Section 1 and Section HP-1


Fall 2008

Northern Illinois University

Christopher Jones


Class Meetings: T, TH 12:30 p.m.-1:45 p.m. - DuSable 252


Contact Information for Dr. Jones                                    

Office:             ZU 415                                              

Phone:             753-7040                                            

E-mail:             cmjones@niu.edu                              

Office Hours:  W 1:00-4:00 p.m. or by appointment


Contact Information for Mr. Joe Scanlon  (Primary TA for this section)

Office:             DU 476

Phone:             753-1818

E-mail:             jscanlon@niu.edu

Office Hours:  Office Hours: M 4:15-5:15 p.m. and T 2:00-3:00 p.m.


Contact Information for Mr. John Maszka (Additional POLS 388 TA)

Office:             DU 476

Phone:             753-1818

E-mail:             jmaszka@niu.edu

Office Hours:  T 1:30-3:30 p.m.




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, military tradition and strategic culture, America’s global standing, the impact of September 11, 2001, national strategy and force structure, and private security contractors and companies.


The second and larger portion of the course will focus on a range of real and potential threats to U.S. national 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 “dirty bombs” or radiological dispersion devices. Other topics will include nuclear proliferation, ethnic and religious conflict, energy security and dependency on foreign sources of oil, and key geopolitical concerns – from a rising China and resurgent Russia to the nuclear ambitions of Iran and the war in Afghanistan. We will give special attention to the Iraq War at the end of the course.


As we examine these many challenges, we will stop to consider several responses. For example, we will discuss and analyze arms control, national missile defense, the best options for addressing terrorism, balancing national security and civil liberties, whether to contain or engage China, the revolution in military affairs, NATO and collective defense, deciding when and how to intervene militarily, reinstating a military draft, and whether to stay the course in Iraq or withdraw.


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 (but certainly not all) 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, the mechanics of national security decision-making, and certain regions (e.g., Southeast Asia, Latin America, etc.) are featured in other university courses and, therefore, will not be our focus. 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 also be a number of 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 high quality newspaper and referencing relevant information at appropriate junctures in class. Lastly, each member of the class will assume the role of a national security practitioner and write a paper dealing with a future security crisis or challenge.



This is a fairly challenging 300-level course designed primarily for POLS majors and minors with a strong interest in international politics. Students should hold a junior or senior class standing. This is a prerequisite. It is strongly recommended POLS 285 or a solid introductory international relations course at another institution be completed before enrolling in this course. Non-majors and POLS majors who have not completed this coursework are welcome, but should consider themselves warned about these recommendations. Everyone enrolled in the class should have a serious interest in current U.S. national security policy and a willingness to work hard.


Good security policy students keep up with breaking events. Staying informed allows one to make better sense of the instructor’s examples and other students’ comments as well as participate in class. Monitoring the news will also help students draw linkages between the course material and the “real world.” News articles will provide examples that can be referenced on examinations to highlight class concepts or in a paper to make a reasoned argument. Moreover, current events can be brought into class discussions. While one can draw on articles from papers like the Chicago Tribune or Christian Science Monitor, the two best sources for news developments related to U.S. national security policy are the following.


Washington Post (Click on http://www.washingtonpost.com (Click on “Nation,” “World” and “Politics.” Under “Nation” click on “National Security.”


New York Times (Click on “U.S.,” “World” and “Washington”), http://www.nytimes.com




Most classes will have a lecture component. However, students are welcome and encouraged to interrupt the instructor to ask questions or make comments about the material. Also members of the class should be prepared to answer the many questions that the instructor 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 and thoughtful 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 the instructor will guide the class discussion and highlight key concepts and points when appropriate, but the vast majority of our time will be spent discussing and dissecting U.S. national security policy as a group. 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. Second, copies of these readings should be brought to class as reference material for discussion and group exercises. Third, some time should be spent prior to class considering any questions or guidelines that the instructor may have highlighted at the previous meeting. 




There is one required textbook available for purchase at the university bookstore. A conscious effort has been made to keep the material as affordable and update-to-date as possible. Therefore, the book is a recently published paperback edition. To be successful in this course, it is strongly encouraged that students have personal copies of this book.


Donald M. Snow. 2008. National Security for a New Era: Globalization and Geopolitics, 3rd edition (New York: Longman).


Other course readings include journal articles, book chapters, reports, and Internet material that have been placed on two-hour electronic and library reserve. Students may obtain these readings by visiting the library’s reserve reading or connecting to the course’s electronic reserve reading list via the Internet. The web address for this list is:


Distributed in class.


