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A Better Peace: The War Room Podcast
30 minutes | 4 days ago
GENERAL HISTORY: H.R. McMASTER (ON WRITING)
A BETTER PEACE welcomes H.R. McMaster, retired Lieutenant General, former National Security Adviser, and accomplished author. On today's episode he joins our own Michael Neiberg to discuss his writing process and research techniques as he wrote Dereliction of Duty and his newest book Battlegrounds. The conversation takes them on a tour of McMaster's time at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he transitioned from operational armored cavalry officer to PhD candidate. They share stories of their times studying with some of the greatest minds and mentors in the field of history and how that served him throughout his career.
28 minutes | 11 days ago
NOT JUST WAR GAMES: SIMULATING CRISIS NEGOTIATIONS
The U.S. Army War College is a vast repository of experience and expertise. Every day that knowledge is used to further develop joint officers and enlisted personnel along with many of their federal civilian counterparts. Every once in a while, the War College is able to share its development techniques and curriculum outside the gates of Carlisle Barracks. One of those instances is the International Strategic Crisis Negotiations Exercise (ISCNE) and on today's episode Ed "Cliffy" Zukowski is in the virtual studio to explain the program. Cliffy joins Ken Gilliam in the latest installment of the WARGAMING ROOM to explain the value of the two-day strategic negotiation event and how he and the team take the show on the road to prominent universities. ISCNE is not only a great example of the DoD sharing knowledge but it's a crucial part of the War College's outreach mission. Contact Cliffy: firstname.lastname@example.org Transcript: https://warroom.armywarcollege.edu/wp-content/uploads/21-049-EXPOSING-NEXT-GEN-DIPLOMATS-TO-CRISIS-NEGOTIATIONS-Transcript.pdf
31 minutes | 18 days ago
THE GANDER AND THE GOOSE: WOMEN AND SELECTIVE SERVICE REGISTRATION
The United States has employed the conscription of military service members as far back as the Revolutionary War and as recently as the Vietnam War. What most people now know as the draft or Selective Service came into existence in 1940 via the Selective Training and Service Act. The first peacetime draft in the United States, it required men 21-36 (18-65 once the U.S. entered WWII) to register with local draft boards. Though women have served in the U.S. military for many years, and more recently in combat, they have never been subject to the draft. A BETTER PEACE welcomes back Kara Dixon Vuic to discuss her study of the topic and the recent decision of the Biden administration to move the discussion out of the Supreme Court and into Congress. She joins our Editor-in-Chief, Jacqueline Whitt, in the virtual studio as they discuss the history behind women's exclusion from the draft. They examine the legal arguments, social and ethical norms involved, as well as some of the strange alliances of recent years as the conversation continues.
25 minutes | 25 days ago
SLAM-FEST: A DISCUSSION OF S.L.A. MARSHALL'S WORKS - PART 2
It all started with a Twitter thread. Matthew Ford set his trap with a few sly comments about the ever controversial S.L.A. Marshall (SLAM) and three intrepid historians couldn't help themselves but to jump into the fray. Listen now to part 2 with Matthew, Robert Engen, Rob Thompson and our DUSTY SHELVES editor Tom Bruscino. The four of them debate the merits and pitfalls of SLAM's works, the different approaches they each use in their research, the role of rhetoric in military change and just a general ribbing back and forth between historians and journalists.
26 minutes | a month ago
SLAM-FEST: A DISCUSSION OF S.L.A. MARSHALL’S WORKS – PART 1
It all started with a Twitter thread. Matthew Ford set his trap with a few sly comments about the ever controversial S.L.A. Marshall (SLAM) and three intrepid historians couldn't help themselves but to jump into the fray. The result is a 2-part podcast with Matthew, Robert Engen, Rob Thompson and our DUSTY SHELVES editor Tom Bruscino. The four of them debate the merits and pitfalls of SLAM's works, the different approaches they each use in their research, the role of rhetoric in military change and just a general ribbing back and forth between historians and journalists.
32 minutes | a month ago
POWs IN AMERICAN MILITARY HISTORY
As long as there has been war, there have been prisoners of war (POWs). If you have served in the U.S. military in the last 50 years you know of the Law of Armed Conflict, the Code of Conduct and the extensive efforts the nation takes to recover U.S. and allied POWs and those listed as Missing in Action (MIA). But it might surprise many people to learn that throughout history often little preparation has been made by any nation to account for, feed, house and transport enemy prisoners. And it is only recently that historians of these conflicts have begun to study the topic of POWs. Professors Daniel Krebs and Lorien Foote are in the virtual studio for this episode to discuss their work in this field and their book Useful Captives: The Role of POWs in American Military Conflicts. They join podcast editor Ron Granieri to examine how the treatment of POWs has changed over time to include some of the most recent actions in the middle east regarding mistreatment and release of prisoners.
