Joshua Tallis

Headshot of Joshua Tallis

Joshua Tallis

Professorial Lecturer

Part-time Faculty


Dr. Joshua Tallis is a research scientist at the Center for Naval Analyses (CNA) 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. In 2018, he embedded with Carrier Strike Group Eight as the command's CNA analyst during the Navy's first Arctic carrier operations since 1991, for which he was awarded CNA's Deployer Award. 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.

Maritime security; ocean governance; sea power; Arctic and Antarctic policy.


The War for Muddy Waters: Pirates, Terrorists, Traffickers, and Maritime Insecurity. Naval Institute Press, 2019.

Book Chapter

"Maritime Terrorism," in The Routledge Handbook of Maritime Security, edited by Ruxandra Bosilca and Susana de Sousa Ferreira (working).

“Seapower, Terrorism, and Transnational Challenges,” in Seapower for Strategic Influence: Naval Operations in Peacetime, Crisis, and Conflict, edited by Steven Wills (working).

Select Periodicals (sole author unless otherwise specified)

"Strategy of the Commons: Lessons and Limits from Space, the Oceans, and the Poles." Proceedings. Summer 2020.

“While ‘Arctic Exceptionalism’ Melts Away, the US Isn’t Sure What It Wants Next.” Defense One. January 2020.

“The Case for Maritime Security in an Era of Great Power Competition.” Center for International Maritime Security. June 2019.

“Hybrid Threats and the Constabularization of Strategy.” Strategy Bridge. April 2019.

“Toward a New Maritime Strategy: American Naval Thinking in the Post-Cold War Era, Reviewed by Joshua Tallis.” Marine Corps History Magazine. 4.2. (Winter 2018): 92-93.

Tallis, Joshua and Ian Klaus. “Cities and the Sea: The Urban Role in Maritime Security.” Marine Corps University Journal. (Fall, 2018).

Tallis, Joshua. Ryan Bauer, Lauren Frey. “ISIL’S Battlefield Tactics and the Implications for Homeland Security and Preparedness.” Journal of Terrorism Research. 8.3 (2017).

“Review: Does Terrorism Work? A History” Marine Corps University Journal. 8.2 (2017): 115-118.

“Is Somali Piracy Back?” Center for International Maritime Security, March 2017.

“Lessons on Cyber Security: A NASA Case Study.” American Intelligence Journal. 33.1 (2016): 109-110.

“The U.S. Navy in an Irregular Baltic Conflict: Seapower’s Role in Countering Russian Hybrid Warfare.” The National Interest, October 2016.

“Legitimacy at Sea: Is Sea Shepherd a Navy or Piracy?” Center for International Maritime Security, September 2016.

“Other Than War: HA/DR and Geopolitics.” Center for International Maritime Security, March 2016.

“The Language of Terror.” Center for International Maritime Security, August 2015.

“The New US Maritime Strategy.” Center for International Maritime Security, March 2015.

“Remediating Space Debris: Legal and Technical Barriers.” Strategic Studies Quarterly. 9.1 (2015): 86-99.

“Deconstructing ‘Survivability.’” Center for International Maritime Security, February 2015.

Center for Naval Analyses Reports (Unclassified)

Overfield, Cornell, and Joshua Tallis. Great Power Relations: What Makes Powers Great and Why Do They Competes? (2020).

Tallis, Joshua, et al. Realigning the Navy Reserve to Great Power Competition (2019).

Knoll, David, et al. Caribbean Basin Security Initiative-Technical Assistance Field Teams Partner Nation Progress: Six Country Case Studies (2018).

Tallis, Joshua and Pamela Faber. Chief of Naval Operations’ Strategic Studies Group, 1995-2016: Summary of Summaries (2018).

Fierstine, Kory, et al. Modernization on Long-Term Vessel Maintenance Costs and Efficiencies (2017).

Alden, Alexander, et al. CNA Series on Seapower: The Baltic Case (2016).

Ph.D. in International Relations, University of St Andrews (2016); B.A. in Middle East studies with honors, Phi Beta Kappa, The George Washington University (2012).