GRADUATE SCHOOL OF PUBLIC AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS University of Pittsburgh
PIA 2390 Dr. Forrest E. Morgan (412) 683-2300 x4924 Office at RAND
STRATEGY AND POLICY This course examines the nexus of military strategy and national policy, exploring the development and use of military power for political ends. In short, it is about how states make war. The course is designed to investigate several interrelated themes. First is the role of military theory as a foundation for doctrine and strategy. The second explores the relationship of military strategy to national objectives and political decision-making. The context in which the foregoing issues are examined is provided in the third theme: the social, technical, and intellectual evolution of warfare from the early nineteenth century to the present. The course is taught in a relaxed atmosphere, emphasizing seminar discussion aimed at achieving a deep understanding of the material and a vibrant exchange of ideas. The course is taught in five phases; the first is foundational and the four that follow are historically oriented. The course phases are: (1) basic concepts and theory; (2) the 19th century through the First World War; (3) the interwar period through the Second World War; (4) the Cold War; and (5) the post-Cold War era and beyond. Phase 1 lays a theoretical foundation that students apply in analyzing historical developments presented in each of the four subsequent phases. Additional theories are introduced in phases 2 through 5 in context of the technological and intellectual developments that inspired them. In each of those phases, students also explore the evolving nature of civil-military relations and the impacts of social, intellectual, and technological developments on military strategy and national policy. At the end of the course, students are invited to synthesize their knowledge of military theory, strategy, and policy to assess the strengths and weaknesses of current U.S. strategic thought and discuss prospects for more effective strategies and policies in the future. Student evaluation will be based on: 1. One oral presentation (25 percent). Each student will brief the class on one of the following:
a. The biography of a noted military theorist, focusing on the strategic context and relevant experiences that shaped that personâ€™s ideas; orâ€Ś b. The dynamic relationship between strategy and policy in a particular military campaign. !
Students will choose their theorist or campaign from lists provided by the professor.
Length of presentations will be determined by class size, but will not in any case exceed 20 minutes.
2. Class participation (25 percent). Students are expected to come to class prepared to discuss the assigned readings and engage in seminar discussions. Grading will be based on the quality of ideas expressed. 3. One research paper (50 percent). Each student will write a research paper, 10-15 pages in length, on a relevant topic mutually agreed upon with the professor. Required texts (available in the University Book Center): Addington, Larry H. The Patterns of War Since the Eighteenth Century. Second Edition. Bloomington, IN.: Indiana University Press, 1994. Clausewitz, Carl. On War. Edited and translated by Michael Howard and Peter Paret. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1989. Paret, Peter (ed.). Makers of Modern Strategy from Machiavelli to the Nuclear Age. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1986. Roots of Strategy, Book 2: 3 Military Classics. Harrisburg, Penn.: Stackpole Books, 1989. Sun Tzu, The Illustrated Art of War: The Definitive English Translation by Samuel B. Griffith. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005. I will send students the short reading assignment (7 pages) required for lesson 1 as an email attachment. All subsequent book chapters, journal articles, and other materials not provided in the books above will be available for download or online reading on CourseWeb. Schedule The course will consist of 15 sessions, 3 hours each.
