Modern War Institute

The Modern War Institute podcast is the flagship podcast of the Modern War Institute at West Point. ... more

Latest Episodes

August 11, 2022 01:05:49
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Far-Right Extremism and the War in Ukraine since 2014

How have European far-right extremists responded to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine? How has the Russian government leveraged the Russian far right in service of its objectives in the war? And how should we understand the role of Ukraine's well-known Azov regiment? These questions all revolve around the complicated intersection of far-right politics, foreign fighter mobilization, and war. Exploring them requires a nuanced understanding of context that extends back much earlier than Russia's February invasion. On this episode, a joint production between MWI and the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, Kacper Rekawek joins to share insights based on years of research on the subject. ...

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August 01, 2022 01:08:39
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Competition, Conflict, and Cyber

How does cyberspace differ from the other warfighting domains—land, sea, air, and space? What challenges do those differences pose? Does cyber require unique approaches to talent manage to ensure the US military can recruit, promote, and retain the talent it needs? What resources are needed to effectively compete in cyberspace, and are those different from the resources necessary for a conflict scenario? How would the cyber dimension of a modern war play out, and are there lessons from the ongoing war in Ukraine that illuminate this question? In this episode, John Amble is joined by Captain Maggie Smith, PhD, and Dr. Erica Lonergan of the Army Cyber Institute to explore these questions and others. For more analysis on a wide range of cyber-related topics, check out the Competition in Cyberspace Project, a joint initiative of the Modern War Institute and the Army Cyber Institute. ...

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July 14, 2022 01:01:31
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Finding Opportunity in a Competitive Strategic Environment

When the idea of great power competition began to gain traction with the publication of the 2017 National Security Strategy and the 2018 National Defense Strategy, it was in some ways less a strategy than a conceptual outline of one. Amid subsequent efforts to build out a more robust competitive framework around the idea, a vital question has taken shape: How should the US policy community develop a strategy that identifies and pursues opportunities in an increasingly competitive environment? A new book by Ali Wyne, America's Great Power Opportunity, sets out to advance our collective thinking about that challenge. He joins this episode to explore some of the key issues surrounding this important effort. ...

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June 30, 2022 00:52:47
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Adapting During War

What are the hallmarks of an adaptable military force? What types of leaders best create cultures of adaptability in their formations? How do such forces employ rapidly changing technologies? And how does doctrine drive or limit adaptation? Dr. Nora Bensahel and retired Lt. Gen. Dave Barno—authors of the book Adaptation Under Fire: How Militaries Change in Wartime—join this episode to discuss these questions and more. The episode was originally recorded and released in early 2021, and returning to it helps to provide a framework within which to understand the ways in which adaptation—or failures to adapt—have played into the ongoing war in Ukraine over more than four months. ...

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June 15, 2022 01:04:01
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On War and Sanctions

While Ukrainian forces have fought to defend against Russia's invasion since February, the war's conduct has been influenced by international involvement—namely, the supply of weapons and equipment Ukraine has received from its foreign supporters. But as the United States, its European allies, and other countries around the world have offered military assistance, they have also been active on another front: putting in place a massive sanctions regime targeting Russia. That's the subject this episode explores. John Amble is joined by Edward Fishman, a former government official who worked extensively on sanctions policy and is now an adjunct senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. ...

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June 03, 2022 00:34:10
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Amphibious Operations and the Future of War

The war in Ukraine has been playing out in—and across—all domains. So it is perhaps surprising that Russia's invasion plan held almost no role for the type of operation designed to bridge two of those domains. There has been little sign that Russia sought to employ amphibious operations to gain a foothold in the south of the country—despite Ukraine's long Black Sea coast. Is this an indicator that such operations are a relic of the past? Or is it an anomaly? To help understand those questions, we're returning to an episode originally released early last year that featured a conversation with Tim Heck, MWI's deputy editorial director and coeditor of the book On Contested Shores: The Evolving Role of Amphibious Operations in the History of Warfare. ...

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