03 May 2010

Teaching Strategy - Free (and Excellent) Book

Teaching Strategy: Challenge and Response

Edited by Dr. Gabriel Marcella
USAWC Strategic Studies Institute

The thoughtful scholars from SSI have again produced an excellent compendium - this time tackling the topic of how to teach strategy. This is not a "current events" discussion of which strategy we should adopt for our current conflicts, but rather a deeper, more deliberative look at what strategy is, why it is important, how to conceive of it, and how we can effectively impart it to the next generation of military, diplomatic, and political leaders who must deploy it in an increasingly complex and dynamic geopolitical environment.

Some of the material pertains specifically to the military's PME institutions and senior service colleges, but there is a great deal of material here that will interest any serious serious student of strategy.

The the book opens with a statement by the SSI Director (Douglas Lovelace) acknowledging that:

No subject is more essential in the preparation of national security professionals and military leaders than the teaching of strategy, from grand to military strategy. Nor is there one that is more timeless and intellectually demanding.
The US has long been criticized for having a chronic and severe "strategy deficit." I am hopeful that the wisdom from this volume will help to prepare its future leaders for the challenges ahead. The following is brief synopsis provided by SSI and a listing of the book's contents.

Teaching all strategy, from grand to military, is essential in the preparation of national security professionals and military leaders. The experience of the armed forces in recent wars recommends that those involved with the system of military education seriously study the way strategy is taught. The task is even more imperative because the ambiguous conflicts and the complex geopolitical environment of the future are likely to challenge the community of strategists, civilian as well as military, in ways not seen in the past. In this context, developing the appropriate curriculum and effective methods of teaching strategy will be the responsibility of universities, colleges, and institutions of professional military education. The authors of this compendium ask and answer the central question of how to teach strategy. The findings, insights, and recommendations in this volume are those of professionals who are accomplished in the classroom as well as the crucible of strategy.

Table of Contents:

Introduction -Robert H. Dorff
  1. The Elements of Strategic Thinking: A Practical Guide - Robert Kennedy
  2. The Study of Strategy: A Civilian Academic Perspective - Robert C. Gray
  3. Teaching Strategy in the 21st Century - Gabriel Marcella and Stephen O. Fought
  4. Teaching Strategy: A Scenic View from Newport - Bradford A. Lee
  5. A Vision of Developing the National Security Strategist from the National War College -Cynthia A. Watson
  6. How Do Students Learn Strategy? Thoughts on the U.S. Army War College Pedagogy of Strategy - Harry R. Yarger
  7. The Teaching of Strategy: Lykke’s Balance, Schelling’s Exploitation, and a Community of Practice in Strategic Thinking -Thomaz Guedes da Costa
  8. Making Sense of Chaos: Teaching Strategy Using Case Studies - Volker Franke
  9. Teaching Strategy in 3D - Ross Harrison
  10. Beyond Ends-Based Rationality: A Quad-Conceptual View of Strategic Reasoning for Professional Military Education - Christopher R. Paparone

You can download the entire book FREE from the SSI site HERE