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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.

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

Pacific Gambit: The Role of Irregular Warfare in Australia’s Great Strategic Shift

2/11/2021
Australia is undergoing the most fundamental strategic realignment since the Second World War, toward a focus on threats closer to home without reliance on the United States. In that context, what role does irregular warfare play in Australian national security strategy? What lessons does the Australian experience hold for the United States as they both transition from the post-9/11 wars to great power competition? David Kilcullen and Andy Maher join this episode to discuss. Intro music:...

Duration:00:48:30

Institution Building as a Counterinsurgency Tool: The Case of Colombia

1/28/2021
In 2016, the Colombian government and FARC rebels signed a peace deal, ending over five decades of guerrilla war. What lessons can be gleaned from the case for the irregular warfare community? Former US Ambassador to Colombia Kevin Whitaker and former assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict Caryn Hollis argue that effective US interagency coordination, bipartisan congressional support, and a focus on building institutions and stabilizing the security...

Duration:00:42:56

Competing for Influence: Operations in the Information Environment

1/15/2021
Information in its many forms has become a significant component of national power—the primary medium of competition between the United States and its adversaries. Our guests in this episode tackle that subject. Lt. Gen. Lori Reynolds is the US Marine Corps’ deputy commandant for information and Dr. Thomas Rid is a professor of strategic studies at Johns Hopkins University’ School of Advanced International Studies. Both are experts in their respective fields, each looking at this competition...

Duration:00:42:48

Artificial Intelligence in Counterterrorism and Counterinsurgency

1/1/2021
What role do information and intelligence play in counterinsurgency? How can artificial intelligence assist in tracking and identifying insurgent or terrorist activity? What are some of the opportunities and challenges of using AI in irregular warfare contexts? Retired Gen. Stan McChrystal and Dr. Anshu Roy tackle those questions and more in this episode. They argue that AI allows counterinsurgent and counterterrorist forces to aggregate and process massive amounts of data that illuminates...

Duration:00:43:35

Breaking the Boom-Bust Cycle of Irregular Warfare

12/17/2020
Where does irregular warfare fit within the framework of national security policy? Does the recently released Irregular Warfare Annex to the National Defense Strategy attenuate focus, or relegate irregular warfare to a policy afterthought? How can irregular warfare concepts become enduring elements of a comprehensive effort toward competition and conflict with US adversaries? Those questions are at the center of this conversation with two guests: Retired Col. David Maxwell, a thirty-year US...

Duration:00:45:57

Russia’s Wagner Group and the Rise of Mercenary Warfare

12/3/2020
What role do private military companies such as Russia’s Wagner Group play on the modern battlefield? How should US policymakers and US and allied troops in conflict zones manage threats from armed groups when Russia denies their existence? Is war by private armies a rising trend in modern conflict? The guests featured in this episode explore those questions and more.

Duration:00:51:23

The Practice and Politics of Security Force Assistance

11/19/2020
When, why, and under what circumstances does security force assistance work? This episode focuses on best practices of security force assistance, along with challenges, realistic expectations, and the role it will play for the United States in an era of great power competition with guests Dr. Mara Karlin, author of the book Building Militaries and Fragile States: Challenges for the United States, and Brig. Gen. Scott Jackson, commanding general of the US Army's Security Force Assistance...

Duration:00:43:43

David Petraeus on Irregular Warfare and Countering Violent Extremism

11/5/2020
This episode features a conversation with retired Gen. David Petraeus. He served over thirty-seven years in the US military, including as commander of coalition forces during the surge in Iraq, commander of US Central Command, and commander of coalition forces in Afghanistan. He outlines lessons he argues the United States should have learned from two decades of fighting Islamist extremists, explains how US dominance in the particular areas allows it to support partners against violent...

Duration:00:41:27

The Costs and Benefits of Unconventional Warfare and Subversion

10/22/2020
What are unconventional warfare and foreign subversion? Will they be important in an era of great power competition? What are some of the second- and third-order effects when states use subversion to undermine their rivals? Retired Lt. Gen. Ken Tovo and Dr. Melissa Lee join the Irregular Warfare Podcast to discuss these topics and more. Intro music: "Unsilenced" by Ketsa Outro music: "Launch" by Ketsa CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Duration:00:40:07

Counterinsurgency in the Philippines: An Inside Look at Partner Warfare

10/8/2020
This episode is a deep dive into insurgency and counterinsurgency in the Philippines, presented through the perspectives of two guests with many years of experience in Philippine counterinsurgency efforts. Dr. Joe Felter and retired Col. Dennis Eclarin discuss the history and evolution of insurgency and counterinsurgency in the Philippines, with a focus on US support to building effective counterinsurgency forces in both the pre- and post- 9/11 eras. Based on shared operational perspectives...

