Meet with your advisor and review the class schedule.
Before scheduling your classes
Course schedules and required books by semester
Planning ahead for next semester? Check which defense and strategic studies (DSS) courses will be available and the books you'll need.
Defense and Strategic Studies (DSS) courses
DSS 601 Seminar on Nuclear Strategy and Arms Control
This seminar examines the development of U.S. nuclear deterrence theory and policy. The seminar will study the strategic nuclear balance, including specific problems and programs, and the strategic doctrine, concepts, and objectives of the nuclear powers. Nuclear arms control, including the processes of decision making and negotiating, will be examined, with an emphasis on comparing theory and practice.
DSS 630 International Law and Global Security
This is a survey course designed to introduce students to the core principles and defining features of the international legal system, and to the changing role of international law in contemporary national and global security. Emphasis will be placed on the applicability of international law to armed conflict, counterterrorism, and containing the spread of weapons of mass destruction.
DSS 631 International Negotiations
This course combines the basics of negotiation theory and the examination of select international negotiation case studies with three practical "hands-on" negotiation exercises. It will explore various techniques for diagnosing the structure of a negotiation and identifying potential barriers to agreement. Case studies considered include: Negotiation of 1994 Framework Agreement with North Korea, George Mitchell's mediation in Northern Ireland resulting in the Good Friday Accords, the secret Oslo discussions leading to Israeli recognition of the PLO, The Louisiana Purchase, the Congress of Vienna, the Panama Canal negotiations, and the Egyptian-Israeli Armistice. The course is conducted as a series of interactive seminars including three simulated negotiations.
DSS 632 Seminar on International Security Affairs
Examines international and regional security problems and policies from both a regional and global perspective. It treats strategies and security problems from a broader viewpoint than the Seminar on Strategy and Arms Control, covering national interests, alliance relationships, intervention, regional threats, and the security problems of other states, including China and Russia.
DSS 633 Analysis of International Security Politics
This course deals with the methods and techniques of collecting and assessing information for use in the study of international security politics, problems, and policies. It explores the measures of relative power among nations and the manner in which such power or lack of it shapes the capability of a nation effectively to act in the international sphere.
DSS 634 The Geopolitics of Conflict and Accommodation
The application of the techniques and understanding lent by the geography to the illumination of the physical and social environment in which politics, strategy, and war take place. The relationship among geography, strategy, and politics is studied through the examination of both historical and contemporary circumstances where geography has intruded on politics or politics on geography. Students will be introduced to the geopolitical concepts of sea power, land power and air power, and these concepts will be critiqued in light of recent technological changes in warfare.
DSS 700 Strategy and U.S. Defense Policy
This course provides an examination of the basic concepts and issues of strategy, deterrence, defense, and arms control, and an overview of American defense policies, programs, and problems since World War II. Comparative strategic concepts, policies, and objectives are covered. Proliferation and measures of counter-proliferation, including arms control are examined on an introductory basis.
DSS 702 Seminar on Regional Security Problems
This seminar provides an advanced and in-depth analysis of selected contemporary regional security problems outside of Western Europe. It focuses on a few critical conflict situations, analyzes threats to regional and to U.S. interests, and examines alternative strategic policies and actions, including military force requirements, for the states involved.
DSS 703 Science, Technology, and Defense Policy
This course will cover four broad topics important to advanced work in DSS: basic principles and applications of defense science and technology; such as nuclear weapons effects, ballistic missiles, and strategic defenses; the influence of science and technology on defense programs and policies; the role of the scientific and technical community in defense policy; and current issues of defense science and technology.
DSS 704 Arms Control: Theory and Practice
An examination of contending arms control theories and concepts as tested by postwar and contemporary experience, bilateral and multilateral. There will be in-depth analysis of American and Russian approaches to arms control, as well as consideration of the arms control policies of other states. The course will study scientific and technical problems in arms control, including those of R and D, testing, production, and deployment; arms negotiations, and issues in verification and compliance.
DSS 705 NATO Security Issues
After an examination of the history of NATO policies, defense policies, and security issues, emphasis will be placed on analysis of current NATO security problems and options, including specific military defense alternatives. The individual security policies of the U.S., UK, FRG, and France will be studied, along with problems on the northern and southern flanks, and policies for outside-NATO-area security problems. Literature on the future of NATO would be included.
