IRLS 492 APUS Impacts of Non State Actors on National Security Discussion

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The final assignment will be an analytical policy recommendation on an international/foreign policy issue. It will take the form of a three-part multimedia presentation to a decision maker who has to determine the policy on this issue. All topics must be approved by the instructor. Please account for any feedback that you received on your proposed issue of focus in the Week 3 forum.

Please draw primarily from this week’s readings (and use additional outside sources as needed) to address this week’s forum. This week’s forum discussion consists of two parts:

1. To what extent do non-state actors constrain states when it comes to security? Are the effects so significant that realists, liberals, and constructivists should rethink the place of the state as the primary actor in international relations?

2. Submit a brief audio file that describes the policy issue you will focus on for the Weeks 6 and 8 assignments.  The audio should be no more than 2 minutes.  Please also attach a written script of your audio.  You may use  your own audio-recording program, or Screencast-o-Matic is a free program that you will use in the Week 6 and Week 8 assignments.  You can use it to record audio only.  Check it out at

Please read over the requirements for the Weeks 6 and 8 assignments before selecting an issue to focus on for the policy analysis and recommendation. Please take into account any feedback you receive. It is important to select an issue that meets the following criteria.

Issue Selection for Policy Analysis and Recommendation Assignment:

  • The issue addressed should be a legitimate contemporary policy issue, and the current policy on that issue should be clearly identifiable.
  • There should be clear and viable alternatives to the current policy.
  • There must be sufficient data to provide the target audience (i.e. the decision maker) with information to make a decision on the policy proposal.

Examples of policy issues:

  • Economic Issues: Initiation of trade agreements; support for or opposition to protectionist legislation; relaxation or tightening of immigration or customs laws in a particular country or region.
  • Legal Issues: Adherence to or rejection of new facets of international law, maritime law, intellectual property rights, etc.; jurisdictions of international courts; implications for acceptance of or rejection of a proposed treaty or agreement.
  • Political Issues: Matters pertaining to recognition (e.g., after a coup or revolution); participation in international conferences; a newly elected leader’s policy issues; initiation of a new policy involving human rights, environmental standards, etc.
  • Security Issues: New arms transfer control initiatives; security assistance changes or new recipient candidates; re-negotiations or an initial negotiation of case rights agreements.


All readings are found by title at<o:p>

Elhefnawy, Nader. 2011. “Twenty Years after the Cold War: A Strategic Survey.” Parameters 41(1): 6-17.  <o:p>

Hooker, Jr., Richard D. 2005. “Beyond Vom Kriege: The Character and Conduct of Modern War.” Parameters 35(2): 4-17.  <o:p>

Peters, Ralph. 2004. “In Praise of Attrition.” Parameters 34(2):24-32.  <o:p>

Vacca, Alexander W. and Mark Davidson. 2011. “The Regularity of Irregular Warfare.” Parameters 41(1): 18-28.  <o:p>

Farrall, Leah. 2011. “How al-Qaeda Works: What the Organization’s Subsidiaries Say about its Strength.” Foreign Affairs 90(2): 128-138. <o:p>

Taspinar, Omer. 2009. “Fighting Radicalism, not ‘Terrorism’: Root Causes of an International Actor Redefined.” SAIS Review 29(2): 75-86. <o:p>

McCants, William. 2011. “Al Qaeda’s Challenge: The Jihadists’ War with Islamist Democrats.” Foreign Affairs 90(5): 20-32. <o:p>

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