WE’RE SO META: PODCASTING ABOUT PODCASTING

Name a topic or an interest and you can probably find a podcast about it. With over 2 million podcasts and more than 48 million episodes somebody is talking about something you want or need to hear. Today we’re talking about our little corner of the podosphere. A BETTER PEACE welcomes Mary Foster, Abram Trosky, and Jacqueline Whitt to the virtual studio to talk about how they incorporate podcasts and podcasting in the classroom. They join podcast editor Ron Granieri to discuss how the medium can be used to share information in support of educational objectives as well as its utility in developing better communicators.

TRANSCRIPT: https://warroom.armywarcollege.edu/wp-content/uploads/21-081-WERE-SO-META-PODCASTING-ABOUT-PODCASTING-Transcript.pdf

VALUES, INTERESTS, AND LEADERSHIP BEYOND AFGHANISTAN

You can’t turn on your computer or phone at the moment without hearing a podcast or seeing an article with someone’s opinion about what went wrong in Afghanistan. The editorial team at WAR ROOM decided that if we were to enter the fray we needed to interview someone that truly had the bona fides to speak intelligently about the long term strategic view of Afghanistan. A BETTER PEACE welcomes Larry Goodson to the virtual studio. Larry is the Professor of Middle East Studies at the U.S. Army War College, and is one of the most knowledgeable people in the United States on the culture, the people, and the problems in Afghanistan and the nations that surround it. He joins podcast editor Ron Granieri to discuss why the situation has unfolded as it has and what might lie ahead for the region and the United States.

TRANSCRIPT: https://warroom.armywarcollege.edu/wp-content/uploads/21-128-VALUES-INTERESTS-AND-LEADERSHIP-BEYOND-AFGHANISTAN-Transcript.pdf

FREE OF BIAS? ARMY OFFICER EVALUATIONS

In April 2020 we published an article that argued for the removal of the official photo from the Army’s promotion and selection process. The goal was to eliminate a source of bias from the process and the Army took notice and removed the photo requirement. Bonnie “Buffie” Clemente joins podcast editor Ron Granieri in the virtual studio to discuss how the officer evaluation system still has sources of bias that have to be addressed to ensure a true meritocracy. Buffie brings to bear her years of experience with evaluations and promotion boards to identify both conscious and unconscious forms of bias in the system and the way ahead to try and minimize their impact.

TRANSCRIPT: https://warroom.armywarcollege.edu/wp-content/uploads/21-062-FREE-OF-BIAS-ARMY-OFFICER-EVALUATIONS-Transcript.pdf

INFLECTION POINT: ARMY LEADER DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY

Land, sea, air, space, and cyberspace, that is the multi-domain environment that the Army sees operations occurring in from now forward. What does this shift in viewing the environment mean for all the aspects of raising and sustaining an army and all of its interactions and interdependencies in the joint force? Doctrine is being written and re-written across the force to adapt to this new schema, but all the doctrine in the world is useless if there aren’t leaders in place that understand it and execute it. Jeff Barta joins podcast editor Ron Granieri in the virtual studio to talk about the efforts of Army University to change, synchronize, modernize and distribute the education and training necessary to develop the leaders of today and tomorrow to operate in the multi-domain environment.

TRANSCRIPT: https://warroom.armywarcollege.edu/wp-content/uploads/21-072-INFLECTION-POINT-ARMY-LEADER-DEVELOPMENT-STRATEGY-Transcript.pdf

IT’S TIME TO LET GO: ACQUISITION DIVESTITURE

It’s highly unlikely you’ll ever hear a military leader say “I’ve got all the money and time I need to execute the mission.” And when a global pandemic, aging infrastructure, and the end of a multi-decade war all drive federal spending towards domestic priorities, defense budgets get even tighter. Enter the practice of divestiture. Sustainment is the most expensive portion of a weapon system’s life cycle, and there comes a time when it’s more cost effective to get rid of the system and find something new to do the job. Adam Miller joins podcast editor Ron Granieri in the virtual studio to discuss why getting rid of things is harder than it sounds. They talk about a budgetary system that doesn’t incentivize divestiture, personal and professional biases that get in the way, and an acquisition system that is a baffling maze of rules, regulations, terms and acronyms.

