COMMANDANT’S NATIONAL SECURITY PROGRAM
A special annual “by invitation only event for private citizens to join with U.S. Army War College students in the Distance Education program to share their perspectives and ultimately expand their knowledge.
The annual Commandant’s National Security Program (CNSP) is a 3-day program that serves as the capstone event of the U.S. Army War College’s Distance Education Program. It is normally held towards the end of July immediately preceding the Distance class graduation. The program consists of a series of guest speakers and panel presentations by nationally recognized subject matter expects on topics involving national security strategy and policy.
Approximately 60 guests participate in CNSP each year. Civilian guests are nominated and invited to attend the program by a variety of sources including previous attendees, staff, and faculty of the U.S. Army War College. The invited guests represent academia, the media, government, business and other prominent organizations which facilitate diverse seminar group discussions.
Approximately three guests are assigned to each of the student seminar groups. Each day includes a guest speaker of a panel presentation and a general theme for discussion. Generally, the program opens with a senior General Officer to address the topic of strategic-level leadership. On subsequent days, guest speakers or panels cover topics such as the media impact and academic perspectives on national security strategy development and implementation, the challenges of civil-military relations, the role of domestic politics in national security, globalization, foreign policy, and international security issues. Following the presentations, the students, faculty, and guests continue the discussions on these topics in the student seminar rooms. It is this time spent in dialogue with students in the seminar rooms that highlights guests’ experiences each year.
Besides the speakers and seminar discussions, guests also have the opportunity to attend optional lunch time lectures on various national security related topics. More informal discussions take place at several social events. CNSP guests also have the option of joining in a “staff ride” to a local battlefield with experienced historians.
The non-attribution policy of the U.S. Army War College ensures that guest speakers, guests, students, and faculty enjoy a comfortable, open, free, and frank exchange of thoughts, ideas, and opinions.
To learn more about the Commandant’s National Security Program including the nomination process and the upcoming schedule, visit the College’s CNSP website.