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The U.S. Army War College Guide to National Security Issues Volume I: Theory of War and Strategy

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The U. S. Army War College Guide to National Security Issues is the latest edition of the U. S. Army War College Guide to National Security Policy and Strategy, which the college has published sporadi¬cally under different titles since 2001. As begun with the last publication, this edition of the Guide is in two volumes that correspond roughly to the two core courses that the Department of Na¬tional Security and Strategy teaches: “Theory of War and Strategy” and “National Security Policy and Strategy.” Like its predecessors, this edition is largely an expansion of the existing materials, although about a quarter is new, and the previously published chapters have been updated as necessary. This year we have begun a process we hope to continue in the future of including case studies that might be useful/instructive illustrations of principles we teach. The authors, with one exception all current or former members of the faculty, represent each of the four primary teaching departments of the college. Short biographical sketches of each are in an appendix at the end of each volume. The appendix on the U.S. Army War College (USAWC) strategy formulation model in the second volume reflects the alterations in that fundamental document made for the 2010 academic year (2009-10). The entire model is currently under review, and the version for the 2011 academic year will probably be different—although continuity will probably outweigh change in the versions. Although the Department of National Security and Strategy and other departments uses several of the chapters in this volume as readings for its core courses, this is not a textbook. It does reflect, however, both the method and manner we use to teach the theory of war and the formulation of national security strategy to America’s future senior leaders. As we continue to refine and update the Guide, we intend to increase course-oriented essays, and several of the new chapters were writ¬ten specifically to support instruction. The book is also not a comprehensive or exhaustive treat¬ment of either the theory of war, strategy, or the policy making process; there are major topics in all fields that deserve treatment before one could claim to present a comprehensive product. The Guide is organized in broad clusters of chapters addressing general subject areas. Chapters are placed in general blocks for convenience, not as a rigid framework. I made no effort to con¬strain or shape the authors’ work based on where I saw the chapter fitting in the book. Thus, some chapters might have been placed in several blocks, and their presence in a specific block should not be considered a restrictive form of categorization. Volume 1 starts with theoretical issues on war and strategy. The second block examines power both conceptually and in terms of the elements of power. The volume concludes with studies on specific theoretical issues. The second volume on national security strategy and policy opens with a look at the U.S. security community and its functions. The second block expands to multinational issues and considerations. The third block presents studies of specific policy issues or considerations. The volume concludes with illustrative case studies.

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