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NSEC611 - Covert Action and National Security

Course Details

Course Code: NSEC611 Course ID: 3481 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Graduate

This course examines Covert Action in the context of National Security. The syllabus includes a spectrum of activities concerning related Intelligence, Counterintelligence, unconventional warfare and assassination issues. Students go on to assess related espionage spycraft, technology and agent activity, and conclude the course by weighing the political and executive aspects of the Presidential powers exercised in Covert Action, with their attendant moral, national security and historical burdens. Students engage in group discussions, written assignments and exams on syllabus topics

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
04/27/20 - 10/02/20 10/05/20 - 11/29/20 Fall 2020 Session B 8 Week session
06/29/20 - 12/04/20 12/07/20 - 01/31/21 Fall 2020 Session D 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

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

CO-1: Evaluate the effectiveness of the Central Intelligence Agency within the areas of counter-Intelligence and domestic intelligence.

CO-2: Analyze the structure, activities and operations of the U.S. Intelligence Community and its covert operations.

CO-3: Critique the effectiveness of historical and contemporary espionage methodologies.

CO-4: Assess the history of covert action in unconventional warfare.

CO-5: Distinguish the relationship between covert action, the U.S. Presidency, and a free and democratic society.

The course grade is based on the following assessments:

Discussion Forums – 20 percent

Each week, discussion questions are 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 two 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. The initial post should be a minimum of 500 words and the replies to two students’ posts should be a minimum of 250 words each.

Week 2 and Week 4 Written Assignments - 20 percent each

This assignment shows your ability to research and understand the history of covert actions that involved the United States, its allies, and adversaries.

Week 6 Specialized Project – 20 percent

This project will demonstrate your ability to synthesize discipline specific material. This is a task based exercise. 12-15 slide PowerPoint Presentation.

Week 8 Final Assignment – 20 percent

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

All required readings are located under the Lessons tab in the classroom.

Book Title:Various resources from the APUS Library & the Open Web are used. Please visit to locate the course eReserve.*

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.