Adobe Acrobat Reader will be needed to open many of the readings, which are in Portable Document Format (PDF) files. Students who do not have this program can download it free of charge. Simply click on the appropriate link on the upper right hand corner of the electronic reserve reading list. The reserve reading list was selected to give students access to up-to-date material without the purchase of additional costly textbooks.




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 identification and short answer questions. Prior to each exam, the specific exam format will be outlined, grading procedures and standards will be discussed, and a study guide will be distributed. An optional outside review session will be offered for students who wish such assistance.


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), (c) regular and thoughtful engagement on class days devoted to 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 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.  Specifically, it counts for one-third of the participation grade with in-class participation (discussed above) accounting for the remaining two-thirds. Missing class no more than two or three times will result in an “A” range grade 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 quiz on Chapter 4 of Snow’s National Security for a New Era on “The American Experience.” The chapter provides important information that each student should be exposed to, but it is a subject that does not necessarily warrant an entire class period. Thus one way to ensure that everyone gives it attention is to have a straightforward, short answer quiz of about 15-20 questions. The quiz will be designed to test one’s basic knowledge of the chapter’s central concepts. It will be held on Tuesday, October 28 and be worth five percent of the course. Please note that there will be no make up quizzes unless there are serious and legitimate extenuating circumstances supported by documentation.


The fourth course requirement is a small number (approximately five) quizzes on assigned journal articles from the course’s library reserve reading list. These quizzes will be unannounced and distributed randomly throughout the semester. Readings that may be tested this way are marked with an X in the course schedule and assigned readings section of this syllabus. These relatively easy five-question quizzes are designed to test one’s basic understanding of the assigned readings to ensure that the members of the class have completed it and are fully prepared to discuss it. The expectation is that every member of the class will have at least a C- quiz average (70 percent) by the end of the semester. There will be a half letter deduction in the final course grade for quiz averages in the 60-69 percent range and a full letter deduction in the final course grade for quiz averages in the 0-59 percent range. No makeup quizzes will be administered and missed quizzes count as zeros. However, each student will be allowed to drop one quiz grade. Thus one quiz can be missed without penalty.


Lastly, one task many national security policy practitioners, particularly midlevel bureaucrats, confront is the need to look at current realities and trends, think in worst case scenarios, and forecast the “next” major national security challenge or crisis. The fifth course requirement is a high quality seven to eight page paper that identifies a possible future national security challenge or crisis. “Future” is not defined in days or months, but rather by a five, 10, 15, 20, or even 25-year period. Besides fully explaining why this challenge or crisis is likely to emerge and what U.S. interests it affects, the paper should present a persuasive and well-supported argument for why it merits U.S. attention, resources, and/or policy adjustments today. Although it should not be the paper’s central focus or consume tremendous space, the paper should also conclude with some suggestions for actions that the United States could pursue today to avoid the threat or lessen the severity of its consequences.


Please note that students enrolled in the accompanying honors section will complete a different paper assignment. The guidelines for that project will be provided in an addendum to this syllabus.


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 Thursday, November 13 at the beginning of class and is worth 25 percent of the final course grade, students should follow the detailed directions provided at the end of this syllabus and the guidelines offered on the first day of class.


The midterm examination, final examination, and quizzes 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.           



Midterm Examination = 25 percent

Final Examination       = 30 percent

Participation                = 15 percent

Paper                           = 25 percent

Quiz (Snow, Ch. 4)     = 5 percent




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 an impact on their coursework must register with the Center for Access-Ability Resources (CAAR) on the fourth floor of the Health Services Building (753-1303). CAAR will assist students in making appropriate instructional and/or examination 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, the course assistant, 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 his or her 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 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.  Students are to remain for the entire session unless excused by the professor beforehand or confronted with a serious personal emergency. For instance, it is not acceptable for students to walk in and out of class to answer cell phones, take casual bathroom and smoking breaks, or attend to other personal matters. Cell phones, pagers, iPods or any electronic devices must be turned off during class. (Phone can be set to vibrate, of course.) The exception is when the instructor has been notified beforehand of a special circumstance that requires the student to remain in close contact with a sick family member, pregnant wife, special childcare situation, and so forth. 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 a paper written in whole or in part by another; a paper copied word-for-word or with only minor changes from another source; a paper copied in part from one or more sources without proper identification and acknowledgement of the sources; a paper that is merely a paraphrase of one or more sources, using ideas and/or logic without credit even though the actual words may be changed; and a paper that quotes, summarizes or paraphrases, or cuts and pastes words, phrases, or images from an Internet source without identification and the address of the web site. Please note that copies of papers written in previous years are retained by the instructor. Also, all papers will be checked within the SafeAssign system (discussed below). In short, students are advised to do their own work and learn the rules for proper quoting, paraphrasing, and footnoting.


