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

FINDING OUR FUNDAMENTAL HUMANITY

“Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it.” – Lao Tzu

As this episode is released much of the United States is recovering from the wrath of Hurricane Ida. At the center of most of the destruction is water. It overflowed from banks, surged towards shores, destroyed property, knocked out power and swept loved ones away. In its wake, in the midst of a staggering overabundance of water one of the most sought after resources is fresh drinking water.

It’s no exaggeration to say that water has been a motivating force in Sarah Petrin’s personal and professional life since the day she was born. She joins Editor-in-Chief Jacqueline Whitt to explain why the resource has dominated so much of her life and is the basis for her book Bring Rain: Helping Humanity in Crisis.

TRANSCRIPT: https://warroom.armywarcollege.edu/wp-content/uploads/20-194a-FINDING-OUR-FUNDAMENTAL-HUMANITY-Transcript.pdf

ADDENDUM: https://warroom.armywarcollege.edu/wp-content/uploads/20-194a-AN-ADDENDUM-ON-HUMAN-SECURITY-AND-AFGHANISTAN.pdf

HUMAN SECURITY: PEOPLE NOT GOVERNMENTS

Regardless of whether conflict occurs between state or non-state actors, is conventional or irregular there is one constant: there is always a population of citizens that suffers in one way or another. Warfare often focuses on the enemy’s ability to fight, mobilize, resupply or defend. Sarah Petrin is in the virtual studio today and she wants to focus the discussion on Human Security. She joins our Editor-in-Chief Jacqueline Whitt to discuss the protection of civilians; women, peace and security; sexual exploitation and abuse; human rights; and peace operations. She wants to make sure these topics aren’t forgotten in the complex world of operations that the DoD must engage in. Her white paper Human Security in U.S. Military Operations: A Primer for DOD is the basis of the conversation.

TRANSCRIPT: https://warroom.armywarcollege.edu/wp-content/uploads/20-194b-HUMAN-SECURITY-PEOPLE-NOT-GOVERNMENTS-Transcript.pdf

WHITE PAPER: https://pksoi.armywarcollege.edu/2021/07/14/human-security-in-u-s-military-operations-a-primer-for-dod/

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

AFGHANISTAN: WHERE WAS THE INTEL?

As the situation in Afghanistan has unfolded in the last several weeks, many have questioned how the collapse of the country could have happened so quickly. Daily press releases reported the steady march of the Taliban across the country capturing major population areas, often with little resistance from the Afghan military. As expected, pundits have looked to place blame for the U.S. administration’s failure to anticipate the speed of the deterioration of order. Most often the finger was pointed at intelligence. A BETTER PEACE welcomes James Clapper, former Director of National Intelligence, to offer his thoughts on the abilities, strengths, and shortcomings of the intelligence community. He joins host, Genevieve Lester in the virtual studio to take a realistic look at the part intelligence played in the Allied withdrawal from Afghanistan.

TRANSCRIPT: https://warroom.armywarcollege.edu/wp-content/uploads/21-125-AFGHANISTAN-WHERE-WAS-THE-INTEL-Transcript1.pdf

A STORYTELLER’S TALE

Storytelling is as old as humankind. Long before there was the written word, humans told their stories through spoken word, songs and drawings. It was how we passed on our history, our culture and our shared experiences. We’ve progressed technologically from the original cave drawings and humanity finds new ways everyday to use technology to tell our stories. A BETTER PEACE welcomes Sasha Maggio to the virtual studio to share her medium of choice, Twitter, where she is telling the stories of the U.S. Army. Sasha joins our Editor-in-Chief, Jacqueline Whitt, to discuss how she uses the long thread format to relay the history of the Army in a way that is enjoyable, engaging and sometimes amusing to an audience that may not have been previously interested.

