THE INTERIM NSS: A TOUCHSTONE

Mandated by public law, the National Security Strategy (NSS) is the report that the President of the United States sends to Congress to communicate the administration’s strategy and vision regarding national security. It is to be submitted to Congress in a classified format no later than 150 days after the date on which a new President takes office. But Congress isn’t the only audience of the NSS as there is typically an unclassified summary that communicates the administration’s intent to the military, the citizenry, and friends and foes alike. Editor-in-Chief Jacqueline Whitt is in the virtual studio with podcast editor Ron Granieri to discuss the Interim NSS that the Biden administration released on 3 Mar 2021. Ron and Jacqueline take a look at what’s different in this document and perhaps more importantly what is similar to previous administration’s NSS reports.

NATIONAL EMERGENCY RESPONSE: THE BENS REPORT

Business Executives for National Security (BENS) a nonprofit comprised of senior business and industry executives commissioned a study and produced a report it refers to as “A CALL TO ACTION” to strengthen U.S. emergency response for sustained, widespread events such as the COVID-19 pandemic. BENS President and CEO, Joseph Votel, joins our own Editor-in-Chief in the virtual studio to discuss the findings of the report. Their conversation reviews the recommendations of federal, state and local government responsibilities and relations and the need for a national strategy for emergency response. Not surprisingly, as in any large scale operation, the need for clear communication and information sharing is highlighted as one of the crucial factors for success.

THE ARMY’S ROBERT E. LEE PROBLEM

On 5 February, 2021, newly confirmed Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin directed military leaders to lead a one-day stand-down within the next 60 days to address extremism within the nation’s armed forces. That same afternoon our Editor-In Chief, Jacqueline Whitt sat down with Ty Seidule in the virtual studio to record this episode. Seidule, a prominent figure in the conversation about extremism, has long fought against the veneration of Robert E. Lee and the Confederate cause in the Army, specifically at the United States Military Academy. His 2015 video on Prager University, “Was the Civil War About Slavery?” has been viewed over 34 million times. And his newest book Robert E. Lee and Me is drawing both praise and anger. Their discussion ranges from his childhood in the south to his time at West Point as the Head of the Department of History, and what he’s been doing since his retirement as a brigadier general in 2020.

UNDERSTANDING A DIFFERENT PEOPLE: THE OKINAWAN IDENTITY

When planning for interactions with foreign countries, whether in peace or in war, it can be easy for military planners to be lulled into the false security of the homogeneity of a culture or race or nationality. Many would argue that was exactly what happened in Afghanistan and Iraq in the last two decades. But […]

THEY REALLY READ IT FOR THE ARTICLES

Playboy magazine first hit newsstands in December 1953, so it was quite well established by the time the United States joined the conflict in Vietnam. Derided by a portion of the population as disgraceful smut, the common retort from the men who perused the sordid pages was “I just read it for the articles.” A […]

NEGLECT AND ATTENTION IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE

There is no “Latin America” right? It is a region made up of independent sovereign countries, some with different histories, some with different languages…based on that they’re going to have different relationships with the United States. In the present day examination of global security, much of the United States’ attention is focused on the Middle […]

CULTURAL TERRAIN IN DOMESTIC OPERATIONS

We can’t function in a vacuum without understanding who the people are that we’re interacting with on a daily basis. And this is particularly critical, even in domestic operations, from a disaster and a mass emergency response standpoint. When disaster strikes in the United States we are fortunate to have the National Guard available to […]

A TRANSATLANTIC PERSPECTIVE ON NATO (LEADER PERSPECTIVES)

My abiding memory of colonels is that they really are the pivot between the engine room and the ultimate decision makers particularly, for example, in a corps headquarters. A BETTER PEACE welcomes General Timothy Radford of the British Army to the studio to discuss his perspectives on strategic leadership, vision and effect. Radford was in […]

