And I remember being surprised…one day to wake up with Russian paratroopers on the airport there in Pristina and it was clear to me that, we were getting something wrong about the Russians. That we just were misdiagnosing their motivations.
WAR ROOM isn’t a news outlet and we don’t do up to the minute reporting. But when Dr. Joel Hillison came to us last week and wanted to discuss the ongoing situation on the Ukraine border we happily welcomed him back to the podcast. Joel joins podcast editor Ron Granieri in the BETTER PEACE virtual studio to discuss what it takes to be truly effective deterring an adversary. It’s often easier to declare your enemy irrational, maniacal. or power hungry than it is to try and understand their motivation or point of view. Joel tries to apply strategic empathy (and years of NATO experience and study) to place himself in the shoes of Russian leadership to better grasp what is driving their thought process and actions. The goal is to determine what is important, what is threatening, what consequences are too painful, and where is there room to negotiate? At the time of this episodes release tensions are still high with limited hostilities continuing along the border and avenues of communication still open. Joel and Ron’s hope is that at the moment you listen to this episode the conversations are still ongoing, because the alternative is not good for anyone.
Joel R. Hillison holds the General Colin Powell Chair of Military and Strategic Studies. A retired military officer, with over 30 years of service, he spent three years in NATO and served as the Comptroller, Multinational Forces Iraq. He received his Ph.D. in International Relations from Temple University.
Ron Granieri is an Associate Professor of History at the U.S. Army War College and the Editor of A BETTER PEACE.
The views expressed in this presentation are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Army War College, U.S. Army, or Department of Defense.