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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: December, 2019
Dec 30, 2019

As the world changes, is the nuclear strategy landscape changing or staying remarkably consistent? We had a nice chat about such in lovely Hamburg, courtesy of the Nuclear Studies Research Initiative (NSRI). Don't miss this episode, featuring Fiona Cunningham of George Washington University, Francis Gavin of Johns Hopkins, Ulrich Kühn of the University of Hamburg, and Jane Vaynman of Temple University.

Dec 23, 2019

Have you heard of the 'For Country' caucus? In a political moment defined by acrimony above all else, this caucus brings together members of Congress who have served in the military — Democrats and Republicans. They meet regularly and work together on interests of common concern, including defense, but also beyond. And shortly after the president was impeached, on a week that might be the peak of partisan peevishness, four members of the caucus — Representatives Don Bacon (R-NE), Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA), Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), and Michael Waltz (R-FL) — sat down with Ryan to explain why they are still friends and what unites them.

Dec 16, 2019

How could symphonies inspire the Army to change the way it selects leaders? The answer might surprise you. Gen. James C. McConville, the Army's 40th chief of staff, has given his marching orders: The Army's top priority is people — more specifically, overhauling talent management. How will future leaders be assessed, selected, and promoted?

To understand the huge changes underway, Ryan spoke with Maj. Gen. J.P. McGee, who leads the Army's Talent Management Task Force. McGee gives us a deep look inside his team's efforts, to include a new battalion commander selection process that could lead to a cascade of personnel reforms. If you're in the Army, know anyone in the Army, or are interested in the power of personnel policies, you won't want to miss this.

For a transcript of this episode, please click here

Dec 2, 2019

If you read War on the Rocks, you've noticed there's a lively debate over the state of wargaming in the Department of Defense. After senior leaders pushed for a renewed emphasis on wargaming several years ago, are these games any good? Are they doing what they need to be doing for the U.S. military? If not, who is at fault — the gaming community or the customers sitting in the five-sided building? To tackle these questions and more, we gathered a gifted group of gamesome and gallant gamers. Join Ryan's conversation with Ellie Bartels, ED McGrady, and Peter Perla.

 

Links

Jon Compton, "The Obstacles on the Road to Better Analytical Wargaming"

Phillip Pournelle, "Can the Cycle of Research Save American Military Strategy?"

Peter Perla, Web Ewell, Christopher Ma, Justin Peachy, Jeremy Sepinksy, and Basil Tripsas, "Rolling the Iron Dice: From Analytical Wargaming to the Cycle of Research"

ED McGrady, "Getting the Story Right About Wargaming"

Elizabeth Bartels, "Getting the Most Out of Your Wargame: Practical Advice for Decision-Makers"

Robert Work and Paul Selva, "Revitalizing Wargaming is Necessary to be Prepared for Future Wars"

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