DSS 706 Russian Military Strategy
The first part of this seminar will review and study Soviet military policy, doctrine, strategy, and programs from the 1950s through the 1980s. It will consider problems of identifying, interpreting, and analyzing Soviet strategic policies and programs - in essence, problems of U.S. intelligence and threat assessment. The second part of the seminar will extend this study to Post-USSR Russia and current directions of Russian strategic policy both for territories of the former USSR and beyond. Particular emphasis will be placed on military reform, continuity and change in military policy, and the status and role of the Russian military forces.
DSS 707 Seminar on Congress, National Security, and Weapons of Mass Destruction
Advanced research, study, and analysis of defense programs, policies, and the policy and budget processes, both within the Congress and the Department of Defense. Included also will be the comparative analysis of various studies, analyses, and critiques of U.S. defense programs and plans, and of regional and global WMD capabilities. Department of Defense administration and organization will also be studied.
DSS 708 Seminar on Contemporary Security Issues in Russia
This seminar addresses on an advanced level current developments in Russia and other states of the former Soviet Union as they bear on issues of national and international security and on U.S. security policy-making. The approach will combine analysis of internal developments related to military power and policy, and of evolving international policies, with strategic and geopolitical analysis.
DSS 709 Seminar on Space Policy and Security
This course examines the extent to which spacepower doctrine, concepts, and operations influence national security strategy and international security. It identifies key space policy issues facing the United States and places them in the larger context of technological advances and a changing international strategic environment. The course will briefly examine the historical and policy foundations for the U.S. and international space programs and activities, including space policy evolution and international space law and treaties. It will then address current issues facing U.S. space programs, including efforts to reorganize national security space activities, and current international efforts to develop "rules of the road" for space activities. The course will also address strategic choices facing other nations in space capabilities, including continued dependence on U.S., European, and Russian space capabilities, developing indigenous space programs, and reliance on commercial space capabilities. Conflicts over dual-use technologies, such as space launch, remote sensing, satellite navigation, and communications, will be examined for their implications for such topics as spectrum management, and more broadly, for international security. Students will have an opportunity to apply insights gained from their readings and class discussion in a future wargame that includes both space and terrestrial crises and involves student team of players.
DSS 710 Seminar on International Terrorism and Security
This seminar will attempt to define and examine security issues related to terrorism and low-intensity conflict today. The origins of modern terrorism will be explored and terrorism will be put in the context of a strategy to achieve political ends. Case studies of terrorism in various regions, e.g., the Middle East, Europe and the United States, will show some of the current empirical evidence of global terrorist activities. The impact terrorism has on liberal societies and their ability to defend themselves will be examined in the context of counterterrorism strategies.
DSS 711 The Rise of the United States to Preeminence
This course will discuss the political development of the United States and its rise to great power, and then superpower status. Students will study a number of major U.S. wars and the political circumstances surrounding those conflicts. The course will address why the United States successfully developed into a world power and how its grand strategy changed over time. It will ask what lessons today's strategists can draw from the experiences of their predecessors.
DSS 712 American National Security Policy
This course evaluates the major actors and components of American national security policy. America's traditional national interests are studied--accenting World War II, the Cold War, and the present day. The course also addresses the circumstances of major foreign policy crises, such as the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the causes of successful and unsuccessful American interventions during the Cold War and after. Additionally, it considers America's foreign and defense policy in the post-Cold War world, and particular emphasis is placed on American policies toward other great powers such as China, Japan, and Russia, as well as in contemporary foreign and defense policy crises such as the war on terrorism.
DSS 713 Intelligence, Counterintelligence, and Covert Action
This course examines the role of intelligence and counterintelligence in the formulation and execution of state national security policies in democratic governments, and the impact of intelligence operations on international relations. The intelligence process is examined including the problems and opportunities associated with targeting or the tasking of intelligence agencies, the media of intelligence collection, the difficulties of analysis and evaluation, and counterintelligence. Additionally, covert action and paramilitary activities are studied with emphasis on the manner by which successes and failures have influenced military and foreign policy outcomes.
