Defense Statecraft (DIP 750)

Spring 2010

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 16, and the first day for turning in your last memo is March 30.


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.



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 (1/19): 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 (1/26): Politics and Military Force (II)


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


Week 3 (2/2): 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.


E.D. Swinton, The Defence of Duffer’s Drift in Burgoyne, Defense of Jisr al-Doreaa


Week 4 (2/9): Low Intensity Warfare


FM 3-24: Counterinsurgency, December 2006; Chapters 1-8


Week 5 (2/16): Low Intensity Warfare (II)

Final week to turn in first memo assignment.


David Ucko, The New Counterinsurgency Era, 25-46


Michael L. Burgoyne et al The Defense of Jisr al-Doreaa


Gian Gentile, Population-Centric COIN and the Army


Week 6 (2/23): 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 (3/2): 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


Brian Mockenhaupt, We’ve Seen the Future, and it’s Unmanned

Noah Shachtman, How the Afghanistan Air War Got Stuck in the Sky


Week 8 (3/9): 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.


Jeffrey Lewis, After the Reliable Replacement Warhead


Keir Lieber and Daryl Press, The Nukes We Need


Week 9 (3/23): 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 (3/30): The Military Services

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 (4/6): Organizations, Change, and Transformation

Adam Ciralsky, Tycoon, Contractor, Soldier, Spy

David Ucko, the New Counter-Insurgency Era, 1-24, 47-182


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


Week 12 (4/13): 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 13 (4/20): Strategic Planning Process


Quadrennial Defense Review Report, 2006


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


Week 14 (4/27): Defense Budget, Procurement, and the Defense Industry

Final week to turn in third memo assignment.


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


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