National Security


Block I. Foundational Concepts and Principles

I.A. Security primer

This block introduces (or reviews) the concepts and principles of international relations theory and then challenges those principles with the effects of globalization. It then goes from the general to the specific by examining American traditions and predilections. The war powers of the executive and legislative branches are presented including historical examples.

I.B. Globalization and challenges to the geostrategic calculation

I.C. War and American democracy

I.D. War Powers


Block II. National Security Strategy

II.A. The meaning of national security (grand) strategy

The meaning of grand strategy is provided before presenting the 8 variations of the Cold War containment strategy, the post-Cold War strategic alternatives, and the strategies of the post-Cold War administrations. A number of strategic concepts are introduced.

II.B. Cold War national security strategies

II.C. Post-Cold War national security strategies

Block III. Instruments and Actors

III.A. Instruments of power

This block first presents the instruments of power, and then presents the mechanisms of power, i.e., the departments and agencies of the executive branch that house the capacities to act. The relevant congressional committees are covered briefly.

III.B. Mechanisms of power

III.C. Congressional committees


Block IV. Orchestrating the Instruments of National Power

IV.A. The instruments of national power

We now turn to the problem of orchestrating all the instruments of power. The National Security Council is the highest level organization charged with integrating responsibilities. Each administrationís NSC is reviewed to identify what works and what doesnít. Other lower-level structures used from Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan are also discussed.

IV.B. The National Security Council

IV.C. The Overseas Internal Defense Policy

IV.D. Provincial Reconstruction Teams

IV.E. Combatant Commands

Block V. Reform of the National Security Apparatus for the 21st Century

V.A. Achieving a stable grand strategy

There is considerable evidence that the U.S. national security apparatus, designed for great power war, is inadequate to the needs of the 21st century. Current efforts in Washington, D.C. to reform the system are presented in this block of instruction.

V.B. A new division of labor across the departments and agencies

V.C. Career development for national security professionals

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