Welding Alliances: How Allied Warship Production Could Transform the Indo-Pacific

Please note new venue for Hilary term

U.S. Navy surface ships are deployed around the world in strategically important waters. Their presence matters in the increasingly complex maritime domain and yet, despite unprecedented congressional support for shipbuilding, the U.S. defence industrial base cannot keep up with demand. At the same time, the U.S. is exploring new ways to deepen cooperation with partners in the Indo-Pacific to strengthen regional collective security and deter potential conflict. A collaborative warship construction program may succeed in achieving those aims.

Commander Douglas Robb is the Academic Year 2023-2024 U.S. Navy Hudson Fellow at St. Antony’s College and a visiting research fellow in the Changing Character of War Centre at Pembroke College. His operational assignments have been in Pacific fleet-based guided missile destroyers, culminating most recently as commanding officer of USS Spruance (DDG 111), homeported in San Diego, California. His staff assignments in Washington, DC include liaison to the U.S. House of Representatives in the Navy’s Office of Legislative Affairs; Tomahawk Missile and Surface Strike section head in the Navy Staff’s Surface Warfare Division (OPNAV N96); and speechwriter for the Navy’s four-star uniformed leader, the Chief of Naval Operations. Current research interests include ways to strengthen naval power, including how allied capabilities may be used to overcome domestic constraints.