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James R. Holmes, Ph.D.

James R. Holmes, Ph.D.

Strategy & Policy


James Holmes is professor of strategy at the Naval War College and senior fellow at the University of Georgia School of Public and International Affairs. A former U.S. Navy surface warfare officer and combat veteran of the first Gulf War, he served as a gunnery and engineering officer in the battleship Wisconsin, engineering and damage-control instructor at the Surface Warfare Officers School Command, and military professor of strategy at the Naval War College.

Jim is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Vanderbilt University (B.A., mathematics and German) and completed graduate work at Salve Regina University (M.A., international relations), Providence College (M.A., mathematics), and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University (M.A.L.D. and Ph.D., international affairs), where he was the A. Eiken Hohenberg Scholar. He earned the McGinnis Family Award in 1994, signifying the top graduate in his Naval War College class.

His most recent books (with long-time coauthor Toshi Yoshihara) are Strategy in the Second Nuclear Age and Red Star over the Pacific
Designated an Atlantic Monthly Best Book of 2010, Red Star over the Pacific has been named to the Navy Professional Reading List as Essential Reading. Copies have been placed aboard every major ship, squadron, and shore installation in the U.S. Navy. Translations have appeared through the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing, and through houses in Japan, South Korea, and Germany. An additional translation is underway in Taiwan. Under contract are Naval Diplomats: The U.S. Asiatic Fleet and Japanese Sea Power in the 21st Century.

Jim has published over 25 book chapters and 150 scholarly essays, along with hundreds of opinion columns, think-tank analyses, and other works. He has been the national-security columnist for Real Clear Defense since February 2015. He wrote as the Naval Diplomat from 2012-2015 and is an occasional contributor to Foreign Policy, The National Interest, War on the Rocks, CNN, and the Naval Institute Proceedings.  From 2001-2007 he was the staff foreign-affairs columnist for the Athens (Ga.) Banner-Herald. He has been quoted or cited in outlets ranging from the Washington Post to Xinhua, and has appeared on such broadcast outlets as NPR, the BBC, and Deutsche Welle.

He has been a visiting scholar at National Chengchi University, Taiwan, and the Institute for Defense Studies & Analyses, India. He has testified before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission and spoken at such institutions as Brown, Duke, Harvard, and Vanderbilt universities; the Lowy Institute for International Policy, Sydney; the Japan Foreign Ministry and Maritime Self-Defense Force Staff College, Tokyo; the Aspen Institute, Berlin; the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, DC; the French Institute of International Relations (ifri), Paris; the Clingendael Institute of International Relations, The Hague; and the Chinese Council for Advanced Policy Studies, Taipei. 
In October 2013 he addressed the International Fleet Review in Sydney, Australia.

Jim has served as Memorial Day keynote speaker in Barrington, Rhode Island, and Mattapoisett, Massachusetts. On Memorial Day 2013 he presided over a Medal of Honor ceremony in Newport, Rhode Island, celebrating the life of Chief Gunner's Mate George Brady. In February 2015 he delivered keynote remarks at a Charlestown Navy Yard ceremony commemorating the bicentennial of sail frigate USS Constitutions victory over HMS Cyane and Levant.

U.S. Marine general James Mattis has pronounced him “troublesome.”

Material and external links contained herein are made available for the purpose of peer review and discussion and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Naval War College, Department of the Navy or the Department of Defense.