Texas A&M University
Courses offered at the Department of International Affairs at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University
Ambassador Larry Napper
This seminar has two principal purposes. The first is to explore the role and practice of diplomats, diplomacy and negotiation in addressing key challenges to American statecraft, including: terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), regional conflict, economic and energy security, and promotion of democracy and human rights. The second purpose is to enable seminar participants to gain first hand skills and practice in how American diplomats and embassies function to achieve national security objectives. In order to stress practice as well as theory, the seminar will require an extraordinarily high level of active participation by students in discussion, role-play, and simulation of actual problems and solutions encountered by embassy country teams in the conduct of U.S. foreign policy. The “American Embassy” will be located in a simulated Central Asian country, formerly a republic of the Soviet Union. No specific prior knowledge of Central Asia is required for this seminar.
This seminar examines American statecraft and foreign policy focused primarily on the period between 1969 and 2020 including, but not limited to, events in Central and Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, and Southern Africa. The seminar will consider how American foreign policy practitioners, in Washington and in U.S. embassies, responded to and attempted to shape events during three periods: the construction and unraveling of U.S.-Soviet détente, the collapse of communism in Central Europe and the former Soviet Union, and the post-9/11 period. Students will assess American national security teams during the period to gain insight into the practice of statecraft. The seminar will examine the uses of history in decision making by foreign policy practitioners, including from earlier time periods in American statecraft. Seminar participants will apply lessons learned in a simulation of National Security Council (NSC) Principals decision-making.
The seminar will consider how American practitioners of statecraft exercised effective, or in some cases ineffective, leadership in shaping the role of the United States in global politics. Among the questions that will be considered is whether one can discern a distinctive American approach to statecraft. Seminar participants will have the opportunity to exercise leadership in simulations involving handling of international conflict and crisis management by the NSC.