TRANSCRIPT: https://warroom.armywarcollege.edu/wp-content/uploads/21-067-ITS-TIME-TO-LET-GO-ACQUISITION-DIVESTITURE-Transcript.pdf

THE ARMY’S GOT TALENT IN RESERVE(S)

The DoD has touted the civilian expertise of the National Guard and Reserve members of the force for years. Whether it was the small town mayor or civil engineer working Civil Affairs, or the physician or aviator applying their civilian “day job” skills directly to their military career fields, there are a number of incredibly successful matches that make the reserve component of the force invaluable. But what about all of the folks that have military jobs that look nothing like what they do in the civilian world? Andrew Vidourek and Rob Gerlach want to make sure the Army knows about all of the skills that exist among Guard and Reserve personnel, and specifically those that aren’t properly matched. They join podcast editor Ron Granieri in the virtual studio to pitch a new approach to better talent management through technology. Their plan is to create a database of certified civilian expertise that is accessible, searchable and readily matches people to jobs that suit their talents. Their goal is to improve recruiting, retention, job satisfaction and ultimately lethality in the reserve component.

Transcript: https://warroom.armywarcollege.edu/wp-content/uploads/21-073-THE-ARMYS-GOT-TALENT-IN-RESERVES-Transcript.pdf

MONEY, MARRIAGE, AND MILITARY LIFE

“If the Army wanted you to have a family they would have issued you one!” It’s been a while since that phrase was in fashion, but if you do the math these days it might actually seem like the Army wants you to have a family. A BETTER PEACE welcomes Rachael Hoagland to look at the financial policies that actually incentivize Soldiers to get married, and at the same disadvantage single service members. Rachael joins podcast editor Ron Granieri to look at how the good intentions of the service to help provide for Army families unintentionally creates a pay/benefit gap that can lead to rash decisions. She proposes some solutions (don’t worry she’s not trying to take away money from married Soldiers) and lays out the cost to benefit ratio.

Transcript: https://warroom.armywarcollege.edu/wp-content/uploads/21-074-MONEY-MARRIAGE-AND-MILITARY-LIFE-Transcript.pdf

HONORING THE PAST WHILE SPEAKING TO THE FUTURE

The U.S. Department of Defense has had its difficulties over the last decade with recruiting and retention. The high operations tempo of the last 20 years, long separations, the danger of combat, and an ever-shrinking pool of eligible recruits are just some of the factors that have made the sustainment of the force more difficult than in many years past. The all-volunteer force depends on attracting, recruiting, and retaining the right people and managing that talent properly. A BETTER PEACE welcomes Robert Gerlach and Silas Martinez to discuss a project that hopes to address the attracting and recruiting aspect and hopefully indirectly improve the retention piece. They join podcast editor Ron Granieri in the virtual studio to explain Rob’s unique Strategy Research Project (SRP). Creating the first ever video SRP, Rob worked with his advisor, Silas, to try and solve a real problem for the U.S. Army by answering a unique question; “What if the Army Museum Enterprise could be utilized to attract or identify the right people to the Army and make sure they find their way into the ranks?”

Transcript: https://warroom.armywarcollege.edu/wp-content/uploads/21-077-HONORING-THE-PAST-WHILE-SPEAKING-TO-THE-FUTURE-Transcript.pdf

STRATEGY FROM THE INSIDE OUT (EISENHOWER SERIES)

In September 2019 we introduced you to the Eisenhower Series College Program (ESCP). Though we are approaching life as we remember it pre-COVID, travel limitations significantly limited the ESCP from visiting colleges and universities, interacting with audiences often unfamiliar with members of the U.S. Military. It is our hope at WAR ROOM to bring you a glimpse of what some of those presentations might have looked like via A BETTER PEACE.