27 minutes | a month ago
THE GRIT AND GROWTH MINDSET
Adversity and resilience are incredibly relevant topics in light of what's going on in the world today. People around the world are facing challenges and adversity that they've never seen before and are seeking new ways to deal with it. A BETTER PEACE welcomes Jennifer Alessio to share her story of a potentially career-ending injury and how she found a path forward to not only survive but thrive. Jennifer joins podcast editor Ron Granieri in the virtual studio to discuss the grit and growth mindset. Based in the works of Dr. Angela Duckworth and Dr. Carol Dweck, Jennifer discusses how the mindset can benefit innovation, talent management, soldier development and even recruiting in the U.S. Army.
29 minutes | 2 months ago
THE INTERIM NSS: A TOUCHSTONE
Mandated by public law, the National Security Strategy (NSS) is the report that the President of the United States sends to Congress to communicate the administration's strategy and vision regarding national security. It is to be submitted to Congress in a classified format no later than 150 days after the date on which a new President takes office. But Congress isn't the only audience of the NSS as there is typically an unclassified summary that communicates the administration's intent to the military, the citizenry, and friends and foes alike. Editor-in-Chief Jacqueline Whitt is in the virtual studio with podcast editor Ron Granieri to discuss the Interim NSS that the Biden administration released on 3 Mar 2021. Ron and Jacqueline take a look at what's different in this document and perhaps more importantly what is similar to previous administration's NSS reports.
41 minutes | 2 months ago
AFTERMATH: THE FIRST GULF WAR
"The Gulf War is often remembered as a 'good war,' a high-tech conflict that quickly and cleanly achieved its objectives." That's the opening line of Sam Helfont's new article in the Texas National Security Review, and he's in the virtual studio to discuss how the narrative might not match reality. Sam joins A BETTER PEACE editor Ron Granieri to discuss the fallout of the first Gulf War. As a Middle East historian, Sam offers a unique perspective on the realities of life after the shooting stopped. He talks about the political, economic, and humanitarian dilemmas it caused in the region as well as the divisions and harm it introduced into the western world and the United States.
29 minutes | 2 months ago
NATIONAL EMERGENCY RESPONSE: THE BENS REPORT
Business Executives for National Security (BENS) a nonprofit comprised of senior business and industry executives commissioned a study and produced a report it refers to as "A CALL TO ACTION" to strengthen U.S. emergency response for sustained, widespread events such as the COVID-19 pandemic. BENS President and CEO, Joseph Votel, joins our own Editor-in-Chief in the virtual studio to discuss the findings of the report. Their conversation reviews the recommendations of federal, state and local government responsibilities and relations and the need for a national strategy for emergency response. Not surprisingly, as in any large scale operation, the need for clear communication and information sharing is highlighted as one of the crucial factors for success.
31 minutes | 3 months ago
THE UGLY PARTS OF AMERICAN HISTORY
On 5 February, 2021, newly confirmed Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin directed military leaders to lead a one-day stand-down within the next 60 days to address extremism within the nation's armed forces. That same afternoon our Editor-In Chief, Jacqueline Whitt sat down with Ty Seidule in the virtual studio to record this episode. Seidule, a prominent figure in the conversation about extremism, has long fought against the veneration of Robert E. Lee and the Confederate cause in the Army, specifically at the United States Military Academy. His 2015 video on Prager University, "Was the Civil War About Slavery?" has been viewed over 34 million times. And his newest book Robert E. Lee and Me is drawing both praise and anger. Their discussion ranges from his childhood in the south to his time at West Point as the Head of the Department of History, and what he's been doing since his retirement as a brigadier general in 2020.
33 minutes | 3 months ago
EVERY SOLDIER HAS A PERSONAL STORY
A BETTER PEACE welcomes Ann Meredith to discuss her experience as a female officer in the U.S. Army. She joins WAR ROOM podcast editor Ron Granieri in the virtual studio to discuss what her career has looked like as a woman, a mother and a wife in the Military Police corps. Ann recounts long separations, supportive units, honest mentors and the biases and discriminations that many women must overcome in any branch of the military.
