50 episodes

The Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) is the U.S. Army’s institute for geostrategic and national security research and analysis. SSI conducts global geostrategic research and analysis that creates and advances knowledge to influence solutions for national security problems facing the Army and the nation. SSI serves as a valuable source of ideas, criticism, innovative approaches, and independent analyses as well as a venue to expose external audiences to the U.S. Army’s contributions to the Nation.

Decisive Point – the USAWC Press Podcast Companion Series US Army War College Press

    • Education
    • 5.0 • 2 Ratings

The Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) is the U.S. Army’s institute for geostrategic and national security research and analysis. SSI conducts global geostrategic research and analysis that creates and advances knowledge to influence solutions for national security problems facing the Army and the nation. SSI serves as a valuable source of ideas, criticism, innovative approaches, and independent analyses as well as a venue to expose external audiences to the U.S. Army’s contributions to the Nation.

    Zachary Kallenborn – “InfoSwarms: Drone Swarms and Information Warfare”

    Zachary Kallenborn – “InfoSwarms: Drone Swarms and Information Warfare”

    Released  23 June 2022.



    This podcast discusses drone swarms, which can be used at sea, on land, in the air, and even in space, are fundamentally information-dependent weapons. No study to date has examined drone swarms in the context of information warfare writ large. This article explores the dependence of these swarms on information and the resultant connections with areas of information warfare—electronic, cyber, space, and psychological—drawing on open-source research and qualitative reasoning. Overall, the article offers insights into how this important emerging technology fits into the broader defense ecosystem and outlines practical approaches to strengthening related information warfare capabilities.



    Click here to read the article.







    Keywords: information warfare, drone swarms, unmanned systems, cyberwarfare, electronic warfare



    Author information:

    Zachary Kallenborn is a policy fellow at the Schar School of Policy and Government, a research affiliate of the Unconventional Weapons and Technology program at the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, a senior consultant at ABS Group, and the officially proclaimed US Army “mad scientist.” He is the author of publications on autonomous weapons, drone swarms, weapons of mass destruction, and terrorism involving weapons of mass destruction.



    Listeners, if you’d like more details about drone swarms and information warfare, you can read the article at press.armywarcollege.edu/parameters. Look for volume 52, issue 2.



    If you enjoyed this episode of Decisive Point and would like to hear more, look for us on Amazon Music, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or any other major podcasting platform.

    • 12 min
    MAJ Brandon Colas – “Defining and Deterring Faits Accomplis”

    MAJ Brandon Colas – “Defining and Deterring Faits Accomplis”

    Released  17 June 2022.



    This podcast examines faits accomplis—how states attempt to seize disputed territory using military force, hoping to avoid war in the process—and offers suggestions for how to deter them. Since 1945, faits accomplis have become the most common means by which states attempt to take over territory, even though they frequently result in armed conflict. US deterrent efforts, however, often focus on stopping invasions, not limited land grabs. This study combines the traditional literature on deterrence with Dan Altman’s recent research on faits accomplis to suggest Department of Defense leaders should frame territorial disputes as a real estate market they can both analyze and manipulate.



    Click here to read the article.







    Keywords: Russia, Ukraine, deterrence, territorial disputes, gray zone, brinkmanship,

    escalation



    Author information:

    Major Brandon Colas is a US Army foreign area officer currently embedded with the United Kingdom Strategic Command Defence Intelligence in London as a liaison officer for the Defense Intelligence Agency.



    Episode Transcript:



    Welcome to Decisive Point, a US Army War College Press production featuring distinguished authors and contributors who get to the heart of the matter in national security affairs.



    The views and opinions expressed on this podcast are those of the podcast guest and are not necessarily those of the Department of the Army, the US Army War College, or any other agency of the US government.



    The guests in speaking order on this episode are:



    (Guest 1: Brandon Colas)



    (Host)



    Decisive Point welcomes Mr. Brandon Colas, author of “Defining and Deterring Faits Accomplis,” which was featured in the Summer 2022 issue of Parameters. Colas is anArmy officer [unintelligible] currently embedded with the United Kingdom Strategic Command Intelligence Center in London as a liaison officer for the Defense Intelligence Agency.



    Welcome to Decisive Point, Brandon. It’s great to have this chance to chat with you. Let’s talk about your article, “Defining and Deterring Faits Accomplis.” This study combines the traditional literature of deterrence with Dan Altman’s recent research on faits accomplis to suggest Department of Defense leaders should frame territorial disputes as taking part in a real-estate market that they can both analyze and manipulate to discourage our opponents from conquering without conquest.



    What does this look like? Please give us an outline here.



    (Colas)



    So when I started this research, I began with Tom Schelling (Thomas C. Schelling) and his 1968 classic and, in a lot of ways, Schelling—even though his book is breezy, it’s academic lectures that he’s talking about. It really has defined the US deterrence discussion ever since.



