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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: November, 2019
Nov 25, 2019

A few years ago, Ryan recorded a boozy interview with Max Brooks...and then never released it. Who knows why, but it's a fun conversation that you're sure to enjoy during this holiday week. Max is most famous as the author of World War Z, but he has a remarkably diverse collection of works, from The Harlem Hellfighters to some unusual episodes of GI Joe. This episode covers a lot of ground, from his body of work, his collaborations with the U.S. military, rum, and being a part of a famous family.

Since this episode was first recorded, Max has been a busy guy. He is one of the editors of
Strategy Strikes Back: How Star Wars Explains Modern Military Conflict and has a new horror novel coming out next year called Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre, which is available for pre-order.

Nov 18, 2019

Ryan sat down for a conversation Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico to talk about an issue that matters a lot to them and should matter a lot to you: war powers. In her contribution to a new roundtable on war powers, Oona Hathaway has a perfect lede: “The U.S. Congress has not approved a use of force since 2002. And yet the United States certainly has not been at peace in the years since.”

Military operations all across the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa are ongoing and expanding. As Hathaway writes elegantly they are all “grounded in capacious readings of Congress’ 2001 and 2002 authorizations for use of military force.” Edward Corwin described the way foreign relations powers are divvied up in the constitution as an “invitation to struggle”. But — as the years since these aging authorizations have demonstrated — it’s not a fair fight, is it?

Don’t miss this episode, which pairs well with the new war powers roundtable in the Texas National Security Review

Nov 11, 2019

What is the proper role of retired general and flag officers in American politics? This is a question that has been debated for a long time, but things have heated up since the 2016 elections due to the prominent role of retired generals in that presidential campaign and in the Trump administration. Even more recently, retired Adm. Bill McRaven penned an op-ed that attracted the attention of many, but especially those who study civil-military relations. The premiere scholarly society focused on civil-military relations was in town over the weekend, so Ryan decided to have a few people over to War on the Rocks headquarters to sort through it all. He was joined by Risa Brooks, Peter Feaver, Jim Golby, and Alice Hunt Friend.

Nov 4, 2019

“Only kings, presidents, editors, and people with tapeworms have the right to use the editorial ‘we.’” This line, often attributed to Mark Twain (it wasn’t him) speaks to the thorny feelings that writers associate with those who shape their prose. Now that the War on the Rocks editorial team has grown so much, we thought this was a good opportunity for you to get to know our Washington-based editors a bit better: Doyle Hodges, Shane Mason, and Rebecca Zimmerman. This team combines career experience in the U.S. Navy, various think tanks, in the fields and headquarters of Afghanistan, to low-budget music tour vans. If you’re interested in their career trajectories, mentors who made a difference, how to be a civilian in a military dominated environment (or vice versa), the books and plays they love, hard-earned professional lessons, or just better knowing the people who wield the red pen, you’ll enjoy this one.

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