Description   |   Syllabus

Covering Conflict in an Age of Terror: Crisis Management and American Power
UC-Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism
Spring 2004

Mark Danner and Peter Tarnoff 
Course Number J298 // North Gate Hall B-1 Mondays 3 - 6 
 Description: Shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the fashionable debate in Washington took up whether we had reached "the end of history." Less than a decade later history inundates us: terror, war, nuclear blackmail and the sheer pace of events have become overwhelming. After the attacks of 9/11 led to President Bush's "war on terror," a historic conflict once again dominates coverage of foreign affairs, with "crisis management" and a new "American Doctrine of Preventive War" at its heart. Through a close study of conflicts both real and speculative and through extensive class discussions and some role-playing, we will investigate how foreign policy crises develop and how they are managed, by senior policymakers and by the press. Against the background of the September 11 attacks and the invasion and occupation of Iraq, which we will analyze and study throughout the course, we will delve into potential crisis scenarios and their effect on the United States and the American government. These scenarios might include an attempted assassination plot between India and Pakistan; increasing tensions between the U.S. and the EU/UN over Iraq; a political confrontation between the U.S. and South Korea over North Korea; divisions in Iran over nuclear weapons; an attack on a Columbian oil pipeline by Venezuela; unrest in Saudi Arabia; and other crises of current interest. We will also unfold at least one scenario involving domestic terrorism, treating the government's evolving attempts to manage it, and the response of the press. Through a thorough airing of these and other topics in class discussion, supplemented by extensive reading and weekly writing assignments, we will come to an understanding of the structure of international crises - how the U.S. government would likely respond to them and how journalists should seek to cover them.

Main Class Requirements: This is a seminar. 

We judge it most important that students: 
* Attend all classes 
* Participate vigorously in discussions 
* Do all reading and writing assignments 

The class meets only fifteen times and attendance is mandatory. A student's record of attendance and participation in class discussion, together with the thoroughness of his or her preparation, will determine the success of our class and contribute the better part of the grade. 

*Writing:* Students will be assigned a number of short papers. Insofar as possible, students should draw in their papers on the assigned reading and on class discussions. In this graduate-level journalism school course, we will grade heavily on the clarity and vigor of the writing. (Note that Strunk and White's Elements of Style and George Orwell's "Politics and the English Language" are recommended reading for this course. We strongly suggest you read - or reread - these thoroughly before the third class.) 

*Books and Articles:* Students will find books for the course on sale at Signal Bookshop, which is located at 1816 Euclid Avenue, about fifty yards north of the Graduate School of Journalism at North Gate Hall (Carson Hall, owner; telephone: 843 1816). Other materials, including articles, chapters, case studies, and, in some cases, entire books, we will distribute in photocopy. Copies of all photocopied material will be kept in the office. 

*Newspapers and Magazines:* Although we will be trying to look to "the near future," this course in fact takes up contemporary foreign affairs. From the beginning of this course, students are expected to be well-versed in current events and to follow them daily in the newspapers, preferably The New York Times, The Washington Post or The Los Angeles Times. The Economist, a British weekly available at any good newsstand, is also highly recommended. 

*Films:* From time to time during the term we will screen films intended to complement our studies. 

*Schedule:* Note that all classes will take place Mondays, 3 to 6 p.m., and will be divided at 4:30 p.m. by a ten-minute break. 

*Outline:* In working our way through the several actual or prospective foreign crises, we will come to understand: 1) how the U.S.government conducts its own internal negotiations among the heads of relevant foreign affairs agencies and departments before the President ultimately decides what the American position should be in a given negotiation; 2) how the U.S. government conducts itself in negotiation with a foreign government even as the situation evolves in the area of actual or potential conflict; and 3) how a correspondent, in understanding both the process of policymaking and its historical background, might be able to "pierce" the governmental and other barriers set up and cover a developing story. As we pursue this inquiry, our schedule will surely change. Some books and articles may be discarded; others may be added to the list. Our project is ambitious and it is likely we will need to shape and reshape it as we move along. Once again, the success of the class depends heavily on your informed participation in discussions. Indicates books should be purchased. All other reading, unless otherwise noted, will be distributed in photocopy. 

