A Better Peace: The War Room Podcast
Summary: This is the podcast of WAR ROOM, the official online journal of the U.S. Army War College. Join us for provocative discussions about U.S. national security and defense, featuring prominent national security and military professionals.
In September of 2019 we introduced you to the Eisenhower Series College Program. Members of the Eisenhower Program began the year on the road visiting colleges and universities, interacting with audiences often unfamiliar with members of the U.S. Military. Unfortunately the DOD's Travel Policy, as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, has curtailed the Spring schedule for the program. It is our hope at WAR ROOM to bring you a glimpse of what some of those presentations might have looked like via A BETTER PEACE: The WAR ROOM Podcast. Our first episode in the series discussed diversity and inclusivity in the military. In our second episode our podcast editor Ron Granieri is joined by War College students Ryan Ehrler, Steve McNamara and Henry Schantz. In their conversation they try to address the overarching topic of modern communications and social media including how they impact national security and how they shape contemporary politics and society. For all the good social media can do for the world there are dangers associated with its use and abuse. Military members in particular must guard against the information leaks that are inherent to the world of social media.
A BETTER PEACE welcomes James Holland, internationally acclaimed and award-winning historian, writer, and broadcaster. A familiar and trusted face appearing in numerous WWII documentaries, James is also the author of over two dozen books and novels. He joins Michael Neiberg in the studio to discuss how he began writing, where he finds his passion and the immense pleasure he derives from interviews and research that have made him a highly sought after subject matter expert. In this episode Holland explains to the listener how a chance encounter with a Supermarine Spitfire lead him back to his childhood fascination with WWII and his first novel about the Battle of Britain. Neiberg interviewed Holland at the new U.S. National World War II Museum in New Orleans last year.A BETTER PEACE welcomes James Holland, internationally acclaimed and award-winning historian, writer, and broadcaster. A familiar and trusted face appearing in numerous WWII documentaries, James is also the author of over two dozen books and novels. He joins Michael Neiberg in the studio to discuss how he began writing, where he finds his passion and the immense pleasure he derives from interviews and research that have made him a highly sought after subject matter expert. In this episode Holland explains to the listener how a chance encounter with a Supermarine Spitfire lead him back to his childhood fascination with WWII and his first novel about the Battle of Britain. Neiberg interviewed Holland at the new U.S. National World War II Museum in New Orleans last year.
Misunderstood, under-appreciated, Congressionally scrutinized, and even mocked and immortalized in a Hollywood movie, the acquisition corps of each of the services have a difficult job. Charged with acquiring all of the stuff necessary to train and equip the soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines of the nation's military, the professionals in the acquisition world face daily challenges. Good, fast and cheap are a great set of guiding principles but everybody knows you can only have two of those thing at the same time. A BETTER PEACE welcomes Jason Tate, an Army acquisition officer, to share his experiences and thoughts based on his time in this crucial career field. He joins podcast editor Ron Granieri as they delve into COTS, GOTS, PMs and PEOs along with a number of other misunderstood tools and terms of the acquisition community.
In September of 2019 we introduced you to the Eisenhower Series College Program. Members of the Eisenhower Program began the year on the road visiting colleges and universities, interacting with audiences often unfamiliar with members of the U.S. Military. Unfortunately the DOD's Travel Policy, as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, has curtailed the Spring schedule for the program. It is our hope at WAR ROOM to bring you a glimpse of what some of those presentations might have looked like via A BETTER PEACE: The WAR ROOM Podcast. In this first episode our podcast editor Ron Granieri is joined by War College students Joe Buccino, Sam Smith and Vianesa Vargas. In their conversation they try to answer the overarching question, "How does an institution built on uniformity reflect the very diverse society that it defends? And how does the military accomplish diversity and inclusivity while maintaining unit cohesion and readiness?"
