises, and allies could greatly contribute to Arctic ARSOF progress. Furthermore, Indigenous knowledge must be acknowledged and leveraged to ensure the greatest chance for enduring Arctic operational success. Only then will all the specialized gear and training lead to genuine competitive advantages needed to deter adversaries and secure the homeland. ∎ read article
LT James Magno, USN | Proceedings
Given the importance of the Indo-Pacific in the current competition environment, among the priorities of the Pacific Deterrence Initiative (PDI) is to bolster the defensive capabilities of Guam—a key site of U.S. logistics support and power projection in the region.
Developments in China's long-range strike capabilities, supported by improved C4ISR, have left Guam vulnerable to missile and bomber attacks. The PDI thus appropriates funding for an integrated air- and missile-defense system on Guam, along with enhanced reconnaissance infrastructure. It also funds more robust exercises with allies and partners in the region, including modernization of communications systems.
These deterrence measures, the author argues, "adequately address the IndoPaCom commander's priorities" and "sufficiently [defend] the U.S. territory of Guam"; indeed, "implementing the PDI is critical to preparing U.S. forces should confrontation between China and the United States escalate to war." ∎ read article
A PhD candidate in information sciences at NPS, David Mortimore has won the Best Student Paper Award at the 15th International Conference on Social Computing, Behavioral-Cultural Modeling & Prediction and Behavior Representation in Modeling and Simulation.
The paper, coauthored with NPS professor Dr. Mustafa Canan, "addresses the limitations of existing computational models and simulations that rely on classical probability theory to describe decision-making and other organizational behaviors, and proposes the use of an alternate theoretical basis, quantum probability theory." This new approach "could transform decision support systems used in the Fleet today." Congratulations to the authors! ∎ read story
Maj Tyler Jackson, USAF | War on the Rocks
With the approaching viability of autonomous aircraft, the U.S. Air Force has slated the retirement of its remotely piloted systems—but has produced "no clear guidance" regarding the career path of the more than 2,000 "highly skilled[,] . . . combat-experienced, tactically minded" remote pilots who operate them. Meanwhile, the Air Force has grappled with a sixteen-year pilot shortage on the order of 1,650 personnel. Current remote pilots could contribute to closing that gap; however, at present, “the only available option for remote pilots to transition to manned pilot crew positions is to start the process from scratch."
While acknowledging the cultural and organizational challenges that will need to be overcome, the author argues that "a more flexible model is needed"—one that "builds on the airmanship of the MQ-9 pilot community with tailorable training." Such a model "will save time, money, and effort" and will give the Air Force "the opportunity to address its pilot shortage while retaining critical combat experience within its ranks." ∎ read article
LCDR Mike Hicks, USN, and MSgt John Stoodley, USAF | War on the Rocks
In this piece, the authors argue that remotely piloted or autonomous aircraft should be leveraged to accomplish "one of the military’s most dangerous and dirty missions: evacuating wounded and dead servicemembers from a battlefield where chemical or biological weapons have been used."
They note that the use of such weapons remains a possibility and that evacuation efforts under such circumstances impose significant hazards and tradeoffs on aircrews. Emerging technologies in the realm of urban air mobility, they say, could offer an effective and cost-effective solution.
Although recognizing that "the technological and ethical hurdles of unmanned casualty evacuation will remain challenging," the authors assert that uncrewed aircraft could "remov[e] warfighters from one of the highest risk missions on the battlefield while enabling the force to fight and win in the face of chemical and biological weapons." ∎ read article
Maj Spencer Reed, USAF | Air University Press
According to Maj Reed, Friedman's War and Chance argues that "assessments of uncertainty in the complex world of international politics are more valuable than conventional wisdom portrays" and that, therefore, "uncertainty should be better framed, thus allowing for more informed decisions by government leaders."
While Maj Reed notes that "there is merit to many of [Friedman's] ideas," which include a proposed decision-making framework, he also argues that Friedman overstates the possibility of extracting objective assessments from subjective information, observing that the author is vague and selective in his use of terminology and sources of evidence.
Ultimately, while Maj Reed acknowledges that the book contributes to a worthy line of research, he concludes that, "despite [Friedman’s] praiseworthy intention to create a common lexicon to discuss and debate uncertainty, the scale of implementing such a lexicon and the abstractness of his concept leave this reader unconvinced that implementation in its current form is possible." ∎ read article
MAJ Morgan Martin and MAJ Clinton Williamson, U.S. Army | Small Wars Journal
This article supports and updates the argument of a 2017 piece in Small Wars Journal asserting that "China's entry into—and consolidation of its holdings in—the entertainment field provide a vector" for information warfare. The authors of the present article note that, since that time, "the PRC has expanded its de facto control over the American film industry," asserting that "the PRC's creeping influence has become a grave security threat indeed."
