CDR Jeffrey Vanak

National Security Affairs Fellow

Commander Jeffrey Vanak, representing the U.S. Navy, is a National Security Affairs Fellow for the academic year 2020–21 at the Hoover Institution.

Commander Vanak is an intelligence officer who has served in multiple operational assignments that included deployments to Afghanistan, East Africa, Iraq, and embarked aboard USS Eisenhower (CVN 69).  His staff assignments include Special Operations Command, Chief of Naval Operations (CNO)-Intelligence Plot at the Pentagon, and the CNO Strategic Studies Group where he developed future Navy concepts for Human-Machine Teaming.  Most recently, he served at U.S. Pacific Fleet, providing intelligence and planning support focused on warfighting and Great Power Competition in the Indo-Pacific.

Commander Vanak graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2005 with a degree in Economics and earned his master’s from the U.S. Naval War College in 2017, where he was named Honor Graduate.  In 2012, he was named the Office of Naval Intelligence Junior Officer of the Year.

As a fellow at Hoover, his research will focus on Great Power Competition in the Indo-Pacific with a focus on China.

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Recent Commentary

USS Bataan (LHD-5), a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship.

How To Operationalize The Quad

by CDR Jeffrey Vanak, CDR John “Jack” Souders, Lt Col Kenneth J. del Mazovia The Diplomat
Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Through deepening maritime partnerships, the Quad nations can amplify their mutual naval power in the Indo-Pacific.

Analysis and Commentary

Wargames: Losing Is Learning, Learning Is Winning

by CDR Jeffrey Vanakvia The Diplomat
Wednesday, December 16, 2020

It is imperative the U.S. military learns from wargame losses.


China's Missile Power Play In The Pacific Puts U.S. And Allies At Major Disadvantage

by CDR Jeffrey Vanakvia The Washington Times
Monday, September 28, 2020

While COVID-19 distracts the world, China is making missile moves that could put the United States and its allies at a major disadvantage. After a decade of development, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has brought its most capable conventional deterrent from the test ranges (and parade ground) to international waters, firing anti-ship ballistic missiles into the South China Sea in each of the past two years.