*January 23: Making Foreign Policy - America and the World* The Roots of US foreign policy. Discussion of fundamentals of foreign policy making in the postwar United States. The National Security Act of 1947. The roles of the U.S. foreign affairs and national security agencies. The Cold War struggle. The post-Cold War world: the End of Ideology? Writing Assignments: Write for 20 minutes on "How the U.S. Should Use its Power in the World." (in-class) Write a 1200 word op-ed 'Is US foreign policy Idealist or Realist?' Reading Assignments: George F. Kennan, American Diplomacy John Lewis Gaddis, "Lessons From the Old Era'" in Talbott and Chanda, The Age of Terror Niall Ferguson, "Clashing Civilizations and Mad Mullahs," in Talbott Paul Kennedy, "Maintaining American Power," in Talbott 

*January 26: No Class.* 

*February 2: American Realism and the September 11 Crisis* Class discussion topics: From Realism to the New World Order George Kennan and the Cold War The Kissinger Moment The Coming of 9/11 Background to the Saudi Crisis. 

*February 9: A Very Liberal Coup ' The Saudi Crisis* Background on Saudi Arabia Writing Assignment: Talking points for Saudi Scenario Reading Assignments (for Saudi Crisis): Michael Scott Doran, 'The Saudi Paradox,' Foreign Affairs, Jan-Feb 2004 Lawrence Wright, 'The Kingdom of Silence,' The New Yorker, Jan 5, 2004 Kenneth Pollack, 'Spies, Lies, and Weapons: What Went Wrong,' Atlantic Monthly, January/February 2004. James Fallows, 'Blind into Baghdad,' Atlantic Monthly, January/February 2004. Additional Reading Assignments Lyall, Sarah, 'Soul-Searching and Anxiety after a Report Blames BBC,' New York Times, Feb 2, 2004. Kagan, Robert. 'A Tougher War for the U.S. is One of Legitimacy,' New York Times, Jan 24, 2004. 

*February 16: No class* 

*February 23: The Saudi Coup II ' NSC Principals Meeting* Scenario: The United States has been informed of a group of Saudi Arabians calling for governmental reform in that country. This group, the Democratic Movement for Popular Reform, is demanding a constitutional monarchy headed by King Fahd. The DMPR is comprised of 150 senior military officers, princes, academics, legal scholars, journalists, and Islamic clergy, including 20 women. They are calling for a constitutional council to draft a constitution within 90 days and then free elections to be held to elect a Prime Minister and a representative assembly in another 90 days. It is unclear whether these reformists will resort to violent means if their demand are not met. Consensus: The Principals meeting decides to advise the President on the following policy: The U.S. acknowledges the need for a democracy in Saudi Arabia and supports the current government under King Saud in their reform efforts. The US government will help foster a dialogue between the government and the reformers. Writing Assignments: Develop a press statement of the new policy decided in the Principals meeting. Write a 1200 word op ed 'What should US policy and action be in response to the Saudi Coup and reform in Saudi Arabia' Readings Assignments: Daniel Benjamin and Steve Simon, The Sacred Age of Terror. (Part I: The Terror) Fouad Ajami, 'The Uneasy Imperium: Pax Americana and the Middle East,' in How did this Happen? (edited by Hoge and Rose). Michael Scott Doran, 'Somebody Else's Civil War,' in How did this Happen? (edited by Hoge and Rose). F. Gregory Gause III, 'The Kingdom in the Middle: Saudi Arabia's Double Game,' in How did this Happen? (edited by Hoge and Rose). Andrew Gowers, 'BBC's blunder- a warning to all journalists,' SF Chronicle, Feb 8, 2004. 'Tony Blair: I survived,' The Economist, Jan 29, 2004.March 1: Saudi Coup III: The Public and the Press The Principals edit their statement and present it to journalists at a White House Press Conference. The journalists engage in a question and answer session with the National Security Advisor. The NSA then offers a deep background interview with selected journalists to give them more information about the White House stance on the Saudi Coup. He again reiterates that US supports reform in Saudi Arabia, but that the US endorses the ruling Saudi government and feels that they need to be the ones to develop a framework for reforms. The US does not support the timetable set out by the reformists in which these reforms are to take place. They feel a slower pace is necessary for legitimacy among the government, the clerics, and the majority of the Saudi population. Writing Assignments: News piece on Saudi Arabia coup written with information given in the White House Press Conference- 800 words Longer more in-depth pieced about US policy toward Coup written with information given in the deep background interview- 1200 words Reading Assignments Clement Attlee. Neighbors: Big Fish and Little Fish in the subcontinent. Richard N Haas and Morton H Halperin. After the Tests US Foreign Policy Toward India and Pakistan. Report of an Independent Task Force. Cosponsored by the Brookings Institution and the Council on Foreign Relations. Seymour M. Hersh. 'The Deal.' New Yorker 3/8/04. The War in Iraq: Redefining and Refocusing. The Stratford Weekly 05 March 2004 Suggested Readings for next scenario Find information on US policy and interests in India and Pakistan including: Kashmir Crisis, Nuclear Arsenals since 1998, Current efforts for re-engagement of the two countries, Indian presidental and parlimentary elections Sources of Information; Foreign Affairs website, CSIS, Rand, Carnegie Foundation, NY Review articles Also Reuters stories on current reengagement between two countries 

