SEST-705 Working on the Hill & National Security
Spring for 2017-2018
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Members of Congress have three basic roles; representing their constituents, passing laws, which appropriates funds to run the government, and overseeing the Administration, including the implementation of policies to keep our country safe. Consequently the role of Congress in national security is vitally important, but not always understood.
The Constitution provides that responsibility for foreign and defense policy be divided between the executive and legislative branches. There has been a “struggle” between the President and Congress for the more than two hundred years over national security issues. This competition between the branches continues to intensify in the twenty-first century as Congress seems more determined than ever to play a greater role in national security policy.
It is essential that anyone contemplating a career in national security understand Congress' role in development and implementation of national security policy.
This course will examine the constitutional basis of congressional authority, how that authority has evolved over the years, and the state of congressional power and activity in the national security arena.
The course is largely devoted to recent and current issues, their lessons for the future and examines four themes:

The powers and structure of Congress, including the economic component of national security spending;

The evolution of Congressional powers and interaction with the executive branch;

The development of informal methods of influence, especially Congressional oversight, by Congress; and

An in-depth examination of current national security issues.
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
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