POLITICAL SCIENCE 388: NATIONAL SECURITY POLICY

Fall 2003

Northern Illinois University

Christopher Jones

Office: ZU 315

Phone: 753-7039

E-mail: cmjones@niu.edu

Class Meetings: T, TH 2:00-3:15 PM

Classroom: DU 252

Office Hours: T, TH 3:30 PM-4:45 PM or by appointment

Course Assistant: Michael Killoran

INTRODUCTION

This survey course in contemporary U.S. national security policy has two basic objectives. Its primary goal is to provide a solid and fairly broad introduction to the concepts, issues, and debates related to this important area of public policy. The first portion of the course will address essential background information, such as national interests, national capabilities, America’s global standing, the impact of September 11, 2001, and national strategy and force structure.

The second and larger portion of the course will focus on a range of real and potential threats to U.S. and international security. Terrorism, of course, will be a key focus. We will discuss it as a general issue as well as explore variants, such as the threat of biological agents and cyberterrorism. Other topics will include nuclear proliferation, arms sales, ethnic nationalism and conflict, energy dependency, postwar Iraq, key geopolitical concerns (e.g., China, India and Pakistan, Western Europe, and the Middle East), and nontraditional security concerns, such as drug trafficking and the AIDS pandemic.

As we examine these many challenges, we will stop to consider several responses. We will discuss and debate issues, such as arms control, national missile defense, how to address a rising China, how to avoid conflict between India and Pakistan, the best options for dealing with terrorism, the revolution in military affairs, regional collective defense, and international collective security.

Given the time constraints of this course, our treatment of national security policy must be selective. There are clearly additional subjects that could be included in each part of the course. The choice of topics is designed to demonstrate the diverse nature of security policy as well as identify many of the leading issues that challenge U.S. policy-makers today. In particular, the course draws a clear distinction between foreign policy and security policy, placing emphasis on real threats to the safety and survival of the United States. Furthermore, military history, weapons systems, intelligence, and the mechanics of national security decision-making are featured in other university courses and, therefore, will not consume much of our time. This class is concerned with substantive policy issues and responses.

The second course objective is to have some fun putting ourselves in the shoes of national security policy-makers without sharing their ulcers, perhaps with the added benefit of preparing just a bit for a career in public service. We will accomplish this goal in a number of ways. For instance, lecture material will often raise questions where students will be asked to consider which policy direction is most beneficial to the United States now or in the future. There will be also several class periods where we will probe a particular issue in depth and actively discuss, as a group, the merits of various U.S. policy options. In addition, everyone should stay on top of breaking national security events and decisions by regularly monitoring a newspaper of record and referencing relevant information at appropriate junctures in class. Last, each member of the class will write a policy brief where they defend and advance one of the three options presented in the ! ! book, A New National Security Strategy in an Age of Terrorists, Tyrants, and Weapons of Mass Destruction.

 

CLASS FORMAT

Unless the syllabus indicates it is a "debate and discussion" day, each class period will have a lecture component. However, students are welcome and encouraged to interrupt me to ask questions or make comments about the material. Also members of the class should be prepared to answer the many questions that I will regularly pose concerning a particular day's material, a past class, a current event, or the assigned readings (which are to be completed before class). Regular participation will be rewarded.

For class meetings devoted to the discussion and debate of U.S. policy options, everyone’s active and thoughtful participation is absolutely essential and expected. During these sessions I will guide the discussion and highlight key points and concepts, but the vast majority of our time will be spent discussing and dissecting national security policy as a group. Much of the class participation grade (discussed below) will be dependent on students’ performance during these sessions. At times, these class periods may involve group work and exercises.

To ensure the quality of these class periods, everyone is expected to do three things. First, all assigned readings on the issue under discussion should be read carefully before class. Generally, there will be relevant reading material from the previous class or two as well as for the actual "discussion and debate" day. Second, copies of these readings can be brought to class. Third, news articles from a newspaper of record (such as the New York Times or Washington Post) that relate to the issue under consideration should be brought to class and, when appropriate, used to enhance the ongoing discussion. Fourth, some time should be spent prior to class considering any questions or instructions that I may have highlighted at our previous meeting.

