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National Security Scholars & Practitioners Program (NSSPP)

The NSSPP gathers 25-30 individuals in the mid-stage of their careers for a weeklong workshop on the future of war, exploring U.S. competitive advantages and disadvantages, large questions about the changing nature of conflict, and possible implications for the United States, including strategy, doctrine, and force structure. The workshop participants also conduct an alternative scenario exercise to better understand the range of possible future security environments in which the United States may operate.


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Staff Rides

The Merrill Center supports two domestic staff rides and one international staff ride per year for Johns Hopkins SAIS Strategic Studies students. Staff rides are on-the-ground studies of military campaigns or larger conflicts. The staff ride is a practice developed by the Prussian General Staff in the 19th century as a means of educating military officers. The practice was brought to the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in 1906, and has been used as an educational tool by the U.S. military and other organizations dedicated to the teaching of strategy ever since.

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Small World, Big Problems – 
a SAIS Strategy Podcast

A SAIS student podcast supported by the Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies.


In Small World, Big Problems, we ask the experts about the biggest challenges in the world of strategy and national security.

​It’s a small world, and it’s only getting smaller. But it seems like every day, there is a new problem on the horizon: great power conflict, political extremism, climate change – the list goes on and on. In this student podcast sponsored by the Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies, we ask leading experts in the fields of national security, strategy, and statecraft about what problems the world is facing and, more importantly, how to solve them.

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