GEORGE WASHINGTON: THE LESSONS OF FAILURE (GREAT CAPTAINS)

Washington [will] realize early on that he is playing a losing hand and has to change how he plays that hand. This inaugural episode of the Great Captains series focuses on George Washington from his early career aspirations as a colonel in the British (!) Army to leadership of the American Revolution. Throughout, Washington’s ability […]

GREAT CAPTAINS: COMMAND & THOSE WHO DID IT BEST

Greatness … should be judged by some combination of leaders’ political impact; strategic, operational, or tactical brilliance; and innovation and effects on subsequent military practice. What makes a military leader great? WAR ROOM’s new podcast series, Great Captains, takes up this old question. Moderated by Dr. Andrew Hill, Editor-in-Chief of WAR ROOM and Chair of […]

OPERATION CHRISTMAS DROP: SPREADING CHEER ACROSS THE PACIFIC

[Operation Christmas Drop] says a great thing about the ability to train and operate in the real world environment. … The humanitarian mission has always been a part of the military. Sometimes great traditions happen by accident or circumstance. Spur of the moment actions by an aircrew in 1952 have grown to become an annual […]

GAME OF TRIBES: GETTING COUNTERTERRORISM RIGHT

Islamic extremism is a palatable political label used by Western-thinking nations, [but] the misguided premise assumes the undercurrents of conflict are new. Weeks after U.S. soldiers were killed in an ambush near Tongo Tongo, Niger, international media outlets continue to explain how an Islamic State affiliate was responsible. The culprit is the Islamic State in […]

LEARNING STRATEGY BY WALKING THE GROUND

In this podcast, military historian Len Fullenkamp reflects on the importance of immersing oneself in the minds of strategic leaders facing dynamic and complex situations. One tool is the staff ride, an opportunity to walk a battlefield and understand the strategic perspective of the leaders prosecuting a campaign. What was the decision made then and what can it teach us about strategic decisions now?

GROWING AFRICAN PEACEKEEPING CAPACITY

War Room welcomes our distinguished guest, Brigadier General Emmaneul Kotia, Deputy Commandant of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) in Ghana. BG Kotia stopped by while visiting War Colleges in the U.S. to discuss opportunities for further collaboration in peace operations and training. In this podcast, BG Kotia explains the roles and offerings from the KAIPTC and addresses the complexity of peace operations in Africa, such as the high number of disparate factions usually involved in conflicts and the challenge of brokering peace agreements so the peacekeepers can operate under clear guidance and rules of engagements. Brian Foster from the Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute moderates.

SUPER STORMS AND MEGACITIES: THE LESSONS OF HURRICANE HARVEY

The U.S. military has little experience with how extreme weather events interact with culturally-complex megacities and how their characteristics play into future security and public safety planning. The U.S. military has little experience with how extreme weather events interact with culturally-complex megacities, and how their characteristics play into future security and public safety planning. We […]

THE ARMY’S MOBILIZATION PROBLEM

Mobilization – the process by which selected portions of the U.S. Armed Forces are brought to a state of readiness for war – no longer operates effectively to meet the volume and speed required in modern war. Today the United States Army is the finest and most capable fighting force the world has ever seen.  […]

CAN SPECIAL OPERATIONS FORCES DO ‘EVERYTHING’? DISPELLING THE MYTH

Josh Kennedy and Buck Haberichter the popular but wrong perception that special operations forces are capable of resolving all national security dilemmas without the need for conventional forces. The elite selection process, specialized training, and long history of success are what make special operations forces ‘special.’ But, as the podcasters explain, they are neither superhuman nor endowed with magical powers. Yet they are often treated that way, viewed as a simple and cheap solution to the thorny problems of the world. Listen in as the podcasters discuss the effects this misperception has on strategic decisionmaking, resourcing, and civil-military relations. Jacqueline E. Whitt moderates.

AT THE NEXUS OF DIPLOMACY, DEVELOPMENT, AND DEFENSE — AFRICOM AT 10 YEARS (PART 3)

To its critics, the 3Ds [of diplomacy, development, and defense] provide an illusion of depth and vitality that hides the blurry, overlapping reality of civil-military working relationships – just like the 3-D glasses worn at the movies. Last month, having donned specially filtered glasses, millions of Americans emerged from the Great American Eclipse utterly spellbound, […]

ON BEING A ‘DIFFERENT’ KIND OF COMMAND — AFRICOM AT 10 YEARS (PART 2)

In this War Room podcast, Ambassador Alexander M. Laskaris, current civilian deputy to the commander, reflects on the uniqueness of the command and growing importance of interagency cooperation, a hallmark of AFRICOM’s first decade.  Along with reflections on strategic leadership, Ambassador Laskaris discusses the challenges of AFRICOM’s identity between being a ‘hard power’ warfighting command and a ‘soft power’ organization focused on preventing war and building security capacity. War Room associate editor Ryan McCannell hosts.

FORMING U.S. AFRICA COMMAND: A STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION SUCCESS — AFRICOM AT 10 YEARS (PART 1)

Success stories [IN STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION] do exist. The formation of the U.S. Army’s African Command (AFRICOM) was … a case of turning the communication environment from open hostility to general favorability in two short years. It is very easy to bash the U.S. government and the U.S. military for strategic communication failures. From bad messaging […]

MILITARY OPTIONS FOR NORTH KOREA: A CASE FOR PREVENTATIVE WAR

The U.S. now finds itself in a position of accepting the North Korean nuclear threat or doing something dramatic to remove it. The U.S. has long held the position that a North Korean nuclear capability that threatens the U.S. homeland is unacceptable. Expert opinion is that North Korea either already has, or soon will have, […]

THE BEST DEFENSE IS A GOOD…DEFENSE? ON THE INADEQUACY OF CYBER-DETERRENCE

cyber deterrence is bad strategy and merely provides a false sense of security. The U.S. needs to focus on cyber defense, not deterrence. Recent events have led U.S. leaders to posit that we have entered a period of cyber war. The May 2017 “WannaCry” ransomware attacks certainly support the notion that cyber security is a […]