A look inside the U.S. Army War College
The U.S. Army War College
Military Education in a Democracy
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Judith Hicks Stiehm
We are all familiar with ROTC, West Point, and other institutions that train young men and women to be military officers. But few people know of the U.S. Army War College, where the Army's elite career officers go for advanced training in strategy, national security policy, and military-government policymaking. This book takes readers inside the U.S. Army War College to learn about the faculty, staff, administration, and curriculum.
Established in 1901, the school's mission has evolved from teaching the skills of war to training officers to negotiate both the complex world of modern strategy and the civilian bureaucracy in Washington. More like a professional graduate program than an academic graduate school, much of the education takes the form of exercises and simulations.
Judith Stiehm, who holds the U.S. Army Distinguished Civilian Service Medal, allows readers to judge whether the U.S. Army War College successfully prepares its students for their many roles. She is skeptical that instructors can fulfill this difficult task in an era where civilians expect our military to be invincible, to win without casualties, and to serve as peacekeepers.
The Military answers to the people of the United States and it is our responsibility to know how it operates at all levels. This book is a good place to start.
"In this well-researched and crisply written book, Stiehm, a long-time student of military affairs, takes us inside the Army War College. She not only makes us aware of its faculty, staff, administration and curriculum, but also makes specific recommendations for how the War College may serve the military and nation better."
"A thoughtful and well-researched study of the Army's prestigious senior service college. The reader has much to consider in drawing his or her own conclusions about the college and its proper direction in a constantly-changing world."
"This readable and insightful review of the Army War College is a must for Army professionals and elected or appointed civilian leaders with oversight. Stiehm has documented both strengths and weaknesses of the Army's institutional education of its future strategic leaders. Unfortunately, as she clearly documents, the balance is not as positive as the future demands. Her critique can contribute in major ways, to the development of the future leadership of the Army Profession."
"The Army War College is one of America's most significant institutions anduntil nowleast examined. We are greatly indebted to Stiehm who gives us both a candid description and an incisive blueprint of how to improve the Army's education of senior officers."
"The strengths of this book are in the chapters detailing the history of the Army War College."
"...an in-depth and insightful examination of the U.S. Army War College.... Stiehm provides much grist for the intellectual mill and does the Army War College a service by creating a framework for professional dialogue and offering recommendations for future improvements."
"Stiehm' s work provides a thorough overview of the USAWC and the ideology of its curriculum. Her analysis of the college merits attention by policy makers..."
"Stiehm provides a useful analysis of critical challenges facing the nation's war colleges. For years, the nation's institutions of advanced military education have gone virtually unnoticed, and thus her book fills a significant gap in our understanding of the rich higher education landscape in the United States."