Spring 2017

National Security Decision Making

Listed in: History, as HIST-362

Moodle site: Course


Steven N. Simon (Section 01)


This course will afford students the opportunity to experience the process of national security policy-making through role-play and intensive interaction mediated by visitors with extensive White House experience and direct involvement in significant strategic decisions. The first part of the course will explore the national security decision-making process instituted under the National Security Act of 1947, its subsequent evolution, and the varied roles that national security advisors have played.  The second part will focus on specific challenges that would trigger National Security Council meetings at various levels in the “real world,” ranging from acute crises to chronic problems that might create a crisis in some plausible future. Over the course of the seminar, students will rotate through the different roles, so that each participant will come to grips with the full range of factors that shape policymakers’ choices and, ultimately, national security policy. One class meeting per week.Limited to 18 students. Not open to first-year students. Spring semester. John J. McCloy Visiting Professor Simon.

If Overenrolled: Preference given first to history majors and then by seniority.


Attention to Speaking, Attention to Writing


2019-20: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2017, Spring 2018