Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 16 to 30 of 41

Thread: Why no "War Studies" in the US?

  1. #16
    Contributor RoccoR's Avatar
    Join Date
    20 Oct 10
    Location
    Reynoldsburg, OH USA
    Posts
    307
    Albany Rifles, et al,

    This is just my personal opinion, not a justification.

    Quote Originally Posted by Albany Rifles View Post
    I am well aware of all of those programs...and I'm a graduate of 2 of them.
    (COMMENT)

    As well am I:
    • The Intra-agency TSCM Program (1982).
    • The NDU/DCI Intermediate Executives, for the Management of ADP Facilities (1983)


    I, as well, am a graduate of The Ohio State University; and am very proud to acknowledge that. And I remember the campus climate of the Vietnam period (while serving there), and the very different atmospheric with recent post-911/War on Terrorism time (having spent 7 years out of the last decade in the ME Region including all the glamor spots). And I've never been more disappointed in the civilian trained leadership since my days immediately after returning from Vietnam.

    Quote Originally Posted by Albany Rifles View Post
    Your discussion of senior leaders is niche but it does not apply across the academic spectrum. Those are specific training programs. I was referring to institutes of higher education where there is a robust academic study of military history and where you can graduate with at least a BA...several of these also support MA and PhD programs in the field.
    (COMMENT)

    I was speaking of this level (higher education) as well; whether that be a MA from the IMO Program (NDU), or a STRAT Intelligence (MA) Degree from the National Defense Intelligence College.

    Quote Originally Posted by Albert Einstein
    "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."

    While there is good reason to understand the history of the subject (no question), there are those (like myself) that don't agree with the cloning of the officers that seems to be the outcome of the programs in effect today. This, I consider to be one of the most serious and inadvertent outcomes of the military education system.

    But running a close second is the politicalization of the senior ranks; both in the military and foreign service. And history (lessons learned) is the first thing that are discarded in a strategic situation. Decisions are not based either on sound Military Decision Making Processes (MDMP) or National Security Decision Making Processes (NSDMP); both processes have been proven faulty. And both the MDMP and the NSDMP are driven by the civilian political leadership; the NSDMP directly, and the MDMP through indirect means. And that concerns me the most.

    In the MBA Program, the first thing they beat into your head is the mantra "Maximize the Wealth of the Shareholder." It sounds harmless enough, yet in the real world - the implementation has lead to some serious events; including the ENRON Scandal, the near collapse of major Banking institution and financial markets, the outsources of many industries and jobs, and a serious reduction in the reinvestment in Americas infrastructure (just to name a few). This is very analogues to the weaknesses in the MDMP and the NSDMP that lead to Vietnam, Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the evolving situation in Yemen (and a dozen other places I could name). And most of those decisions were made by well educated men and women (from The Whiz Kids to the PNAC) from the very best institutions; impeccable credentials. And the civilian educated decision drivers (the Washington Power Elite) have not, in my opinion, fell short in the understanding the historical topic. They were billed as the brightest and the best. Like the maximization theorem in the MBA program, these power brokers are in it for the influence and power they can attain.

    You will, I trust, forgive me if I am a bit skeptical of promoting a program that might further adversely impact the decision making processes that have brought America to the point where it is today.

    Again, just one man's opinion and concern.

    Most Respectfully,
    R
    Last edited by RoccoR; 21 Jul 11, at 19:54. Reason: Spelling

  2. #17
    Global Moderator
    Military Professional
    Defense Professional
    Albany Rifles's Avatar
    Join Date
    27 Apr 07
    Location
    Prince George, VA
    Posts
    8,360
    Rocco

    All of what you write may be true...but it is not in line with the core subject of this thread.

    Kevin Brown wrote in May bemoaning that military history was dead as a subject on college campuses...the remainder of the thread discussion centered around correcting his misinterpretation and that in fact, according the the military history professional community, it is alive and well.

    If you want to have the discussion you are referring to in your post I recommend you open a new thread...we can move your comments to that thread if you wish.

