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School of War

School of War

This podcast seeks to learn what war teaches. There?s a steady decline in the study of military history and its associated theoretical discipline, strategy. Avoiding the knowledge of war is dangerous. This podcast solves that problem by diving into military and diplomatic history.  We study strategy, and the words and deeds of significant battlefield commanders, diplomats, strategists, policymakers, and statesmen who have trained directly in the school of war.   This podcast is primarily an interview show. The subject of any given episode may be the story of an historical battle, campaign, or conflict; the conduct of policy in the course of a major international competition; the work of a famous strategist; the nature of a famous weapon; the legacy of an important military commander or political leader in wartime.  


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Ep 46: James M. Scott on Curtis LeMay in World War II

James M. Scott, author of Black Snow: Curtis LeMay, the Firebombing of Tokyo and the Road to the Atomic Bomb, joins the show to talk about the World War II career of one of the most important and controversial American generals of the 20th Century, Curtis LeMay, and his leadership of the strategic bombing campaign in the Pacific.   ?? Times  ? 02:00 Introduction ? 03:02 Teaching In Japan ? 06:27 Lemay, Tireless Worker ? 09:47 Bomber Vs Fighter  ? 11:43 Europe, B-17, and B-29  ? 19:54 Hansel & O?Donnell ? 30:00 LeMay Takes Over  ? 32:37 From Dresden To Tokyo ? 35:10 On His Own Authority ? 40:26 ?We?ll Be Tried As War Criminals? ? 43:07 Firestorm ? 49:06 What Brought Peace?
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Ep 45: Randall Schriver on China

Randall Schriver, former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific affairs and Chairman of the Project 2049 Institute, joins the show to talk about U.S.-China relations and a new project, the China Economic & Strategy Initiative.  Times  ? 02:10 Introduction ? 03:36 ?Take Chinese Language?  ? 11:21 Why 2049? ? 13:40 China In The ?90s  ? 18:13 Power Projection and Missiles ? 28:10 The Diplomatic Situation  ? 35:00 Economic Entanglement  ? 42:44 Decoupling  ? 47:32 Urgency And Policy  ? 52:00 Deterrence Check out the China Economic & Strategy Initiative here -
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Ep 44: Jay Lockenour on Erich Ludendorff

Ep 44: Jay Lockenour on Erich Ludendorff  ?? Jay Lockenour, associate professor of history at Temple University and author of Dragonslayer: The Legend of Erich Ludendorff in the Weimar Republic and Third Reich, joins the show to talk about the life of the infamous German general and politician.  ?? Times  ? 01:30 Introduction ? 02:00 Ludendorff?s Significance ? 03:08 Ludendorff?s Early Life ? 05:02 Not Quite A Matinee Idol  ? 07:13 The German General Staff ? 11:43 A General Without Portfolio ? 17:50 The War And The Myth  ? 22:23 For The Record - The German Military Lost  ? 26:12 The Early 1920?s ? 29:49 Erich And Adolf     ? 34:10 Ludendorff And The Right ? 37:00 The Holocaust And Ludendorff
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Ep 43: Eli Lake on the Bush administration in the Middle East

Eli Lake, host of The Re-Education and national security journalism fellow at the Clements Center, joins the show to talk about 9/11 and the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.  ?? Times  ? 02:04 Introduction ? 02:43 From Philly To The Middle East ? 05:14 9/11 ? 07:49 The World Before  ? 09:20 No More Nation Building ? 12:03 Neo-Cons Or Not ? 18:09 Liberal Internationalists  ? 22:05 Early Mistakes ? 29:08 Baking In Problems  ? 32:46 The Bonn Conference     ? 37:04 Capable Of Being Free ? 41:04 Toppling Sadam - Right or Wrong?     ? 45:47 WMDs And Insurgency ? 53:25 New Strategies     ? 56:51 The Surge  ? 59:01 The Loss Of Choice
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Ep 42: Ian Easton on Xi Jinping and the CCP?s Grand Strategy

Ian Easton, senior director at the Project 2049 Institute and author of The Final Struggle: Inside China?s Global Strategy, joins the show to talk about Xi Jinping, the ideology that shaped Jinping and by which he rules, and why his vision for the world should not be dismissed.  ?? Times  ? 01:56 Introduction ? 02:22 Interested In China ? 05:01 Discovering Taiwan ? 10:32 Perceptions Of The PRC  ? 13:11 How The Chinese Government Works ? 17:47 Who Is Xi Jinping? ? 23:42 The Tactics Of Ideology And Control ? 26:29 The ?Scourge Of The Corrupt? ? 29:36 Authentic Socialism ? 31:25 Does China?s Communism Matter?     ? 37:04 The Blending Of Communism And Nationalism ? 43:04 Exporting Xi Jinping Thought     ? 49:19 Absolute Control ? 52:41 Does Xi Jinping Have Rivals?       ? 56:04 Optimisim To Pessimism In Taiwan   ? 01:04:00 It?s Not All Dark
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Ep 41: Hal Brands and Michael Beckley on China