10.  Religious Observances: The University asks instructors to make students aware of the following policy. “Northern Illinois University as a public institution of higher education in the State of Illinois does not observe religious holidays.  It is the university’s policy, however, to reasonably accommodate the religious observances of individual students in regards to admissions, class attendance, scheduling examinations and work requirements.  Such policies shall be made known to faculty and students.  Religious observance includes all aspects of religious observance and practice as well as belief.  Absence from classes or examinations for religious observance does not relieve students from responsibility for any part of the course work required during the period of absence.  To request accommodation, students who expect to miss classes, examinations or other assignments as a consequence of their religious observance shall provide instructors with reasonable notice of the date or dates they will be absent.” The instructor is respectful and fully supportive of students who wish to participate in religious observances. Excused absences will be provided, but students must understand and follow the above policy with respect to reasonable notice and making up work.


11.  Class Participation: The instructor recognizes 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. It is strongly preferred that students participate in class on a voluntary basis. If a student is particularly apprehensive about talking in class, or feels closed out of the discussion for another reason, please speak with instructor. There may be things that the instructor can suggest to make the situation more manageable. Please remember that 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 more difficult circumstances later in life.


12.  Unannounced Quizzes: The instructor reserves the right to conduct additional 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.


13.  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.


14.  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 Snow, Chapter 4       October 28     

Paper Due:                              November 13

Final Exam:                             December 9



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


August 26: Introduction

•No required readings

•Recommended: Chapter 1 in Snow, National Security for a New Era


August 28: Defining America’s National Interest

•Pages 48-63 in Snow, National Security for a New Era

•Sam C. Sarkesian. 1995. “National Interests and National Security,” In U.S. National Security: Policymakers, Processes, and Politics, 2nd ed. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner. 3-21. (Reserve List)


September 2: National Capabilities: The Tools of Security

•Walter Russell Mead. 2004. “America’s Sticky Power,” Foreign Policy 141 (March/April):46-53. (Reserve List) X

•Richard L. Armitage and Joseph S. Nye, Jr.  2007. CSIS Commission on Smart Power: A Smarter, More Secure America

http://www.csis.org/media/csis/pubs/071106_csissmartpowerreport.pdf, pages 1-14 only. (Reserve List)


September 4: America’s Global Standing

•Immanuel Wallerstein. 2002. “The Eagle Has Crashed Landed,” Foreign Policy 131 (July/August):60-68. (Reserve List) X

•Joseph S. Nye, Jr. “Recovering America’s Leadership,” Survival 50 (1):55-68. (Reserve List)


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

The National Security Strategy of the United States (September 2002) http://www.whitehouse.gov/nsc/nss.pdf (Reserve List)


September 11: Grand Strategy and Force Structure

• Pages 241-255 in Snow, National Security for a New Era

• Pages 283-287 in Snow, National Security for a New Era

• Kathy Gill. 2007. “Military Conscription, Recruiting, and the Draft,” http://uspolitics.about.com/od/electionissues/a/draft.htm (Reserve List)


September 16: Private Security Contractors and Companies in the Post-9/11 Era

• Deborah Avant. 2004. “Think Again: Mercenaries,” Foreign Policy 143 (July/August):20-28. (Reserve List) X

• Council on Foreign Relations Online Debate: Private Security Contractors, December 2007, http://www.cfr.org/publication/15032 (Reserve List)


September 18: Terrorism: America’s New Global War

•Chapter 12 in Snow, National Security for a New Era


September 23: Terrorists and Dirty Bombs – The Threat of Radiological Dispersion Devices

•Peter D. Zimmerman with Cheryl Loeb. 2004. “Dirty Bombs: The Threat Revisited,” Defense Horizons 38 (January):1-12.  http://www.hps.org/documents/RDD_report.pdf. (Reserve List) X


 September 25: How Should America Respond to Terrorism? Part I - Challenges & Policy Making Dilemmas including the Tension between National Security and Civil Liberties

