By U.S. Naval War College Public Affairs
NEWPORT, R.I. (August 21, 2012) – U.S. Naval War College (NWC) Strategy and Policy Department conducted a workshop last week where some of the world’s most influential teachers and thinkers came together to examine the design and delivery of academic courses on teaching Grand Strategy.
Organized by Professor John H. Maurer, chair of the strategy and policy department, and Professor Michael F. Pavković, the workshop explored fundamental questions about strategy. Workshop topics included economics and competitive strategies, strategies of terrorism and counter-terror, the use of biographies in courses on strategy, and the enduring value of studying Thucydides in grand strategy lesson plans. The workshop also examined the unique challenges of teaching about ongoing strategic problems.
“’War is a matter of vital importance to the State; the province of life or death; the road to survival or ruin. It is mandatory that it be thoroughly studied,’” quoted President Naval War College, Rear Adm. John Christenson in his opening remarks from Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War.” “It is indeed mandatory that those in the profession of arms and national security professionals thoroughly study strategy.”
Christenson congratulated the workshop participants for their outstanding efforts in teaching and scholarship.
“The education that you deliver and the writings that you produce stand as an answer to those who lament the dearth of strategic thinking in today’s world. We can learn from each other about the craft of teaching courses on strategy and what best practices to follow in preparing our students for the leadership roles and the challenges before them in the years ahead,” said Christenson.
Distinguished professors attending the workshop included NWC alumnus Ambassador Charles Hill; Yale University’s John Lewis Gaddis; Rutgers’ Jack Levy; Cornell University’s Jonathan Kirshner and Sarah Kreps; Brandeis University’s Robert Art; Georgetown University’s David Painter; Carnegie Mellon University’s Kiron Skinner; University of Pennsylvania’s Michael Horowitz; Ohio State University’s Jennifer Siegel; Calgary University’s John Ferris; Reading University’s Beatrice Heuser, King’s College’s Joseph Maiolo; George Mason University’s Audrey Kurth Cronin and Colin Dueck; Duke University’s Hal Brands. The workshop sessions were moderated by NWC Dean of Academic Affairs Dr. John Garofano; NWC professors Timothy Hoyt, Thomas Mahnken, Sally Paine, Michael Pavković, and Toshi Yoshihara; as well as Hill and Gaddis.
NWC’s strategy and policy department has long been a leading center for the graduate-level education of senior military and national security professionals. Its core curriculum, which includes classic works on strategic theory, as well as case studies from the Peloponnesian War to the war on terror, has had a profound impact 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 more than 125 years.
Posted by Rosalie Bolender