Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 01/2010

Schools for Strategy: Teaching Strategy for 21st Century Conflict

Colin S. Gray

October 2009

The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College


All would-be strategists would benefit by some formal education. However, for education in strategy to be well-directed, it needs to rest upon sound assumptions concerning the eternal nature yet ever shifting character, meaning, and function of strategy, as well as the range of behaviors required for effective strategic performance. The author emphasizes the necessity for strategic education to help develop the strategic approach, the way of thinking that can solve or illuminate strategic problems. He advises that such education should not strive for a spurious relevance by presenting a military variant of current affairs. The author believes that the strategist will perform better in today's world if he has mastered and can employ strategy's general theory.