The last decade has seen the reemergence of Russia from its post-Cold War malaise. At sea, Russia is asserting itself in regions that it considers strategically vital, including the Black Sea, the Eastern Mediterranean, the Baltic Sea, and in the Arctic, while its improving nuclear missile submarine force once again presents the United States and NATO nations with a significant challenge. In this environment, it is vital that the U.S. and its partners develop a clear understanding of the strategic and operational factors that shape Russia’s approach to maritime issues and that drive Russian military and foreign policy decision making.

The mission of the Russia Maritime Studies Institute (RMSI) is to conduct research into these maritime issues on behalf of the U.S. Navy and NATO partners. In consultation with appropriate U.S. Navy elements such as U.S. Naval Forces Europe (NAVEUR); Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMPACFLT), Sixth Fleet, Seventh Fleet, and others, it develops and executes a broad research agenda and then disseminates finished research to Navy leadership and the fleet.

The goals for this institute are to:
  • Inform Navy, Fleet, Joint Force, and NATO decision making with regard to Russian maritime issues
  • Provide analysis to support U.S. planning and engagement efforts
  • Educate U.S. Navy personnel on Russian maritime issues
  • Develop new knowledge that contributes to scholarship and a deeper understanding of the issue associated with Russia from both a theater and global perspective
To achieve these goals, RMSI conducts research into a wide variety of issues, including naval policy, strategy, and operations; maritime technologies; shipbuilding; maritime law; deterrence; and naval diplomacy.

Based at the U.S. Naval War College (NWC) in Newport, Rhode Island, RMSI is located at the nexus of the academic, policy, and operational communities. NWC has pioneered strategic thinking about maritime issues for over one hundred years. It contributes a broad based, multi-dimensional research, analysis and gaming environment with significant linguistic and technological capabilities.

The close proximity of many of the nation's leading academic institutions offers the potential for unmatched intellectual synergies. Indeed, RMSI is seeking collaborative partnerships with other government research centers, civilian academic institutions, and other appropriate organizations. Such partnerships will facilitate cutting edge research on Russia's maritime development.


Michael Petersen, Ph.D.
Director, Russia Maritime Studies Institute
U.S. Naval War College
686 Cushing Road
Newport, Rhode Island 02841
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