NATIONAL SECURITY PROGRAM. . . to develop the skills to diagnose contemporary and over-the-horizon threats and opportunities . . .
The Daniel Morgan Graduate School of National Security (DMGS) is a unique, professionally-oriented graduate school offering a Master of Arts Degree in U.S. national security. The DMGS program is specifically designed to support the professional development of aspiring, new, and mid-level professionals in government, the private sector, and in civil society who seek to advance and secure the interests and ideals of the nation.
This program enhances students’ skills to anticipate the trends in the global environment; the short-and long-term aims, strategies, instruments and vulnerabilities of competitors; and to identify the resulting specific opportunities – in a given region or globally – to advance U.S. interests. The program will also cover U.S. government organizational and institutional arrangements and the authority of individual agencies to implement policy. In addition, the tensions between national security policy and practices and liberal democracy will be considered as well as how the U.S. and other democracies have sought to reconcile them.
This program will also cover the functional utility of individual instruments and integrated “whole of government” planning in regional geographic contexts with particular emphasis on the non-kinetic capabilities of the other two DMGS programs – Intelligence and Managing Disruption and Violence (MDV).
NSC 601: Introduction to National Security
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. 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. In this course, students will be able to:
- Understand and apply the framework of security, strategy, interests and policy in a new, globalizing world;
- Select and identify key issues that are the focus of national security; and
- Analyze national security issues from an international context that focuses on the fluctuating world of partners and adversaries.
NSC 611: U.S.-CHINA STRATEGIC RELATIONS
Beginning with the Qing Dynasty and a focus on post 1979 normalization of Sino-U.S. relations, students will be able to understand contemporary Chinese history and the country’s approach to relations with the United States. Additionally, knowledge of China’s military and political organizations will permit students to examine such structures of power and how the country attempts to manage various international and domestic challenges. Finally, this course will permit students to analyze the complexity of crafting a national strategy for dealing with an imperialist China.
NSC 639: Research Methods for Social Sciences
This course is divided into four discreet, yet interdependent parts:
- Qualitative Research Methods;
- Quantitative Research Methods;
- Critical Thinking and Complexity Theory; and
- Writing Workshop
The overall objectives/learning outcomes are to:
- Equip students with the ability, skills and knowledge to conduct and produce quality research in the rapidly changing environment of 21st social science; and
- To give students the skills to evaluate and analyze a wide variety of social science situations in order to develop and enact new policy solutions to contemporary
The objectives/learning outcomes for the sections on qualitative and quantitative research methods are to equip students with an understanding, expertise and ability to apply the most important contemporary research methods currently in use in the social sciences.
The objectives/learning outcomes for the section on critical thinking and complexity theory are to equip students with an understanding, expertise and ability to conduct research and apply solutions to the most complex social science issues in the increasingly interdependent, globalizing world.
The objectives/learning outcomes for the writing workshop are to direct students to apply the methods and skills they learned in the three previous sections, to improve their writing skills and to help prepare them for the research and preparation of their masters’ thesis and set in place the ability to produce quality work in the future.
NSC 675: INTRODUCTION TO INTERNATIONAL & DOMESTIC TERRORISM
The course will provide students with an ability to evaluate and assess issues of terrorism, as it impacts the United States. Students will examine the nation’s extensive history of domestic and international terroristic threats and analyze how technological advancement has been a primary mode of sophistication for terrorists to target the United States. From a national security perspective, students will better understand how domestic and international terrorist groups, past separations between actions by hostile governments, and non-state actor involvement present unique challenges. This course will prepare students in the fields of national security, defense, intelligence, and foreign policy to recognize the evolution of terrorism within the 21st century.
NSC 676: INTRODUCTION TO COUNTERTERRORISM METHODOLOGIES & MODUS OPERANDI OF TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS
This course outlines the conceptualization of contemporary counterterrorism practices in response to the September 11th attacks. Students will examine domestic and international counterterrorism efforts predicated on radical techniques by terrorist organizations and individual radicals/extremists/guerillas through wide-ranging interactive and innovative counterterrorism strategies that are used in real world operations. Finally, students will obtain a comprehensive outlook on the motivation behind terroristic acts.
ADDITIONAL PARAMETERS: A primary recommendation of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States’ (the 9/11 Commission) was to launch the National Counterterrorism Center and handle counterterrorism efforts domestically and abroad. As a result, President George W. Bush delivered Executive Order 13354 and Congress passed the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act (IRTPA) of 2004 to restructure the United States focus on intelligence and terrorism preventative measures.
NSC 707: U.S. Military Strategy
This course will analyze the effects of current global political, economic, and technological trends derived from U.S. military plans and operations. Students will also examine the need for less unilateralism and more coalition forces of civilian and military leadership in counterinsurgency and nation-building operations. Additionally, students will research the effects of globalization, the IT revolution, ethno-nationalists, and religious tensions, which have altered traditional conceptions of warfare.
Finally, this course will discuss the importance of winning “the war of perception” among democracies, which increasingly opposes casualties and challenges the lawfulness of warfare, domestic budgetary issues, and the strategic implications of “doing more with less.” There will be special emphasis on U.S. Naval Strategy, which are comprised of the following objectives:
- Identify the major concepts in the history of strategy;
- Examine the particular importance of Clausewitz;
- Survey the critical role of technology in winning wars;
- Evaluate the challenges faced by the United States at a time of budget constraints and the unprecedented rise of non-state actors; the return of Great Power competition and
- Demonstrate the ability to communicate ideas clearly, concisely and effectively in writing, discussions and presentations.
NSC 710: HOMELAND SECURITY
This course examines the most heinous attack on the United States in global history, which have led to the establishment of the Department of Defense and how national security has changed in the 21st century. Students will learn how the 9/11 attacks on American soil resulted in the creation of the Department of Homeland Security: the country’s third largest Cabinet-level department, highlighting homeland security as another primary objective in protecting the nation. Additionally, students will find this course provides a historical perspective, describing the nature and practice of national security from the American Revolutionary War through the post-Cold War era, which influenced American security initiatives today. Furthermore, this course delivers a comprehensive examination of homeland and national security concepts as we now understand it, which includes traditional terrorism, homegrown terrorism, innovative terrorism, man-made/natural disasters, conflict, specific statutes, initiatives, and agencies, and the roles of intelligence, emergency preparedness, and communications.
Finally, this course introduces students to current public management policies and issues relevant to the security of the United States and how the coordination of federal, state and local government agencies and nonprofit organizations respond to threats, which relies upon theories, concepts and case studies to explore the challenges facing organizations which are a part of protecting our homeland security.
NSC 711: U.S. and Foreign Perspectives on Strategic Approaches
This course is an introduction to approaches in strategy, which exposes students to strategic thought and theorists who have influenced both Eastern and Western practices of strategic methods. It provides a foundation in strategic theory and approaches to strategic thought as an analytical framework to understanding the cultural, religious, historical, and leadership sources of state and non-state actor behavior. It also discusses foreign and U.S. perspectives as well as concepts on the use of force (strength), stratagems (guile) and the power of information (ideas). Strategy must be developed in a holistic manner, integrating the diplomatic, informational, military and economic elements of power in a “whole of government” approach. Furthermore, students will better understand the strategy formulation process of ends, ways and means. At the course’s conclusion, students will formulate an alternative Strategy, which balances the approaches of strength and guile, coupled with the means to influence state and non-state actors with its ideas and economic resources to counteract an adversary’s strategy.
NSC 712: Nuclear Weapons/Missile Defense/WMD Policy
This course will review the President of the United States’ stance on protecting this nation, its allies, and security partners through enhanced nuclear weapons, missile defense, and weapons of mass destruction (WMD) policies. Students will take an in-depth look at these three critical defense areas to analyze American weapons defense policy and address certain threats from Russia and China, departing from a previous strategy that focused exclusively on rogue nations. This course will provide comprehensive knowledge on bolstered technology, effective research and development initiatives and unique Department of Defense (DoD) strategy to counter WMDs. This course will also discuss DoD’s approach with distinctive objectives to reduce incentives to pursue, possess, employ WMDs, which increases barriers to WMD acquisition, proliferation and use. Finally, this course will examine the management of WMD risks emanating from hostile, fragile or failed states/safe havens and enhance denial initiatives on the effects of current and emerging WMD threats through layered, integrated defenses.
NSC 727: POLITICAL STRATEGY AND U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY
In this course, students will examine political strategies which involve a range of ways and means—diplomacy, education and training, security assistance, humanitarian aid, media, and other overt and discreet methods. Students will discover how such strategies affect a society’s political life, including its formal governing arrangements, culture and popular sentiments and external and strategic orientation. Additionally, this course will identify America’s need for political strategy through foreign policy and diplomacy by improving alliance and coalition relationships, while weakening adversaries, to foster a more open, law-based and just international order.
Additionally, students will examine how political strategy impacts national security initiatives by discussing the political dimensions of the primary challenges facing American security policy today. Furthermore, students will assess how to deal with challenges posed by resurgent authoritarianism to the post-1991 “liberal world order” and how it structures American alliances like Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. This course will highlight the weakening of Westphalian state-based order in the Middle East and how a variety of revisionist and hostile actors have profited from it. Finally, this course will discuss various political strategies and international policy operation capabilities that the United States can use to combat the problem of state fragility by designing a “whole of government, who of society” concept that is needed to compete in a new environment with advanced interests and principles.
NSC 729: INTRODUCTION TO NATIONAL SECURITY LEADERSHIP PRACTICES
In this course, students will cultivate important tools for leading national security practices in government, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector. The course provides students with an understanding of the primary elements of leadership with the following:
- Case studies in alternative leadership styles and environments;
- An opportunity to assess their own leadership styles and practices; and
- An appreciation for the tools that affect outcomes, develop human capital, and drive change
Understanding national security leadership practices provide an opportunity for students to examine the challenges of national security decision-making firsthand through simulations and exchanges with national security experts.
Finally, students who complete this course will know the key elements of effective leadership in national security practices. They will understand the fundamentals of strategic planning, decision-making and have functional expertise to evaluate the efficacy of planning and decision-making at an operational or strategic level.
NSC 731: NATIONAL SECURITY LAW FOR INTELLIGENCE PROFESSIONALS
This course is designed to provide non-lawyers (although DMGS students with legal training are welcome to take the course) with an introduction to legal rules and principles related to national security and the Intelligence Community (IC). Students will examine key guidelines of domestic and international law, beginning with the Constitution and including major statutes, executive orders, and other rules of domestic law. In addition, this course will explore references to international law, as it is not designed to make students experts in the field, but rather to enable them to recognize potential problem areas so that they can seek professional guidance from IC attorneys when legal issues do arise. Finally, this course will emphasize the importance of respect for the rule of law and ethical behavior.
NSC 732: Low Intensity Conflict
This course provides an in-depth examination of theory and pragmatic concepts of conflict. Students will learn key concepts and strategic principles pertaining to asymmetric warfare, terrorism, insurgency and counterinsurgency, irregular warfare, unconventional warfare, and military operations less than war (peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance). Additionally, students will examine the causes, conduct, patterns, and effects of conflict, short of an overall or general war. Finally, students will analyze the modern insurgency period from Mao Tse Tung’s approach in the Chinese Civil War through our present times with the Global Jihad.
Program Learning Objectives
Graduates of this degree program will be able to:
- Identify contemporary and anticipated challenges to U.S. security
- Identify, evaluate, and understand the complexities of formulating strategies in functional and regional contexts
- Identify the evolution of U.S. institutional arrangements and assigned authorities and the particular relevance of the U.S experience for U.S. security at home and abroad
- Acquire the skills to conduct original research and analysis on domestic and international, contemporary security issues