Home » Strategy and Defense Policy 2023
Strategy and Defense Policy 2023
course masthead - WSDS 2023V2

Due to circumstances outside of our control, we were forced to reschedule this course.  The new dates are as follows:

  • Online Preparatory Phase: 21 August - 01 September, 2023
  • In-Person Phase: 11 - 22 September, 2023

The principal objective of this course is to offer participants the theoretical foundations and analytical tools to help them develop and/or expand their ability to be active participants in the processes of security and defense strategy and policy formulation, decision-making, implementation, and control and oversight. Using the international and hemispheric security and defense environment as a framework for reference, the course deals with the challenges faced by Latin American countries to provide security and to improve defense administration.

Participants analyze, at the political level, the links and the different perspectives in dealing with security challenges at global, regional and national levels. The curriculum also deals with concepts and theories that allow for a better understanding of the national decision-making process, international cooperation, and the implementation of directives in response to priorities in the classical and non-traditional use of the armed forces in democratic societies.



Application Period:
10 Apr 2023 -
16 Jun 2023
Online Phase:
21 Aug 2023 -
01 Sep 2023
In-Person Phase:
11 Sep 2023 -
22 Sep 2023


The principal objective is to serve as an introductory course to the work of ministries of defense and security by examining four areas that are principal tasks of most ministries of defense or security. These are: Policy Writing, Strategic Plans, Institutional Reform and Resource Management. Each topic is developed through conceptual discussions, case studies and tested through a practical table-top exercise in which the students perform each of the tasks and then are evaluated on their performance.


This is a four-week course, with a two-week distance learning phase and two-week in-person phase. Participants will use National Defense University's (NDU) distance learning system Blackboard, as well as Zoom to download reading material, submit assignments and participate in video conferences. The in-person phase is conducted using a combination of individual study, discussions of the readings, small-group discussions and panels, case studies and exercises.


Candidates must be professionally engaged in defense or security issues in their countries, coming from the following institutions/activities:

  • Career officials from the ministries/secretaries of Security and Defense.
  • Officials from other ministries/secretaries, from the legislative and judicial branches that interact with security and defense, including planning and control and oversight institutions.
  • NGO and think-tank staffs involved in security/defense matters, educators, academic researchers, journalists and members of political parties.
  • Police and active- duty military officers with the rank of lieutenant colonel and above and senior non-commissioned officers.

In accordance with Department of Defense policy, citizens of countries with designated income levels established by the World Bank are not eligible for scholarships. At this time, this restriction applies to the following Western Hemisphere nations: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Canada, Chile, Panama, St. Kitts and Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay. Citizens of these countries may still apply to courses, but in a self-funded status.

Graduates of any of the following in-person Perry Center courses are ineligible to apply to this course: DPRM – SDPm, SDPe, and SDP. Graduates of the online versions of these classes are welcome to apply.

Candidates must possess a university degree or equivalent practical experience. Military and police personnel must have completed a command and staff course or equivalent. Exceptions are evaluated in a case-by-case basis.

The course is conducted in Spanish. Fluency in Spanish is required for reading theoretical and conceptual materials and for conducting group discussions. Candidates who are not native speakers of Spanish will be interviewed telephonically prior to final selection.