In particular, they argue, the CCP has long valued cinema as a tool of propaganda, and Chinese companies' investment and involvement in the U.S. film industry gives them leverage to shape the content of films, influencing what and whom audiences see onscreen.
While the authors note that "it is unclear how effective China's efforts have been," the scale of Chinese investment in Hollywood, coupled with the CCP's mandated presence in nominally private enterprises, suggests that "it's time for decision makers throughout the US government to recognize the threat that China's infiltration of the entertainment industry represents." ∎ read article
Dr. Scott Jasper, NPS Department of National Security Affairs, and MSgt Travis Hollingshead, USMC | SIGNAL
In the present competition environment, two important concepts of maneuver are Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations (EABO), in which "stand-in forces will persist inside an adversary’s threat range and facilitate a larger naval campaign," and mosaic warfare, which "combines functional characteristics of different platforms" to "source effects from across an array of options based on shifting mission demands." In this article, the authors argue that incorporating automation into cyber defense through mosaic warfare–style network configurations can make EABO technology more defendable, "maximiz[ing] the operational opportunity for Marines in a fluid and shifting environment." ∎ read article
Maj Terry Traylor and MSgt David Nass, USMC | War on the Rocks
In this article, the authors argue that the role of the tactical air controller can be advantageously adapted to the cyber, information, and space realms. Tactical air controllers and joint terminal attack controllers are battalion- to platoon-level personnel who act as liaisons between ground commanders and air assets, "provid[ing] expertise . . . on when and how to properly employ aviation assets . . . , passing on targeting information and controlling air-delivered ground attacks."
Similarly, on-the-ground, tactical-level "multi-domain terminal effects controllers" with training in information, cyber, and space would be able to respond quickly to the dynamic circumstances of combat operations, "identify[ing] local physical or virtual targets, relay[ing] their positions to information, cyber, or space experts at a higher command, and synchroniz[ing] the timing of their effects with the ground force's maneuver."
The authors conclude that "bridg[ing] the gap between ground maneuver and national-level information, cyber, and space capability . . . can help equip every level of command with the right personnel and equipment to gain and maintain an information advantage." ∎ read article
Jonathan Burnette | Master's thesis, systems engineering, Naval Postgraduate School
In this video (20:32), the author presents his findings on using UVC irradiation in HVAC systems to combat the spread of airborne pathogens aboard naval vessels. For more information on this research, see the project's webpage.
Lt Col Regan Lyon, USAF | Military Medicine
The 2018 National Biodefense Strategy underscored the threat to the United States from biological weapons. Now, the author observes, the COVID-19 pandemic has disclosed the nation's vulnerability to a major biological event, creating "the potential for disastrous effects on national security."
In particular, PPE shortages, public resistance to health measures, and events surrounding the deployment of the USNS Comfort have been detrimental to U.S. deterrence of and possible defense against bioterrorism, having disambiguated the country's response strategy and level of readiness and signaled opportunity to would-be attackers.
However, she argues, these events also can and should be used to bolster U.S. preparedness against a biological attack, informing supply requirements and distribution models, public outreach campaigns, and other response efforts, including those by military medicine personnel. ∎ read article
Lt Col Regan Lyon, USAF | Combating Terrorism Exchange (CTX)
To support its capacity as both a fighting force and a governance apparatus, the Islamic State (ISIS) established the Islamic State Healthcare System. However, the author reports, ISIS "exaggerated its medical capabilities," neglected to treat civilians, allegedly medically abused prisoners, and "was unable to provide adequate trauma care to its warfighters."
Given the importance of medical care in recruiting and retaining fighters and securing broader public support, these vulnerabilities, she argues, can potentially be exploited "through a combination of information operations and humanitarian aid as part of a holistic counterterrorism approach" that aims to "undermine ISIS’s community support, decrease ISIS warriors' motivation to fight, [and] prevent the enlistment of Western physicians into the terrorist group."
These measures, she says, can "play a crucial role in delegitimizing ISIS and preventing the resurgence of its caliphate." ∎ read article
LtCol Scott Humr, USMC | Center for International Maritime Security (CIMSEC)
The U.S. military's diminishing technological advantage has led to an emphasis in the Sea Services on occupying the "high ground of technological overmatch." While this enterprise is necessary, the author says, the raw capability to conduct "increasingly remote warfare" is insufficient; success will require that technological innovations be coupled with cultural ones.
In particular, "Force Design concepts . . . that place personnel in spartan locations with minimal contact for extended periods of time" necessitate "a reinvigoration of the ability to thrive in austerity," both mentally and logistically—calling for modifications in areas such as personnel skills, information exchange, command and control, and naval integration. Also essential are education and training optimized for these cultural changes, as well as metrics to assess progress, including the streamlining of commands and regular 360-degree feedback for leaders.