In the third and final episode of academic year 2021 our podcast editor Ron Granieri is joined by War College students and ESCP members Rena Henderson-Alailima, Jeff Munn and Nicholas Ploetz. Today’s conversation addresses the internal dimensions of strategy. Once again three professional military officers and leaders apply the sum total of their experiences to examine climate change, the resulting resourcing strategy and the future of autonomous technology as it all impacts military strategy.

Transcript: https://warroom.armywarcollege.edu/wp-content/uploads/21-088-STRATEGY-FROM-THE-INSIDE-OUT-EISENHOWER-SERIES-Transcript.pdf

STUDYING SOFT POWER AT THE WAR COLLEGE (EISENHOWER SERIES)

In September 2019 we introduced you to the Eisenhower Series College Program (ESCP). Though we are approaching life as we remember it pre-COVID, travel limitations significantly limited the ESCP from visiting colleges and universities, interacting with audiences often unfamiliar with members of the U.S. Military. It is our hope at WAR ROOM to bring you a glimpse of what some of those presentations might have looked like via A BETTER PEACE.

In the second episode of academic year 2021 our podcast editor Ron Granieri is joined by War College students and ESCP members Ron Hawkins, Abdul Sami and Kate Sanborn. This time the conversation turns to the concept of soft power versus hard power. What do three War College students have to say about tackling the topic of soft power at the School of Strategic Landpower? Quite a bit. Each with a career’s worth of experience in the Department of State, the Pakistan Army and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, respectively, they have many examples where China has outpaced the United States in recent years. They each offer a hopeful view of how the United States has and must continue to engage nations around the world with diplomacy and all the tools in the soft power tool bag before ever resorting to the use of military force.

Transcript: https://warroom.armywarcollege.edu/wp-content/uploads/21-087-STUDYING-SOFT-POWER-AT-THE-WAR-COLLEGE-EISENHOWER-SERIES-Transcript.pdf

DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION: THE DOD’S ROLE (EISENHOWER SERIES)

In September 2019 we introduced you to the Eisenhower Series College Program (ESCP). Though we are approaching life as we remember it pre-COVID, travel limitations significantly limited the ESCP from visiting colleges and universities, interacting with audiences often unfamiliar with members of the U.S. Military. It is our hope at WAR ROOM to bring you a glimpse of what some of those presentations might have looked like via A BETTER PEACE.

In this first episode of academic year 2021 our podcast editor Ron Granieri is joined by War College students and ESCP members Rebecca Connally, Aixa Dones and Adisa King. In their conversation they share their personal thoughts and experiences as career military officers and leaders in the U.S. Army and Marine Corps. They try and tackle the question of how well either the armed forces or American society as a whole have lived up to their stated values of diversity, equity and inclusion. They discuss where they have seen success and failure and what the path looks like going forward.

Transcript: https://warroom.armywarcollege.edu/wp-content/uploads/21-086-DIVERSITY-EQUITY-AND-INCLUSION-THE-DODS-ROLE-EISENHOWER-SERIES-Transcript.pdf

WE’VE GOT TO DO BETTER: DISTANCE EDUCATION

Long before COVID saw much of the country locked in their homes operating on laptops and tablets, conducting business and meetings and school and training, there was a significant portion of the population that was already learning via distance education. The military has always had a portion of the force that accomplished professional military education (PME) via correspondence (an antiquated term at this point) and in the last two decades a significant portion of annual training requirements have moved online to computer based training. But how effective is it? A BETTER PEACE welcomes Geoff Bailey to take a look at the state of distance education in the U.S. Army. He joins podcast editor Ron Granieri in the virtual studio as they discuss the pros and cons of distance learning. An advocate for distance education, Geoff points to recent changes due to the pandemic and urges educators within the Army to seize upon the gains made in technology, delivery and engagement techniques and practices. The whole goal of his research is to ensure that the total force is the best it can be trained regardless of whether learning occurred in person or at a distance.
Transcript: https://warroom.armywarcollege.edu/wp-content/uploads/21-060-WEVE-GOT-TO-DO-BETTER-DISTANCE-EDUCATION-Transcript.pdf

