CULTIVATING INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS ONE STUDENT AT A TIME

The key thing is relationships. When we build those relationships those are bridges that help us to go throughout all the situations we face in our career as military [members]. One of the finest aspects of the resident class each year at the U.S. Army War College is the cohort of International Fellows (IF). For […]

LOOKING TO THE PAST TO CHANGE THE FUTURE

Back in the 1930s, Air Force officers who were assigned instructor duty at the Air Corps Tactical School…would wear these little…pledge pins on their uniforms. A BETTER PEACE welcomes Dr. John Terino, Chair of the Department of Airpower at the U.S. Air Force Air Command and Staff College (ACSC.) John joins our Editor-In-Chief, Jacqueline Whitt to […]

A QUESTION OF PROFESSIONALISM (DUSTY SHELVES)

For today and tomorrow, I think it can remind us of one tool that’s been tried for some bootstrap professional development, and also make us think about how all officers need to balance deep domain knowledge and broader military knowledge. In 1921, Surgeon General Merritte Ireland needed to reorient his doctors.  He felt they were […]

THE MORE THINGS CHANGE, THE MORE THEY STAY THE SAME

WAR ROOM is a labor of love The More Things Change … I had been at the US Army War College for only a few months when Andrew Hill, the founder and Editor-in-Chief of WAR ROOM, stopped me outside of my office. “I think you are not boring. Do you want to run the podcast?” […]

IS PROFESSIONAL MILITARY EDUCATION REALLY “STAGNANT”?

How does one respond when the senior steward of the U.S. military profession states that its education system is stagnated? … I was taken aback How does one respond when the senior steward of the U.S. military profession states that its education system is stagnated? Then-Secretary of Defense James Mattis made such a declaration in […]

FINDING “WOW” MOMENTS (AND OTHER WRITING TIPS FOR SENIOR LEADERS) (ON WRITING)

If you don’t end your essay with the ‘so what’ answered, you haven’t done your job Ah, writing … that elusive skill. For all the advice and helpful books on the market, there is little substitute for developing the skill through practice and experience. But not everyone has the time, and even experienced writers can […]

THE CARLISLE EXPERIENCE AT THE U.S. ARMY WAR COLLEGE

The Army War College isn’t a year to ‘take a knee’ So, you’re on your way to the U.S. Army War College (USAWC) and the School of Strategic Landpower. Or, perhaps you’ve already arrived, and you want to round out your rigorous reading and writing with something a little bit different. The Army War College […]

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 […]

STRATEGY AS PERFORMANCE: EDUCATING STUDENTS TO GO BEYOND ENDS, WAYS, & MEANS

One weakness of the way we view strategy … is that we neglect the environment Professional military education (PME) plays a vital role in preparing military leaders to fight and win the nation’s wars. PME occurs at all levels of leadership, required for the most junior non-commissioned officers to the most senior flag officers and […]

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 […]

THE ART OF WRITING HISTORY (ON WRITING)

When military historians study battles or campaigns, what purpose does it serve? To immerse oneself deeply in the period and master the details, or to connect events of the past to the present? These and other questions are addressed in this conversation between two renowned military historians–Robert Citino of the World War II Museum and Michael Neiberg of the U.S. Army War College. They also address questions of what constitutes good historical writing and why it is especially important to develop such writing skills today.

BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN THE CIVILIAN WORLD AND THE MILITARY

[The Harold K. Johnson Chair] is an effort to bring civilians into the military in order to chip away at the gap that exists … between the civilian world and the military As a follow-up to her WAR ROOM article on professional military education, former Harold K. Johnson Chair of Military History Dr. Jennifer Mittelstadt […]

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! — INTRODUCING WHITEBOARD

We invite you, our WAR ROOM readers, to join in the conversation and add to the Whiteboard. If you were faced with a vexing complex problem, how would you start solving it? …After the fear, procrastination, and panic, that is. You would do a little research, assemble your initial thoughts, and reach out to some […]

TOO MUCH WAR, NOT ENOUGH COLLEGE

Army leadership should inject more ‘college’ in the War College by hiring more civilian academic instructors. When I arrived at the U.S. Army War College in August 2017 as the Harold K. Johnson Chair in Military History I walked into an institution debating its future.  During my first weeks at the War College, I met […]

FROM POLICY & STRATEGY TO CAPABILITY & CAPACITY: THE DEFENSE MANAGEMENT PRIMER

In an organization in which … ‘manageR’ is an insult, it is not easy to convince people that defense management is valuable. We are pleased to announce the publication of Defense Management: Primer for Senior Leaders, by the U.S. Army War College’s Department of Command, Leadership, and Management. (Download the primer here. Listen to a […]

MAKING THE CASE FOR THE CASE METHOD

A story … breaks down more complicated theoretical concepts into something that is relatable. Among the challenges of educating senior national security professionals is that the dynamics and complexity of the strategic environment inhibits the creation of clean models or simple how-to guides. The context of each problem is different, as even the same type […]

LEARNING STRATEGY THROUGH FILM

Films can bring to life war’s battles, leaders, examples of strategic decisions, and examples of less successful strategic decisions. As Mark Gagnon and Jacqueline E. Whitt show in this presentation, there are many ways that films can be used in professional military education. From learning about strategic decisions and their impacts to broadening the world […]

LEARNING STRATEGY BY WALKING THE GROUND

In this podcast, military historian Len Fullenkamp reflects on the importance of immersing oneself in the minds of strategic leaders facing dynamic and complex situations. One tool is the staff ride, an opportunity to walk a battlefield and understand the strategic perspective of the leaders prosecuting a campaign. What was the decision made then and what can it teach us about strategic decisions now?

WRONG AND USEFUL: MODELS AND METAPHORS FOR STRATEGY

No strategic model is a perfect representation of war, but some … offer valuable insights that justify their costs. What good is a “model” of strategy when every model possible is so clearly and manifestly wrong? War is among the most complex of human endeavors. In such a context, what use are the necessary simplifications […]