Policymaking and Leadership: From the Battlefield to the SITROOM
Course Objectives The purpose of the course is to expose students to contemporary policy challenges in the national security arena and, in doing so, provide the student a framework for making future decisions across the entire public policy spectrum. You will be exposed to a variety of geopolitical scenarios and working in conjunction with a “national security team” you will develop a list of options for government leaders. The course goes beyond the theoretical and analytical to understanding exactly how national security policy is made in the most complex and politically sensitive environments. In the scenarios, you will be confronted with the challenges of whether to conduct a drone strike in a denied area, what to do about Russian aggression in an allied country, how to address China’s build-up in the South China Sea, whether to conduct a large scale missile strike or a special operations raid and several other current international problems. You will learn to understand the implications of U.S. actions on both international and domestic policy. Throughout the course we will also examine the role of leadership in policy making. During the course you will develop an understanding of the following: The roles and responsibilities of the national security policy makers. Current threats facing the United States. How to develop options for dealing with these threats. How to make decisions in a complex, high risk, high threat environment. The impact of your decisions on international and domestic policy. The fundamentals of leadership under pressure. Briefing techniques used in the White House Situation Room and the Pentagon Tank. Through the two-week seminar we will have several guest speakers either in person or by videoconference that have extensive experience in policy making and can provide a further understanding of the complex nature of the process.In addition to the weekly scenario discussions, the class will also discuss the role of leadership; from small teams to large highly complex organizations. Student Assessment There will be five short briefing papers on contemporary geopolitical threats that must be read prior to the start of class.Student assessment will be based on classroom participation (60%), a two-page policy paper (20%) and a team paper/briefing (20%). Class schedule Class is scheduled for 5:30 - 8:30 pm, M-F Meeting: August 26-28; August 31-September 4; September 8-9; and with the team projects being briefed September 21-24.