Cultivating an ability to hit the ground running is the impetus behind forming an Area Study Development center of study & practice. Knowing that ground by preparing a well developed understanding of the lay of the land, literally & figuratively, can create the opportunity of advantage. The ability to deploy resources to move quickly to overcome obstacles with the right relative emphasis, in the best sequence, with commensurate effort is desirable. None of that comes without advance planning, adequate training, the right resources, and opportunities to use that training in real world exercises and activities.
Area Study Development brings a discipline devised & honed throughout human history by military and commercial enterprises alike: to reconnoiter a given terrain to develop a situational awareness of the particular features (tactical, strategic, geographic, economic, cultural, linguistic, political, ethnic, religious, educational, regional, etc.) to be prepared to act within that space to achieve determined objectives.
In our context, the application of Area Study Development is toward resolving difficult social problems and creating the capability to be able to hit the ground running with a respectable, responsible, and accurate level of awareness of the situation on the ground with a well considered understanding of our expected impact on the systems and structures in place and our clearly defined mission & purpose.
As we are resource limited, the Area Study Development center of study and practice must wisely choose select domains for analysis as particular & specific or generalized as a template for similar terrain. This center must also develop the capability to move quickly to create or update products as needed, from templates or from scratch, as part of early phase preparatory actions in mission planning around activities as they are determined to be undertaken by the Academy.