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NSEC620 - Foundations in Military Strategy and National Security Policy

Course Details

Course Code: NSEC620 Course ID: 4299 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Graduate

This course examines some of the major concepts of strategic thinking that underpin the national security strategy of the U.S. Students will analyze the primary inputs in the development of national security policy and investigate strategy components that are necessary in the post-Cold War. They will also explore and debate the major issues affecting strategy, to include the impact of rapid technological change and special operations. This course is especially suited to students in the Defense Senior Leadership Development Program.

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
07/27/20 - 01/01/21 01/04/21 - 02/28/21 Winter 2021 Session B 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

After successfully completing this course, you will be able to:

CO-1: Examine the major theoretical approaches of the classical strategists.

CO-2: Analyze the major trends in the development of strategy in the 20th century.

CO-3: Investigate the ongoing debate regarding critical elements of post-Cold War strategy.

CO-4: Differentiate the major issues surrounding military strategy versus grand strategy.

CO-5: Deconstruct the role of special operations in overall national strategy.

The course grade is based on the following assessments:

Discussion Forums – 30 percent

Discussion questions will be provided and posts should reflect an assimilation of the readings and respond to the assigned topic(s). Students are required to provide a substantive initial post by Thursday at 11:55 pm ET and respond to 2 or more classmates by Sunday 11:55 pm ET. Forum posts are graded on timeliness, relevance, knowledge of the weekly readings, and the quality of original ideas.

Specialized Project – 35 percent

This project will demonstrate your ability to synthesize discipline specific material. This is a task based exercise. 12-15 pages.

Final Assignment – 35 percent

This assignment is a take-home essay assignment of 2 questions, 2-3 pages each, to test knowledge and assimilation of the course objectives. The exclusive use of required texts and readings from this course is mandatory.

Required Readings

  • External websites and other assigned readings are found in the Lessons area of the classroom.

  • Weekly Lesson Notes and videos or audio files are found in the Lessons area of the classroom.
Book Title:Various resources from the APUS Library & the Open Web are used. Please visit to locate the course eReserve.*

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.