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

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 09/05/2023

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.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


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.

Course Assignment

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions (3)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each discussion. 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 Assignments (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 Assignment

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 and Reflection Paper Assignments

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

  1. Quiz: Research and Reflection Paper: 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. 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. Research and Reflection Paper: 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. Research and Reflection Paper: 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.