New AtlanticistJan 10, 2024
To fend off Russia in the Black Sea, the US and NATO need to help boost Allies’ naval power
By Gavin Clough
The absence of a credible and sustained allied naval presence across the Black Sea opens the door for Russia to disrupt commercial shipping in international waters.
Commander Gavin Clough is the 2023-2024 senior US Navy fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security. He is also a US Navy foreign area officer.
Prior to his designation as a foreign area officer, Clough served as a surface warfare officer for ten years, circumnavigating the globe while deploying four times to support Operations Inherent Resolve and Enduring Freedom, as well as conducting operations in the Indo-Pacific and African theaters. As a foreign area officer, Clough served as a strategist for collecting intelligence on countering weapons of mass destruction at the US Defense Intelligence Agency, and as the Middle East regional director on the Navy Staff. He completed his milestone assignment as the chief of navy security cooperation at the US Office of Military Cooperation–Cairo, Egypt, where he bilaterally executed the fifty-billion-dollar foreign military sales portfolio with the Egyptian military. Most recently, Clough served as the Eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea regional political-military advisor to the director for strategy, plans, and policy (J5) on the Joint Staff.
Clough graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a bachelor of science in mathematics and received a master of arts in diplomacy with a concentration in international conflict resolution from Norwich University. He received an associate of arts in Arabic from the Defense Learning Institute following initial language training. His awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, and several unit and campaign awards.