Last, regularly monitoring current events related to U.S. national security policy is strongly advised. It will help members of the class to see the connection between the course material and the "real world." It will also provide a way to participate in class discussions. Furthermore, it will provide information that will be helpful in completing the paper assignment.

 

ASSIGNED READINGS

Three required textbooks are available for purchase at the university bookstore. I have made a conscious effort to keep the material as affordable and update-to-date as possible. Therefore, the books are recently published paperback editions. To be successful in this course, I strongly encourage students to have personal copies of each of the following books:

  1. Glenn P. Hastedt, ed., Annual Editions: American Foreign Policy 03/04 (Guilford, CT: Dushkin/McGraw-Hill, 2003).
  2. Donald M. Snow. 2003. Cases in International Relations: Portraits of the Future (New York: Longman).
  3. Lawrence J. Korb. 2003. A New National Security Strategy in an Age of Terrorists, Tyrants, and Weapons of Mass Destruction (New York: Council on Foreign Relations).

For those students faced with limited budgets, I have placed one copy of each book on two-hour reserve in the library. Please return these materials in a timely fashion so that everyone is guaranteed reasonable access.

 

GRADED REQUIREMENTS

The first requirement is written examinations. The midterm exam is scheduled for Thursday, October 9 and will be worth 25 percent of the course grade. The final exam will be administered on Tuesday, December 9 during the university’s examination period and be worth 30 percent of the final course grade. Both examinations must be completed to pass the course. Each test will be composed of a variety of written response short answer questions. Prior to each exam, I will outline the specific exam format, discuss my grading standards, and distribute a study guide.

The second course requirement is participation. Components of this grade include (a) regular and thoughtful participation in class lectures and discussions, (b) regular attendance (no more than three absences), and (c) regular and thoughtful engagement on class days designated as "discussion and debate." Failure to fulfill any one these expectations satisfactorily or any additional assignment will significantly reduce the participation grade, which is worth 15 percent of the final course grade.

In general, relevant in-class participation (a and c) will be evaluated according to the following scale (with plus and minus grades being possible):

A = regular and thoughtful participation

B = occasional and thoughtful participation

C = regular attendance, but little or no participation

D = less than regular attendance

F = little or no attendance

Attendance is generally taken each class session. At the end of the semester, the total number of class meetings is divided into the number of times a student was present. The resulting percentage is then converted to a letter grade. Missing class no more than two or three times will result in an "A" for this portion of the participation grade. Please note that a half letter grade deduction will be taken from the overall course participation grade (not just the attendance grade) for each class missed after the fifth absence.

The third course requirement is a short quiz on Lawrence Korb's A New National Strategy for an Age of Terrorists, Tyrants, and Weapons of Mass Destruction. The quiz, which will be offered on Thursday, November 6, is designed to test one's basic knowledge of the book's thesis, three options, and general contents. You will not be tested on the specifics of Appendix A or Appendix B (pp. 99- 150). The quiz is offered on this date to ensure that everyone has read this book in preparation for the writing assignment (discussed below). The quiz is worth five percent of the final course grade. Please note that there will be no make up quizzes.

The fourth course requirement is an eight-page policy brief that advocates and expands upon one of the three options presented in Lawrence Korb's A New National Strategy for an Age of Terrorists, Tyrants, and Weapons of Mass Destruction. "Expansion," which is the essence of the assignment, will come in the form of selecting a particular U.S. national security threat or issue and explaining which of the three options identified in the Korb book is best suited to address it. Unlike the exams, one is not required to complete the paper to pass the course, but failure to submit it will result in a grade of zero percent. To complete this assignment, which is due Tuesday, November 18 at 2:00 p.m. and is worth 25 percent of the final course grade, students should follow the detailed directions provided within this syllabus (see below) and on the first day of class.

