How to Address War Colleges’ Challenges

Posted January 28, 2014 at 10:03am

In Joint Forces Quarterly , Colonel George E. Reed, Ph.D., USA (Ret.), is the Associate Dean of the School of Leadership and Education Sciences at the University of San Diego, provides a critique of the nation’s war colleges:  

“This submission represents a friendly critique submitted by one who benefited greatly as a student and then, after completing a fully funded doctoral program, as a faculty member. This perspective is informed by 6 years as a faculty member and a course director for two segments of the core curriculum at the U.S. Army War College, followed by an equal time as a civilian faculty member at a doctoral degree conferring university and now as an administrator. Even with an admittedly favorable viewpoint, it is not hard to see that there is room for systemic improvement. After a brief review of contemporary critiques focused on the war colleges, the article turns to some observations from an administrator’s perspective.”  

The piece concludes: “The war colleges really should be, and indeed could be, intellectual centers of excellence with a mix of the best and brightest military and civilian faculty members. They have the potential to serve as incubators of big and even disruptive ideas fueled by cutting-edge research on important and relevant questions and dedicated to preparing high-potential senior military officers for the great challenges of our age. In return for the investment of national treasure that goes into operating the war colleges, the American people and indeed the Servicemembers who will serve under their graduates deserve far better than mediocre.”