Recent Publications from the USAWC

Strategic Leadership Primer for Senior Leaders, 4th ed.
Strategic Leadership Primer for Senior Leaders, 4th ed.
Edited by: Doctor Thomas P Galvin, Dr Dale E. Watson.
April 08, 2019


With a Foreword from MG John Kem, 51st Commandant of the U.S. Army War College. The 4th edition of the Strategic Leadership Primer represents a major change in direction from previous editions. In the past, one could assume most U.S. Army War College students had little prior experience at the strategic level. In 2019, this is no longer the case, as some War Coll...

Strategic Insights: Five Myths Associated With Employing Private Military Companies
Strategic Insights: Five Myths Associated With Employing Private Military Companies
Authored by: Dr Edward Mienie, Dr C. A. Pfaff.
April 05, 2019


In August of 2017, Blackwater founder Erik Prince offered a plan for privatizing the war in Afghanistan, where he would replace the approximately 23,000 multinational forces (of which 15,000 are U.S. troops) and 27,000 contractors with 2,000 special forces and 6,000 security contractors who would embed with the Afghan National Army. Though the administration appar...

Air Power and Warfare: A Century of Theory and History
Air Power and Warfare: A Century of Theory and History
Authored by: Dr Tami Davis Biddle.
March 29, 2019


In this monograph, Tami Davis Biddle analyzes the historical record of air power over the past 100 years. Her monograph, designed for the student of strategy, is intended to provide both a concise introduction to the topic and a framework for thinking intelligently about air power, particularly aerial bombing. Her primary aim is to discern the distinction between ...

Deterring Russia in the Gray Zone
Deterring Russia in the Gray Zone
Authored by: Michael C. McCarthy, Matthew A. Moyer, Brett H. Venable.
March 20, 2019


The United States lacks a cohesive strategy to deter Russian aggression. Despite being militarily and economically inferior, Russia has undermined the United States and its allies by exploiting the “gray zone,” or the conceptual space between war and peace where nations compete to advance their national interests. In dealing with Russia, the United States must shi...

The Army Role in Achieving Deterrence in Cyberspace
The Army Role in Achieving Deterrence in Cyberspace
Authored by: Mr Jeffrey L Caton.
March 18, 2019


In 2015, the Department of Defense (DoD) released the DoD Cyber Strategy which explicitly calls for a comprehensive strategy to provide credible deterrence in cyberspace against threats from key state and nonstate actors. To be effective, such activities must be coordinated with ongoing deterrence efforts in the physical realm, especially those of near-peers impac...

Conventional Deterrence and Landpower in Northeastern Europe
Conventional Deterrence and Landpower in Northeastern Europe
Authored by: Michael A. Hunzeker, Alexander Lanoszka.
March 07, 2019


The United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) face daunting challenges in the Baltic region. Russia is behaving aggressively. Its military is more capable than it has been at any point since the end of the Cold War. More importantly, Russia is finding creative ways to subvert the status quo and to sow discord without triggering Article 5 of ...

Two Case Studies of Successful Strategic Communication Campaigns
Two Case Studies of Successful Strategic Communication Campaigns
Authored by: Dr Thomas P. Galvin.
March 05, 2019


Strategic communication has come to be a popular term to describe the process by which U.S. military organizations managed and unified their planned communications efforts. Unfortunately, joint doctrine leaves many of the words associated with strategic communication undefined, including themes and messages, and "strategic communication" has long suffered from de...

Learning the Lessons of Lethality: The Army's Cycle of Basic Combat Training, 1918-2019
Learning the Lessons of Lethality: The Army's Cycle of Basic Combat Training, 1918-2019
Authored by: Dr Conrad C Crane, Dr Michael E Lynch, Shane P. Reilly, Jessica J. Sheets.
February 22, 2019


This study analyzes the initial entry training programs for Army inductees for the last 100 years, to identify the patterns that have shaped that training. Technology has changed over the years, and training has adapted, but technological change has been a less important factor than the oscillation between wartime and peacetime methodologies. Changes in technology...

