GB3500 Strategic Thinking for Warfighters in the Cognitive Era

Brief Course description

This course is about thinking strategically and improving strategic thinking for warfighters in the context of great power competition and the cognitive era. It will help students to use interdisciplinary frameworks as tools for understanding how to think strategically for long term national competitive advantage, and build on lessons, insights and works from great strategic thinkers, extending and applying their ideas to current and future strategic environment. Blending concepts and cases from business and national security, the course will use active learning approaches and be case and project based, and students will also apply the concepts and ideas covered in class to real world strategic problems relevant to warfighters and warfighting organizations.

The course will be highly interdisciplinary, empirically driven and integrative. The course will help students understand the importance of strategy and strategic thinking; how to think through long term national security issues through the lens of net assessment (and the underlying approaches central to the framework); how to understand competitor thinking, and how to think through competitive situations (ill structured and ambiguous problems) in a national security context. Also, central will be to help students develop cognitive skills and attitudes central to strategy and strategic thinking (including but not limited to cognitive flexibility and active open-mindedness), and applying those to thinking about the strategic environment.

The topic and the approach meets a timely need identified most recently in the Education for Sea-power Study & Modly, calling for (much) greater attention to educating for strategic thinking; and NSS/NDS/Matts calling for the need to upgrade our national strategic thinking capabilities; as well as the call for education for mid career officers on strategy.



Lecture Hours


Quarter Offered

  • As Required