Seapower Conversations are informal discussions with leading experts on the trends, technologies, and tactics that shape modern seapower.  These conversations share information on the latest research and concepts coming from NPS that will influence the future of naval warfare. We hope to inspire thought on new concepts and technologies through these conversations that will affect the way we fight in the future, and the best way to do that is through the minds of junior and mid-career officers.

This series of events kicked off in 2019 with five interviews between faculty associate Lyla Englehorn and lauded strategist and Dean Emeritus retired Navy Capt. Wayne Hughes, who discusses major themes present in the newest edition of his seminal book, “Fleet Tactics and Naval Operations,” co-authored by retired Rear Adm. Robert Girrier. Read more. 

Latest Conversation

NWSI Seapower Conversation: Paul Giarra, "The Navy Needs Tactical Nuclear Weapons….Again"

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Aug 15, 2023  |  1500-1630 PDT
Glasgow 102 and livestreamed

Commander Paul Giarra has a distinguished career as naval officer, strategist, and author.  He is the president of Global Strategies & Transformation, a professional services firm and strategic planning consultancy.  During his naval career, he was a P-3 pilot; a designated naval strategic planner and political-military strategic planner for Far East, South Asia, and Pacific issues; and managed the U.S.–Japan alliance in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. In this discussion he will be addressing his recent USNI PROCEEDINGS article “Time to Recalibrate: The Navy Needs Tactical Nuclear Weapons…Again”

The full archive of conversation recordings is available on the NPS Seapower Conversation YouTube channel.

Recent Conversations

NWSI Seapower Conversation: Reflections on Navy Strategy & Force Design

Bruce Stubbs, Former Deputy Director of Strategy and Policy (N51), the Director of Strategy (N50), and the Director of Strategy and Strategic Concepts (N722).   

Thursday 25 May 2023 - 1500-1700 PDT 

The brief offers a deep dive into Navy Force Design. Its purpose is to provide a “navalist” audience an assessment of Navy Force Design and Strategy.  The brief describes the factors and issues affecting Force Design and places them into a thematic framework. Force Design is a complex subject with many facets.  The brief addresses Key Issues Affecting Navy Force Design (20 Stand-Alone Issues). 

BIO: Bruce Stubbs began his career as an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard. He served on the staff of the National Security Council, military aide to the Commandant of the Coast Guard, Commanding Officer of USCGC HARRIET LANE (WMEC-903), and Commandant of Cadets at the Coast Guard Academy. He was also assigned as the Assistant Commandant for Capability with responsibility for the Coast Guard’s 275-ships, 2,000-boats, 220-aircraft, and 188-multi-mission coastal stations, as well as the Coast Guard’s intelligence program, and the 35,000-members in the volunteer Auxiliary. As a Coast Guardsman, Mr. Stubbs also served in the U.S. Navy as a division officer on USS BADGER (DE-1071) during a combat tour in Vietnam, and as an instructor at the Naval War College.   

NWSI Seapower Conversation: Nuclear Deterrence and the Navy

Drew Walsh, SP2025 Nuclear Policy and Requirements Manager


Thursday 6 April 2023 - 1500-1700 PDT 
ME Auditorium (SECRET)

All NPS faculty and students who hold a SECRET clearance are welcome to attend. Arrive early enough to confirm clearance via command roster, and stow electronics at the door.

This seminar will provide an overview of deterrence thinking, the 2022 Nuclear Posture review (NPR), the current state and historical development of U.S. and other nations' nuclear strategy, delivery systems and warhead levels, as well as key bilateral and multilateral treaties.  It concludes with a look to the future, focusing on issues relevant to OHIO and the COLUMBIA Class SSBNs and sustainment of the SLBM capability to at least 2080, the life of the COLUMBIA class. 

BIO: Drew Walsh has over thirty years in program management/leadership roles applying policy, planning and analytic experience in support of OSD and the military services in nuclear weapons plans and policy, arms control, countering weapons of mass destruction (CWMD) and overall defense policy.