SEST-550 Technology and Security
Spring for 2017-2018
To understand the current national security challenges to the United States in the early twenty first century, it is necessary to have a better understanding the military technological challenges of the past. Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the early nineteenth century, science and technology has had an increasingly profound affect on the nature of contemporary war. In turn, the major powers of the past and today have had to struggle to adapt their national security strategies and their respective military establishments to several “revolutions in military affairs” that have emerged over the last two centuries. Those states that have not effectively adapted to these major changes in the military and industrial technological environment have often suffered a catastrophic failure of their national security strategy.

This course will examine from the perspective of the last two centuries that followed the Industrial Revolution, the impact of scientific and technological change on the global national security environment. Specifically this course will examine the hypothesis that there have been several “revolutions in military affairs” in both the nineteenth and twentieth centuries that emerged as competitive ways of war that profoundly altered the global security environment. Particular emphasis will be given as to how the United States has or has not successfully adapted to the periods of rapid military technological change that emerged during the nineteenth and twentieth century and how these lessons might be applied to our current twenty first century global security environment.

The course will start with an overview of the “revolutions in military affairs” or ways of war that have emerged over the last two centuries.
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
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