Archive for October 22nd, 2021

A unique graduate school for Diplomats, Warriors and Spies

John Lenczowski may be the greatest American national security strategist you never heard of.  His reputation has never gone much beyond the beltway. Yet, as President Reagan’s NSC Advisor for European and Soviet Affairs from 1983-87, he was among the principal architects of the Cold War strategy.  

Led by the United States, the West defeated the Soviet Union and liberated millions of souls in one of the greatest victories of modern history. That it ended with a whimper and not a bang is a testament to an extraordinary Grand Strategy, including a wide range of hard and soft power in a coordinated effort to defeat the adversary economically, technologically, diplomatically, militarily, but also psychologically, by winning hearts and minds of entire populations behind the Iron Curtain.  This is how to win without war, which the ancient Chinese strategist Sun Tzu deemed the acme of skill. 

Based on his experience, in 1990 forward-thinking Lenczowski founded The Institute of World Politics (IWP), a fully accredited independent graduate school of national security, intelligence, and international affairs. He saw that no school was teaching coordinated grand strategy in any comprehensive way, and that this was vital to overcoming the silo effect of insulated policy makers in the defense, intelligence, diplomatic and other agencies, as well as the legislative branch.  

Lenczowski also wanted his students to have a clear-eyed view of the global strategic environment, an appreciation for American history and founding principles, and a sound foundation in ethics and character formation.  He wanted to educate informed patriots, under the belief that one cannot defend a country that one does not understand and love. 

A crown jewel of IWP is the 45-member faculty, comprised almost entirely of scholar-practitioners, who have deep practical experience in the arts of statecraft they teach.  Many possess rare and precious knowledge of statecraft arts which have been poorly resourced or otherwise neglected since the end of the Cold War, including for example counterintelligence, public diplomacy, and strategic influence, so critical today with the revival of great power competition.  

Like many brilliant ideas, the intellectual architecture of the Institute seems obvious after the fact.  Yet IWP is virtually alone in its comprehensive curriculum and faculty composition.

Today hundreds of the school’s alumni are serving in some of the most sensitive leadership positions in the national security arena.  They have helped author recent National Security and National Defense strategies, commanded all the land troops of NATO, led a highly successful effort to stop the theft of intellectual property in Silicon Valley, and won the highest FBI agent awards, among many other achievements.  

This month The Institute of World Politics celebrates its 31st anniversary.  Cold War architect John Lenczowski is stepping aside as President but remains as Chancellor. IWP demonstrates that leadership and expertise in national security may flow from wellsprings far removed from the brand-name universities.   The courage and vision of one man devoted to the essence of Western values and democratic principles will persevere — and help to shape the next generation of young leaders educated in the arts of effective statecraft.

The Hon. James Anderson is President of The Institute of World Politics and former Deputy (and then Acting) Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.  John Lovewell is  Chairman of IWP’s Board of Trustees.

Read Full Post »