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Irregular Warfare Podcast

News & Politics Podcasts

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.

Location:

United States

Description:

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.

Language:

English


Episodes

The Many Faces of Al-Shabaab

1/27/2023
Subscribe to the IWI monthly newsletter by going to www.irregularwarfare.org! 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...

Duration:00:48:22

Misguided Citizens: India’s Approach to Counterinsurgency

1/13/2023
Subscribe to the IWI monthly newsletter by going to www.irregularwarfare.org! 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...

Duration:00:51:49

The Arctic Heats Up: Global Competition in the High North

12/30/2022
Subscribe to the IWI monthly newsletter by going to www.irregularwarfare.org! 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,...

Duration:00:44:09

Aviation Advising: Access and Influence through Airpower

12/16/2022
Subscribe to the IWI monthly newsletter by going to www.irregularwarfare.org! 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...

Duration:00:53:34

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

12/2/2022
Subscribe to the IWI monthly newsletter by going to www.irregularwarfare.org! 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...

Duration:00:50:55

Slow Burn: How US Security Cooperation Shapes Operational Environments

11/18/2022
Subscribe to the IWI monthly newsletter by going to www.irregularwarfare.org! 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...

Duration:00:56:04

From Street Fights to World Wars: What Gang Violence Can Teach Us about Conflict

11/4/2022
Subscribe to the IWI monthly newsletter by going to www.irregularwarfare.org! Is peace the natural order of things for the human race and war an aberration? Our guests on this episode, Dr. Chris Blattman and Mr. Teny Gross, argue that it is. They describe five theoretical mechanisms that cause breakdowns in societies and discuss why different groups end up resorting to violence. They then compare and contrast the characteristics of violence at the interpersonal, communal, and international...

Duration:00:57:44

The Great Equalizer: Irregular Warfare in the City

10/21/2022
Subscribe to the IWI monthly newsletter by going to www.irregularwarfare.org! This episode explores the interplay between urban spaces and irregular warfare. Our guests are John Spencer, chair of urban warfare studies at the Modern War Institute at West Point, and Sergeant Major Charles Ritter, deputy commondant of the Noncommissioned Officer Academy at the US Army's JFK Special Warfare Center and School. They begin by examining how demographic and economic shifts are increasing the...

Duration:00:48:06

After Mali: Learning from the French Experience of Irregular Warfare in the Sahel

10/7/2022
Subscribe to the IWI monthly newsletter by going to www.irregularwarfare.org! This episode explores the French experience with irregular warfare in the Sahel region of Africa since 2013 and features two guests. Brigadier General François-Marie Gougeon is a career officer in the French army who served as chief of staff for the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali from 2019 to 2020. Professor Will Reno is the chair of the Political Science Department at Northwestern...

Duration:00:56:22

Time, Space, and Material: Metrics for Assessing Irregular Warfare

9/24/2022
This episode explores the conceptual structures that undergird irregular warfare. Dr. Thomas Marks and Chief Warrant Officer Maurice "Duc" DuClos join our hosts, beginning the discussion by addressing the various ways the US government defines irregular warfare. They continue by examining the interplay between nations and nonstate actors—and how sovereign states are increasingly adopting methods traditionally employed by irregular actors to achieve their larger geopolitical aims. Finally,...

Duration:00:38:38

Another Forgotten War: America’s Experience in Afghanistan

9/12/2022
This episode contemplates lessons learned from America’s twenty years of war in Afghanistan. To do so, we're joined by Dr. Carter Malkasian, author of The American War in Afghanistan: A History, and James Cunningham, a senior analyst with SIGAR—the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction. The discuss whether, in the year following the US withdrawal, the United States and its allies have sufficiently reflected on lessons learned from the war. They then describe...

Duration:00:59:45

Insurgents Rarely Win: Adaptation in the Face of Failure

8/26/2022
This episode explores both the recent history and the future character of insurgency. Our guests are former US Ambassador to Iraq, Turkey, and Albania James Jeffrey and Dr. David Ucko, a professor at the National Defense University and author of the book The Insurgent’s Dilemma: A Struggle to Prevail. They begin by arguing that insurgency will play an important role in great power competition, although states’ objectives will change from the transformational nation-building goals of the...

