Over the last decade, Russia emerged from its post-Cold War malaise with vigor. Although many consider Russia a predominantly land power, given the enormity of their land mass and relative lack of warm-water ports, for centuries Russia has sought access to the global maritime commons as a portal for greater engagement with the world, and a venue for projecting Russia's power beyond their littoral waters. Today, Russia is asserting herself via the maritime domain in regions that it considers of especial strategic importance, especially the North Atlantic, the Black and Baltic Seas, and the Eastern Mediterranean. Additionally, Russia is actively expanding its presence and capabilities in the Arctic.

Director, Russia Maritime Studies Institute

In coordination and consultation with U.S. Navy organizations to include U.S. Naval Forces Europe, Commander U.S. Pacific Fleet, Sixth Fleet, Seventh Fleet and others, RMSI develops and prosecutes a broad research agenda.  Finished research projects are then provided to Department of the Navy leadership and the Fleet.  

At the same time, the Russian Navy is undergoing a significant modernization program in terms of both personnel and platforms, as well as attendant weapon systems.  An improved, and deploying, nuclear missile submarine force once again presents the United States and NATO with a significant challenge.  The Russia Maritime Studies Institute (RMSI) conducts research into these and associated maritime issues on behalf of the Department of the Navy and NATO partners.  

Broadly, the goals for RMSI are to:

  • Inform the Department of the Navy, Fleet Commands, Joint Forces and NATO decision-makers regarding Russian maritime issues
  • Provide comprehensive analysis supporting U.S. planning and operational activities
  • Educate Department of the Navy personnel on Russian maritime issues
  • Develop new knowledge contributing to scholarship and a deeper understanding of all issues associated with Russia at both the theater and global levels of analysis

Furthermore, taking advantage of the intellectual capital of the region affords RMSI the opportunity to develop deep intellectual synergies.  Based at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, RMSI resides at the nexus of academia, policy and operational communities.   The U.S. Naval War College contributes broad, multi-dimensional research, analysis and gaming competencies fused with significant linguistic and technical capabilities, built on the experiences of more than 100 years of pioneering strategic thinking about maritime issues, opportunities and challenges.  

Building upon this capability, location and experience, RMSI continues seeking collaborative partnerships with government research centers, civilian academic institutions and other organizations.  Together, these collaborative efforts will continue to enable RMSI to conduct detailed research on Russia’s maritime development and inform senior level decisions.