What Next for Russia’s Front-Line States?
What Next for Russia’s Front-Line States?
Authored by: Mr Keir Giles.
February 22, 2019


Russia’s annexation of Crimea and intervention in Eastern Ukraine in 2014, alarmed not only Western-leaning states in Central Europe and the Baltic but also Moscow’s traditional allies. These events signaled that Moscow is now willing and capable of using direct military force against perceived strategic threats in its self-proclaimed region of vested interests. W...

A History of the Army's Future: 1990-2018 v 2.0
A History of the Army's Future: 1990-2018 v 2.0
Authored by: Dr Conrad C Crane, Dr Michael E Lynch, Shane P. Reilly.
February 22, 2019


The establishment of Army Futures Command (AFC) in August 2018 was the most significant change to the Institutional Army in a generation, and it signaled the value the Army placed on studying the future. While the establishment of a new four star headquarters might be seen as a bold move, it was in reality the culmination of 30 years of future development in the ...

Implications of Service Cyberspace Component Commands for Army Cyberspace Operations
Implications of Service Cyberspace Component Commands for Army Cyberspace Operations
Authored by: Mr Jeffrey L Caton.
February 15, 2019


The first 7 years of U.S. Cyber Command operations are paved with milestones that mark the steady operationalization of modern cyberspace as the newest domain of military conflict as well as a realm of international power. The creation of the Cyber Mission Force and Joint Force Headquarters-Cyber are significant steps toward improving the timeliness and effective...

“Come As You Are” War: U.S. Readiness for the Korean Conflict
“Come As You Are” War: U.S. Readiness for the Korean Conflict
Authored by: Dr Conrad C Crane, Dr Michael E Lynch, Shane P. Reilly, Jessica J. Sheets.
February 06, 2019


Task Force Smith at the beginning of the Korean War has often been used as a metaphor for military unreadiness. While the story of that first US action of the war provides a timeless cautionary tale for commanders, the story of unreadiness for war in June 1950 went much further than the tactical failures of one infantry battalion. The lack of readiness was caused ...

Contemporary Chemical Weapons Use in Syria and Iraq by the Assad Regime and the Islamic State
Contemporary Chemical Weapons Use in Syria and Iraq by the Assad Regime and the Islamic State
Authored by: Dr Robert J Bunker.
February 07, 2019


This monograph focuses on an understudied, but yet a critically important and timely component of land warfare, related to the battlefield use of chemical weapons by contemporary threat forces. It will do so by focusing on two case studies related to chemical weapons use in Syria and Iraq by the Assad regime and the Islamic State. Initially, the monograph provide...

From Across the War College

Strategic Studies Institute (SSI)

Current Russia Military Affairs What are the key strategic objectives of Russian foreign and security policy? How has Russian operational planning been affected by experiences in Georgia, Ukraine, and elsewhere i... Edited by: Dr John R Deni Click here for more like this

US Army Heritage and Education Center (AHEC)

Riding the Hydra: How the Army Enterprise Went to War 2001-2007
The history of the U.S. Army in Operation Iraqi Freedom is replete with tactical and operational studies, and the shifts in strategy are well documented. The Chief of Staff of ...
Authored by: Dr Conrad C Crane, Dr Michael E Lynch, Shane P. Reilly Click here for more like this

Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute (PKSOI)

Stabilization: A New Approach to Whole of Government Operational Planning and Execution The United States has a compelling national security interest to promote stability in select fragile and conflict-affected states.  Such an operational environment is complex and r... Edited by: Professor William J Flavin Click here for more like this

Center for Strategic Leadership (CSL)

Rethinking Sovereignty in the Context of Cyberspace: The Cyber Sovereignty Workshop Series Recent successful "hacks," allegedly carried out by professionals acting on behalf of, or in concert with nation-states have heightened concerns about cyber warfare and sovereignty... Authored by: Cynthia E. Ayers Click here for more like this

Strategic Studies Institute (SSI)

U.S. Landpower in the South China Sea U.S. landpower is an essential, but often overlooked, element of national power in semi-enclosed maritime environments like the South China Sea. This monograph gives U.S. policymak... Authored by: LTC Clarence J Bouchat (USAF, Ret) Click here for more like this

School of Strategic Landpower

AY17 Theater Strategy and Campaigning Course Directive Theater Strategy and Campaigning focuses on the study of strategic and operational art to employ the military instrument of national power in pursuit of achieving national goals. T... Authored by: COL Douglas W Bennett, Dr Richard A Lacquement Jr Click here for more like this

Practitioner's Corner

Strategic Leadership Primer for Senior Leaders, 4th ed.

