17.953 | Fall 2010 | Graduate

U.S. Budgets for National Security


Op-Ed about a National Security Policy Issue with Budget Implications

Prepare a 700-1,000 word opinion article about a national security issue with budgetary implications. Choose a topic about which you are passionate. If possible, the article should hook into an event or issue that is in current (or recent) play in the media. It should be written to capture the attention of the newspaper-reading public and in language that is accessible to the general public.
Samples and guidelines will be distributed in class.
Due in Week #4
Grading: 25 percent of course grade

Budget Option for National Security

In 700 to 1,000 words, lay out background information and arguments for and against one change in national security policy and its potential effect on the federal budget. Your proposed change can come from national defense, homeland security, and/or international affairs. Include a table showing the budgetary effects (savings or costs, in both Budget Authority and Outlays) over the period from 2012 to 2017. Language should be neutral and non-partisan, and both sides of the issue should be addressed fairly. Aim for a style similar to the one in CBO’s compendium, Budget Options Volume II, August 2009. (PDF - 3.8MB) In addition to the option paper, please provide the spreadsheet that you use to calculate budgetary effects, including your assumptions about inflation and outlay rates.
Due in Week #8
Grading: 25 percent of course grade

Top-Level National Security Review (Group Project)

Prepare and present an annotated briefing that outlines a new national security strategy and the military force structure, modernization programs, infrastructure, and budgets to go with it. As a departure point, students will be provided with a set of budget constraints and policy guidelines (such as a summary of invented campaign quotes from an imaginary new president).
Project guidelines (PDF)
Due in the final class
Grading: 40 percent of course grade

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2010
Learning Resource Types
Written Assignments
Presentation Assignments