Worth a read is Maj Gen. Robert Scales (USA, Ret.) response to Tom Rick's blog about the Foreign Policy Research Institute discussion on the Future of Military Education.
I don't mean that TRADOC doesn't understand education. I mean that TRADOC's sweet spot and center of excellence is at the operational, not strategic level of war. RememberAirLand Battle, Starry's crown jewel, was an operational doctrine and the manual that started it was 100-5, again, an operational level document. In fact in my recommended reforms for the college and army staffs I suggested transferring the excellence of Leavenworth up to the college; things such as the CTC as a framework for strategic gaming, CSI as a model for CMH to do relevant and timely history, and SAMS as a model for assigning graduates to the force at the strategic level of war.The future of military education begins much earlier. Like it or not, we lose vast intellectual potential by accessing mostly triple type A, linear thinkers into the officer corps. These are folks who always hit the line of departure on time and master operations from platoon to brigade. Those traits are critical for tactical excellence.
But the operational and strategic requires a different mindset, one that recognizes complexity and collaboration, vice control and a zero defect mentality. (Who hasn't worked for a "big squad leader" who got into our business while ignoring his?)
And these are the same folks that promulgate doctrine at TRADOC and Leavenworth. Far from a "sweet spot" at the operational level, TRADOC is the greatest impediment to army creativity after the officer management system. Military operations are infinitely more complex in the information age and defy ready made checklists and off the shelf solutions. They require trial and error and a willingness to accept risk to get right. Sound like the traits of a successful hierarchy climber?
Any service sponsored "higher education" will parrot the party line. Instead, send promising officers on a one year sabbatical at the 7th and 14th years of service. There they can immerse themselves in other fields, thus gaining a different perspective on their profession.
Eliminate the War Colleges and you eliminate group-think. You need not worry about how many stars the commandant has and who reports to whom, and whether tenure is a good or bad thing.