Hal Brands, Henry Kissinger Distinguished Professor at Johns Hopkins University, and Michael Beckley, associate professor of political science at Tufts University, join the show to talk about how an armed confrontation with China could be coming more quickly than most expect.  ?? Times  ? 01:30 Introduction ? 02:28 Danger Zone  ? 05:13 A Matter Of Timing ? 07:55 A Thucydides Trap? ? 13:07 Historical Analogies and 1914 ? 20:32 Getting To The Long Game ? 25:37 Sleepwalking Into War? ? 31:10 China?s Problems And Plans ? 35:06 The ?Lenin Trap? ? 36:44 Why Does Taiwan Matter?     ? 40:27 Commitments And Capabilities  ? 44:37 What Will War Look Like?     ? 48:24 Cold War Lessons  ? 52:22 Getting Through The Danger Zone 
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Ep 40: Michael S. Neiberg on Vichy France

Michael S. Neiberg, Chair of War Studies in the Department of National Security and Strategy at the U.S. Army War College, joins the show to talk American policy towards Vichy France. ?? Times  ? 01:21 Introduction ? 02:15 Vichy France - An Overview ? 06:38 A Phony War ? 09:16 American Assumptions Pre-war ? 13:09 Isolationism No Longer Works ? 24:30 Roosevelt?s Policy  ? 28:45 Stress In The Anglo-American Alliance ? 33:03 American Vision Of A Post-War World ? 36:00 Vichy Unveiled  ? 39:01 Chaos In North Africa     ? 43:19 Vichy?s Shame ? 51:57 de Gaulle
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Ep 39: Ocie Vest on the Marine Corps? War in Afghanistan, Part 2 of 2

Ocie Vest, retired Marine infantry officer, joins the show to talk about his experiences as a platoon commander in the Battle of Marjah and later as a combat leader in Nimruz Province, lessons learned in training and in combat, and how the war can continue after the fighting ends. Second of a two-part conversation. ?? Times  ? 01:27 Violent Months ? 06:15 ?Do Whatever Those Guys Do? ? 09:42 Tactical Adaptation ? 13:32 A Fighting Exit ? 18:03 ?That Sucked?Why?d We Want To Do That So Bad?? ? 21:29 Dispersed Operations ? 26:36 Nimruz Province  ? 30:43 Hope For The Future ? 34:39 Leadership ? 36:11 Medically Retired, Twice     ? 38:53 The Work Works ? 45:47 ?Now Its Up To Them?
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Ep 38: Ocie Vest on the Marine Corps? War in Afghanistan, Part 1 of 2

Ocie Vest, retired Marine infantry officer, joins the show to talk about his experiences as a platoon commander in the Battle of Marjah and later as a combat leader in Nimruz Province, lessons learned in training and in combat, and how the war can continue after the fighting ends. First of a two-part conversation. ?? Times  ? 01:46 Introduction ? 02:24 Joining The Marines ? 03:55 Quantico ? 09:00 Becoming An Infantry Officer ? 20:22 Camp Lejeune ? 27:21 False Start ? 35:06 Crossing The Line Of Departure  ? 40:49 On The Job Learning ? 44:40 Marjah ? 50:43 First Combat     ? 59:11 Sustained Combat ? 1:02:45 Different Neighborhood, Different War
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Ep 37: Alexander Watson on WWI?s Siege of Przemysl and the Making of Europe?s Bloodlands

Alexander Watson, Professor of History at Goldsmiths, University of London, joins the show to talk about the Eastern Front in World War One, and how the events of 1914/15 foreshadowed tragedies to come and the crisis in Ukraine today.  ?? Times  ? 01:43 Introduction ? 02:40 WWI In The East ? 05:29 Battlefield - Austria-Hungary  ? 10:10 The Austro-Hungarian Army ? 13:28 Coveted Galicia ? 17:44 1914 - A Primordial Soup ? 19:02 The Siege Begins ? 26:27 Przemysl?s Defensive Plan ? 29:50 The Russians Take A Direct Approach ? 36:08 Inside A City Under Siege     ? 40:19 Total Exhaustion  ? 44:45 Military And Human Consequences ? 50:00 Birthplace Of The Bloodlands ? 55:09 Strange Ends Maps Courtesy of United States Military Academy West Point Eastern Europe, 1914 and Planned Army Concentration Areas in Central Europe, 1914  Operations on The Eastern Front to 20 September 1914
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Ep 36: Charlie Laderman on Hitler?s Decision to Declare War on America

Charlie Laderman, lecturer at King?s College London and co-author of Hitler's American Gamble, joins the show to talk about his latest book, which covers the crucial days between the attack on Pearl Harbor and Hitler?s perplexing declaration of war on the United States. ?? Times  ? 01:52 Introduction ? 02:50 Wasn?t War Inevitable? ? 07:12 Japan And Germany - Strange Bedfellows ? 11:10 Hitler?s Blurred Vision ? 14:45 Japan - Will They, Won?t They Attack  ? 15:51 Churchill?s Outlook ? 22:58 Anti-Interventionist Sentiment ? 26:57 Anti-Semitism ? 31:18 Roosevelt Sees Things Clearly ? 35:21 A War With Germany, Not Japan     ? 38:40 Catastrophic German Strategic Errors ? 43:23 Hitler?s American Gamble  ? 49:15 Pearl Harbor Condemned The European Jews ? 53:54 Alarmingly Relevant Parallels
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Ep 35: Brendan Simms and Steven McGregor on the Battle of Midway