PHASE 1 August 30 Lesson 1: Course Introduction and Basic Concepts In this first session we will get to know each other and introduce the course, covering objectives, “rules of engagement,” and any necessary administrative issues. Then we will embark on the journey before us, starting with a definitional examination of such basic concepts as theory, doctrine, strategy, tactics, and operational art. Assigned readings: H. Richard Yarger, “Towards a Theory of Strategy: Art Lykke and the Army War College Strategy Model.” For reference to look up terms as needed: Joint Doctrine Encyclopedia, Joint Chiefs of Staff, July 16, 1997. September 6 Lesson 2: Clausewitz, Part I: Theory and the Nature of War At the turn of the 19th century, Prussian army staff officer Carl von Clausewitz wrote Vom Krieg, or On War, as it is known in English. Clausewitz’s profound understanding of both the nature of war and the relationship of military force to state policy made his work so influential that it is generally acknowledged as the foundation of modern Western military thought. But unfortunately, while Clausewitz may be the most quoted Western military theorist, he may also be the least understood. We will examine the most important sections of Clausewitz’s writings closely, and before we are done, students will understand his ideas more deeply than do most U.S. military officers. In this lesson, we will consider what he had to say about theory and the nature of war. Assigned reading: Clausewitz, On War, Books I and II, pp. 75-174. September 13 Lesson 3: Clausewitz, Part II: Strategy and Planning
With a firm understanding of Clausewitz’s characterization of the nature of war, we can proceed to examine what he had to say about strategy. Then we will skip to his last book, one that many scholars maintain is his most important contribution to strategic thought: Book VIII, War Plans. Assigned readings: Clausewitz, On War, Book III, pp. 177-222, and Book VIII, pp. 577-637. September 20 Lesson 4: Alternatives to Clausewitz: “Scientific” and “Indirect” Approaches While Clausewitz’s influence on Western military thought is considerable, competing ideas existed in his era and do so today. One alternative to Clausewitzean thought was offered by his contemporary, Baron Antoine-Henri de Jomini, in his “scientific” approach to warfare and strategy. Another line of reasoning is presented in the “indirect” approach as typified by the ancient Chinese strategist, Sun Tzu. In this lesson we will examine these ideas and compare their substance to those of the Prussian master. Assigned readings: Jomini in Roots of Strategy, pp. 433-513. Sun Tzu, The Art of War, pp. 63-149. September 27 Lesson 5: Corbet and Mahan: Maritime Interpretations of Clausewitz and Jomini Clausewitz and Jomini were both army officers whose experience, thought, and writings dealt exclusively with land warfare. But at the turn of the 20th century, Britain and the United States were primarily maritime powers. So it should come as no surprise that British and American naval thinkers should undertake the task of adapting Clausewitzean and Jominian thought to war at sea. The U.S. Navy’s Alfred Thayer Mahan and British lawyer Julian Corbett wrote the seminal works on Anglo-American naval warfare theory. Which theorist (Mahan or Corbett) was more widely praised in both countries… and why? Assigned readings: Phillip A. Crowl, “Alfred Thayer Mahan: The Naval Historian,” in Makers of Modern Strategy, pp. 444-481. Michael I. Handel, “Corbett, Clausewitz, and Sun Tzu,” in Naval War College Review (Autumn, 2000).
Spencer Wilkenson, “Strategy in the Navy,” in The Morning Post (London), August 3, 1909. PHASE 2 October 4 Lesson 6: Warfare from Waterloo to the First World War Napoleon Bonaparte, or as Clausewitz begrudgingly called him, the “God of War,” made a lasting impression on military institutions throughout the Western world. Everywhere armies were adopting French-style uniforms, marching in close-order drill, and practicing tactics that emphasized bold offensive maneuvers and frontal assaults. But the industrial revolution was changing the face of war at an ever-increasing pace. Smoothbore musketry gave way to repeating rifles and, eventually, machine guns. Telegraph lines made generals in the field more accountable and subject to the whims of political leaders and senior military staffs. And railroads made it possible to mobilize entire nations-in arms-in a matter of days. In what ways did military theory, doctrine, and strategy adapt to these changes? How successful were the adaptations? Assigned readings: Larry H. Addington, Patterns of War Since the Eighteenth Century, pp. 43-133. Gunther E. Rothenberg, “Moltke, Schliefen, and the Doctrine of Strategic Envelopment,” in Makers of Modern Strategy, pp. 296-325. Michael Howard, “Men Against Fire: The Doctrine of the Offensive in 1914,” in Makers of Modern Strategy, pp. 510-126. October 11 Lesson 7: The First World War In 1914 the culmination of 19th century military theory, doctrine, and strategy was thrown into the crucible of industrialized warfare between mass armies. The results were catastrophic. What began as a war of rapid maneuver quickly bogged down in a trench war in which generals on both sides suffered such intellectual paralysis that, for several years, they could think of no better tactics than to have their armies charge opposing lines in the face of barbed wire and machine guns. Millions of Europe’s young men died. But the period was not without technological innovation; the airplane and tank both made their debut in war. And in the final year of the struggle, new tactics emerged in France’s “methodical battle” and Germany’s “infiltration tactics.” How much effect did any of these developments have on the outcome of World War I? What did they portend for the future?