Though they might prove challenging, it is through such efforts, the author says, that "the Sea Services must develop a common culture characterized by a shared consciousness"—a task increasingly important as competitors persist in violating the norms of the international system. ∎ read article
LtCol Scott Humr, USMC | Marine Corps Gazette
Many recent Navy and Marine Corps documents identify human capital as an essential asset. However, the author notes, the Marine Corps's current concept of Manpower and Personnel Administration (MPA) is largely "defensive," emphasizing regulatory compliance and retrospective analysis. He argues for the necessity of a complementary "offensive mindset"—an agile, future-oriented leveraging of robust personnel data that "places Marines with the right skill sets in the right occupation based on the needs of the unit or commander."
Accomplishing this task, the author says, will require the aggregation of presently siloed data sets "to provide a complete picture of individual and unit readiness." Likewise, it will call for "an extensive culture of data literacy within MPA" and an outlook that "avoid[s] shoehorning [data] technologies into outmoded processes," instead imagining how those technologies might enable revolutionary new processes.
These initiatives, the author concludes, will prepare the MPA community for its imminent role in talent management and provide a more granular and effective approach to managing personnel—all to, as the Commandant puts it, "unleash the incredible talent of the individual Marine." ∎ read article
MAJ Kevin Butler and MAJ Frank Foss, U.S. Army | War on the Rocks
In light of the increasing practicality and sophistication of wearable technologies, the authors challenge the dichotomy between military personnel and equipment, arguing that "investing in wearable technology for special operations forces is now the best way to put humans first."
The possibilities presented by wearables are already gaining traction in the Department of Defense, and they align particularly well, the authors observe, with U.S. Special Operations Command's Preservation of the Force and Family strategy, with its emphasis on "holistic health." Indeed, given operators' "long hours under highly stressful conditions, having a tool that provides an objective measurement of readiness is uniquely valuable" in formulating successful prevention and intervention measures; in turn, this population affords an important opportunity to gauge the utility of wearables.
While acknowledging the obstacles to wide implementation of wearable technology, including security and privacy concerns and the unfeasibility of a one-device-fits-all approach, the authors argue that these challenges can be mitigated through pilot testing. Such efforts, particularly by Special Operations Command, "can bring humans and hardware together in the safest and smartest way possible." ∎ read article
Col Ernest John Jadloc, Philippine Army | Small Wars Journal
"In 1952," Col Jadloc begins, "U.S. officials approved the establishment of an international anticommunist movement for rural reconstruction in the Philippines." While that effort eventually came to an end, "land reform and its security implications . . . are at work today," as the turbulent course and ultimate success of the 2015 Hacienda Matias land reform demonstrates.
In addition to communist insurgent activity in the area, conflict arose between resident farmers and newly installed land-reform beneficiaries. Through a campaign of education and mediation, Col Jadloc, his battalion, and associates from various agencies resolved the conflict and spread the word about the land reform process, giving the landless an alternative to armed struggle.
He concludes that "implementing this program in areas threatened by communist insurgents requires sustained availability of government services"; "the responsibility of the Armed Forces is to ensure that communist insurgents [are] unable to disrupt the collaborative works of the farmers and the civilian government agencies." ∎ read article
Capt Robert Stelmack, USAF, and CPT Don Gomez, U.S. Army | Modern War Institute
In response to the increasing importance of information warfare (IW) in the context of great power competition, a forthcoming publication by the Joint Staff will formalize the definitions of key IW concepts and establish the services' roles and responsibilities in information operations.
While recognizing the importance of this strategic development, the authors argue that "there are activities and initiatives that can be done now to ensure that we are best postured to compete globally"—in particular, "strengthening the relationship between information warfare professionals spread across the military services," including the new Air Force Information Operations (14F) officers and Army PSYOP and FA30 (IO) officers, to minimize stovepiping and promote “communicating, integrating, and operating together." Opportunities to increase such collaboration include joint training exercises, unit exercises, mission tasking, and training courses.
"Ultimately," the authors argue, "the United States must learn to unify and coherently wield its IW capabilities in concert to gain strategic advantage and to win in great power competition." ∎ read article
Capt Stelmack is the first Air Force information operations officer to enroll in the Defense Analysis department's Information Strategy and Political Warfare program.
