The Modern War Institute Podcast is the flagship podcast of the Modern War Institute at West Point. Featured guests include senior military leaders, scholars, and others who discuss the most important issues related to modern conflict.
History, Identity, and Russia's War in Ukraine
While Western leaders, media, and institutions have condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its conduct of the ongoing war—characterizing it as a brutal act of naked aggression—to many Russians, their military forces are heroes, protecting the Russian nation, its place in the world, and its very identity. What explains this extraordinarily different perspective? This episode features a discussion with Dr. Jade McGlynn, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London and author of two recently published books that combine to shed light on this question. As she explains, there is a complex set of layers through which the war is understood—layers composed of history, issues of identity, and national narratives. This means that, effectively, Russians are watching an entirely different war than those in the West.
Sweden, Finland, and NATO
The decisions by the governments of Sweden and Finland to apply to join NATO marked a major departure from both countries' longstanding policies of nonalignment. But how, specifically, will it affect these countries’ defense capabilities—and those of NATO? How much needs to be done to achieve interoperability? And most fundamentally, while Russia’s invasion of Ukraine clearly triggered these decisions, why did both countries make this major decision at the particular moment they did? To unpack those questions and many more, John Amble is joined on this episode by Rasmus Hindren, the head of international relations at the European Center of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats, a senior nonresident fellow at the Atlantic Council, and an experienced defense policy practitioner in his home country of Finland.
Securing NATO's Baltic Flank
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year, the world has seen firsthand evidence of the threat posed by the revanchist state. Among those who perceive this threat most acutely are the three Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. The fundamental facts of these states’ existence—their comparatively small size, proximity to Russia, and position on the northeastern flank of the NATO alliance—combine to make the threat both direct and real. But what can NATO do to deter Russian military aggression against the three countries in the future—and defend against that aggression should it occur? This episode tackles that question and features a discussion with Mark Cancian. A senior adviser with the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, he is the author of a recently published report, “Repel, Don’t Expel: Strengthening NATO’s Defense and Deterrence in the Baltic States.” He joins the podcast to share some of the insights and conclusions featured in the report.
The Robotic Revolution is Here
This episode of the MWI Podcast features a conversation with August Cole, coauthor of a new book called Burn-In: A Novel of the Real Robotic Revolution. It’s a techno-thriller and a work of fiction, but it is also based on deep research and allows readers to examine the types of technologies that will increasingly characterize the future—from everyday life to the conduct of war. In fact, the seemingly remarkable technologies featured in the book's plot are already emerging and in many cases already exist.
When Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, one of its first targets was the city of Mariupol. Despite being outnumbered by—and less well equipped than—their adversaries, Ukrainian defenders held out for three months. As the Russian siege of the city intensified, Ukrainian forces defended a shrinking perimeter with a command post in the Azovstal steel plant. One of those Ukrainian defenders was Sergeant Arseniy Fedosiuk. MWI's John Spencer had the opportunity to speak to him about his experience in Mariupol, and you'll hear part of that discussion in this episode.
The full conversation from which this episode is drawn will be released on Friday, July 21, as an episode of the Urban Warfare Project Podcast, which you can find wherever you get your podcasts. Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss the complete discussion with this phenomenal guest.
After the Wagner Mutiny, What Next for the War in Ukraine?
When Yevgeny Prighozin, the head of the Wagner Group, released a video on June 23 that criticized Russian leaders' management of the war in Ukraine, it was the first in a series of extraordinary events that played out with the world watching. One of those people watching closely as the private military company's forces entered the city of Rostov-on-Don and began an advance toward Moscow was retired Lieutenant General Ben Hodges. A former commanding general of US Army Europe, he joins this episode to lend his extensive experience and nuanced understanding of Russia and European security to a discussion that aims to contextualize the remarkable recent events in Russia and explore how they will impact the ongoing war in Ukraine.
They’re no anti-hero
With all due respect, I can gather more intelligence about modern warfare from a Taylor Swift song.
Globalist warmongers doing globalist warmonger things
This is an incredible resource to have in order to remain informed on issues impacting national security. Very well done!