Brendan Simms, Professor at the University of Cambridge, and his co-author, Steven McGregor, a U.S. Army vet, join the show to talk about their new book, The Silver Waterfall: How America Won the War in the Pacific at Midway. ?? Times  ? 02:12 Introduction ? 02:30 Why Write About Midway? ? 05:54 Strategic Situation In The Pacific  ? 08:26 Who Is Chester Nimitz?  ? 11:02 Small Scale Start To The Large Scale Fight ? 14:20 Intelligence Breaches And Carrier Combat  ? 17:12 Dueling Carrier Doctrines  ? 22:09 Lt. Dusty Kleiss On The Day Of Battle ? 24:45 Hide And Seek In The Pacific Ocean ? 28:45 Finding The Kido Butai At Midway ? 30:53 To Dive Bomb Or Not ? 32:11 Never Call Me A Hero ? 33:38 A Fine Days Work  ? 36:23 Preparation + Opportunity = Luck
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Ep 34: Andrew Corbett on Britain?s Nukes

Andrew Corbett, author of Supreme Emergency: How Britain Lives With the Bomb, joins the show to talk about what it?s like commanding one of Her Majesty?s deadliest weapons, how deterrence policy actually works, and why Britain has the Bomb. ?? Times  ? 01:45 Introduction ? 02:12 Why Join The Royal Navy? ? 03:31 What?s In A Name? ? 05:31 Day To Day Life  ? 10:33 Disorienting Conditions  ? 12:35 The Fighting Sub ? 16:58 The Sound Of Silence  ? 21:50 The Nuclear Triad ? 24:12 Developments Under The Sea ? 26:05 The British And The Bomb ? 30:12 Command By Sub-Committee ? 32:23 Extreme Secrecy  ? 37:35 Morality In Nuclear Weapons  ? 45:04 Why Should The UK Have Nukes ? 50:07 Who Shouldn?t Have Nukes  ? 54:46 Extended Deterrence
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Ep 33: Steven Pressfield on the Truth about War

Steven Pressfield, author of A Man at Arms and Gates of Fire, joins the show to talk about writing historical fiction, telling the truth about war, and why the hardest part of art is ?doing the work? . ?? Times  ? 01:38 Introduction ? 03:49 Why Historical Fiction? ? 08:25 Creating The ?Distant Mirror? ? 12:12 Special Forces  ? 14:17 Characters  ? 19:44 A Man at Arms  ? 22:01 Post-Warrior Life   ? 23:46 The Warrior Ethos ? 27:20 Society Needs, But Doesn?t Want, Warriors ? 32:52 Citizen-Soldier  ? 34:10 Reading History  ? 37:48 Characters Are Uncovered, Not Made ? 40:19 The War Of Art ? 45:52 Telling Stories
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Ep 32: Barry S. Strauss on Actium

Barry Strauss, Bryce and Edith M. Bowmar Professor in Humanistic Studies at Cornell University, joins the show to talk about Octavian, Antony, and Cleopatra, and the battle of Actium, the clash that ?made the Roman Empire?. Times  ? 02:04 Introduction ? 02:36 Events Leading To Actium ? 07:45 What Breaks The Second Triumvirate ? 13:29 Strategy Is Not Sterile  ? 15:04 Antony?s Will, Octavian?s Weapon ? 20:24 Caesar?s Inheritance  ? 22:42 Audacious Agrippa   ? 25:26 Ancient Marines And War In The Mediterranean  ? 31:18 Breakout Is Victory ? 38:27 Antony In Defeat ? 42:16 End Game
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Ep 31: Rich Goldberg on Economic Sanctions and Financial Warfare

Rich Goldberg, senior advisor at The Foundation for Defense of Democracies and host of both the Cryptonite podcast and Jewish Insider?s Limited Liability podcast, joins the show to talk about economic sanctions and financial warfare. Times  ? 01:30 Introduction ? 08:19 The Dollar Is Still King ? 10:10 Access Is Everything ? 13:00 Whom Do Sanctions Effect  ? 15:42 Uneasy Lies The Head That Wears A Crown ? 21:50 Warfare By Other Means ? 30:20 Working With Allies ? 38:33 Exquisite Calibration  ? 43:42 Usurping The Power Of The Dollar ? 49:02 Integrated Deterrence  ? 51:01 The Potency Of Sanctions
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Ep 30: Guy MacLean Rogers on The Jewish Revolt

Guy MacLean Rogers, William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of History and Classical Studies at Wellesley College and author of For the Freedom of Zion: The Great Revolt of Jews Against Romans, 66-74CE, joins the show to talk about the great uprising of the Jewish people against Rome?including moments that resonate to the present day, like the destruction of the Temple at Jerusalem and the siege of Masada.  Times  ? 02:20 Introduction ? 04:21 The Jewish Revolt In Roman History  ? 08:09 Flavius Josephus  ? 13:41 Herod the Great  ? 22:29 Little Causes, Big Revolt ? 26:40 The Leadership Of Rebellion ? 30:11 Jewish Strategy And Logistics ? 35:03 Vespasian ? 41:04 The Temple  ? 50:01 The End of the Sacrificial Cult ? 52:01 Destruction of the Temple ? 56:00 The End Of The Revolt ? 1:01:02 Josephus? Speeches ? 1:06:13 Could The Jews Have Won?
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Ep 29: Wesley Morgan on Afghanistan, Part 2 of 2