POWs IN AMERICAN MILITARY HISTORY

As long as there has been war, there have been prisoners of war (POWs). If you have served in the U.S. military in the last 50 years you know of the Law of Armed Conflict, the Code of Conduct and the extensive efforts the nation takes to recover U.S. and allied POWs and those listed as Missing in Action (MIA). But it might surprise many people to learn that throughout history often little preparation has been made by any nation to account for, feed, house and transport enemy prisoners. And it is only recently that historians of these conflicts have begun to study the topic of POWs. Professors Daniel Krebs and Lorien Foote are in the virtual studio for this episode to discuss their work in this field and their book Useful Captives: The Role of POWs in American Military Conflicts. They join podcast editor Ron Granieri to examine how the treatment of POWs has changed over time to include some of the most recent actions in the middle east regarding mistreatment and release of prisoners.

THE GRIT AND GROWTH MINDSET

Adversity and resilience are incredibly relevant topics in light of what’s going on in the world today. People around the world are facing challenges and adversity that they’ve never seen before and are seeking new ways to deal with it. A BETTER PEACE welcomes Jennifer Alessio to share her story of a potentially career-ending injury and how she found a path forward to not only survive but thrive. Jennifer joins podcast editor Ron Granieri in the virtual studio to discuss the grit and growth mindset. Based in the works of Dr. Angela Duckworth and Dr. Carol Dweck, Jennifer discusses how the mindset can benefit innovation, talent management, soldier development and even recruiting in the U.S. Army.

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.

AFTERMATH: THE FIRST GULF WAR

“The Gulf War is often remembered as a ‘good war,’ a high-tech conflict that quickly and cleanly achieved its objectives.” That’s the opening line of Sam Helfont’s new article in the Texas National Security Review, and he’s in the virtual studio to discuss how the narrative might not match reality. Sam joins A BETTER PEACE editor Ron Granieri to discuss the fallout of the first Gulf War. As a Middle East historian, Sam offers a unique perspective on the realities of life after the shooting stopped. He talks about the political, economic, and humanitarian dilemmas it caused in the region as well as the divisions and harm it introduced into the western world and the United States.

EVERY SOLDIER HAS A PERSONAL STORY

A BETTER PEACE welcomes Ann Meredith to discuss her experience as a female officer in the U.S. Army. She joins WAR ROOM podcast editor Ron Granieri in the virtual studio to discuss what her career has looked like as a woman, a mother and a wife in the Military Police corps. Ann recounts long separations, supportive units, honest mentors and the biases and discriminations that many women must overcome in any branch of the military. 

HOW MUCH FOR THE PEN? SCHELLING (GREAT STRATEGISTS)

A BETTER PEACE welcomes back Tami Davis Biddle to our GREAT STRATEGISTS series. She joins WAR ROOM podcast editor Ron Granieri in the virtual studio to discuss the contributions of Thomas C. Schelling to the Cold War nuclear strategy realm.

HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT: RADICALS IN THE RANKS

UPDATED: 1450/15 Dec 2020 A BETTER PEACE welcomes Robert Payne to discuss the radicalization of U.S. military members, particularly in the Army. Payne joins podcast editor Ron Granieri in the virtual studio to examine how individual members of the Army are radicalized and what the service and law enforcement need to do to defeat the […]

PAST VISIONS OF FUTURE WARS

A BETTER PEACE welcomes Adam Seipp to discuss the world of Cold War literature. Adam’s previous article in our DUSTY SHELVES series reviewed Sir John Hackett’s 1978 best seller, The Third World War: August 1985. Hackett, deemed both the heir to Pat Frank and Neville Shute and also the ancestor of Tom Clancy and so […]