Martijn’s main aims to contribute to the field concern the empirical analysis of military strategy. In Europe, and especially on the continent, military strategy is only a marginal research field. Although international politics and security studies are taught and studied, military operations and strategy are often left to the experts—military analysis or military historians. Within the discipline in Europe there is therefore an important contribution to be made to fill the gap between the two fields of Military Operations Analysis and Military History. On the one hand there are a few places in Europe where military operations analysts conduct sophisticated mathematical modeling of military operations. These analyses are, however, often not aimed at examination of the strategic level where the (international) political context plays an important role. On the other hand, especially in the UK, there are a number of scholars that examine military affairs from a predominantly historical approach. Although these studies take the political context into account, they are often not deliberately aimed at theory testing and development. As a result, there is a lot of scope for political scientists to conduct theory driven empirical research using the unique methods and techniques that make up the social scientists “toolbox”. Martijn’s research agenda therefore aims to stimulate and conduct such methodologically sophisticated social scientific research on military strategy that goes beyond description and contributes to theory development and testing.
As part of this agenda, Martijn is currently also developing a graduate course titled: "Military Analysis for Political Scientists." Two important initiatives concerning the social scientific examination of military strategy concern Columbia University's Summer Workshop on the Analysis of Military operations and Strategy (SWAMOS) and the Committee on the Analysis of Military Operations and Strategy (CAMOS) that is affiliated with the American Political Science Association (APSA) and the International Studies Association (ISA). SWAMOS offers graduate students and junior staff an intorduction to the analysis of military operations and strategy. CAMOS is group of academics dedicated to advancing the scientific study of military strategy. CAMOS hosts panels at both the APSA and ISA annual conventions.
Martijn's main research project concerns a 100,000 word multi-method book manusript on the dynamics of coercion and counter-coercion when dealing with much weaker opponent's.
Martijn is currently also working on a smaller research project on the eternal essence of strategy. This project highlights the dangers in "new war thinking" and emphasises the eternal essence of strategy using illustrations from the work of Thucydides, Machiavelli, and Clausewitz.