Ryan recently traveled to Air University at Maxwell Air Force Base where he was joined by three of the many big thinkers teaching servicemembers down there: Andy Akins, Anna Batta, and Mark Conversino. They covered the risk of nuclear war over Ukraine, the prospects for negotiations, why so many struggle with strategic empathy, and efforts to learn lessons from this war, which often stumble when we fail to learn lessons about ourselves.
Mike Kofman and Nick Danforth start this episode by analyzing the latest events in the war and the fighting in and around Bakhmut. Mike offers his thoughts on Russia and Ukraine's stockpiles of artillery, and what that may mean for the fighting this winter and beyond. The conversation concludes with a discussion about foreign support for the war effort, and the implications of this for the future of the conflict.
Mike Kofman and Ryan Evans start this episode by taking a step back to the beginning to put this stage of the war in context. Mike offers possible scenarios on the next few months of the war, discusses Ukraine's recent strikes on Russian bases deep in Russian territory, and assesses the state of forces, munitions, and kit on both sides.
War on the Rocks threw a party for almost 200 people on the sidelines of I/ITSEC, the premier modeling and simulations conference held every year in Orlando. At this party, we had a special guest for a live podcast recording: Lt. Gen. Brian "Smokey" Robinson, the commander of Air Education and Training Command. In a chat with Ryan, he laid out his objectives, the future of education and immersive training for airman, and the centrality of data. Robinson emphasized this is not just about pilots — as pilot training is only 10 percent of what his command does — but all airmen. In forging ahead, he echoed former Assistant Secretary James Geurts, saying "We have to demand curiosity." The two also chatted about his career, why he joined the Air Force, and why squadron command was his favorite job. They also took some questions from the audience on professional military education, the T-7A program, his tentative 2023 pilot training goal, and his favorite superhero.
For a transcript of this episode, visit: https://warontherocks.com/2022/12/cognition-and-curiosity-a-conversation-with-lt-gen-brian-robinson