Nuclear Strategy & World Order
Explore the ways nuclear weapons have transformed the world we inhabit today.
The Hertog War Studies Program is an intensive two-week program run by the Institute for the Study of War in Washington DC. The program aims to educate advanced undergraduate students about the theory, practice, organization, and control of war and military forces.
Over the course of two weeks, students will learn from and interact with distinguished senior leaders in the national security and military communities. Students will gain a deeper understanding of specific topics in military history and their intersection with modern warfare and policy. Opportunities to learn about military history in a hands-on environment include participating in a battlefield staff-ride to Gettysburg to explore the relationships between terrain, timing, and decision-making in war. Previous editions of the Hertog War Studies Program have featured topics including the insurgencies in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the ongoing threat of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham in Syria and Iraq.
We are currently in the process of planning our summer programs, mindful of the changing circumstances of the pandemic. We will open applications for our Political Studies, Summer Courses, and War Studies programs in the new year, but welcome nominations of students for those programs now.
Watch this video to learn more
All students will receive a stipend of $1,500 in addition to housing, meals, and subsidized transportation to and within Washington, DC. This is a full-time commitment.
A retired four-star general, McChrystal is the former commander of US and International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) Afghanistan and the former commander of the nation’s premier military counter-terrorism force, Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). He is best known for developing and implementing a comprehensive counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan, and for creating a cohesive counter-terrorism organization that revolutionized the interagency operating culture.
Apply the terms and concepts you learned in lesson 1 to the study of a particular campaign and then understand how two great military theorists did so.
Evaluate Clausewitz and Jomini as military theorists based on the lessons they derived from the 1806 campaign:
Block 1: The Jena Campaign, 1806
Block 2: Clausewitz and Jomini
General Mark A. Milley assumed duty as the 39th Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army after most recently serving as the 21st Commander of U.S. Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He has had multiple command and staff positions in eight divisions and Special Forces throughout the last 35 years.
His operational deployments include the Multi-National Force and Observers, or MFO, Sinai, Egypt; Operation JUST CAUSE, Panama; Operation UPHOLD DEMOCRACY, Haiti; Operation JOINT ENDEAVOR, Bosnia-Herzegovina; Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, Iraq; and three tours during Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, Afghanistan. He also deployed to Somalia and Colombia.
Learn an additional language to describe military operations and theory, and evaluate the utility of that language in understanding traditional military theory.
Block 1: Chaos, Nonlinearity, and Complexity
Block 2: Chaos Theory, Clausewitz, and Moltke
Learn how to move from reading text and maps to seeing a battle unfold on terrain.
Reflect upon the correct relationship between military operations and high politics (or policy) in order to decide whether you believe that Clausewitz or Moltke had it right.
Block 1: Clausewitz on Politics and War
Block 2: Moltke and Clausewitz
Understand how changes in technology generated (required) transformations in military organization, doctrine, and theory.
Decide which of the following are true:
Block 1: Schlieffen and the First Campaign of WWI
Block 2: Coping with Trench-warfare Stalemate
Understand the evolution of operational art as a distinct branch of military theory and practice.
Understand the terms and concepts of air power theory as it evolved from early in the 20th century to the present.
From the Origins of Air Power Theory to Its Modern State
The Weinberger, Powell, and Clinton Doctrines
Please note that this usage of doctrine communicates the general principles of policy about the use of force (as in the Monroe Doctrine), rather than being military doctrine in the technical sense.
A New World Order
Gulf War: A Quick Overview
The Gulf War, the Fall of the Soviet Union, and the Birth of the Post-Cold War Era
The Clinton Years
While catching up on reading and meeting with your instructors, you may also want to view the following videos about what happened on September 11, 2001 from the perspective of President Bush as the commander-in-chief. The purpose of this exercise is to try to understand a little of the thoughts and emotions of that time and how they shaped his strategic calculations and decision-making. Try hard to keep the events of the intervening years out of your mind as you watch these videos in order to put yourself as best you can in the position of someone experiencing the 9/11 attacks as they unfolded.
Ambassador Ryan Crocker is a career ambassador within the U.S. Foreign Service. Ambassador Crocker was in the Foreign Service for 37 years and, after retiring, was recalled to active duty by President Obama in 2011 to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan. His previous appointments included service as the U.S. Ambassador to Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Lebanon. Crocker became dean of Texas A&M University’s George Bush School of Government and Public Service in 2010.
2003 Invasion to the Insurgency and the Surge
General (Ret.) David H. Petraeus currently serves as the Chairman of the KKR Global Institute at Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. He previously served as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from September 2011 to November 2012. Prior to that, he commanded the United States Central Command from October 2008 to July 2011. He relinquished command of the Multi-National Force-Iraq after over 19 months at the helm of the Coalition force in Iraq.
Previous to his tour as MNF-I Commander, he commanded the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth. Before that assignment, he was the first commander of the Multi-national Security Transition Command-Iraq, which he led from June 2004 to September 2005, and the NATO Training Mission- Iraq, which he commanded from October 2004 to September 2005. That deployment to Iraq followed his command of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), during which he led the “Screaming Eagles” in combat throughout the first year of Operation Iraqi Freedom. His command of the 101st followed a year deployed on Operation Joint Forge in Bosnia, where he was the Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations of the NATO Stabilization Force and the Deputy Commander of the US Joint Interagency Counter-Terrorism Task Force-Bosnia. Prior to his tour in Bosnia, he spent two years at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, serving first as the Assistant Division Commander for Operations of the 82nd Airborne Division and then as the Chief of Staff of XVIII Airborne Corps.
The Evans Hanson Fellowship is designed to provide an opportunity for outstanding alumni of the War Studies Program to work as a research analyst at the Institute for the Study of War. This Fellowship seeks to help build the next generation of national security leaders.
Alumni of the War Studies Program are also able to take advantage of internship and employment opportunities at ISW. Interns work directly with analysts and have many opportunities to engage with Institute leadership on the subjects of their research.
Explore the ways nuclear weapons have transformed the world we inhabit today.
Analyze case studies to better understand presidential control over foreign policy and the meaning of executive power.
Explore the Yom Kippur War, one of the great understudied hinge points of history.
Study Nixon’s strategic opening to Beijing in 1972 and how it shaped U.S.-China relations today.
Darren Staloff is Professor of History at the City College of New York and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Professor Staloff has published numerous papers and reviews on the subject of early American history.
James W. Ceaser
James W. Ceaser is Harry F. Byrd Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia, where he has taught since 1976, and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. He has written several books on American politics and political thought, including Presidential Selection and Liberal Democracy and Political Science.
Robert C. Bartlett is the Behrakis Professor of Hellenic Political Studies at Boston College. His principal area of research is classical political philosophy, with particular attention to the thinkers of ancient Hellas, including Thucydides, Plato, and Aristotle. He is the co-translator of a new edition of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics.
Vickie Sullivan is the Cornelia M. Jackson Professor of Political Science and teaches and studies political thought and philosophy. She also maintains teaching and research interests in politics and literature. She has published extensively on Montesquieu and Machiavelli and is the co-editor of Shakespeare’s Political Pageant.
Daniel Blumenthal is the Director of Asian Studies at the American Enterprise Institute, where he focuses on East Asian security issues and Sino-American relations. Mr. Blumenthal has both served in and advised the U.S. government on China issues for over a decade.
Eric S. Edelman
Eric S. Edelman is a Counselor at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments and the Roger Hertog Distinguished Practitioner-in-Residence at the Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies at Johns Hopkins. He has served as U.S. ambassador to the Republics of Finland and Turkey.
James M. Dubik
LTG James M. Dubik (U.S. Army, Ret.) is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for the Study of War and a Professor at Georgetown University’s Security Studies Program. General Dubik has extensive operational experience in Iraq, Afghanistan, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Bosnia, Haiti, Panama, and in many NATO countries.
Frederick W. Kagan
Frederick W. Kagan is a Senior Instructor with the Hertog War Studies Program at the Institute for the Study of War. The author of the 2007 report “Choosing Victory: A Plan for Success in Iraq,” he is one of the intellectual architects of the successful “surge” strategy in Iraq. He is the Director of AEI’s Critical Threats Project.
Kimberly Kagan is a Senior Instructor with the Hertog War Studies Program and founder and president of the Institute for the Study of War. She is a military historian who has taught at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Yale, Georgetown, and American University.
Vance Serchuk is Executive Director of the KKR Global Institute and an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security. Prior to joining KKR, Mr. Serchuk served for six years as the senior national security advisor to Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-Connecticut).
Jakub J. Grygiel
Jakub Grygiel is an Associate Professor at the Catholic University of America. From 2017–18, he was a member of the Policy Planning Staff at the U.S. Department of State. His most recent book is Return of the Barbarians: Confronting Non-State Actors from Ancient Rome to the Present.