    And so Schelling talks about brute force and coercion. And so, brute force—we used to think like (Adolf) Hitler, Poland 1940, right? And coercion would be just building up those forces on the border until the other side caves and gives up their territory or makes those concessions that you’re wanting.



    So again, going back to Hitler, you think about him entering Denmark unopposed, right? So those are sort of the two classic examples. But more recent international relations research, especially led by Dan Altman, who’s at Georgia State (University), has looked at small, limited territorial seizures. He calls them faits accomplis, so there’s limited territory that’s disputed. There’s the use of military force, but the aggressor statement still attempts to avoid war in the process. And what’s interesting, Altman goes back from 1945 to present,

    • 12 min
    CPT Mark T. Vicik – “Strengthen Arctic Governance to Stop Russian and Chinese Overreach”

    CPT Mark T. Vicik – “Strengthen Arctic Governance to Stop Russian and Chinese Overreach”

    Released  15 June 2022.



    This podcast argues shortfalls in the international institutions governing the Arctic have allowed Russia and China to expand control over the region. It provides an overview of regional governance and power dynamics, outlines a three-part approach to correcting deficiencies, highlights attempts by Russia and China to circumvent international governance, examines how the Arctic’s governing institutions address Russian and Chinese growth in the region, and focuses on the institutional failures that have allowed Russia and China to expand—failures academic scholarship and US policy have not adequately addressed. Practitioners will find specific steps for rectifying issues with Arctic institutions to support the United States’ interests in the region.



    Click here to read the article.







    Keywords: geo-economics, economic statecraft, Russia, gray-zone warfare, hybrid warfare, geopolitics, Artic,



    Author information:

    Captain Mark T. Vicik, US Army, is a student at the Military Intelligence Captains Career Course at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in international relations and Middle East and North Africa studies from the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University. He conducts research on and writes about Arctic great-power dynamics and security issues and is the author of “The Future Arenas of Great Power Competition,” which was published in The SAIS Review of International Affairs.



    If you enjoyed this episode of Decisive Point and would like to hear more, look for us on Amazon Music, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or any other major podcasting platform.



     

    • 12 min
    MAJ Ryan J. Orsini – “Economic Statecraft and US-Russian Policy”

    MAJ Ryan J. Orsini – “Economic Statecraft and US-Russian Policy”

    Released  7 June 2022.



    This podcast assesses the American-Russian economic relationship, identifying how Russia exploits strategic asymmetries to gain advantage in the space below armed conflict and how the United States can modernize its economic statecraft. It draws upon a wide range of comparative research, from US-Russian military thought to the American-Eurasian economic interrelationship, to evaluate the full range of economic statecraft within a single dyad of countries in the context of coercion theory. This analysis will assist American policymakers in reforming priorities and processes according to principles of economic statecraft to sustain ongoing American coercion and set conditions for advantage upon the return to bilateral competition.



    Click here to read the article.







    Keywords: geo-economics, economic statecraft, Russia, gray-zone warfare, hybrid warfare, geopolitics



    Author information:

    Major Ryan J. Orsini, US Army, is an infantry officer assigned as a student at the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He holds a master of public policy degree from Georgetown University.



    If you enjoyed this episode of Decisive Point and would like to hear more, look for us on Amazon Music, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or any other major podcasting platform.

    • 6 min
    COL George Shatzer – “SRAD Director’s Corner: Russia’s Strategy and Its War on Ukraine”

    COL George Shatzer – “SRAD Director’s Corner: Russia’s Strategy and Its War on Ukraine”

    Released  1 June 2022.



    In this podcast, Colonel George Shatzer, director of the Strategy Research and Analysis Department of the Strategic Studies Institute at the US Army War College, discusses books of relevance to US Joint planners and strategists, as well as those of allies and strategic partners. He applies his experience and education as a US Army senior strategist to extract insights useful to anyone contemplating how to confront the challenges of today’s strategic environment.



    Click here to read the article.







    Keywords: Russia, Ukraine, Russian military theory, integrated warfare, NATO



    Episode Transcript



     Stephanie Crider (Host)



    Welcome to Decisive Point, a US Army War College Press production featuring distinguished authors and contributors who get to the heart of the matter in national security affairs.



    The views and opinions expressed on this podcast are those of the podcast guest, and are not necessarily those of the Department of the Army, US Army War College, or any other agency of the US government.



    The guests in speaking order on this episode are:



    (Guest 1: George Shatzer)



     (Host)



    Decisive Point welcomes Colonel George Shatzer, director of the Strategic Research and Analysis Division in the Strategic Studies Institute at the US Army War College. Colonel Shatzer authors the (Strategic Research and Analysis Division or) SRAD Director’s Corner in Parameters. In the 2022 summer issue, he covers Russia and Ukraine.



     SRAD Director’s Corner is relatively new to Parameters. In it, you review books of possible interest to contemporary military strategists—especially, those serving in US Army and Joint positions. The summer issue contains the second installment of this section, and the focus is on Russia and Ukraine. Thanks for being here.



