National Security Decision Making

The National Security Affairs (NSA) Department’s course on National Security Decision Making (NSDM) educates senior military officers and U.S. government civilians in the College of Naval Warfare and Naval Command College on effective decision- making and leadership on national security issues, focusing primarily at the strategic level.

U.S. Naval War College (NWC) students provide a presentation for retired Adm. Edmund Giambastiani, former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Paula Dobriansky, senior fellow for Harvard University’s JFK Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and David Chu, president of the Institute for Defense Analyses and former Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, during NWC’s National Security Decision Making (NSDM) course final exercise.
The 10-week NSDM course is part of NWC's yearlong resident program and is designed to prepare senior level joint and international officers and civilians for executive positions in large national security organizations. Top graduates of the 2016 NSDM course were bestowed the James V. Forrestal Award for Excellence in Force Planning. 160226-N-PX557-080 NEWPORT, R.I. (Feb. 26, 2016)

NSDM Focus Areas

Focus areas include strategic planning and selection of future military forces and their potential use as one tool of national power; the nature of economic, political, organizational, and behavioral factors affecting national security decisions within complex national security organizations, with particular emphasis on the Department of Defense and its role in the interagency process; enhancing strategic thinking skills and understanding of the role, formulation, and implementation of U.S. national security strategies; and exploring the unique challenges that characterize leadership at the strategic level.

NSA Department’s Course

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NSDM Course

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Department of National Security Affairs (NSA)

The Department of National Security Affairs (NSA) at the U.S. Naval War College is one of the nation’s largest and most vibrant graduate teaching departments in national and international security studies. Our educational programs are rooted in both intellectual rigor and an understanding of the imperative for professional relevance.

The NSA Department offers distinctive courses of study within each of the college's two master's degree programs. These 8-credit courses are each core curricular requirements within these programs that provide all students with a broad grounding in contemporary security studies with multidisciplinary foundations in international relations, regional studies, foreign policy analysis, leadership studies, and other cognate fields. Members of the NSA faculty also develop and teach a wide array of elective courses in their areas of expertise.

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