National Security Policy (DIP 600)
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
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, nationalsecuritypolicy.blogspot.com, 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
Purchase of the following books is recommended, but not required.
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
Rethinking the National Interest Condoleezza Rice, Foreign Affairs
Week 2 (9/3): War and Deterrence
Week 3 (9/10): Coercion and the Use of Force
Thomas Schelling, Arms and Influence.
Week 4 (9/17): Cooperation?
Week 5 (9/24): Challenges
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
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
Week 8 (10/15): Primacy
Week 9 (10/22): The Allies
Week 10 (10/29): Iraq and Afghanistan
Final week to turn in second memo assignment.
Week 11 (11/5): Bureaucracy and Policy
Week 12 (11/12):
Architecture of the
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
Week 14 (12/3): Strategic Communication
Week 15 (12/10): Public Opinion
Final week to turn in final memo assignment.