Maj Jonathan Pryor, USAF | Strategic Studies Quarterly
As Maj Pryor summarizes it, Fenby's core assertion is that "China's one-party system and its regime's unrelenting desire for self-preservation are doomed to stall economic progress," thereby preventing China from realizing what Fenby refers to as its "full potential." While this argument is "plausible," Maj Pryor says, "the book neglects to address an important question: What constitutes domination in the twenty-first century?" Does China need to achieve its "full potential" to outpace its rivals? Is "domination" necessary to substantially influence the international order? Though the book's scope precludes a thorough treatment of these questions, the review concludes that "readers seeking a synopsis of China's political and social challenges that threaten its continued economic growth will find this book worth their study." ∎ read article
MAJ Travis Florio, U.S. Army | Proceedings
"Over the past decade," MAJ Florio observes, "Russian information warfare has become more openly aggressive"; meanwhile, the United States "lacks a coherent, comprehensive, and coordinated approach to counter" these activities. However, given that Russian influence campaigns seem in some cases to be undermining themselves, rather than "engaging in wasteful counterpropaganda efforts," the author argues, the United States should impose costs on Russia by "siphoning Russian cyber talent" and "more aggressively promot[ing] human rights to encourage protests against the Russian government," in addition to educating the American public about Russian information warfare. ∎ read article
Capt Walker Mills, USMC; LCDR Collin Fox, USN; LCDR Dylan Phillips-Levine, USN; LCDR Trevor Phillips-Levine, USN | Proceedings
During the Falklands War, the Royal Navy tasked 11 destroyers, 6 submarines, and 25 helicopters with locating a single Argentine submarine. While antisubmarine warfare (ASW) technology has since advanced, the authors explain, so have submarines, in both sophistication and numbers—yet, despite the "disproportionate resources" still required for ASW, "the U.S. Navy fields proportionally fewer dedicated ASW platforms than it did in World War II or the Cold War." The authors therefore mount a case in support of Gen Berger's argument that, in their words, "ASW should be considered a cross-domain mission supported by" the Marine Corps, which "could provide valuable capabilities in the littorals, and at key maritime chokepoints." ∎ read article
MAJ Johan Selin, Swedish Army
In these articles, MAJ Selin offers, as Calhoun summarizes, "insight into the US Navy's training and education for leadership, and a book review . . . of Cobra II: The Inside Story of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq, by Michael R. Gordon and General Bernard E. Trainor" (in Swedish). ∎ read articles
LT Christopher Hevey, USN, and Maj Anthony Pollman, USMC (ret.) | Proceedings
Second Prize, U.S. Naval Institute Naval Mine Warfare Essay Contest
This article draws upon an episode in the American Revolution, the Battle of the Kegs, to illustrate the utility of offensive mine warfare. However, the authors note, "the Navy's expertise dedicated to mine warfare, responsible for doctrine and operations, has deteriorated to a point of near nonexistence." Moreover, current technology consists of mines that "[lack] the ability to network with . . . each other or operational forces" and "cannot distinguish friend from foe." To address this gap, the authors advocate the adaptation of existing delivery platforms and swarm network technology to create "cooperative, mobile mines" that "inform a dynamic sea-control and -denial strategy aimed at instilling fear and uncertainty in adversaries, whether they are moored in their homeports or conducting open-ocean operations." ∎ read article
LT Seth Steber and CPO Aaron Utsler, USN | Proceedings
In this article, the authors make a case for greater foreign-language proficiency among the information warfare community, which, they assert, "broadly lacks language capabilities and is under-invested in routinely training its members in particularly useful languages." This situation, they argue, "creates issues in information exchange with allies and a void in the deeper understanding of adversaries and competitors." In response, the authors propose "a number of relatively low-cost, high-yield investments" aimed at "paving the way toward a multilingual fleet." ∎ read article
MAJ Kevin Bernhardt, U.S. Army | Infantry
MAJ Bernhardt's book review examines David Patrikarakos's thesis that, as the author paraphrases it, "anyone with access to the internet can serve as an actor in war." To support his argument, Patrikarakos points to examples of individuals outside the media establishment who (in MAJ Bernhardt's words) "shaped the conflict around them by way of social media" and open-source data. Ultimately, the author finds that a certain amount of bias in Patrikarakos's treatment of his subject "does not take away from the greater lessons" of the book regarding "the potential effects of social media in war for leaders in an operational environment." ∎ read article
Capt Spencer Marsh, USMC | FAOA Journal of International Affairs
Captain Marsh's article employs Stephen Biddle's principal/agent theory to analyze the successes and failures of Plan Colombia—in particular, "why Plan Colombia was able to increase Colombia's state security and capacity but failed in U.S. anti-drug efforts." The author argues that "where principal/agent objectives did not overlap, in this case the Drug War, failure was imminent."