Duration:00:41:08

The Pentagon Bureaucracy and the Human Domain of War

9/24/2020
What is the human domain of warfare, and will it be more or less relevant in great power competition? Who should own it? What does it take to change how the Department of Defense thinks about war? In this episode, Nick Lopez and Kyle Atwell dig into these questions and more with retired Brig. Gen. Kim Field and Dr. Sue Bryant. The conversation goes beyond defining the human domain of warfare, as the guests reveal how policy changes are considered within the Defense Department bureaucracy...

Duration:00:44:54

Are Some Militaries Better at Counterinsurgency than Others?

9/13/2020
Are the US Marines better at counterinsurgency than the US Army? How about the British Army? If so, why? If not then what else might explain success and failure in different counterinsurgency campaigns over time? In this episode, Kyle Atwell and Nick Lopez discuss these questions with Dr. Colin Jackson and Dr. Austin Long. Intro music: "Unsilenced" by Ketsa Outro music: "Launch" by Ketsa CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Duration:00:47:53

The Future of Irregular Warfare

8/27/2020
In Episode 8 of the Irregular Warfare Podcast, hosts Nick Lopez and Shawna Sinnott speak to best-selling authors August Cole and P.W. Singer to discuss how they see the future of irregular warfare and implications for policymakers, practitioners, and academics. The guests have conducted extensive research on how technology will drastically affect society, the economy, and all things defense-related. They use this research to tell action-packed stories, to include the best seller Ghost Fleet:...

Duration:00:58:40

Proxy Wars, Part 2: Opportunity and Risk in the Middle East

8/14/2020
In this episode of the Irregular Warfare Podcast, Shawna Sinnott and Kyle Atwell discuss the history and context of proxy and partner warfare in the Middle East with Ambassador Ryan Crocker and Dr. Eli Berman. This is the second of a two-part discussion on fighting irregular warfare through proxy forces. Intro music: "Unsilenced" by Ketsa Outro music: "Launch" by Ketsa CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Duration:00:39:01

Proxy Wars, Part 1: War Through Local Agents in Africa

7/30/2020
In this episode of the Irregular Warfare Podcast, Kyle Atwell and Shawna Sinnott discuss proxy and partner warfare in Africa with retired Maj. Gen. Marcus Hicks and Dr. Eli Berman. Eli and Mark discuss the objectives of proxy and partner warfare, the tools available to influence local agents, and whether the United States should increase or decrease its military and diplomatic footprint across Africa in an era of renewed great-power competition. The episode is the first in a two-part series...

Duration:00:54:36

Inside Insurgency: Nonstate Armed Groups in Syria and Iraq

7/16/2020
In this episode of the Irregular Warfare Podcast, Kyle Atwell and Nick Lopez discuss the inner workings of nonstate armed groups in Syria and Iraq with Dr. Vera Mironova of Harvard University and Dr. Daniel Milton of the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. The conversation is based on analysis of ISIS documents captured on the battlefield and hundreds of interviews with civilians and fighters on the front lines. Intro music: "Unsilenced" by Ketsa Outro music: "Launch" by Ketsa CC...

Duration:00:37:20

Irregular Warfare Oversight in DC

7/2/2020
What are the mechanics and politics that determine how the US government approaches irregular conflicts? That's the question at the center of this episode of the Irregular Warfare Podcast. Hosts Nick Lopez and Kyler Atwell are joined by Mark Mitchell, former acting assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict, and Pete Villano, who spent a decade as a professional staff member on the House Armed Services Committee.

Duration:00:41:01

Does Building Partner Military Capacity Work?

6/18/2020
This episode of the Irregular Warfare Podcast features a conversation with two guests about an important question: Does building partner military capacity work? Dr. Stephen Biddle is a professor of international and public affairs at Columbia University and served as an advisor to Gen. David Petraeus and Gen. Stanley McChrystal during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Matt Cancian is a doctoral candidate in political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a former Marine...

Duration:00:41:24

Leadership Targeting and Drones: An Effective Counterterrorism Strategy?

6/9/2020
In the second episode of the Irregular Warfare Podcast, a collaboration between the Modern War Institute and Princeton University’s Empirical Studies of Conflict Project, hosts Nick Lopez and Shawna Sinnott speak to Dr. Jenna Jordan and Dr. Asfandyar Mir. They discuss counterterrorism, the use of drones, and whether targeting terrorist groups' leaders is an effective strategy. Intro music: "Unsilenced" by Ketsa Outro music: "Launch" by Ketsa CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Duration:01:12:39

What are Small Wars?

5/21/2020
The Irregular Warfare Podcast is a new collaboration between the Modern War Institute at West Point and Princeton University's Empirical Studies of Conflict Project. In this inaugural episode, hosts Kyle Atwell and Nick Lopez talk to Jake Shapiro, co-director of ESOC and Col. Pat Howell, director of MWI. The conversation tackles important questions about what are often called "small wars," including material covered in Jake's book, Small Wars, Big Data. New episodes of the Irregular Warfare...

Duration:00:18:55