Zero to Clausewitz in 60 Minutes: Your Complete 300 Word Strategic Education

Image courtesy of Foreign Policy. Image courtesy of Foreign Policy.

Can we educate a strategist in an hour?  Some would argue this task is impossible, that it takes a lifetime, or at least 10,000 hours.

But what if we had to?  Imagine it were possible – how would you do it?  How would you accelerate learning to strategic competency?  Note: I define competency as someone that would know, understand, and be able to apply a core set of strategic concepts to analyze and appraise modern war (see also “strategic understanding”).

One scientifically validated path would be the Pareto Principle, which holds, across many systems, that 80% of output comes from 20% of input.  How does this help us rapidly educate strategic practitioners?  We would first identify the critical 20% knowledge base that produces these outsize gains.  We would then leverage this 20% (or “minimum effective dose”) by proving a simple framework for use in any war.

Which is where the “WarCouncil.org 300 Word Strategic Education” comes in.

Following the logic above, I’ve created a document that identifies what I consider the 50 most essential strategic concepts and whittled each to six words apiece (hence, 300 words, not including the actual term itself).  I’ve also presented Clausewitzian Critical Analysis as simply as possible in the header to present this all-weather framework. Lastly, I included an abbreviated footnotes section for those with further interest (and here’s the draft and outtakes).

My claim is that using the “WarCouncil.org 300 Word Strategic Education,” you could educate a competent strategic practitioner in 60 minutes.

 

Author: ML Cavanaugh

Unequal parts strategist, assistant professor, wordsmith, runner, wine-o, reader, philosopher of firepower, and hopeless lover of three ladies named Rachel, Grace, and Georgie.

3 thoughts on “Zero to Clausewitz in 60 Minutes: Your Complete 300 Word Strategic Education”

    1. Aaron,

      Could you please send this attachment. I could not get it to open for me. I would like to take a look at it for use where I teach. Thanks, Bill.

      V/R McKean

      Bill McKean, LTC, USA (Ret)
      Assistant Professor
      Joint and Combined Warfighting School (JCWS)
      Joint Forces Staff College (JFSC)
      National Defense University (NDU)
      Norfolk, VA 23511
      (757) 443-6292
      mckeanw@ndu.edu

      Like

  1. Matt,
    I think you are no longer at West Point based on some of the stuff I have read on this web site. However, I hope someone else at MWI gets this and can respond to me or forward it to you. I am an Assistant Professor at the Joint and Combined Warfighting School, Joint Forces Staff College, and National Defense University in Norfolk, VA. We teach operational planning, but your “WarCouncil.org 300 Word Strategic Education” sounds very interesting.
    Works like this are very useful in education of any kind as they help students understand the big picture and main points. This can help students new to the subject and go a long way in getting them started in understanding. This I think could start many students toward further investigation and learning.
    Based on this post, if this product is interactive, it could allow the student to further explore different elements with the overall subject quickly and again, get the student started toward a better understanding of the subject overall and the parts in particular.
    I clicked on the link, but it said it was not found, so if you or anybody at MWI gets this please e-mail the document to me. Thanks, Bill
    V/R McKean
    Bill McKean, LTC, USA (Ret)
    Assistant Professor
    Joint and Combined Warfighting School (JCWS)
    Joint Forces Staff College (JFSC)
    National Defense University (NDU)
    Norfolk, VA 23511
    (757) 443-6292
    mckeanw@ndu.edu

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s