University of Notre Dame

National Security Policy in US History

HIST 10750: National Security Policy in US History

In the aftermath of 9/11, with American troops deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq, and concern about the nuclear ambitions of such nations as North Korea and Iran, “national security” is the phrase that is often discussed and is of crucial importance to informed citizens. This course will examine national security policy: what it is, how it is formulated and executed, and how US national security policies have evolved since the 1890s. Using a variety of readings and films such as Casablanca and Dr. Strangelove, this course will examine US national security policies from the late 1890s through two world wars, the interwar period, the Cold War, the post-Cold War years, and up to the current post-9/11 world. We will identify continuities and departures in historic US national security policies, and consider the roles of policymakers and their critics in a self-governing society.