Analysis of national defense policy in the U.S. The course examines the various ways the American political system decides what security issues deserve attention, how it makes policy decisions regarding the military establishment, and the implementation of those decisions by the Commander in Chief. Theoretical models for civil-military relations are explored in depth. Readings for the course analyze the role of national defense in the world today. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.
Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s):
Most current editions of the following:
Choose 1 of the required texts and at least 2 of the recommended texts. Additional biographies or autobiographies may be assigned as appropriate.
American Defense Policy, 8th ed.
By Bolt, Paul J., Darmon V. Coletta, Collings G. Shackleford, ed. (Johns Hopkins University Press (2005)) Required
U.S. National Security: Policymakers, Processes, and Politics
By Sarkesian, Sam C., John Alen Williams, Stephen J. Simbala (Lynne Reinner Publishers (2007)) Required
Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism
By Bacevich, Andrew (Henry Holt and Co (2009)) Recommended
New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War
By Bacevich, Andrew (Oxford University Press (2006)) Recommended
Strategies of Containment: A Critical Appraisal of American Defense Policy During the Cold War
By Gaddis, John Lewis (Oxford University Press (2005)) Recommended
A Grand Strategy for America
By Art, Robert J. (Cornell University Press (2004)) Recommended
To understand the development of defense policy.
To explain the political processes employed leading to decisions to commit military resources and how those resources are utilized.
To consider the notion of "American Exceptionalism" and its impact on military policy.
To understand the economic and social impact of American military policy decisions.
Explain the political and bargaining processes leading to the development of military policy decisions.
Understand, via examples, past decisions to deploy troops and how those decisions were made.
Expore the various political actors who contribute to defense policy, including the president, Congress, the intelligence community and others.
Instructors should introduce students to the defense policy process using both theoretical frameworks and using historical precedent. The process must include writing an APA paper of at least 8,000 words in length on a specific decision to commit troops and how that decision was made. Students should NOT choose a major world war as their topic.
Topics for the course should include, but not be limited to the following:
How American defense policy is affected by world circumstances
The American military establishment
The President and Congress in defense policy
The role of the intelligence community
Contributions of interest groups and the public in defense policy.
Defense budgeting process
Nuclear and conventional policy
Military relations with civilians
Recommended maximum class size for this course: 20
NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by
the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this
course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical
outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's
subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.