Theater Security Decision Making

Theater Security Decision Making (TSDM) is designed to engage intermediate-rank students in the complexities of today's national and international security environment with a strong emphasis on regional security issues. The course offers a broad interdisciplinary curriculum in contemporary security studies that encompasses a diverse spectrum of regional and global issues and perspectives.

U.S. Naval War College students in the National Security Affairs department participate in the Theater Security Decision Making Final Exercise in the college's Spruance auditorium in Newport, Rhode Island.
U.S. Naval War College students in the National Security Affairs department participate in the Theater Security Decision Making Final Exercise in the college's Spruance auditorium in Newport, Rhode Island. The final exercise for the course is a competition among student seminar teams with the winning group presented the Adm. James G. Stavridis Award for Excellence in Theater Strategic Planning. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Jess Lewis/released)

About the Course

This eight-credit hour courses provide a broad interdisciplinary foundation in contemporary security studies including international relations, regional studies, foreign policy analysis and decision-making. The curriculum consists of two sub-courses and a culminating exercise:

  • Security Strategies
  • Policy Analysis
  • TSDM Final Exercise (FX)

Capstone FX

At the end of TSDM, each seminar acts as a geographic combatant command working group to produce and present a capstone FX. Student seminars simulate the role of a theater strategic planning team for a geographic combatant command (GCC). Each seminar develops and presents an executive-level strategic estimate of the near-term regional security environment for one of five GCCs, the main tenants of a theater strategy that advances U.S. national interests, a priority list of capabilities needed to advance that strategy, and an implementation case study.

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