Critics continue to advocate slamming the doors on at least some of the country’s professional military education institutions, the war colleges. But no one can realistically advocate for a less educated modern military. Instead, what we need is a more effectively educated military.

The civil-military gap between faculty members, including the lack of diversity among students and military faculty, low standards of admission and hiring, and the tension between education and an officer’s career advancement need to be addressed, as do the issues of academic freedom and the micromanagement of curriculum by military staffs. These latter two issues are serious problems, although the Naval War College, and a long line of its presidents, has remained committed to strong standards of academic freedom and to maintaining the strength of the curriculum through continued faculty development. Other PME institutions, apparently, are not so fortunate. Keep reading →

The National War College at Fort McNair. The Army War College at Carlisle. The Naval War College at Newport. The Air War College at Maxwell Field. These are the launching pads for America’s senior military leaders. The Pentagon spends substantial monies on these august institutions but are their graduates getting the education they need and which the nation deserves?

In April 2010, the House Armed Services Committee issued a report titled “Another Crossroads” examining professional military education (PME) two decades after the landmark Goldwater Nichols Act, which mandated comprehensive reform of the PME system aimed at broadening the intellectual foundations of U.S. military officers. They concluded that, while improvements had been made, America could do better. Keep reading →