After 9/11, however, which altered U.S. priorities with respect to Colombia, "objective overlap centered on fighting insurgencies . . . enabled Plan Colombia’s narrow success" by "caus[ing] two powerful forces to align: Colombia's political will and the U.S. resources and expertise." Based on these findings, the article recommends that "security cooperation/assistance policy makers focus on initiatives that converge with the partner nation's priorities." ∎ read article
Maj Temesha Christensen, USAF | Strategic Studies Quarterly
Maj Christensen's review of Marc Lanteigne's book Chinese Foreign Policy: An Introduction was published earlier this year by the U.S. Air Force's Strategic Studies Quarterly. As the announcement by the NPS Department of National Security Affairs explains, "Maj. Christensen read the book for an NSA course and subsequently wrote and submitted the review"; "she finds the book is a good foundational piece . . . 'to understand Chinese foreign policy, China’s role in international security, and China’s economic impact on the global market.'" ∎ read article
LCDR Ashley McAbee, USN | Proceedings
In this featured article in the U.S. Naval Institute's Proceedings, LCDR McAbee argues that, as the article summary states, "innovation is meaningless or even harmful if it is done merely for its own sake"; instead, says the author, invoking Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper, "to outpace adversaries, the Navy must adopt a problem-first, future-focused, and sailor-driven ethos"—an ethos critical to "maximiz[ing] our chances of improving the Navy’s position, sharpening the edge, and cementing the advantage we inherited." ∎ read article
CW4 Judy Esquibel, U.S. Army | The Cyber Defense Review
CW4 Esquibel, an NPS information sciences PhD student, co-authored this article for The Cyber Defense Review 4.2 (2019). According to the abstract,
With Electronic Warfare joining the Cyber Branch in October 2018, numerous opportunities and challenges that affect warfighters are surfacing. To capture and consolidate some of these observations, the Electronic Warfare Cyber Convergence (EWC2) workshop, held in conjunction with the 2018 Cyberspace Electromagnetic Activities (CEMA) conference, provided an opportunity for experts from military, government, commercial and academic backgrounds to compare insights, explore friction points, consider deeper issues and note potential research opportunities within the EWC2. In this workshop, participants learned that the convergence of EW and cyberspace operations is only the initial step towards the greater goal of controlling information on the battlefield. ∎ read article
Maj Ryan Tice, USMC | Joint Force Quarterly
Major Tice's latest, published in Joint Force Quarterly 96, examines how (as JFQ summarizes it) "The rapidly changing environmental conditions in the Arctic Region have increased the potential for great power competition . . . the US is now in a position of weakness in the Arctic. If steps are not taken, the status of the Arctic as a place of peaceful cooperation and exploration will be jeopardized." The author's solution? Combined Joint Task Force–Alaska. ∎ read article
Maj Ryan Tice, USMC | Proceedings
In response to the DON's Education for Seapower study, Major Tice's article identifies professional military education as a key vehicle for greater Navy–Marine Corps integration. In particular, Major Tice calls for increased interservice student and faculty representation at Navy and Marine Corps institutions of higher learning, which he describes as "incubator[s] for ideas that drive innovation." Bringing officers together in the classroom, the author says, is "a first step toward achieving the Navy–Marine Corps team the nation expects and needs." ∎ read article
LCDR Ryan Hilger and LT Bryan Lowry, USN
"NPS alumnus LCDR Ryan Hilger and current student LT Bryan Lowry were awarded top honors in the Naval Submarine League's Literary Award competition, presented during the organization's annual symposium in Washington, D.C., Nov. 7." ∎ read story
Majors Thang Q. Tran and Alan W. Lancaster, U.S. Army | Atlantic Council blog
Major Tran is pursuing his master's in defense analysis, while Major Lancaster recently earned his. They just published their joint thesis, "Iranian Natural Gas: Opportunities and Risks."
As a follow-up, their co-written article "Iran’s Natural Gas: A Gateway to US-Iran Cooperation" appears on the Atlantic Council blog of October 17; the article explores the relationship between renewed U.S. economic sanctions and Iranian oil exports.
Their article "A Marriage of Convenience Between Natural Gas Giants Iran and Russia" appears on the Atlantic Council website for November 5.
CPT Chris Telley, U.S. Army | Mad Scientist Laboratory
CPT Telley strikes again: this time, his article addresses "how Artificial Intelligence (AI) must be understood as an Information Operations (IO) tool if U.S. defense professionals are to develop effective countermeasures and ensure our resilience to its employment by potential adversaries." ∎ read article
Master Sergeant David "Ty" Long, U.S. Army, and Captain Chris Mulch, USN
This article by Matthew Schehl of the NPS Public Affairs Office profiles the joint capstone work of two NPS graduates, Master Sergeant David "Ty" Long and Captain Chris Mulch. For their thesis, they developed CyberWar 2025, a "computer-based strategy wargame which challenges players to navigate through the core concepts of the cyber realm." The goal of the game is to "bridge a training gap in U.S. military cyber operations." ∎ read article
Captain Andres Lapp, Estonian Army | Kaitse Kodu!
