Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Courses: Global Security Issues

The Director taught Strategic Theory in the first semester, and this semester he's teaching Global Security Issues. In the first semester, we learned the theoretical framework of strategy. This semester, we're applying the theory to regional security issues. These are the topics we'll be discussing this semester.

  • Thoughts about Post-Cold War Security
  • United States Global Strategy and Perspectives
  • Russian Security Policies and Objectives
  • European Security Challenges
  • Anglo-American "Special Relationship"
  • Political Islam
  • Security in the Levant
  • Gulf Security
  • Japan and International Security
  • China’s Role in Asia-Pacific security Arrangements
  • Tensions in the Sub-Continent
  • Salient Security Issues in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Water as a Security Issue
  • Global Security Review and Discussion

    As with last semester, the Director's format for evaluation is a PowerPoint presentation and memorandum on one of the topics, an in-class essay (mid-term exam). I was able to forcibly snag the presentation on Gulf Security - a topic for which I'm uniquely qualified among my classmates - and will presenting with CN Slapshot. That'll be interesting, because CN Slapshot and I disagree on pretty much everything. I'm going to suggest to CN Slapshot that he take Iraq and Iran (which will give him plenty to talk about), and I take the GCC states (most of which I've visited), and we conclude in the middle.

    As I mentioned earlier, I was playing catch-up as far as the books that I should have completed prior to taking Strategic Theory. That leaves me at a bit of an advantage this semester, because it means that I've read the portion of the recommended reading list that was focused on contemporary global security issues. I'll still have plenty of work and reading to do, but this is a topic where I'm already pretty strong, so I expect to do quite well in this course.

    We also have some new folks in this course, a few Politics and International Relations (PIR) postgraduates, and one guy in Rural Development. We Strategists certainly have a well-established group dynamic, so it will be interesting to see how the dynamic shifts (or doesn't) with the addition of some new folks in the discussions. That said, I think a few of them may have been horrified a few days ago when they witnessed a lively discussion between me and the Director on one side, and CN Chatti on the other, about the relative legal merits of the Iranian nuclear program.

    Should be an interesting sequence.
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