From Strategy and Policy Department
Feb. 19, 2013
NEWPORT, RI -- Beginning this month, forty one international officers embarked on a six month program of study at U.S. Naval War College (NWC). The students, who make up the Naval Staff College (NSC) Class 82, arrived from thirty six different countries and were joined by three US Naval officers. This six month course of study is a modified version of the one-year NSC course, including a similar field studies program (FSP) schedule.
The “Strategy and War” course is designed to teach students to think strategically about the effects of operations. It is the first of the four modules that NSC 82 students will complete. During the month long Strategy and War course the officers will study six conflicts, each presented in case study format: Masters of War; the American Revolution; World War II in the Pacific; the Vietnam War; the wars against al-Qaeda and Associated Movements; and War in the 21st Century. The first and last of these cases have long standing historical roots at the Naval War College. The Masters of War case study examines theoretical underpinnings associated with the study of strategy, as presented by Carl von Clausewitz and Sun Tzu. The NWC has featured a study of these masters since its earliest days. The last case draws from a practice pioneered by Alfred Thayer Mahan in 1902, when he published an article entitled “Retrospect and Prospect.” As the title suggests, Mahan gazed back across the 19th century to identify trends he could project forward into the twentieth. Today, we continue this concept by looking forward to the rest of the 21st Century.
"There are three components to each case that help officers better understand the linkage between how achieving operational objectives can best achieve the overall strategic and national objectives in any given situation.” said Lieutenant Colonel Rick Black, an Army faculty member in the department and coordinator of the S&W portion of the NSC 82 course. "Students complete a set of assigned readings for each case study, and then the civilian and military faculty from NWC's Strategy and Policy Department present two lectures on each case, followed by a three hour seminar moderated by a faculty member. The NSC staff organized the students into three seminars of 13-14 students each, with a balanced distribution of geographic areas represented in each seminar and one American officer in each. These seminar discussions really help bring everything together,” Lieutenant Colonel Black concluded.
Following the completion of the S&W portion of the course at the end of February, the NSC 82 students will move on to tackle the Joint Maritime Operations (JMO) portion of the program.