The Field of Study
The Comparative Military and Strategic Studies
The Mission of the Comparative Military and Strategic Studies Division is:
...Using comparative methods, analyze contemporary military strategies and operations to better understand the real-world advantages and disadvantages of strategic theories, operational designs, and the application of air, space, and cyberspace power
The Comparative Military & Strategic Studies division provides a comparative perspective to global and regional strategic issues. In these courses, students analyze military and strategic issues across the globe. Students get a thorough introduction to the key issues that they may have to handle as planners, operators, and commanders.
The department teaches eight comparative courses.
Three of the 400-level core courses are comparative. MSS 415 and MSS 415 for Scholars provide an introduction to contemporary Joint Operations and an overview of global and regional issues of national strategic importance. MSS 410 provides MSS Majors an opportunity to practice integrating intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance into Joint Operations.
There are four regional courses: Western Hemisphere, Europe/Russia, Africa/Middle East, and Asia/Pacific. Each course focuses on the particular region’s historical context, strategic culture, strategic geography, current crises, potential flashpoints, and regional military institutions. The courses provide an opportunity for cadets to study in depth current and emerging operational environments of the unified commands.
By affording cadets an opportunity to synthesize knowledge of strategy acquired in other MSS courses and regional knowledge gained from our sister disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, these courses support the first goal of the Department of Defense Language Transformation Roadmap, which includes “Regional Area Expertise.” Cadets gain military perspectives of complex regions with culturally focused strategies and locally nuanced/globally connected operations.
Finally, MSS 360, Comparative Air Forces, explores key concepts, context, patterns, and dimensions of air power as expressed through the institution of an air force. Comparative Air Forces examines how different nations grapple with how best to project air power in both peace and war with focus on their approaches to internal organization, strategy formulation, and execution. Overall, these courses seek to promote effective global engagement through understanding regionally relevant military strategies.