For over a decade, the USAWC has published the annual Key Strategic Issues List (KSIL) to inform students, faculty, and external research associates of strategic topics requiring research and analysis. Part I of the Academic Year (AY) 2018 KSIL, referred to as the Chief of Staff of the Army Special Interest Topics, consists of critical topics demanding special attention. A subset of these topics will be addressed by the USAWC as Integrated Research Projects. Part II: Army Priorities for Strategic Analysis, has been developed by the U.S. Army War College in coordination with Headquarters Department of the Army (HQDA) and Major Commands throughout the Army. The KSIL will help prioritize strategic research and analysis conducted by USAWC students and faculty, USAWC Fellows, and external researchers, to link their research efforts and results more effectively to the Army’s highest priority topics.
The United States faces security challenges within a global context of rapid technological change, significant demographic shifts, an uncertain economy, and geostrategic power dynamics of historic proportions. These conditions intensify the level of uncertainty and the pace of change, and raise the potential for significant interstate conflict to levels higher than at any time since the end of the Cold War. We must continue to focus the efforts of the Army's educational institutions on addressing these seemingly insurmountable challenges. The Key Strategic Issues List (KSIL), developed by the U.S. Army War College, in coordination with Headquarters, Department of the Army and major commands throughout the Army, includes issues we must address to ensure the Army of 2025 and beyond will continue to meet the needs of the Nation. As we build a new future to deal with this growing complexity, the Army will require evolutionary change, and this change begins by changing mindsets. This necessary change must be based on rigorous research and the development of ideas that are invaluable to the Army and to the Nation. With your work and research, our Army will be better prepared for the future and the threats posed against our Nation's interests.
The KSIL is available for online viewing here: 2015-16 KSIL
The recently published National Military Strategy emphasizes the unpredictability of the global security environment. According to General Dempsey, “global disorder has significantly increased while some of our comparative military advantage has begun to erode. We now face multiple, simultaneous security challenges…” General Odierno echoes this concern by pointing to the “increased velocity of instability,” and emboldened potential adversaries that have “magnified the risk to U.S. interests around the world.” Responding to this period of geopolitical uncertainty demands thoughtful and careful analysis of a wide array of strategic issues. The Strategic Studies Institutes’ (SSI) annual Key Strategic Issues List (KSIL) addresses this need by providing a list of high-priority topics organized to support the Army's most important strategic objectives, issues that must be addressed to ensure the Army of 2025 and beyond will continue to meet the needs of the nation. Part I of the KSIL lists the Chief of Staff of the Army’s top five topics, all five of which will be addressed as integrative research projects by the US Army War College. Part II, “Priority Research Areas,” is a compilation of critical topics developed by the Army War College and Commands and organizations throughout the Army. Part III consists of the Army Warfighting Challenges. Students and researchers are encouraged to get in touch with the topic sponsors listed in the document, tackle one of these issues, and contribute to the knowledge base needed to support the future direction of the Army.