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Modern War Institute
46 minutes | Jun 15, 2021
Training for Tomorrow's Battlefield
This episode features a conversation with Brig. Gen. David Doyle, commander of the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk. He describes how training at JRTC—one of the Army's three combat training centers—is changing rapidly and dramatically to meet the challenges that soldiers and units will confront in the contemporary global operational environment. As you'll hear, that training isn't just a pillar of Army readiness, but an integral component of the bigger picture of Army modernization.
42 minutes | May 28, 2021
Mosul, Urban Destruction, and Political Instability
In this episode of the MWI Podcast, MWI's John Amble speaks to James Verini. An award-winning journalist, he spent months reporting from Mosul as Iraqi forces, backed by US troops, fought to retake the city from Mosul. In the conversation, he not only discusses the fighting he reported on, but also offers important context about Mosul, its people, and its history—all of which is crucial to make sense of urban conflict. As he describes, Mosul also shows how urban conflict's destructive nature and political instability interact with one another in important ways. That is equally true in other sites of recent urban conflict, including during the outbreak of fighting in recent weeks between Israel and Hamas in Gaza City.
53 minutes | May 13, 2021
How Militaries Adapt
What are the hallmarks of an adaptable military force? What types of leaders best create cultures of adaptability in their formations? How do such forces employ rapidly changing technologies? And how does doctrine drive or limit adaptation? Dr. Nora Bensahel and retired Lt. Gen. Dave Barno—authors of the book Adaptation Under Fire: How Militaries Change in Wartime—join this episode to discuss these questions and more.
43 minutes | Apr 29, 2021
Survival at the Top of the World
In this episode Ryan Burke—codirector of MWI's Project 6633—visits the Air Force’s Arctic Survival School at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. He speaks with several members of the school’s staff, who describe the unique challenges—matters of life and death—that forces operating in the extreme environment of the Arctic confront. Listen as they also explain how they train students at the school so they are best prepared and equipped to manage and overcome those challenges.
55 minutes | Apr 20, 2021
The Future Defense of Europe
This episode features a discussion with retired Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges. He served until 2017 as the commanding general of US Army Europe and now holds the pershing Chair in Strategic Studies at the Center for European Policy Analysis. Listen as he shares his insights on the topic of European defense—including a range of issues that make it especially complex today and will make it even more so in the future. The conversation touches on everything from logistical challenges to interoperability to the nuances of European defense politics to the implications of a rising China on European security.
37 minutes | Apr 2, 2021
Special Operations Forces in the High North
In this episode, Col. Brian Rauen and Capt. Barrett Martin join to talk about the increasing importance of the Arctic. Col. Rauen is the commander of 10th Special Forces Group, and Capt. Martin is one of the officers assigned to the group. 10th Group has a particular focus on Europe, which means the unit has a natural organizational interest in the Arctic region. As you’ll hear our guests explain, though, that interest is growing. They discuss why that's the case, and they talk about some of the unique challenges posed by such an extreme environment. The episode features a guest host, Dr. Ryan Burke, who is an MWI fellow and co-director of Project 6633, an MWI project focused on polar security. 10th Group and Project 6633 have also partnered to organize an essay contest, inviting submissions that address the question of how American special operations forces can compete with near-peer adversaries in the polar regions. If you’re interested in entering, more details about the contest can be found here.
22 minutes | Mar 19, 2021
How Science Can Help Us Meet the Cognitive Demands of War
This episode features a conversation with Dr. Amy Kruse, who was at the time of recording the chief scientific officer at the Platypus Institute. She discusses "Human 2.0," a concept she describes a vision of where humans are headed in terms of cognitive performance. She also describes how this concept overlays on what we know about the cognitive demands of war. Note: This episode was originally released in 2018.
46 minutes | Mar 3, 2021
The British Army in Iraq and Afghanistan
This episode features a discussion with Simon Akam, author of the book The Changing of the Guard: The British Army Since 9/11. The books tells the story of nearly two decades of the service's experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan. Critical of the British Army's leadership at times, it aims to jumpstart an honest conversation about the those wars, the service's performance in them, the relationship between the UK military and the British people, and more. It's an insightful, thought-provoking conversation that brings into focus issues that are important not just in the United Kingdom but in the United States, as well.
