National Security Policy


This course explores the institutions and decision-making processes concerning the procurement, deployment, and employment of U.S. military force since World War II. By the end of the course, each student should be able to: 1) describe in broad terms the substantive issues challenging American national security; 2) assess the strengths and weakness of contending approaches to these issues raised by defense policy analysts; 3) describe the process by which American national security policy is made; and, explain the impact of the process upon the outcome.


The course grade will be based on two exams (325 points each) and a research paper (350 points). The direction of borderline grades will be based on class participation. The midterm and final exams will consist of a combination of identification and short essay questions. A week prior to the exam the instructor will hand out a review sheet. The research paper will use theories discussed in the course to make an argument explaining decision(s) regarding the procurement, organization, deployment or employment of military force. The paper must be 10-12 pages long, draw in detail on at least eight sources of information (four of which must be books) to support the argument. On October 4, students must submit a one-page summary of their proposed paper (thesis statement plus rough outline). Rough drafts of the paper are optional and will be accepted for review up until November 1. The final draft of the paper is due on Friday, December 3 (Plan ahead and back up your work: late papers will not be accepted).

Students are responsible for completing and thinking about the assigned reading before coming to class. Class format will be a combination of lecture and discussion. If it becomes clear that the course readings are not being completed, the instructor reserves the right to add to the course requirements through the use of surprise reading quizzes. The successful completion of this course requires attention to both course readings and class lectures and discussions. Absence will be spot checked and academic dishonesty policies will conform to University and College of Arts and Sciences policies as described in the 2004/2005 MU UNDERGRADUATE BULLETIN. All students will be bound by Arts and Sciences rules.


1000 point total: 950-1000 = A; 900-949 = AB; 850-899 = B; 800-849 = BC; 750-799 = C; 700-749 = CD; 650-699 = D; 0-649 = F


  1. Eugene Wittkopf and James McCormick, The Domestic Sources of American Foreign Policy, 4th ed. Boulder: Rowman & Littlefield, 2004.
  2. Donald M. Snow, National Security for a New Era. New York: Pearson, Longman, 2004.
  3. National Commission on Terrorist Attacks, The 9/11 Commission Report 2004.
  4. Bob Woodward, Bush at War. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2003
  5. Bob Woodward, Plan of Attack. New York: Simon and Shuster, 2004.
  6. Select readings on the web/electronic reserve.

COURSE OUTLINE (Tentative Schedule):


August 30, September 1:

Read: G.W. Bush, Citadel Speeches: 1999 and 2001 [on electronic reserve]

Snow, Introduction and Chapter 1

September 6: No Class/Labor Day


September 3, 8,10,13,15: Changing Times and Competing Visions

Read: Theoretical frameworks: Snow, Chapters 2, 6

Historical experiences: Snow, Chapters 3, 4, and 282-95

2002 National Security Strategy


September 17,20,22: The Executive

Read: Overview in Snow, pp. 190-96, 202-03

Nelson, Person and Office [WM Chapter 9]

Greenstein, The Changing Leadership of GWB [WM Chapter 24]

Daalder and Destler, National Security Advisors [WM Chapter 11]

Preston and Hermann, Presidential Leadership Style [WM Chapter 25]

September 24,27,29: Congress

Read: Overview in Snow 196-97

 Fisher, Presidential Wars [WM Chapter 10]

Lindsay, From Deference to Activism [WM Chapter 12]

October 1,4,6: Intelligence and Homeland Security

Read: Deutch and Smith, Smarter Intelligence [WM Chapter 15]

Hart Report, Executive Summary

Overview on DHS in Snow 202-03

Daalder and Destler, Advisor, Czars, and Councils [WM Chapter 16]

October 8,11,13: The Military

Read: Cohen, A Tale of Two Secretaries [WM Chapter 14]

Feaver and Kohn, The Gap [WM Chapter 6]

Snow, 204-210, and Chapters 8 and 9

October 15: Review

October 18: Midterm (In Class)

October 20: Research Papers as Threats to National Security

October 22: Break

October 25,27,29: The American Public, Elections and the Media

Read: Review Snow Chapter 3

Huntington, The Erosion of National Interests [WM Chapter 4]

Murray and Spinosa, The Post 9/11 Shift [WM Chapter 7]

Nincic, Elections and US Foreign Policy [WM Chapter 8]


November 1,3,5,8: Failing to Prevent 9/11

Read: The 9/11 Commission Report, Chapters 1-8

November 8,10,12,15,17: Attacking Afghanistan

Read: the 9/11 Commission Report, Chapter 10

Woodward, Bush at War [entire]

November 19, 22, 29, December 1,3: Attacking Iraq

Read: Woodward, Plan of Attack [entire]

November 24-26: Break


December 6, 8: So Now What? Proposals for Reform

Read: The 9/11 Commission Report, Chapters 11, 12, 13

December 10: Review

 Final Exam: Friday, December 17: 8:00 - 10:00 a.m.

Department of Political Science

Marquette University
Wehr Physics Building, Room 468
PO Box 1881
Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881
(414) 288-6842 (phone)
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