Naval competition in the Red Sea and Broader Middle East

Lt Cdr Ward will be discussing the anomalies of increased superpower naval presence in the Red Sea, without (so far) increased naval competition.  Building on his work on the mirroring fallacy vis-à-vis the Soviet Navy and the West, he will explore whether there is only one way to do naval strategy.  What do recent operations in the Red Sea tell us about how naval warfare is changing and the role of navies in state-on-state competition?

Andrew Ward is the 2023-24 Royal Navy Hudson Fellow and a Visiting Fellow at CCW. Andrew joined the Royal Navy in 2012, serving at sea in destroyers HMS DRAGON and DUNCAN in the Middle East. Recently he has been working in international policy at the Ministry of Defence and Northwood Headquarters. He read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at University College, was a visiting student at Washington & Lee University and completed an MA in Defence and Security Studies (Maritime) at King’s College London in 2021. His paper on the Royal Navy and the Early Cold War was published in January 2022.

Please be aware that group attendance may be limited. Please contact Group Lead Christopher Morris or team ( for attendance and inquiries. Seminar details are confirmed a week in advance.

The Emerging Threats & Technology Working Group meets regularly each term to examine the national security implications of critical and emerging technologies (CETs), from artificial intelligence and quantum computing to directed energy and space platforms. Meetings are held in hybrid format, at Oxford and online, to include diverse views from academia, industry, and policy, matching the global reach of technological innovation and challenge.

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