Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
War, Strategy and Intelligence
Academic Year
Semester 2
Mutually Exclusive
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminar 9 x 1 Hour Seminars
Lecture 16 x 1 Hour Lectures


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 1,500 word essay  40%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   (1 x 2 hour exam)  60%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 1,500 word essay  40%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   (1 x 2 hour exam)  60%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Discuss the evolving nature of war and role and utility of force in International Relations
  • Discuss different forms of strategy
  • Outline the role of and some of the concerns surrounding intelligence in war and peace
  • Demonstrate an awareness of some of the contemporary issues in strategic and security studies

Brief description

This module provides an introduction to the study of strategy, the evolution of warfare and to the study of intelligence. It does this both historically and through engagement with contemporary issues. Its focus is on the role of force in international relations, the manner of its use and on how assessments are made over its possible use. But the module is also concerned with security, how `threats? may be to individuals as well as states, and how non-military issues may also be seen as security threats.
The module consists of four key elements:
  • War: the study of war, its evolving nature, the ethics of war and the role of force in the modern age
  • Strategy: different forms of strategic thinking (conventional, deterrence and insurgency/terrorism)
  • Intelligence: its history and practice in war and peace
  • Contemporary issues in strategy and security


The module is in four linked sections. The module begins with a discussion of the nature and utility of force in the modern age, including the evolution from total war to 'new wars'. The second section is concerned with three different forms of strategy: strategies of compellence, of deterrence and irregular or asymmetric means. In the third section the role of intelligence is considered, including the legitimacy of intelligence gathering activities, intelligence and the state, and counter-espionage. Finally the module addresses a number of contemporary issues in strategy, including humanitarian intervention, nuclear proliferation and cyber-security.


1. War, Strategy and Intelligence: Introduction to the module

A. War

2. The Study of War in International Relations
3. Clausewitz and the nature of war
4. `New? wars
5. The ethics of war

B. Strategy

6. Strategies of compellence: `conventional? war I
7. Strategies of compellence: `conventional? war II
8. Strategies of deterrence I: the nuclear revolution and massive retaliation
9. Strategies of deterrence II: warfighting and existential deterrence
10. Warfare by other means I: Mao Zedong and revolutionary-guerrilla warfare
11. Warfare by other means II: from Che Guevara to Bin Laden
12. Q&A session 1

C. Intelligence

13. The History and Study of Espionage and Intelligence
14. Strategic Deception
15. Covert Action

D. Contemporary Issues in Strategy and Security

16. Cyber security
17. Nuclear proliferation
18. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles/Drones
19. Health and security

20. Q&A session 2, including exam preparation


Seminar 1: The Changing Nature of War
Seminar 2: War and Force
Seminar 3: Air Power and Contemporary Military Operations
Seminar 4: Nuclear Weapons
Seminar 5: Terrorism
Seminar 6: Intelligence
Seminar 7: Cybersecurity
Seminar 8: Humanitarian Intervention and Peacekeeping

Transferable skills

Throughout the module students will practice and enhance their reading, comprehension and thinking skills, as well as self-management skills. In seminars, students will enhance listening, explaining and debating skills, as well as oral presentational skills. Preparing for and writing-up essays will encourage students to practice independent research skills including data retrieval, selection, assembly and organization, writing, IT and time management.


This module is at CQFW Level 4