National Security, National Defense, & Foreign Policy – NSEC 503

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

Course Description

This course provides a comprehensive overview of the U.S. military and homeland defense structures, relationships, and challenges.  The course reviews the missions and strategies of the organizations, how each area of security works together with the other aspects of government, and the integration of intelligence capabilities across the spectrum of government actions.


NSEC 501


The bipartisan National Defense Strategy Commission recently concluded that the United States faces a “crisis of national security” and that “the security and wellbeing of the U.S are at a greater risk than at any time in decades.” The concept of national security first entered our political vocabulary right before World War II when it began to replace older notions of the “national interest.” For forty-five years – from 1946 until the collapse of the Soviet Union in December 1991 – U.S. national security concerns centered around the challenges of the Cold War; primarily, containing the Soviet Union and the spread of Marxism-Leninism. With the end of the Cold War and the tragic events associated with 9/11, the U.S. national security agenda broadened to include not only military issues, but also economic, cyber, energy, and climate issues as well. In this course, we will examine the expanding national security agenda against the backdrop of the domestic and international contexts and challenges confronting U.S. security concerns today.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Define and describe national security and how our understanding of national security has changed over the past 75 years.
  2. Identify and evaluate the instruments of state and non-state power in the international system.
  3. Describe the nexus between international and domestic politics in national security policy.
  4. Describe and evaluate various U.S. foreign policy traditions.
  5. Describe the relationship between military force planning and national security policy.
  6. Develop an understanding of how the Christian faith and the Judeo-Christian worldview impact our understanding and engagement of national security matters.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations/notes

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 (3)

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 600–700 words 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 300–350 words

Essay (3)

The student will write a 1,500–2,000-word research-based paper in current APA format that focuses on a topic related to the course readings and other assigned resources for the module theme. The paper must include at least 5–7 scholarly sources in addition to the course textbooks and the Bible.

Midterm Essay

The student will write a 1,750–2,000-word essay in current APA format that focuses on the topic selected from the course readings and other assigned resources for the module in which it is located. The paper must include 5–7 scholarly resources in addition to the course textbooks and the Bible.

Research & Reflection Paper

This research paper will be developed in 3 parts: topic selection, annotated bibliography, and the final paper submission.

  1. Topic Selection – The student will choose a topic related to the content of the course and submit the topic along with a 1–3-sentence description that includes a rationale for the topic’s relevance in the form of a short answer, open book/open note, 1-question quiz. The quiz will be 45 minutes. Based on the instructor feedback and/or approval, the student can work to refine and/or continue forward with the topic he or she selected.
  2. Annotated Bibliography – The student will complete an Annotated Bibliography of 7–8 scholarly resources. These resources must include at least 2 books in addition to journal/periodical articles. Annotations must not exceed 100 words and they must provide a brief rationale explaining how the resource is relevant to the focus of the research paper. This assignment must be completed in APA format.
  3. Final Submission – The student will write a 2,000–2,500-word research paper in current APA format focusing on the pre-selected topic approved by the instructor. The paper must include 7–8 scholarly references that includes at least two books as well as journal/periodical articles. In addition, the paper should include relevant Biblical and/or Judeo-Christian references.
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