The Modern War Institute podcast is the flagship podcast of the Modern War Institute at West Point. Featured guests include senior military and defense leaders, scholars, and others who discuss the most important issues related to modern conflict.
Taiwan, China, and the Poison Frog Strategy
In this episode, John Amble speaks with Chris Dougherty of the Center for a New American Security. He and his colleagues recently conducted a wargame that sought to identify what strategic options the United States and Taiwan have to deter a particular fait accompli move by China against Taiwan. What they found as the best option is something they describe as “the poison frog strategy.” Listen as he describes what that entails, and why it's the most viable means of implementing deterrence against China.
In this episode, John Amble speaks to Sandor Fabian about a very specific approach to national defense: resistance. Specifically, Sandor argues that resistance is the most viable means of defense for small states facing the threat of aggression from a larger neighbor. But effectively embracing it as a strategic approach would require dramatic changes in force structure, training, equipment, doctrine, and more. And if small US allies choose to do so, it would have important implications for US special operations forces and for NATO.
Global Order in the Age of the Drone
In this episode, Paul Lushenko joins to discuss armed drones—in particular the impact their proliferation will have on global order. That's the subject of a new book for which he was a coeditor. Why do states—and nonstate actors—choose to use armed drones as weapons of war? How does that decision affect these actors' international reputations? How do questions of law and morality intersect when it comes to drones? And beyond impacting the character of warfare, to what extent will armed, networked, and unmanned platforms change geopolitical dynamics and balances of power? This episode tackles those questions and more.
A Conversation with the Chief of the National Guard Bureau
In this episode, John Amble speaks to Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau. A key pillar of the US defense enterprise, the National Guard is also fundamentally unique. Composed of fifty-four separate entities, it is inherently joint given its Army and Air Force components. It must also balance two, parallel missions—both as a source of combat capability for the joint force and a mechanism to respond to a wide range of emergencies domestically. After twenty years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, this conversation explores what the future holds for the National Guard.
The Iraq War in Retrospect
In this episode of the MWI Podcast, Maj. Jake Miraldi is joined by retired Col. Frank Sobchak, one of the authors of the Army's 1,300-page, two-volume study of the Iraq War. He discusses how the study came into being and why it's important, along with its major conclusions about the war and why its release was delayed for more than two years.
Note: This episode was originally released in 2019.
The Decisive Battle of the Nagorno-Karabakh War
Observers watched the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh War closely, searching for indicators of the character of warfare on tomorrow's battlefields. The lessons extracted have covered advanced technology and unmanned platforms, proxy dynamics, the ongoing relevance of armor, and more. But some of the most important lessons have received much less attention. They center around the increasingly unavoidable importance of combat in cities and are drawn principally from the battle for the city of Shusha—a fight that arguably decided the outcome of the war. Listen as John Spencer, chair of urban warfare studies at MWI, explains why.