•Henry Munson. 2004. “Lifting the Veil: Understanding the Roots of Islamic Militancy,” Harvard International Review 25(4), http://www.harvardir.org/articles/1184 (Reserve List) X

 • Katya Drozdova and Michael Samoilov. 2002. “National Security: Security and Liberty,” Hoover Digest, http://www.hoover.org/publications/digest/4477836.html (Reserve List)


September 30: How Should America Respond to Terrorism? Part II – Evaluating Policy Options in the Global War on Terrorism

• David Tucker. 1998. “Responding to Terrorism,” Washington Quarterly 21(1):103-117. (Reserve List) X

• “Terrorism: How Should We Respond?” Choices for the 21st Century Education Program, Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University, http://www.brown.edu/Research/Choices/resources/documents/terrorism_options_002.pdf (Reserve List)


October 2: Nuclear Proliferation and Challenges to Arms Control

• Peter R. Lavoy. 2006. “Nuclear Proliferation over the Next Decade: Causes, Warning Signs, and Policy Responses,” Nonproliferation Review 13 (3):433-454. (Reserve List) X


October 7: Nuclear Proliferation and National Missile Defense

•Pages 226-241 in Snow, National Security for a New Era

• Center for Nonproliferation Studies. 2005. “A Look at National Missile Defense and the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense System,” NTI Issue Brief (December). http://www.nti.org/e_research/e3_72.html. (Reserve List)

•Jeff Sessions, “Ballistic Missile Defense: A National Priority,” Strategic Studies Quarterly 2(2):22-30. (Reserve List) X


October 9: Midterm Examination

No assigned readings.


October 14: China: The World’s Next Superpower?

• Peter Van Ness. 2004. “China’s Response to the Bush Doctrine,” World Policy Journal 21 (4):38-47. (Reserve List) X

• Esther Pan. 2006. “The Scope of China’s Military Threat,” Council on Foreign Relations Backgrounder, http://www.cfr.org/publication/10824/scope_of_chinas_military_threat.html. (Reserve List)


October 16: Discussion & Debate – Should America Contain or Engage a Rising China?

•Jonathan Spence. 2005. “The Once and Future China.  Foreign Policy 146 (January/February):44-50. (Focus on Brzezinski-Mearsheimer debate.) (Reserve List) X

• David M. Lampton. 2007. “The Faces of Chinese Power, Foreign Affairs 86 (1):115-127. (Reserve List) X


October 21: NATO and European Security

•“The Origins of the North Atlantic Treaty,” http://www.nato.int/archives/1st5years/chapters/1.htm (Reserve List)

• “The North Atlantic Treaty,” http://www.nato.int/archives/1st5years/chapters/2.htm (Reserve List)

•The North Atlantic Treaty, http://www.nato.int/docu/basictxt/treaty.htm (Reserve List)


October 23: The New, Global NATO (with discussion of the War in Afghanistan)

Christopher M. Jones. 2006. “NATO's Transformation.” In Old Europe, New Security: Evolution for a Complex World, Janet Adamski, Mary Troy Johnston and Christina Schweiss. eds. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate Publishing Limited.71-84. (Reserve List)


October 28: The Soviet Union, the Cold War, and a Resurgent Russia in the Post-9/11 Era

• Recommended (especially for those who lack a strong background on the cold war): Chapter 5 in Snow, National Security for a New Era

Quiz on U.S. military tradition and strategic culture -- Snow, Chapter 4: “The American Experience”   


October 30: The Challenge of Iran

• Andrew J. Grotto. 2006. “Crib Sheet: Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions,” Center for American Progress, 24 April, http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2006/04/cp_iran.html. (Reserve List)

• Vali Nasr and Ray Takeyh. 2008. “The Costs of Containing Iran,” Foreign Affairs 87 (1):85-94. (Reserve List) X


November 4: America’s Energy Security: Maintaining Access to the World’s Oil Supply

•Pages 392-395 in Snow, National Security for a New Era

•Flynt Leverett and Pierre Noel. 2006. “The New Axis of Oil,” The New America Foundation (July), http://www.newamerica.net/publications/articles/2006/the_new_axis_of_oil. (Reserve List)


November 6: Responding to America’s Emerging Energy Crisis

•Michael L. Ross. 2008. “Blood Barrels: Why Oil Wealth Fuels Conflict,” Foreign Affairs 87 (3):2-8. (Reserve List) X (Please see the next page for an additional reading.)

