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Modern War Institute
51 minutes | 9 days ago
Understanding Urban Warfare
This episode features a conversation with MWI's chair of urban warfare studies, John Spencer. In the conversation, he explores a wide range of questions. Why are cities so challenging for military forces? What steps can be taken to achieve a higher level of preparedness for those challenges? Is it possible to replicate cities’ complexity in a training environment? These are just a few of the topics he offers his keen insights on.
17 minutes | a month ago
Pandemics, National Security, and Zombies
In this episode, Maj. Jake Miraldi talks to Max Brooks, bestselling author of "World War Z" and "The Zombie Survival Guide" about how he uses zombies in his books as a stand-in for the kinds of major crises that transcend borders and require coordinated responses, often with a military component. The conversation also touches on society's civil-military gap, the importance of creative thinking for military leaders, and more.
35 minutes | 2 months ago
The Conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh is Giving Us a Glimpse into the Future of War
In this episode Dr. Jack Watling, Research Fellow for Land Warfare at the Royal United Services Institute, discusses the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan that has erupted since late September surrounding the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. He examines what we can learn from it about ground combat on the modern battlefield. Among other things, he discusses the saturation of the battlefield with a variety of sensors, challenges associated with electronic warfare, and the importance of camouflage. Collectively, these represent a problem set that the US military and those of its allies largely have not encountered during nearly two decades of military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan—which makes the lessons he discusses especially important.
47 minutes | 3 months ago
Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, and the Modern Battlefield
This episode examines how special operations forces are integrating high-tech tools like artificial intelligence and machine learning to optimize their operations. Dr. Richard Shultz of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and Gen. Richard Clarke, commander of US Special Operations Command, join the podcast to trace the history of US special operations forces' efforts in Iraq to adapt to the counterterrorism fight there, explain how these forces made use of data to enable a remarkably rapid operational tempo, and describe how a program called Project Maven took shape to harness new technological capabilities.
36 minutes | 3 months ago
Command on the Modern Battlefield
This episode of the MWI Podcast features a conversation with Dr. Anthony King, author of the book Command: The Twenty-First-Century General. He explains how the way in which military leaders exercise command is now remarkably different from the way they did so in the last century. Note: This episode was originally released in March 2019.
45 minutes | 3 months ago
Crafting a US Strategy for the Twenty-First Century
In this episode of the Modern War Institute Podcast, John Amble is joined by Rebecca Lissner and Mira Rapp-Hooper, authors of the new book An Open World: How America Can Win the Contest for Twenty-First-Century Order. Amid global power shifts and a changing world order, as well as tumultuous domestic political dynamics and rapid technological change, they make the case that US success in the decades to come will hinge on policymakers' pursuit of openness as a defining characteristic of American grand strategy.
32 minutes | 4 months ago
The Other Foreign Fighters
In this episode, we talk to American University Professor Joseph Young and the Brookings Institution's Jason Fritz about a phenomenon they've been studying: American citizens who traveled independently to the Middle East to fight ISIS. They interviewed many of these individuals, and they share what they learned about them and why they chose to go and fight in Iraq and Syria. Note: This episode was originally released in April 2018.
54 minutes | 5 months ago
Is Great-Power Competition a Strategy?
This episode of the MWI Podcast features a discussion with Ali Wyne. He is a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and a nonresident fellow at the Modern War Institute whose recent research has been focused on great-power competition. This has become a framing mechanism within which to think about and plan US interactions with other actors. But is it a strategy? Have we defined what it entails, practically and considering all instruments of national power? The discussion tackles these and several other questions.
37 minutes | 6 months ago
Women in Defense and Security
In this episode, four remarkably accomplished women in the field of national security join to share their experiences and observations on the evolving dynamics surrounding the vital contributions women make to US security.
35 minutes | 6 months ago
The Robotic Revolution is Upon Us
This episode of the MWI Podcast features a conversation with August Cole, coauthor of a new book called Burn-In: A Novel of the Real Robotic Revolution. It’s a techno-thriller and a work of fiction, but it is also based on deep research and allows readers to examine the types of technologies that will increasingly characterize the future—from everyday life to the conduct of war.
