SHIFTING MENTAL GEARS: PHILIP CAPUTO (ON WRITING)

Michael Neiberg is back with our On Writing series and this time he’s talking with Philip Caputo in the virtual studio. Phil, a Marine infantry lieutenant, is a combat veteran who served in Vietnam before becoming a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author. His first book, A Rumor of War, has sold over 2 million copies and was eventually adapted as a two-part TV movie in 1980. He has written memoirs, travel books, fiction, non-fiction and award-winning investigative journalism pieces and he discusses the shift of mental gears to accommodate each of the genres.

TRANSCRIPT: https://warroom.armywarcollege.edu/wp-content/uploads/21-092-SHIFTING-MENTAL-GEARS-PHILIP-CAPUTO-ON-WRITING-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

READINESS EFFECTS ON THE U.S. ARMY OCONUS DURING COVID-19

EDITOR’S NOTE: The current temporary theme we are using only credits a single author. This article was written by Gregory Gharst and Jose Velazquez How has U.S. Army leadership ensured overseas readiness during this pandemic? Since January 2020 and as of 6 August 2021, approximately one person (0.73) in the U.S. has died of COVID-19 […]

SURPRISE! YOUR ORGANIZATION NEEDS CHANGE

Organizations frequently face surprises and how they react to them impacts their future prospects for success. WAR ROOM welcomes back Bob Bradford and Jeff Baker as they describe a new framework for understanding organizational response to surprise. They define four basic types of organizations based on how they react to surprises and then apply the framework to responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

GENERAL HISTORY: H.R. McMASTER (ON WRITING)

A BETTER PEACE welcomes H.R. McMaster, retired Lieutenant General, former National Security Adviser, and accomplished author. On today’s episode he joins our own Michael Neiberg to discuss his writing process and research techniques as he wrote Dereliction of Duty and his newest book Battlegrounds. The conversation takes them on a tour of McMaster’s time at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he transitioned from operational armored cavalry officer to PhD candidate. They share stories of their times studying with some of the greatest minds and mentors in the field of history and how that served him throughout his career.

THE ADMINISTRATION’S TOP FOREIGN POLICY PRIORITY (A WHITEBOARD)

For this Whiteboard we reached out again to several scholars with the following prompt: What should be the Biden administration’s top foreign policy priority? Readers are invited to make their own contributions in the comments section. DEMOCRACY AT HOME MUST BE AT THE FOREFRONT OF FOREIGN POLICY 1. Dr. Carrie A. Lee, Assistant Professor, Department of […]

FORESHADOW IN THE PACIFIC: EXERCISING JOINT CAPES IN AN ERA OF AUSTERITY (DUSTY SHELVES)

The circumstances for both exercises centered on an imagined invasion and occupation of Oahu, including the naval base at Pearl Harbor and surrounding Army airfields, by an enemy coalition dubbed “Black” forces. In February 1932, the Army and Navy conducted concurrent training exercises, Grand Joint Exercise No. 4 and Fleet Problem XIII, respectively. These exercises, […]

THE SOUL OF BATTLE: DEMOCRACIES AT WAR (DUSTY SHELVES)

The DUSTY SHELVES series welcomes Mitchell Klingenberg to dust off Victor Davis Hanson’s The Soul of Battle: From Ancient Times to the Present Day, How Three Great Liberators Vanquished Tyranny. Klingenberg examines Hanson’s analysis of the human personalities of Epaminondas of Thebes, William T. Sherman, and George S. Patton. Looking at the nature and character of war through the actions of these three leaders, Hanson illustrates the imperative of a nation to exercise moral authority through armed conflict when confronted with evil.

SHARING MORE THAN RED, WHITE, AND BLUE: FRENCH FOREIGN POLICY SINCE WWII (DUSTY SHELVES)

DUSTY SHELVES welcomes Mark Lottman as he examines Herbert Tint’s French Foreign Policy since the Second World War. Tint’s book delves into a number of challenges that the French government had to deal with in the decades following WWII. Lottman sees the parallels with current domestic and foreign policy issues in the United States, and suggests there are lessons to be gleaned from France’s history.

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.

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.

URGENT: PUT THIS IN YOUR PURSE (DUSTY SHELVES)

In October 1962, during what become known as the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Navy evacuated nearly 3000 dependents from its base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in less than five hours. The hastily written yet elegant instructions given to those dependents – mostly the wives of Officers and Sailors station there – is the stuff of stories. WAR ROOM welcomes J. Overton to the DUSTY SHELVES series to examine the instruction and the evacuation procedure it enabled.

WHEN A GENERAL WRITES FOR THE GENERALIST (ON WRITING)

A BETTER PEACE welcomes authors General Sir Rupert Smith and Ilana Bet-El to the virtual studio to talk about the ultimate goal of being understood as authors. Smith and Bet-El are co-authors of The Utility of Force now available in a second edition. They join our own Michael Neiberg to discuss their collaborative process and the different strengths and attributes they each bring to the effort. He is a retired British Army officer with a wealth of experience in matters of war and diplomacy culminating as Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe. She is a strategic adviser, writer and historian with experience at the UN as well as advisory work around the world. Together they compliment each other’s strengths and weaknesses to produce a book that is readable by academic, specialist and generalist alike.

Editor’s Note: We apologize for the intermittent sound quality of our guests. We had technical difficulties with the equipment, but we feel the intent of the conversation remains intact and is well worth the distractions.

MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE: WHY THE ALLIES WON (DUSTY SHELVES)

With such overwhelming numbers, how could the Allies not win? The numbers in World War II are striking. The Allies, who in many ways had not prepared properly for conflict, produced just over 20,000 aircraft in 1939, a number already almost double that of Germany and Japan. By 1943, the Allies manufactured about three and […]

AFTER 2020, WHAT’S NEXT? (A WHITEBOARD)

Managing homeland security challenges requires practitioners to engage in a discursive space that regularly increases in complexity and scope. For this Whiteboard we reached out to several skilled practitioners in collaboration with the Homeland Security Experts Group (HSEG) with the following prompt: What do you envision as the greatest challenges facing homeland security and domestic […]

COVID-19 AND THE INFORMATION WAR: CHANGING THE NARRATIVE

One way to look at COVID-19 is as a conflict situation, involving a series of victims, rescuers, and persecutors/perpetrators. Globally, COVID-19 produced a triple crisis in healthcare, the economy, and politics. COVID-19 has infected nearly 45 million people, resulting in over 1 million deaths. The World Bank estimated that the global economy will contract by […]

THE VALUE OF WRITTEN THOUGHT: STEPHEN VOGEL (ON WRITING)

A BETTER PEACE welcomes Pulitzer nominated journalist and author Stephen Vogel to the virtual studio to talk about his path to authorship and his love of history. Steve joins our own Michael Neiberg to discuss the differences between his role as a journalist versus his style as a narrative historical author and how that differs […]

BATTLE CRY: A COMPREHENSIVE CIVIL WAR STUDY (DUSTY SHELVES)

Before speculating about another civil war, one should properly understand the first – the reasons for it, its conduct, and its legacy. Many of the tumultuous events in the past few months can trace their origins to the Civil War. Long-simmering racial tensions, rooted in America’s slave-owning past, boiled over after George Floyd died. Protestors […]

IMAGINING OVERMATCH: CRITICAL DOMAINS IN THE NEXT WAR (A WHITEBOARD)

As global politics and the international order destabilize, planners, strategists, and warfighters the world over are reminded that the threat of armed, large-scale conflict is a central feature in the histories of states. Recent conflict between China and India in the Galwan Valley and ongoing military buildups in that region testify to this fact. While […]

TWO AUTHORS UNDER THE SAME ROOF
(ON WRITING)

It’s a two-for-one on A BETTER PEACE this week. Kara Dixon-Vuic and Jason Vuic join Mike Neiberg in the studio for our ongoing ON WRITING series. Kara and Jason share their varied approaches to writing and discuss what literary collaboration looks like in their house. Two very different authors that write on different topics discuss their takes on research, their writing styles and reading each other’s drafts.

TRANSCIRPT: https://warroom.armywarcollege.edu/wp-content/uploads/20-131-TWO-AUTHORS-UNDER-THE-SAME-ROOF-ON-WRITING-Transcript.pdf