National Security Structure and Responsibilities – NSEC 501

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

This course provides an in-depth look at the National Security Council and subordinate organizations like DoD, DHS, DOJ, DNI, and other related departments. Topics include areas of national security and military actions, the use and development of intelligence programs, homeland security basics, and the requirements of these agencies based on the 2001 Patriot Act and the 2004 Intelligence Reorganization and Terror Prevention Act. The course considers the elements of national power and their application to national security.




The evaluation of concepts of leadership and management from the perspective of theories and applied biblical integration is important in making effective decisions. The most effective decisions that leaders can make are those that are biblically sound and therefore will have long-term benefits and broad ramifications. In a world of constant change, it is important that leaders have a character-based, principle-centered approach to developing themselves, their teams, and their organizations. The understanding of these truths and the ability to choose the best course of action with influence and synergy is critical for leaders to implement enduring, biblically-based strategies for sustainability and growth.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Evaluate the historical uses of the NSC by different presidents.
  2. Identify current US National Security Council (NSC) members (agencies) and their roles.
  3. Explain the role of the Intelligence Community within the National Security apparatus.
  4. Describe and analyze the instruments and elements of national power.
  5. Synthesize course concepts with biblical principles.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (2)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be at least 500 words, include at least 2 citations, and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 250 words.

Congress and the Executive Branch Pre-Spanish-American War Research Paper

In this assignment, the student will understand the growth and development of executive leadership by looking at the dynamics between the president and Congress in the period from the founding to the Spanish-American War. In a 6–8- page paper, the student will focus on: 1) how presidents pursued international relations, 2) how presidents were able to project force, and 3) congressional restrictions on presidential actions. The student may write about the president of his/her choice.

Congress and the Executive Branch Post-Spanish-American War Research Paper

In this assignment, the student will examine how the balance between the president and Congress shifted from the era before the Spanish-American War. In a 1,500–2,000-word (6–8- page) paper, the student will discuss: 1) how President Roosevelt’s vision of America’s role in the international environment changed the presidential inclination to act, 2) evaluate congressional responses, 3) discuss how the growth in government—particularly in military forces—gave the president more options, and 4) provide new thoughts related to this topic.

NSC Structure Comparison Paper.

In this 2,000–2,500- word (8–10-page) paper, the student will examine how different presidents have structured the National Security Council. Specifically, the student will discuss: 1) how the 2 modern NSC structures are similar, 2) how the 2 structures are different, 3) the strengths of each formation, 4) the weaknesses of each structure, and will 5) develop a proposed structure for the current POTUS.

US and NGOs Research Paper

In this 2,000–2,500- word (8–10-page) paper, the student will examine how the USA interacts with Non-Government Organizations. The student may examine responses to terrorist organizations, large criminal organizations, or more traditional NGOs. The student will: 1) identify the organization (or type of organization) the student desires to use for this assignment with a brief discussion of that organization’s structure and roles, 2) discuss how the US government chooses the various NSC tools available to the POTUS, and 3) discuss pros and cons of the various considerations.

IC Structure Changes Paper

In this 2,000–2,500- word (8–10-page) paper, the student will discuss major changes to the IC and how it affects its mission to support the POTUS. In this paper, the student will: 1) provide a short overview of the major changes the IC has undergone, 2) examine the impact to the IC mission to support the POTUS, and 3) discuss additional changes the student would recommend.

Worldview Paper

In this 6–8-page paper, the student will discuss how a Christian worldview shapes his/her approach to the NSC. The student will: 1) discuss how advisors to Old Testament kings influenced events negatively or positively, 2) contrast Old Testament advisors and NSC advisors, and 3) articulate changes the student would advocate for based upon his/her assessment of how a Christian worldview would be enacted.