And, for the first time, the school is getting Army money to do it, Betros said. "So instead of the Army spending millions to hire external think tanks, we're doing IRPs that allow us to funnel some of that money back into the Army."
Students do research projects every year, he said. But they've been more or less individually driven, he said, meaning the students choose subjects they're interested in.
"We decided to make the Army War College as relevant as possible to the larger Army, so we found research topics that were of most interest to the chief of staff of the Army."
Former Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno approved the five current research projects, which in fact, aligned with his priorities, Betros said.
The US military gives tens of millions of dollars each year to a variety of think tanks. One example is RAND Corporation, a think tank that received $34.7 million from the US Army in fiscal year 2014, $39.9 million from the US Air Force, and $64.9 million from the US Secretary of Defense and other national security agencies.