DSS 714 Seminar on Strategic Thought
There is a rich literature on strategy and warfare, and even the oldest surviving works on strategy are arguably relevant to contemporary political leaders. This course will examine the ideas of strategic thinkers who lived in historical periods ranging from the ancient world to the present. Students will read works by (and in some cases, about) such figures as Sun Tzu, Niccolo Machiavelli, Napoleon Bonaparte, Baron Antoine Henri de Jomini, Carl von Clausewitz, Thucydides, Thomas Schelling, and Herman Kahn. Students will discuss how these thinkers have influenced strategic studies, and how military-strategic thought has developed over time.
DSS 715 Grand Strategy
This seminar examines the role of grand strategy in international security. Emphasis is placed on the nature and role of grand strategy, and the major systemic and domestic factors that influence grand strategy. The nature of grand strategy will be introduced historically, and the grand strategies of the major world powers prior to and during World Wars I and II, the Cold War, and post-Cold War period, will be studied.
DSS 716 Understanding Military Operations
This seminar delineates selected past, current, and future sea, air, space, and land conflicts into their constituent parts in order to examine the interaction of political objectives and military doctrine. It will specifically seek to explore how the political objectives and military doctrine influence technological development and military innovation. To meet these objectives, the seminar will examine a variety of international political and doctrinal problems that have had a major impact on American national security policy.
DSS 717 Small Wars, Imperial Conflicts, and Guerrilla Warfare
This seminar examines some of the many forms of warfare that differ from "symmetrical" conflicts between great powers, with special attention to how great powers fight such wars and why they succeed or fail in bringing them to a satisfactory conclusion. Students will read a variety of literature written by authors such as C. E. Calwell, Victor Davis Hanson, and Colin Gray, as well as insurgents such as Che Guevara. The class will include a number of historical case studies, with an emphasis on the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries.
DSS 718 Causes of War
This seminar explores the causes of warfare through the lens of human evolution, psychological approaches, economic system, ideology, and the international system, with the intention of understanding the strengths and limitations of each level of analysis. From that foundation, the seminar applies each level of analysis to the study of the origins of particularly significant wars: the Peloponnesian, Crimean, Seven Years', Korean, and Vietnam Wars, as well as World War I and World War II.
DSS 719 Strategic Culture
Provides an introduction to using strategic culture as an analytical approach to understanding the cultural, religious, historical, and leadership sources of state and non-state actor behavior, with special reference to issues related to weapons of mass destruction. The concept of strategic culture captures domestic sources of state behavior, and offers an alternative or supplemental explanatory framework to the prevailing realist and constructionist theories of international relations. Examines the cultural context for applying theories of deterrence and dissuasion, and will involve a survey of thinking and analysis on strategic culture. from both theoretical and policy perspectives, as well as an exposure to the framework and methodology of strategic cultural analysis. Several key strategic cultures will serve as case studies.
DSS 720 Internship Training in DSS PolicyPrerequisite: permission of instructor and acceptance by employer.
Internship experience and training in defense and arms control policy making with a U.S. Government department or agency, a Washington, D.C., based defense policy research institute, or institution of comparable professional experience, including preparation of a written report or research paper based upon the internship. May be repeated to a maximum of 6 hours toward degree. Graded Pass/Not Pass only.
DSS 721 Missile Defense, Proliferation and Contemporary Warfare
Examines the role of missile defense in the national security policies, programs, and military doctrines of the United States. Emphasis on exploring the evolution of missile defense within the broader context of contemporary American deterrence and defense policy.
DSS 722 Emerging Strategic Challenges
For the purpose of this seminar, strategic challenges are defined as those emerging trends or security threats--political, economic, or military--that could fundamentally alter the present pattern of interstate relations or the core principles of U.S. foreign and defense policy. Examples include a possible cascade of proliferation resulting in 20 or 30 nuclear-armed states, a single terrorist with a nuclear weapon, or a resurgent Russia or ascendant China rising to a level of a peer competitor of the United States. Seminar reading and discussions will focus on: 1) Examining the causes, effects, and responses to these potential strategic challenges, especially the spread of weapons of mass destruction to state and non-state actors, both terrorists and enablers such as the A.Q. Kahn network; 2) Assessing assumptions, policies and capabilities for dealing with these challenges and how the concept of dissuasion, deterrence, and defense must adapt to the new security environment; and 3) Exploring how best to hedge against strategic uncertainties and how best to shape the future of the nuclear enterprise to promote the expansion of nuclear energy globally while reducing the risks of proliferation.
