Joshua Tallis, Ph.D.
Research Scientist


Dr. Joshua Tallis is a research scientist with expertise in ocean security, polar affairs, and the role of naval operations in U.S. foreign policy. He is interested in the strategic challenges of building security in shared spaces and the strategic implications of maritime operations. Tallis' work at CNA includes analyses on maritime security, carrier strike group operations, Arctic operations and great power dynamics.

Tallis' work on strategy and policy is enhanced by operational field research. For example, in 2018 he was embedded with Carrier Strike Group Eight as the command's CNA analyst during the Navy's first Arctic carrier deployment since 1991. Administratively, he is a project director who specializes in managing cross-disciplinary teams and building research designs to answer complex, unstructured questions. Before joining CNA, Tallis was the manager for research at a boutique security consulting firm in Northern Virginia.

Tallis is the author of the 2019 book, "The War for Muddy Waters: Pirates, Terrorists, Traffickers, and Maritime Insecurity." Tallis holds a Ph.D. in international relations from the University of St Andrews and a B.A. in Middle East studies from the George Washington University.


June 18, 2020

Joshua Tallis says, "If GPC [Great Power Competition] is a contest for friends, there isn't one theory of victory but two theories of victory that the Navy has to consider. One is positional, and the other is political. 

USNI News: "Lack of Future Fleet Plans, Public Strategy Hurting Navy's Bottom Line in Upcoming Defense Bills"

June 1, 2020

Joshua Tallis writes, "Some of the world's most complex security challenges—including many with Navy equities—are marked less by specific geographies than by their nature as global commons."

Proceedings: "Lessons for Space From the Oceans and Poles"

May 25, 2020

Joshua Tallis writes that while, "the deployments are important symbols of mass mobilization, their role in increasing healthcare capacity is likely very limited."

USNI News: "Beyond Mercy: Navy's COVID-19 Hospital Ship Missions and the Future of Medicine at Sea"

May 12, 2020

Joshua Tallis writes, "With an adequate supply of smaller ships, the Navy could disperse the force to ensure that competition is as global as U.S. strategy claims it should be"

Defense One: "To Compete With Russia and China at Sea, Think Small"

January 22, 2020

Joshua Tallis writes, "Current governance structures like the Arctic Council, which generally include only geographically Arctic nations, may prove insufficient to deal with rising external pressures."

Defense One: "As 'Arctic Exceptionalism' Melts Away, the U.S. Isn't Sure What It Wants Next"

August 30, 2019

Joshua Tallis says, "If we don't think strategically about how you manage and address challenges at the low-end we run the significant risk of failing to respond appropriately when issues arise."

CIMSEC: "Forum for Authors and Readers" [33:33]