Wesley Morgan, journalist and author of The Hardest Place: The American Military Adrift in Afghanistan's Pech Valley, joins the show to discuss his experiences in the Pech valley, one of Afghanistan?s most contested battlegrounds, and to talk about the U.S. counterinsurgency?s successes and failures.  Times  ? 01:25 Illicit Economies ? 04:13 Green Berets And CIA ?Lost The Forest For The Trees? In Kunar ? 06:57 Who Is Jim Gant? ? 11:36 Self-Aware Proxy Warriors ? 13:42 Counterinsurgency Styles and Outpost Building ? 20:44 Central Government - Whether They Want It Or Not ? 33:18 Cash For Calm - Paying For Peace ? 37:22 War Winds Down In The Pech  ? 41:30 The Afghan House Of Cards Collapses ? 44:13 A Tired Afghan Army With No Good Options
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Ep 28: Wesley Morgan on Afghanistan, Part 1 of 2

Ep 28: Wesley Morgan on Afghanistan Wesley Morgan, journalist and author of The Hardest Place: The American Military Adrift in Afghanistan's Pech Valley, joins the show to discuss his experiences in the Pech Valley, one of Afghanistan?s most contested battlegrounds, and to talk about the U.S. counterinsurgency?s successes and failures. This episode is part 1 of 2. Times  02:52 Introduction 04:28 From Princeton to The Pech 07:25 The Age Dynamic  09:46 Fighting Styles In Helmand Province  12:42 The Episodic Nature Of Fighting In Afghanistan  13:42 The Terrain Of The Pech Valley 17:11 Seeking Bin Laden In Kunar  18:43 Kafiristan - Daniel Dravot?s Dream 20:27 Special Forces - A Tool For Every Task 24:21 The Role Of Seal Team Six and Delta Force 29:36 Seeking The Enemy  31:23 Who Was The Enemy In The Pech? 33:58 The Timber Mafia
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Ep 27: Fred Kagan on Ukraine II

Ep 27: Fred Kagan on Ukraine II Fred Kagan, Senior Fellow and Director of Critical Threats Project at AEI, joins the show to discuss where the war in Ukraine stands, how initial Russian designs failed, and where the conflict is headed. Times  02:14 Introduction 03:22 Accurate Predictions 06:45 The Baffling Russian Attack on Kyiv  08:36 A River Runs Through?The Russian Plan  10:22 Operational Design 101 13:22 Back To Basics - Reading Terrain Still Matters 16:33 Russian Objectives In The East 21:51 Russian Command And Control  26:29 Ukrainian Strikes On Senior Russian Officers 28:38 Russian Objectives In The South 33:06 Putin Still Seeking Total Victory? 36:42 Russian Game-plan For The South Coast 39:18 Transnistria 42:27 False Flags - Putin?s Comfort Zone 44:01 Moldovan Capabilities  47:46 Force Is A Kind Of Failure 50:47 Putin?s Options  54:48 Deterrence And Nuclear Taboos Ukraine Maps 05/02/2022 per ISW
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Ep 26: Andrew Lambert on the Crimean War

Ep 26: Andrew Lambert on the Crimean War  Andrew Lambert, Laughton Professor of Naval History in the Department of War Studies, King's College, joins the show to discuss the Crimean War, including why it shouldn?t have been called by that name. Professor Lambert also explains the relevance of the Crimean War to today?s war in Ukraine. Times  ? 01:28 Introduction ? 02:20 Causes of the Crimean War ? 07:57 Flashpoint in the Holy Land ? 12:31 Steamships and Strategy ? 16:34 Functional Dysfunction in Policymaking ? 21:44 Why Target Sevastopol? ? 26:44 What Went Wrong ? 31:47 The Press and Public Opinion ? 36:31 Reading Events Incorrectly  ? 38:57 The Baltic Campaign ? 45:30 Mahan and Corbett Interpret the War ? 48:39 Ukraine War - An Echo of the Crimean War ? 55:34 Can Russia Re-Integrate Into The Global Community?  ? 58:32 Will Putin Use Tactical Nuclear Weapons? 
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Ep. 25: Waller Newell on Putin and Tyranny

Waller Newell, Professor of Political Science and Philosophy at Carleton University, joins the show to discuss tyranny and tyrants?and Vladimir Putin in particular.  Times 02:05 Introduction 03:43 Let's talk about Vladimir Putin 05:40 What is the Russian "Soul"? 07:19 Quote from "The Russian Idea" 08:40 Who was Nikolai Berdyaev? 09:54 Is Berdyaev an influence on Aleksandr Dugin? 11:05 The West has a hard time understanding non-economic motivations. Why? 13:06 Who is Aleksandr Dugin? 15:21 ?Eurasian Nationalist Bolshevism?  16:55 Rehabilitating Stalin 18:40 Are we seeing a perpetuation of Tsarist Russia? 20:40 What is fascism? 22:35 The many types of tyranny 25:12 What kind of tyrant is Putin? 26:50 Why has millenarian tyranny appeared so relatively recently in history? 29:51 The relationship between liberalism and millenarian tyranny 31:25 The next ten years in Russia 34:00 Did Putin know what he was getting himself into in Ukraine? 35:36 The prospect of Russian and Chinese collaboration in the future 36:55 Who drives Chinese policy - Xi Jinping or the Chinese Communist Party? 38:56 Staying sane while studying tyrants 42:10 What should we be reading to better recognize hostile actors for what they are?
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Ep. 24: Richard Overy on World War II