DSS 723 Counterproliferation
Explores the challenges posed by nuclear and biological weapons in the hands of state and non-state actors. Students will investigate why various actors pursue these weapons, why some give them up, why others refuse to give them up, and the assorted instruments of national power that may be employed in the development of a national strategy to combat these weapons. Students will consider both the national security and homeland security aspects of these challenges. The subject matter will provide a vehicle for refining critical analytical skills; both verbal and written. The course will stress the refinement of each student's analytical and problem solving abilities as part of their development as national security strategists.
DSS 724 Leadership in National Security Policy
Addresses the issue of national security policy leadership. Students will investigate the critical topics, including the components of good leadership, and the consequences of leadership failures. Speakers from the national security community will participate in order to explain the leadership challenges they faced in their careers. The subject matter will provide a vehicle for refining student leadership skills as part of their development as national security strategists.
DSS 725 Seminar on Instruments of State Power
Instruments of state power encompass a broad range of tools--diplomatic, economic, intelligence, scientific and military--at the disposal of the state in the formulation and implementation of national security policy. Understanding the foundations, applications, and integration of these instruments is essential for the successful practitioner or scholar of security affairs. This seminar will focus on the individual instruments of U.S. power and their interrelationships in the conduct of foreign and defense policy. The class will employ case studies to assess the role of these instruments and the success and failure of their application.
DSS 726 Chinese Military Power
This course focuses on the rising military power of China (its motivation and implications), Chinese objectives in Asia and their relationship to its military buildup, the impact of the Chinese military buildup on the military and deterrence requirements of the United States and our Asia Allies, the prospect and outcome of a military confrontation between China and Taiwan, including potential involvement of the United States and, in light of the potentially catastrophic consequences of a major war in the Far East, issues relating to the deterrence of China. The focus of the course will be on relatively recent developments--1990 to the present because of the dramatic shift in Chinese military capabilities, doctrine and objectives during this period.
DSS 727 Chemical and Biological Warfare: Global and Community Perspectives
This course will help the student develop a global perspective on factors that may lead to the development and deployment of weapons of mass destruction, specifically the chemical and biological warfare agents. The introduction will consist of a history of the use of chemical and biological warfare, both on the traditional and the asymmetric battle fields. The biology and toxicology of the agents will be presented at a basic level sufficient to understand the development of use of countermeasures. Community preparedness in the form of immunizations, prophylaxis, and facility hardening will be addressed, followed by presentations on community risk analysis, response planning and decontamination of personnel and facilities. Class discussions will include (1) the role different national agencies (DoD, Homeland Security, state governments, etc.) play in protecting the populace (2) the effectiveness of recent homeland security efforts toward protecting communities from the effects of chemical and biological warfare agents (3) and global developments in religion and politics which impact the potential use of chemical and biological warfare, including globalism and jihadism.
DSS 728 Terrorism: Advanced Research TopicsPrerequisite: DSS 710 and permission of instructor.
An intense, research-based exploration of terrorism problems, patterns, and trends as these confront societies and governments in key regions of the globe, especially North America, Latin America, Western Europe and the Maghreb.
DSS 730 Cyber Conflict and International Security
This course addresses emerging international relations, policy, doctrine, strategy, and operational issues associated with Computer Network Attack (CNA), Computer Network Defense (CND), and Computer Network Exploitation (CNE)--collectively referred to as cyber warfare. It provides students with a comprehensive perspective and enhances their knowledge of cyber warfare conducted by both state and non-state actors.
DSS 733 US Intelligence in an Increasingly Dynamic WorldPrerequisite: DSS 713.
This course assesses how specific contemporary cultural and technological issues affect the United States intelligence community and its mission to support US policymakers and war fighters. Specific attention will be paid to the evolving role of intelligence analysis, the consequences of intelligence failures, and the stewardship of an apolitical intelligence apparatus in a politically-charged policy environment. This class will seek to improve the understanding of the US intelligence community through comparative studies of foreign intelligence services, including their contrasting cultural foundations and ethical norms. Students also will examine specific technological advances, focusing on national security threats, intelligence opportunities, and associated ethical questions for our society.
DSS 737 Advanced Studies in Chemical and Biological WarfarePrerequisite: DSS 727.
This course builds on elements of DSS 727, Chemical and Biological Warfare: Global and Community Perspectives. The purpose of the course is to allow the student an opportunity to delve more deeply into a specific aspect of the field that is of great interest to the student. Subjects that were covered in the earlier course that might be considered for in-depth review include decontamination, pertinent treaties and conventions, weapons monitoring, dangers presented by industrial chemicals, and historical analysis of the use of chemical/biological weapons. Additional topics that might be considered are the natural epidemiology of diseases like tularemia, plague or anthrax, or risk assessments for potential chemical/biological weapons used by specific nations or sub-national groups. Each student will choose a separate subject to explore.
DSS 740 Ethics of Weapons of Mass Destruction
This seminar examines the wide-ranging moral issues associated with weapons of mass destruction (WMD). It highlights the key moral dilemmas associated with the decision to develop, acquire, maintain, employ, or dispose of WMD. It situates WMD moral discourse in the context of both standard ethical paradigms pertaining to the conduct of individuals in society as well as those paradigms associated with the regulation of violence in armed conflict, in both their theoretical and practical dimensions.
DSS 750 Security Challenges in the Americas
This seminar addresses contemporary security and defense challenges throughout Latin America and the Caribbean region, focusing on policy options and choices relative to US interests. Online discussions and chat sessions will apply theoretical concepts in international security, the policy-making process and roles of key actors, as well as strategic analysis to assess the struggle between traditional political institutions and dynamic entities that challenge legitimate state actions. In this clash, traditional actors seek to enforce the rule of law, while their opponents employ organized and political violence as strategies to achieve their objectives.
DSS 794 Active In Research
Students who have completed all coursework and are only working on their research component may register for this course. The course is assessed a $600 supplemental course fee and allows the following: access to the library including online services, access to computer services and Missouri State email, and scheduled meetings and access to DSS professors. Course is for zero credit hours and is graded "P" (pass) or "W" (student discontinues participation in the course and is dropped from the course).
DSS 795 Seminar: CWMD Graduate Fellows ColloquiumPrerequisite: permission of instructor and active US security clearance.
This is the capstone course of the National Defense University (NDU) CWMD Fellowship Program. Its purpose is to provide (NDU) CWMD Fellows occasion to: interact with other CWMD Fellows at the classified level; reflect upon and synthesize broad themes encountered in program coursework; appreciate the complexities associated with DoD's CWMD challenges in an interagency context; and acquire unique professional tools that will facilitate their success as CWMD practitioners in the United States government.
DSS 796 Directed Reading and Research in Defense and Strategic StudiesPrerequisite: permission of instructor.
Individually tailored directed readings or research for bibliographical purposes; for improvement of research skills; for the purposes of a broader background of knowledge (e.g., in areas not covered by seminars, such as classical writings on strategy, and on the art of warfare historically or in the American experience); for more depth in selected areas of specialization; and/or to help meet the non-thesis MS degree research requirement. May be repeated to a maximum of 9 hours toward degree.
DSS 797 Special Topics
Special topics may be offered as specific important issues, which are not adequately covered by regular seminars, arise; when Distinguished Guest seminars and work-shops can be planned ahead of time; or when visiting faculty wish to offer specialized courses not in the curriculum. May be repeated to a maximum of 6 hours, as topics change.
DSS 798 Seminar on Contemporary Defense Issues
This seminar will address important contemporary defense and international security issues and may be offered to develop areas of study that are insufficiently covered by regular seminars, or when distinguished guest faculty or speakers wish to offer a specialized seminar not provided by the curriculum. May be repeated to a maximum of 6 hours, as topics change.
DSS 799 ThesisPrerequisite: completion of DSS course requirements for MS degree (30 hours minimum).
Independent research and study connected with preparation of thesis. Graded Pass/Not Pass only.