    And as a side note Shek may disagree with you on the devaluation of military hsitory in the strategic strategic situation since the study of teh Civil War was core to his course work to become a strategic planner.
    Last edited by Albany Rifles; 21 Jul 11, at 20:53.
    We had been hopelessly labouring to plough waste lands; to make nationality grow in a place full of the certainty of God Among the tribes our creed could be only like the desert grass a beautiful swift seeming of spring; which, after a days heat, fell dusty.
    ― T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph

  3. #18
    Senior Contributor Mihais's Avatar
    Join Date
    15 Apr 08
    Location
    Transylvania
    Posts
    5,099
    To be honest,I never heard of the CW researchers AR talk about.Nevertheless,he's the the foremost expert on CW on WAB,IMO,so its good to learn something new everyday.

    As I see it,you two sirs are talking a bit past each other.If I understand AR right,he talks about some very particular fields of study.I speak without knowing the work of these authors,but the CW study contains a lot more than its military part.It's a defining moment in your nation's history.Even if the programs were dedicated to CW military history,it's still a very limited period.For example,the Indian Wars lessons are more valuable in our present COIN campaigns,as they were in Vietnam.

    If I get Roccor right(by the way Sir,you have more schools than me ),he's more into a philosophy of war.That knowledge only comes,IMO,with a detailed study of war throughout the ages and conditions.
    It happens that right now,I'm in a deep hate relation with acronyms,so pardon me if I don't go into MDMP et al.
    Those who know don't speak
    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

  4. #19
    Senior Contributor Stitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    14 Nov 06
    Location
    Patterson, CA
    Posts
    3,080
    I'm afraid I have very little to add, except to say that I majored in International Relations in college, and that half of my classes were in subjects such as War and Peace in the Nuclear Age, and American Defense and National Security; but I would say that US institutions still offer courses of higher education WRT "war studies", you just need to look for them.
    "There is never enough time to do or say all the things that we would wish. The thing is to try to do as much as you can in the time that you have. Remember Scrooge, time is short, and suddenly, you're not there any more." -Ghost of Christmas Present, Scrooge

  5. #20
    Global Moderator
    Military Professional
    Defense Professional
    Albany Rifles's Avatar
    Join Date
    27 Apr 07
    Location
    Prince George, VA
    Posts
    8,360
    All,

    1. I was not intending to stop discussion...I was just trying to keep it relevant.

    2. While I brought up ACW scholars it was to only prove a point...I can talk others periods as well....and I am not trying to pee on Roccos's parade. We tend to be American centric but the studies are there.
    We had been hopelessly labouring to plough waste lands; to make nationality grow in a place full of the certainty of God Among the tribes our creed could be only like the desert grass a beautiful swift seeming of spring; which, after a days heat, fell dusty.
    ― T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph

  6. #21
    Senior Contributor Mihais's Avatar
    Join Date
    15 Apr 08
    Location
    Transylvania
    Posts
    5,099
    Gotcha Sir.I'm more familiar with military efforts to study history and I believe them to be the best in the world.And free to read.

    Loaded question and not one entirely ingenuous.How many attend military studies compared with women studies,minority studies and others like that?
    Those who know don't speak
    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

  7. #22
    Staff Emeritus
    Military Professional
    Defense Professional Shek's Avatar
    Join Date
    23 Feb 05
    Location
    Krblachistan
    Posts
    11,636
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Brown View Post
    One thing I've noticed by looking at many universities in the UK and maybe even Canada, is that they often have "War Studies" programs or very closely related areas of study that concentrate on military history, security and strategic studies, geopolitics etc.

    However, when comparing US universities and colleges little in these academic focuses seems to exist outside the nation's military academies & colleges. As well as some schools concentrated in the South and Midwest, along with some small graduate departments at the Ivy Leagues like John Hopkins, Cornell, and Georgetown.

    Little focus academically within departments like history, poli sci, and related fields seems to be on these areas. With many courses on military history, international security, and other areas appearing to be cut from the curriculum more and more, Vs. areas of study like gender studies, ethnic studies, labor history etc. In which alot of this appears be linked to hostility to the military within academia and anything related overall.

    Time, Newsweek, or one of the big news publications had a piece on this same issue a while back, I can't remember the name of it. Well anyways it pretty much stated that military history, strategic studies, and other areas of academic study seem absent at most US universities and colleges. Despite the fact that there is a demand for such academic areas.

    This issue which has wider roots, has interested me lately and has been mentioned on this forum before.

    Even though I may have opened a can of worms here, but since this is the academic part of the forum. Why don't war studies programs have much presence within the US academic scene, despite at least some demand for such areas of study?
    Kevin,
    Having not looked at the specific content of "War Studies" concentrations/majors, I'd offer that it's an overly constricted description of a field of study. War is a subset of strategy, and to focus specifically on war is to potentially miss the forest from the trees. I don't know about the undergraduate level, but there are plenty of solid programs in "strategic studies" or "national security studies" available in the US at the graduate level.
    "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

  8. #23
    Staff Emeritus
    Military Professional
    Defense Professional Shek's Avatar
    Join Date
    23 Feb 05
    Location
    Krblachistan
    Posts
    11,636
    Quote Originally Posted by Albany Rifles View Post
    Rocco

    All of what you write may be true...but it is not in line with the core subject of this thread.

    Kevin Brown wrote in May bemoaning that military history was dead as a subject on college campuses...the remainder of the thread discussion centered around correcting his misinterpretation and that in fact, according the the military history professional community, it is alive and well.

    If you want to have the discussion you are referring to in your post I recommend you open a new thread...we can move your comments to that thread if you wish.

    And as a side note Shek may disagree with you on the devaluation of military hsitory in the strategic strategic situation since the study of teh Civil War was core to his course work to become a strategic planner.
    Military history is vital to the student of strategy and policy. It provides your case studies to evaluate strategic thought. However, a student of strategy must also be competent in other areas of study as well - economics, sociology, international relations, etc., and so military history is not enough. As an example, studying Bismark's role in creating Germany is a great example - studying how Prussia came to become a military might is vital to understanding the means that allowed Bismark to unite Germany. However, without understanding the role of balance of power politics then condemns a student of strictly military history to miss the lessons that resulted in Germany's defeat in WW I. It's not just about generating military power, but how that generation of power causes changes in the "ecosystem."
    "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

  9. #24
    Staff Emeritus
    Military Professional
    Contrary by Nature.
    zraver's Avatar
    Join Date
    22 Oct 06
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    14,532
    Quote Originally Posted by Shek View Post
    Military history is vital to the student of strategy and policy. It provides your case studies to evaluate strategic thought. However, a student of strategy must also be competent in other areas of study as well - economics, sociology, international relations, etc., and so military history is not enough. As an example, studying Bismark's role in creating Germany is a great example - studying how Prussia came to become a military might is vital to understanding the means that allowed Bismark to unite Germany. However, without understanding the role of balance of power politics then condemns a student of strictly military history to miss the lessons that resulted in Germany's defeat in WW I. It's not just about generating military power, but how that generation of power causes changes in the "ecosystem."
    I dissagree, a good student of history is looking for more than dates and names but is looking for trends that stretch back into history and also foretell the future. The Austrian-Prussian War is a good example of the rise of Prussia. Bismark would have a much harder time, and Germany been a much more catious country except for the Salic Law prohibitions against female inheritnce stemming from French King Clovis I breaking up the Union of Great Britian and the Kingdom of Hannover.

    Had that not happended, it is likely Bismark would have balked at taking on the British to beat Austria for control of the German Confederation.

