Relevance of a Doctorate in Strategic Security for National Security Training

Security is a strategic matter. Strategy involves tactics, planning, and intelligence. In the national security arena strategy is ever so important because of the complex nature of the issues that are of national security concern. It is no surprise that there is a need for national security training for those who fill national security positions. That national security training can be filled in a number of ways. One such way is through an intelligence degree online. Another way is through a doctorate in strategic security.

The kind of advanced training offered by an intelligence degree online or by a doctorate in strategic security will be an ongoing need at the national security level. History demonstrates that intelligence failures lead to large strategic failures that ultimately cost lives and impair the nation's interests. Though the U.S. has had its share of strategic errors, strategic failings have occurred across cultures. A key strategic maneuver is to not allow major strategic and intelligence failings to occur. Indeed, important national security training is comprised of examining the failings of U.S. and other nations during critical moments in history. The strategic thinking that can be taken from such analyses provides wisdom for future national security work.

To underscore the importance of strategic thinking, it is instructive to look at past intelligence and security failures to see the impact they can have on a particular mission or on a nation's defense. In 1941 during Operation Barbarossa, Russia's failure to heed intelligence that the Nazis were planning a surprise attack led to an important military defeat. In 1973 during Yom Kippur, Israeli politics and bureaucracy led to the failure to anticipate an Egyptian attack which ultimately occurred and dealt a high number of casualties to the Israeli Defense Force. And, of course, the failure to appropriately filter and interpret the mass of disjointed information related to an impending attack led to the failure to deflect the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

Those failures of intelligence and security were strategic in nature. Though there was a tactical aspect to those failings, those failings are better understood as strategic mistakes because of the major analytic work involved that occurred over the course of weeks and months. The analysis of information involved required an appropriate analysis of the adversary's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Such a strategic analysis would offer the respective nation in the examples above a way to define the adversary's capabilities and plans, but also to attain an understanding of the adversary's intentions.

With the kind of national security training offered by an intelligence degree online or a doctorate in strategic security, the strategic failings described above may not have occurred, or if they did, perhaps they could have been attenuated. Indeed, heeding the indications and warnings that the Nazis were going to attack would have allowed the Russians to more ably deflect the Nazi onslaught. Similarly, recognizing the intentions of the Egyptians in 1973 may have left the Israeli Defense Force better prepared to repel the assault that caused so much damage. And, of course, strategic thinking and communicating would have left the U.S. in better shape to interpret the plans of terrorists who conducted the attacks on 9/11.

Dan Sommer works for Henley-Putnam University, a leading educational institution in the field of Strategic Security. For more info on Henley-Putnam University, doctorate in strategic security, national security training, call 888-852-8746 or visit us online at

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