In this Fall 2016 Volume, US Naval War College Joint Maritime Operations Students present their thoughts and approaches to one of the world’s most pressing national security problems - Ukraine.
For the century ahead, the use of military and naval power and their inter-relationships with the political, diplomatic, economic, and informational instruments of national power will remain essential to achieving desired end states. During the Fall 2016 trimester 209 Joint Military Operations students representing all five United States military services, 12 government agencies, and 49 countries studied how to wield the military instrument of power, in peace and in war, to achieve national policy goals. They examined relationships of national power at two levels—operational and theater-strategic, including the varying perspectives of the Executive Branch leadership, Congress, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, combatant commanders, Joint Task Force commanders, and component commanders.
The Joint Military Operations trimester refines students’ critical and creative thinking skills under the aegis of military problem solving. As such, the course is presented in a series of integrated sessions, each drawing on the preceding sessions and reinforcing those that follow. The trimester flows from the simple to the more complex and culminates in a synthesis event where students display their understanding of the course concepts and demonstrate critical and creative thinking skills.
This Capstone synthesis event emphasizes design as a methodology for addressing ill-structured problems. The exercise synthesizes course material through rigorous discourse and practical application in a realistic staff environment. Through the development of a broad operational approach addressing a series of problems students apply the principles and concepts studied throughout the trimester.
In preparation for the synthesis event each of this year’s 209 students wrote a research paper focused on Ukraine. The paper required independent thought, thorough research, and competent writing. Student exploration and research in the assigned topic area enabled students to serve as subject matter experts, albeit with a narrow focus, in the synthesis event. Presented here are 17 of the best papers submitted this year that provide a concise, yet in depth and detailed, examination of the issues the United States faces in Ukraine.