Defense Management (DM)

DM is the U.S. Army War College's core course that is devoted to the study of the decision-making processes and systems within the Department of Defense (DoD), the Joint Staff, and the military departments that develop and provide combat capability for the combatant commanders. The curriculum takes an enterprise approach to the Secretary of Defense's responsibility for building and fielding an effective Joint Force, consistent with strategic guidance.

The course examines how these organizations respond to the strategic environment and develop and resource the force structure resulting in the land power component of the nation's military. The course also examines DoD organizations, joint issues and process, current defense resourcing issues, readiness, mobilization, Service modernization and management of organizational change, fiscal issues, roles and missions, and much more.

This course builds on earlier courses and requires students to analyze, evaluate, and formulate resourcing and force structure decisions. It demonstrates that successful war fighting does not occur without well trained, properly equipped, doctrinally sound, and adequately resourced forces. The serious-minded officer should appreciate the relationship between leaders, organizations, systems, processes, and combat capability.

DM has three primary purposes.

  • It is designed to provide USAWC students with an understanding of the Army's role in the development of the Land power component of the National Military Strategy.
  • It allows for the examination of the concepts, systems, and processes employed by strategic leaders to resource the requirements of the strategy and ultimately to provide forces to the combatant commanders.
  • It places this study within the broader context of the Joint Force and Defense Enterprise


  • History
  • Ethics
  • Human Dimensions of Strategic Leadership
  • Jointness
  • Strategic Vision

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