Richard Overy, professor of history at the University of Exeter, joins the show to discuss World War II and the wars of imperial aggression. Times 02:23 - Introduction 04:24 - Imperialism prior to World War II 06:00 - Nations as empires 08:32 -Traditional imperialism versus the Axis Powers' concept 11:02 - Who is Halford Mackinder? 13:14 - The development of Germany's vision of empire 14:36 - German war aims in World War I and World War II 17:02 - Germany and the East 22:16 - The Japanese vision of empire 25:01 - How Japan modernization 26:33 - Japan's methods of rule 27:50 - American and the USSR 34:06 - World War II book recommendations
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Ep. 23: James Holmes on Sea Power

James Holmes, the J.C. Wylie Chair of Maritime Strategy at the Naval War College, joins the show to discuss sea power, the war in Ukraine, and the possibility of war in the Pacific Times 00:58 - Introduction  01:57 - Time spent considering Russia and the NATO alliance?s naval power 04:05 - Russian President Vladimir Putin?s grand strategy 05:35 - What does Ukraine mean to Putin? 06:58 - The Crimean War  10:32 - Closing the Bosporus 16:15 - Does the war end well for Putin?  21:28 - Zelensky?s survival  23:12 - Worst-case scenario for Putin  25:43 - What the outcome in Ukraine will mean for Taiwan 28:35 - China?s challenge in Taiwan 31:02 - How security concerns in the early American Republic influence China?s thinking 35:25 - Should the United States shift national security focus to Asia? 
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Ep. 22: Jeremy Black on Tank Warfare

Jeremy Black, Professor of History at the University of Exeter, joins the show to discuss tank warfare from its origins to the battlefields of Ukraine Times 01:13 - Introduction 02:02 - The creation of the tank 07:48 - Parallel technological development of tanks and aircraft 14:20 - Developing thoughts on employing tanks leading into World War II 18:24 - Blitzkrieg and the role of armored vehicles, speed, and communication during invasions 24:13 - The Soviet Union's invasion of Finland 28:07 - The development of armored technology during the Arab-Israeli wars after World War II 35:06 - Russia's strategy for invasion, the likelihood of Putin overtaking Ukraine, and the future of the tank
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Ep. 21: Matthew Kroenig on Ukraine and Putin?s Nuclear Weapons

Matthew Kroenig, Professor in the Department of Government and Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and Director of Studies at the Atlantic Council, joins the show to discuss Russian nuclear doctrine and what it means for the war in Ukraine. Times 00:49 - Introduction 01:07 - Forecasting Russia's potential gains in Ukraine 02:45 - The nuclear dimension in Ukraine 05:05 - Russian nuclear doctrine: escalate to de-escalate 10:52 - Potential U.S. responses to Russian nuclear strikes on NATO allies 12:54 - Perceptions of nuclear weapons, from the Cold War to now 15:46 - Battlefield nuclear tactics 18:32 - Russian thinking on employing chemical weapons 21:05 - U.S. nuclear weapons policy 25:44 - Scenarios when Russia would use nuclear weapons 27:16 - Putin's rationale and next steps 29:21 - Russian strikes and potential fault lines in Western unity 32:30 - U.S. reliance on Russia's brokerage of a nuclear deal with Iran
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Ep. 20: Bill Roggio on Ukraine

Ep. 20: Bill Roggio on Ukraine Bill Roggio, senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and editor of the Long War Journal, joins the show to discuss the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 01:10 - Introduction 7:32 - Assessing Russian objectives in Ukraine 13:25 - Russian shortfalls 23:12 - Limits on Russian resources 28:37 - Does the lack of preparation hurt Russian troops? 32:21 - No fly zones 38:36 - Escalation scenarios 43:00 - Prospects for insurgency  49:32 - How does this end?
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Ep. 19: Fred Kagan on Ukraine

Fred Kagan, Director of Critical Threats Project at AEI, joins the show to discuss the first week of Putin?s invasion of Ukraine. Times: 00:42 - Introduction  01:40 - The situation at present 06:39 - Nature of original build-up of Russian forces 14:50 - Russian strategic and operational style 17:47 - Lack of political preparation 20:44 - Putin's background 24:22 - Will Russia win? 30:14 - What are Putin's weaknesses? 34:20 - What happens next if Kyiv falls? 39:41 - Impact on American national security
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Ep. 18: Bruce Jones on Seapower

Bruce Jones, director of the Project on International Order and Strategy of the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution, joins the show to discuss seapower.  Times 00:51 - Introduction  01:17 - The importance of seapower today 06:45 - Innovation of container shipping and how that changed the global economy  12:50 - China re-enters the seas  16:54 - China?s security challenges at sea 22:44 - Shallow seas, narrow passages, and massive ships  24:06 - China?s strategic interest in Taiwan   26:10 - China?s alienation of potential allies   29:08 - American strategic view of the Pacific Ocean 34:41 - Relations between the United States and India, specifically in terms of taking on China  39:12 - Seapower theorist Alfred Thayer Mahan 44:55 - Comparing America?s quest for power at sea during the 20th century and China?s return to the sea today  48:48 - The role of oceanography in nation-state power competition
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Ep. 17: Alexander Mikaberidze on Napoleon