In the present day examination of global security, much of the United States' attention is focused on the Middle East, East Asia and Eastern Europe. All too often Western hemisphere countries, activities and interests get short changed on resources and attention. The United States's top trade partner is Canada, and Mexico is close behind. Many countries in the Western hemisphere share values and forms of governance, and have been important security partners for the United States. But does the United States undervalue these long-term partnerships, running the risk of losing their support against adversaries such as China and Russia? A BETTER PEACE welcomes Eric Farnsworth back to the studio to examine the risks of the United States' current behaviors in Latin America and Canada. He's joined by our Editor-in-Chief Jacqueline E. Whitt, as they discuss the unique relationships the United States has with its Western hemisphere neighbors and what might be done to ensure they endure.
In the realm of national security very few elements ever remain stagnant, and those that do are relegated to irrelevance. As the environment changes, capabilities are developed, motivations shift, loyalties fade, new players rise and old players fall. In order to account for those changes new guidance flows downward from the highest levels of leadership increasing in detail and specificity as it descends to the lowest echelons of the military. Bryan Groves joins A BETTER PEACE editor Ron Granieri to discuss U.S. Army Special Operations Command's (USASOC) latest iteration of its command strategy. In the words of the Commanding General, LTG Francis Beaudette, this strategy "charts our course to drive evolutionary changes in how we man, train and equip our formations in the Information Age." Bryan and Ron examine how USASOC forces intend to execute their mission in support of the national defense amongst general purpose, joint and coalition forces against ever changing adversaries.
You would be hard pressed to find a current member of the U.S. military who remembers a time in their service when the United States wasn't involved in conflict in the Middle East. Forty years ago this year Operation EAGLE CLAW, the rescue attempt of American hostages in Iran failed at a remote site known as DESERT ONE. Thirty years ago began DESERT SHIELD, followed by DESERT STORM. Nineteen years ago ENDURING FREEDOM began in Afghanistan and seventeen years ago IRAQI FREEDOM. And the current Syrian conflict INHERENT RESOLVE began nine years ago. A BETTER PEACE welcomes David Sorenson to examine the underlying historical causes behind the modern day conflicts that plague the region, cause terrible death and destruction, and draw in the resources and attention of the entire world. Dave joins podcast editor Ron Granieri in the studio to discuss lessons that should be learned by the United States when dealing with this chaotic region. He gives his thoughts as to what the future holds for the Middle East and implications for the rest of us.
To say that Central Africa has been a tumultuous region for the last three decades is an understatement. Genocide, civil and proxy wars and disease have lead to a death count that numbers in the millions and several million more displaced persons. But how much does the American citizen understand about the region and how much should they be concerned. A BETTER PEACE welcomes Laura E. Seay to the studio to share her expertise on the topic. Laura is hosted by podcast editor Ron Granieri to discuss international efforts in the sub-Saharan region to develop countries and governance through security and stability operations.
In 1907 the major powers of the world gathered in the Netherlands for the Second Hague Conference. Building on the agreements of the First Hague Conference of 1899 the participants noted that many warring parties were not observing the international laws agreed upon by civilized nations. Of particular concern was the forces that had continued armed resistance after defeated nations were occupied by their conquerers. A BETTER PEACE welcomes Jonathan Gumz, a Senior Lecturer in Modern History at the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom. Jonathan joins JP Clark in the studio to discuss the attempts and failings of both Hague conventions as well as the Geneva Conventions to try and maintain civility and order in the midst of the brutality of war.
