A Colloquium on U.S. National Security Policy, Military Strategy: Understanding the Environment for Contemporary Warfare

  • April 01, 2011
  • Mr Dave Lewis, Dr Steve Maxner, Dr Dennis Patterson

Key Insights from this colloquium are: • Establishing and continuing a collaborative dialogue between traditional academic institutions and disciplines and the nation’s next generation of senior officers is not just beneficial, it is essential to U.S. national security. • Scholars in universities and the nation’s war colleges possess unique strengths and limitations with respect to understanding and communicating insights into contemporary warfare and the education of senior officers. • Quantitative data analysis and qualitative case assessment provide unique insights into the study of war. • Some bridges between these institutional cultures and research traditions exist; to gain the best understanding of contemporary warfare and facilitate greater collaboration, existing bridges must be maintained while new ones are built. • Researchers from both the quantitative and qualitative traditions must develop strategic communication skills to reach strategic military and policy leaders. Pragmatic constraints on senior leader’s time demand succinct presentation of “big ideas” and salient context early, leaving the traditional literature review, data findings, and data analysis for deeper layers of the communication. • New analytic “lenses” for traditional problems in the study of war may shed light on solutions, especially when combined with more traditional strategic scholarship. • The legal context of evolving contemporary operations is essential to understanding and successfully prosecuting wars.