National Security Policy (DIP 600)

Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce

Fall 2008

Wednesday 1:00pm-3:30pm


Dr. Robert M. Farley

Office: Patterson 467

Office Hours: Wednesday, 3:30pm-5:30pm

Office Telephone: 859-257-4668




Welcome to DIP 600, National Security.  The goal of this course is to provide students with a foundation in the major debates on national security policy.  In the first third of the course we will study some of the great works on national security, as well as commentaries on those works.  The second third of the course focuses on contemporary policy debates in the United States on grand strategy and national security.  The final third examines the policy process and focuses on specific national security problems facing the United States.



Discussion will take up the bulk of class time.  I expect everyone to attend, have studied the readings, and have a familiarity with current events.  Any major reputable newspaper will suffice for the latter, although I prefer the New York Times.



Grading will be based on class participation (20%), class blog participation (10%), three 4-6 page memos (15% each), and one final examination (25%).


Each student is required to post at least once to the class blog,, in each of five weeks during the course of the semester.  The idea of the blog is to promote serious discussions of the readings and of current events tied to national security. I will monitor blog postings and assign a grade based on quantity and quality of participation. Postings should integrate specific material from class readings and extend class debates. 


Each of the three 4-6 page memos must be typed and double-spaced.  Please do not exceed the page limit.  The point of the assignment is to present information in a cogent and concise manner.  The topic is up to you, but ideally will concern the convergence of a current event or situation with assigned reading from the class day in question.  Memos are due at the beginning of class on the day of the relevant reading.  You will be expected to turn in one memo during each third of the course.  Thus, the last day for turning in your first memo is September 24, and the first day for turning in your last memo is November 5.  The memos will be evaluated on both content and presentation.  Information must be accurate, arguments must be well thought out, and style must be compelling. 



You will be required to make an oral presentation and defense of one of your three memos during class.  Note that this means you will have to write and turn in a memo on the day of your defense.  The strength of your presentation and defense will contribute to your participation grade.  You must indicate to me a preference for which week to present by the second week of the course so that I can stagger the presentations.  The presentation should last about fifteen minutes, and will be followed by a fifteen minute question and answer period.  The presentation will make up 50% of your participation grade, or 10% of the total grade.


A comprehensive final exam will be held on Tuesday, December 16 at 8am.  The exam will be communicated and completed electronically; thus, there is no need for you to be in Lexington on that date.  The exam will mimic in structure a minor field comprehensive exam. 



Class Materials

Purchase of the following books is recommended, but not required. 


  • Thomas Schelling, Arms and Influence.  New Haven: Yale University Press, 1966.


The rest of the class readings are either available online or can be found in Patterson 469.  Note that many of the online readings are available on JSTOR or other secure databases.  Access to these databases requires either a University computer or a properly configured connection.


Week 1 (8/27):  Values and the National Interest


Arnold Wolfers, National Security as an Ambiguous Symbol Political Science Quarterly, 67, 4 (Dec., 1952), pp. 481-502


David Brin, Thor meets Captain America


Rethinking the National Interest Condoleezza Rice, Foreign Affairs


Week 2 (9/3):  War and Deterrence


James Fearon, “Rationalist Explanations for War” International Organization 49, 3 (Summer 1995), p379-414.


Jack Levy,  When do Deterrent Threats Work?,” British Journal of Political Science 18,4 (October 1988), p.485-512.


Robert Trager and Dessislava Zagorcheva, “Deterring Terrorism: It Can be Done,” International Security 30,3 (Winter 2005) p.87-123.


Week 3 (9/10):  Coercion and the Use of Force


Thomas Schelling, Arms and Influence.  New Haven: Yale University Press, 1966.


Week 4 (9/17):  Cooperation?

Robert Jervis, “From Balance to Concert: A Study of International Security Cooperation,” World Politics 38, 1 (October 1985),p.58-79.


John Mearsheimer, “The False Promise of International Institutions,” International Security 19, 3 (Winter 1994) p.5-49.


Charles A. Kupchan and Clifford Kupchan, “Concerts, Collective Security, and the Future of Europe,” International Security 16, 1 (Summer 1991), p.114-161.



Week 5 (9/24):  Challenges

National Security Strategy of the United States


The Future of American Power Fareed Zakaria, Foreign Affairs


The Age of Nonpolarity Richard N. Haass, Foreign Affairs


The Rise of China and the Future of the West G. John Ikenberry, Foreign Affairs


An Agenda for Human Dignity , Marc Perrin De Brichambaut, Survival




Final week to turn in first memo assignment.


