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.
WHEN A GENERAL WRITES FOR THE GENERALIST (ON WRITING)
A BETTER PEACE welcomes authors General Sir Rupert Smith and Ilana Bet-El to the virtual studio to talk about the ultimate goal of being understood as authors. Smith and Bet-El are co-authors of The Utility of Force now available in a second edition. They join our own Michael Neiberg to discuss their collaborative process and the different strengths and attributes they each bring to the effort. He is a retired British Army officer with a wealth of experience in matters of war and diplomacy culminating as Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe. She is a strategic adviser, writer and historian with experience at the UN as well as advisory work around the world. Together they compliment each other's strengths and weaknesses to produce a book that is readable by academic, specialist and generalist alike.
Editor's Note: We apologize for the intermittent sound quality of our guests. We had technical difficulties with the equipment, but we feel the intent of the conversation remains intact and is well worth the distractions.
HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT: RADICALS IN THE RANKS
EDITOR'S NOTE – At approximately 12:15 in the discussion a crucial data point was omitted seemingly creating a math error when COL Payne cites "15% of an extremist database having military service." To clarify the numbers we've included the original source data from COL Payne’s research below.
The database contained 2,148 extremists who had radicalized to violent and non-violent extremism in the United States from 1948 to 2017, coded by ideology. PIRUS noted 922 far-right extremists have made up the most extensive ideological base with 496 Islamist extremists prevalent after the September 11, 2001 attacks.36 The PIRUS research found 230 (15.8 percent) of 1,456 extremists possessed military experience in the database, while 192 (18.9 percent) were connected to DT ideologies and thirty-eight (8.7 percent) to Islamist ideology.37 The PIRUS researcher noted 692 (32.2 percent) of the 2,148 extremists in the database could not be verified as having military service or not having military service based on open source research and public records. Therefore, the primary researcher offered the number of extremists in the PIRUS project with military service would likely be higher with some uncertainty of the actual percentage.
LIKE YOUR BRAIN HAS JUST GONE TO THE GYM (WARGAMING ROOM)
A BETTER PEACE welcomes Chris Dougherty and Becca Wasser from The Gaming Lab at the Center for New American Security (CNAS). Chris and Becca join host Ken Gilliam in our special series the WARGAMING ROOM to discuss the efforts and contributions of CNAS to the gaming world. The three discuss how strategic gaming is used to shape the choices of leaders in government policy, industry and academia.
PAST VISIONS OF FUTURE WARS
A BETTER PEACE welcomes Adam Seipp to discuss the world of Cold War literature. Adam's previous article in our DUSTY SHELVES series reviewed Sir John Hackett's 1978 best seller, The Third World War: August 1985. Hackett, deemed both the heir to Pat Frank and Neville Shute and also the ancestor of Tom Clancy and so many others, is at the center of this episode. Adam is joined by DUSTY SHELVES editor, Tom Bruscino, and podcast editor Ron Granieri in the virtual studio. The three look at the allure of the dark topic of the Cold War apocalypse story and the growth of the military techno-thriller.
A LABORATORY FOR MILITARY PROFESSIONALS (WARGAMING ROOM)
A BETTER PEACE welcomes back Ken Gilliam for another installment of the WARGAMING ROOM. In this episode Ken sits down with Doug Winton, the chair of the Department of Military Strategy, Planning and Operations (DMSPO) at the U.S. Army War College. Ken and Doug discuss War College games like JOINT OVERMATCH and MDO 1943. They examine the history of the games and their incorporation into the DMSPO curriculum to include the benefits as well as the limitations based on the time constraints and faculty experience of the resident program.
A FATAL DOSE IN 2 MILLIGRAMS: FENTANYL AND NATIONAL SECURITY
The United States has identified drug trafficking, drug use, and drug manufacturing as important issues -- domestically and internationally. In recent years, the opioid crisis has been at the center of many U.S. government efforts. Overdoses due to synthetic drugs have been on the rise for the past decade with fentanyl and its derivatives squarely at the heart of the issue. A BETTER PEACE welcomes Heidi Munro to the virtual studio to discuss how this once legal prescription painkiller has become a national crisis leading to criminal activity, tragedy for families across the country and a point of contention in international relations. Heidi joins podcast editor Ron Granieri to examine this issue's impact on national security, the military's involvement in possible management of the issue and where the nation goes from here.