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MILS570 - Seminar in Asymmetrical Warfare

Course Details

Course Code: MILS570 Course ID: 3239 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Graduate

This course is an in-depth seminar in asymmetrical warfare in relation to the U.S. military history and operational experience. Students explore the changing nature of asymmetrical warfare in terms of current theory, conjecture, and definition. Key issues of asymmetry and adaptation are assessed in relation to insurgency, counterinsurgency force doctrine, and action-reaction-counteraction cycle. Special emphasis is on the value of approaches that employ innovative tactics, weapons, or technologies across the spectrum of military operations.

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
02/24/20 - 07/31/20 08/03/20 - 09/27/20 Summer 2020 Session I 8 Week session
05/25/20 - 10/30/20 11/02/20 - 12/27/20 Fall 2020 Session I 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

After successfully completing this course, you will be able to:

CO-1: Discriminate "unconventional operations" within the larger scope of high-intensity conventional warfare and debate how asymmetry is applied within the new strategic reality.

CO-2: Critique the application of special operations forces and their preparedness to deal with an adaptive, cunning, and typically asymmetric enemy.

CO-3: Evaluate the history and missions of special operations forces and role within the asymmetric warfare environment.

CO-4: Assess the origins and most common elements of insurgency and revolution using theories and frameworks and evaluate specific groups of insurgents, terrorists, and revolutionaries.

CO-5: Integrate aspects of joint warfare and its future in light of technological advances, the information age, non-state military threats, rogue regimes, and clashes of culture between regions.

The course grade is based on the following assessments:

Discussion Forums – 20 percent

Each week, a discussion question is provided and posts should reflect an assimilation of the readings. Students are required to provide a substantive initial post by Thursday at 11:55 pm ET and respond to 2 or more classmates by Sunday 11:55 pm ET. Forum posts are graded on timeliness, relevance, knowledge of the weekly readings, and the quality of original ideas.

Research Question, Purpose Statement, and Literature Review Exercise – 15 percent

The components of this assignment include a research question, a purpose statement, and a literature view of at least 6 sources, two of which must be peer-reviewed. The specific research question should relate to a general topic in the course. 6-8 pages.

Research Paper – 35 percent

Adding to the 6-8 page assignment in Week Two, the research paper should be at least 10 additional pages of analysis of your topic, not including the cover page, the reference list, and any appendices.

Final Assignment – 30 percent

This assignment is a take-home essay assignment of 4 questions, 2-3 pages each, to test knowledge and assimilation of the course objectives. The exclusive use of required texts and readings from this course is mandatory.

NameGrade %
Forums 20.00 %
Week 1 Forum 2.50 %
Week 2 Forum 2.50 %
Week 3 Forum 2.50 %
Week 4 Forum 2.50 %
Week 5 Forum 2.50 %
Week 6 Forum 2.50 %
Week 7 Forum 2.50 %
Week 8 Forum 2.50 %
Research Question 15.00 %
Research Question 15.00 %
Research Paper 35.00 %
Research Paper 35.00 %
Final Assignment 30.00 %
Final Assignment 30.00 %

Required Course Textbooks

The required texts for this course are:

Insurgents, Raiders, and Bandits: How Masters of Irregular Warfare Have Shaped Our World, John Arguila, Ivan R Dee Press, 2011. (ISBN-13: 978-1566638326)

Uncomfortable Wars Revisited, John T. Fishel & Max Manwaring, University of Oklahoma Press, 2008. (ISBN-13: 978-0808139883)

Book Title:Course materials will change for August & beyond start dates. Please email for an updated booklist.
Publication Info:Open Web Sources
Book Title:Uncomfortable Wars Revisited - e-book available in the APUS Online Library
Publication Info:University of Oklahoma Press
Unit Cost:$31.35
Book Title:Insurgents, Raiders and Bandits - e-book available in the APUS Online Library
Publication Info:Ivan R. Dee Publisher
Author:Arquilla, John
Unit Cost:$28.90

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.