Defense Statecraft (DIP 750)

Spring 2011

Wednesday 1:00pm-3:30pm


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 (at least five total posts) 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 9, 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: January 12     War, Politics, and Coercion Revisited

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: January 19      Conventional Ground Combat

Stephen Biddle, Military Power; 1-107, 132-149.

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

Week 3: January 26      Force Quality

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


Week 4: February 2     Transformation and RMA

                Dima Adamsky, The Culture of Military Revolution

Week 5: February 9       COIN

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

                Michael L. Burgoyne, Defense of Jisr al-Doreaa 

Week 6: February 16     Naval Warfare

                Wayne Hughes, Fleet Tactics and Coastal Combat; 1-44, 145-168, 266-309

                Frank Hoffman, From Preponderance to Partnership

                A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower

Week 7: February 23      Air Warfare

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

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

Anthony Cordesman, America’s Self-Destroying Air Power

Charles Dunlap, Shortchanging the Joint Fight

Week 8: March 2      Nuclear Weapons

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

Jeffrey Lewis, After the Reliable Replacement Warhead


Keir Lieber and Daryl Press, The Nukes We Need



Week 9: March 9      Special Operations

Susan Marquis,  Unconventional Warfare, 1-90, 203-270

Richard B. Andres, Craig Wills and Thomas E. Griffith Jr. “Winning with Allies: The Strategic Value of the Afghan Model” International Security Vol. 30, No. 3 (Winter, 2005/2006) (pp. 124-160)

Week 10: March 23  Robots

                P.W. Singer, Wired for War, 1-149; 170-260, 382-412

Week 11: March 30  Private Security

P. W. Singer, Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry, 3-150.

Week 12: April 6  The Services and Interservice Rivalry

                Carl H. Builder, The Masks of War

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

Week 13: April 13   The Defense Budget

                Mackenzie Eaglen, US Defense Spending: The Mismatch Between Plans and Resources

                Travis Sharp, Vision Meets Reality

                Lawrence Korb and Laura Conly, Strong and Sustainable

Week 14: April 20   The Defense Industry

Stephen Brooks, Producing Security, (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989); 80-129    

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

Week 15: April 27 The Global Military

                Dana Priest, The Mission, 11-120.