DSS 801 Advanced Nuclear Strategy, Deterrence and Arms Control
It is always safer and cheaper to deter a war rather than to wage war. However, as a practitioner of strategy, one must understand the theory of deterrence before one can begin to apply a strategy of deterrence. Today's strategists are working in a dynamic and multipolar environment. They will need to devise various and flexible approaches of deterrence across the strategic spectrum; adapting to diverse opponents, threatscapes, and milieus. This course explores deterrence theory, doctrine, strategy, and application across a spectrum of environments. It provides students with a practitioner's perspective of nuclear deterrence and cross-domain deterrence in the 21st century and enhances their knowledge of deterrence theory and application from the nation-state perspective. Finally, this course will expose students to [national] grand strategy development as well as deterrence theory methodology and application in various domains and environments to include nuclear deterrence, deterrence in space and cyberspace, and deterrence of rogue states and terrorist organizations. This course will explore these and other issues related to deterrence and national security in the 21st century. It is meant to present the complex topic of "deterrence theory." Students are encouraged to consider the spectrum of alternative points of view reviewed in the course material. The first block will introduce the basics of deterrence and the concept of nuclear deterrence. The second block will explore 21st century deterrence methods through the kaleidoscope of threats and environments to include nuclear, outer space, cyberspace, terrorism, conventional forces, and diplomacy. In the final block, students will apply 21st century deterrence theory by crafting and presenting a short opinion paper, gaming deterrence and escalation control strategy, and garnering the perspective of deterrence thinkers and doers. During this course, students will gain and demonstrate an understanding of: 1) the Ends-Ways-Means of nation-state deterrence strategy; 2) the characteristics and methods of deterrence across the operational spectrum; 3) the evolution of nuclear deterrence and the strategic triad; 4) the methods and potential impact of adversary deterrence, how deterrence can fail, and the consequences of deterrence failure.
DSS 832 Advanced Survey and Writing in International Security Affairs
This is a required course for doctoral students. It is strongly recommended that doctoral students take DSS 832 during their first or second semester in the doctoral program. This course provides an overview of developments in the realm of international security since the end of the Cold War. It seeks to equip the students with an understanding of key issues in contemporary international security and enhance their ability to analyze these issues using various theoretical and empirical tools. It also seeks to strengthen student writing and briefing skills, with a particular focus on the particular style of professional writing and briefing most useful for students intending to advance their careers in government service or other professional positions in the field. This doctoral-level course will review key issues in contemporary international relations, including: the causes of war; the return of great power competition since the end of the Cold War; security issues in regional theaters, including Asia, Europe, the Middle East and South America; efforts to combat weapons of mass destruction, terrorism and proliferation; arms control, etc. Students will have an opportunity to practice and perfect their analytic and writing skills in these subject areas. In dedicated "Writing Skills Seminars," the writing instructor will review best practices and highlight skills that can help students to become more efficient and effective writers and briefers. These seminars will cover the most common formats and key components of written communications and briefings on national-security issues. The writing instructor also will offer 1:1 writing tutorials to each student, dedicated to improving early drafts of their course papers. A key goal of the writing and briefing portions of the course are to help students strengthen their writing and briefing skills prior to undertaking their Professional Doctoral Capstone Project.
DSS 896 Doctoral Capstone Project: Advanced Tutorial Course on Deterrence Theory and Policy
This course is intended for doctoral students. It is an advanced tutorial that involves, reading, research and writing with a selected professor. The purpose of the course is to help guide and prepare the doctoral student throughout the process of the student's Professional Doctoral Capstone Project, from its beginning to the final presentation before the student's Doctoral Committee. This course is individually tailored by the doctoral student and a selected professor for this purpose. It is the responsibility of the student to request that a particular professor serve in this capacity; DSS will not select the professor for the student. The selected professor and student will agree on the specific national security issue to be addressed by the student, and they will work together to the completion of the Doctoral Capstone Project over the course of two semesters of DSS 896. The selected professor will serve as the Chairperson of the student's three-person Doctoral Committee. DSS 896 will be repeated twice, for a minimum and maximum of 6 hours credit toward meeting the doctoral degree requirements. It is strongly recommended that doctoral students take DSS 896 during the final two semesters of their doctoral program, and that the student request the participation of the professor during the prior semester.