When disaster strikes in the United States we are fortunate to have the National Guard available to bolster and support our civilian first responders. Experts in logistics and transportation, organization and construction as well as medical experts, the Guard is vital in supporting the long term recovery operations that follow any disastrous event. The Guard response to the current COVID-19 pandemic is very much like many other natural disasters that the U.S has endured in the last 50 years. But it's also very different. The pandemic hasn't struck a single region that allows help to arrive from safe staging areas outside the hot zone. The entire nation is vulnerable to this virus, and responders find themselves immersed in aiding citizens at a very personal level. With that level of interaction come the complications of diverse cultures, religious and political views, and a multitude of multitude of languages other than English. A BETTER PEACE welcomes Michele Devlin and Steve Warnstadt to the studio to examine the navigation of the complex cultural terrain of our great American melting pot. They're joined by our Editor-In-Chief Jacqueline Whitt to discuss what the DoD, along with state level leadership, must do to ensure that Guard troops are best prepared to succeed amongst the diverse culture that is our national strength.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound found in both marijuana and hemp plants and it's the hot product in the health/self-care market. And it's the perfect topic for us to discuss in the studio at A BETTER PEACE on 4/20 dude. Tina Cancel joins podcast editor Ron Granieri to examine the potential for CBD use in the military health community. Not to be confused with delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the other compound that produces the “high” sought with marijuana use, CBD is either the 21st century equivalent of snake oil or an actual wonder cure that can be found in nature. Advocates of CBD claim it treats anything from inflammation to anxiety to epilepsy. Critics point out that the majority of the "data" is anecdotal at best and more study is definitely required. The facts are it's unregulated and untested by the FDA, and there are no guarantees when you buy a product containing CBD. And it's use or even investing in CBD ventures is illegal for military members and federal employees. It can cost you your career, your clearance and possibly even lead to criminal charges. So Tina and Ron ask the question; should it be approved for use treating the ailments of military members and veterans?
One of the finest aspects of the resident class each year at the U.S. Army War College is the cohort of International Fellows (IF). For the last 42 years the best and brightest from our allied nation's militaries have attended class alongside their U.S. counterparts. Bringing the perspectives and experiences of their nation's militaries and cultures they return home with the same from not only their U.S. classmates but the other IFs. In order to capitalize on those experiences and relationships the War College has recently developed the International Fellow Continuing Education Program (IFCEP). A BETTER PEACE welcomes Juan Carlos Correa, Brian Foster, and Jeffrey McDougall to explain the goals of the IFCEP and the outcomes of the first iteration in Mexico City this last year. They joined podcast editor Ron Granieri in the studio to discuss how IFCEP refreshes and enhances bonds that were built in classrooms on Carlisle Barracks and reinforces their importance in today's complex world.
Anyone who watches military aviation knows that many believe the F-35 will be the last manned fighter aircraft produced by the United States. Remotely piloted aircraft have been prevalent in the battlespace for at least a decade. Many of the most routine tasks in-flight are accomplished by a machine with a pilot monitoring. But the discussion about the "man in the can" far predates any of the debates that confront us now. A BETTER PEACE welcomes Tim Schultz to discuss the limitations that were placed on aviation development by the insistence that there be a human in the cockpit. Author of The Problem with Pilots: How Physicians, Engineers, and Airpower Enthusiasts Redefined Flight, Schultz lauds the engineers and scientists along with flight surgeons for all of the advancements they were able to make in the aviation industry in spite of the human crew members on board. He joins Senior Editor JP Clark as they look back at the trade offs that have been made in aircraft design to accommodate the pilot.
In discussing NATO and our European allies, burden sharing has been a hot topic for the last several years under the current administration. But the fact of the matter is that burden sharing has been an area of concern since the inception of NATO and throughout it's development. A BETTER PEACE welcomes Stanley Sloan to the studio to discuss the current state of NATO and a way ahead for the organization. Sloan, a subject matter expert on NATO and transatlantic relations, joins podcast host Ron Granieri to examine the history of U.S./NATO relations, the growth in membership and the current and future implications for Russia.
A BETTER PEACE welcomes Brian Linn, renowned student and historian of the U.S. Army as an institution. Linn joins Michael Neiberg in the studio to discuss how he began his work first looking at the counterinsurgency in the Philippines at the turn of the century. The author of eight books on the nature of the U.S. Army, Linn's opinion is often sought by military officers trying to find understanding of present day issues in the historical actions of the service. In this episode both Linn and Neiberg share their thoughts on the purpose of historians, effective documentation and successful practices for writing books.