71 episodes

The Irregular Warfare Podcast explores an important component of war throughout history. Small wars, drone strikes, special operations forces, counterterrorism, proxies—this podcast covers the full range of topics related to irregular war and features in-depth conversations with guests from the military, academia, and the policy community. The podcast is a collaboration between the Modern War Institute at West Point and Princeton's Empirical Studies of Conflict Project.

Irregular Warfare Podcast Modern War Institute at West Point

    • News
    • 4.8 • 296 Ratings

The Irregular Warfare Podcast explores an important component of war throughout history. Small wars, drone strikes, special operations forces, counterterrorism, proxies—this podcast covers the full range of topics related to irregular war and features in-depth conversations with guests from the military, academia, and the policy community. The podcast is a collaboration between the Modern War Institute at West Point and Princeton's Empirical Studies of Conflict Project.

    The Many Faces of Al-Shabaab

    The Many Faces of Al-Shabaab

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    Somalia’s security landscape is complex, making the challenge of understanding the terrorist group al-Shabaab especially challenging. The group uses intricate methods to maintain its foothold in East Africa, complicating both international and indigenous efforts to counter the threat it poses. To examine al-Shabaab and the critical contextual influences unique to Somalia, this episode features a conversation with two guests. Mary Harper is the Africa editor at BBC World Service News and author of Everything You Have Told Me is True: The Many Faces of Al Shabaab. Sam Wilkins is an Army Special Forces officer with operational experience in Somalia. Together, their insights and expert perspectives help to paint a picture of the Somalia-based terrorist organization and its effects on security and stability in the region.
     
    Intro music: "Unsilenced" by Ketsa
    Outro music: "Launch" by Ketsa
    CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

    • 48 min
    Misguided Citizens: India’s Approach to Counterinsurgency

    Misguided Citizens: India’s Approach to Counterinsurgency

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    What lessons can be found in India’s experience with counterinsurgency? Are there elements of India’s philosophical approach to counterinsurgency and its tactical innovations that can be applied by the United States in expeditionary counterinsurgency operations? In this episode, we’re joined by Sumit Ganguly, distinguished professor of political science at Indiana University Bloomington, and Sajid Shapoo, a decorated senior Indian Police Service officer and PhD candidate at Princeton University. Together, they tackle these questions and more as they assess the Indian approach to counterinsurgency.
     
    Intro music: "Unsilenced" by Ketsa
    Outro music: "Launch" by Ketsa
    CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

    • 51 min
    The Arctic Heats Up: Global Competition in the High North

    The Arctic Heats Up: Global Competition in the High North

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    What are America’s interests in the Arctic? Are the traditional institutions that have governed interstate relations in the region equipped for an emerging period of intensified competition in the High North? And how is climate change affecting the strategic calculus of the United States, Russia, China, and other states? This episode tackles these questions and more as our guests—the Honorable Sherri Goodman, former deputy under secretary of defense for environmental security and current senior fellow at the Wilson Center, and Brigadier General Shawn Satterfield, commanding general of Special Operations Command North—join the podcast to examine the evolving relationship between climate change, Arctic security, and geopolitical competition.
     
    Intro music: "Unsilenced" by Ketsa
    Outro music: "Launch" by Ketsa
    CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

    • 44 min
    Aviation Advising: Access and Influence through Airpower

    Aviation Advising: Access and Influence through Airpower

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    In this episode, we're joined by two guests to discuss how airpower can be a critical aspect of building partner capacity. Retired Brigadier General John Teichert and Colonel Tobias Bernard Switzer guests begin by highlighting past success of air advising and explaining aviation’s role in establishing access and influence with partner nations. They go on to explain how key air advising capabilities are being divested, presenting a capability gap between what combatant commanders are requesting and what the services can provide. Finally, they describe the implications of emerging technologies on future air advising and how models of air advising can adapt and be reprioritized.
     
    Intro music: "Unsilenced" by Ketsa
    Outro music: "Launch" by Ketsa
    CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

    • 53 min
    Transmitting Values: Can US Security Force Assistance Export Democratic Norms?

    Transmitting Values: Can US Security Force Assistance Export Democratic Norms?

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    What role does promoting liberal values, such as human rights and democracy, play in security cooperation? How should the inherent tension between promoting liberal values and accomplishing national security objectives be managed when working with partner nations? Should policymakers deliberately seek to tie US values to security force assistance in the future? Our guests on this episode, Ambassador Dennis Ross and Dr. Renanah Joyce, share their insights on these questions and more.
     
    Intro music: "Unsilenced" by Ketsa
    Outro music: "Launch" by Ketsa
    CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

    • 50 min
    Slow Burn: How US Security Cooperation Shapes Operational Environments

    Slow Burn: How US Security Cooperation Shapes Operational Environments

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    This episode explores how America’s security cooperation programs can help shape regional security environments by training foreign militaries. We're joined by two guests whose extensive practical and research experience is extraordinarily relevant to the subject. Retired Lieutenant General Mark Hertling is a national security and military analyst for CNN who served thirty-eight years in the US Army, culminating in command of US Army Europe. Professor Derek Reveron is the chair of national security affairs at the US Naval War College and the author of the book Exporting Security. Together, they address why America settled on security cooperation as a pillar of its global strategy, describe the important nuances associated with the implementation of security cooperation efforts, and discuss how past military cooperation efforts have shaped today’s regional security environment in Eastern Europe and what America can do to optimize its approach to security cooperation in the future.
     
    Intro music: "Unsilenced" by Ketsa
    Outro music: "Launch" by Ketsa
    CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

    • 56 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
296 Ratings

296 Ratings

Jackson Thornton ,

Broaden the Aperture

Been listening since the beginning of the podcast and as much as I love the show, I had to bring up the myopic focus in the security cooperation. In an almost hour long show about the security cooperation enterprise the role of the State Department was a only mentioned twice, once about Secretary Blinken and the other about Defense Attachés. Maybe have a companion episode with experts from State’s PM Bureau or even DSCA about the foreign policy work that goes into the Title 22 security cooperation programs you referenced in the latest episode.

Again, love the show, but irregular (political) warfare doesn’t just live in the Pentagon.

mike_tango ,

Outstanding. Free grad school/professional military education.

I can’t say enough about how valuable this podcast is. I would call it a free, ongoing graduate-level course (or professional military education course), featuring the leading minds and practitioners in the field. Modern War Institute is achieving its mission of bringing academia and the practicing national security community together for everyone’s shared education and benefit.

Chris Kevorkian ,

Afghanistan

Very disappointed that there was NOT one mention of Doha Agreement. Afghanistan could never have been won. Corruption. Tribal politics. Try to be objective when discussing the fall of the country last year. Carter’s thoughts were interesting. It’s amazing to me how many military history books our officers read at Leavenworth and Carlyle and Newport. They could just have read Bright Shining Lie by Sheehan; we forgot all the lessons from Vietnam in Afghanistan. Waste of lives and trillions of dollars. We never learn our lessons.

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