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War on the Rocks

Great discussions with security, defense, and foreign policy experts recorded over drinks.
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Now displaying: Page 1
Feb 19, 2024

Last week, Nick Danforth sat down with Denise Natali, Doug Ollivant and Bilal Wahab to discuss the latest in Iraqi politics? They debated what Iraq was like on Oc. 6th, how it has been impacted by the war in Gaza, and where the country will be five years from now.

Feb 13, 2024

Ryan and Ely Ratner, assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific security affairs, chatted about, well, it's in his job title. They discussed North Korean intentions, American military posture, deepening cooperation between South Korea and Japan, Chinese military modernization, corruption in the Chinese military, and deterring an attack on Taiwan.

Feb 8, 2024

As the world grapples again with the dangers of nuclear weapons use, Aaron sat down with Ankit Panda, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and Heather Williams, the director of the project on nuclear issues and a senior fellow in the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, to discuss new nuclear dynamics, the meaning of deterrence, and debate about the future of U.S. nuclear weapons strategy.

PS: We are hiring a membership editor. If you want to play a critical role in driving conversations and debates about national security, you should consider applying: https://apply.workable.com/war-on-the-rocks/j/2F3A361BCE/

Feb 5, 2024
As the largest war in Europe since World War II rages and as China rises, the U.S. Army is preparing for an evermore dangerous world with an ambitious vision. To learn more about this vision, Ryan paid a visit to Gen. Randy George, who has been serving as the Army's chief of staff since last September. They tackled a range of topics, from warfighting and professionalism in the Army, to modernizing training and acquisitions, and to lessons learned versus lessons identified. Gen. George reveals his thoughts on how the Army is learning from the war in Ukraine. And they also discussed a new Army initiative called "transforming in contact."
 
PS: We are hiring a membership editor. If you want to play a critical role in driving conversations and debates about national security, you should consider applying: https://apply.workable.com/war-on-the-rocks/j/2F3A361BCE/
Jan 30, 2024

As Putin throws his forces relentlessly into the meat-grinder of Avdiivka, Mike and Ryan sort through the state of Russia's offensive there, Moscow's efforts to bleed Ukrainian air defense, and Kyiv's success on the Black Sea. They also discuss how Ukraine can defend and rebuild in 2024 so that it can go on the offensive again next year. Ryan and Mike also return to Europe's ongoing failure to muster the political will and resources needed to do its part. And listeners will be treated to a rant from Ryan on the turmoil over President Zelenksy's reported decision to fire Gen. Zaluzhny.

Jan 25, 2024

What is the value of a U.S. aircraft carrier? How are the Department of Defense and the U.S. Navy held to financial account? And why does the Department of Defense keep failing its audit? Ryan sat down with Russell Rumbaugh, Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Financial Management & Comptroller), to discuss the budget, its relationship with the comprehensive ship building review, the ongoing challenges with building more ships and submarines, and the need to ramp up munition production.

Jan 22, 2024

Should the tragedy of war with China occur, the Air Force will play a critical role in ensuring America is able to meet the challenges of conflict in the vast stretches of the Indo-Pacific. Gen. David W. Allvin, the 23rd chief of staff of the Air Force, joined the show to talk with Ryan about his priorities and how he is directing the Air Force to meet America's evolving national security needs by following through on the work of his predecessors. Listen to learn more about how Gen. Allvin views the future of training, logistics and refueling in contested airspace, the lessons from Ukraine, why he admires George C. Marshall, and more.

Jan 5, 2024

Nick sat down with Mike Kofman to discuss where the Russo-Ukrainian conflict stands at the start of 2024. They talked through the situation on the front lines, naval developments in the Black Sea and Russia’s cynical diplomacy, as well as Moscow’s growing munitions advantage and what went wrong with the Ukrainian offensive.

Don't forget to listen to "All Quiet on the Second Front," an amazing new show that supported this episode to receive a promo code for a limited number of free War on the Rocks memberships.

Jan 4, 2024

In the last few days of 2023, the United States proposed that working groups from the G7 explore ways to seize $300 billion of Russian state assets. Given the news, we are re-releasing a members-only podcast with Philip Zelikow, a senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, which was recorded and released on Dec. 19, 2023.  Aaron and Philip discussed the legal grounds to seize Russian assets held in Western banks, Moscow's potential retaliatory options, and whether a seizure would be escalatory.

Consider joining our membership program today to listen to our slew of members-only podcasts and gain access to our daily newsletters.

Dec 22, 2023

Nick Danforth sat down with Steven Cook, Joyce Karam, and Faysal Itani to discuss how the war in Gaza will impact Israel’s relations with the Gulf and American interests in the Middle East. Among other topics, they debated the future of the Abraham Accords and what options, if any, exist for governing post-war Gaza.

Nov 30, 2023

TechCrunch Disrupt hosted Ryan and a top-notch panel for a conversation on the increasing importance of commercial stakeholders in the exercise of military power in and from space. It features John Plumb, the first assistant secretary of defense for space policy; Mandy Vaughn, the CEO and founder of GXO, Inc.; and Gen. James H. Dickinson, the commander of U.S. Space Command. Listen to their discussion, which was recorded in September. Thanks to TechCrunch for allowing us to use this recording.

 

Nov 21, 2023

Ryan and Mike Kofman discuss the state of the war before turning to various other issues including important tactical adaptations since the start of summer, why Washington's theory of its involvement in this war is fundamentally "unworkable" due to a lack of military observers in country, the various meanings of "stalemate," and the big picture for next year.

