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US National Security: Policymakers, Processes, and Politics, 6th ed.

John Allen Williams, Stephen J. Cimbala, and Sam C. Sarkesian
US National Security: Policymakers, Processes, and Politics, 6th ed.
ISBN: 978-1-955055-36-9
ISBN: 978-1-955055-71-0
2022/411 pages/LC: 2021062999
"Illuminate[s] the seemingly mystifying and incomprehensible world of American national security policy in a way that is detailed and thorough, yet easily understandable.... An impressive volume." —David J. Trachtenberg, Journal of Policy & Strategy

"Well-written, logically organized, and would make for an excellent college textbook (undergrad and graduate levels) to inform, train, and encourage students to study U.S. security institutions... a useful and thought-provoking teaching instrument." —Donald S. Travis, Armed Forces & Society

"The new edition of US National Security is an essential addition to any academic library." —Choice

"Quite simply the 'bottom-line-up-front' text on the subject … an outstanding resource for students. This accessible work helps readers grasp the key issues, institutions, and processes of US national security policy and politics.” —Steven Childs, California State University, San Bernardino

"The sixth edition of the venerable US National Security: Policymakers, Processes, and Politics does not disappoint. It expertly takes the reader through the myriad policy and political challenges, both domestic and international, inherent in the national security decision-making process." —Arnold C. Dupuy, Virginia Tech

"Accessible, well-organized, and deeply knowledgeable…. Updated to include the Biden administration, this excellent introduction to national security policymaking shows clearly the interaction of, and tensions between, domestic and international politics, interests and values, and formal and informal institutions of governance." —Russell Burgos, National Defense University


Choice Outstanding Academic Book!

The main focus of US national security policy has shifted dramatically since the years of the Obama administration, moving away from nation building and counterinsurgency efforts and toward preparing for traditional state-on-state conflict with powerful peers. The sixth edition of US National Security reflects that change. It also addresses such current issues as the impact of an increasingly partisan political process, sharp divisions in public opinion, the ongoing challenges of homeland security, and developments in cyberspace and other possible domains of future warfare.

Retaining the successful structure and approach of the previous editions, the book clearly introduces and explores the full range of actors, processes, and politics involved in maintaining US national security.


John Allen Williams is professor emeritus of political science at Loyola University Chicago. Stephen J. Cimbala is Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Penn State Brandywine. The late Sam C. Sarkesian was most recently professor emeritus of political science at Loyola University Chicago.


  • Defining and Defending the National Interest.
  • International Actors.
  • The Conflict Spectrum.
  • Battling the Nuclear Genie.
  • The US Political System.
  • The Presidency.
  • The National Security Council and the "Policy Triad."
  • The Military Establishment.
  • The Intelligence Community.
  • The Policy Process.
  • The President and Congress.
  • Empowering the People.
  • Civil-Military Relations.
  • Emerging Issues.
  • Improving the System.