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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: Category: general
Jun 14, 2024

Michael Kofman dropped into WOTR HQ to chat with Ryan about the war in Ukraine. From Russia's culminated offensive on Kharkiv, to battlefields of the Donbas, to ongoing fighting in the south, to Russia's displaced Black Sea Fleet, Mike parses through the data to try and assess where the war is heading next. 

Jun 10, 2024

It's become more and more common for organizations in the Defense Department, from the military services to geographic combatant commands and beyond, to have chief technology officers. What do they do? What challenges do they tackle? Why are they becoming increasingly important as the U.S. military tries to maintain its technological edge over China and other shrewd and savvy rivals using tech to create asymmetries? To help grapple with these questions, I sat down with Schuyler Moore, the CTO of U.S. Central Command, and Justin Fanelli, the CTO of the U.S. Department of the Navy.

May 22, 2024

Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall was kind enough to spend some time with Ryan talking about the reorganization of the Department of the Air Force and modernization. They also discussed the challenges new entrants have breaking into working with the Defense Department. And they closed with a brief discussion about resistance to plans to move some Air National Guard members from six states into the Space Force.

May 10, 2024

Nick sat down with United States Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Linda Fagan to discuss the Coast Guard’s global activities, from the Arctic to the Indo-Pacific to the growing digital security challenges to America’s ports.

May 6, 2024

The U.S. Congress finally passed the security supplement, authorizing a large amount of funding and support to keep Ukraine in the fight. This package buys Ukraine another year of time. What will Ukraine do with that time? What is the situation at the front? Michael Kofman answers these questions and more.

May 1, 2024

Ryan sat down with three friends to talk about the war in Ukraine through the lens of a new edited volume on the topic. Enjoy this conversation with Andrea Kendall-Taylor (former CIA), Hal Brands, and Alexander Bick (former National Security Council staff), which surfaces some important disagreements and debates about the war and international order. Oh, and also buy War in Ukraine: Conflict, Strategy, and the Return of a Fractured World (https://www.amazon.com/War-Ukraine-Conflict-Strategy-Fractured/dp/1421449846). Please note this was recorded shortly before the U.S. Congress passed the security supplemental, which included aid for Ukraine.

Apr 26, 2024

Nick sat down with Eric Brewer, Dana Stroul, and Gavin Clough to discuss how the conventional, proxy, and nuclear threats Iran poses are evolving. Who was deterred and who wasn't by the latest Iranian and Israeli strikes? What did we learn about Iranian capabilities? And how will this affect Iran's thinking about a bomb?

Apr 19, 2024

On the sidelines of the National Space Symposium, we threw a little party and recorded a podcast, because why not? Our special guest was Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy John Plumb and the main focus of the conversation was the Defense Department's new strategy on space commercial integration.

Apr 10, 2024

This deep and fascinating conversation is one of a two-part discussion that you can listen to on the Russia Contingency, a members-only podcast hosted by Michael Kofman. Become a member here: https://warontherocks.com/membership

Apr 8, 2024

Nick sat down with Czech Ambassador to the United States Miloslav Stašek for a geographically wide-ranging conversation that moved from Munich to the Middle East to the Texas automotive industry. Amb. Stašek discussed the progress of his government’s ammunition initiative for Ukraine, relations within the Visegrád Group and the expanding scope of U.S.-Czech ties.

Apr 3, 2024

Ryan popped into Austin to see what the Army Applications Laboratory was getting up to. Its director, Dr. Casey Perley, was kind enough to sit down with Ryan and break it down for him. If you care about military innovation, defense tech, and the future of the Army, this episode is for you.

Mar 22, 2024

Nick Danforth sat down with Moldovan Ambassador to the United States Viorel Ursu last week to discuss democracy, energy and Russian hybrid warfare, not to mention Black Sea security and the post-conflict politics of wine exports.

 

Mar 17, 2024

Mike Kofman, fresh back from a research trip to Ukraine, spoke with Ryan about Ukraine's main challenges in facing down Russia this year.

Mar 11, 2024

Ryan visited Ambassador Marek Magierowski at the Polish Embassy in Washington. They spoke about Poland's military build-up and the challenges posed by Russia's ongoing war against Ukraine. Much of their conversation focused on defense industrial issues, which sit at the heart of NATO's most difficult hurdles.

Mar 5, 2024

Ryan sat down at the Pentagon with Gen. Gary Brito, who leads U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, to talk about strengthening Army professionalism, which Gen. Randy George, the chief of staff of the U.S. Army, has identified as one of his key priorities. Whether you're a solider, Department of the Army civilian, a contractor supporting the Army, or just someone interested in the future of America's Army, this episode is for you.

Feb 24, 2024

On the second anniversary of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Ryan and Mike Kofman sit down to chat about where the war stands today and where things are heading. It is, to be candid, a pessimistic conversation. They cover the fall of Avdiivka, military leadership changes, Ukraine's mobilization challenges, Congressional dysfunction, European defense spending, and more. 

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.

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