Strategy and Defense Policy (SDP)

SDP Course Logo

This course is tailored in response to the defense policy goals of the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Western Hemisphere Affairs, and the objectives of the Combatant Commands ; particularly those related to the critical mission of the US Government and the Department of Defense to strengthen whole-of-government approaches to the promotion of democratic accountability, respect for human rights, and the rule of law.

COURSE GOALS

The principal objective of this course is to offer participants the theoretical foundations and analytical tools to help them develop and/or expand their ability to be active participants in the processes of security and defense strategy and policy formulation, decision-making, implementation, and control and oversight. Using the international and hemispheric security and defense environment as a framework for reference, the course deals with the challenges faced by Latin American countries to provide security and to improve defense administration.

Participants analyze, at the political level, the links and the different perspectives in dealing with security challenges at global, regional and national levels. The curriculum also deals with concepts and theories that allow for a better understanding of the national decision-making process, international cooperation, and the implementation of directives in response to priorities in the classical and non-traditional use of the armed forces in democratic societies.

COURSE LEARNING OBJECTIVES

More information forthcoming

COURSE STRUCTURE

This is a six-week course, with a four-week distance learning phase and two-week resident phase. Participants use National Defense University's (NDU) distance learning system Blackboard, to download reading material, submit assignments and participate in video conferences. The resident phase is conducted using a combination of individual study, discussions of the readings, small-group discussions and panels, case studies and exercises.

ADMINISTRATIVE DETAILS

Graduates from other Perry Center resident courses held in Washington, DC are not eligible to apply.


Candidates must be professionally engaged in defense or security issues in their countries, coming from the following institutions/activities:

  • Career officials from the ministries/secretaries of Security and Defense.
  • Officials from other ministries/secretaries, from the legislative and judicial branches that interact with security and defense, including planning and control and oversight institutions.
  • NGO and think-tank staffs involved in security/defense matters, educators, academic researchers, journalists and members of political parties.
  • Police and active duty military officers with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and above.

Candidates must possess a university degree or equivalent practical experience. Military and police personnel must have completed a command and staff course or equivalent. Exceptions are evaluated in a case-by-case basis.


The course is conducted in Spanish. Fluency in Spanish is required for reading theoretical and conceptual materials and for conducting group discussions. Candidates who are not native speakers of Spanish will be interviewed telephonically prior to final selection.