Our Mission

About the Strategic Studies Institute

The Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) is the U.S. Army’s institute for geostrategic and national security research and analysis. SSI conducts global geostrategic research and analysis that creates and advances knowledge to influence solutions for national security problems facing the Army and the nation. SSI serves as a valuable source of ideas, criticism, innovative approaches, and independent analyses as well as a venue to expose external audiences to the U.S. Army’s contributions to the Nation.

  • Identify, develop, and promulgate key national security issues;
  • Analyze critical issues and publish findings and recommendations to inform Army, DoD, and national leadership of strategic options;
  • Act as a bridge to the broader international community of security scholars and practitioners.

SSI is composed of civilian research professors, uniformed military officers, and a professional support staff. All have extensive credentials and experience. SSI is divided into two components: the Strategic Research and Analysis Department focuses on global, transregional, and functional issues, particularly those dealing with Army transformation and the Strategic Engagement Program creates and sustains partnerships with the global strategic community. In addition to its organic resources, SSI has a web of partnerships with strategic analysts around the world, including the foremost thinkers in the field of security and military strategy. In most years, about half of SSI’s publications are written by these external partners.

USAWC Research Priorities

Research Focus Arenas:

(Geo)Strategic Net Assessment

  • Regional and transregional threat analysis
  • Sources of adversary compound threat conduct (strategies, operational methods, and decision-making)
  • Partner / Allied / IA / Joint / Commercial cooperation and interoperability

Industrial / Enterprise Management, Leadership, and Innovation

  • Ethics and the profession
  • Organizational culture, effectiveness, transformational change
  • Talent development and management
  • Force mobilization and modernization (all things readiness)

(Geo)Strategic Forecasting (Anticipating Change)

  • Geopolitics
  • Geoeconomics
  • Technological development
  • Disruption and innovation

Applied Strategic Art

  • “All Things” War (& Peace)
  • Warfare and warfighting functions
  • Mastery of joint and multinational campaigning
  • Spectrum of conflict

SSI’s products include:
SSI Studies

SSI studies are published by the Institute and distributed to key strategic leaders in the Army and Department of Defense, the military educational system, Congress, the media, other think tanks and defense institutes, and major colleges and universities. SSI studies use history and current political, economic, and military factors to develop strategic recommendations.

  • Books — SSI publishes about 3-5 books per year consisting of authored works or edited compilations.
  • Monographs — Policy oriented reports that provide recommendations. They are usually 25-90 pages in length.
  • Parameters — The US Army War College Quarterly Journal. 

Other analytical reports

At the request of the Army leadership, SSI sometimes provides shorter analytical reports on pressing strategic issues. The distribution of these is usually limited.

The Key Strategic Issues List

Every year SSI compiles a Key Strategic Issues List (KSIL) based on input from the U.S. Army War College faculty, the Army Staff, the Joint Staff, the unified and specified commands, and other Army organizations. This is designed to guide the research of SSI, the U.S. Army War College, and other Army related strategic analysts.

External Publications

SSI analysts publish widely outside of the Institute’s own products. They have written books for Cambridge University Press, Princeton University Press, University Press of Kansas, Duke University Press, Praeger, Frank Cass, Rowman, and Littlefield and Brasseys. They have contributed chapters to many other books including publications from the Brookings Institution, Jane’s Defence Group, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. SSI analysts have written articles for Foreign Affairs, International Security, Survival, Washington Quarterly, Orbis, The National Interest, Current History, Political Science Quarterly, Joint Force Quarterly, Parameters, The Journal of Politics, Security Studies, Journal of Strategic Studies, Jane’s Intelligence Review, Occasional Papers of the Woodrow Wilson Center, Contemporary Security Policy, Defense Analysis, Military Operations Research, Strategic Review, Military Review, National Security Studies Quarterly, Journal of Military History, War in History, War & Society, The Historian, Infantry Magazine, The World and I, Aerospace Historian, Central Asian Security, Asian Survey, SAIS Review, China Quarterly, Comparative Politics, Journal of Political and Military Sociology, Small Wars and Insurgencies, Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, Special Warfare, Comparative Strategy, Korean Journal of Defense Analysis, Journal of East Asian Studies, World Affairs, Problems of Post-Communism, Conflict, Diplomatic History, Airpower Journal, Low Intensity Conflict and Law Enforcement, Politique Etranghre, Allgemeine Schweizerische Militdrzeitschrift, and African Security Review.

Academic Research Colloquia

SSI hosts or helps fund academic conferences to examine issues of importance to the Army, collaborating with some of the most prestigious universities in the country. Recent partners included Georgetown, Princeton, Harvard, MIT, Columbia, University of Chicago, University of Miami, Stanford, Georgia Tech, and Johns Hopkins.

Talks, Presentations, and Provision of Subject Matter Experts

SSI analysts give talks and presentations to a very wide array of audiences including academics, military organizations, and other components of the global strategic community. These take place both in the United States and around the world. In an average year, SSI analysts speak in a dozen or more countries. In addition to this, they serve as participants and experts at seminars, war games and simulations, and are often interviewed by the print and electronic media.

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