U.S. Army War College Guide to Strategy

U.S. Army War College Guide to Strategy

U.S. Army War College Guide to Strategy

U.S. Army War College Guide to Strategy


Joseph R. Cerami

The dominant trend within universities and think tanks is toward ever-narrowing specialization: a higher premium is placed on functioning deeply within a single field than broadly across several. And yet without some awareness of the whole—without some sense of how means converge to accomplishor to frustrateends—there can be no strategy. And without strategy there is only drift.

Paul Kennedy and
John Lewis Gaddis
Yale University

Advice to strategists comes in many forms. Kennedy and Gaddis's thoughts expressed above are representative of most scholars, statesmen, and generals—strategy is a critical subject for senior leaders. George Marshall expressed concerns, late in his distinguished career, that as a statesman he had to learn a “whole new set of skills.” Theater strategists, like Field Marshall Slim, have written that senior leaders must learn how to “think big.” Important books on the subject stress an in depth knowledge of history, economics, politics, geography, culture, and so on. For a concept that remains hard to define, the study of strategy remains a complex subject of lifelong learning for scholars, statesmen, and soldiers alike.

For more than three decades the Army War College (AWC) Department of National Security and Strategy has faced the challenge of educating future strategic leaders on the subject of National Security, or Grand Strategy. Fitting at the top of an officer's or government official's career-long, professional development program, the challenge has been to design a course on strategy that incorporates its many facets, in a short period of time, all within the one-year, senior service college curriculum. To do this, a conceptual approach has provided the framework to think about strategy formulation. The purpose of this volume is to present the Army War College's strategy formulation model to students and practitioners. This book serves as a guide to one method for the formulation, analysis and study of strategy—an approach which we have found to be useful in providing generations of strategists with the conceptual tools to think systematically, strategically, critically, creatively and big. Balancing what is described in the following chapters as ends, ways, and means—remains at the core of the Army War College's approach to national security and military strategy and strategy formulation.

Each of the following chapters highlights a major concept used in our strategy formulation model. All of the authors have been on the faculty at one of the nation's armed forces, senior service colleges. They have structured their essays to focus on concepts that have been developed, debated, and tested for use in small group seminars, in an adult learning environment. The majority of these chapters have been used effectively as required readings . . .

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