*March 8: Background on India and Pakistan* Discussion on India and Pakistan Writing Assignments 6 questions about current India-Pakistan relations for Frank Wisner Talking points for scenario Reading Assignment: Selections from "India-Pakistan in War & Peace," a new book by J.N. Dixit from Routledge. 

*March 15: The Assassination Game ' Pakistan and the Indian Plot* Interview with Former Ambassador to India, Frank Wisner Discussion on rapprochement and current developments toward a peace settlement between India and Pakistan Scenario: CIA finds very clear evidence that there is a conspiracy between Indian intelligence and military authorities and Pakistan counterparts who coordinated the assassination attempts gaint Pakistan President, Pervez Musharraf, in December 2003. Several high ranking Indian intelligence and military members provided Pakistani intelligence with financial and technical support. Neither Prime Minister Vajpayee of India nor President Musharraf is aware of this connection. The US has just confirmed this Intel and has convened an NSC principals meeting to decide next steps. Consensus: The Principals decide to advise the President on the following policy. The President will call both Prime Minister Vajpayee and President Musharraf at the same time to inform them of the situation and provide US support to help them manage this crisis. The President will stress to both leaders that we support their actions to remove the existing threat against Musharraf emanating from both governments and we express out desire for relations between India and Pakistan to remain on course. The President will also speak with each leader separately to provide specific intelligence information pertaining to those military and intelligence officials in each country responsible for the assassination attempts. Writing Assignments: Written news piece based on interview with Frank Wisner about rapprochement- 750 words Talking points for President based on NSC meeting regarding Scenario II Talking points/elements for NSC press statement regarding Scenario II Reading Assignments: Selections from "India-Pakistan in War & Peace," a new book by J.N. Dixit from Routledge. Additional Readings for the Venezuelan Scenario 'Venezuela: Recall and Recovery.' Global Energy Wire. 11/11/03. 'US General Warns of Venezuelan Authoritarian Drift.' Reuters. 4/4/04. Roth, Charles. 'Venezuelan Turmoil set to continue as both sides dig in.' Dow Jones Newswires. 'US Refiners Brace for Venezuela Crisis.' Reuters. 4/4/04. Suggested Readings for next scenario Find information on the current state of Venezuelan, and Colombian politics, and the relation of this to US national security. Sources of Information; Foreign Affairs website, CSIS, Rand, Carnegie Foundation, NY Review articles Also Reuters stories on US strategic and economic interests in Venezuela 

*March 22: Spring Break (No Class)* 

*March 29: Response to US Reaction: Coup in Pakistan* Discussion of current events concerning Richard Clarke and the 9/11 commission New Development in India-Pakistan Scenario: President Musharraf called President Bush and informed him that the 3rd Armored Brigade of the Pakistan army in Rawalpindi announced support for the overthrow of President Musharraf and a regime change. President Musharraf asked for diplomatic and political support from US. The President convenes another principles meeting to discuss the matter and to draft a press statement concerning both pieces of this crisis. 

Press statement: President Bush assured President Musharraf and Prime Minister Vajpayee that the US will do our best to work with them to ensure that stability continues and the process initiated by both leaders to bring about reconciliation on issues that brought about armed conflict will continue. The US is in touch with several governments around the world who are interested in developments in this region. The US looks forward to working with Pakistan and India and governments throughout the world to make sure that these outrages don't happen again and the peace process between these two governments continues in the best possible atmosphere. 

