American Security Council Foundation: National Security Studies Program

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"The American Security Council Foundation owned the 844 acre Lyndon B. Johnson Congressional Conference Center from 1964 until 2001. A major focus for the LBJ Center was the National Security Studies Program (NSSP). The NSSP began as a series of educational courses offered by ASC/ASCF in 1965, but it was not until March of 1977 when it became a degree granting program. This was when Georgetown University established a program under that banner.

"The ASCF property became an off campus center for Georgetown, and the university emblem was displayed at the entrance of the estate. The old Certificate Program was upgraded into a Master's Degree program in International Security Affairs which was jointly conducted by Georgetown and the Department of Defense, with the assistance of the ASC Foundation.

"The NSSP was headed by Dr. Stephen Gibert, a professor of government at Georgetown, and it was the only advanced degree-granting program in national security studies in the United States and Europe. The faculty was composed of experts in the field, and classes were held in the Pentagon on weekdays, and at the LBJ Center on weekends.

"The first class of forty students was enrolled in September 1977. They were scheduled to graduate in June of 1979 with a Master of Arts degree in government and a Certificate in National Security Studies. Beginning with the first group, the classes were generally made up of equal numbers of military officers, and civilians from government agencies.

"Some were sent by the services of other countries; a fair percentage already were advanced degree holders or graduates of the service War Colleges. It was hoped that the horizons opened for them by their acquaintance with national security and strategy would have in time a significant impact on policy as those individuals rose to positions of prominence. To obtain a Master’s Degree the student had to be enrolled at Georgetown, and they had to meet the universities vigorous requirements.

"Today many academic institutions offer national security studies programs, but Georgetown’s remains the largest. The current faculty includes former Ambassadors Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, Chester Crocker, Robert Galluci and Donald McHenry, as well as the former National Security Advisor to President Clinton, Anthony Lake.

"National Security Studies Programs have now been established at Harvard, Stanford University, Princeton, Tufts, Johns Hopkins, Syracuse, George Washington, the University of Chicago, the University of Georgia; the University of Illinois, the Army War College; the Industrial College of the Armed Forces; the College of Naval Warfare; the Naval Post Graduate School; the National Security Institute and the George C. Marshall College of International and Security Studies.

"In addition to assisting the Georgetown program, ASCF continued to administer its own NSSP which was open to its membership. While the NSSP’s curriculum often changed, several key courses were always maintained. These included 'Counterintelligence and Covert Operations' by James J. Angleton; the 'U.S./Soviet Military Balance' by Generals George Keegan and Dan Graham; 'Cuba’s Foreign Policy' by Dr. Herminio Portell Vila; 'The United States in World Affairs' by Drs. Stephen Gibert and Loren Thompson of Georgetown University; 'The Rising Tide: Free Markets and Free Trade' by John M. Fisher; 'The Peace Through Strength Strategy' by Colonel Philip S. Cox; 'Latin America’s Democratic Transition' by Colonel Samuel T. Dickens USAF (Ret); 'Congressional Oversight in Defense and Foreign Policy' by Richard Sellers and Tony Makris; 'Soviet Global Strategy' by Ambassador William Kintner and Col. Ray Sleeper; 'Arms Control and Verification' by Thomas B. Smith and 'Promoting Democracy, Human Rights and the American Cause' by Gregg Hilton.

"The 25th anniversary of Georgetown’s National Security Studies Program was held in 2001, and the University honored ASCF with an impressive plaque and presentation. Dr. Gibert has since retired and his successors have changed the name of the NSSP to the Peace and Security Studies Program.

"The 25th anniversary of the NSSP was also a decision time for the ASCF Board of Directors. Veteran Chairman John M. Fisher had often expressed his desire to step down from the programs many administrative burdens, and it was clear that the NSSP had outgrown the LBJ Center. The Johnson Center will always be an important part of ASC’s history, but its primary drawback was that is was located too far away from the nation’s capital (a 79 mile drive), and it was only able to accommodate 60 residential students.

"On February 12, 2001, the LBJ Center was sold to the Roman Catholic Church and it continues to serve as an educational center for young people. The ASCF executive offices are now located at the Lyndon B. Johnson Strategy Center, 201-A North Main Street, Culpeper, Virginia 22701."

Source: Georgetown University cache file.

NSSP Recruitment

From a Job Posting last updated May 17, 2005, at the Franciscan University of the Prairies comes:

The American Security Council Foundation has an un-paid internship program. They also provide a non-credit course featuring lectures by a series of policy experts. In addition, free housing is provided to 20 Residential Associates during every spring, summer and fall semester. There is also a program for non-residential interns. Many of their alumni have been international affairs or political science graduates, but they do not require a particular major or course of study. An entire catalog about the program appears on their website at

The top link under the Programs section is entitled National Security studies Program (NSSP) [sic]. The NSSP has a long and distinguished history of conducting research studies on a wide range of foreign policy, defense and international economic issues. Applicants are encouraged who have a keen interest in the development and implementation of public policy, those who desire a career in public service, and others who simply wish to contribute to society in a meaningful manner. Students with questions may contact Gregg Hilton" at ghilton AT or 202-546-5200.


The names of faculty members can be found alphabetically listed and identifed with the National Security Studies Program here.