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POLSC313: US Intelligence and National Security

Unit 1: US National Security Interests   The primary goal of the national security policies in the United States is to protect Americans and American interests at home and abroad. The formulation and implementation of such policies are primarily centered in the executive branch of the federal government; however, Congress assists in crafting legislation and policies and has both oversight and budgetary control over the offices and agencies that play critical roles in policy execution. Foreign policy and military affairs are the preeminent concerns in national security, but trade, commerce, human rights, and peaceful development are also important factors.

In this unit, you will learn to classify and prioritize national security interests by categorizing them as vital, critical, or serious. Vital interests relate to the immediate and imminent protection of the homeland. Critical interests do not present an imminent or immediate danger to the US homeland or American institutions but could be elevated to such status if conditions were to worsen. Serious interests, on the other hand, are neither vital nor critical to the homeland or its survival, but nonetheless, represent a significant risk to American economic, political, military, or humanitarian interests.

Unit 1 Time Advisory
Completing this unit should take you approximately 19 hours.

☐    Subunit 1.1: 6.5 hours

    ☐    Reading: 5 hours

    ☐    Lecture: 1.5 hours

☐    Subunit 1.2: 4 hours

    ☐    Reading: 2.5 hours

    ☐    Lecture: 1.5 hours

☐    Subunit 1.3: 7.5 hours

    ☐    Reading: 5.5 hours

    ☐    Lecture: 2 hours

☐    Unit 1 Activity: 1 hour

Unit1 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
- prioritize the national interests that influence the formulation of US national security policy;
  - analyze the impact of American values on policymaking and implementation of national security operations;
  - describe the various decision frameworks used by members of the US national security system;
  - identify the nature and characteristics of operations and threats faced by the US today; and
  - explain the challenges faced in the formulation and implementation of US national security operations.

1.1 US National Security Interests and the Process of National Security Policy Formulation   - Reading: Sam C. Sarkesian, John Allen Williams, and Stephen J. Cimbala’s US National Security: Policymakers, Processes, and Politics: “Chapter 1: National Interests and National Security” Link: Sam C. Sarkesian, John Allen Williams, and Stephen J. Cimbala’s US National Security: Policymakers, Processes, and Politics: “Chapter 1: National Interests and National Security” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Click on the first link on the Google Scholar webpage to download the book. Read Chapter 1 on pages 3 - 21. This chapter explains the basic model of American policymaking in the national security arena and the roles that the different actors in the process play. 

 Reading this chapter should take approximately 1 hour.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: Strategic Studies Institute: Dr. J. Boone Bartholomees, Jr.’s (ed.) US Army War College Guide to National Security Policy and Strategy, 2nd edition: “Chapters 7 - 11” Link: Strategic Studies Institute: Dr. J. Boone Bartholomees, Jr.’s (ed.) US Army War College Guide to National Security Policy and Strategy, 2nd edition: “Chapters 7 - 11” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Download the PDF file from above. You will be using this resource throughout the course, so be sure to save it to your computer. Read Chapters 7 - 11 of this text on pages 79 - 154. These chapters will provide an overview of various theories that govern the national security policy planning process and challenges that policymakers face in the US.
     
    Reading these chapters should take approximately 4 hours.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Lecture: YouTube: UCTV: “Zinni on National Security Policy” Link: YouTube: UCTV: “Zinni on National Security Policy” (YouTube)
     
    Instructions: Watch this video lecture on national security policy. In his lecture, Retired General Anthony Zinni criticizes the Bush administration’s Iraq War policies.
     
    Watching this video and pausing to take notes should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: This video is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

1.2 US National Interests and National Security Prior to 9/11   - Reading: Harvard University: Robert Ellsworth, Andrew Goodpaster, and Rita Hauser’s “America's National Interests: A Report from The Commission on America's National Interests, 2000” Link: Harvard University: Robert Ellsworth, Andrew Goodpaster, and Rita Hauser’s “America's National Interests: A Report from The Commission on America's National Interests, 2000” (PDF) (Word)
 
Instructions: Scroll down the webpage and click on the hyperlink of the title after the Word doc icon or after the PDF icon, depending on which format you prefer, to download the report. Read the report, which analyzes American national security interests and national security priorities in the period preceding the mass terror attacks that occurred in the United States on September 11, 2001.
 
Reading this report should take approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes.
 
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1.3 Post-9/11 Formulation of National Security Policy   - Reading: Harvard University: Ashton B. Carter et al.’s “Project on National Security Reform: Preliminary Findings” Link: Harvard University: Ashton B. Carter et al.’s “Project on National Security Reform: Preliminary Findings” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Click on the PDF icon to download the contents. Read the report, which analyzes American national security interests and national security priorities since 9/11.
 
Reading this report should take approximately 5 hours.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Lecture: UCTV: Andrew J. Bacevich’s “The Long War, A New History of US National Security Policy since World War II” Link: UCTV: Andrew J. Bacevich’s “The Long War, A New History of US National Security Policy since World War II” (Flash)
     
    Also available in:
    Mp3 audio
    Mp4 video
     
    Instructions: Watch Bacevich’s lecture on US national security since WWII.

    Watching this video lecture and pausing to take notes should take approximately 2 hours.
     
    Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

  • Reading: GEEST, Security Discussion Papers Series 1, Spring 2009: Marianne Stone’s “Security According to Buzan: A Comprehensive Security Analysis” Link: GEEST, Security Discussion Papers Series 1, Spring 2009: Marianne Stone’s “Security According to Buzan: A Comprehensive Security Analysis” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Click on the icon titled “Security for Buzan” at the top right corner of the webpage. Read this essay, which outlines Barry Buzan and Ole Wæver’s critical framework for analysis of security issues. Buzan and Wæver oppose the traditionalist view of security as being one defined sector and argue that security should be understood as a particular type of politics applicable to a broad range of sectors: the military, the environmental, the economic, the societal, and the political.
     
    Reading this essay should take approximately 30 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

Unit 1 Activity   - Activity: The Saylor Foundation’s “POLSC313 Course Discussion Board” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “POLSC313 Course Discussion Board” 

 Instructions: After you have studied the material in this unit,
consider the following question. Post your responses to this
question on the course discussion board, and review as well as
respond to other students’ posts.  
    
 1. How has the US national security policy changed after 9/11?  
    
 Completing this activity should take approximately 1 hour.