Captain Lapp reviewed John Steinbeck's WWII novel The Moon Is Down for Kaitse Kodu! (Protecting Your Home!), the Estonian Defence League journal.
Major John Huntsman, USAF | Media, War and Conflict
Major Huntsman reviewed two new books for Media, War and Conflict that explore the idea of the warrior: Christopher Coker's Warrior Geeks: How 21st-Century Technology Is Changing the Way We Fight and Think About War and Shannon French's The Code of the Warrior: Exploring Warrior Values Past and Present (2nd ed.). Major Huntsman notes that "the ideal warrior is a student of history, science, art, and philosophy" and that "Service members who read and reflect on war better execute their duties in combat." ∎ read article
Major Joe Davis, USAF | Small Wars Journal
Major Davis concludes that, overall, Schleifer's book "is a valuable history lesson useful for both [the] strategic analyst and the battlefield planner alike. It offers insight into the background of the decades-long wars and sheds light on the nature of the continued geopolitical struggles of the Middle East. Above all, any military professional who takes up this book will understand what PSYWAR is good for." ∎ read article
Captain Chris Telley, U.S. Army | Small Wars Journal
In this article, Captain Telley warns about the dangers of Russia getting into the cryptocurrency business. The author summarizes: "This paper examines the evolving power of cryptocurrency, describes threat behaviors enabled by the technology, and recommends some ways to counter threat activity in this nascent digital economic environment while preserving the possibilities for healthy innovation." ∎ read article
Major Brian R. Huston, USAF | Air & Space Power Journal
Stanik's book covers the U.S. battle against Libya's state-sponsored terrorism in the 1970s and '80s. As Major Huston summarizes, "El Dorado Canyon is an excellent analysis of two decades of US-Libyan relations and how the United States dealt with a state sponsor of terrorism. Joint air operations planners will benefit from reading this book due to the complex nature of the operation and detailed planning. Also, students of national policy processes can gain insight into how national-level policy is shaped." ∎ read article
Major David Johnston, Canadian Special Operations Forces Command | Canadian Military Journal
As Major Johnston explains, "This article analyzes broad trends in Air and Aviation as they relate to SOF Airpower. It clarifies the need for SOF Airpower, explores six technological trends: unmanned systems, autonomy, next-generation rotary wing, future precision strike, alternate-service delivery, and fuel requirements, and ultimately, presents implications for CANSOFCOM in order to advocate for future SOF Airpower." ∎ read article
Major David Johnston, Canadian Special Operations Forces Command | Royal Canadian Air Force Journal
Major Johnston summarizes: "Ghost Fleet tells the story of World War III from the perspective of American, Chinese and Russian soldiers, sailors, airmen and air women." He concludes that "This thriller of a novel appears to have uncanny predictive power for present and future conflict. . . . This novel is highly recommended to Canadian military professionals for both personal enjoyment and professional development." ∎ read article
Major F. Bart Doyle, USAF | Air & Space Power Journal
Major Doyle describes Haass's book as "a quick-reading account of global politics since the end of World War II [that] provides the layman with an abridged account of the actions that created the modern world." He concludes that "Haass's insight . . . promises to be valuable to military professionals interested in diplomatic history, international relations, and the future of American foreign policy." ∎ read article
Captain Marius Kristiansen, Norwegian Army | Norwegian Military Journal
Captain Kristiansen's review of Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World, by General Stanley McChrystal, Tantum Collins, Chris Fussell, and David Silverman, was published in the September 2017 issue of the Norwegian Military Journal. ∎ read article
Major Paul R. Andrews Jr., USAF | Joint Air Power Competence Centre (JAPCC) Journal
Major Andrews's article appears in the Joint Air Power Competence Centre (JAPCC) Journal edition 24. As Major Andrews notes, "The history of CAS within the US military is one of sometimes bitter inter-service rivalry, but the lessons learned benefit US and NATO forces in the field today." ∎ read article
Major Bo Anderson, Royal Danish Air Force | Krigsvidenskab
Major Andersen's review of Splittelsen i global jihad: Kampen mellem IS og al-Qaeda (The Rift in Global Jihad: The Battle between IS and Al Qaeda) appears in Krigsvidenskab (War Science; in Danish). ∎ read article
Major Jennifer Jantzi, U.S. Army | Small Wars Journal
Major Jantzi is a Civil Affairs Officer working on her master's in defense analysis. As the article describes, Major Jantzi’s own experiences in Afghanistan gave her special insights into the unusual story of Major Gant. ∎ read article
Major Brenton Pomeroy, USAF | Military Review
Major Pomeroy, making a case for the multifarious utility of social media, argues that "many of the lower-level units across all branches of the military . . . need to reconsider the risk and value of adopting this modern form of communication." ∎ read article
Major Daniel Sigler, German Army | Small Wars Journal
Defense analysis master's student Major Sigler recently published his review of Nesser's 2015 book in Small Wars Journal. As Prof. Kalev I. Sepp (DA) puts it, this review "provides both an excellent summary, and insight into European jihadi organization, in only two pages." ∎ read article
Captain Matt Bauer, U.S. Army | Small Wars Journal
Captain Bauer, a student in the defense analysis department, begins his review with this assessment: "This dispassionate analysis of Iranian involvement in Latin America is an ambitious and successful attempt to persuade readers of the profound national security implications of Iran's growing influence in that region." ∎ read article
Major Hassan Kamara, U.S. Army | Military Review & Army Logistics and Technology Magazine
Major Hassan Kamara, U.S. Army, recently published two award-winning articles:
- "Writing: A Way to Maximize Returns on the Army's Investments in Education" received second place in the 2016 General William E. Deputy Special Topics Writing Competition and was published in the Jan–Feb 2017 issue of Military Review.