Edited by: Doctor Thomas P Galvin, Dr Dale E. Watson April 08, 2019


With a Foreword from MG John Kem, 51st Commandant of the U.S. Army War College. The 4th edition of the Strategic Leadership Primer represents a major change in direction from previous editions. In the past, one could assume most U.S. Army War College students had little prior experience at the strategic level. In 2019, this is no longer the case, as some War College students have already served in enterprise-level assignments or performed duties at the strategic level in operational environments. The new Primer includes chapters on defining strategic leadership; understanding competitive environments both external and...

Communication Campaigning: Primer for Senior Leaders

Authored by: Dr Thomas P. Galvin February 01, 2019


Traditional approaches to strategic communication have focused on a single leader's ability to influence stakeholders and other audiences through exceptional communication skills. But there is much more to it. What about the content of the message? How well does the message permeate the organization, allowing it to speak and act as one with the leader? Is it necessary to change minds, or is it sufficient to discredit opposing messages? Using a broad base of literature from organizational studies and the author's experiences, this monograph offers a thought process for building communication campaigns that focus both i...

Leading Change in Military Organizations: Primer for Senior Leaders

Authored by: Dr Thomas P. Galvin September 14, 2018

Senior leaders are told in doctrine that they must lead and manage change. But apart from some popular models for the process of change, there are few how-to guides for leading change in the unique context of military organizations. Moreover, popular change management texts focus on initiating change, and less about inheriting and sustaining change efforts already happening in the unit. This how-to guide draws from a wide range of organizational literature to provide a comprehensive set of questions and guidelines that senior leaders should answer as they navigate change efforts and work to improve their organizations.

Campaign Planning Handbook AY19

Authored by: USAWC School of Strategic Landpower/DMSPO Edited by: COL Mark Haseman October 19, 2018

The purpose of this document is to assist United States Army War College students during the Theater Strategy and Campaigning (TSC) course. It also serves to assist commanders, planners, and other staff officers in combatant commands (CCMD), joint task forces (JTF), and service component commands. It supplements joint doctrine and contains elements of emerging doctrine as practiced globally by joint force commanders (JFCs). It portrays a way to apply published doctrine and emerging doctrine at the higher levels of joint command, with a primary emphasis at the combatant command level.

2018 - 2020 Key Strategic Issues List

Edited by: LTC Charles A. Carlton, USAWC Strategic Studies Institute August 17, 2018

For over a decade, the USAWC has published the Key Strategic Issues List (KSIL) to inform students, faculty, and external research associates of strategic topics requiring research and analysis. A subset of these topics, designated as Chief of Staff of the Army special interest topics, consists of those which demand special attention. The USAWC will address these as Integrated Research Projects and other research efforts. The USAWC in coordination with Headquarters Department of the Army (HQDA), major commands throughout the Army, and the joint and interagency community have developed the remaining Army Priorities for Stra...

How the Army Runs 2017-2018

Authored by: LTC (Ret) Tony Caldwell, COL (Ret) Pete Colón, Mr. Keith Dean, COL (Ret) Jude Fernan, LTC (Ret) Larissa Ginty, LTC Nathan Goubeaux, LTC (Ret) Co... Edited by: COL Darrell Aubrey, Prof Edward J Filiberti, Prof Fred Gellert, Ms Julie T Manta, Dr Richard M Meinhart, COL Barrett Parker, COL John Sena, COL ... May 11, 2018

At the time of printing this edition, Army senior leaders have directed a task force under the leadership of the Director, Office of Business Transformation, Lieutenant General Edward C. Cardon to organize the Army Futures Command (AFC) with an initial operational capability of 1 July 2018. The Army’s current modernization enterprise is challenged to generate requisite capabilities that ensure overmatch against our adversaries. Past ways of thinking, organizing, and executing have limited the Army’s ability to pace technological development against adversaries like Russia and China. The Army has established eight cross-...

