Policy Memorandum Critiquing Assignment

Policy Memorandum Critiquing Assignment
Your memo may analyse a policy related to any of the six approaches we will study in Part 2 of the course i.e. prevention, mediation, coercion, peacekeeping, intervention, and partition. It should be no more than three (3), 12-point typed, single-spaced, pages in length.There is no need to include footnotes, references or a bibliography.
Address your memo to the National Security Advisor of any government or the relevant decision- maker in an international organization of your choice.
The memo must identify a current policy problem (not an imaginary or idealized problem, but the current reality with all its warts). Explain why it is important (in other words, why should the decision- maker bother to read this memo?).
Summarize what’s wrong with current policy (be specific in identifying the shortcomings). Spell out some options different from current policy (in other words, present ideas about how to make policy better, responding directly to the shortcomings you identify). Aim for policy solutions that are “PAIR” – Practical, Actionable, Innovative, and Realistic. Analyse the pros and cons of those options (be dispassionate and analytical – every option has identifiable risks). Then recommend an option (why is this option better at addressing shortcomings of current policy than the other options; be sure to state how you respond to the “con” arguments of your chosen option and mitigate the risks you identify). Finally, explain how you will implement your option, including assessing the requisite resources and addressing political risks (domestic or international) associated with your recommendation. A good recommendation comes with a strategy to implement it. Please follow this format:
Executive Summary (up to ¼ page written after you finish)
1. Policy Problem
a. What is the problem with the policy you are going to analyze? It might be useful to think in terms of goals/methods/resources of the policy you’re critiquing.
2. Why Important?
a. What differences does it make (to security/political/economic/humanitarian interest)?
3. Shortcomings of current policy (Sections 1-3 together ½ page)
a. Why do we need a change in policy?
4. Options (1 ½ pages)
a. Option A
i. Pros
ii. Cons
b. Option B
i. Pros
ii. Cons
5. Recommendations (up to 1/2) page)
a. Advocacy
b. Response to Counterarguments
6. Implementation (up to ½ page)
a. Politics
i. Domestic
ii. International
b. Money/Resources

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