THE GRAND STRATEGY OF CARL VON CLAUSEWITZ

WAR ROOM welcomes Francis Miyata to demonstrate that Clausewitz provides an implicit definition of grand strategy in his magnum opus, On War. Francis argues that the definition is found not in his theory of war but extrapolated from his theory of the state, which is the bearer of multiple means of political intercourse, including war. He examines how the definition integrates all the tools of statecraft into a seamless whole, which today more than ever is an imperative of strategizing amidst the conditions of contemporary global politics.

MILITARY GEOGRAPHY AND MILITARY STRATEGY

Military strategy depends on geography to a far greater degree than what is currently practiced or taught. One of the effects of the diminished attention to military strategy as warmaking has been to focus the efforts of military strategists on crafting or sorting out objectives. The favorite gripe of military professionals, even in military strategic […]

GETTING WAR (GAMING) BACK INTO THE WAR COLLEGE (WARGAMING ROOM)

Before we get too far, let’s address some of the baggage that comes with wargaming. “SHALL WE PLAY A GAME?” These are the iconic words from the 1983 movie WarGames, in which a high school student unknowingly hacks a government computer system to play a game called “Global Thermonuclear War.”  The protagonist sets off a […]

CARLISLE SCHOLAR, INTERNATIONAL FELLOW — THE VIEW FROM BAHRAIN

Imagine taking a graduate level program in a foreign country in a different language from your native tongue. Now imaging stepping it up and enrolling in the one class that does it completely differently from all the rest, and prides itself on significantly challenging its students to think and behave in a manner that forces […]

THE LEAVENWORTH HERESY?

Operational art had become all-encompassing, because the Joint community called all war making at the national and theater level ‘campaigns.’ Ten years ago, Australian defense experts Justin Kelly and Michael Brennan published scathing critiques of American strategic thinking in Alien: How Operational Art Devoured Strategy  and “The Leavenworth Heresy and the Perversion of Operational Art”.  […]

THE ART OF GAMING: STRATEGIC EDITION

Gaming is a useful method for educating Army strategists. … Command and General Staff College [has] already started to use simple gaming in their instruction. Would it surprise you that Monopoly can help teach accounting principles? Or that chess players build their critical thinking and strategy skills? Games are known to be useful as educational […]

BELIEVING IS SEEING: ON STRATEGIC IMAGINATION

American national security strategy is generally unimaginative. It is too often constrained by a rigid, unimaginative pursuit of optimal objectives… It needs the constructive, creative impulse that characterizes great strategy. On May 7, 1864, the battle-weary soldiers of the Army of the Potomac awoke expecting to retreat north (yet again) from their nemeses – the […]

ON CARL VON CLAUSEWITZ – GREAT STRATEGISTS (EPISODE 1)

This podcast is the first episode of a War Room special series featuring some of history’s greatest strategists. Featured is Carl von Clausewitz, famed for his book On War (Vom Kriege) which is a staple of professional military education in the U.S. and many partner nations. This is remarkable given that the original text of On War is an unfinished manuscript published posthumously by his wife Marie. Clausewitz scholar Vanya Eftimova Bellinger and War Room podcast editor Jacqueline Whitt explore the book’s major theses and implications they present for modern scholars and practitioners of strategy.

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 […]

CHRONOS, KAIROS, AND THE USE OF TIME IN STRATEGY

In this War Room podcast, “Time as a Dimension of Strategy,” Joe Brooks and Doug Douds take a critical look at concepts that may too often be taken for granted in strategy – time and space. Drawing from philosophy, political science, and culture, the podcasters discuss a range of perspective on how time and space have defined and measured throughout history. How do our understandings of time shape our strategy? And how do we develop strategies that shape an environment occupied by those whose perspectives on time differ?

RETHINKING STRATEGIES FOR DEFENSE MODERNIZATION: A PODCAST

The defense acquisition system has been the subject of much controversy and criticism. From the “Sisyphus Paradox” to more recent studies on defense acquisition reform, critics have complained about the process of acquisition being too slow and cumbersome. But far less attention has been given to the strategy of acquisition. How should defense leaders make investment choices that address shorter-term needs while preserving long-term opportunities? Mark Kappelmann and Andrew Hill provide analysis and offer ideas and recommendations in this War Room Podcast.

Watch Colonel Mark Kappelmann in a panel discussion on military innovation at the Center for New American Security.

GOOD LUCK WITH THE STRATEGY, MR. SECRETARY… IT’S A ‘RISKY’ UNDERTAKING

DoD strategy development and risk assessment cannot afford to rest exclusively on war plans that are never executed, scenarios that reinforce service biases, or nostalgia for competition as it once was, not as it actually is. It is time for the Department of Defense (DoD) to develop a fresh risk perspective. Without it, 21st century threats […]

A.I. & THE ART OF (MACHINE) WAR

It is time to make the threat posed by artificial intelligence a permanent part of national security and military strategy. The “robot apocalypse,” in which a malicious artificial intelligence (AI) threatens humanity, is a common science fiction trope. The enduring appeal of AI in popular culture — from Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot book series, to […]