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A History of the National Security State Through Comprehensive Exam Questions

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Detonations aboard the USS Oriskany.jpg
Scuttling of USS Oriskany, 2006. By U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Jeffrey P. Kraus – Public Domain.

So over the past month or so I’ve been tweeting out a long thread of pretty much every question that I’ve ever asked in a comprehensive exam. At Patterson, a comprehensive exam will involve eight hours of writing on five questions, followed by a one hour oral defense. Going back to about 2007, it works as a nifty little history of the national security state since the latter part of the Iraq War. As you would imagine, there are lots of early questions about counter-insurgency and the Surge, and more than a few along the way about the F-35. China and Russia steadily increase in importance, although in the early years there are a lot of “let’s project how China will do a thing, and think about what problems that causes,” sorts of questions. Towards the end the “Wars on Terror” questions become almost cynical. In any case, take a look; it’s an interesting evolution.

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