37 minutes | 3 months ago
HOW MUCH FOR THE PEN? SCHELLING (GREAT STRATEGISTS)
A BETTER PEACE welcomes back Tami Davis Biddle to our GREAT STRATEGISTS series. She joins WAR ROOM podcast editor Ron Granieri in the virtual studio to discuss the contributions of Thomas C. Schelling to the Cold War nuclear strategy realm.
28 minutes | 4 months ago
WHEN A GENERAL WRITES FOR THE GENERALIST (ON WRITING)
A BETTER PEACE welcomes authors General Sir Rupert Smith and Ilana Bet-El to the virtual studio to talk about the ultimate goal of being understood as authors. Smith and Bet-El are co-authors of The Utility of Force now available in a second edition. They join our own Michael Neiberg to discuss their collaborative process and the different strengths and attributes they each bring to the effort. He is a retired British Army officer with a wealth of experience in matters of war and diplomacy culminating as Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe. She is a strategic adviser, writer and historian with experience at the UN as well as advisory work around the world. Together they compliment each other's strengths and weaknesses to produce a book that is readable by academic, specialist and generalist alike. Editor's Note: We apologize for the intermittent sound quality of our guests. We had technical difficulties with the equipment, but we feel the intent of the conversation remains intact and is well worth the distractions. For clarity please see the transcript linked below. It doesn't matter if it's in academia, it doesn't matter if it's in the military or in a newspaper or a blog. If you write things that other people don't understand, then what's the point of it? General Sir Rupert Anthony Smith, KCB, DSO & Bar, OBE, QGM is a retired British Army officer. He demonstrated his leadership as a senior commander during the Gulf War, for which he was recognised with the award of the Distinguished Service Order (DSO), and again during the Bosnian War, for which he was recognised with the award of a Bar to his DSO. He later became Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe. Ilana Bet-El is an historian, writer and political analyst. Based in Brussels, she focuses on EU, Russian and Transatlantic affairs, and more broadly on international politics and institutions. Since 2000 she has worked on strategic policy issues with governments, NGOs and corporations. They are co-authors of The Utility of Force. Michael Neiberg is the Chair of War Studies at the U.S. Army War College. The views expressed in this presentation are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Army War College, U.S. Army, or Department of Defense. Photo Description: U.S. Marines with 2nd Intelligence Battalion and British soldiers load their weapons before conducting a range in Edinburgh, U.K., Nov. 4, 2015. The service members executed Exercise Phoenix Odyssey II, which combines joint intelligence and military skills training to enhance interoperability. Photo Credit: Lance Cpl. Erick Galera, USMC Other releases in the "On Writing" series: THE VALUE OF WRITTEN THOUGHT: STEPHEN VOGEL (ON WRITING)TWO AUTHORS UNDER THE SAME ROOF (ON WRITING)THE MORE BEAUTIFUL QUESTION: ALEXANDRA RICHIE (ON WRITING)FACT AND FICTION: THE RECOUNTING OF WWII WITH JAMES HOLLAND (ON WRITING)THE U.S. ARMY IN THE 20TH CENTURY: AN INTERVIEW WITH BRIAN LINN (ON WRITING)LIBERATION FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF THE LIBERATED (ON WRITING)PARIS 1919: A CONVERSATION WITH MARGARET MACMILLAN (ON WRITING)THE CHALLENGES OF WRITING BIOGRAPHIES (ON WRITING)FINDING “WOW” MOMENTS (AND OTHER WRITING TIPS FOR SENIOR LEADERS) (ON WRITING)THE ART OF WRITING HISTORY (ON WRITING)
34 minutes | 5 months ago
HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT: RADICALS IN THE RANKS
A BETTER PEACE welcomes Robert Payne to discuss the radicalization of U.S. military members, particularly in the Army. Payne joins podcast editor Ron Granieri in the virtual studio to examine how individual members of the Army are radicalized and what the service and law enforcement need to do to defeat the problem. Their conversation covers how extremism finds its way into the ranks and how this isn't a new phenomena. The statistical population of the U.S military that have become terrorists is very small but of the U.S terrorist population...within the US population, there is a higher statistical number that have served in the U.S. military Robert Payne is a colonel and was commissioned as a Medical Services Corps Officer in the U.S. Army. Having served 5 years active duty he has spent the last 16 years in the U.S. Army Reserve. His current reserve assignment is as a Research Fellow assigned to the Center for Strategic Leadership. In his civilian profession, he is an FBI Supervisory Special Agent (SSA) with background in narcotics, counterterrorism ( 3 x JTTFs), organized crime, HUMINT operations, and most recently, Healthcare Fraud. Ron Granieri is an Associate Professor of History at the U.S. Army War College and the Editor of A BETTER PEACE. The views expressed in this presentation are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Army War