NWC’s Advanced Strategist Program (ASP) (AOS 23) builds on this intensive academic program, by adding a ten-month double elective course, and additionally requires completion of a 45 page master’s thesis, and a ten-week summer practicum. The ASP curriculum includes interaction with nationally known academics and leaders, and includes instruction on the following topics: Origins of War and Societal Conflict, International Security in Theory and Practice, Research Methods, Economic Foundations of Strategy, Power in the International System, Geopolitics, International Political Economy, Globalization, Energy Markets, Theories of Sea and Maritime Power, Nuclear Strategy and Proliferation, Deterrence, Sanctions and Inducements, Ethics and Strategy, Implications of Cyber and Emerging Technologies on Modern War, Application of Maritime Strategies, and Alternative Strategic Futures, among others. This course of study is cumulative and as a result does not allow for phased inputs.
A programmatic component labeled the Practicum and falling within the purview and academic schedule of AOS 23 will, on roughly a bi-weekly basis, bring in distinguished civilian and military practitioners of the formulation and execution of strategy for focused discussion on vital contemporary topics in strategy. Preparatory readings and structured learning objectives are developed for each session. When practical and as funding allows, students will also visit practitioners in Washington and conduct other travel.
A summer program will offer opportunity to work with such groups as the Office of Net Assessment in Newport, travel, and work on strategic project initiatives of interest to the U.S. Navy, and will teach students to apply their academic and practitioner knowledge to real-world issues. Each summer program will be tailored to available opportunities and student interest. Students will examine in-depth special issues, working in small groups under the leadership of faculty from NWC and practitioners, producing products of practical import and feeding back to the issue sponsor. Student travel may be involved where necessary and feasible.
Throughout the 13-month program, students will work on a major thesis, which will be coordinated across the subject matter, requirements, and professors of the electives, the Practicum, and the summer program. The thesis will demonstrate true originality, quality of strategic thought, and the ability to develop practical, real-world, and yet innovative solutions to complex problems of enduring and vital interest to the Navy.
Each year the elective program, the Practicum, and summer projects will be re-examined to determine the best outcome for this advanced educational program.