Political Warfare: Past, Present and Future
The objective of this course is to prepare the student to master the basic knowledge of political and psychological warfare as instruments of leadership and statecraft from antiquity to the present, and with an eye toward the future. Though full of tactical and operational examples, the emphasis is on the strategic use of political warfare.
Using classical writings and modern works, the course surveys political warfare of the ancient Hebrews, Greeks and Romans; ancient India and China; early and middle Christian civilizations including Rome and Byzantium, the Crusades, and the Medieval and Renaissance-era European states; the American Revolution (heavy emphasis); the French Revolution; the British empire; and 20th Century totalitarian movements and regimes. It also examines present-day political warfare of democracies and terrorists.
The course pays close attention to the use of words, rhetoric, language and images; art, architecture, culture, economics, intelligence and counterintelligence, nationalism, psychology, propaganda, and counterpropaganda.
Students will read from Aristotle, Sun Tzu's Art of War, Kautilya's Arthasastra, Machiavelli's Discourses on Livy and The Prince with a new translation on the meaning of words; Samuel Adams, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Antonio Gramsci, Saul Alinsky and others.
In addition to the readings, students must write 7 short papers in 14 weeks.
Students should complete the course with a comfortable understanding of political and psychological warfare as fundamental elements of leadership and statecraft.
The professor maintains an independent website for the course that contains the syllabus, required readings and additional information.
Admission is subject to approval by professor. Students in the Public Diplomacy & Political Warfare certificate and degree programs will have priority admission.
Economic Statecraft and Conflict
Counterintelligence in a Democratic Society
Ideas and Values in International Politics
Military Strategy: An Overview of the Theorists of Warfare
Information Operations and Information Warfare
This is a vigorous course. Students should start the readings before the course begins. Students who cannot keep up with the readings will not be able to pass the course.
J. Michael Waller