Writing Assignment: 2-3 Page memo to the President as one of his principle advisors concerning the next scenario Memo should address five key policy considerations 
# Should US enact an oil embargo and/or trade ban against Venezuela? 
# Should the US seize Venezuelan assets in the US? 
# What would be the impact of US business in putting Chavez and his holdings on the terrorism list sanctions? 
# What domestic steps could be taken to mitigate the loss of Venezuelan oil? 
# What additional advice to you have for the president to respond to this incident? Reading Assignments for Venezuelan Scenario: Following are links to two intelligence assessments from Stratford, a private "open-source" intelligence firm, the first a view of the political situation in Venezuela, the second a broader analysis of the Bush Administration's approach to Latin America, in the wake of the broader policy changes undertaken since the coming of the war on terror: "":
Alma Guillermoprieto's remarkable series of pieces about Colombia in the New York Review of Books: "":

Suggested Readings for next scenario Find information on US policy and interests in Venezuela Sources of Information; OPEC Fact Sheet, Non-OPEC Fact Sheet Venezuela Country Analysis Brief Office of Foreign Assets and Control Sanctions Program-, Effect of Sanctions-, 

*April 5: Energy Crisis in South America: Chavez attacks Columbian Oil Pipeline* Guest: David Goldwyn, former Asst Secretary of Energy Taking on the role of National Security Advisor in the Venezuela Scenario Scenario: Columbian Rebels from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) detonated a bomb destroying a piece of the Cano Limon oil pipeline in Columbia killing four men in the Columbian military and one US trainer. Americans have received intelligence that Venezuelan President Cesar Chavez provided the FARC rebels with materials support for this operation and is offering them safe heaven across the Columbian boarder. The National Security Advisor convened a principles meeting to determine whether the US should place an oil embargo against Venezuela and what other actions should be taken. Consensus: The long term strategy for the US would be to work toward a regime change in Venezuela and the short term strategy is to stop Chavez from supporting the FARC and to maintain the steady flow of oil from Venezuela. The Principles recommend a three phase strategy. 
Phase I: Contact our allies in the region- Organization of American States (OAS) to condemn this as an act of terrorism and to isolate Chavez from the regional community. 
Phase II: Present information to UN Security Council to obtain statements of condemnation from our European and Asian allies. 
Phase III: Contact the Venezuelan Ambassador in Washington DC to let him know we are aware of Chavez's actions. The US should threaten Chavez with a US oil embargo if he does not put a stop to his activities with the FARC and finds those individuals responsible for bombing. If Chavez refuses to do this, we can tap into our oil reserves and elicit help from our OPEC and non-OPEC suppliers to offset the oil shortage for a short period of time. Also, we could consider a freeze on Venezuelan assets in the US and put Chavez and the PDVSA on the terror list of sanctions. We do not recomment sending an envoy to Venezuela led by Jim Baker. We don't want to engage in direct talks with Chavez because he may have taken this action to increase his stature as a 'worthy' opponent of the US. Writing Assignment: 1200 words Op-ed 'What should the US do in Haiti?' Written in February of 2004 before the Bush Administration changed its policy and supported the removal of Aristide- At this time, the coup has begun and forces are Reading Assignments on Haiti: Mark Danner's pieces on Haiti New Yorker # "'Perilous Fight: Haiti's problems will not yield as easily as its Army,' September 26, 1994.": # "'The Price in Haiti,' October 25, 1993.": # "'Beyond the Mountains,' Part III, December 11, 1989.": # "'Beyond the Mountains,' Part II, December 4, 1989.": # "'Beyond the Mountains,' Part I, November 27, 1989. ": The NY Review of Books # "'The Fall of the Prophet,' Part III of III, December 2, 1993.": # "'The Prophet,' Part II of III, November 18, 1993.": # "'Haiti on the Verge,' Part I of III, November 4, 1993.": The New York Times # "'The Struggle for a Democratic Haiti,' June 21, 1987.": Struggle_for_democratic_haiti.htm # "'Though Duvalier is Gone, Haiti Still Needs Help,' May 19, 1986.": Suggested Readings for next scenario Find Articles on the Recent Coup and Exist of Aristide in the NY Times and Miami Herald 

