Hunter Stires is the Project Director of the U.S. Naval Institute’s Maritime Counterinsurgency Project. He is a Fellow with the U.S. Naval War College’s John B. Hattendorf Center for Maritime Historical Research and a Non-Resident Fellow with the Navy League’s Center for Maritime Strategy. Mr. Stires has been recognized twice in the U.S. Naval Institute’s General Prize Essay Contest. His 1st prize winning entry is 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 2nd prize entry, “Win Without Fighting,” is published in the June 2020 issue. His related article, “‘They Were Playing Chicken:’ The U.S. Asiatic Fleet’s Gray-Zone Deterrence Campaign against Japan, 1937-40,” is published in the Summer 2019 issue of the Naval War College Review and is featured in the 2022 Newport Papers monograph Deterrence. A graduate of Columbia University, Mr. Stires is a Program Analyst supporting the OPNAV N957 Expeditionary Combat Branch.