    (Shatzer)



    Well, thanks for the opportunity to discuss the article and this important issue.



    (Host)



    This conflict has not unfolded the way many people thought it would. Your piece emphasizes the value of knowing your enemy, and how it’s a pathway to understanding oneself and the kind of war on which we’re embarking. It’s through this lens that your reviews are written.



    (Shatzer)

    That’s right. As I mentioned in the article, the day-to-day demands of commanders, leaders, and strategists to ensure our nation’s security can be all-consuming. There are endless demands on time when you are preparing to deter war or to be ready for it, and those demands are mostly internal or focused on ourselves. Even with the assistance of very dedicated intelligence professionals, it can be easy for decisionmakers and strategists to lose sight of the adversary’s views or motivations.



    So, taking the time to read works such as those that I profile in the review series can help us build insight on what the adversary is thinking.



    (Host)



    How does Oscar Jonsson’s The Russian Understanding of War: Blurring the Lines between War and Peace inform this topic?



    (Shatzer)

    Jonsson’s book was fascinating. I really appreciated how thoroughly he built a case through his review of pre-Soviet, Soviet, and modern Russian military writings and doctrine. He argues that the current Russian view of the very nature of war, not just its character, has fundamentally changed.



    In brief, Jonsson asserts that Russian leaders and security professionals believe that the US and the West have become so expert in information and psychological warfare that the nature of war is no longer defined by armed violence. Instead, they believe that the nature of modern warfare is defined by poli...

    • 9 min
    Dr. Antulio J. Echevarria II – “Putin’s Invasion of Ukraine in 2022: Implications for Strategic Studies”

    Dr. Antulio J. Echevarria II – “Putin’s Invasion of Ukraine in 2022: Implications for Strategic Studies”

    Released  26 May 2022.



    This podcast examines critical issues for the field of strategic studies raised by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, including the waning of major war, strategic coercion, and “War Amongst the People.” Drawing on previous scholarship and current events, this commentary considers the questions raised by the first major war of the twenty-first century. It provides recommendations for scholars and senior leaders on how to work together to address the questions of strategy and policy that have and continue to arise as the war progresses.



    Click here to read the article.







    Keywords: Russia, Ukraine, strategic coercion, gray zone, compellence



    Author information:

    Dr. Antulio J. Echevarria II had a distinguished career in the US Army and is currently the editor-in-chief of the US Army War College Press, which includes Parameters. He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy, the US Army Command and General Staff College, and the US Army War College. He holds a doctorate in modern history from Princeton University and is the author of six books, including War’s Logic: Strategic Thought and the American Way of War (2021), Military Strategy: A Very Short Introduction (2017), Reconsidering the American Way of War (2014), Clausewitz and Contemporary War (2007), Imagining Future War (2007), and After Clausewitz (2001), and more than 100 articles and monographs on strategic thinking, military theory, and military history.



    Episode Transcript [Putin’s Invasion Of Ukraine in 2022]



    Stephanie Crider (Host)



    (Prerecorded Decisive Point intro) Welcome to Decisive Point, a US Army War College Press production featuring distinguished authors and contributors who get to the heart of the matter in national security affairs.



    The views and opinions expressed on this podcast are those of the podcast guests and are not necessarily those of the Department of the Army, the US Army War College, or any other agency of the US government.



    The guests in speaking order on this episode are:



    (Guest 1: Antulio J. Echevarria II)



    (Host)



    Decisive Point welcomes Dr. Antulio J. Echevarria, author of “Putin’s Invasion of Ukraine in 2022: Implications for Strategic Studies,” which was featured in the Parameters summer 2022 issue. Echevarria had a distinguished career in the US Army and is currently the editor-in-chief of the US Army War College Press, which includes Parameters. He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy, the US Army Command and General Staff College, and the US Army War College. He holds a doctorate in modern history from Princeton University and is the author of six books, including his most recent, War's Logic: Strategic Thought and the American Way of War, published in 2021. He’s also authored more than 100 articles and monographs on strategic thinking, military theory, and military history.



    (Host)



    Your article notes Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, has the potential to shape the defense policies of the United States, its strategic partners, and their rivals in decisive ways. I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this. But first, thanks for being here.



    (Echevarria)



    Oh, thank you so much. My pleasure.



    (Host)



    Some pundits have argued the declining occurrence of major wars since World War II is evidence that armed conflict is disappearing altogether. What are the six principal explanations for what appears to be a decline in large-scale conflict?



    (Echevarria)



    It’s a very interesting set of explanations. The first of these is the proliferation of weapons of mass destructio...

    • 12 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
2 Ratings

2 Ratings

Top Podcasts In Education

The Atlantic
TED and PRX
Dr. Jordan B. Peterson
Daily Stoic
Dear Media
iHeartPodcasts

You Might Also Like

US Army War College Press
Texas National Security Network
War on the Rocks
Modern War Institute at West Point
Modern War Institute at West Point
John Spencer