Hunter Stires is a Fellow with the John B. Hattendorf Center for Maritime Historical Research at the U.S. Naval War College. His area of inquiry centers on maritime strategy and logistics in the Western Pacific. Mr. Stires is the most recent winner of the U.S. Naval Institute’s General Prize Essay Contest, with his winning entry published as “The South China Sea Needs a ‘COIN’ Toss” in the May 2019 issue of Proceedings alongside a companion piece, “Why We Defend Free Seas.” His related article “’They Were Playing Chicken:’ The U.S. Asiatic Fleet’s Gray-Zone Deterrence Campaign against Japan, 1937-40,” is featured in the Summer 2019 issue of the Naval War College Review. He is a freelance contributor to The National Interest and a graduate of Columbia University.