TRANSCRIPT: https://warroom.armywarcollege.edu/wp-content/uploads/21-013-A-STORYTELLERS-TALE-Transcript.pdf

DOS 101: FOREIGN POLICY ADVISORS

To many people the U.S. Department of State (DOS) is as foreign as the countries in which our embassies are placed. Fortunately, we here at A BETTER PEACE know some people, and on this episode we welcome Andrea Gastaldo to share her experiences as the Director of the Department of State’s Political-Military Bureau Office of State-Defense Integration (PM/SDI). That particular office may not be familiar to most military folks but the Foreign Policy Advisor or POLAD program that Andrea is responsible for probably rings a bell. She joins our own Associate Editor Amanda Cronkhite in the next installment of this multi-part series to discuss the details of a program that probably has more direct contact with the military and combatant command leaderships than any other office in DOS. Andrea has served as a POLAD to the Commanding General of U.S. Army North and has experience around the world in such places as South Africa, Belarus and New Zealand. Her current position finds her recruiting and mentoring future POLADs and that experience makes her the perfect guest to conduct the next installment of what we’re calling DOS 101.

TRANSCRIPT: https://warroom.armywarcollege.edu/wp-content/uploads/21-094-DOS-101-FOREIGN-POLICY-ADVISORS-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

WARGAMING IN THE SEMINAR: A STUDENT’S VIEW (WARGAMING ROOM)

Last year our WARGAMING ROOM editor, Ken Gilliam, sat down with a soon-to-graduate War College student to get her impression of the use of wargames in the classroom. A BETTER PEACE welcomes War College graduate Tina Cancel to the studio to share her thoughts and experiences with LEGO® Serious Play® and the War College created game, Joint Overmatch. Ken has recently retired and moved on to a new career and this was fitting as his final episode because Tina confirms the benefits of all of his hard work during his time as the Director of Strategic Wargaming at the Center for Strategic Leadership and gives him some great feedback to pass on to his successor.

TRANSCRIPT: https://warroom.armywarcollege.edu/wp-content/uploads/21-037-WARGAMING-IN-THE-SEMINAR-A-STUDENTS-VIEW-WARGAMING-ROOM-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

HONORING THE WAR DEAD: AMERICA’S MILITARY CEMETERIES

Wars are costly affairs. It costs money to raise and train and equip militaries. The cost to rebuild societies after the destruction of battle is tremendous. But most costly is the staggering human cost of war. And so as we approach Memorial Day in the United States it’s only fitting that this episode examines how the nation memorializes and honors those who have died in service to their country. A BETTER PEACE welcomes Kate Clarke Lemay to examine the history and significance of military cemeteries around the world. She joins our Editor-in-Chief Jacqueline Whitt to discuss her study of U.S. military cemeteries and her book “Triumph of the Dead: American World War Two Cemeteries, Monuments and Diplomacy in France”. Their conversation covers the art and architecture of the cemeteries, along with the politics and diplomacy of their locations and creation. Honoring and remembering the war dead speaks to the fabric of a nation’s morality as well as the lengths it will go to in defense of its beliefs.
Transcript: https://warroom.armywarcollege.edu/wp-content/uploads/21-082-HONORING-THE-WAR-DEAD-AMERICAS-MILITARY-CEMETERIES-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

DOS 101: DECODING THE STATE DEPARTMENT PART 2

To many people the U.S. Department of State (DOS) is as foreign as the countries in which our embassies are placed. Fortunately, we here at A BETTER PEACE know some people, and on this episode we welcome back Alex Avé Lallemant to share his experiences as a career Foreign Service Officer. For this second installment in the series he once again joins our own Associate Editor Amanda Cronkhite to discuss the ins and outs of the State Department. Currently the Consular Section Chief in Harare, Zimbabwe, Alex has served overseas in every one of the State Department’s geographic bureaus, including multiple tours in Afghanistan. That experience makes him the perfect guest to conduct what we’re calling DOS 101.
Transcript – https://warroom.armywarcollege.edu/wp-content/uploads/21-076-DOS-101-DECODING-THE-STATE-DEPARTMENT-PART-2-Transcript.pdf