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 and how her study of classical music years earlier aided her mindset and method of writing. The interview took place at the new U.S. National World War II Museum in New Orleans.

TRANSCRIPT: https://warroom.armywarcollege.edu/wp-content/uploads/19-198-THE-MORE-BEAUTIFUL-QUESTION-ALEXANDRA-RICHIE-ON-WRITING-Transcript.pdf

SARS-COV-2 AND THE WAR AGAINST WMD (COVID-19 SERIES)

Any attempt to securitize a pandemic response must of course be mindful that a ‘war’ framework cannot be the only approach to fighting a pandemic, especially as our ‘fight’ is also against the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19. The virus SARS-COV-2 may not be a biological weapon, but the effects of the disease it causes, known […]

WHAT IF COVID-19 ENTERED THE CARLISLE BARRACKS?: A SIMULATION OF INSTALLATION CONTAGION

What if Carlisle Barracks went back to a “business as usual” model and faculty, staff, or students happened to be infected with COVID-19? Throughout the United States, governments are trying to devise strategies to return to normalcy following the shutdowns caused by COVID-19.  Carlisle Barracks is no different and has been having consistent virtual town […]

OWING AND OWNING: LATIN AMERICA, CHINA, AND THE PANDEMIC

Most Latin American countries are resource-dependent, some excessively, meaning that their central governments rely on rents from the extraction of natural resources to finance a significant portion of their budgets. In addition to overwhelming healthcare systems almost everywhere, COVID-19 is on track to cause a severe economic contraction all over the globe. Recently, the International […]

ONE HELL OF A TRAVEL VOUCHER (DUSTY SHELVES)

If we’re all being honest, what we’ve really missed while not traveling is the joy of capturing our adventures in the conveniently-automated Defense Travel System (DTS) upon our returns. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has affected the Department of Defense in all manner of ways, but with Permanent Change of Station (what the military calls ‘moving’) […]

WAR(GAMING) WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR? (A WHITEBOARD)

Wargames may not predict the future, but a well-designed and well-executed wargame can better equip both analysts and practitioners in facing an uncertain future – filled with unknown dangers.   [UPDATED 29 May 2020 for a late entry] For this Whiteboard we reached out again to several scholars with the following prompt: How can wargaming improve […]

FACT AND FICTION: THE RECOUNTING OF WWII WITH JAMES HOLLAND (ON WRITING)

Suddenly I was distracted by this amazing roar…and I turned to the umpire and I said ‘What is that?’ absolutely dumbstruck by this vision and sound and he said ‘That’s a Spitfire’ A BETTER PEACE welcomes James Holland, internationally acclaimed and award-winning historian, writer, and broadcaster. A familiar and trusted face appearing in numerous WWII documentaries, […]

THE FEW, THE PROUD, THE LAST: MARINE CORPS RECRUITING AND GAMING IN A COVID-19 WORLD

And although the Army was down 5,500 recruiting contracts in April, it appears to have had significant success with its efforts in—wait for it—video games. COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on U.S. military recruiting. In March 2020, the Army shuttered its recruiting stations across the country, moving all efforts online. Since then, the Army has resumed […]

MILITARY SOCIETY IN EARLY MODERN EUROPE: ANDRÉ CORVISIER (DUSTY SHELVES)

The historical profession in the mid-twentieth-century decisively shifted its focus to social and cultural frameworks, which seemingly did not fit with military history and its main interests in politics, organizations, and institutions. André Corvisier was among the first military historians to open the field to social and cultural history. A pioneer of quantitative and statistical […]

THE DODO’S PROBLEM (AND THE REASON FOR WAR ROOM) – THREE YEAR ANNIVERSARY

The vision of our first Editor-In-Chief, Andrew Hill, WAR ROOM began three years ago today with the release of this article. Confident that there was space online for discussion and debate of national security, military history and simply furthering critical and innovative thought, Andrew found a way to get the resources together to create this […]

LEADERSHIP ROLE MODELS IN FICTION REVISITED: (A WHITEBOARD)

[Darth] Vader has many admirable qualities; he did not rise to the level of Sith Lord without ability. He possesses incredible personal will, is a skilled warrior, is not afraid to put himself in harm’s way, and he has a great eye for talent. We had a great response to our December Whiteboard post so we […]

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 […]

ELLUL’S “PROPAGANDA”: OVER FIFTY YEARS’ WARNING, BUT ARE WE LISTENING? (DUSTY SHELVES)

Western nations have again become concerned about propaganda and disinformation due to the actions of the Chinese and Russian governments. An overlooked classic of information warfare/operations, disinformation, and fake news is Jacques Ellul’s Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes (1965). Jacques Ellul was a French sociologist and philosopher who served as professor at the University […]

THE U.S. ARMY IN THE 20TH CENTURY: AN INTERVIEW WITH BRIAN LINN (ON WRITING)

I think in a lot of ways our job…is to move the dialog out of the Pentagon and into the field. A BETTER PEACE welcomes Brian Linn, renowned student and historian of the U.S. Army as an institution. Linn joins Michael Neiberg in the studio to discuss how he began his work first looking at the […]