POL 285

Public Policy: US National Security

Dr. W. J. Lukaszewski       Fall 2006


  In this course students will be introduced to the study of public policy, specifically to the development of the US national security policy. During the course of the semester, the class will learn the terminology and the concepts appropriate to the field, study in depth the national decision-making process, examine the nature of national security and its international context, review US defense policies since World War II, and analyze contemporary national security issues.


  A major portion of this course will consist of student participation in the National Security Development Project. (A detailed description of the Project will be distributed as an addendum to this syllabus.) The NSD Project has been designed to complement class lectures as well as to provide participating students a significant practical experience in national security policy making process. As a byproduct of this experience, students will have an opportunity to improve their skills in combining individual responsibility with teamwork as well as practice public advocacy of their points of view.



Combs Cindy C., Terrorism in the Twenty-First Century (Fourth edition)

Davis , Edwin S., Public Policy: The Basics

Snow, Donald, National Security For a New Era (Second edition)

Snow, Donald, United States Foreign Policy: Politics Beyond the Water's Edge




1.    Examination policy

  Each student's final grade will be calculated as follows:

  a.   three examinations (including the final): (30, 30, 30) 90 questions

  b.   each correctly answered question will be worth one point.

  c.   participation in the National Security Development Project: maximum of 60 points       (plus possible 1-5 bonus points).

  d.   thus, if, from the possible maximum of 150, points a student earns 89 points or less,       he/she will have an “F”, 90-104 “D”, 105-119 “C”, 120-134 “B”, and 135-150 “A”       (bonus points, if earned, will be added to the 150 maximum).


2.    Consultations

  Students are welcome, in fact they are encouraged, to consult with me on any aspect of this   course but especially if they encounter academic difficulties. My office is located in AB1,   Room 315F, telephone ext. 1468. My office hours are 3:30 – 5:00 pm on M, TU, TH, or by   special appointment.


3.   Attendance policy. Absences from class lectures are strongly discouraged; however, for emergency purposes, each student will be permitted four absences (cuts) from class. Each additional cut will automatically lower the student's grade by one-half grade.


4.   Students are responsible for all information disseminated in class, whether or not they are present during the lecture.


5.   Under exceptional circumstances, make-up tests will be administered; however, no student will be permitted to make up two consecutive tests.


6.   Academic Honesty

  All students are expected to engage in all academic pursuits in a manner that is above reproach. Students are expected to maintain complete honesty and integrity in the academic work both in and out of the classroom.


7.   Classroom Rules of Conduct

  a.   Students are expected to behave themselves in classroom in a way which promotes their   own learning, does not interfere with the lecture in progress, and does not disturb other   students in the classroom.


  b.   Cell phones, pagers and other electronic equipment will not be permitted in class during   examinations.


  c.   Students will be excused from attending this class, including examinations, for the   observance of religious holidays, including travel for that purpose. (Religious holiday is   defined as “a holy day observed by a religion whose places of worship are exempt from   property taxation under Section 11.20, Texas Code…)


  d.   Students wishing to record lectures in this class for their own study purposes may do so,   providing they inform the instructor in advance.


  e.   Students may not bring visitors to the class without professor's prior approval.


8.   Disabilities Policy : It is the policy of Sam Houston State University that individuals otherwise qualified shall not be excluded, solely by reason of their disability, from participation in any academic program of the university. Further, they shall not be denied the benefits of these programs nor shall they be subjected to discrimination. Students with disabilities that might affect their academic performance should visit with the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities located in the Counseling Center .




I.   Organization of the course;                     Aug. 22, 24

  National Security Development Project


II.   Public Policy: Concepts and Process                 Aug. 29

  Davis , Public Policy: The Basics


III.   National Security: Policy Process

  1.   The President and the Congress                 Aug. 31, Sept. 5

    Snow (FP), pp. 89-101, 152-166. 175-182, Lecture


  2.   The National Security System                   Sept. 7, 12

    Snow (FP), pp. 101-144, Lecture


  3.   The American Experience                     Sept. 14

    Snow (NS), Ch. 3


IV.   National Security and It's Context

  1.   The International Environment                   Sept. 19

    Snow (NS), pp. 47-62, Ch. 7


  2.   Definition of National Security                   Sept. 21

    Snow (NS), pp. 159-168


FIRST EXAMINATION (30 q)                     Sept. 26


V.   An Overview of US Defense Policies Since WWII

  1.   From Truman to Bush (41)                   Sept. 28, Oct. 3

    Snow (FP), Ch. 2

    Snow (NS), Ch. 4, pp. 216-229


  2.   Clinton and Bush (43)                       Oct. 5

    Snow (FP), Ch. 3, 9 (pp. 63-73, 80-85)


  3.   Changes in the International System Since WWII           Oct. 10, 12

    Snow (NS), Ch. 9, 11


SECOND EXAMINATION (30 q)                     Oct. 17


VI.   National Security After 9/11

  1.   Terrorism: Definition, Typology                 Oct. 19, 24

    Combs, Ch. 1, 2, 4

    Snow (NS), pp. 275-284


  2.   Causes of Terrorism                       Oct. 26

    Combs, Ch. 3

    Snow (NS), pp. 284-289


  3.   Global War on Terrorism                     Oct. 31

    Snow (NS), pp. 289-302

    Combs, Ch. 10



  4.   State Terrorism                         Nov. 2

    Combs, Ch. 5


  5.   Terrorism and the Media                     Nov. 7   

    Combs, Ch. 8


THIRD EXAMINATION                         Nov. 9


VII.   National Security Development Project Presentations           Nov. 14-Dec. 7


VIII. National Security Council Assessment and Decisions