Alexander Mikaberidze, Professor of History and the Ruth Herring Noel Endowed Chair at Louisiana State University-Shreveport, joins the show to discuss the Napoleonic Wars. Times 01:12 - Introduction 07:38 - How did European attitudes toward Napoleon change over his life? 13:34 - Nuances of nationalist sentiment Napoleon inspired 15:13 - Napoleonic wars, French hegemony, and geopolitics 20:23 - Napoleon's youth and the French Revolution 24:49 - Napoleon's early campaigns and his rise to power 29:16 - What is the Napoleonic way of war? 33:43 - What is Combined Arms and what are its advantages? 37:42 - What is the Eastern Question to Napoleon?  45:55 - How did Napoleon think about the Western Hemisphere?  53:46 - What remains of Napoleon's legacy after the Congress of Vienna? Link Book: The Napoleonic Wars: A Global History
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Ep. 16: Gerry Roncolato on the U.S. Navy

Is the United States Navy prepared for war? Retired Navy Captain Gerry Roncolato joins the show to discuss the past, present, and future of American maritime power. Times 02:08 - Introduction  03:31 - Is the U.S. Navy prepared for a great-power war? 04:59 - The Navy during the Interwar Period and the Battle of Guadalcanal 09:41 - The experience of war at sea 16:30 - Historical examples?and lessons for the Navy today?in Roncolato?s article, A Warfighting Imperative: Back to Basics for the Navy 20:49 - Alarming incidents during operations at sea and underlying problems 27:23 - Are the troops adequately prepared for war at sea?  38:20 - Books aspiring officers should read 40:52 - Maneuver warfare at sea 48:20 - Managing troops in the barracks versus maneuvering men in battle  Link Roncolato?s article, A Warfighting Imperative: Back to Basics for the Navy
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Ep. 15: Andrew Lambert on Julian Corbett

Andrew Lambert, Laughton Professor of Naval History in the Department of War Studies at King's College, London, joins the show to discuss British strategist Julian Corbett and his vision of seapower at the turn of the 20th century. Times 01:37 - Introduction  02:02 - The British Empire during the 19th and 20th centuries 04:43 - Corbett as a lawyer, novelist, and strategist 09:05 - The Boer War and the future of the British Empire  13:26 - Corbett?s education on the principals of British power 16:12 - Britain?s power on land versus at sea  19:04 - British power in the Mediterranean  22:30 - How Corbett differentiates himself from Alfred Mahan 28:14 - The principles at the core of Corbett?s strategy  35: 56 - Maritime strategy throughout history 37:29 - An argument for a continental strategy   41:28 - What Corbett envisioned during World War I  51:43 - How Corbett?s ideas apply to British and American military strategy today
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Ep. 14: Kevin Hymel on General George S. Patton

Historian Kevin Hymel joins the show to discuss the life and leadership of the American World War II general most feared by the Nazis: George S. Patton. Times 01:48 - Introduction 04:38 - Recently uncovered details about General Patton 08:38 - History?s first draft 10:51 - How Patton became one of the most famous World War II leaders 13:35 - Patton before the war 17:34 - Patton in North Africa 23:08 - Problems with General Dwight D. Eisenhower 26:55 - Patton?s leadership style 28:20 - Fighting in Tunisia  32:49 - Patton?s risk calculations 34:16 - Patton?s behavior, temperament, and treatment of other officers 43:05 - The Civil War and Patton?s strategy in North Africa 45:00 - Patton?s role in Sicily  49:49 - Shell shock and Patton's anti-Semitism 55:21 - Sicily and combat stress
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Ep. 13: Thomas Clavin on Joe Moser

Journalist and author Thomas Clavin joins the show to discuss the harrowing journey of Joe Moser, an American fighter pilot during World War II and the subject of Lightning Down: A World War II Story of Survival.  Times 01:41 - Introduction  03:33 - Why a book on Joe Moser 09:44 - The Lockheed P-38 Lightning  11:09 - August 13, 1944 13:48 - Nazis send Moser to Buchenwald 15:44 - Buchenwald and the concentration camp system 17:48 - Karl-Otto and Ilse Koch 19:36 - Life at Buchenwald 21:34 - Colonel Phil Lamason 23:00 - Hannes Trautloft and Moser?s survival 27:27 - Leaving Buchenwald  31:47 - Joe after the war
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Ep. 12: Hal Brands on the Cold War