•Go the “American Energy Independence” web site and read about energy alternatives by clicking on efficiency, hydrogen, renewable, hydrocarbon, and nuclear (on the toolbar at the top of the page). http://www.americanenergyindependence.com/nationalsecurity.html. (Reserve List)


November 11: Ethnic and Religious Conflict: An Old Problem in a New Era

• Jerry Z. Muller. 2008. “Us and Them: The Enduring Power of Ethnic Nationalism,” Foreign Affairs 87 (2):18-35. (Reserve List) X


November 13: Deciding When and How to Intervene

Chapter 13 in Snow, National Security for a New Era

Papers are due at the beginning of class today.


November 18: America’s Intervention in Iraq

Chapter 10 (pp. 256-270) in Snow, National Security for a New Era

Pascual, Carlos and Ken Pollack. 2007. “Salvaging the Possible: Policy Options in Iraq,” Policy Paper, No. 2 (September). Washington, DC:  The Brookings Institution. (Reserve List) X


November 20: Iraq: Where to Do Go From Here & Assessing the Legacies of Iraq

Chapter 10 (pp. 270-290) in Snow, National Security for a New Era


November 25: Iraq, the Revolution in Military Affairs, and the Changing Face of War

Chapter 11 in Snow, National Security for a New Era


November 27: Thanksgiving

No class - no assigned readings


December 2: Course Conclusion

The readings for this session will be determined at a later date. There will be an announcement in class.


December 4: Final Review

No assigned readings


December 9: Final Examination

12:00-1:50 p.m. in DU 252





Do your own work: Please do not make the mistake of using or borrowing some or all of a student’s paper from a previous year. Papers from previous years are kept on file. The course assistant will be checking work submitted this year against work that was submitted in previous years. Also do not waste your time or money buying a paper from a web site or another source. This assignment was designed especially for this particular course. To earn a good grade the guidelines (below) must be followed. A purchased paper will not meet these guidelines. Additionally, all students will submit their papers to NIU’s SafeAssign, which is “a free plagiarism prevention tool that allows instructors to protect the originality of work and ensure a fair playing ground for all their students. SafeAssign is integrated with Blackboard and prevents plagiarism by detecting unoriginal content in students’ papers within your existing teaching and learning environment.” In short, the keys to success are start early, follow the directions, do careful work, and ask for help when you need it.


Goal and substance of the paper: One task many national security policy practitioners, particularly midlevel bureaucrats, confront is the need to look at current realities and trends, think in worst case scenarios, and forecast the “next” major national security challenge or crisis. Students are to assume the role of a present-day U.S. national security policy maker and write a seven to eight page paper that identifies a future national security challenge or crisis. “Future” is not defined in days or months or by the current war on terrorism or military action in Iraq. Rather it should be tied to a five, 10, 15, 20, or even 25-year period.


Through research, writing and reasoned argumentation, the paper should accomplish three central tasks. First, referencing current realities, facts and trends, the presentation should fully and logically explain why this challenge or crisis will emerge within the paper’s specified time period. Second, the paper should make clear what U.S. interests are at stake. In other words, why should the United States care? Why might this future crisis or challenge merit finite U.S. governmental attention, resources, and/or policy adjustments today? These tasks should be the central focus of the paper. Third, the paper does not have to offer a comprehensive policy response, proposal or strategy, but the conclusion should offer some suggestions on actions the United States can take before the crisis or challenge emerges that might serve to eliminate the threat or reduce the severity of its consequences. This last item is the conclusion rather than the essence or body of the paper.


Selecting a Topic: Use current trends coupled with creativity to arrive at a compelling topic that bears a clear connection to future U.S. national security policy. For instance, what if there is another catastrophic attack on U.S. soil? What if the Saudi monarchy falls to militant Islamic fundamentalists? What if China attacks Taiwan or North Korea attacks South Korea? What if a nuclear Pakistan and a nuclear India go to war over Kashmir? What if Iran becomes a nuclear weapons state? Could there be a war over a resource, such as water or food? What if terrorists attack the U.S. food supply? What if the United States leaves Afghanistan or Iraq in defeat? What if the Taliban regains control of Afghanistan? What if Iraq falls to civil war following a U.S. withdrawal? What if NATO becomes divided and ineffective? What if China emerges as a superpower? What if Russia intervenes militarily in other former Soviet republics, as it did in Georgia? What if hegemony ends? These are merely examples. There are many possibilities. Students are encouraged to think beyond Iraq and terrorism that dominate today’s headlines. Are there issues and relationships that are being under-emphasized or neglected today that could jeopardize U.S. national security interests in the future?


