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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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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.

Sep 20, 2018

In this episode of the MWI Podcast, Maj. Jake Miraldi talks to Dr. Charles Morgan, a forensic psychologist whose work has helped us better understand the nature of stress and psychological responses to it on the battlefield. Dr. Morgan engages with a range of important questions about neurobiology and the unique stress of combat.

Sep 5, 2018

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.

Aug 23, 2018

In this episode of the MWI Podcast we talk to historian and bestselling author Max Boot. He gives his assessment of the current situation in Syria and Ukraine, warns of the dangers of repeating mistakes the US military made after the Vietnam War, and describes what he sees as fundamental threats to the US-led international order.

Aug 7, 2018

In the era of big data, the minds of human analysts are no match for the processing power of computers fed with terabytes of data and armed with powerful algorithms. But MWI Non-Resident Fellow Dr. Nicholas Krohley argues in this episode that, far from obviating the need for those human analysts, the incorporation of more and more data into military and intelligence analysis makes human judgment more important than ever.

Jul 24, 2018

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.

Jul 5, 2018

In this episode of the Modern War Institute podcast, MWI editorial director John Amble speaks to Dr. Russell Glenn, a senior adviser for plans and policy to the deputy chief of staff, G-2, of the Army's Training and Doctrine Command. Dr. Glenn has spent nearly 25 years studying the city as a battlefield. During this conversation, he discusses the challenges it poses and what the US military should be doing to prepare to operate effectively in dense urban in the future.

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