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
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All Episodes
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Jun 7, 2017

This is the first episode in MWI's new podcast, "The Spear," which is aimed at providing a window into the combat experience. In this episode, Capt. Jake Miraldi walks us through the 2009 Battle of Barg-e Matal in eastern Afghanistan's Nuristan province, and his role in it as a platoon leader.

May 24, 2017

In this episode, Capt. Natalie Mallue describes her experience as one of only seven women to have complete the US Army's grueling Ranger School. She discusses her preparation, what it means to be among such a select group of women, and the advice she would give to future Ranger School attendees.

May 10, 2017

In this episode, a joint production with the West Point Center for Oral History, four combat jump veterans talk about their experiences jumping onto the battlefield from above.

Apr 26, 2017

In this episode, we talk to Lt. Gen. (Ret) Mark Hertling about the risk to military readiness and national security posed by declining American physical fitness.

Apr 11, 2017

In this episode, we speak with US Air Force Maj. 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.

Mar 1, 2017

In this episode, four writers discuss the ways that writing can help clarify our thinking about war—past, present, and future—and process firsthand experiences at war.

Feb 14, 2017

Brig. Gen. Nechemya Sokal, chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces’ Technology and Logistics Branch, discusses battlefield challenges the IDF has confronted, the solutions put in place, and how those solutions came to fruition. We talk tunnel warfare, autonomous systems, and the future of war.

Jan 25, 2017

Max Brooks talks about how creativity can only succeed if someone takes up and works for new ideas. From Army doctrine to weapons development to organizational management, championing creativity has to happen to allow new ideas to grow and spread. We talk how that applies to the Army today and to the future of war.

Jan 11, 2017

Medal of Honor recipient Staff Sgt. (Ret) Sal Giunta discusses his actions in the Korengal Valley in 2007, how he managed keep calm under duress, and what he was fighting for.

Dec 22, 2016

We talk with August Cole about how autonomous systems will shape the future battlefield and how they are beginning to appear today. Where on the battlefield will autonomous systems be used and which domains will see the most profound changes?

Dec 7, 2016

MWI talks to Eric Maddox, former US Army interrogator, about how he developed a new way to conduct interrogations. His interrogations eventually led to information about the whereabouts of Saddam Hussein. 

Nov 18, 2016

MWI talks with "Scales on War" author and former Army War College Commandant MG (R) Robert Scales. We discuss how the role of the infantry has changes and how we might increase the lethality and effectiveness of the frontline fighting force.

Nov 2, 2016

MWI talks to GEN (R) Michael Hayden, former NSA and CIA director, about the changes in the way we collect and use intelligence and how that will influence the modern battlefield.

Oct 26, 2016

The MWI podcast sits down with COL Michael Loos, commander of the Army Asymmetric Warfare Group, to discuss how they work to support the operational force through observation and analysis of emerging technologies and tactics. We also talk the AWG's approach to training and preparation of units and leaders.

Oct 4, 2016

The Modern War Institute talks Sebastian Junger's new book "Tribe" and about his on the ground experience in Afghanistan. Hosted by Cadet Mitchell Magill.

Sep 27, 2016

Dr. Tanisha Fazal, an associate professor of Political Science and Peace Studies at Notre Dame, discusses the changing nature of the kill-to-wounded ratio in war and how casualties in modern war impact soldiers, policymakers, and the public.

Aug 31, 2016

MAJ Jon Bate discusses his recently published paper on how tactical economics influence decision-making and the modern battlefield. We talk both macro and micro-economic considerations and how the Army should understand the impact of economic interventions. You can find the full copy of his paper at

Aug 10, 2016

The Modern War Institute has an exclusive discussion with LTG Robert L. Caslen Jr., 59th Superintendent of the United States Military Academy about his recent trip to Iraq and what it means for the development of future Army leaders.

Aug 4, 2016

MWI sits down with Dr. Benedetta Berti, researcher, author, and TED speaker to discuss the rise of violent non-state actors and how security professionals should understand them.

Jul 14, 2016

We talk to Dr. Andrew Bacevich about his new book "America's War for the Greater Middle East" and how security professionals and leaders can prepare for the complexities  of current and future war.

May 27, 2016

We sit down with MAJ DJ Skelton, USMA class of 2003, to talk about his experiences in Iraq, Afghanistan, and as a wounded warrior.

Apr 22, 2016

We talk with SSG Ryan Pitts, Medal of Honor recipient, about 2008's Battle of Wanat. His unit experienced a large scale, determined attack in the mountains of Afghanistan which resulting in nine Americans killed. We hear his story and discuss ways that further leaders can prepare themselves for situations similar to those he experienced.

Apr 6, 2016

We talk to Max Brooks, writer of the Zombie Survival Guide, World War Z, and Harlem Hellfighters, about how a zombie plague can help us understand current and future security issues. 

Mar 24, 2016

The United States currently has a limited appetite for large scale deployment of conventional forces, but the security situation around the world is tenuous. Today, the United States has avoided large deployments through drone warfare and proxy support. We talk with New York Times reporter Eric Schmitt about where and how that template is being used and how effective the larger operational template is in handling global security threats.

Mar 15, 2016

We talk to Michael O'Hanlon from the Brookings Institution about the current state of the Army, what the future of the Army holds, and how juniors leaders and security professionals can prepare.

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