National security policy by its nature is a pessimistic endeavor; and the approach discussed above is probably the most manageable direction to take. For students with a more optimistic bent, however, it is acceptable to base the paper on a future development that may have more positive impact on U.S. security interests if current facts, trends, and realities warrant such a conclusion. For instance, what if the insurgency is quelled in Iraq and democracy (in a Middle Eastern sense) takes hold? What if al-Qaeda is eliminated? What if a Palestinian state is established? What if a current state with nuclear weapons or an interest in the development follows Libya’s recent example? What if China or Russia becomes a full-fledged democracy? Again, these are merely examples for the purpose of illustration. Again, there are many possibilities.


Students are welcome to discuss their topics with the instructor or course assistant, and may be asked to announce their paper focus during a class session. The Washington Post, New York Times, Economist, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Washington Quarterly, Survival, and other high quality newspapers and journals will also have articles that may help generate ideas for paper topics.


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

(a)    Word-processed and double-spaced on white, unlined, 8.5'' x 11'' paper with 12 pt. font

(b)   Stapled in upper left-hand corner with no fancy covers or binders

(c)    Title page

(d)   One-inch margins on all sides

(e)    Page numbers

(f)    Text begins at the very top of page one

(g)   Fully meets but does not exceed the page minimum


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

(a)    Do not engage in intentional or unintentional plagiarism (see “academic dishonesty” under “course policies and loose ends” above).

(b)   Use a reasonable number of complete parenthetical references, footnotes or endnotes within the body of the paper to indicate sources, supporting evidence, interpretations, contrary analyses or views, as well as to give credit for quotations or paraphrases

(c)    Use at least five different solid sources, as reflected in the endnotes or footnotes, not merely the bibliography. (More sources are preferable.) Course textbooks may be used, but these materials do not count toward the number of required sources unless it is a chapter that was not assigned during the semester.

(d)   Avoid dependency or overuse of particular sources. Diversify sources and citations throughout the entire paper.

(e)    Use a widely accepted form of citation, such as MLA, APA, APSR, or the Chicago Manual of Style. The specific form is the student’s choice.

(f)    Use quality source material (e.g., books, scholarly journal articles, interviews, memoirs of decision-makers, speeches, government documents, etc.). Every paper should have some of these types of sources. The university library has a good government documents section and helpful staff on the second floor. Try to visit before 4:30 p.m. for the best assistance. The library also has access to a number of good databases (e.g., JSTOR, EBSCO, LexisNexis, etc.) that will facilitate a thorough and efficient search of journal articles. Do not be afraid to ask a librarian for assistance.

(g)   Citations from newspapers and newsmagazines are acceptable, but they will 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, such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, or other good quality newspapers, such as the Christian Science Monitor, should be employed. Some foreign newspapers may also be acceptable.

(h)   Good quality sources of information from the World Wide Web are 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 and Structure: The final paper should be well written in formal English.

(a)    Offer a compelling, interesting introduction that draws the reader in and convinces him or her that they should care about the issue under discussion.

(b)   Provide a clear and coherent thesis statement.

(c)    Include a “roadmap paragraph” that explains how the paper will be organized and presented.

(d)   Use subheadings and subsections to organize the paper.

(e)    Have an introduction, body, and conclusion. Be sure the body addresses the key features of the assignment discussed under “goal and substance of paper” (above).

(f)    Use a persuasive, analytical, third person voice. Avoid the use of me, my, I, we, our, you, and your.

(g)   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.

(h)   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. Be sure sentences have proper nouns rather than relying on words, such as “this.”

(i)     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.

(j)     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.

(a)    Drop by the Stevenson Towers South, Lower Level Tower B. The operating hours are posted on the Writing Center’s web site

(b)   Make an individual appointment by calling (815) 753-6636.

(c)    Go to http://www.engl.niu.edu/writing_center/ and e-mail a draft for general feedback.

(d)   Use the other online writing resources on the Center’s web site.


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


Submitting the Paper: Be sure to submit two hard copies of the final paper at the proper time 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. Students will also be asked to submit papers electronically for the purposes of SafeAssign (discussed above). More information on this process will be provided in class.


Paper Grades: The main criteria to be used in evaluating the paper will be the caliber of research, understanding of subject, quality of analysis and argumentation, 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 fully meet the stated goal of the assignment and follow the guidelines (discussed above). This is not a particularly long paper. The focus is on quality rather than quantity.