College, U.S. Army, or Department of Defense. Photo Description: The Alfred P. Murrah Building after the bombing and just shortly before the May 23, 1995 demolition of the building. The building was damaged by a domestic terrorist truck bombing perpetrated by Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols at 0902 on 19 April 1995. McVeigh served 13 years in the Army while Nichols only served 10 months. They met during basic training. The blast killed 168 people, many of them children in the building's day care, and injured more than 680 more. The blast destroyed or damaged 324 other buildings within a 16-block radius, shattered glass in 258 nearby buildings, and destroyed or burned 86 cars. Inset is the Alfred P. Murrah Building in 1977. Photo Credit:Photographer unknown, courtesy of the Social Security Administration
31 minutes | 5 months ago
LIKE YOUR BRAIN HAS JUST GONE TO THE GYM (WARGAMING ROOM)
A BETTER PEACE welcomes Chris Dougherty and Becca Wasser from The Gaming Lab at the Center for New American Security (CNAS). Chris and Becca join host Ken Gilliam in our special series the WARGAMING ROOM to discuss the efforts and contributions of CNAS to the gaming world. The three discuss how strategic gaming is used to shape the choices of leaders in government policy, industry and academia. It's one thing to know a thing to have read it in a book or to see it on a PowerPoint slide. It's another thing to actually go through the experience of living it in a game and experiencing it. Chris Dougherty is a Senior Fellow in the Defense Program at the Center for a New American Security. His research areas include defense strategy, strategic assessments, force planning, and wargaming. Becca Wasser is a fellow in the Defense Program at the Center for a New American Security. Her research areas include wargaming, force posture and management, and U.S. defense strategy. She is also an adjunct instructor at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, where she teaches an undergraduate course on wargaming. Ken Gilliam is a colonel in the U.S. Army and Director of Strategic Wargaming at the Center for Strategic Leadership, U.S. Army War College. The views expressed in this presentation are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Army War College, U.S. Army, or Department of Defense. Photo Description: The logo of The Gaming Lab at CNAS. The Gaming Lab at CNAS makes innovative unclassified games and exercises on a range of challenging national security issues. Experts at the Gaming Lab design and conduct these activities for leaders in government, policy, industry, and academia. Photo Credit: This is a copyrighted image used courtesy of the Center for a New American Security Other releases in the "Wargaming Room" series: A LABORATORY FOR MILITARY PROFESSIONALS (WARGAMING ROOM)GAMES, PLAY, AND THE AFFECTIVE DOMAIN (WARGAMING ROOM)READINESS IS PRIORITY #1, BUT READY FOR WHAT? (WARGAMING ROOM)
36 minutes | 6 months ago
PAST VISIONS OF FUTURE WARS
A BETTER PEACE welcomes Adam Seipp to discuss the world of Cold War literature. Adam's previous article in our DUSTY SHELVES series reviewed Sir John Hackett's 1978 best seller, The Third World War: August 1985. Hackett, deemed both the heir to Pat Frank and Neville Shute and also the ancestor of Tom Clancy and so many others, is at the center of this episode. Adam is joined by DUSTY SHELVES editor, Tom Bruscino, and podcast editor Ron Granieri in the virtual studio. The three look at the allure of the dark topic of the Cold War apocalypse story and the growth of the military techno-thriller. The book may not be a literary classic, but it sold quite well thanks to a breathless ad campaign that included the blurb 'This book occupies a place under the Bible on President Carter's desk.' Prof. Adam Seipp Is Assistant Provost for Graduate and Professional Studies as well as Professor of History and Associate Department Head at Texas A & M University. His research focuses on war and social change in modern Germany, transatlantic relations, and the history of the Holocaust. His most recent books are Strangers in the Wild Place: Refugees, Americans, and a German Town, 1945-1952 (2013) and Modern Germany in Transatlantic Perspective (2017) co-edited with Michael Meng. Thomas Bruscino is an Associate Professor at the U.S. Army War College and the Editor of the DUSTY SHELVES series. Ron Granieri is an Associate Professor of History at the U.S. Army War College and the Editor of A BETTER PEACE. The views expressed in this presentation are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Army War College, U.S. Army, or Department of Defense. Photo Description: General Sir John Winthrop Hackett GCB, CBE, DSO & Bar, MC (5 November 1910 – 9 September 1997) Photo Credit: Artist Unknown
37 minutes | 6 months ago
A LABORATORY FOR MILITARY PROFESSIONALS (WARGAMING ROOM)
