NEWPORT, R.I. -- Students at the U.S. Naval War College (NWC) received a lecture by an international security expert detailing the role which Congress plays in implementing national security initiatives, Dec. 9.
Stephanie Sanok, Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, lectured to a group of senior-level officers in NWC’s National Security Decision Making (NSDM) course. Congress develops national security strategies and appropriates funds to implement them, she said. This is a complicated task, considering that each member brings his or her own perceptions and beliefs about national security, in addition to the beliefs of their respective constituencies.
They must integrate these concerns with those of agencies, other government services, what the White House says and budget constraints. Outside interest parties, such as interest groups and stakeholders, also seek influence which further complicates the process. 
NSDM is offered by the National Security Affairs (NSA) department. Professor David Cooper, chair of NSA, said the expertise provides value to the curriculum.
“We have decided to integrate lectures by senior-level practitioners into our NSDM course in order to give our students the opportunity to get insider perspectives on broad issues in national security affairs,” Cooper said. “This complements and enriches the academic studies they are receiving.”
Sanok spoke from first-hand experience, having worked previously as a staff member of the House Armed Services Committee, the U.S. Embassy Baghdad, the Pentagon, and some work with NATO.  
By Tyler Will, U.S. Naval War College Public Affairs
Posted by Brie Lyons
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