Assigned readings: Addington, Patterns of War Since the Eighteenth Century, pp. 134-171. Michael Geyer, “German Strategy in the Age of Machine Warfare, 1914-1945,” in Makers of Modern Strategy, pp. 527-554 (intro and parts I-II). Robert A. Doughty, “French Strategy and Doctrine: 1914,” in Relevance: The Quarterly Journal of the Great War Society, Vol. 8, No. 2 (Winter 1999). Douglas Porch, “The Marne and After: A Reappraisal of French Strategy in the First World War,” in The Journal of Military History, Vol. 53 (October 1989): 363-85. PHASE 3 October 18 Lesson 8: Developments in the Interwar Period World War I left deep mental and emotional scars on all of its survivors. More importantly, it challenged strategic thinkers around the world to find ways to achieve military objectives in future wars without descending into such mindless and costly attrition contests as the one they had just witnessed. As a result, the interwar period was one of remarkable technical and intellectual innovation. In this lesson we will briefly examine German, Soviet, and British theories for returning maneuver to the battlefield by coordinating rapid armor thrusts with focused air and artillery strikes. This approach is contrasted with the French decision to rely on defensive warfare, as exemplified in the Maginot Line, and theories developed in Italy, Britain, and the United States for using air power to over-fly fielded forces in order to strike an enemy nation’s vital centers directly. Assigned readings: Addington, Patterns of War Since the Eighteenth Century, pp. 172-194. Michael Geyer, “German Strategy in the Age of Machine Warfare, 1914-1945,” in Makers of Modern Strategy, pp. 554-572 (part III). Brian Bond and Martin Alexander, “Liddell Hart and De Gaulle: The Doctrine of Limited Liability and Mobile Defense,” in Makers of Modern Strategy, pp. 598-624. David MacIsaac, “Voices From the Central Blue: The Air Power Theorists,” in Makers of Modern Strategy, pp. 624-635 (parts I and II). Condoleezza Rice, “The Making of Soviet Strategy,” in Makers of Modern Strategy, pp.
648-669 (parts I-IV). James S. Corum, “A Clash of Military Cultures: German and French Approaches to Technology Between the World Wars,” an unpublished paper presented at the USAF Academy Symposium on Military History, September 1994. October 25 Lesson 9: Strategy and Policy in the Second World War By 1939 all the major European antagonists had rearmed and developed new military doctrines; the stage was set for what some historians maintain was but a continuation of the First World War. Meanwhile, Japan was already expanding her empire on the Asian mainland. In this lesson we will examine which theories and doctrines proved their merit in war and to what extent. We will also examine the growing importance of joint and combined military operations and the challenges that political and senior military leaders faced in determining how much authority for making and executing strategy would reside with field commanders and how much would be wielded from higher headquarters—issues that would be increasingly important in all future military operations right up to the present. Assigned readings: Addington, Patterns of War Since the Eighteenth Century, pp. 195-266. Michael Geyer, “German Strategy in the Age of Machine Warfare, 1914-1945,” in Makers of Modern Strategy, pp. 572-597 (part IV through the conclusion). David MacIsaac, “Voices From the Central Blue: The Air Power Theorists,” in Makers of Modern Strategy, pp. 635-639 (part III). Condoleezza Rice, “The Making of Soviet Strategy,” in Makers of Modern Strategy, pp. 669-676 (parts V through the conclusion). Maurice Matloff, “Allied Strategy in Europe, 1939-1945,” in Makers of Modern Strategy, pp. 677-702. D. Clayton James, “American and Japanese Strategies in the Pacific War,” in Makers of Modern Strategy, pp. 703-733. PHASE 4 November 1 Lesson 10: Theory, Strategy, and Policy in the Early Cold War
