Defense Statecraft (DIP 750)

Spring 2009

Tuesday 3:30pm-6:00pm


Dr. Robert M. Farley

Office: Patterson 467

Office Hours: Tuesday, 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 23, and the first day for turning in your last memo is March 31.


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).
  • Kenneth Pollack, Arabs at War (Lincoln; University of Nebraska Press, 2002)


The rest of the class readings are either online or will be made available in the computer room.  The latter are designated by italics. 


Week 1 (1/20): Politics and Military Force


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


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 2 (1/27): Politics and Military Force (II)


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 3 (2/3): 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 4 (2/10): Low Intensity Warfare


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


Stephen Biddle and Jeffrey A. Friedman, The 2006 Lebanon Campaign and the Future of Warfare


David Kilcullen, 28 Articles


Andrew Bacevich, The Petraeus Doctrine


Week 5 (2/23; this is a Monday night session): Low Intensity Warfare (II)

Final week to turn in first memo assignment.


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


Week 6 (2/24): 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


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 7 (3/3): Air Power


Anthony Cordesman, America’s Self-Destroying Air Power


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


Charles Dunlap, Shortchanging the Joint Fight


Colin Gray, Understanding Airpower


Week 8 (3/10): 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; 15-62.


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


Week 9 (3/24): Chemical and Biological Weapons

Milton Leitenberg, Assessing the Biological Weapons and Bioterrorism Threat

Richard Price, Genealogy of the Chemical Weapons Taboo


Albert Mauroni, New Threat of Unconventional Warfare


Week 10 (3/31): The Military Services (this is a Monday 6:30pm meeting)

Final week to turn in second memo assignment.


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.

Week 11 (4/7): Jointness and Goldwater-Nichols


Clark Murdoch et al, Beyond Goldwater-Nichols: Defense Reform for a New Strategic Era. Center for Strategic and International Studies, 2005: Phase 1 and Phase 2


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


Week 12 (4/14): Strategic Planning Process


Quadrennial Defense Review Report, 2006


Michael C. Desch, "Planning War in Peacetime," Joint Forces Quarterly (Spring 2002), pp. 94-104.


Week 13 (4/21): Defense Budget and Procurement


US Congressional Budget Office: Long Term Implications of Future Defense Programs


Lawrence Korb et al, Building a Military for the 21st Century: New Realities, New Priorities


Week 14 (4/28): 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.


Peter Dombrowski, Eugene Gholz, and Andrew Ross, Military Transformation and the Defense Industry After Next.Naval War College, Newport Papers # 18, 2003.


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