Defense Statecraft (DIP 750)

Spring 2007

Thursday 1:00pm-3:30pm


Dr. Robert M. Farley

Office: Patterson 467

Office Hours: Wednesday, 1-3pm

Office Telephone: 859-257-4668




Military organizations are complex tools of statecraft. This course examines the role that military force plays in U.S. foreign policy, and the capacity of the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marines to execute that policy.  We will also study the administrative, budget, and procurement aspects of defense policy. Students should expect to gain familiarity with the key military policy issues that confront government officials, and to become able to evaluate the claims of journalists and advocacy organizations that confront informed American opinion.



Student 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%), and 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 military statecraft. I will monitor blog postings and assign a grade based on quantity and quality of participation. Postings should specifically integrate the 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 February 8, and the first day for turning in your last memo is March 29.


You will be required to make an oral presentation and defense of one memo during class.  You must indicate to me a preference for which week to present by the second week of the course, such that I can stagger 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.


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. 


Class Materials

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


  • Stephen Biddle, Military Power: Explaining Victory and Defeat in Modern Battle. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004
  • Wayne Hughes, Fleet Tactics and Coastal Combat, 2nd edition (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1999).
  • Carl H. Builder, The Masks of War (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989).
  • Michael Walzer, Just and Unjust Wars (New York: Basic, 2000). 


The rest of the class readings are either available online or can be found in Patterson 469.


Week 1 (1/11): Introduction


Week 2 (1/18): Politics and Military Force


Samuel Huntington, Soldier and the State. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1957; 7-58.


Carl Von Clausewitz, On War: Indexed Edition. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1984; 75-99, 117-121.


Allan R. Millett, Williamson Murray, and Kenneth H. Watman, “The Effectiveness of Military Organizations,” International Security v.11, no.1 (Summer 1986), 37-71.


Week 3 (1/25): Politics and Military Force (II)


P.W. Singer, Corporate Warriors. (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2003), 101-118.


Dana Priest, The Mission, (New York; Norton, 2004), 21-77.


Michael Walzer, Just and Unjust Wars 1-50, 127-207, 251-262, 304-328


Week 4 (2/1): Conventional Ground Combat and Force Quality


Stephen Biddle, Military Power: Explaining Victory and Defeat in Modern Battle. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004; 1-107, 132-149.


Kenneth Pollack, Arabs at War: Military Effectiveness, 1948-1991 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2002), 1-148.


Week 5 (2/8): Low Intensity Warfare

Final week to turn in first memo assignment.


John Nagl, Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam: Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife. (New York: Praeger, 2002), 15-58.


Andrew F. Krepinevich, The Army and Vietnam. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1986); 164-214


Stephen Biddle, Afghanistan and the Future of Warfare: Implications for Army

and Defense Policy (Carlisle, PA: U.S. Army War College Strategic Studies Institute, November, 2002).

George Packer, “Knowing the Enemy,” The New Yorker, December 18, 2006


Week 6 (2/15): Low Intensity Warfare (II)


FM 3-24: Counterinsurgency, December 2006; Chapters 1-8 (186 pages)


Week 7 (2/22): Naval Warfare / Power Projection


Wayne Hughes, Fleet Tactics and Coastal Combat, 2nd edition (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1999), pp. 1-44, 145-168, 266-309


Gal Luft and Anne Korin, “Terrorism Goes to Sea,” Foreign Affairs v.83, no.6 (November/December 2004)


US Naval Strategy in the 1990s, Chapter 3 “From the Sea”, Chapter 5 “Forward… From the Sea”.


Hoffman, Frank, The Fleet We Need, Armed Forces Journal, August 2006


Week 8 (3/1): Air Power


Daryl G. Press, "The Myth of Air Power in the Persian Gulf War and the Future of Warfare" International Security, Vol. 26, No. 2 (Fall 2001), pp. 5-44.


