National security is the core of the curriculum at the Daniel Morgan Graduate School of National Security (DMGS) it is the reason that the DMGS exists. In addition to a full slate of courses in the national security program, the courses in the intelligence, information operations and regional pillars exist to support the national security program and to help produce Superb national security officers. This reflects the world in which we live. The goal is the security of the country; we get there, in part, by using intelligence and information operations.
National security always has been critical to our survival and success and a country. But, it is not a static concept. It has undergone change from the beginning of the republic; the changes have been especially profound since the end of the Cold War. Indeed, over the past quarter of a century, national security has undergone a tectonic change. Prior to the Cold War, Security was thought of primarily in military and military-related terms and to some extent in economic terms. Prior to the Cold War it wasn’t even necessary to define the term; it was simply assumed that in talking about security one was referring primarily to military security. Certainly, this iteration of national security is still very important. But, national security is no longer only about military issues. To understand security in that sense exclusively is to cling to a pre-21st century understanding of the term.
Today, national security has come to mean So much more. Now it must be understood as any threat, challenge or opportunity that impacts the interests and well-being of the country and, in fact, often well beyond the country’s borders. Changes in the political order and vastly different technology have necessitated an approach to security that was unthinkable and unnecessary just 25 years ago. The Soviet Union is gone and the state now shares the global stage with a plethora
of non-state actors. Terrorism, including “lone wolf actors, has emerged as one of the most Serious threats to Society, population migration has become a formidable challenge, cyber threats endanger all Societies, environmental degradation, especially the impact of climate change, threatens violence and massive dislocations and technology promises great hopes for humans, but also significant dangers. We also must account for significant changes in the nature of warfare. We no longer can rightly describe the differences as between “symmetric’ (i.e. acceptable) and “asymmetric’ (i.e. unacceptable) warfare. What we once called asymmetric has become increasingly symmetric-hybrid or Fourth Generation-warfare. Additionally, security no longer is just the domain of governments, it now encompasses important aspects of nongovernmental and non-state actors.
In this course, we will explore this unfolding competition for political influence around the globe and the role of political strategy in U.S. national security strategy. We will begin by looking at several general and historical cases in which the U.S. and others have attempted to influence the political character and strategic orientation of foreign states and populations. We will then survey American political strategy and foreign political operations from the struggle with communism to the post-9/11 period and examine the lessons that should be learned from these experiences. In the second part of the course, we will delve into the contemporary contest between the open, rules-based international order and its many challengers, including authoritarian powers and sub-state movements. Through this and, finally, through class exercises, we will discuss the basics of designing, planning and applying political strategies to compete in this new environment and advance American interests and principles.
The first part of the course provides an introduction to national security. The second part is an introduction and practical exercises in the most cutting-edge methods of analysis for national security decision-making. The third part of the course teaches the fundamentals of strategy, policy, and decision-making and offers a practicum in these activities.
- Describe, through historical accounts, the use of information as a longstanding instrument of influence in military operations and explain the evolution of IO from a reflexive battlefield tactic to a formal discipline.
- Understand the three interrelated dimensions that comprise the information environment and explain how each dimension continuously interacts with individuals, organizations, and systems.
- Describe the information related capabilities and assess the doctrinal approach to developing integrated IO campaigns.
- Explain the information and influence relational framework and the application of information-related capabilities.
- Distinguish IO from other formal, coordinated communication efforts such as “Strategic Communication” and explain the IO authorities, responsibilities, and legal considerations that must be followed.
- Assess the risks and challenges associated with conducting IO campaigns in the Information Age recommend strategies for mitigating information blowback.
- Explain the importance of the information assessment process and describe the role of measures of performance (MOPs) and measures of effectiveness (MOEs) in assessing IO campaign success.
- Discuss current views on the use of IO and assess evolving perspectives on IO use in future national security challenges.
- Characterize basic denial and deception concepts and be able to apply historical case studies in explaining those concepts
- Evaluate the impact of the modern information environment on deception and deception channels
- Evaluate the various tools for strategic deceptions to include influence operations and active measures
- Assess both the construction and impact of tactical, operational and strategic deceptions
- Construct and apply analytical strategies to identify and characterize deceptions
- Develop the skills to communicate the impact of deception on decisions, the implications of analysis in deliberately ambiguous environments and sound strategies for identifying and characterizing deceptions.
The challenge that a practitioner faces is in knowing how to evaluate the possible combinations in order to increase the odds of picking the winning approach. Confronted by a sea of methods, causes, messages and passions, how does one do it? Each offered approach will always have a success story or persuasive argument attached to it. Case studies of things that were successful in the past exist. The key to increasing the odds of predicting success is to understand and evaluate why things are successful, not merely to replicate something that worked once before. Circumstances, goals, and audiences change. You must know why and how things will work for your particular challenge. It is the purpose of this course to teach you how to understand the fundamental concepts of what makes strategic communication messaging work and use them to evaluate your challenge.
After completing this course, students will know how to write reports for employment in the national security community.
This course will provide students the foundation of knowledge to prepare for more advanced study in intelligence or related fields.
Students who complete this course will:
- Identify the members of the Intelligence Community and their roles.
- Discuss the intelligence cycle and other functions of intelligence.
- Analyze the relationship of the IC with the different branches of government and the public.
The students will be challenged to examine the non-traditional use of intelligence capabilities and then critically apply them to contemporary national security challenges.
The course will examine the national Security challenges facing Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Jordan, Israel, and the Palestinians, and analyze how recent shifting political, social, and economic dynamics impact them. The course will focus on the regional actors attitudes of the challenges and threats they face and on the strategies they have chosen to confront them. It thus provides critical perspective to students seeking a more comprehensive understanding of the changing Middle Eastern landscape and foreign policy. The course is designed for students interested in the Middle East, particularly those interested in national security issues, students of comparative politics and future practitioners, with a curiosity in regional studies.
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spectacular terrorist operations to recruit and fulfill their objectives of creating a Caliphate. The Islamic Republic of Iran expands its empire through proxies and terrorist militias.
The course will analyze the goals, strategy and ideology of Sunni and Shia Islamist movements. It will assess what motivates these movements and why they are successful, and analyze their strengths and weaknesses. In particular, the course will focus on the ideological foundations, structural origins, political and military capabilities, and strategies of Hamas, Hezbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Iranian revolutionary regime, al-Qaeda, and Islamic State, as well as the Somali-based al-Shabaab, Nigerian-based Boko Haram, Philippine-based Abu Sayyaf, the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban, the Caucasus Emirate in Russia and the East Turkestan Islamic Movement in China.
SPRING 207 COURSE DESCRIPTIONS 9
and if Russia was to be successful it had listen. Russia had become irrelevant as a major force in international relations. That all changed with the ascent of Vladimir Putin. This course will focus on the collapse of the Soviet Union and its “rebirth” as a great power. Russia redux is significant for the evolution of a host of strategic issues that complicate and challenge U.S. interests, policies and actions across a wide range of issues-Syria and the broader Middle East, the Baltics, arms control, Ukraine, Crimea, etc. We will examine the strategic interplay between the U.S. and Russia, what U.S. interests are at stake, what options the U.S. has and how they can be implemented and where there are potential areas of agreement.