European Security

470.648 European Security: Russian Challenge, Western Response

Second session of the Summer 2018 semester. The course included meetings in Washington as well as travel to Belgium, Ukraine, and Estonia. Dr. Donald Jensen taught the course assisted by Dr. Mark Stout.

Course Description

Russia has returned to an assertive foreign policy with military interventions in Ukraine and Syria and intrusion into the internal affairs of Western democracies. Two tools of Russian power demand close study: the armed forces and the state’s capacity for information warfare.

NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium

NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium
Image: NATO

Western planners and policymakers are preparing for the potential threat of Russian military attack and also for the actual threat of ongoing subversion, destabilization and “active measures.” Russia, meanwhile, continues to present itself as being under threat from the West, and is mobilizing to address that “threat.” Russia’s security initiatives, even if it views or presents them as defensive measures, could have severe consequences for its neighbors.

This course will seek to answer three questions: What kind of threat does Russia pose? How adequate has been the Western response? What are the prospects for the continent’s security if the Putin system itself may be in decline? It will seek to answer these questions through seminar sessions in Washington, readings, discussions, and visits with security officials and experts in key European capitals Brussels, Kiev, and Tallinn.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine in Kiev, Ukraine
Image: Wikimedia

Course Schedule

Tentative Course Schedule
Tentatively, the course schedule will be as follows:
5 July (Thursday) Washington, DC. Unofficial meeting regarding logistics, security, etc.
11 July (Wednesday) Washington, DC.  Class meets.
12 July (Thursday) Washington, DC.  Class meets.
14 July (Saturday) Suggested departure from Washington.
15 July (Sunday) Arrive Brussels, Belgium.  Roll call, free time.
16 July (Monday) Meetings in Brussels.
• European Council Secretariat: Meeting with Ambassador Zoltan Martinusz, Director (Confirmed).
• European Commission: Meeting at European External Action Service.
• European Parliament.
17 July (Tuesday) Meetings in Brussels.
• Visit to NATO HQ Political Affairs Division.
18 July (Wednesday) Class travels Brussels to Kiev, Ukraine.
19 July (Thursday) Meetings in Kiev.
• US Embassy.
OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine.
20 July (Friday) Meetings in Kiev.
• Ukrainian Ministry of Defense.
• Ukrainian Foreign Ministry.
21 July (Saturday) Free time in Kiev.
22 July (Sunday) Class travels Kiev to Tallinn, Estonia.
23 July (Monday) Meetings in Tallinn.
• International Centre for Defense and Security.
• US Embassy.
24 July (Tuesday) Meetings in Tallinn.
• Office of the President/Office of the Prime Minister.
NATO Cooperative Cyber Security Centre of Excellence.
25 July (Wednesday) Class dismissed from Tallinn.
1 August (Wednesday) Washington, DC.  Final class meeting.

Students Outside the Washington Area

If you do not live in the Washington, DC area, you can still take this course. We will broadcast the Washington course meetings via Adobe Connect. Students living in the Washington, DC area, however, will be required to physically attend those meetings.

Costs and Refunds

Tuition for this course will be the same as for all others offered by the Center for Advanced Governmental Studies. In addition, there is a $1700 course fee. Of that, $700 is nonrefundable but if you drop before 27 March, the remainder will be refunded. If we cancel the course, there will be a complete refund. The course fee covers lodging in Brussels and Kiev, intra-Europe air travel, intra-Europe taxis for course purposes, and course overhead expenses. It does not include lodging in Tallinn, food, or travel to Brussels or home from Tallinn.


Registration begins on 25 January at 10AM Eastern time. It closes on 26 March at 11:59PM Eastern time.

In order to run, this course requires at least 10 students. It will be capped at 15 students. 

Passports and Visas

You will need a valid passport to go on this trip. American students will not require visas. Students who are citizens of other countries may require visas. You should check with the Belgian, Ukrainian, and Estonian consulates in Washington.


If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Mark Stout at

Presidential Palace in Tallinn, Estonia

Presidential Palace in Tallinn, Estonia
Image: Wikimedia