Robert Pape, Bombing to Win: Air Power and Coercion in War. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1996; 55-136


Week 9 (3/8): Nuclear Theory


Lawrence Freedman, “The First Two Generations of Nuclear Strategists,” in Peter Paret ed. Makers of Modern Strategy. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1987; 735-778.


Lynn Eden, Whole World on Fire. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2004; 15-36.


Chris Quillen, “Posse Comitatus and Nuclear Terrorism,” Parameters, v.32 no. 1 (Spring 2002), 60-74.


Week 10 (3/22): Organizations and Learning

Final week to turn in second memo assignment.


Stephen Rosen, Winning the Next War: Innovation and the Modern Military, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1994; 1-54


Eden, Whole World on Fire, 37-62.


Deborah Avant and James Lebovic, US Military Responses to Cold War Missions, p. 139-160 in Theo Farrell and Terry Terriff eds. The Sources of Military Change.


Week 11 (3/29): The Military Services


Carl H. Builder, The Masks of War (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press,


George R. Mastroianni “Occupations, Cultures, and Leadership in the Army and Air Force” Parameters,  Winter 2005-06, pp. 76-90.

Allan R. Millett, "Why the Army and the Marine Corps Should Be Friends,"

Parameters (Winter 1994-95), pp. 30-40.


Week 12 (4/5): Inter-service Rivalry / Jointness


Harvey M. Sapolsky, "Interservice Competition: The Solution, Not the Problem," Joint Forces Quarterly, No. 15 (Spring 1997), pp. 50-53.


Clark Murdoch et al, Beyond Goldwater-Nichols: Defense Reform for a New Strategic Era. Center for Strategic and International Studies, 2005


Frank Hoffman, "Goldwater-Nichols After a Decade," in Willamson Murray, ed., The Emerging Strategic Environment (Praeger, 1999), pp. 156-182.


Sharon Weiner, "The Politics of Resource Allocation in the Post-Cold War

Pentagon," Security Studies, Vol. 5, No. 4 (Summer 1996), pp. 125-42.


Christopher M. Schnaubelt, After the Fight: Interagency Operations, Parameters, Winter 2005/2006


Week 13 (4/12): Strategic Planning Process


Hughes, 244-265.


Quadrennial Defense Review Report, 2006

Michael C. Desch, "Planning War in Peacetime," Joint Forces Quarterly (Spring2002), pp. 94-104.


Week 14 (4/19): Defense Budget and Procurement


Cindy Williams, "Introduction," in Cindy Williams, ed., Holding the Line: U.S.

Defense Alternatives for the Early 21st Century (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2001), pp. 1-33.


U.S. Congressional Budget Office, The Long-Term Implications of Current

Defense Plans (September 2005)


Stephen P. Rosen, "Systems Analysis and the Quest for Rational Defense," Public Interest (Summer 1984), pp. 3-17. Builder, pp. 95-114.


Eugene Gholz and Harvey M. Sapolsky, "Restructuring the U.S. Defense

Industry," International Security, Vol. 24, No. 3 (Winter 1999-2000), pp. 5-51.


Week 15 (4/26): Transformation / RMA

Final week to turn in third memo assignment.


Andrew F. Krepinevich, "Cavalry to Computer: The Pattern of Military

Revolutions," The National Interest, No. 37 (Fall 1994), pp. 30-43.


Elizabeth Stanley-Mitchell, "Technology's Double-Edged Sword: The Case of

U.S. Army Battlefield Digitization," Defense Analysis, Vol. 17, No. 3 (December

2001), pp. 267-88.


Peter J. Dombrowski, Eugene Gholz, and Andrew L. Ross, "Selling Military

Transformation: The Defense Industry and Innovation," Orbis, Vol. 46, No. 3

(Summer 2002), pp. 523-36.


Williamson Murray, Military Transformation and Legacy Forces, Joint Forces Quarterly, Spring 2002


Colin S. Gray, “How has War changed since the end of the Cold War?” Parameters, Spring 2005.