Hal Brands, the Henry A. Kissinger Distinguished Professor of Global Affairs at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, joins the show to discuss the Cold War's lessons for great-power rivalry today. Times 01:24 - Introduction 02:47 - Halford Mackinder and how Eurasian geopolitics framed the Cold War 05:37 - Mackinder's theory of the heartland 07:47 - China's Belt and Road Initiative as an application of Mackinder's theory 09:07 - Comparing the United States' approaches to the USSR and China 13:04 - Nuclear power during the Cold War 17:24 - How Cold War-era nuclear logic applies today 21:02 - No first use policy 26:56 - The Nixon administration's critique of containment strategy 29:58 - The collapse of the Soviet Union 32:15 - Theories of victory that led to the Vietnam War 35:08 - End of the Cold War 39:17 - Infrastructure needed to fight the Soviets in the United States, and what the U.S. needs to take on China today 44:02 - China's moves to decouple economically from the United States 46:47 - The United States' harrowing responsibility to take on adversarial powers
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Ep. 11: John Matteson on the Civil War's Cultural Impact

John Matteson, Distinguished Professor of English at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, joins the show to discuss how the Civil War?and in particular the fall of 1862?left its mark on the nation's culture and on some of its most famous citizens. Times 01:25 - Introduction 03:28 - Fall of 1862 09:19 - Matteson's selection of Americans included in A Worse Place Than Hell 12:17 - Oliver Wendell Holmes and the 20th Massachusetts 16:13 - John Pelham 18:23 - Holmes, Pelham, and the battle of Antietam 23:56 - Holmes, Pelham, and the battle of Fredericksburg 27:23 - Valor and luck in battle 30:22 - The 20th Massachusetts in the battle of Fredericksburg 36:38 - Walt Whitman 40:17 - Oliver Wendell Holmes Recorded December 7, 2021
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Ep. 10: Shane Brennan on Xenophon

Shane Brennan, associate professor of history at the American University in Dubai, joins the show to discuss the new Landmark edition of Xenophon's Anabasis, which he co-edits. The Anabasis, long unjustly neglected, is Xenophon's classic memoir of war and command in the lands which today constitute Turkey, Syria, and Iraq. Times 01:26 - Introduction 05:07 - Who was Xenophon 06:09 - Late 5th century Athens 09:07 - Prince Cyrus of Persia 12:17 - The Greek's position and Xenophon's rise to leadership 16:46 - The army's path though Syria, Iraq and Turkey 20:42 - The end of Xenophon's expedition 23:42 - Xenophon's lessons for military leadership today 27:40 - Importance of Xenophon's work Recorded December 9, 2021
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Ep. 9: David Stahel on the Eastern Front in WWII

Biography David Stahel is a senior lecturer of history at the University of New South Wales in Australia. His research focuses on European military history, specifically Nazi-Soviet warfare from 1941-1945. Stahel is the author of several books, including his latest, Retreat from Moscow: A New History of Germany's Winter Campaign, 1941-1942. Times 01:29 - Introduction 06:33 - Germany sends troops into the Soviet Union, summer 1941 12:24 - Flaws in Germany's plan 14:50 - "Cauldron" battle 22:10 - Culpability of German soldiers for atrocities during Operation Barbarossa 26:55 - Germans cede land to the Soviet Union, winter 1941-1942 29:38 - German's defensive position and strategy during the winter 39:11 - Ideology and military strategy 45:20 - Applicable lessons to strategists today Recorded on November 23, 2021
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Ep. 8: H.W. Brands on the Patriots and the Loyalists

Biography H.W, Brands is the Jack S. Blanton Sr. Chair in History at the University of Texas at Austin, where he earned his doctorate in history. He is the author of thirty books, including two which have been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize: The First American and Traitor to His Class. His latest book, released November 9, is Our First Civil War: Patriots and Loyalists in the American Revolution. Times 01:51- Introduction 07:36 - The sidelining of the Loyalists in American history and memory 12:53 - Individual decisions in the context of the Revolutionary War 18:42 - The Indian population and Joseph Brant 23:20 - The decision to rebel Recorded on November 9, 2021
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Ep. 7: John McManus on the U.S. Army in the Pacific during World War II

Biography John McManus is the Curators' Distinguished Professor of U.S. military history at the Missouri University of Science and Technology. McManus completed his doctorate in military history at the University of Tennessee and is the author of more than a dozen books. His latest, Island Infernos: The US Army's Pacific War Odyssey, 1944, is the second installment of a trilogy detailing the U.S. Army's role in the Pacific theater during World War II. Times 01:12 - Introduction 03:38 - Misperceptions of the Army and Marines in Guadalcanal 08:44 - The Army's role in the Pacific 12:46 - Geography of the Pacific and dividing the theater between General Douglas MacArthur and Admiral Chester Nimitz 18:30 - Island hopping and the turning point in the Pacific theater 22:26 - The infantry's experience in combat 23:52 - The Pearl Harbor Conference and the endgame of war in the Pacific 31:55 - General Joseph Stilwell and China 38:39 - Prisoners of War in Japan 41:32 - The legacy of the War in the Pacific Recorded November 23, 2021
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Ep. 6: Frank Ledwidge on Airpower