33 minutes | Feb 18, 2021
This episode of the MWI Podcast features a conversation with Matt Larsen, known in many corners of the Army as the father of the modern combatives. He explains why he thinks combatives training is so important, but he also talks a lot about the notion of a warrior ethos—what it is and why, as he argues, it’s something that needs to exist throughout the entire Army, not just in infantry or other combat arms units.
34 minutes | Feb 3, 2021
The Past, Present, and Future of Amphibious Operations
Most people know something about the most famous amphibious operations in military history—the D-Day landings and Gallipoli, for example. But what about an amphibious night attack on the shores of Tuscany in 1555? Or a Turkish amphibious assault in response to a coup in Cyprus in 1974? This episode features a conversation with Tim Heck, co-editor of the book On Contested Shores: The Evolving Role of Amphibious Operations in the History of Warfare, and explores the past, present, and future of amphibious operations.
31 minutes | Jan 21, 2021
The US Army's Quest to be Ready for the Future
This episode features a conversation about innovation and the future battlefield and features two guests perfectly suited to discuss those topics. Maj. Gen. John George served as the deputy director of the Futures and Concepts Center and is now the commanding general of the Combat Capabilities Development Command. Mr. Jay Harrison served as Futures Command's first command innovation officer. As they make clear, the ways in which the Army is preparing for the future involve robotics, artificial intelligence, and the high-tech gadgetry, but it’s also about new ways of organizing, new doctrine, new personnel policies, and more.
58 minutes | Jan 6, 2021
Security in the High Latitudes
In an era of renewed great power competition, what are the risks of that competition migrating to the Arctic region and Antarctica? How might it play out? What are states' key interests in the polar regions? How should we conceptualize issues of security and geopolitics in both areas? This episode tackles those questions and more. It features a discussion with Liz Buchanan and Ryan Burke, co-directors of the brand new Project 6633.
56 minutes | Dec 23, 2020
Proxies and American Strategy in Africa
The recent decision to withdraw seven hundred US servicemembers from Somalia offers a timely opportunity to explore a few important questions: How does the US military work with partners in pursuit of US objectives? And more specifically, what role does proxy warfare play in US strategy in Africa. Those questions are at the center of the discussion in this episode. (Note: This is a sample episode from the Irregular Warfare Podcast. If you enjoy it, be sure to subscribe to hear a wide range of conversations about subjected related to irregular warfare. Get it wherever you listen to podcasts.)
34 minutes | Dec 11, 2020
Scanning the Future Battlefield with Former Deputy SECDEF Robert Work
In this episode, MWI's John Amble speaks to Robert Work, former deputy secretary of defense. He describes his expectations for the future of conflict, including the role unmanned and autonomous systems are likely to play, how the way the military acquires new equipment will change, and more. Note: This episode was originally recorded and released in 2019.
51 minutes | Nov 24, 2020
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.
62 minutes | Nov 12, 2020
The Brain and the Battlefield
In this episode of the Modern War Institute podcast, MWI editorial director John Amble speaks to Dr. James Giordano, the Chief of the Neuroethics Studies Program at Georgetown University and Scholar-in-Residence in the Pellegrino Center for Clinical Bioethics. Dr. Giordano discusses the rapid pace of advancement in neuroscience and neurotechnology—and what that advancement means for the future of war.
17 minutes | Oct 28, 2020
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 | Oct 13, 2020
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.
21 minutes | Sep 30, 2020
MWI Podcast: The Space Domain is Getting Crowded
In this episode of the MWI Podcast, John Amble talks to Dr. Moriba Jah, an aerospace engineer who has worked for NASA and the Air Force Research Laboratory. He is now an associate professor at the University of Texas, where he monitors space and works to track thousands of objects—a number that continues to grow—orbiting Earth. Note: This episode was originally released in May 2019.
47 minutes | Sep 16, 2020
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.
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