THE DODO’S PROBLEM (AND THE REASON FOR WAR ROOM) – THREE YEAR ANNIVERSARY

The vision of our first Editor-In-Chief, Andrew Hill, WAR ROOM began three years ago today with the release of this article. Confident that there was space online for discussion and debate of national security, military history and simply furthering critical and innovative thought, Andrew found a way to get the resources together to create this […]

SOME THINGS CHANGE, SOME STAY THE SAME – EPISODE 3

Imagine a conflict, a real war with China…what does war termination look like in that environment? In our third and final episode our scholars continue the discussion of war termination, the latest calls for more lethality and persistent presence of politics in every conflict in modern times. A BETTER PEACE welcomes Emily Knowles of the […]

SOME THINGS CHANGE, SOME STAY THE SAME – EPISODE 2

…the claim that AI is changing the nature of warfare…it doesn’t have to be backed up by any empirical evidence at all…simply saying that maybe gets you what you want In the first episode our scholars began the discussion of the nature versus the character of war. In episode 2 the conversation turns to AI […]

SOME THINGS CHANGE, SOME STAY THE SAME

I think it makes…strategic thinkers think that they’re saying something profound when in fact they are not.   Scholars have long held that the nature of war is enduring and unchanging, while the character of war is in flux and subject to the whims of technology and modern thought. It is a concept often credited […]

WHY WAR COLLEGES? — A SPECIAL RE-RELEASE

From the WAR ROOM Editorial Staff: What happens when a DBA from the Harvard Business School lands at the U.S. Army War College? There’s the inevitable push-back against the formal dress code, but more importantly–there’s innovation and new ideas. Although Dr. Andrew A. Hill has announced his departure from the War College and as the […]

AN UNBEATEN ROMAN GENERAL: SCIPIO AFRICANUS (GREAT CAPTAINS)

These two commanders, Scipio Africanus vs. Hannibal … demonstrated [strategic leadership] to a great degree A BETTER PEACE continues the Great Captains series with the sequel to a previous episode on the renowned Carthaginian general Hannibal. This episode tells the story of Hannibal’s opponent in the Battle of Zama, Scipio Africanus. Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus […]

THE POWER OF NUMBERS: CHALLENGES OF RAPIDLY EXPANDING THE ARMY

over the past four decades the Army has produced little innovation in its ability to rapidly expand the force Portions of this essay are excepted from “The Total Army,” an Elihu Root Study by the 2016 Carlisle Scholars Program at the U.S. Army War College. It is time for the Army to innovate in meeting […]

A ‘BIG DATA’ APPROACH TO WINNING THE ASYMMETRIC FIGHT

Fundamentally in asymmetric conflicts, the struggle is over information that comes from the [local] population. This is different from the traditional ‘hearts and minds’ view A BETTER PEACE welcomes Jacob Shapiro from Princeton U., co-author of Small Wars, Big Data: The Information Revolution in Modern Conflict. Conventional wisdom in conflict has been that those combatants […]

THE WAR ROOM HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE!

Finding yourself stumped in the search for an appropriate gift for the national security professional in your life? Winter holidays bring a host (perhaps too large a host) of gift-giving opportunities, and we here at WAR ROOM strive to bring you useful and timely content. Whether you’re looking for a gift to bring for a […]

DOCUMENTS CAN LIE, TOO: THE “LESSONS” OF HISTORY (PART 3)

You cannot help but approach your sources from your own experiences and backgrounds Our three-part roundtable on the “Lessons” of History concludes as Con Crane, Jacqueline E. Whitt, and Andrew A. Hill discuss the importance of critical thinking for developing historical mindedness. From the subjectivity of first-person accounts to the modern phenomenon of so-called “fake […]

JUDGES, NOT LAWYERS: THE “LESSONS” OF HISTORY (PART 2)

You cannot help but approach your sources from your own experiences and backgrounds Our three-part roundtable on the “Lessons” of History continues as Con Crane, Jacqueline E. Whitt, and Andrew A. Hill discuss the roles of military historians in professional military education and the practical uses of military history in general. If history doesn’t teach […]

“HISTORY TEACHES US” NOTHING: THE “LESSONS” OF HISTORY (PART 1)

HISTORY IS NOT A BOX OF FACTS, IT IS A STATE OF MIND History teaches us ____________.” Many listeners have probably heard that opening a few times, usually followed by a claim that is apparently profound and timely, but also probably poorly supported and problematic. Why does this construction persist, then? Is it because of […]

JUST BE GRATEFUL: THANKSGIVING, 1789

render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws In the fall of 1789, with the United States of America in its first year under the new Constitution, President George Washington, acting at the request of both elements of the First Congress, proclaimed the […]

AMERICA IN VIETNAM: WHEN THE BEST AND BRIGHTEST GO WRONG

How do you explain how well-intentioned, patriotic, bright people make poor judgments that lead to so much suffering? Historian and U.S. Naval Academy Professor Brian VanDeMark joins the podcast to discuss his acclaimed new book, Road to Disaster: A New History of America’s Descent into Vietnam.  How do advances in cognitive psychology help explain how intelligent, […]

DITCH THE CHECKLISTS: LET’S EDUCATE LEADERS!

There’s twenty-four outcomes that you’re supposed to do, they would come in and go ‘Prove to me your assessment on all twenty-four of these things.’ The 2018 National Defense Strategy includes the following stark assessment of Professional Military Education, or PME: “PME has stagnated, focused more on the accomplishment of mandatory credit at the expense […]

HANNIBAL AND THE MARCH THROUGH THE ALPS (GREAT CAPTAINS)

His strategy was to strike directly at the heart of Rome … [he selected] terrain well and positioned himself in a way that almost secured victory Hannibal Barca (247-183 BC) was a Carthaginian general at a time when the Roman Empire was growing in power and influence across the Mediterranean. Hannibal demonstrated his prowess as […]

WILLIAM T. SHERMAN: THE FIRST ‘MODERN’ GENERAL (GREAT CAPTAINS)

He understands the psychology of war matters, and he is intent on trying to get the war over as quickly as possible. We continue our series on Great Captains with a look at William Tecumseh Sherman, one of the more controversial figures in the Civil War due to his actions in the South during the […]

VIETNAM — ONE MARINE’S PERSPECTIVE

I wrote to my mother, who was living in France, saying, ‘We’re not going to win this war. We’re making the same mistakes the French made only on a larger scale.’ Every late summer, resident War College students immerse themselves in the Theory of War and Strategy, a challenging core course that covers the fundamentals […]

WHAT DO WE EXPECT OF OUR YOUTH?

Young people are capable of extraordinary things as long as they are given the opportunity by the adults in their lives An all-volunteer force depends on the willingness, capabilities, and capacities of a nation’s youth to serve. While much has been made of the paucity of youths who meet the physical and moral qualifications to serve […]