POLITICAL SCIENCE 388: NATIONAL SECURITY POLICY
Office: ZU 315
Class Meetings: T, TH 2:00-3:15 PM
Classroom: DU 252
Office Hours: T, TH or by appointment
Course Assistant: Michael Killoran
This survey course in contemporary
The second and larger portion of the course will focus on a range of real
and potential threats to
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
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
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
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
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:
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.
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
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
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
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.
August 26 Course Introduction
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)
September 2 National Capabilities: The Tools of Security
Annual Editions, Chapter 35
September 4 America’s Global Standing
Annual Editions, Chapters 1 and 2
September 9 Discussion & Debate: Is
Annual Editions, Chapter 3
September 11 National Strategy in the Post-9/11 Era
Korb, pp. 99-119 (top) and pp. 135-139
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
Snow, Chapter 16
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
Annual Editions, Chapters 4, 6, 24, and 32
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
October 7 Discussion & Debate: Should
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).
October 14 America’s Energy Security: Maintaining Access to the World’s Oil Supply
Annual Editions, Chapter 29 and Snow, pp. 260 (middle)-265
Annual Editions, Chapter 13
Read Chapter 2 (Point/Counterpoint) and Chapter 5 (K Street Crowd) of
Lumpe and Donarski’s on-line book, The Arms Trade Revealed
October 23 Ethnic Nationalism and Conflict: An Old Problem in a New Era
Snow, Chapter 5
October 28 Discussion & Debate:
How Should the
Snow, Chapter 12
Recommend (but not required): Annual Editions, 15
October 31 Deciding When and How to Intervene
Annual Editions, Chapter 7
November 4 Discussion & Debate:
Annual Editions, Chapter 34
Annual Editions, Chapter 12
November 11 Discussion & Debate: Should the United States Contain or
Snow, Chapter 1
November 13 Traditional Security Concerns: Managing the Transatlantic Relationship
Annual Editions, Chapter 8
Note: We will begin discussing NATO today.
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
In class there will a very good in-class video
presentation on cyberterrorism and its implications
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
November 27 No Class - Thanksgiving Break
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
December 19 Final Examination:
in DU 252
GUIDELINES FOR PAPER ASSIGNMENT
Goal and substance of the paper: You are to assume the role of a
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
Format and presentation: The final paper should be properly presented and assembled. Be sure it conforms to the following guidelines:
Research and Documentation: The final paper should be carefully and properly documented.
Quality Writing: The final paper should be well written in formal English.
Writing Assistance: For writing assistance, please consult with the
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).