Bernard Brodie called the atomic bomb the “absolute weapon.” Indeed, the advent of nuclear weapons called into question whether conventional wars—using massed, industrial-age armies— could ever be fought again. And with the potential consequences of war between nuclear-armed adversaries so devastating, U.S. political leaders soon concluded that strategy was too important to be left in the hands of military leaders. Thus emerged a community of civilian “strategy intellectuals” who theorized and advised national leaders on such concepts as deterrence, compellence, escalation management, and ultimately nuclear war fighting. But were the early Cold War strategic thinkers really right about conventional war being obsolete? In this lesson, we will briefly review theories that emerged in this period and critically assess them in light of the historical record. Assigned readings: Addington, Patterns of War Since the Eighteenth Century, pp. 266-279. David MacIsaac, “Voices From the Central Blue: The Air Power Theorists,” in Makers of Modern Strategy, pp. 639-647 (part IV through the conclusion). Lawrence Freedman, “The First Two Generations of Nuclear Strategists,” in Makers of Modern Strategy, pp. 735-778. Michael Carver, “Conventional Warfare in the Nuclear Age,” in Makers of Modern Strategy, pp. 779-814. November 8 Lesson 11: The Challenge of Revolutionary War While strategists in the United States and elsewhere worried about how to deter or fight nuclear wars, a sociopolitical storm was brewing in the “Third World”: colonies were demanding freedom, and a growing number of right-wing autocracies were being challenged by popular revolutionary movements. In this cauldron of change, a new body of theory emerged for instigating and carrying off “Peoples’ Wars,” as well as corresponding theories, doctrines, and strategies for conducting counterinsurgency warfare. In this lesson we will examine the phenomenon or revolutionary warfare and consider the challenges it presented to policy makers and military strategists. Assigned readings: Addington, Patterns of War Since the Eighteenth Century, pp. 288-301. John Shy and Thomas W. Collier, “Revolutionary War,” in Makers of Modern Strategy, pp. 815-862.
Austin Long, On “Other War”: Lessons of Five Decades of RAND Counterinsurgency Research, (Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 2006), summary and chapters 1-5, pp. ix-xii and 1-52 November 15 Lesson 12: The Renaissance of U.S. Conventional Strategic Thinking The United States’ dismal performance in the Vietnam War was a clarion call to America’s political and military leaders, telling them that U.S. military doctrines, organizations, and training were badly in need of reform. Those reforms began in the late 1970s and gathered steam in the decade that followed, resulting in a renaissance in strategic thought about how to conduct conventional warfare. Meanwhile, a series of wars occurred between belligerents other than the United States, informing this renaissance on how technological change was impacting the conduct of war. In this lesson we will examine the principal theories and doctrines that emerged in that era and critically assess their impact on military interventions in the waning years of the Cold War. Finally, we will examine the U.S. military’s performance in Operation Desert Storm, or the First Gulf War, as it is now called, an event that heralded the end of the Cold War and the beginning of the post-Cold War era. Assigned readings: Addington, Patterns of War Since the Eighteenth Century, pp. 307-323. John L. Romjue, “The Evolution of the AirLand Battle Concept,” in Air University Review (May-June 1984). Harold R. Winton, “Partnership and Tension: The Army and Air Force Between Vietnam and Desert Storm,” in Parameters (Spring 1996): 100-119. James A. Winnefeld, Preston Niblack, and Dana J. Johnson, A League of Airmen: U.S. Air Power in the Gulf War (Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 1996), chapters 1, 2, 4, and 6, pp. 1-24, 55-88, and 117-160. PHASE 5 November 29 Lesson 13: Strategic Thought in the Post-Cold War Era The 1990s was a unique time in the history of the United States and, to a great extent, the world. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, no peer competitor existed to challenge U.S. military preeminence, and the nation entered the period fresh from a lightning victory over the world’s fourth largest army. Americans were supremely confident, and some political leaders had high expectations that the United States then had an opportunity—perhaps, even an obligation—to use
U.S. military might to begin redressing humanity’s injustices and reshaping the world in America’s image. Then the debacle in Mogadishu, Somalia, occurred. American leaders became momentarily discouraged and temporarily cautious, but after considerable prodding from European leaders, the United States led successful interventions in Bosnia and Kosovo in the latter half of the decade. In this lesson we examine military theories developed during of this golden age of presumed U.S. hegemony and consider how these ideas have not only guided military strategy, but have also contributed to the shaping of U.S. national policy. Assigned readings: John A. Warden, III, “Employing Air Power in the Twenty-first Century,” in The Future of Air Power in the Aftermath of the Gulf War, (Maxwell AFB, AL: Air University Press, 1992), pp. 57-82. Steven Metz and James Kievit, “Strategy and the Revolution in Military Affairs: Theory to Policy,” Strategic Studies Institute Report, June 27, 1995. Edward A. Smith, Jr., “Network-Centric Warfare: What’s the Point?” in Naval War College Review (Winter 2001). Forrest E. Morgan, “Irregular Warfare: Two Illustrative Cases,” (excerpt from draft RAND report, Managing Escalation in the 21st Century, July 2007, MG-614-AF). Read pages 11-23. Leighton W. Smith, “NATO’s IFOR in Action: Lessons from the Bosnian Peace Support Operations,” Institute for National Strategic Studies Number 154, January 1999. Paul E. Gallus, “Kosovo: Lessons Learned from Operation Allied Force, CRS Report for Congress, November 19, 1999. Read the summary and pp. 1-8, 19-28. December 6 Lesson 14: Shock and Reassessment in the “Post, Post-Cold War” Era The terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, stunned strategic thinkers in multiple ways. Not only had the most powerful nation on earth been struck a blow at home of unprecedented severity, but it was attacked by a shadowy adversary that seemed all but immune to America’s tremendous nuclear and conventional military might. Nevertheless, American leaders set about mustering the nation’s many and potent instruments of power—economic, diplomatic, informational, and judicial, as well as military—and focusing them in what President George W. Bush has characterized as a “Global War on Terrorism” (sometimes called the “Global War on Terror”). Part of that effort involved toppling the Taliban government in Afghanistan. Invading Saddam Hussein’s Iraq has also been justified as part of the “GWOT.” In this lesson we will examine impacts that the emergence of global jihad, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the
extended U.S. war against transnational irregular adversaries have had on strategic thought and national policy. Assigned readings: National Strategy for Combating Terrorism (Washington, D.C.: The White House, February 2003). Richard B. Andres, Craig Wills, and Thomas E. Griffith, Jr., “Winning With Allies: The Strategic Value of the Afghan Model, in International Security Vol. 30, No. 3 (Winter 2005/06), pp. 124–160. Forrest E. Morgan, “Shock & Awe: Its Origins, Its Role in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Why It Did Not Work,” unpublished paper presented at the International Studies Association Annual Convention in Honolulu, Hawaii, 1-5 March 2005. Andrew Krepinevich, “The War in Iraq: The Nature of Insurgency Warfare,” Washington, D.C., Center for Strategic and Budgetary Studies, June 2, 2004. December 13 Lesson 15: Strategy and Policy in an Uncertain Future By this point in the course, you will appreciate that advances in technology, developments in national and world economies, and evolutions in social organization and thought can all have dramatic impacts on the ways wars are fought. It is often said that military planners habitually prepare to re-fight the last war they experienced, only to be stunned by the changed nature of the next war they encounter. Indeed, that is too often the case. And as the historical record demonstrates, states that win wars are usually those that best anticipate or adjust to the changing nature of war. But does the nature of war really change? Did Clausewitz think so? In this lesson we will reexamine military theory in light of the many changes that affect war. How much of classical military theory—that is, the writings of Clausewitz, Jomini, Sun Tzu, and others—is still valid today? Are nuclear weapons and conventional forces still relevant in the face of insurgency warfare and transnational terrorism? How can strategic planners decide what systems to invest in and how to organize and train their forces to protect the nation against future threats? Students are invited to synthesize their knowledge of military theory, strategy, and policy to assess the strengths and weaknesses of U.S. strategic thought today and discuss prospects for more effective strategies and policies in the future. Assigned readings: To be determined.
Syllabus for GSPIA course