About the NSDM Course
The National Security Affairs (NSA) curriculum provides a broad, interdisciplinary foundation in contemporary security studies including the areas of international relations, regional studies, foreign policy analysis, and decision-making. Our course concludes with students conducting a structured assessment designed to develop national strategies for the “military after next.” The course is designed to broaden strategic perspectives while fostering critical thinking and analytic skills that will have lasting professional relevance long into the future. At the end of NSDM, each seminar acts as a national strategic planning working group to produce and present a capstone final exercise (FX).
More on the Capstone Final Exercises Click to Open
Each FX includes an executive-level global strategic estimate of the future security environment over the next 20 years; a national security strategy and national military strategy that advances and defends U.S. national interests; operating concepts that describe how the future force will operate; a joint force structure within budget guidance; and an implementation case.
The course offers a broad interdisciplinary curriculum in contemporary security studies that encompasses a diverse spectrum of global and regional issues and perspectives, but with particular emphasis on U.S. decision making challenges and processes at the national strategic level.
Focus areas include: Click to Open
- Strategic planning and the 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 the understanding of the role, formulation, and implementation of U.S. national security strategies;
- Exploring the unique challenges that characterize decision-making at the strategic level
Students attending NSDM
Our students are mid-career national security professionals including senior-rank officers from across all of the U.S. armed services, military officers from more than sixty partner countries, and civilian officials from a variety of U.S. government agencies.
Department of National Security Affairs (NSA)
The NSA department is one of three core departments at NWC and offers two courses that lead to the master's degree: national security decision making (NSDM) for senior-level students and theater security decision making (TSDM) for intermediate-level students. These eight-credit hour courses provide a broad interdisciplinary foundation in contemporary security studies, including: international relations, regional studies, foreign policy analysis, and decision making.More on NSA Department
Faculty at NSA
Our faculty provide professional education to mid- and senior-career students who are military and civilian national security professionals from the United States and more than 60 partner countries.See NSA Faculty