Week 6 (10/1): Visions of National Security


William Kristol and Robert Kagan, “Towards a Neo-Reaganite Foreign Policy,” Foreign Affairs v.75, no. 4, July/August 1996


Philip Gordon, “End of the Bush Revolution,” Foreign Affairs 85,4 (July/August 2006)


Christopher Layne, “From Preponderance to Offshore Balancing: America’s Future Grand Strategy” International Security  Vol. 22, No. 1 (Summer, 1997), pp. 86-124


Josef Joffe, “Bismarck” or “Britain”? Toward an American Grand Strategy after Bipolarity. International Security, Vol. 19, No. 4. (Spring, 1995), pp. 94-117.


Joseph S. Nye,”The Decline of America’s Soft Power,” Foreign Affairs 83/3 (May/June 2004).



Week 7 (10/8): Terrorism



Stephen Walt, “Beyond Bin Laden: Reshaping US Foreign Policy,” International Security 26/3(December 2001), p. 56-78.


Barry Posen, “The Struggle Against Terrorism: Grand Strategy, Strategy, and Tactics”, International Security 26/3(December 2001), p. 39-55.


Norman Podhoretz, “World War IV:How It Started, What It Means, and Why We Have to Win”, Commentary, Spring 2004, 17-54. 

 White House, National Strategy for Combating Terrorism, Washington, DC: The White House, February 2003.


US Counter-terrorism Options: A Taxonomy, Daniel Byman, Survival



Week 8 (10/15): Primacy

Stephen G. Brooks and William Wohlforth, “American Primacy in Perspective”, Foreign Affairs 81/4 (July/August 2002).


Yoav Gortzak, “How Great Powers Rule: Coercion and Positive Inducements in International Order Enforcement”, Security Studies 14/4 (Summer 2005); 1-35.


Daniel Nexon and Thomas Wright (2007), “What’s at Stake in the American Empire Debate,” American Political Science Review 101:253-271.


Week 9 (10/22): The Allies

Philip Gordon, “Bridging the Atlantic Divide”, Foreign Affairs 82/1(January/February 2003), pp. 70-83.


Robert Kagan, “Power and Weakness”, Policy Review 113(June/July 2002), pp. 3-29.


William Drozdiak, “The North Atlantic Drift”, Foreign Affairs 84/1 (January/February 2005).


Lawrence Freedman, “The Special Relationship, Then and Now” Foreign Affairs 85,3 (May/June 2006)


Ryan C. Hendrickson, The Miscalculation of NATO’s Death


Week 10 (10/29): Iraq and Afghanistan


Readings to be determined.


Final week to turn in second memo assignment.


Week 11 (11/5): Bureaucracy and Policy

Graham Allison, Conceptual Models and Cuban Missile Crisis The American Political Science Review  Vol. 63, No. 3 (Sep., 1969), pp. 689-718


Morton H. Halperin, The Decision to Deploy the ABM: Bureaucratic and Domestic Politics in the Johnson Administration, World Politics, Vol. 25, No. 1. (Oct., 1972), pp. 62-95.


Alexander L. George The Case for Multiple Advocacy in Making Foreign Policy The American Political Science Review, Vol. 66, No. 3. (Sep., 1972), pp. 751-785.


Week 12 (11/12):  Architecture of the National Security State

Ashton B. Carter, “The Architecture of Government in the Face of Terrorism”, International Security 26/3(December 2001), pp. 5-24.


David Jablonsky, “The State of the National Security State”, Parameters 32/4(Winter 2002-2003), pp. 4-20.


Alan G. Whittaker, Frederick C. Smith and Amb. Elizabeth McKune, “The National Security Policy Process: The National Security Council and Interagency System,” Washington, DC: National Defense University, ICAF, August 2005


Week 13 (11/19): President and Congress

Eugene R. Wittkopf and James M. McCormick, Congress, the President, and the End of the Cold War: Has Anything Changed? The Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 42, No. 4. (Aug., 1998), pp. 440-466.


Rebecca K. C. Hersman, Friends and Foes: How Congress and the President Really Make Foreign Policy, Washington, DC: Brookings, June 2000




Week 14 (12/3): Strategic Communication

Chaim Kaufmann, "Threat Inflation and the Failure of the Marketplace of Ideas: The Selling of the Iraq War," International Security, Vol. 29, No. 1 (Summer 2004), pp. 5-48.


“Retiring Hitler and “Appeasement” from the National Security Debate”, Jeffrey Record


“Strategic Communication”, Richard Halloran


“Propaganda: Can a Word Decide a War?”, Dennis M. Murphy and James F. White 



Week 15 (12/10): Public Opinion

John Mueller, “The Iraq Syndrome,” Foreign Affairs 84, 6 (November/December 2005)


Dan Drezner, The Realist Tradition in American Public Opinion


Michael Horowitz, Erin Simpson and Allen Stam, Domestic Institutions and Wartime Casualties


James Fallows, Why Americans Hate the Media


Final week to turn in final memo assignment.