Integrated Research Projects (IRPs)

Every academic year (AY), the Commandant of the US Army War College commissions Integrated Research Projects (IRPs) to conduct intensive study on the Army’s top priority strategic issues. An IRP research team consists of subject matter expert faculty members and select resident students who engage in strategic research and analysis on each issue.  Every IRP has an external sponsoring agency or individual, often at the senior-most levels of the Army or Department of Defense, that establishes the research need and has a vested interest in resolving the issue. The IRP research teams have the opportunity to interact with these sponsors and communicate findings directly to them.

USAWC Resident Students – Contact your seminar faculty advisors if you are interested in joining an IRP team. Students receive full graduation credit for their capstone research requirement by participating in an IRP. Depending on the scope of the IRP, resident students may also earn elective credits and special designations for their transcripts.  Check with the IRP faculty leads for details. Watch the video below for more information.

Sponsors – Contact SSI if you are interested in sponsoring or supporting an upcoming IRP. Click here to email us.

The Application of Strategic Landpower in Cooperation and Competition
Lead: Dr. Greg Cantwell
Co-Lead: Dr. GK Cunningham
The Center for Strategic Leadership

Focus: Capabilities and challenges at echelons above brigade to Theater Army in the application of strategic Landpower, with emphasis on the Theater Army’s role in Multi-Domain Operations (MDO) against a near-peer competitor. This IRP will provide the Army and Joint Community with a broadened appreciation of U.S. Army capability gaps especially at the service component level and potential solutions for consideration that may impact the Army’s ability to successfully implement the NDS.

This IRP continues on from AY21.

Sponsor(s): AFC, Mission Command Capability Development Integration Directorate (MC CDID), Mission Command Battle Lab

Strategy for National Security Emergencies
Lead: Prof. Bert Tussing
Co-Lead: Col (USMC) Keith Burkepile
The Center for Strategic Leadership

Focus: The confluence of nation state threats and disasters/complex catastrophes demands a Strategy for National Security Emergencies. The US needs a framework for extant concerns over protection, prevention, mitigation, response, and recovery, but must recognize that future potential events could exceed current crises. This project continues from AY21 and focuses on nation state threats that could manifest themselves in war against and within the homeland. AY21 research helped to establish a strategic estimate of the nation’s current posture and an accompanying vision of what that posture should be. Envisioning the improved posture as the national objective, AY22’s efforts will be devoted to discerning the “ways and means” of attaining and maintaining that desired “end.”

Sponsor(s): FEMA, USNORTHCOM, National Guard Bureau

Generalship at the National Strategic Level
Lead: Dr. Nicholas Prime 
Army Strategic Education Program

Focus: The contemporary international security environment places far more emphasis on the soldier-statesman role for the U.S. military’s most senior General and Flag officers than in past eras. How does the practice of Generalship at the national strategic-level result in strategies, policies, programs, and actions suitable for the application of military force in pursuit of a desired political outcome?

This IRP continues on from AY21.

Sponsor(s): CSA

AI Literacy in Practice and in PME
Lead: Dr. C. Anthony Pfaff
Strategic Studies Institute

Focus: This project will examine the conditions necessary to make application of artificial intelligence (AI) to the Corps deep fight sustainable and replicable. Application of AI requires not simply understanding the role data plays in generating reliable targeting information, but also how space-based systems, computer vision, and communication form a complex system that challenges how the U.S. Army acquires and employs this capability. In addition to addressing the technical knowledge necessary to use AI technology, this project will also address political, social, organizational, and ethical concerns that commanders and their staffs must understand to employ these systems effectively.

Sponsor(s): XVIII Airborne Corps

Talent Management
Lead: COL Thad Collard
Department of Command, Leadership, and Management (DCLM) 

Focus: This project continues USAWC support to the Army Talent Management Task Force’s effort to implement an information age personnel management system that is based on talent management principles (SECARMY and CSA vision). This study will include a holistic look at changes across the pillars of Acquire, Develop, Employ, and Retain, with papers and possible briefings to senior Army leadership.

This IRP continues on from AY21.

Sponsor(s): Army Talent Management Task Force, ASA (M&RA)

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AY21 IRPs

Generalship at the National Strategic Level
Forthcoming

Rethinking Competition, Deterrence, and Army Readiness
Forthcoming

Strategy for National Security Emergencies
Forthcoming

Leading Science and Technology Development at the Strategic Level
Forthcoming

The Application of Strategic Landpower by the Theater Army
Forthcoming

Talent Management
Forthcoming

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AY20 IRPs

Indo-Pacific Future Force Posture: Getting to 2028 and Beyond
Visit Site

Global Threat Capabilities, Signatures, and Sensors
Contact Professor Kris Wheaton to request copies: kristan.wheaton@armywarcollege.edu

Estimation of Technology Convergence by 2035
Contact Professor Kris Wheaton to request copies: kristan.wheaton@armywarcollege.edu

Talent Management
Forthcoming

Theater Army in Multi-Domain Operations
Click here for PDF
Click here for our Podcast

Multi-Domain Operations Library Guide
Click here for PDF

AY19 IRPs

An Army Transformed: Projecting Forward to beyond 2030 in the USPACOM AOR
Click here to download PDF

Striking the Balance: U.S. Army Force Posture in Europe, 2028
Click here to download PDF

Operational Framework to Enable Mission Command in all Domains of MDO
Click here to download PDF

What Kind of Army Does The Nation Need in 2035 And Beyond? Click here to download PDF



AY18 IRPs

Recommendations for Success in Afghanistan
Click here for PDF

Friendly Force Dilemmas in Europe: Challenges Within and Among Intergovernmental Organizations and the Implications for the U.S. Army
Click here for PDF

Expeditionary Wartime Sustainment Lessons Learned on Supporting Expeditionary Maneuver Sustainment in a Future Combat Environment


Working Smarter: Considerations for the Army Installations of the Future Click here to download PDF

 

AY17 IRPs

Stabilization: A New Approach to Whole of Government Operational Planning and Execution
Click here for PDF

Avoiding the Trap: U.S. Strategy and Policy for Competing in the Asia-Pacific Beyond the Rebalance
Click here for PDF

Building Partner Capacity in Africa: Keys to Success
Click here for PDF

The Army’s Ability to Fight a Great Power War
Watch on YouTube

Rotational Deployments vs. Forward Stationing: How Can the Army Achieve Assurance and Deterrence Efficiently and Effectively?
Click here for PDF

Closer Than You Think: The Implications of the Third Offset Strategy for the U.S. Army
Click here for PDF

At Our Own Peril: DoD Risk Assessment in a Post-Primacy World
Click here for PDF

Elihu Root Study: The Total Army
Click here for PDF

AY16 IRPs

U.S.-China Competition: Asia-Pacific Land Force Implications
Click here for PDF

Outplayed: Regaining Strategic Initiative in the Gray Zone
Click here for PDF

WATCH: US Army War College Students Discuss Their Experiences Working on IRPs
SecArmy examines the Army’s commitment to Joint Force readiness with USAWC Students Then SecArmy Mark Esper discussed IRP results on future force posture with US Army War College students in 2019.
For more information about any of the current IRP efforts listed above, please contact the faulty lead. For questions about the IRP program at USAWC, contact the Director, Strategic Research and Analysis Department of SSI, COL George Shatzer, at: george.shatzer@armywarcollege.edu.