NEWPORT, R.I. - The Strategy and Policy Department of the Naval War College (NWC) conducted a workshop on the teaching of grand strategy, August 4-6.
The workshop brought together some of the world’s most influential teachers and thinkers to explore with members of NWC’s faculty the design and delivery of courses on strategy. The event was organized by Professor John H. Maurer, Chair of the Strategy and Policy Department, and Professor Michael F. Pavković
Participants discussed how to teach strategy to military officers and government officials, as well as undergraduate and graduate students at leading universities. The workshop addressed the relationship between economics and grand strategy, the role of strategy in contests involving great powers, and the use of “great books” in courses on strategy.
Participants considered, too, the unique challenges of examining in the lecture hall and the classroom the strategic problems posed by the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan, the struggle against Al-Qaeda, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The workshop also examined fundamental questions about the role played by leadership in strategic decision making.
The list of distinguished professors attending the workshop included Ambassador Charles Hill, John Lewis Gaddis, and Paul Kennedy (Yale University), Hew Strachan (Oxford University), Richard K. Betts and Matthew J. Connelly (Columbia University), Robert J. Lieber (Georgetown University), Kiron Skinner (Carnegie Mellon University), Williamson Murray, Arthur Waldron (University of Pennsylvania), Michael Doran (New York University), Richard Shultz and William C. Martel (Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University), Erik Goldstein (Boston University), Richard H. Immerman (Temple University), Jeremi Suri (University of Wisconsin), Peter Mansoor (The Ohio State University), Eric Adler (Connecticut College), and Hal Brands (Duke University).
The Strategy and Policy Department at NWC has long been a leading center for the graduate-level education of senior military and government officials. Its core curriculum, which includes classic works on strategic theory as well as case studies ranging from the Peloponnesian War to the war on terror, has had a profound influence on how scholars and national security practitioners think about strategy. The Department’s current course offerings on strategy are part of a long tradition of strategic studies at the college that stretches back 125 years, to the institution’s founding and its first Presidents, Admiral Stephen B. Luce and Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan.