Research adds to our knowledge. At least that should be its intent. In the words of the eighth-century Hindu theologian, Sankara: "Wisdom is not acquired save as the result of investigation." There is a wealth of information out there -- infinitely more than at any time in the past. However, relative to the amount of information available, there may be less knowledge today. There certainly is an overabundance of opinion -- on every conceivable topic. Opinion, however, is not knowledge; and what we want -- or what we ought to want -- is knowledge. That is what research helps us acquire.
Work is transitory. Talk is cheap. Ideas endure -- and they do so principally through the medium of writing. If Clausewitz, Mahan, and Liddell Hart, for example, are icons of strategic thought to us, it is because they transmitted their ideas -- and the wisdom embodied in those ideas -- through their writing. They have left a lasting legacy. There is absolutely no reason why our own military establishment cannot -- and should not -- be developing a new generation of Clausewitzes, Mahans and Liddell Harts who can leave a similarly rich legacy of written wisdom to future generations.
Please direct Eisenhower School Student Research and Writing Program questions to Dr. Christina Lafferty (email@example.com), Director of the Student Research and Writing Program.