CNA Talks covers the topics of today from foreign policy and defense to policing, education and more. Each episode features a discussion on current affairs led by our in-house experts. CNA is a nonprofit research organization dedicated to developing actionable solutions to complex problems of national importance.
The Strategic Value of Maritime Sabotage
For centuries, sabotage has been a tool of war, but what role does it serve in today’s environment where great powers compete in the shadows and non-state actors are important global players. On this episode of CNA Talks, CNA analysts, Alex Powell and Annaleah Westerhaug join John Stimpson to discuss their report, “Maritime Sabotage: Lessons Learned and Implications for Strategic Competition.”
Alex Powell is a Research Analyst on CNA’s Countering Threats and Challenges program. His work has focused on issues pertaining to special operations forces (SOF) as well as violent extremist organizations. His research on SOF has encompassed issues ranging from the strategic down to the tactical levels
Annaleah Westerhaug is Research Assistant with CNA’s Strategy and Policy Analysis Program. Her research portfolio includes Chinese illegal unregulated fishing, Women peace and security in the Pacific Islands, Nuclear posture, Gender in counterterrorism and violent extremism, and Maritime sabotage.
Maritime Sabotage: Lessons Learned and Implications for Strategic Competition: https://www.cna.org/CNA_files/PDF/Maritime-Sabotage-Lessons-Learned-and-Implications-for-Strategic-Competition.pdf
The National Security Ecosystem Model
In the modern economy businesses, NGOs and governments are interconnected and interdependent. In this ecosystem it is not enough for these actors to understand their own objectives and capabilities, they must also understand those of their partners and competitors.
In this episode of CNA Talks, CNA analysts Kelly Diaz and Alison Vernon discuss how business ecosystems models can be adapted and applied to issues of national security.
Alison Vernon is a Senior Research Scientist in CNA’s Organizations, Roles and Missions team. Her focus has been primarily on C2 issues, naval integration, and using ecosystems to find solutions to difficult national security challenges.
Kelly Diaz is a Research Scientist in CNA’s Organizations, Roles and Missions team. She is an expert in organizational design and management, specifically for DoD offices and commands. She focuses on issues of command and control, readiness and training, and wargaming.
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How New Mexico Prepared for COVID-19
Federal, State and local agencies regularly use exercises to prepare for natural disasters including pandemics. In 2019, many of these entities and private sector partners participated in the scenario Crimson Contagion, which was meant to test how the U.S. government would respond to a novel influenza pandemic spreading through the U.S.
On this episode of CNA Talks, Chris Emory, the Bureau Chief of Health Emergency Management within in the New Mexico Department of Health, and Cynthia Holmes who served as the coordinator for New Mexico’s Joint Information Center for the first 200 of the COVID response join CNA analysts Dawn Thomas and Eric Trabert. They discuss how lessons learned from Crimson Contagion shaped New Mexico’s response to COVID-19.
Dawn Thomas is the co-director of CNA’s Center for Emergency Management Operations. Dawn has written, executed and evaluated more than 60 exercises, in the fields of health and medical operations, animal disease and public health.
Eric Trabert is the Director of CNA’s Center for Public Health Preparedness and Resilience. He has evaluated the public health responses to more than a dozen emergencies, including the 2014-2016 Ebola virus disease (EVD) epidemic, and the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic.
Chris Emory is the Bureau Chief of the Bureau of Health Emergency Management within the New Mexico Department of Health.
Cynthia Holmes is currently an instructor with NCBRT out of Louisiana State University. Before this position, she served as the training and exercise manager for the New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. During this time, she served as the coordinator for the Joint Information Center for the first 200 days of the COVID Response.
Rebroadcast: China as a Twenty-First Century Naval Power
Rear Admiral Mike McDevitt (ret.) sits down with Kevin Pollpeter to discuss his book, “China as a Twenty-First Century Naval Power.” They cover topics including China’s military presence abroad, the dispute over the South China Sea, and how the U.S. can continue to support its allies in the region.
Rear Adm. Michael McDevitt (retired) is a senior fellow at CNA. During his 34-year naval career, McDevitt held four at-sea commands, including command of an aircraft carrier battle group. He spent all of his operational time in the Pacific, including a two-year assignment in Sasebo, Japan. McDevitt was Chief of Naval Operations Strategic Studies Group Fellow at the Naval War College.
Kevin Pollpeter is a research scientist in the CNA China Studies Program. He is an internationally recognized expert on China's space program and is widely published on Chinese national security issues, focusing on Chinese military modernization, China's defense industry, and Chinese views on information warfare.
The Collapse of the Afghan Security Forces (Part 2)
In part two of their discussion, CNA counterterrorism experts Alex Powell and Jon Schroden sit down with James Cunningham the lead author for two comprehensive lessons learned reports published by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR).
They discuss some positive takeaways from the development of the Afghan National Security Forces and what lessons the U.S. government can learn from Afghanistan.
Timestamps by Topic
1:17: Were there effective approaches to developing the Afghan National Security Forces?
7:05: What lessons should the U.S. government learn from Afghanistan?
12:59: Will the U.S. government make any actionable change because of these lessons?
James Cunningham is the lead author and project lead for two comprehensive lessons learned reports published by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction focused on reconstructing the ANDSF. For over 16 years, James has worked Afghanistan-related issues as a member of the Intelligence community and providing independent oversight of U.S. reconstruction programming.
Jonathan Schroden is the Director of CNA's Countering Threats and Challenges Program (CTCP), whose mission is to support US government efforts to better understand and counter state and non-state threats and challenges. Schroden has deployed or traveled to Afghanistan 13 times.
Alex Powell is an expert on terrorist group tactics, counterterrorism, and special operations forces (SOF). He has worked extensively on security issues in Afghanistan, traveling there numerous times to conduct assessments of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces.
SIGAR Website: https://www.sigar.mil/
Divided Responsibility: Lessons from U.S. Security Sector Assistance Efforts in Afghanistan, June 2019 (https://www.sigar.mil/pdf/lessonslearned/SIGAR-19-39-LL.pdf)
Reconstructing the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces: Lessons from the U.S. Experience in Afghanistan, September 2017 (https://www.sigar.mil/pdf/lessonslearned/SIGAR-17-62-LL.pdf)
Interesting look behind the scenes of history and current events. This podcast has great series, too!
Quality content for a niche audience. Worth the subscription, for sure.
This is great!
This is great!