A BETTER PEACE welcomes back Ken Gilliam for another installment of the WARGAMING ROOM. In this episode Ken sits down with Doug Winton, the chair of the Department of Military Strategy, Planning and Operations (DMSPO) at the U.S. Army War College. Ken and Doug discuss War College games like JOINT OVERMATCH and MDO 1943. They examine the history of the games and their incorporation into the DMSPO curriculum to include the benefits as well as the limitations based on the time constraints and faculty experience of the resident program. We're different than biologists or chemists or physicists because we don't have a laboratory where we can learn and develop new knowledge. Doug Winton is a colonel in the U.S. Army and the Chair of the Department of Military Strategy, Planning and Operations (DMSPO) and the Henry L. Stimson Chair of Military Studies at the U.S. Army War College. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University. Ken Gilliam is a colonel in the U.S. Army and Director of Strategic Wargaming at the Center for Strategic Leadership, U.S. Army War College. The views expressed in this presentation are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Army War College, U.S. Army, or Department of Defense. Photo Description: MDO 1943 gameboard Photo Credit: COL Ken Gilliam
32 minutes | 6 months ago
A FATAL DOSE IN 2 MILLIGRAMS: FENTANYL AND NATIONAL SECURITY
The United States has identified drug trafficking, drug use, and drug manufacturing as important issues -- domestically and internationally. In recent years, the opioid crisis has been at the center of many U.S. government efforts. Overdoses due to synthetic drugs have been on the rise for the past decade with fentanyl and its derivatives squarely at the heart of the issue. A BETTER PEACE welcomes Heidi Munro to the virtual studio to discuss how this once legal prescription painkiller has become a national crisis leading to criminal activity, tragedy for families across the country and a point of contention in international relations. Heidi joins podcast editor Ron Granieri to examine this issue's impact on national security, the military's involvement in possible management of the issue and where the nation goes from here. The military treats illicit drugs and narcotic trade as a crime, so it's a transnational crime. So because of that they don't really have a way to act on it. Heidi Munro is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Idaho Army National Guard where she is currently serving as the state's joint medical planner for COVID-19. She is also the Administrative Officer for the Medical Detachment and full-time clinician for the Office of the State Surgeon. She is a graduate of the U.S. Army War College resident class of AY20. Ron Granieri is an Associate Professor of History at the U.S. Army War College and the Editor of A BETTER PEACE. The views expressed in this presentation are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Army War College, U.S. Army, or Department of Defense. Photo Description:Two milligrams of fentanyl, a lethal dose in most people Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Drug Enforcement Agency
29 minutes | 6 months ago
UNDERSTANDING A DIFFERENT PEOPLE: THE OKINAWAN IDENTITY
When planning for interactions with foreign countries, whether in peace or in war, it can be easy for military planners to be lulled into the false security of the homogeneity of a culture or race or nationality. Many would argue that was exactly what happened in Afghanistan and Iraq in the last two decades. But long before the United States' most recent conflicts in the Middle East, there was a small island chain in the Pacific known as the Ryukyus that posed a particular challenge to the efforts of WWII Army and Marine planners. A BETTER PEACE welcomes Courtney Short to the virtual studio to discuss her study of the Okinawan people and the experiences of Soldiers and Marines as they invaded the southern-most islands of Japan. Courtney joins our Editor-In-Chief, Jackie Whitt to look at the individual culture and behavior of the Okinawans as U.S. forces moved ashore during a war that would, in some ways, liberate the people of the Ryukyus from centuries of rule by mainland Japan. They saw themselves as subjects of the emperor, even though they were aware of the inequalities and what they did not have similar to Japanese on the mainland. Courtney Short is a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army and the Garrison Commander of Carlisle Barracks, PA. She has a PhD in History from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and is the author of Uniquely Okinawan: Determining Identity During the U.S. Wartime Occupation. Jacqueline E. Whitt is an Associate Professor of Strategy at the U.S. Army War College and the Editor-in-Chief of WAR ROOM. The views expressed in this presentation are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Army War College, U.S. Army, or Department of Defense. Photo Description:This is a portion of a work by Nakasone Shōzan in 1889. An orihon (zigzag folded book). It illustrates people's hairstyles, tattoos, hairpins, merchants' customs, wedding ceremonies, funerals, etc. with varicolored drawings. This is a very valuable material for understanding the people of that period. Photo Credit: http://manwe.lib.u-ryukyu.ac.jp/d-archive/s/viewer?&cd=00063470 via Wikimedia Commons
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