NWC Research and Analysis
The core mission of the National War College is to provide its students
with a superb educational experience. Faculty and students at the National
War College pursue research and analysis in a number of ways that are supportive
of that mission. More than in the past, the leadership of the College today
views it, in the context of NDU's larger research activities, as a thought
leader on issues related to national strategy.
Specific forms of research and analysis that occur at NWC include the categories
noted below. Examples from all of these areas will be regularly featured
in the "NWC Ideas" tab on this web site.
An important principle that guides research and writing at NWC is academic
freedom. Academic freedom is the sine qua non of excellence in education
and research. The National Defense University's commitment to academic freedom
is published in the National Defense University Handbook, 1 Aug 2006, NDU
Regulation 360-1, and is reaffirmed within both the National War College
faculty and student handbooks. The policies themselves, as well as their
implementation, are continually reviewed to ensure that academic freedom
is protected and allowed to thrive. Open sharing of ideas and approaches,
critical analysis, creative thinking, and the ability to synthesize - and
then argue and defend - new concepts are at the heart of every seminar discussion.
Beyond the seminar room, the National War College grants faculty and students
the freedom to: explore ideas, conduct research, publish findings, discuss
relevant material candidly and openly, surface problems for leadership's
consideration, and seek changes in academic and institutional policies.
Concurrently, NWC holds faculty and students responsible for: the pursuit
of excellence, intellectual honesty, objectivity, toleration of free discussion
and inquiry, open-mindedness, and innovative thinking.
Independent Faculty Research and Publishing
The NWC faculty is composed of many world-class experts who engage in long-term
research projects and regularly write, speak and consult in their areas
of expertise. NWC encourages faculty members to attend conferences so as
to remain current on developing trends in their respective academic fields.
Conference attendance, travel, writing, and the establishment of new professional
contacts directly benefit the individual faculty as well as the overall
NWC academic program. Departments receive dedicated funding so that faculty
members can participate in at least one conference annually. In addition,
faculty at the National War College can submit official training requests
for additional educational opportunities. As appropriate, faculty members
are expected to share the knowledge and experience they gain through participation
in professional development activities with their colleagues during faculty
workshops and classes.
Every seventh year, civilian faculty are eligible for a 12-month sabbatical
for research, writing, or some other professional development activity.
Faculty must apply for sabbatical with a detailed, written proposal through
the Commandant to the University President. The College will recommend approval
of sabbatical requests on the basis of the value of the professional development
activity and staffing requirements. Faculty have used sabbaticals to write
books, monographs and articles, to work on the Joint Staff and at the State
Department, and to teach at one of the Service academies.
Student Research and Writing
During their ten months at NWC, students are required to write several research
papers, from short to medium length. They also have the opportunity to take
on longer research and writing projects, from "long papers" (25-30 pages)
to research fellowships, designed to produce complete monographs well over
100 pages. Typically several students submit these for publication after
the year is complete, and NWC student papers have found outlet in a number
of prestigious journals.
Each year, starting with the 2011-2012 Academic Year, the War College
has begun making a small number of award-winning student papers available
on te web site, so that interested officials and researchers can benefit
from their work. These papers have undergone review and been approved
for public release as part of paper competitions and in some cases have
already been published or are in the process of publication. Those interested
in reviewing these papers can follow the link below to the page for student
Student Research Papers
Research in Support of Government Departments and Agencies
From time to time, various elements of the Joint Staff, Department of Defense,
military Service leadership, combatant commands, or other offices in the
U.S. government will request a limited research partnership with NWC. Because
our primary mission remains teaching, student and faculty participation
in such projects is and will remain voluntary. But they can represent an
excellent mechanism for academic work that will be accomplished as a normal
part of the school year to be featured for policymakers, and have its conclusions
and recommendations become relevant in a practical way.
Institutional Research Projects
The College has an associate dean for research and outreach, and under their
direction NWC has begun to conduct research projects on a more institutional
basis (although the products continue to reflect only the views of the authors;
there is no such thing, in any product released by NWC, as an "official
NWC statement" or position on any issue). These have included analyses of
situations in North Korea and Pakistan and the future of the use of force.
The results have been briefed to government officials and released to the
public and policy community.