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Imagine that you have recently been appointed as a member of the President-Elect Biden’s National Security Council.  You have been assigned to a task force that will be conducting a broad overview of U.S. national security policy for the incoming President.  The leader of your team has given you the following assignment.   
Write an essay (of 500 to 800 words) that:  identifies the primary national security threat facing the United States; and describes a policy response that the Biden Administration might adopt to limit the potential damages associated with this threat.  Your essay should answer the following questions:
What is the primary security threat facing the United States today? How does it threaten or weaken the national security of the United States?  As part of your answer to these questions, you may describe some of the costs that this threat could ultimately impose on the United States.
What policy responses should the Biden Administration adopt to limit the damages associated with this threat?
What political challenges might the Biden Administration face in implementing your policy recommendations? How might these hurdles to implementation be overcome?
Directions
To be eligible for full credit on this assignment, you are only expected to draw on information covered in this course. You can also use news stories from reliable news sources (like The New York Times, CNN, or The Wall Street Journal) but this is not required. Note that this does not include online blogs or webpages such as Wikipedia. Please provide citations for content derived from our readings, lecture, and any outside information you use in your essay.  Please use Chicago style citations (author/date) and include a bibliography. More information is provided below in a separate document on citation style posted on the module page along with this assignment.
Your essay should include the following components:
Provide clear answers to the three sets of prompts listed above.  As part of your answers, be sure to defend your claims with theoretical arguments and empirical evidence presented in class.  More broadly, to earn a strong grade you must demonstrate that you have engaged with course content to write this essay.
Be concise: Stay within the 800-word limit. Essays that are over the word limit will not get full credit for this assignment.
Organization: your paper should be easy for readers to follow and logically ordered with an introduction, thesis statement, supporting logic, and a conclusion.
MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A THESIS STATEMENT. Organize your ideas around a thesis statement that appears in your first paragraph.  This assignment is about making choices in how clearly you articulate your argument. DO NOT run away from this choice. There is no right or wrong answer here. You are being graded as to how well you construct and defend an argument.
Formatting Guidelines
No more than 800 words (excluding citations and the bibliography)
• You must cite any outside readings that you reference using Chicago Style citations. Information on how to cite using this format can be found in the citation document posted separately.
• Typed, double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman, 1-inch margins
• Saved as a Word document (.doc, .docx). Other file formats will not be accepted. Take this requirement into account when turning in your essay. Having trouble converting another file type to a .doc or .docx at the last minute is not an acceptable reason for turning the essay in late. Note that even if you are not using Windows, there are free and easily accessible options for creating documents in these file types.
Grading Rubric
• Full credit: essay answers all parts of the question, takes a clear position, demonstrates clearly that the essay draws on course material to build its argument, defends that position with supporting logic within the 800-word limit, cites outside sources (if used).
• 3/4 credit: essay suffers from one of the following problems: does not answer all parts of the question, does not take a clear position, does not draw on course content or cite outside sources, is over or under the word limit.
• 1/2 credit: essay is late, essay suffers from more than one of the following problems: does not answer all parts of questions, does not take a clear position, does not draw on course content or cite sources (if used), is over or under the word limit.

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