National Security Module
The National Security Module promotes the development of fellows as strategic thinkers and national security policy makers through a comprehensive analysis
of the myriad of variables that impact and affect national security policy. A crucial objective of this course is to enable the fellows to effectively operate at the strategic level of crafting policies and deciding why one policy is more likely to safeguard the nation’s security than another.
As future policy advisors or policy makers, fellows will develop the skills to be able to select and integrate a wide range of policy decisions across diverse content areas such as domestic and international politics, military strategy, economics, the information domain, and technological capabilities. Fellows learn how various areas affect the multiple dimensions and dynamics of strategic national security affairs. As fellows progress through this module, they will be exposed to a wide range of elements, instruments, and processes that may be used to effectively implement policies and shape the operational environment. Fellows also quickly realize that there are insufficient resources to fully maximize all of these capabilities--much as policy makers often have come to realize in the past. Fellows learn that there is no “school solution” at the strategic level, but that learning how to think at the strategic level is a critical skill for crafting a secure future.
Strategy is the calculated relationship among ends, ways, and means. It is a concept used well beyond the military and national security fields, but our examination of strategy will focus closely on those arenas. Strategy is appropriate at several levels—grand, national, and theater. Grand strategy is the use of all elements of national power in peace and war to support a strategic vision of the nation’s role in the world that will best achieve its core objectives. What we call national strategies are high-level components of a grand strategy. Thus, a country may have a national defense strategy supported by a national military strategy, a national diplomatic or foreign affairs strategy, and/or a homeland security strategy. The United States has had or has each of these—all supporting the overall grand strategy that is enunciated in the National Security Strategy. Regional combatant commanders develop theater strategies to achieve assigned goals. These are supporting strategies of the National Security Strategy, the National Defense Strategy, and the National Military Strategy. National strategy is the use of all elements of national power in peace and war to support a strategic vision of the nation’s role in the world that will best achieve its core objectives. The US has a national defense strategy supported by a national military strategy, a national diplomatic strategy, and a homeland security strategy. Each of these should support the overarching strategy that is enunciated in the National Security Strategy.
This module will examine US national security through both theoretical and a practical lenses. The module will consist of small group seminar discussions, Attendance and participation in the US Army War College Annual Strategy Conference at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, and visits to geographical combatant
commands (US Central Command, US Africa Command, and US European Command). The small group seminar discussions will include lessons focused on the broad themes of the theory of strategy, the elements of power, the American national system and environment, the international system and environment, strategic issues and considerations, and regional appraisals.