THE MARTIAL CITIZEN

Martial Citizenship…is the concept that since soldiers serve the state the state therefore owes something back. The National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service released its report “Inspired to Serve” on 25 March 2020. The Commission’s two primary statutory charges were: (1) to “conduct a review of the military selective service process” and (2) […]

THAT NEVER HAPPENED: A WATER COOLER DISCUSSION ABOUT MOVIES

If he didn’t do that, he should have. If you’ve ever spent any time with historians you know that they are the worst people to watch a movie with. Custer never said that, Roosevelt didn’t jump up from his wheelchair, there was no grass on that battlefield in 1917. A BETTER PEACE gathered three of […]

LESSONS FROM 1918: GET A FLU SHOT, WASH YOUR HANDS

What we do know is that all of the movement of people and animals made this virus transmit much faster around the world than it would have otherwise. And you can directly associate it with the effects of the war. A BETTER PEACE welcomes Michael Neiberg to examine the misnamed Spanish Flu of 1918. Neiberg […]

CHINA’S GRAND STRATEGY AND THE BRI

There has never been anything like it in recorded history where a country has put…a trillion dollars aside to help in jump starting all of these infrastructure projects around the country Much has been made of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Wary watcher’s are quick to point out the spread of Chinese influence in […]

AI ON THE BATTLEFIELD? – IT’S ALREADY HERE

I worry that we’re going to field many of these systems without really thinking through both the legality and morality of putting them into the field. A BETTER PEACE welcomes Dr. Paul Springer Chair of the Department of Research at the U.S. Air Force Air Command and Staff College. Paul joins our Editor-In-Chief Jacqueline Whitt […]

HUMANITARIAN OPS: OPPORTUNITIES, CHALLENGES AND PITFALLS

To really have a successful mission you have to be willing to stay A BETTER PEACE welcomes Mary Elizabeth Walters to discuss to calculus of humanitarian operations involving the U.S. military. The decision to render aid or enter into humanitarian operations in another country isn’t always an easy one. It may seem like a simple […]

LOOKING TO THE PAST TO CHANGE THE FUTURE

Back in the 1930s, Air Force officers who were assigned instructor duty at the Air Corps Tactical School…would wear these little…pledge pins on their uniforms. A BETTER PEACE welcomes Dr. John Terino, Chair of the Department of Airpower at the U.S. Air Force Air Command and Staff College (ACSC.) John joins our Editor-In-Chief, Jacqueline Whitt to […]

LESSONS LEARNED THE HARD WAY: THE EVOLUTION OF THE BRITISH LIGHT INFANTRY

It’s not that Dundas was opposed to the use of light infantry he thought it was, the pejorative term was, ‘it’s very American’   A BETTER PEACE welcomes Dr. Huw Davies of King’s College London. Huw joins WAR ROOM Editor-In-Chief Jacqueline Whitt to trace the development of Great Britain’s Light Infantry. It’s easy to call […]

LYKKE’S LITTLE THREE-LEGGED STOOL (PART 2)

This was never meant to be the be all and the end all…let’s remember this title of my little 4-page magnum opus…’Toward An Understanding of Military Strategy’ A BETTER PEACE welcomes back U.S. Army Colonel (retired) Arthur F. Lykke for the second and final part of his interview. Having explained the birthplace of the three-legged-stool […]

LYKKE’S LITTLE THREE-LEGGED STOOL (PART 1)

The Vice [Chief of Staff] of the Army…came to the War College…and the first thing he said to me was something like ‘Art why the hell does Senator Nunn want to talk to you about strategy…?’ If you’ve ever participated in strategic-level professional military education you’re probably familiar with his work. If you’ve ever listened […]

THE WEST POINT CLASS OF 1829

Quite frankly a number of times in [Lee’s] career he debates getting out of the Army to pursue other interests. A BETTER PEACE welcomes Paul Springer to the studio to discuss the influence of the West Point class of 1829. Springer joins our Editor-In-Chief Jacqueline Whitt to examine the unique experiences of this cohort, and […]