Nov 20, 2023

Nick sat down in Tokyo last week with Satoru Mori and Yasuhiro Izumikawa to discuss the evolution of Japan’s threat perceptions and defense planning. They also shared their thoughts on how Japan views the challenge posed by China, a potential Taiwan scenario, and the current conflicts in Gaza and Ukraine.

Nov 14, 2023

The title says it all! If you missed episodes of our show "Net Assessment" over the summer and fall, you aren't alone. Zack Cooper, Melanie Marlow, and Christopher Preble join Ryan for a discussion about the show, about what's happening in the world, and what we can expect from Net when it comes back next month.

Nov 6, 2023

Now that the offensive launched by Ukrainian forces is possibly in the process of petering out,  Mike Kofman shares some of his exploratory thoughts on where Ukraine stands and what 2024 might look like.

Oct 31, 2023

Continuing our series of conversations about issues at the intersection of defense and capital, Ryan chatted with Raj Shah of Shield Capital last month in San Francisco. From his service in the Air Force flying F-16s to his time as an entrepreneur to the Defense Innovation Unit-Experimental to his current work in venture capital, Shah has been a critical player in trying to maintain and grow the U.S. military's technological advantages.

Oct 25, 2023

Ryan spoke with the commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Eric Smith, about a range of issues from his forthcoming planning guidance to the future of force design to personnel and safety and beyond.

Oct 18, 2023

Ryan sat down with Mike to discuss the Russo-Ukrainian war, Russia’s effort to seize the initiative before winter begins, Moscow’s turn to North Korea for artillery shells, the challenges the Ukrainian military may face next year, the Biden administration’s failure to provide certain weapons to Ukraine quickly, and the state of the Russian military. Mike and Ryan close with a conversation about the need to be forward-looking about the conflict, given that the Russian defense industry has increased its rate of production, which will require the United States, its European allies, and Ukraine to plan for continued combat in the future.

Oct 13, 2023

Ryan sat down with John Amble of the Modern War Institute to unpack the challenges Israel is likely to face in Gaza; Israel's world-renowned urban warfare training facilities; comparisons with other battles in cities such as those that took place in the Iraqi cities of Fallujah and Mosul; and how the initial Hamas attack overwhelmed Israel's preparations to defend itself. John and Ryan close by reflecting on how three Islamist militant groups have shocked the world and armies that were, on paper, better prepared than they were: the Taliban in Afghanistan, the Islamic State in Iraq, and now Hamas in Israel and Gaza.

Oct 11, 2023

Welcome to a sneak peek of Thinking the Unthinkable, our newest members-only podcast. We are previewing this members-only podcast on this feed for free.  This members-only show features in-depth analysis and insight on the perils of a new nuclear age and is hosted by Ankit Panda. Expect Ankit to challenge views on nuclear weapons, deterrence, and explore the future of arms control. This show will come out bi-weekly for War on the Rocks members.

If you like what you hear, consider joining War on the Rocks Platinum, where you can hear all of Ankit's future podcasts, along with the Russia Contingency with Michael Kofman and a slew of other podcasts and newsletters focused on national security. Join our tribe today to gain access to War on the Rocks Platinum.

 

Oct 9, 2023

Ryan sat down with Bruce Hoffman, the Shelby Cullom and Kathryn W. Davis senior fellow for counterterrorism and homeland security at the Council on Foreign Relations, to discuss Hamas' terror attack over the weekend. The conversation touched on the intelligence failure before the attack, Hamas' history of terror attacks in the region, the role of Iran, and the likelihood of a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip. This conversation was recorded on Monday, Oct. 9, 2023.

Oct 5, 2023

Nick sat down with Evan Medeiros, Thomas Shugart and Emily Weinstein to take stock of where U.S.-Chinese relations stand today and where they might be going. Can President Biden’s diplomatic push pay off? How will Taiwan’s elections and Beijing’s internal shakeup change the equation? What lessons is President Xi Jinping actually learning from the invasion of Ukraine? And can the U.S. and China ultimately find a stable floor for their bilateral relationship or are they headed toward conflict?

Sep 28, 2023

Nick and Mike sat down for an in-depth discussion of what it would take for Ukraine to achieve a true breakthrough against Russian forces. Mike also evaluated Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s recent visit to Washington, D.C., Ukraine’s strike on Russia's Black Sea Fleet headquarters and the potential impact of ATACMS.

 

Sep 27, 2023

Ryan was happy to welcome back Lt. Gen. Brian Robinson and Lt. Gen. Andrea Tullos onto the show. These Air Force leaders lead Air Education and Training Command and Air University, respectively, the latter of which is a major component of the former. As such, they work together all the time (and aren't dueling, but fun title right?). In this episode, they speak to Ryan about what they and their teams are doing to ensure the U.S. Air Force is trained at the highest level possible in order to ensure readiness.

Robinson was on the show last year about related topics. And this is Tullos' third appearance on the show, and she has also appeared on Unspent Rounds.

Sep 18, 2023

Ryan sat down at the War on the Rocks office with Adm. Sir Antony Radakin, the professional head of the United Kingdom's military. The two discussed the United Kingdom's support for the Ukrainian military, the lessons learned from the conflict and the challenges Russia is now facing. The conversation then pivoted to the future of the British military, the plans for global force presence and Adm. Radakin's perspective on the status of AUKUS.

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