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Final Exams


For lack of a better topic to post on, here are my final exam questions. In both cases the students had roughly two hours to write on their choice of one of the three questions. First, Defense Statecraft:

  1. The time frame for developing new advanced weapon systems can now be measured in decades. Many defense analysts, however, have argued that we now live in an age of uncertain and unpredictable threats. What are the implications of this apparent contradiction for military procurement, doctrine, and grand strategy?
  2. Some have argued that the elevation of General David Petraeus to command of CENTCOM indicates that counter-insurgency advocates have won the day in the US Army. Consider this argument, and discuss the pros and cons of refocusing US military efforts around the problem of counter-insurgency.
  3. Compare and contrast the efforts of Iran and the United States to shape the future of Iraq. What military means have each employed to ensure a friendly government in Baghdad? How have each attempted to defeat the strategy of the other?

And then European Security:

  1. To what extent do the major institutions of European governance (NATO and the EU) complicate the trans-Atlantic relationship, and to what extent do they smooth it? Would the relationship between the United States and its European allies be easier without the institutional baggage, or do the institutions play a critical role in maintaining the Atlantic community?
  2. The struggle against trans-national terrorism has multiple facets. Consider the usefulness of both NATO and the European Union as tools in the War on Terror. What can each do? Do the organizations complement one another, or is their competition distractive?
  3. Compare and contrast the Polish and German perspectives on NATO and the European Union. What does each state hope to accomplish through membership in these organizations? How do the perspectives of the two states differ on the future of the organizations?

I should add that an acceptable answer to any given question was “This is a stupid question”, as long as the student explained why. More than one student took that approach…

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