9/11 was a devastating attack that required a comprehensive response from the United States. This course will examine post-9/11 U.S. counterterrorism policies regarding the use of military force, law enforcement and intelligence collection, and domestic security. We will trace these policies to the current day and assess their legality, ethics, and efficacy in counteracting terrorism.
This course will examine and evaluate the counterterrorism policies pursued by the United States in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The core learning goal will be for student to learn how to think strategically – that is, to determine what the key objectives the U.S. has been pursuing, critically evaluate whether the policies that have been put in place are achieving these objectives, and consider whether and how these policies should be modified to better meet the U.S.'s strategic goals. Students will have the opportunity to examine counterterrorism policies in three different areas: the use of military force (Afghanistan, Iraq and drones), intelligence and law enforcement authorities (interrogation of enemy combatants, electronic surveillance and government access to data), and homeland security (aviation security and countering violent extremism policy). Each of these topics will require students to grapple with not only questions of efficacy, but also legality and morality.
Week One: The Strategic Challenge of 9/11
Week Two: The Use of Force – Legal and Policy Framework
Week Three: Drone Strikes: Morality, Legality, and Efficacy
Week Four: Detention, Interrogation and Prosecution of Enemy Combatants (Guantanamo)
Week Five: Surveillance and Its Impact on Privacy and Civil Liberties
Week Six: Domestic Security: Body Scans, Profiling, and "Homegrown" Terrorism
Week Seven: The Post 9/11 World: An Assessment
Completion of 9/11 & Its Aftermath -- Part I is recommended but not required.
This course will require some background understanding of the U.S. constitutional framework, the functions of the different branches of the U.S. government, and some basic understanding of concepts like civil rights and civil liberties.
Each week will consist of lecture videos, readings, and an assessment.
Along with content lectures by Professor Schanzer, there will be videos
of student discussions and interviews with various experts. There will
be multiple opportunities for engagement with fellow students
and Professor Schanzer through Google Hangouts and the discussion
Students are invited to submit weekly posts commenting on an aspect
of the materials. In addition, students will be writing three policy memos. Students will be asked to think critically
about the subject matter and form their own opinions -- this is not a
course with right and wrong answers. Rather, it is designed to provide
the information necessary to engage in informed debate about difficult
issues, think critically, assess tradeoffs, and express your own
Will I get a Statement of Accomplishment after completing this class?
Students who successfully complete the class with a 70% or better will
receive a Statement of Accomplishment signed by the instructor. Students
who complete the class with a 85% or better will receive a Statement of
Accomplishment with Distinction. The Signature Track will be available
for this course.