Owen Cote | People

Owen Cote
Principal Research Scientist
Associate Director, MIT Security Studies Program


Owen R. Coté, Jr. joined the MIT Security Studies Program in 1997 as Associate Director. Prior to that he was Assistant Director of the International Security Program at Harvard's Center for Science and International Affairs, where he remains co-editor of the Center's journal, International Security. He received his Ph.D. from MIT, where he specialized in U.S. defense policy and international security affairs. He is the author of The Third Battle: Innovation in the U.S. Navy's Silent Cold War Struggle with Soviet Submarines, a book analyzing the sources of the U.S. Navy's success in its Cold War antisubmarine warfare effort, and a co-author of Avoiding Nuclear Anarchy: Containing the Threat of Loose Russian Nuclear Weapons and Fissile Material. He has written on the sources of innovation in military doctrine, the future of war, nuclear and conventional force structure issues, and the threat of nuclear terrorism.



Publications|Selected Publications

"One if by invasion, two if by coercion: US military capacity to protect Taiwan from China," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Vol 78, No. 2, 2022, pp. 65-72

"Taiwan's submarine-building plan," Strategic Comments, Vol. 27, No. 1, 2021.

"Invisible nuclear-armed submarines, or transparent oceans? Are ballistic missile submarines still the best deterrent for the United States," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Vol 75, No. 1, 2019, pp. 30-35

Assessing the Undersea Balance Between the U.S. and China (2011)

The Future of Naval Aviation (2006)

The Future of Trident Force (2002)

Assuring Access and Projecting Power (2002)

Mobile Targets from Under the Sea (1999)

Precision Strike from Under the Sea (1997)

Antisubmarine Warfare (1997)



Quoted in "Taiwan's planned submarine fleet cound forestall a potential Chinese invasion for decades," CNN.com, December 20, 2020.

Quoted in "Taiwan is Building Eight New Submarines--They Alone Could Destroy A Chinese Invasion Fleet," Forbes.com, December 2, 2020.

Quoted in "Confusion as Russia denies US claim of breakthrough in nuclear arms talks," The Telegraph, October 14, 2020.

Quoted in "The Russian Navy: A Submarine Powerhouse?" The National Interest, September 6, 2019.

Quoted in "Some experts question defense value of submarines," thehour.com, June 16, 2018.