NATO Enlargement (NSC)

Assessment

Case Assessment

  1. Since the end of the Cold War, what interests has the United States had at stake in European security and in its relationships with Russia and European countries? How would you prioritize these various interests?
  2. What were the motivations of U.S. and allied leaders in establishing the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)? In what ways did NATO mark a departure from past U.S. foreign policy? What role was envisioned within the alliance for the United States in particular?
  3. What were the main events in the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War? What was the impact of these events for European leaders and citizens, and for the United States?
  4. How have Soviet and, later, Russian leaders viewed the political changes throughout Eastern Europe in the early 1990s, and how have they viewed NATO’s response? What might account for their perspective?
  5. Why do many U.S. leaders and experts consider it important to maintain positive relations with Russia? How does this view play into the debate over NATO expansion?

NSC Assessment

  1. What are the four categories of tools available to U.S. leaders crafting foreign policy, and what is the range of specific tools in each?
  2. What is the interagency process and how is it related to the NSC system? 
  3. What are the various committees in the NSC system and how do they interact to drive U.S. policymaking and implementation?
  4. What are the responsibilities of the national security advisor (NSA)? 
  5. What are the major departments and agencies involved in the U.S. national security and foreign policy–making process? What are their responsibilities? 

Writing Assignments

Each CFR Education simulation involves writing assignments that help students think through policy options and reflect on their learning experience.

In NSC cases, there are three types of writing assignments.

  • Before the role-play, everyone but the president writes a position memo.
  • After the role-play, the president writes a presidential directive.
  • As part of the wrap-up, everyone writes a written reflection.

Simulations (on the student-facing side) have instructions for written assignments, and samples for each of these writing exercises. You can also find sample rubrics below.

Samples:

 

 

 

Rubric

Below are sample rubrics for your use in assessing the writing students will do as part of this simulation.

These are single-point rubrics. Jennifer Gonzalez, who writes the blog Cult of Pedagogy, has a great explainer, but the bottom line is that single-point rubrics are relatively easy for students to digest but still have all the advantages of giving structure to instructors’ feedback.


NSC Position Memo Rubric

CONCERNS

What needs improvement

CRITERIA

What is expected

ADVANCED

What is excellent


 
 

Subject and Background
paragraphs

  • Briefly explains the significance of the issue in the context of U.S. foreign policy
  • Clearly identifies the central question
  • Does not summarize the case

 

 
 

Objectives bullet points

  • Lists several objectives of the department the writer represents
  • Objectives are grounded in knowledge of the role of the department
  • Objectives help to shape the analysis of options described in the next section

 

 
 

Options and Analysis paragraphs

  • Lists all options mentioned in the case
  • Lists other potential options
  • Analysis considers advantages, disadvantages, and trade-offs

 

 
 

Recommendation and Justification paragraphs

  • Clearly identifies a preferred option or options
  • Supports the choice with appropriate analysis
  • Explains why other options are less preferable
  • Written with the president as the intended audience

 

 


NSC Presidential Directive Rubric

CONCERNS

What needs improvement

CRITERIA

What is expected

ADVANCED

What is excellent


 

Purpose

  • Provides context for the memo
  • Is succinct

 

 

Decisions

  • Clearly states the decisions made
  • Explains the decisions convincingly
  • Details how to implement them

 

 

Communications strategy

  • Contains an effective strategy for relevant foreign governments
  • Contains an effective strategy for the public

 

 

NSC Written Reflection Rubric

CONCERNS

What needs improvement

CRITERIA

What is expected

ADVANCED

What is excellent


 

Subject paragraph

  • Is brief
  • Places the issue in the larger context of U.S. foreign policy
  • Clearly states whether the writer agrees or disagrees with the president’s decision

 

 
 

Options and Analysis paragraph

  • Discusses each option that came up during the role-play in discrete paragraphs
  • Weighs the advantages and disadvantages of each option
  • If options from the position memo are discussed, those options contain additional analysis

 

 
 

Recommendation and Justification paragraph

  • Makes a clear recommendation based on the writer’s personal position
  • Supports the recommendation effectively

 

 

Reflection paragraph or paragraphs

  • Reflects on and critiques the president’s decision
  • Is written from a personal point of view, not that of the assigned role

 

Downloadable rubrics are available here: