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The Modern War Institute Podcast

The podcast of the Modern War Institute at West Point. We'll discuss tactical, operational, and strategic trends for the benefit of the United States Corps of Cadets as well as Army leaders and security professionals. Follow the Modern War Institute on Facebook, Twitter (@warinstitute), Instagram, and on the War Council Blog at modernwarinstitute.org.
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Sep 6, 2019

In this episode of the MWI Podcast, Maj. Jake Miraldi is joined by Lt. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, commander of US Army Cyber Command. He explains the nuances of the cyber domain and operations in that domain, but also touches on some of the unique challenges associated with developing a force optimized for cyber warfare.

Aug 22, 2019

In this episode, MWI's John Amble talks to Martha Wells, author of the four-volume science fiction series The Murderbot Diaries. She discusses how the books' central figure—a hybrid being with living tissue but equipped with artificial intelligence—can help us think about robotics, AI, and manned-unmanned teaming on the future battlefield.

Aug 13, 2019

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.

Jul 30, 2019

Paul Scharre is the author of Army of None: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War. In this episode, he talks about the state of development of artificial intelligence and autonomy, and how it and future advancements will change the way in which we fight wars.

Jul 11, 2019

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 is the deputy director of the Army’s Futures and Concepts Center will soon take over as the commander of the Combat Capabilities Development Command. And Mr. Jay Harrison serves as the command innovation officer at Army Futures Command.

Jun 26, 2019

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.

Jun 12, 2019

This episode features a conversation with Dr. Amy Kruse, 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.

May 30, 2019

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.

May 15, 2019

In this episode, we talk to retired Army Col. Peter Newell about Hacking 4 Defense, a program that leverages the unique qualities of universities and private-sector startups to find solutions for government—especially the defense enterprise.

May 1, 2019

In this episode, we speak to Elsa Kania, whose research is at the forefront of efforts to better understand the way China approaches innovation and military technology. From artificial intelligence to automation to railgun technology, we discuss Chinese technological priorities and how they overlay on its strategic objectives.

Apr 17, 2019

In this episode of the MWI Podcast, Maj. Jake Miraldi is joined by retired Col. Frank Sobchak, one of the authors of the Army's 1,300-page, two-volume study of the Iraq War. He discusses how the study came into being and why it's important, along with its major conclusions about the war and why its release was delayed for more than two years.

Apr 2, 2019

This episode features a conversation with Ali Wyne, a policy analyst at the RAND Corporation and an MWI non-resident fellow. In the conversation, he addresses important questions, like how we should conceptualize the shrinking power gap between the United States and China and why there are many features of China's grand strategy that we don't—and perhaps can't—yet understand.

Mar 19, 2019

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.

Mar 6, 2019

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.

Feb 20, 2019

Dr. Mara Karlin has served in national security roles under five US secretaries of defense and is the author of the book Building Militaries in Fragile States. She explains how this objective has become such an important feature of US strategy, and discusses why it's so important and so difficult.

Feb 7, 2019

In this episode, retired US Army Col. Steve Banach talks about "virtual war," which he argues is transforming the way conflict plays out. He discusses the hallmarks of the concept, and explains why it requires us to fundamentally rethink the mental models we use to understand war.

Jan 23, 2019

This episode features a conversation with Ken Pollack, a military analyst and the author of Armies of Sand, a book that grapples with the question of why there are so many cases of Arab militaries under-performing on the battlefield—from the armies of Saddam Hussein to Muammar Gaddafi and beyond.

Jan 10, 2019

This episode features a conversation with retired US Air Force Gen. Kehler, who finished his military career as 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.

Dec 28, 2018

This episode features a conversation with Dr. Hal Brands, who explains the challenges to the longstanding US-led world order. In a world that looks to most observers like a dynamic and tumultuous place, there are drivers of change that can be identified and patterns to be discerned.

Dec 14, 2018

In this episode, John Amble is joined by retired Maj. Gen. David Fastabend and Mr. Ian Sullivan. Both have been heavily involved with initiatives to conceptualize the future of warfare for the Army's Training and Doctrine Command, where Sullivan is the assistant G-2 for ISR and futures. They talk through a range of emerging and future technologies and how they will impact the way we fight the wars of tomorrow.

Nov 28, 2018

In this episode, MWI's Capt. Jake Miraldi speaks to Dr. Graham Allison, author of the book "Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides's Trap?" In this fascinating conversation, Dr. Allison examines the critical factors that will determine whether war with a rising China will ultimately break out.

Nov 14, 2018

This is a sneak peek at the newest podcast series we're launching at the Modern War Institute: the Urban Warfare Project podcast. Each episode will seek to better understand the challenges cities pose to military forces and examine the ways we can better prepare for them. In this first episode, John Spencer, MWI's Chair of Urban Warfare Studies, speaks to Dr. David Kilcullen, an author, strategist, and former Australian Army officer.

Oct 31, 2018

PW Singer, co-author of the new book LikeWar: The Weaponization of Social Media, joins for this episode of the MWI Podcast. He explains how a convergence of advancements in web-enabled connectivity and the ongoing evolution of the character of war have brought us to where we are today, with social media tools becoming powerful weapons, as well as battlefields themselves.

Oct 16, 2018

In this episode, MWI's John Amble talks to US Air Force Lt. Col. Jen Snow of USSOCOM's SOFWERX and author and futurist Dr. James Canton. From robotics to AI to autonomy and more, the guests explore what war is most likely to look like in the future—and explain how vital it is for US warfighters to be kept ahead of ever-quickening technological trends.

Oct 3, 2018

CJ Chivers, award-winning New York Times journalist and best-selling author, joins for this episode to discuss his new book, The Fighters. In it, Chivers seeks to tell the story of America's post-9/11 wars not from a policy or strategy level, but from the perspective of the junior officers, noncommissioned officers, and soldiers who fought them.

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