21 minutes | 6 months ago
Introducing the Irregular Warfare Podcast
The Irregular Warfare Podcast is a new collaboration between the Modern War Institute at West Point and Princeton University's Empirical Studies of Conflict Project. In this preview of the inaugural episode, hosts Kyle Atwell and Nick Lopez talk to Jake Shapiro, co-director of ESOC and Col. Pat Howell, director of MWI. The conversation tackles a fundamental question: What are "small wars"? Find the podcast on your favorite podcast app to hear the full conversation and subscribe so you hear future episodes, set to be released every two weeks.
46 minutes | 7 months ago
How the Islamic State Happened
How did ISIS manage to take control of so much territory, imposing its will politically and inflicting an immense amount of damage? How should we make sense of its origins and evolution as an organization? And does a better understanding of the group enable us to anticipate what form it might take in its next evolutionary stage? This episode features a conversation about these and other questions with Craig Whiteside and Haroro Ingram, two of the authors of a recent book, The ISIS Reader.
33 minutes | 7 months ago
What's Going on in North Korea?
What's going on in North Korea? Is Kim Jong-Un alive or dead? We don’t actually know—and that's remarkable. The country is in the midst of a situation that could have serious ramifications for the region and for international security. This episode features a conversation with Dr. Van Jackson about just what is happening in the country right now and how prepared—or unprepared—the United States is for a potentially destabilizing event like the death of Kim Jong-Un.
24 minutes | 8 months ago
How Countries Decide to Go to War
In this episode of the MWI Podcast, Jake Miraldi speaks to Cornell University associate professor and MWI adjunct scholar Dr. Sarah Kreps about her research on how countries go to war, especially democracies where the expenditure of blood and treasure impacts public support for military operations. Note: This episode was originally released in June 2018.
25 minutes | 8 months ago
Nuclear Weapons on a Shifting Strategic Landscape
This episode features a conversation with retired US Air Force Gen. Kehler, former commander of US Strategic Command, which oversees America's strategic nuclear arsenal. He talks about how deterrence has changed since the Cold War, and what role he sees for nuclear weapons in the face of new global security challenges. Note: This episode was originally released in January 2019.
37 minutes | 9 months ago
What Can the US Military Do to Support the COVID-19 Response?
In some states, the National Guard has been called on to play a role in the government's efforts to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, and there have also been calls to leverage active-duty forces to further bolster resources and capabilities. But the deployment of the military on US soil has important policy implications and involves questions of law. Dr. Ryan Burke joins the MWI Podcast to talk about the military’s potential role in the response.
32 minutes | 9 months ago
Special Operations Forces on the Modern Battlefield
Our guest on this episode of the MWI Podcast is Maj. Gen. Patrick Roberson. He is currently the commanding general of the Army’s John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School. Before that, he commanded Special Operations Joint Task Force–Operation Inherent Resolve. He discusses SOF's role in the fight against ISIS and looks at the future of US SOF and what these elite units can contribute in an era of competition with peer and near-peer adversaries.
43 minutes | 9 months ago
Let's Talk Multi-Domain Operations
This episode of the Modern War Institute Podcast features a conversation with Lt. Gen. Eric Wesley, deputy commanding general of Army Futures Command and director of the Futures and Concepts Center. The discussion touches on a variety of topics related to the future of war, but focuses most closely on multi-domain operations—from the technologies and weapon systems that will play an important role in the concept to important questions about leadership and service culture.
37 minutes | 10 months ago
Why War Doesn't Go Away
This episode of the MWI Podcast features a discussion with Dr. Bear Braumoeller, a political science professor at the Ohio State University and author of a book called Only the Dead: The Persistence of War in the Modern Age. In writing it, he set out to understand if wars are happening less frequently than they used to. His data-driven examination produced two conclusions: not only is war not on the decline, but it is also not becoming less deadly.
29 minutes | 10 months ago
The Future of our Army, with Gen. James McConville
This episode of the MWI Podcast features a conversation with Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. James McConville. He talks new weapons and equipment, bringing the active and reserve components together, a revolutionary new talent management system, and even a couple book recommendations! He took on that role as the seniormost officer in the United States Army in August 2019, and his tenure comes at a time during which the service is in a period of substantial transformation. As he explains, many of the systems the Army uses—especially major weapons systems—were fielded in the late 1970s and early 1980s, another period of major change in the service. That's why the Army is undertaking a massive modernization effort. But that doesn't just mean the weapons and vehicles US soldiers go to war with will change. The doctrine that determines how they fight, the organizational structures of their units, and even the talent management systems that recruit and retain the Army's men and women will be different than those of the past.
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