Professional Military Education
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A podcast that studies military topics, books, and history.
A podcast that studies military topics, books, and history.
Lying to Ourselves: Dishonesty in the Army Profession with Dr. Leonard Wong
My guest is Dr. Leonard Wong a research professor at the U.S. Army War College’s Strategic Studies Institute. In February 2015, he co-authored a paper with Stephen Gerras called “Lying to Ourselves: Dishonesty in the Army Profession.” The interview explores how a culture of “ethical laziness” has spread throughout military branches like the U.S. Army. The essential question is whether the Army system has eroded virtues like integrity. Dr. Wong argues that through overtasking and too many...
Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging with Sebastian Junger
In this interview, I talk to Sebastian Junger. Sebastian wrote Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging. Sebastian is also the author of The Perfect Storm, which was made into a major film. His films include the award-winning documentaries Restrepo and Korengal. Sebastian Junger began his career as a journalist in war town countries such as Bosnia and Afghanistan. Through his own struggles with PTSD and his study of units on the battlefield, Sebastian dives deep into what it is like for someone...
John Boyd, Maneuver Warfare, and MCDP-1 (Part 2) with Major Ian Brown
MCDP1: Warfighting is four chapters, and the total length is around 100 pages. The book is affectionately termed a "two crapper", which means that a person can finish it in two-bathroom trips. Warfighting describes a way of thinking about war. It is not a checklist or a technical manual. It gives a mental framework that provides the basis for the Marine Corps’ conception of war. More importantly it is a launching point for future studies. Warfighting should be the starting point for...
John Boyd, Maneuver Warfare, and MCDP-1 (Part 1) with Major Ian Brown
What is “maneuver warfare”? Who is Air Force Colonel John Boyd, who throughout the late 1970s and 1980s found a captive audience in the Marine Corps leadership? In Episode 11, Major Ian Brown discusses the evolution of the Marine Corps' doctrinal publication, MCDP-1: Warfighting. Furthermore, he focuses on the contribution of Air Force Colonel John Boyd, who developed a brief called “Patterns of Conflict.” This brief combined Boyd’s study of military history with his earlier technical...
On Tactics: An Interview with B.A. Friedman
In episode 10 of the Professional Military Education podcast, we talk to B.A. Friedman, author of On Tactics: A Theory of Victory in Battle. The conversation focuses on tactics and its relationship to strategy. Mr. Friedman discusses what he calls the three tactical tenets- physical, mental, and moral. He discusses how he developed his theory of tactics, and how that theory can be applied by military thinkers. Be sure to follow Mr. Friedman on Twitter @BA_Friedman Like On Tactics on...
The North Korea Threat: An Interview with Dr. Bruce Bechtol
In the following interview, Dr. Bruce Bechtol discusses the threat of North Korea. North Korea has made headlines for their ICBM tests and nuclear tests. We discuss the threat that they pose as well as dive into the details of their regime, their current leader, past provocations, weapons systems, and options that the U.S. and its allies have to deal with them. Dr. Bechtol is Associate Professor of political science at Angelo State University in Texas. He is a retired U.S. Marine, and...
Blueprint for America: “Restoring our National Security”
Dr. Kori Schake co-authored, "Restoring Our National Security", with Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis and James O. Ellis Jr. The chapter appeared in the book, Blueprint for America, which was published by Stanford Universities Hoover Institute. Dr. Schake is a professor of history at Stanford, and is a research fellow at the Hoover Institute. She also co-edited a book with Secretary Mattis called, Warriors and Citizens: American Views of our Military. Key Takeaways: Warriors and...
On Strategy: An Interview with Sir Lawrence Freedman
Sir Lawrence Freedman is Professor of War Studies at King’s College and the author of numerous books and publications to include Strategy: A History. In Episode 7 of the PME podcast, we talk about strategy. What is strategy and what it is not? We trace its historical roots, and discuss how traditional views of strategy still apply or do not apply to today’s conflicts and future conflicts. Additionally, Sir Lawrence Freedman was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1995 and awarded...
The Iran Wars with Jay Solomon
Jay Solomon is a reporter for the Wall Street Journal and the author of The Iran Wars: Spy Games, Bank Battles, and the Secret Deals That Reshaped the Middle East. In Episode 6 of the PME podcast, the history of the conflict between the U.S. and Iran is covered along with the events and negotiations that led to the nuclear agreement of July 2015. Mr. Solomon talks about how pressure was exerted on Iran to bring them to negotiate, and observes how the model of economic sanctions might be...
Steven Lee Myers on The New Tsar: The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin
Steven Lee Myers is a columnist for the New York Times and the author of The New Tsar: The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin. Myers talks about the life and career of Vladimir Putin from his time as a KGB foreign intelligence officer to his current role as Russian president. The interview covers a wide range of Russian history from World War II to the current conflict in Ukraine. Key Takeaways: The Shield and the SwordsilovikKursk...
S. C. Gwynne on The Intricate Strategies of Stonewall Jackson
S.C. Gwynne is a New York Times bestselling author, and award-winning Historian. His book, Rebel Yell, focuses on the Civil War general Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. Jackson was a brilliant leader and was consider a real ‘rock ‘n’ roll star,’ during the era where his bold strategic maneuvers became famous on an international level. Find out more about this fascinating man in this week’s episode! Key Takeaways: [4:35] What was Gwynne’s inspiration to writing the book? [6:05] Who was...
Patrick O’Donnell on The Forgotten Story of The Maryland Heroes
Patrick K. O’Donnell is a combat historian, bestselling author, and public speaker. O’Donnell has written ten critically acclaimed books that recount epic, and untold, stories of American war. His most recent book, Washington’s Immortals, recounts the story of the forgotten Maryland Heroes who helped push the war onto America’s winning side and defeat the British. Key Takeaways: [4:00] Much like the rest of O’Donnell’s books, this one found him. [6:35] Green-Wood Cemetery is a...
Joby Warrick on Zarqawi and ISIS
Joby Warrick is an American Journalist who has won two Pulitzer Prizes. His work at The Washington Post covers topics on the Middle East, diplomacy, and national security. On today’s discussion, Warrick discusses his book, Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS, in greater detail, and gives some history on how ISIS began. Key Takeaways: [2:55] Even though we’re not under attack, the American people are still affected by ISIS. [6:10] Who is Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, really? [9:25] Warrick...
Gideon Rose on How Wars End
Gideon Rose is the editor of Foreign Affairs, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is also the author of the book How Wars End: Why We Always Fight the Last Battle. In this week’s episode, Mr. Rose discusses why, no matter the war, we see the same mistakes occur throughout U.S. history. The truth be told, the end state in war is often too broad. The lack of planning by civilian decision-makers based on these broad and vague terms, leads to a longer-than-necessary war that...