The midterm examination, final examination, and quiz will be scored on a 0 to 100 percent scale and assigned a corresponding letter grade (with plus and minus designations included when appropriate). For the paper and participation, letter grades will be awarded. In computing the final course grade, these two components will count as follows: A = 95, A- = 91, B+ = 88, B = 85, B- =81, C+ = 78, C = 75, C- = 71, D+ = 68, D = 65, D- = 61, and F = 0.

 

SUMMARY OF GRADED REQUIREMENTS

Midterm Examination = 25 percent

Final Examination = 30 percent

Participation = 15 percent

Policy Brief = 25 percent

Quiz on Korb Book = 5 percent

 

COURSE POLICIES AND LOOSE ENDS

1. Makeup Exams: Makeup exams will only be given in extraordinary circumstances. If such circumstances arise, please contact the instructor as soon as possible and before the scheduled exam. To keep the process fair for everyone in the course, students may be asked to support requests for makeup exams with documentation. A missed examination without prior notification and a documented excuse will result in a zero and a course grade of "F" as opposed to an incomplete.

2. Students with Disabilities: Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, NIU is committed to making reasonable accommodations for persons with documented disabilities. Those students with disabilities that may have some impact on their coursework for which they may require accommodations should notify the Center for Access-Ability Resources (CAAR) on the fourth floor of the Health Services Building. CAAR will assist students in making appropriate accommodations with course instructors. It is important that CAAR and instructors be informed of any disability-related needs during the first two weeks of the semester.

3. Late Assignments: An assignment submitted after the due date will be penalized by a deduction of ten points or one letter grade per day. Since students will have had several weeks to complete their work, this standard will be waived only in extraordinary circumstances.

4. Submitting Written Work: Assignments should be handed-in to me personally or given to a department secretary to be time-stamped. Assignments placed under my office door or sent with a friend tend to disappear at times. If a student selects one of these modes of delivery, he or she does so at their own risk.

5. Extra Credit: Extra credit assignments will not be given on an individual basis to raise final course grades. Like makeup exams, such projects raise serious questions of equity. In the rare event such a project is made available, every member of the class will be given the opportunity to complete it.

6. Handouts: Handouts are a privilege for those students who attend class on a regular basis. No student is entitled to supplemental materials simply because they are registered for the course.

7. Classroom Etiquette: Students are to arrive at class on time. Two tardy arrivals are equivalent to one class absence. Cell phones, pagers, or any electronic devices that make noise must be turned off during class unless the instructor has been notified beforehand of a special circumstance (e.g., sick family member, pregnant wife, special childcare situation, etc.). No one should talk while someone else is talking; this includes comments meant for a classmate rather than the entire group. What may seem like a whisper or a harmless remark to one person can be a distraction to someone else, particularly in a small room. Overall, classroom dialogue and behavior should always be courteous, respectful of others, and consistent with the expectations set forth by the university.

8. Incomplete Requests: Such petitions will be granted only in extraordinary circumstances. The instructor reserves the right to ask for documentation to verify the problem preventing completion of the course by the normal deadlines. If the student does not present documentation from a university office or official, the matter will be left to the instructor’s discretion.

9. Academic Dishonesty: Regarding plagiarism, the NIU Undergraduate Catalog states: "students are guilty of plagiarism, intentional or not, if they copy material from books, magazines, or other sources without identifying and acknowledging them. Students guilty of, or assisting others in, either cheating or plagiarism on an assignment, quiz, or examination may receive a grade of F for the course involved and may be suspended or dismissed from the university." The above statement encompasses the purchase or use of papers that were written by others. Please note that I retain copies of papers written in previous years. In short, students are advised to do their own work and learn the rules for proper quoting, paraphrasing, and footnoting.

