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Security, Strategy, and Statecraft

Explore the complex issues that shape the global security landscape, including consequences of military and civilian instruments for national security, foreign policy, law and diplomacy, human rights and conflict management.

FEATURED COURSES

Gain historical and contemporary perspectives of traditional, non-traditional, and emerging threats, as well as the role international organizations play in maintaining global order.

History, Strategy, and American Statecraft

This course provides students with an introduction to issues of strategy, statecraft, and decision-making, framed against the history of U.S. foreign policy. It is the first part of the two-part Kissinger Center course in history, strategy, and statecraft.

The course begins with a discussion of classic works on strategy and the role of history in policy-making; the bulk of the course then covers key strategic choices and periods in U.S. foreign policy from 1776 to the present, focusing on the post-1945 period. The course addresses subjects from the grand strategy of Washington's Farewell Address, to U.S. strategy in the early nuclear age, to decision-making surrounding the Iraq War and the U.S. response to 9/11. The course can serve as preparation for the core exam in American Foreign Policy.

Conduct of Foreign Policy

Analyzes the bureaucratic political process by which the United States decides and implements its foreign and security policies.

Drawing on decision theory and case studies, examines the key institutions involved in the National Security Council process, including the White House, the State and Defense departments and the intelligence community. Also considers the impact of Congress, the media and NGOs. Taught seminar-style, with several role-playing exercises.

Illicit Finance

This course will examine the methodologies used by criminals and terrorists to raise and move money, the tools that governments use to track and stop them, and the latest developments in the field.

Students will look at how illicit finance campaigns are being fought in the areas of terrorism, organized crime, human rights violations, and cyber-crime. The course will cover both the systemic/structural and targeted/tactical levels of the fight. At the systemic level, governments are working to lift the tide for all boats, and enhance global anti-money laundering and combating terrorist financing (AML/CFT) standards and implementation. In the targeted arena, law enforcement, intelligence, and private sector compliance officers are tracking and targeting financial flows as a means to unravel plots, uncover conspirators, and disrupt networks. At the same time, illicit actors have become more sophisticated and more resourceful in hiding and moving money. Students will learn not just what is being done but how to critically assess tools and policy efforts in the field.

International Bargaining & Negotiation

This course examines bargaining and negotiations from the theoretical and policy perspectives in international diplomacy, including the role of individual negotiators, domestic politics, cultural context, and the international environment.

The course includes an analysis of bilateral, multilateral and third-party mediation on a wide range of substantive issues. Students will consider ways in which negotiations may ameliorate conflicts of interest and identity in international politics. Numerous case studies and simulation exercises will be utilized.

LEARN FROM THE BEST

Study with world-class experts who are renowned for their scholarship, influence, and networks.

Thomas Rid

Director of the Alperovitch Institute for Cybersecurity Studies, Professor of Strategic Studies

Nina Gardner

Adjunct Lecturer in International Law


In the News

Don’t Hype the Disinformation Threat

Foreign Affairs, May, 5, 2024

Blackjack

In the Small Wars Journal, Professor Albert J. Marckwardt writes about the authorization for the use of force against Mexican cartels was introduced in Congress. 04/29/24

Q&A with SAIS’ Jonas Nahm, Co-Author of 2024 U.S. Presidential Economic Report

The breadth and depth of the Economic Report of the President…reflects the deep bench of expertise at the Council of Economic Advisers, and the federal government more broadly.

A Closer Look at the Gaza Casualty Data

Good Authority (blog), December 14, 2023. With Marc Lynch.

The Ghosts of Lebanon

Foreign Affairs, November 14, 2023.

The Political Dynamics of Disasters

Arts & Sciences Magazine, November, 2023.

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Eliot A. Cohen wrote in The Atlantic, 06/01

It’s Not Enough for Ukraine to Win. Russia Has to Lose

Eliot A. Cohen wrote in The Atlantic, 05/19

The Shortest Path to Peace

Eliot A. Cohen wrote in The Atlantic, 02/28