- "Future Conflict: Adapting Better and Faster Than an Adversary" was awarded the Future Operations Category of the 2016 MG Harold J. Greene Awards for Acquisition Writing and was published by Army Logistics and Technology Magazine in a special supplement to its Jan–Mar 2017 issue.
Captain Charles Staab, U.S. Army | Small Wars Journal
Captain Staab is a student in the defense analysis department. As the abstract reads, "The United States should petition a reclassification of perfidy from the United Nations to ensure the legal protections and force protection of SOF while conducting clandestine operations." ∎ read article
Captain Bleard Vuçaj, Albanian Army | Defense Journal
Captain Vuçaj wrote a book review for DA 3880: History of Special Operations—then got it published! His review appears in Defense Journal no. 11 (in Albanian). ∎ read article
LCDR Blake LaFever, USN | IEEE Internet Computing
LCDR LaFever graduated from NPS with a master's in cyber systems and operations. His thesis, with Professor Beverly advising, is "Methods for Intelligent Mapping of the IPv6 Address Space." LCDR LaFever's article was co-authored with Professors Robert Beverly and Justin Rohrer. ∎ read article
Captain Erik Rye, USMC | IEEE International Workshop on Network Science for Communication Networks
Captain Rye presented "Revisiting AS-Level Graph Reduction," co-authored with Professors Justin Rohrer and Robert Beverly, at the 2016 Eighth IEEE International Workshop on Network Science for Communication Networks (NetSciCom) in San Francisco. The same paper was published in April 2016 in the proceedings of the workshop.
While at NPS, Captain Rye co-wrote, with Professor Rohrer, the technical report Graph Reduction for Emulated Network Experimentation. He graduated from NPS with master's degrees in computer science and applied mathematics. His thesis is "Evaluating the Limits of Network Topology Inference via Virtualized Network Emulation," co-advised by Professors Beverly and Gera.
Lieutenant Lance Alt, USN | ACM MobiCom Workshop on Challenged Networks
LT Alt's paper, co-authored with Professors Justin Rohrer and Geoffrey Xie, was published in the proceedings of the Ninth ACM MobiCom Workshop on Challenged Networks in September 2014. LT Alt graduated from NPS in with a master's in computer science. His thesis, co-advised by Rohrer and Xie, is "Application Transparent HTTP Over a Disruption Tolerant Smart-Net." ∎ read article
Major James Capra, USAF | Air and Space Power Journal
Major Capra, USAF, reviewed Harnessing the Sky: "Trap" Trapnell, the U.S. Navy's Aviation Pioneer, 1923–1952 in the Air and Space Power Journal, summer 2016. His thesis is titled "Fighting with the Air: Airpower, Violence, and Public Sentiment in Irregular Warfare," advised by Professor Kalev Sepp. ∎ read article
LT Timothy McNamara, FDNY | Injury Prevention
Lieutenant McNamara, Fire Department of the City of New York, published "Questioning Risk-Based Fire and Life Safety Education Age Priorities" in Injury Prevention, an international peer-reviewed journal for health professionals.
Lieutenant McNamara holds a master of arts in security studies from the Center for Homeland Defense and Security. His thesis, "Lighting a Fire Under Public Health and Safety Education: Influence through Rational Choice, Reasoned Behavior, and Behavioral Economics," was co-advised by Professors Christopher Bellavita and Rodrigo Nieto-Gomez.
Upon graduation, Lieutenant McNamara plans to continue working as an officer in the FDNY, where he will use the conclusions from his thesis to improve public health and safety interventions, as well as intradepartmental training. ∎ read article
Major Jacob Capps, U.S. Army | HEART Conference & INMM ANS/USNA Technical Meeting on Nuclear Energy & Cyber Security
Major Capps presented "Radiation Detection with Heavy Oxide Inorganic Scintillator Crystals for Detection of Fast Neutrons" at two conferences: 1) the Hardened Electronics and Radiation Technology Technical Interchange Meeting (HEART) Conference, April 4–7, 2016, Monterey; and 2) the INMM ANS/USNA Technical Meeting on Nuclear Energy & Cyber Security, April 17–19, Annapolis, Maryland.