10. Class Participation: I recognize class discussion comes more easily for some people than for others. By temperament or habit, some individuals are "talkers" while others are "listeners." Learning to be both is an important subsidiary goal of this course. Comments that are not relevant to the ongoing discussion and off the point will not be rewarded. Remarks that are disruptive to the discussion, insensitive to others, or attempt to dominate the discussion will not be tolerated. I strongly prefer students to participate on a voluntary basis. If you are particularly apprehensive about talking in class, or feel closed out of the discussion for another reason, please speak with me. There are some things I can suggest that may be helpful. Remember: communication skills and self-confidence are extremely important assets in the professional world. Thus it is better to develop these things in the collegial environment of this class rather than under mor! ! e difficult circumstances later in life.

11. Unannounced Quizzes: The instructor reserves the right to conduct pop quizzes, if it becomes grossly apparent through class discussions that students are not completing the assigned readings on a regular basis. If such quizzes are administered, they will be averaged and used to raise or lower a student’s final course grade by a half a letter grade. Whether a particular student’s grade is adjusted positively or negatively will be dependent on a class average. It will not be done capriciously.

12. Undergraduate Writing Awards: The Department of Political Science will recognize, on an annual basis, outstanding undergraduate papers written in conjunction with 300-400 level political science courses or directed studies. Authors do not have to be political science majors or have a particular class standing. Winners are expected to attend the Department’s spring graduation ceremony where they will receive a certificate and $50.00. Papers, which can be submitted by students or faculty, must be supplied in triplicate to a department secretary by February 28. All copies should have two cover pages – one with the student’s name and one without the student’s name. Only papers written in the previous calendar can be considered for the award. However, papers completed in the current spring semester are eligible for the following year’s competition even if the student has graduated.

13. Department of Political Science Web Site: Undergraduates are strongly encouraged to consult the Department of Political Science web site on a regular basis. This up-to-date, central source of information will assist students in contacting faculty and staff, reviewing course requirements and syllabi, exploring graduate study, researching career options, tracking department events, and accessing important details related to undergraduate programs and activities. To reach the site, go to http://polisci.niu.edu

 

IMPORTANT DATES

Midterm Exam: October 9

Quiz on Korb Book: November 6

Policy Brief Due: November 18

Final Exam: December 9

 

COURSE SCHEDULE AND READING ASSIGNMENTS

* Reading assignments are to be completed by the appropriate date before arriving at class.

Week 1

August 26 Course Introduction

Subject matter

Discussion of requirements, expectations, and policies

Explanation of assignments

What is National Security Policy

No readings assigned

 

I: BACKGROUND: THE FOUNDATIONS OF NATIONAL SECURITY POLICY

August 28 Defining America’s National Interests

Annual Editions, Chapter 33 and Korb, pp. 103-104 (only)

Week 2

September 2 National Capabilities: The Tools of Security

Annual Editions, Chapter 35

September 4 America’s Global Standing

Annual Editions, Chapters 1 and 2

Week 3

September 9 Discussion & Debate: Is America a Benign or Coercive Hegemon?

Annual Editions, Chapter 3

September 11 National Strategy in the Post-9/11 Era

Korb, pp. 99-119 (top) and pp. 135-139

Week 4

September 16 National Grand Strategy & Force Structure: A Mismatch between Means & Ends?

Annual Editions, Chapter 5

 

PART II: NATIONAL SECURITY THREATS AND RESPONSES

September 18 Terrorism: The Top of America's National Security Agenda

Snow, Chapter 16

Week 5

September 23 Biological Terror: How Real Is the Threat?

Begin preparing for the next class by reading some of the selections listed under September 25.

September 25 Discussion & Debate: How Should America Respond to the Threat of Terrorism?

Annual Editions, Chapters 4, 6, 24, and 32

Week 6

September 30 Nuclear Proliferation and Challenges to Arms Control

Annual Editions, Chapters 37 and 26

Recommended (not required): Annual Editions, Chapter 4

October 2 Nuclear Proliferation and National Missile Defense

Snow, Chapter 11

Week 7

October 7 Discussion & Debate: Should America Pursue National Missile Defense?

