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.


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]

June 26, 2019

Joshua Tallis says, "We can talk about countering piracy, we can talk about countering terrorism, we can talk about countering narcotics and human trafficking, but how do we talk about the coherence of maritime insecurity?"

Hudson Institute: "Maritime Irregular Warfare: Preparing to Meet Hybrid Maritime Threats"

June 17, 2019

Joshua Tallis writes, "These forecasts are unequivocally telling us that dense, networked, and littoral communities are an emerging global force."

CIMSEC: "The Case for Maritime Security in an Era of Great Power Competition"

April 22, 2019

Joshua Tallis writes, "Partnership is not zero-sum, and pursuing a local agenda helps ensure long-term buy-in from authorities and the people they will rely on to help keep communities safe."

The Strategy Bridge: "Hybrid Threats and the Constabularization of Strategy"

November 30, 2018

Joshua Tallis writes, “Urban centers have a complicated relationship with the maritime space. On the one hand, cities are major contributors to insecurity along their maritime borders, exacerbating issues from human trafficking to illegal fishing. On the other hand, cities are increasingly at the center of international consensusbuilding and problem-solving forums that are producing results even as nations fail to come to agreement on similar challenges.”

Marine Corps University Journal Fall 2018: “Cities and the Sea”

December 13, 2017

Joshua Tallis writes, "So, does terrorism work? Those looking for a straight yes or no will finish this book disappointed. Yet English succeeds in his ultimate goal of elucidating and demonstrating a more robust framework through which this debate can continue fruitfully."

Marine Corps University Journal (page 115): "Does Terrorism Work? A History. (Book Review)"