Captain Dominic Chiaverotti, USMC | HEART Conference & INMM ANS/USNA Technical Meeting on Nuclear Energy & Cyber Security
Captain Chiaverotti presented "Experimental Verification and Military Employment of a Centrifugal Tensioned Metastable Fluid Detector for Trace Radiation Sources" at two conferences: 1) the Hardened Electronics and Radiation Technology Technical Interchange Meeting (HEART) Conference, April 4–7, 2016, Monterey; and 2) the INMM ANS/USNA Technical Meeting on Nuclear Energy & Cyber Security, April 17–19, Annapolis, Maryland.
Captain Daniel J. Finkenstadt, USAF | Defense ARJ
Captain Finkenstadt co-authored this article with Lt. Col. Timothy G. Hawkins, USAF (Ret.). Captain Finkenstadt graduated from NPS in fall 2011 with an MBA in strategic sourcing. His MBA professional report, co-authored with Andrew J. Peterson, was "A Benchmark Study of the Air Force Program Executive Office for Combat and Mission Support." Captain Finkenstadt has authored six additional articles related to contract management. ∎ read article
LTC U. L. J. Sylvester Perera, Sri Lanka Army | CTX
This second article by LTC Perera was published by CTX in May 2016. ∎ read article
Major Ryan Nomura, U.S. Army | Comparative Strategy
Major Nomura's article, co-authored with John Arquilla, was published in the prestigious journal Comparative Strategy. Major Nomura is a December 2012 NPS graduate in defense analysis. His thesis is "Issues in Strategic Thought: From Clausewitz to Al-Qaida," advised by Professors John Arquilla and Nancy Roberts. ∎ read article
Major Lemar Farhad, U.S. Army
Major Farhad has had five articles published recently!
- "The Relationship Between Liberty and Democracy," "Promises and Pitfalls: Sino-Afghan Relations," and "A Tale of Two Afghan Armies" appear in Small Wars Journal.
- "Why Peace with the Taliban Is a Bad Idea: What Needs to Happen Instead" appears on The Bridge.
- "China's Internal Migration Woes" appears in International Affairs Review of the Elliot School of International Affairs at George Washington University.
Major Creighton Mullins, USAF | Studies in Conflict and Terrorism
Major Mullins's article was published in Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 38, 11 (November 2015). The article is co-authored by Dr. Mohammed M. Hafez of the Department of National Security Affairs at NPS. Additionally, the Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS) has provided a short educational video that summarizes the article.
Major Mullins graduated from NPS in Spring 2015 with a master's in national security affairs. His thesis is titled "Syria and the Rise of Radical Islamist Groups"; his advisor was Professor Anne Marie Baylouny.
LCDR Thomas Parker, USN
LCDR Parker had three articles accepted for presentation at conferences and published in conference proceedings:
- "Identifying Congestion in Software Defined Networks Using Spectral Graph Theory," 48th Asilomar Conference on Signals, Systems, and Computers, November 2014
- "Dynamic State Determination of a Software-Defined Network via Dual Basis Representation," 8th International Conference on Signal Processing and Communication Systems (ICSPCS), December 2014
- "Analysis of the Robustness Dynamics of Wireless Mobile Ad Hoc Networks via Time Varying Dual Basis Representation," 48th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), January 2015
LCDR Parker's dissertation focuses on how to use software-defined networks to automate network defensive measures. His research explores analytical methods to detect network attacks and an implementation of automated detection and response actions. His dissertation supervisors are Professors Murali Tummala and John McEachen.
Captain Hassan Kamara, U.S. Army | Defense and Security Analysis
Captain Kamara graduated from NPS in 2015 with an MA in security and strategic studies; his thesis is titled "The Influence of Strategic and Organizational Cultures on the Revolution in Military Affairs within the U.S. Army." ∎ read article
Captain Duilia Mora Turner, USAF | E-International Relations
Captain Turner had two articles published by E-International Relations: "Peru and Chile's Ocean View Resolved Dispute" (March 17, 2015) and "Root Causes of Violence in Post–Civil War Guatemala: A Literature Review" (April 8).
Captain Turner, an Air Force meteorologist, received a master of arts degree in security studies (western hemisphere) in March 2015. Her thesis is entitled "Violent Crime in Post-Civil War Guatemala: Causes and Policy Implications"; her advisors were Thomas C. Bruneau and Florina Cristiana Matei.