Annual Editions, Chapter 38

October 9 Midterm Examination

This date was selected so that there is a graded assessment prior to the university’s withdrawal deadline (October 17).

Week 8

October 14 America’s Energy Security: Maintaining Access to the World’s Oil Supply

Annual Editions, Chapter 29 and Snow, pp. 260 (middle)-265

October 16 America and the Middle East: Why Security Interests Trump Democratic Values

Annual Editions, Chapter 13

Week 9

October 21 U.S. Arms Sales: Beneficial or Detrimental to National Security?

Read Chapter 2 (Point/Counterpoint) and Chapter 5 (K Street Crowd) of

Lumpe and Donarski’s on-line book, The Arms Trade Revealed

http://www.fas.org/asmp/library/publications/revealed.cover.htm

October 23 Ethnic Nationalism and Conflict: An Old Problem in a New Era

Snow, Chapter 5

Week 10

October 28 Discussion & Debate: India, Pakistan, and Kashmir

How Should the United States Respond?

Snow, Chapter 12

Recommend (but not required): Annual Editions, 15

October 31 Deciding When and How to Intervene

Annual Editions, Chapter 7

Week 11

November 4 Discussion & Debate: U.S. Policy toward Postwar Iraq

Annual Editions, Chapter 34

November 6 China: The World's Next Superpower?

Annual Editions, Chapter 12

Week 12

November 11 Discussion & Debate: Should the United States Contain or Engage China?

Snow, Chapter 1

November 13 Traditional Security Concerns: Managing the Transatlantic Relationship

Annual Editions, Chapter 8

Note: We will begin discussing NATO today.

Week 13

November 18 Traditional Security Concerns: NATO and Regional Collective Defense

Annual Editions, Chapter 9

November 20 Nontraditional Security Concerns: Cyberterrorism

Read the foreword and summary of recommendations of

"CybercrimeCyberterrorismCyberwarfare" http://www.csis.org/pubs/cyberfor.html

In class there will a very good in-class video presentation on cyberterrorism and its implications for U.S. national security. A discussion will follow. The instructor will be away at the U.S. Military Academy. The course assistant will lead the class.

Week 14

November 25 Nontraditional Security Concerns: Drug Trafficking

Snow, Chapter 15 (This reading is about another nontraditional security concern, the AIDS pandemic). See next page for information about class.

In class there will be a very good video presentation on drug trafficking and its implications for U.S. national security. A discussion will follow. The instructor will be away at the U.S. Military Academy. The course assistant will lead the class.

November 27 No Class - Thanksgiving Break

Week 15

December 2 The Future of War and the Revolution in Military Affairs

Snow, Chapter 10

December 4 Course Summary and Review for Final Examination

No readings assigned

Week 16

December 19 Final Examination:

2:00-3:50 PM in DU 252

 

GUIDELINES FOR PAPER ASSIGNMENT

Goal and substance of the paper: You are to assume the role of a present-day U.S. national security policy maker. Using Lawrence Korb's A New National Security Strategy in an Age of Terrorists, Tyrants, and Weapons of Mass Destruction, write a persuasive eight-page paper (what we will call a policy brief) that defends one of the three options outlined in the book. It is certainly permissible to employ and respond to some of the information provided in the book, such as the advantages, disadvantages, and general arguments associated with the three alternatives. However, simply summarizing and rehashing the book should be avoided. The best approach to take is to use the Korb book as a point of departure for your own independent thinking and presentation.

The key of the assignment is to illustrate through research, writing, and reasoned argumentation why your selected option (one of the three in the book) is the best approach for the United States to address one particular national security threat or issue. It is your job to select the threat or issue. That one specific threat or issue may be a topic that we have addressed in class or another one of your choosing. Just be sure your selection bears a clear and reasonable connection to contemporary U.S. national security policy. Remember there are many other topics besides terrorism to examine. If you are truly driven to examine terrorism, however, the topic must be narrowed to a specific dimension, actor, region, or method. Do not address terrorism in general.

