NEWPORT, R.I. - The Weekly Maritime News Survey, a valuable research and resource tool for the Naval War College (NWC) and the public, became accessible on the college’s Internet on June 4.
Under the direction of Cmdr. James Lewis (ret.), an analyst for the Strategic Research Department, this weekly news survey provides a wealth of unclassified information about naval, maritime and security issues throughout the world.
“It started in 2006 when, as part of my job for the China Maritime Studies Institute, I was researching a wide range of resource materials and information online,” Lewis said. “During the process, I found numerous unclassified articles and news sources that I thought could be very useful for classroom instruction as well as faculty and student research projects.”
He shared this information with colleagues and was encouraged to package the product and make it accessible on the Internet. With the advent of an improved NWC website, the consensus of opinion is that the survey will prove to be a valuable asset both internally and externally for the college.
“The faculty, staff and administrators that we spoke with believe it has a lot of potential,” said Cmdr. David Welch, who handled much of the mechanical issues with IRD in order to build and activate the site. “It’s a great intellectual product that is now available for everyone at the college, the Navy and the rest of the world.”
The Weekly Maritime News Survey also keeps in step with the initiative from the president’s office at the NWC.
“Adm. Wisecup wants the college to be the repository or home for Naval thought,” Lewis said. “This product feeds into that because it will motivate people to discuss new sources of information and critical issues confronting navies around the globe.”
The weekly “survey” is not meant to replace or incorporate existing news outlets such as “Early Bird."
“Our content is gleaned from special interest journals, merchant magazines and trade publications—just to name a few,” Lewis said. “These are deeper resources the casual reader would not usually find during their own research.”
Lewis shared an example of a joint project on the Chinese Air Force by an Air Force student and a professor at the NWC.
“They were looking for information about the capability of the Chinese Air Force to provide in-air refueling,” Lewis said. “I showed them information on the subject that the Chinese were publishing in their own trade magazines. We also found photos of Chinese aircraft in the actual process of refueling.”
The Survey— with its links to the publications and articles—is updated and archived on a weekly basis by titles, functions, countries, and regions of the world. In addition to national and international naval and maritime issues, researched topics include—but are not limited to—climate change, energy, piracy, and shipbuilding.
By David Reese, Naval War College Public Affairs