  10. #25
    Staff Emeritus
    Military Professional
    Contrary by Nature.
    zraver's Avatar
    Join Date
    22 Oct 06
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    14,532
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Brown View Post
    Even though I may have opened a can of worms here, but since this is the academic part of the forum. Why don't war studies programs have much presence within the US academic scene, despite at least some demand for such areas of study?
    I think Part of the reason is that the demand is supplied by the nations military and intelligence agencies for the most part. The various branches of the US Military and the alphabet soup of federal agencies have thier own programs and when the graduates of these programs leave federal service they often end in think tanks where the disparate but now combined pools of intellect can co-mix. Think the RAND Corporation, Council on Forgien Relations etc. There is not much of a niche in the US for these types of programs on the civilian side as the level of expertise needed to be proficient requires feild work as much as academic.

    A pure student of war or war related fucntions is going to miss a lot of critical learning if they don't know war or its related functions first hand. We see this when politicans send in the boots. Conversly the one area where I think the civilian side can make a home for itself is in OOTW including pre and post conflict culturally relevant stablization plans. The military tends to shoot first, and the intelligence agenies tend to be overly concerned with political control. This had led the US up repeated blind alleys costing inumerable lives and untold billions. I once had a discussion with S-2 and it was his opinoon that few if any in the west understand the Pashtun Code- how well has that workd out for us.

  11. #26
    New Member
    Join Date
    01 Jun 13
    Location
    VT
    Posts
    11
    As far as I know, there are very few, if any civilian undergraduate degrees available in "Military History" or "War Studies". There are plenty of graduate degrees and some minors, but the closest thing (and probably better) is something like an international relations degree with a concentration in security policy (George Washington University has one.)

  12. #27
    Administrator
    Lei Feng Protege
    Defense Professional
    Join Date
    23 Aug 05
    Location
    Arlington, VA
    Posts
    13,035
    necro kitties for you for reviving a dead thread.

    something like an international relations degree with a concentration in security policy (George Washington University has one.)
    got one of those. G-dub costed me $10K per semester-- they were milking the MA folks (me) to help support their badly bloated, spoilt-brat undergrad system.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  13. #28
    Global Moderator
    Comrade Commissar
    TopHatter's Avatar
    Join Date
    03 Sep 03
    Posts
    15,913
    Quote Originally Posted by xinhui View Post
    US naval war college offers civilian degrees.
    Does that mean I can apply to the Naval War College?
    Far better it is to dare mighty things, than to take rank with those poor, timid spirits who know neither victory nor defeat ~ Theodore Roosevelt

  14. #29
    Senior Contributor DOR's Avatar
    Join Date
    08 Mar 11
    Location
    London
    Posts
    2,442
    Have a look at Vietnam Studies, which I worked on with Doug Pike at Cal in 1981-83.
    Doug was State's top Hanoi-watcher in the Saigon embassy during the war.

  15. #30
    Global Moderator
    Military Professional
    Defense Professional
    Albany Rifles's Avatar
    Join Date
    27 Apr 07
    Location
    Prince George, VA
    Posts
    8,360
    Barracudabq,

    Diasgree with your comment vigorously.

    I have a BA in World War 2 history from West Virginia University. My MA is in Civil War History from Virginia Tech.

    And yes, I know I killed a few kittens with this post.
    Last edited by Albany Rifles; 10 Jun 13, at 17:16.
    We had been hopelessly labouring to plough waste lands; to make nationality grow in a place full of the certainty of God Among the tribes our creed could be only like the desert grass a beautiful swift seeming of spring; which, after a days heat, fell dusty.
    ― T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 3 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 3 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. China "claims" to have cracked "another" terrorist Cell for Olympics
    By ned kelly in forum International Economy
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 28 Jul 08,, 23:10
  2. Russian tank "Black Eagle" ("object 640")
    By foxhound_nn in forum Ground Warfare
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 27 Dec 07,, 06:53
  3. Replies: 44
    Last Post: 16 Jun 07,, 07:11
  4. "Standard sources" get their a$$es kicked again by "substandard media"
    By Leader in forum The Middle East and North Africa
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01 Jul 05,, 21:09

Share this thread with friends:

Share this thread with friends:

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •