National Security Strategy


Course materials, syllabi, and other resources.

| Course Mechanics | Lectures | Documents | Fun |

Course Mechanics


You can find a copy of the Fall 2014 essay here.

You can use the chart below to calculate the essay grade yourself. Let's say you received X=22 points total on the essay. The percentage score is Y=(100*X)/24=(100*22)/24=91.67. Look up the letter grade for the range in which your percentage score falls. For example, 91.67% is in the range 90% -- 94%, for which the grade letter is A-. Hence, if you scored 22 points on the essay, your grade is A-.

Letter GradePercent Ranges
A+ >= 100%
A95% -- 99%
A-90% -- 94%
B+85% -- 89%
B80% -- 84%
B-70% -- 79%
C+65% -- 69%
C60% -- 64%
C-50% -- 59%
D40% -- 49%
F0% -- 39%

The Lectures

I strongly advise you to come to class and take notes. I will provide you with (very helpful) lecture outlines in class. You will also find that reading on your own is one thing, and having someone point out the connections, place material in context, and draw contemporary comparisons is something else altogether. You will learn better by listening actively and then reading. Still, the following are fairly complete lectures. Do not print these until a few days after I give the corresponding lecture in class because I am quite likely to update these on the basis of feedback I receive.

Do not forget to consult the handy maps!

    A. Coercive Diplomacy and Military Power
  1. The Diplomacy of Strategic Coercion
  2. Games and Information
  3. Strategies in Extensive Form Games
  4. Best Responses and Nash Equilibrium
  5. Nash Equilibrium in Mixed Strategies
  6. Credibile Moves and Perfect Equilibrium
  7. Incomplete Information and Sequential Equilibrium
  8. Revealing and Eliciting Information
  9. Credible Commitments in Deterrence and Compellence
  10. Rationalist Theories of War

  11. B. Evolution of US Strategic Doctrine
  12. The Nature of the Soviet Union, 1917-1945
  13. The Strategy of Containment
  14. Sword and Shield, 1945-1950
  15. Thermonuclear War and Nuclear Deterrence
  16. Limited War and Korea, 1950-1953
  17. The New Look, 1953-1960
  18. Flexible Response, 1961-1968
  19. The Cuban/Caribbean Missile Crisis, October 1962
  20. The Vietnam War, 1954-1975
  21. The Rise and Fall of Dètente, 1971-1980
  22. Evil Empire, 1980-1991
  23. New World Order, 1992-2000

Documents and Supplementary Material

A few lists that you may need to refer to, plus a handful of helpful materials.

Decompression & Fun