The ASAP curriuculum has several modules.
Strategic Theory and Art: This module provides a foundation in strategic and operational theory, as well as a methodology with which to evaluate military theory, equipping students with the theoretical tools to enable them to evaluate doctrine and strategy. The course will progress from a detailed examination of Clausewitz and an assessment of his continuing relevance, to an analysis of Asian and American military thought looking for continuity in national and cultural styles of warfare, to a review of the theories that underpin current service and joint doctrine. The course continues with a look at current operational theory and the role of theory and doctrine in practice. The module concludes with a study of strategy in several wars from the Peloponnesian Wars to Vietnam looking at the critical themes which help explain victory and defeat. Among these themes are strategy, theories of victory, mirror imaging, pre-war plans and wartime realities, and coalition warfare.
Regional Studies: This module will use assigned readings, guest lecturers, and a program of study to familiarize students with the strategic environment with a focus on the Caspian Sea region. We will also briefly examine Northeast Asia, Africa, and South America. We will explore the U.S. regional interests, objectives, trends, and factors which impact on them. Planners from some of the combatant commands are scheduled to visit the seminar for discussions on selected theater strategies and challenges.
Unified Action: We not only conduct operations in peace and war in a joint and combined environment but also with other agencies of the federal government. Only through the interagency process can all the elements of national power be integrated and synchronized to achieve strategic objectives. This module will acquaint students with the nature of decision making on national security matters in the executive branch of the U.S. Government. We will cover the theory and reality of the interagency process and an analysis of the main agencies engaged in national security. We will look at real world challenges which will illustrate both the formal and informal processes at work. This module will include a trip to Washington, DC to visit the State Department, the NSC, the Joint Staff, and other governmental and private organizations.
Theater Strategy and Campaigning: Central to the course is learning how to plan and conduct joint theater operations. We will study campaign design, theater organization, operational functions, and campaign planning. The essential questions we must answer are: How does the Combatant Commander employ military forces? How can he combine available capabilities to achieve strategic objectives within his theater? How does he plan a campaign? We will use history and exercises to help us answer these questions. Throughout this module will conduct short exercises to apply the principles and to help refine our theater strategic and operational level thought.
Joint Processes and Landpower Development: We will examine the processes that translate strategy into requirements or capabilities and then allocate resources to achieve them. This module addresses the systems and processes within the Department of Defense and how they are used to manage competing demands of maintaining trained and ready forces to serve the nation today, while managing change to ensure capable forces in the future.
- Staff Rides: The ASAP students will conduct two staff rides. The initial staff ride to Vicksburg is designed to begin the course with a historical look at a Civil War campaign. The program will conclude with a staff ride to Sicily and Normandy. Students will walk the ground where Operations Husky and Overlord took place to get a better understanding of the challenges of coalition warfare and strategic leadership. The course will also include two staff visits. One to Harrisburg to get a glimpse of how a state government functions and one to a BAE Systems plant to obtain a perspective on how industry supports national defense.
Point of Contact:
US Army War College
Department of Military Strategy, Planning, and Operations
Director, Advanced Strategic Art Program
Carlisle, PA 17013-5242
(717) 245-3491 or DSN 242-3491