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 Michael 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 […]

THE GAITHER REPORT: REALITY VS WORST CASE PLANS (DUSTY SHELVES)

As the American national security apparatus again focuses on peer-to-peer combat after thirty years of assumed supremacy on the battlefield, the Gaither Report is vital reading… If you were told that a single falling satellite could destroy your entire home and car without warning, would you consider spending almost 10% of your annual income for […]

GETTING WAR (GAMING) BACK INTO THE WAR COLLEGE (WARGAMING ROOM)

Before we get too far, let’s address some of the baggage that comes with wargaming. “SHALL WE PLAY A GAME?” These are the iconic words from the 1983 movie WarGames, in which a high school student unknowingly hacks a government computer system to play a game called “Global Thermonuclear War.”  The protagonist sets off a […]

THAT ONE MOST IMPORTANT THING: A WHITEBOARD

War College students are at a point of significant departure in their careers, as their post-study assignments will generally put them in rapid-paced, constantly shifting circumstances.   For this Whiteboard we reached out again to several scholars with the following prompt: What is the most important thing a war college student should learn in their year […]

IT’S WORLD WAR THREE ALL OVER AGAIN (DUSTY SHELVES)

Today, as the United States once more finds itself in a situation of near-peer competition with China and Russia, this four-decade old novel seems relevant once again. Sir John Hackett’s 1978 novel The Third World War was one of the best-selling books of the decade. The retired British General’s fiction debut sold three million copies […]

SHALL WE PLAY A GAME? (WARGAMING ROOM)

All games can be used to understand how humans make decisions in environments shaped by competition. While this is a Whiteboard post we thought it would be a great way to introduce our readers to the Wargaming Room, a new recurring series focused on the design, development, and playing of wargames. The articles and podcast […]

THE LAST LION AND THE NEXT WAR: LESSONS FROM CHURCHILL (DUSTY SHELVES)

Churchill, an avid painter, ‘saw the beauty and vitality of details, and their effect on larger strategic issues, and demanded that they be scrutinized all the time.’ You have likely come across a quote, article, or visual media reference to Winston Churchill in the past couple of years.  The British statesman is one of the […]

THE MORE BEAUTIFUL QUESTION: ALEXANDRA RICHIE (ON WRITING)

A BETTER PEACE welcomes Alexandra Richie, internationally acclaimed and award-winning writer and historian, and one of the world’s foremost experts on World War II in Europe. Richie joined Michael Neiberg to discuss her studies and books on both German history as viewed from Berlin, and the Warsaw Uprising. Their conversation covered how she first started writing […]