DEATH OF A GENERAL: EDWARD SIGERFOOS & LEADERS IN WAR

Is it necessary for Generals to be on the modern battlefield? Is it worth the risk? Stars, I have seen them fall, but when they drop and die No star is lost at all From all the star-sown sky. A.E. Housman, Untitled, More Poems Only in command of a brigade for an hour, Edward Sigerfoos […]

THE HALLOWEEN WHITEBOARD: CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

It’s the Night of the Living Dead Generals! We’re changing things up a little with a special Whiteboard celebrating that most ghoulish of holidays, HALLOWEEN. There is no part 1 this time, just a call for submissions: Given the opportunity to lead your horrifying hordes with any military leader in history, whom would you bring back from the dead, and […]

GOTLAND: A NORDIC DEFENSE DILEMMA

The Arctic is definitely heating up — in more ways than one As the West wrings its hands at Russia’s fait accompli in Crimea, another strategic area, of perhaps even greater strategic significance, requires urgent attention. The sub-region known as the “Cap of the North” (“Nordkalotten,” or “Pohjoiskalotti,” locally) is critical to Northern European and […]

SUSTAINMENT IN A FUTURE COMBAT ENVIRONMENT

The way we should approach this is ‘How do we put ourselves out of a job? How do we make it so logistics is not the operational constraint?’ This is the second of two podcasts discussing U.S. Army War College student and faculty research into Army sustainment. This discussion addresses a study on how to […]

CAN ARMY EXPEDITIONARY OPERATIONS BE SUSTAINED?

If you go to Disney World, twenty years ago there were no express lines. … Now we have an express pass where you pay a little extra, you get escorted to the front. … What happens if everyone who’s in line needs to get to the front? This is the first of two related podcasts […]

WHEN THE MILITARY IS NOT IN CHARGE: DEFENSE SUPPORT TO CIVIL AUTHORITIES

We’re in a support role, and sometimes that’s a little bit challenges for folks to wrap their mind around. In the next release in the ‘Leader Perspectives’ series, WAR ROOM welcomes Brigadier General James Blankenhorn, U.S. Army retired and former Commander of the Command and Control of Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Response Force Alpha. […]

WHERE DOES INTELLIGENCE GO FROM HERE? AN INTERVIEW WITH JAMES CLAPPER

The intelligence community typically focuses too much on the here-and-now and urgent, as opposed to the more distant and important future. In this culminating podcast in the Intelligence series, WAR ROOM welcomes former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to discuss the strategic roles of intelligence and his perspectives on themes presented throughout this series. […]

NEEDLES IN HAYSTACKS: ANALYZING TODAY’S FLOOD OF INFORMATION

How do we take an institution … that is designed to collect sensitive material and incorporate everything else that is out there [– Journalism, social media, academic literature, etc.]? WAR ROOM welcomes Adam Wasserman, a former political analyst from the Central Intelligence Agency to discuss the particular challenges of conducting strategic intelligence analysis in today’s […]

STRATEGIC ATTACKS AND THEIR FALLOUT

It’s silly to expect that intelligence will always get it right. WAR ROOM welcomes Dr. Richard Betts from Columbia University to discuss what success and failure really mean in the intelligence community. For example, when adversaries successfully strike U.S. targets, the results are tragic and are often followed by soul searching and, unfortunately, blame. Success […]

THE DEATH OF THE CYBER GENERALIST

DoD will continue to struggle to develop and employ effective cyber capabilities if it continues putting old wine in new bottles – applying a bad personnel model to the cyber force. The Department of Defense (DoD) must abandon its “up-or-out” promotion model for cyber forces. It should let competent officers hold their positions longer. Applying […]

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, […]

INTELLIGENCE & RISK: VICKSBURG, GUADALCANAL, IRAQ

to use intelligence properly, commanders must exercise the operational art to integrate ends, ways, and means, while considering risk. There is no substitute for reflective judgment. It would seem obvious that misinterpreting intelligence and underestimating threats can lead to catastrophic operational consequences. And yet such errors by commanders occur all too often.  Commanders ostensibly use […]

POLICY SUCCESS VS. INTEL FAILURE?

Failure is not just the result of one part of the equation. [Sometimes] you can give the right piece of intelligence and they won’t act on it. What does it take to be a successful intelligence officer or civilian? Or perhaps, what negative traits indicate the likelihood of failure? In this second episode in the […]

THE ART OF GAMING: STRATEGIC EDITION

Gaming is a useful method for educating Army strategists. … Command and General Staff College [has] already started to use simple gaming in their instruction. Would it surprise you that Monopoly can help teach accounting principles? Or that chess players build their critical thinking and strategy skills? Games are known to be useful as educational […]

THE LAW OF THE SEA: PROVIDING ORDER OR INTRUDING ON SOVEREIGNTY?

The United States says over and over that the U.S. supports a rules-based international order but is not party to one of the most important rules-based [international treaties]. The United Nations’ Convention on the Law of the Sea is an important international agreement from the 1970s that establishes the rights and responsibilities of States engaging […]

EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN: STABILIZATION LESSONS FROM RECONSTRUCTION

Stabilization is … an essential step in translating military success into political victory. Picture the scene: widespread famine, millions displaced, towns destroyed, transportation and sanitation infrastructure ruined, agricultural land and property abandoned, livestock rotting, violent insurgents and dangerous brigands roaming the landscape, education and healthcare nonexistent, and corruption flourishing. Where is this? When is this? […]

MULTI-DOMAIN BATTLE, 1781: THE LESSONS OF YORKTOWN

America’s strategic position today bears a stronger resemblance to that of Great Britain in 1781 than to any other actor in the Yorktown campaign. Today’s U.S. military professionals grew up in an era when their nation’s forces enjoyed nearly unfettered freedom of action in every domain: on land, in space, and especially in the air […]

GAME ON: GETTING AMERICAN POWER BACK IN THE FIELD

With William “Trey” Braun, Albert Lord, Jr., Lieutenant Colonel Michael Hatfield, Lieutenant Colonel James Hayes, and Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Ulmer. A real erosion and profound vulnerability of U.S. position and influence are inescapable conclusions of three successive U.S. Army War College studies. Hypercompetition and Reluctant American Great Power In July 2017, the United States Army War College […]

FIVE ENDURING BARRIERS TO PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST

The region has already experienced twenty-two conflicts in the early years of the 21st century, and its future promises far more. For over a century, world leaders have issued calls for peace in the Middle East , but usually without success. The region has already experienced twenty-two conflicts in the early years of the 21st […]

THE TET OFFENSIVE: 50 YEARS LATER

What becomes the dominant narrative? [The Vietnam War has] been examined principally through American eyes. The Tet Offensive was an important event during the U.S. war in Vietnam. After three years of direct involvement by U.S. combat troops, the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong were convinced that the relationship between the U.S. and South Vietnam […]