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National Security Policy (Directed Study)

This course is an introduction to the design, administration, and management of U.S. national security—the foundation, structure, functions, and processes among competing branches of government, departments and agencies, and personalities that all exist within a common framework to secure the nation, but whose perspectives and methods frequently clash. Policies often emerge after following a long and tortuous path. When they emerge, they sometimes do so with only a bare resemblance to the original plan; at times they do not emerge at all. We will examine why. Many courses on U.S. national security concentrate primarily on the results of a policy but rarely on how a policy is made, maintained, or modified. This course introduces students to those critical but largely ignored aspects of how U.S. national security policies are not only developed, but also decided upon, implemented, executed, and reviewed within the government—and frequently influenced beyond it.