Format and presentation: The final paper should be properly presented and assembled. Be sure it conforms to the following guidelines:

    1. Word-processed and double-spaced on white, unlined, 8.5'' x 11'' paper with 12 pt. font
    2. Stapled in upper left-hand corner with no fancy covers or binders
    3. Title page
    4. One-inch margins on all sides
    5. Page numbers
    6. Text begins at the very top of page one
    7. Meet the page minimum

Research and Documentation: The final paper should be carefully and properly documented.

    1. Do not engage in intentional or unintentional plagiarism (see "academic dishonesty" under "course policies and loose ends" above).
    2. Use a reasonable number of complete footnotes or endnotes to indicate sources, supporting evidence, interpretations, contrary analyses or views, as well as to give credit for quotations or paraphrases
    3. Use at least five different sources, as reflected in the endnotes or footnotes, not merely the bibliography. Course textbooks and readings may be used, but these materials do not count toward the number of required sources
    4. Avoid dependency or overuse of particular sources. Diversify sources and citations throughout the entire paper.
    5. Use a widely accepted form of citation, such as MLA, APA, APSR, or the Chicago Manual of Style.
    6. Use quality source material (e.g., books, scholarly journal articles, interviews, memoirs, speeches, government documents, etc.).
    7. Citations from newspapers, newsmagazines, journals of opinion, and the like are acceptable, but they should not be counted toward the required number of sources. (Speak to the instructor if this is truly the only type of material that you can find on your subject.) Newspapers of record should be employed, such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, or Christian Science Monitor. Some foreign newspapers may also be acceptable. Good quality sources of information from the World Wide Web are perfectly acceptable and will count toward the source minimum, but this information is it not an excuse for doing library research. Use Internet material in moderation and be sure it is well cited so that anyone could locate the same information.

Quality Writing: The final paper should be well written in formal English.

    1. Begin with a clear and coherent thesis statement or research question.
    2. Include a roadmap paragraph that explains how the paper will be presented.
    3. Use subheading and subsections to organize the paper.
    4. Use a persuasive, analytical, third person voice. Avoid the use of me, my, I, we, our, you, and your.
    5. Avoid the use of contractions in formal papers, such as it's, don't, can't and weren't. Instead use it is, do not, cannot, and were not.
    6. Avoid spelling errors, grammatical mistakes, sentence fragments, run-on sentences, and awkward sentences. Be sure verbs agree with their subjects and pronouns agree with their antecedents. Grammatical errors include split infinitives, cliches, improper or missing capitalization, improper use of apostrophes, confusing plural and possessive forms of words, double negatives, fluctuations in verb tense, and missing or improper punctuation.
    7. Use its and it's, affect and effect, and U.S. and United States properly. On the last point, write out United States when it is a noun and U.S. when it is an adjective.
    8. Carefully proofread the final paper before submitting it.

Writing Assistance: For writing assistance, please consult with the University’s Writing Center in one of the following ways.

    1. Drop by the Stevenson Towers South, Lower Level Tower B. Writing Center hours are Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Friday 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.; and Monday through Wednesday evenings 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
    2. Make an individual appointment by calling (815) 753-6636.
    3. Go to http://www.engl.niu.edu/writing_center/ and e-mail a draft for general feedback.

Research and Substantive Assistance: Students are welcome to consult with the instructor and course assistant as often as they wish about their paper's topic, source material, or substance. Please feel free to talk to us after class, visit office hours, ask brief questions over e-mail, or submit outlines and research design statements for feedback.

Submitting the Paper: Be sure to submit two copies of the final paper at the proper on the posted due date. Keep a photocopy and computer disk copy of the paper. Students are responsible for supplying an additional copy should the instructor request it.

Paper Grades: The main criteria to be used in evaluating the paper will be the caliber of research, understanding of subject, quality of analysis, quality of writing and overall presentation, degree of independent thinking, and the use of evidence and reasoning to reach meaningful conclusions. It goes without saying that the paper must meet the stated goal of the assignment and the guidelines (discussed above).