For Strategic Theory (which is taught by The Director), the agenda is as follows:
The Director will lecture on each of these topics, and his lectures will be followed several weeks later by an individual or team presentation on each topic, to include a 2500 word memorandum. I'll be doing my team presentation on Counter-Insurgency with CN Odin. I get the impression that everyone is looking forward to it. There's also an in-class essay later this month on one of the following four topics:
1) What is strategy, and how useful is strategic analysis in national security policy-making?
2) Identify the tenets of the strategic thought of two of the following: Sun Tzu, Thucydides, Machiavelli, Clausewitz, and Van Creveld. Assess their validity to modern conditions of conflict.
3) Explain why and how the conduct of war was transformed between 1815 and 1914.
4) Consider the view that the use of the military instrument is no longer a viable foreign policy option.
At present, I plan to write on option three, as it draws on many of my strengths from my long-term study of military history.
The final examination will take place in January, and will take three hours. For both this and the in-class essay, I'll be drawing on my years as a history undergrad, and particularly the influence of one professor in particular whose exams are my single leading risk factor in the development of carpal tunnels syndrome later in life.
For textbooks, the Director has prescribed the following:
The Director actually told me and a classmate that it's physically impossible to read all three of them, plus all of the articles he's prescribed, but recommended that we take a sample of them. That's extremely refreshing, particularly compared to other courses I've taken in the past in which hundreds upon hundreds of pages of reading were prescribed with the expectation that students would retain all of it.
Is it safe to assume that I'm quite pleased to be here, doing all of this?