Defense Management: Primer for Senior Leaders

Edited by: Dr Thomas P. Galvin May 16, 2018

Defense management is ultimately about making strategic decisions and rendering best military advice to the civilian leadership. The processes, systems, and massive amounts of data exist to help make the best decisions possible about the current preparedness and future requirements of the joint force. This Primer provides an introduction to the defense enterprise and the roles of senior leaders in it, especially for those who have limited experience in service, joint, or defense-level organizations.

2017-18 Key Strategic Issues List

Edited by: COL Todd E. Key November 15, 2017

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 Ma...

2016-17 Key Strategic Issues List

Edited by: Prof John F Troxell July 01, 2016


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...

How the Army Runs 2015-2016

Authored by: Prof Charles D Allen, Mr Armor Brown II, COL (Ret) Jerry Chastain, Mr Craig Dyer, Prof Edward J Filiberti, Mr Steven Grimes, Dr Jeffrey L Groh, ... August 28, 2015

Since the events of 9/11, the Army has transformed to a modular force, transitioned to regional engagement augmented with a stand-by global response force, and continued as a force trusted to defend America’s citizens and interests at home and abroad. The Army, as the backbone of the Joint Force, requires dynamic change, adaptation to the variables of the Operating Environment, agility to overmatch adversaries, and the staying power to withstand the blows of a convulsive strategic environment. Army Force Management, as a continuum across Doctrine, Organization, Training, Materiel, Leadership and Education, Personnel, Facil...

How Nation-States Craft National Security Strategy Documents

Authored by: Dr Alan G Stolberg October 01, 2012

The need for security and the institutionalization of that security in national strategy and its associated documents is becoming a significant concern for nations in the 21st century international system. This need requires the development of national-level strategies that are designed with objectives; the attainment of which can ensure that the conditions necessary for security for a given actor in the international system can be met. The intent of this monograph is to explore the actual processes that nation-states employ to craft their national security strategy-related documents. The study aligned individual case stud...

U.S. Army War College Guide to National Security Issues, Vol. 1: Theory of War and Strategy, 5th Ed.

Authored by: Dr J Boone Bartholomees Jr Edited by: Dr J Boone Bartholomees Jr June 01, 2012

This edition of the U.S. Army War College Guide to National Security Issues continues to reflect the structure and approach of the core national security strategy and policy curriculum at the U.S. Army War College. The 5th Edition is published in two volumes that correspond roughly to the Department of National Security and Strategy’s core courses: “Theory of War and Strategy” and “National Security Policy and Strategy.” Like previous editions, this one is based on its predecessor, but contains both updates and new scholarship. Over a third of the chapters are new or have undergone significant rewrites. Many chapters, some...

U.S. Army War College Guide to National Security Issues, Vol 2: National Security Policy and Strategy, 5th Ed.

Authored by: Dr J Boone Bartholomees Jr Edited by: Dr J Boone Bartholomees Jr July 01, 2012

This edition of the U.S. Army War College Guide to National Security Issues continues to reflect the structure and approach of the core national security strategy and policy curriculum at the U.S. Army War College. The 5th Edition is published in two volumes that correspond roughly to the Department of National Security and Strategy’s core courses: “Theory of War and Strategy” and “National Security Policy and Strategy.” Like previous editions, this one is based on its predecessor, but contains both updates and new scholarship. Over a third of the chapters are new or have undergone significant rewrites. Many chapters, some...

Strategic Leadership Primer: 3rd Edition

Edited by: Dr Stephen J Gerras June 25, 2010

The original edition of the Strategic Leadership Primer, published in 1998, served the U.S. Army War College (USAWC) well as a basic overview of Strategic Leadership. Written by Dr. Rod Magee with the assistance of several other faculty members, it was intended as an orientation reading for students arriving at the USAWC whose backgrounds were primarily in the tactical and operational field environment. The Primer was useful because there was no other adequate work that described and defined strategic leadership in terms that could be understood and applied by USAWC students.

A 2nd edition was published in 2004 a...