From Sputnik to Minerva: Education and American National Security
By Sean Kay
Defense Horizons 65
Jan. 1, 2009 —
This paper examines how external challenges have prompted national investments in education to enhance American national security. Rather than focusing primarily on traditional professional military education, this analysis examines how education has been used as a tool of American power. Four major moments
of transformation in the international system are surveyed
to illustrate a link between strategic educational capacity,
defined as the application of attained knowledge and skills, and
national power. The study then assesses how education is used
as a power asset in the contemporary security environment.
Today, an important educational capacity is emerging in the new
Minerva program in the Department of Defense and other transformational
educational concepts with security applications.
Education is gaining an increasing interest among American
decisionmakers as a strategic component of American power and
an essential asset for successful military operations in the new
global security environment.
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