Duration:00:58:04

The Bin Laden Papers: The Inner Workings of Al-Qaeda’s Leadership

8/12/2022
This episode dives into the internal workings and communications of al-Qaeda and uses that insight to draw lessons for counterterrorism strategies. From the 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden to the recent strike against Ayman al-Zawahiri, targeting key leaders has been a cornerstone of recent counterterrorism strategies, but what do these terrorist leaders have to say about the effectiveness of the campaigns against them? Retired General David Petraeus and Dr. Nelly Lahoud join hosts...

Duration:00:56:14

Spies, Lies, and Algorithms: US Intelligence in a Changing World

7/29/2022
This episode focuses on the US intelligence community and its role in supporting the spectrum of national security missions, from the heavy counterterrorism focus of the post-9/11 era to today's environment of strategic competition. Dr. Amy Zegart, author of the book Spies, Lies, and Algorithms: The History and Future of American Intelligence, and Ms. Susan Gordan, former principal deputy director of national intelligence, join the podcast to explore the evolution of the intelligence...

Duration:00:58:49

Money Talks: How Nonstate Armed Groups Finance their Operations and Organizations

7/15/2022
How do terrorist organizations and other nonstate armed groups finance their activities? And just as importantly, how can the United States and its allies counter those streams of money? Those questions are the focus of this episode. Our guests are Dr. Margaret Sankey, research coordinator at Air University's Office of Sponsored Programs, and John Cassara, a twenty-six-year of various federal intelligence and law enforcement agencies whose career focused on anti–money laundering and...

Duration:00:48:56

Political Warfare and the Road to Invasion: Irregular Warfare in Ukraine since 2014

7/1/2022
In this episode, the second in our two-part series focused on irregular warfare in Ukraine, we're once again joined by Michael Kofman and Kent DeBenedictis. After hearing them discuss Russia’s conception and employment of irregular warfare in Ukraine in the previous episode, the conversation now turns to the Ukrainian response to Russian attacks, to include how Ukraine has utilized irregular warfare to counter Russia and built resilience in the Ukrainian population and infrastructure. Our...

Duration:00:24:16

From Little Green Men to Tanks Outside Kyiv: Irregular Warfare in Ukraine since 2014

6/17/2022
In this first episode of our two-part series focused on irregular warfare in Ukraine, we're joined by Michael Kofman, the research program director in the Russia Studies Program at the Center for Naval Analyses, and Kent DeBenedictis, a US Army officer and author of the book Russian ‘Hybrid Warfare’ and the annexation of Crimea: The Modern Application of Soviet Political Warfare. They begin by exploring how Russia conceptualizes and implements irregular warfare at the macro level. They then...

Duration:00:41:32

Plan Colombia: Anatomy of a Successful Counterinsurgency Campaign

6/3/2022
Plan Colombia has been described as a model of successful counterinsurgency and foreign internal defense at a time when large footprints in Iraq and Afghanistan have had mixed results. In this episode, we're joined by two guests. Alberto José Mejía Ferrero served as the general commander of the Military Forces of Colombia and has worked closely with American forces throughout his career. Dr. David Spencer is a professor at the William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies at the...

Duration:00:51:29

Digital Irregular Warfare: Cyber at the Tactical Level

5/20/2022
This episode explores how cyber tools and weapons are used at the tactical level within irregular warfare. Our guests, Dr. Trey Herr and Major Sally White, highlight some of the limitations of executing tactical cyber operations. They also provide insights into how information operations and cyber tools can be integrated together in the irregular warfare space for better utility and to influence target populations through both physical and digital effects. They conclude by noting that...

Duration:00:43:44

Little Blue Men in the South China Sea: Unmasking China’s Maritime Militia

5/6/2022
Since completing its terraforming and island reclamation projects in the Spratly Islands in 2016, the People’s Republic of China has shifted its emphasis to asserting dominance over the South China Sea. A key component of this pivot has been the expansion of China’s maritime militia—a force of vessels ostensibly engaged in commercial activity, but which in fact conducts operations in concert with Chinese law enforcement and military institutions to help the party-state achieve its military...

Duration:00:48:41