Date of Graduation

Winter 12-12-2011

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in International Studies


International Studies

First Advisor

Professor Keally McBride

Second Advisor

Professor Anne Bartlett


Security cooperation is a vital component to the national security of the United States. Despite this fact, insufficient military or academic attention has been applied to the subject. The academic and professional void created by this inattention has led academic, journalistic, and military professionals to misuse the term security cooperation, and stray from its doctrinal description as defined by the Department of Defense Dictionary and Associated Military Terms. The academic rigor required to properly express the concept of security cooperation as a peace-time strategy has been absent from both the Department of Defense, and the Department of State, and has led executives from each department to attempt to redefine its strategic potential. The National Security Council, the Secretary of State and the Commanding General of Central Command have attempted to redefine security cooperation as a military strategy capable of supporting the post-conflict reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan. The erroneous attempt by our strategic leadership to define security cooperation as a strategy necessary to extract the U.S. from its current wars, deviates from the doctrinal definition of security cooperation, and limits its chance of achieving success if and when it is properly defined and executed. A clear understanding, definition and implementation of the term security cooperation are essential to the development of a National Security Strategy and improve the potential benefits inherent in the successful implementation of this strategy.