THE HIDDEN COMPLEXITIES OF U.S. DECISION-MAKING ON NORTH KOREA

Any U.S. pursuit of victory over North Korea could spark a corrosive, lethal, escalatory dynamic with Pyongyang, one from which Washington could draw no military advantage “The existence of ‘system’ in the world is at once obvious to every observer of nature, no matter whom….”   — Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, The Phenomenon of Man The […]

NUCLEAR DECISION-MAKING AND NUCLEAR WAR: AN URGENT AMERICAN PROBLEM

In nuclear war, the past is necessarily a poor guide Carl von Clausewitz wrote, “Everything in war is very simple, but the simplest thing is difficult.” His classic warning remains starkly relevant to the United States, nowhere more so than in the context of nuclear war. Decisions affecting nuclear strategy, nuclear weapons development and proliferation, command […]

AMERICA IN VIETNAM: WHEN THE BEST AND BRIGHTEST GO WRONG

How do you explain how well-intentioned, patriotic, bright people make poor judgments that lead to so much suffering? Historian and U.S. Naval Academy Professor Brian VanDeMark joins the podcast to discuss his acclaimed new book, Road to Disaster: A New History of America’s Descent into Vietnam.  How do advances in cognitive psychology help explain how intelligent, […]

STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP AND CHANGING THE US ARMY IN EUROPE

You talk about the capabilities of the War College graduates and the ability as a colonel to transfer from being concerned about [one’s unit] into understanding the desires of the entire enterprise WAR ROOM welcomes retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General Mark Hertling to discuss his perspectives on strategic leadership and the solving of difficult strategic […]

IMPACT (OR NOT) OF INTEL ON STRATEGIC DECISION MAKING

What a President or any other senior leader brings with him or her to office in inevitably a simplified view of how the world works. Is it critical that national leaders have an open mind? Or is it sometimes necessary? In this third episode in the WAR ROOM series on Intelligence, special guest Paul Pillar, […]