*April 12: No Class* 

*April 19: Haiti: Revolution and Instability* Speaker: Eros Hogeland, photojournalist Mr. Hogeland presented photos and discussed experiences in Haiti in February during coup that removed President Aristide from Office. Mark shared experiences on recent trip to Haiti and impressions of how and why coup succeeded. Eros and Mark talked about how journalists cover conflict, challenges to finding and verifying the story, how to deal with dangerous situations and the advantages of coming into a situation with a 'fresh eye.' Group discussion on social cultural and political dynamics in Haiti that present a challenge to stability, leadership and government. We talked about erratic US policy in Haiti and the limits of US policy in fostering systematic change. We discussed what type of representative government would be feasible in the country given that there is no sense among the people of a public good or body politic. Peter and Mark provided a brief background on South Korea and North Korea. North Korea Scenario: Due to change in leadership in South Korea, President Roh Moo Hyun's administration has engaged in talks with North Korea and is planning on adopting a nonaggression pact between the two countries. This treaty serves as a pledge that neither government will take military action against the other. South Korea has informed the US and wants international support. Principles convene to discuss what US should do diplomatically, strategically and militarily as a result of this development. Writing Assignment: 1-2 page Memo to National Security Advisor 'Policy recommendations for US response to Korean non-aggression pact and implications for US interests in region' Reading Assignments: Kessler, Glen. 'Cheney Faces Hard Sell in Seoul.' The Washington Post 4/17/04. Faiola, Anthony. 'Korean Vote Shifts Power in Assembly.' The Washington Post 4/16/04. Reuters. 'Pro-Government Uri Party wins S. Korean Vote.' The New York Times 4/15/04. Faiola, Anthony. 'Liberals Make Big Gains in S. Korea Election.' The Washington Post 4/15/04. Center for Strategic and International Studies. Transcript of interview with Ban Ki-moon, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea. Council on Foreign Relations. 'Necon Calls Bush's Policy Toward North Korea Confused.' Gwertzman, Bernard. Interview with Joseph Cirincione. Council on Foreign Relations 12/10/03. Laney, James T. and Shaplen, Jason T. 'How to Deal with North Korea.' Foreign Affairs March/April 2003.April 26: North and South Korea II Consensus: The Principals decide to advise the President on the following policy: Urge South Korea to make the freezing of nuclear programs and the allowing of IAEA inspectors back into North Korea a stipulation for signing the non-aggression pact. The US will continue to work through the six party committee and in particular exert pressure on China, Russia and Japan to oppose this non-aggression pact if the appropriate primary conditions toward freezing and ultimately dismantling North Korea's nuclear program are not in place. The US will not engage in bilateral negotiations with North Korea at this time. Development: South Korean General Kim met with principals to express strong criticism and concern for the non-aggression pact. He hinted that members of the military are ready to unseat President Roh should the impeachment process fail. The principals acknowledged General Kim's concern but expressed a desire for stability in South Korea and urged General Kim to convince these individuals that enacting a coup was not in their best interest. Reaction by Principals: The principals decided to wait for the impeachment process to take place and if it seemed to be partial toward the GNP, then the US would react diplomatically. Writing Assignment: Talking points for the next scenario Reading Assignment: 'Smallpox Strikes Puerto Rico in Bioterrorism Exercise.' Journal of Homeland Security March 2004. Suggested Readings for next scenario Find information on smallpox, bioterrorism and disaster preparedness at certain agencies- FEMA, DHS, CDC, Puerto Rico Governor's Office 

*May 3: Smallpox Outbreak in Puerto Rico* Guest speaker- Dr. Margaret Hamburg Scenario: An intentional release of smallpox occurred aboard a cruise ship before it docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The initial contagion release period was estimated to be September 4-7 2002. Unsuspecting infected tourists inadvertently carried the virus to the wider Puerto Rican population while visiting the island's attractions. Local and state emergency assets were used first and fully depleted. The governor of PR requested a presidential disaster declaration, and the Federal Response Plan was put into action. The first number of reported smallpox cases in the San Juan area totaled 950, and the San Juan hospital capacity was rapidly exceeded. The CDC projected at least a 30% case fatality rate. Half a dozen cases have been reported in Florida in the last 24 hours. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (the lead federal agency) requested DoD support and the principals are meeting to decide what measures to take. Consensus: The Principals decided that the President should enact a travel ban on the island except for essential food, supplies and personnel. In addition, the national vaccine stockpile has been activated and an emergency response team with health care workers and frontline responders has been deployed to Puerto Rico to vaccinate the entire population. Those individuals in Florida who have smallpox or were exposed have also been vaccinated. The Principals felt that a mass vaccination strategy for the entire US population was not needed at this time. FEMA has activated their emergency response system to provide citizens in Puerto Rico and at home necessary information on how to access food, supplies and where to go to get vaccinated. Finally, the FBI is working with local law enforcement to find out who is responsible for this attack. Writing Assignments: Smallpox Press Statement 3-4 Page Op-ed 'What is the responsibility of the press and how does it function during times of terrorism?' 

*May 4: Make up class* Movie: Battle of Algiers 

*May 10: Finish Smallpox Scenario:* The principals read the press statement and answered questions from the Press regarding their response to the epidemic and their investigation into the attack. Closing discussion

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