Midrats

By Sal and EagleOne

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Description

Navy Milbloggers Sal from "CDR Salamander" and EagleOne from "EagleSpeak" discuss leading issues and developments for the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and related national security issues.

Episode Date
Episode 449: Ethics, Professionalism, Education & the Military Professional
01:10:00
A military is not an amorphous mass, but a collection of individuals each who can make decisions in their professional role that can have great impact, both positive and negative, well beyond their immediate and personal concerns. Decisions, policies, and behavior derive from the training, traditions, and fundamental culture of the people who make them. What is the role of ethics, training and other culture forming activities in defining the military professional and how he executes his responsibilities? Our guests this week to dive in to these and related issues will be Nathan Finney and Tyrell Mayfield. As a base for our discussions, we will touch on subject areas they raised in the upcoming book they are co-editors of “Redefining the Modern Military: The Intersection of Profession and Ethics” published by the U.S. Naval Institute Press.   Nathan Finney is an officer in the U.S. Army, a term member at the Council on Foreign Relations; a Non-Resident Fellow at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute; and a former Non-Resident Fellow at the Modern War Institute at West Point and has helped found multiple organizations, including The Strategy Bridge; the Military Writers Guild; and the Defense Entrepreneurs Forum. Tyrell O. Mayfield is an officer in the US Air Force and a co-founder and board member of the non-profit The Strategy Bridge. Ty has published photography and written work in a number of online forums, magazines, newspapers, and peer-reviewed journals. Ty is a graduate of the Naval Postgraduate School and the US Army War College and holds masters degrees in International Relations, National Security Studies and Strategic Art. Ty is currently writing a memoir about his time in Kabul. 
Aug 12, 2018
Episode 448: AI, Machine Learning and Their Future Role in Military Operations
01:13:00
The future has been with us for quite awhile now, but the intersection of advance manufacturing, Moore's Law, and data storage are bringing to the front capabilities that for decades were found only in science fiction. Autonomous and varying degrees of human-robot teaming, artificial intelligence, robotics, and machine learning are not just growing parts of the modern economy, with each passing year they become more and more integrated with military operations. What future capabilities can we expect and how will we work through the ethical and legal complications that will come with them? Our guest to discuss these and related topics will be Ali Crawford. Ali Crawford Ali has an M.A. from the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce where she focused on diplomacy, intelligence, cyber policy, and cyber warfare.  She tweets at @ali_craw. 
Aug 05, 2018
Episode 447: The Changing Landscape for the Military Journalist with Sam LaGrone
01:14:00
Especially in the last two years, those reporting on defense issues in the United States have seen a significant change in access to people and information compared to the relatively open environment of a decade and a half ago. How have things changed and how does this not only impact how military journalists do their job, but more importantly, how does it impact the ability for the American citizen to keep an eye on what is being done in their name with their money. Our guest for the full hour to discuss this and related issues with be Sam LaGrone. Sam is the editor of USNI News. He has covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services since 2009 and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.
Jul 29, 2018
Episode 446: July Maritime Natsec Melee
01:11:00
NATO, Russia, the Chinese Navy, Australia's pocket fleet of the future and a potpourri of other issues that come across the transom - it's  Midrats Melee! Open topic, open phones and we'll be trolling the chat room for ideas. Come join us live.
Jul 22, 2018
Episode 445: How Small Ships Can Make a Big Navy Better
01:07:00
Building off our discussions from last week's Midrats, our guest this Sunday will be Lieutenant Joshua M. Roaf, USN to discuss part of the solution to improving the professional performance of our Surface Warfare Officers in what should be the core of their skillset; seamanship. Using many of the issues he raised in a recent article co-authored with LT Adam Biggs, USN, Bring Back the Patrol Craft, we will explore the various advantages of returning balance to the fleet with an expansion of truly small surface combatants.  A native of Bennington, Vermont, LT Roaf graduated from Ithaca College, Ithaca NY in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and earned his commission from Officer Candidate School in 2010. Afloat, Lieutenant Roaf completed his division officer tours aboard USS REUBEN JAMES (FFG 57) where he served as the Main Propulsion Officer and Electrical Officer and then aboard USS ANZIO (CG 68) as the Navigator and Executive Department Head. During his sea tours, he participated in numerous Multi-National exercises (RIMPAC 2011/12, CANADIAN TGEX, BOLD ALLIGATOR, JOINT WARRIOR) and completed two Western Pacific deployments. Ashore, Lieutenant Roaf taught navigation, naval operations and leadership development through the North Carolina Piedmont Region Consortium (NCPR) Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill (UNC). Additionally, he earned his Professional Science Master’s (PSM) in Toxicology degree from the UNC. In support of this degree, Lieutenant Roaf completed a joint internship at the Wright Paterson Air Force base in Dayton Ohio working with the Navy Medical Research Unit. He is currently stationed at Surface Warfare Officer School in Newport RI, training to become a Department Head afloat.
Jul 15, 2018