Biography Frank Ledwidge is a senior fellow of law and strategy at the Royal Air Force College in Cranwell, England. Ledwidge served as an officer in the Royal Naval Reserve and later worked in British foreign policy, focusing on the Balkans, the Middle East, and Central Asia. In 2015, Ledwidge earned his doctorate in War Studies at the King's College in London. He is the author of several books, including Losing Small Wars: British Military Failure in Iraq and Afghanistan, Investment in Blood: The True Cost of Britain's Afghan War, and Aerial Warfare: The Battle for the Skies.  Times 01:14 - Introduction 04:27 - Origins and importance of airpower in the World War I 10:43 - From air reconnaissance to air bombings 12:43 - The Interwar Period and the "prophets" of air war 17:57 - How air bombing theories influence British and American World War II strategy 22:04 - Air raid casualties 29:05 - Control of the air during the Cold War 34:49 - Perceptions of the U.S.'s mistaken bombing of the Chinese Embassy 36:49 - Airpower in modern wars 38:57 - Theories of air warfare applied to space Recorded November 2, 2021
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Ep. 5: Wayne Hsieh on Robert E. Lee

Biography Wayne Hsieh is a history professor at the United States Naval Academy. He served on the State Department's provincial reconstruction team in Iraq from 2008 to 2009 and is the recipient of multiple awards and honors, including the Army's Commander's Award for Civilian Service and the State Department's Meritorious Honors Award. Hsieh is the author of numerous articles and the co-author of The Savage War: A Military History of the Civil War. Times 01:17 - Introduction 06:50 - Hostility toward studying Robert E. Lee 12:50 - Lee and West Point 15:18 - Senior leadership of Confederate and Union armies at West Point 17:17 - Lee's job as a junior officer in the Army Corps of Engineers 19:17 - Lee's rise during the Mexican War 23:27 - Ulysses Grant 26:21 - Stereotypes and temperaments of Civil War leaders 31:50 - What drives Lee's tactical decision-making 34:07 - Lee's strategic mistake Recorded October 6, 2021
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Ep. 4: Sean McMeekin on Stalin and World War II

Biography Sean McMeekin is a professor and historian who focuses on early 20th century Europe. In addition to his latest book, Stalin's War: A New History of World War II, McMeekin is the author of The Russian Revolution: A New History, July 1914: Countdown to War, and The Ottoman Endgame: War, Revolution, and the Making of the Modern Middle East, 1908 - 1923, as well as several other books. McMeekin currently serves as the Francis Flournoy Professor of European History at Bard College in New York. Times 02:02 - Introduction 05:35 - The American understanding of Russia and Joseph Stalin in World War II 09:12 - Politics and Stalin's legacy 11:37 - Stalin's foreign policy prior to WWII 17:40 - Stalin secures the Japanese non-aggression pact 24:03 - The Soviets push for a war between Japan and the United States 27:29 - Harry Hopkins and the Lend-Lease Policy 33:58 - Stalin as an ally 37:17 - Demanding unconditional surrender 40:16 - Debate over what compelled the Japanese to surrender 42:03 - Reception of Stalin's War Recorded October 6, 2021
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Ep. 3: Andrew Roberts on King George III

Biography Andrew Roberts is a professor, author, and military historian. He's written or edited nearly 20 books, including biographies of Sir Winston Churchill and Napoleon, as well as his latest title, The Last King of America: The Misunderstood Reign of George III. Roberts is a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and the War Studies Department at King?s College, London. Times 03:02- Introduction 04:05 - Why King George? 06:20 - How Britain wages war 13:39 - Party and class politics 15:44 - Britain's military strategy during the Revolutionary War 19:10 - Comparisons between the Revolution and World War II 20:30 - Fabian strategy in the Revolution 23:15 - George III's role in the War 25:52 - Forming new regiments 28:01 - What the British learn from their defeat 31:32 - Modern American portrayals of King George III 33:23 - Critiquing King George III's leadership and performance Recorded September 17, 2021
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Ep. 2: Daniel Bolger on Maurice Rose

Biography Daniel Bolger is a retired Lieutenant General of the United States Army. A graduate of the Citadel, Lt. General Bolger earned five bronze stars during his time in the military. He served as the commander of several units, including the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas, as well as the NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan. He earned a Ph.D. in military history form the University of Chicago and currently teaches at North Carolina State University. Times 02:04 - Introduction 03:15 - Why Maurice Rose? 06:30 - What we know about Rose 10:39 - Rose's Motivations and relentless leadership 12:31 - Tank divisions in World War II 17:14 - Tank warfare following D-Day and maneuvering through the bocages 22:29 - Rose's command in the Battle of the Falaise Pocket 27:06 - Exhaustion and perseverance during battle 29:55 - What it takes to be a successful commander 34:07 - The final months of the War for Rose 40:09 - Leadership in today's forces Recorded August 27, 2021
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Ep. 1: H.R. McMaster on the Gulf War

Biography H. R. McMaster is the Fouad and Michelle Ajami Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. He was the 26th assistant to the president for National Security Affairs. He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy and served as a commissioned officer in the United States Army for thirty-four years before retiring as a Lieutenant General in June 2018. He is the author of Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World and Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Lies that Led to Vietnam.  Times 03:10 - Introduction 04:02 - Biography 06:35 - Leading Eagle Troop 08:16 - Post Cold War preparation for Desert Shield and Desert Storm 15:17 - The Battle of the 73 Easting 23:17 - Advantages of the American military 26:12 - Overconfidence in American military dominance 29:16 - China's reaction to the Gulf War and technological development 32:30 - China's tactics 35:04 - The Biden administration's withdrawal from Afghanistan Recorded August 31, 2021
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An introduction to the School of War podcast
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