Episode 444: The Slow March to FITZGERALD & MCCAIN, with J. C. Harvey, Jr,.
01:10:00
The conditions that brought us to the series of events in WESTPAC in 2017 did not happen over night. They did not happen in one PCS cycle, or under one command climate. Layer by layer from many sources, it took time to get to where we found it. Our guest for the full hour to discuss his views of the latent causes of what is now generally accepted as a systemic failure of a "new normal" will be J.C. Harvey, Jr., Admiral USN (Ret.). Admiral Harvey retired from the Navy in November, 2012 after serving as the Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, in Norfolk, Virginia. In his 39 year Navy career, he specialized in naval nuclear propulsion, surface ship & Carrier strike-group operations & Navy-wide manpower management/personnel policy development. He served in a variety of operational command positions at sea, as the Navy’s Chief of Naval Personnel (the senior uniformed human resources official in the Navy) & as the Director, Navy Staff immediately prior to commanding U.S. Fleet Forces. Since his retirement, Admiral Harvey has joined the Board of Directors of the Navy Memorial Foundation, where he currently serves as Chairman of the Board, & serves as an Outside Director of AT Kearney, PSDS. On 12 January, 2014, he was sworn in as a member of Governor McAuliffe’s cabinet where he served as the Commonwealth’s Secretary of Veteran & Defense Affairs until 31 August, 2017. A few months later, he joined the Institute of Defense Analyses as the Director, Strategy, Forces & Resources Division. Born and raised in Baltimore, MD, Admiral Harvey is a graduate of the Phillips Exeter Academy, the US Naval Academy & the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Admiral Harvey & his wife, Mary Ellen, now reside in Vienna, Virginia & have two grown children, Sarah & David.
Jul 08, 2018
Episode 443: Marines in the Offensive Against ISIS
01:12:00
In the last few months a lot has been written about learning how to fight a conventional land battle again after years of a focus on counterinsurgency. Fighting against an enemy who is holding territory, has a capital, armor, artillery and a proven record in the battlefield. While some are writing it, others have been living it, fighting side by side with traditional allies and new ones in a complicated joint and combined environment that is the latest chapter in the Long War; the war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Our guest is returning to Midrats after just returning from leading Marines in the fight, Colonel Seth Folsom, USMC. Colonel Folsom is a Marine Corps infantry officer with 24 years of commissioned service.  He currently works on the staff of I Marine Expeditionary Force, and he has commanded Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan at the company, battalion, and task force level.  He is a graduate of the University of Virginia, the Naval Postgraduate School, and the Marine Corps War College, and he is the author of three books about his Marines fighting The Long War.  He and his family live in Oceanside, California.
Jul 01, 2018
Episode 442: Midrats Mid-Summer Free For All
01:09:00
We're back live to catch up on all your maritime and natsec issues bubbling to the surface this summer. From the migrant crisis in the Med, Russians in the high north, to the infrastructure crunch in the Pacific - we'll cover it all. This is also your time to have us address the topics you find of interest. We're taking calls and questions in the chat room. It's a live show ... so now's your chance. Open phone, open topic, all you need to bring is an open mind.
Jun 24, 2018
Episode 441: Father's Day With Stephen Roderick
00:41:00
For our Father's Day Best of we will replay an interview with Stephen Roderick, author of, The Magical Stranger: A Son's Journey into His Father's Life. Rodrick is a contributing writer for The NYT Magazine and a contributing editor for Men's Journal. He has also written for New York, Rolling Stone, GQ, The New Republic, Men's Journal, and others. Before becoming a journalist, Rodrick worked as a deputy press secretary for US Senator Alan J. Dixon. He hold a bachelors and masters in political science from Loyola University of Chicago and a masters in journalism from Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism.  
Jun 10, 2018
Episode 439: American Strategic Myths Through the Lens of Star Wars
00:54:00
There is a long and successful record of fiction, especially science fiction, being instructive about history, human nature, and the eternal course of events. Fiction, of course, gets its inspiration from reality - a two way road. What do the Star Wars movies have to tell us about some of the comfortable myths we may see in American military and strategic thought? Using his latest article at the Modern War Institute, Star Wars and American Strategic Myths as a starting point, our guest for the full hour returning to Midrats will be Major Matt Cavanaugh, USA an active duty Army Strategist and nonresident fellow with the Modern War Institute at West Point. He’s been the youngest recipient of the Army Strategist Association’s highest professional award (in 2015), and was named the US Army’s Athlete of the Year (in 2009). He’s currently finishing a PhD on supreme command under Professor Colin Gray at the University of Reading (UK), and his writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal, among other publications. His book, co-edited and co-written with Max Brooks (of World War Z) is Strategy Strikes Back: How Star Wars Explains Modern Military Conflict, from Potomac Books has been available since May 1st from Potomac Books.
Jun 03, 2018
Episode 437: Fighting the Great War at Sea, with Dr. Norman Friedman
01:16:00
As we approach the 100th Anniversary of the end of the First World War, it is good to reflect back on the impact of WWI on the growth of our modern navy, and the echoes it has to the present day. For the full hour our guest to discuss this and related issues will be Dr. Norman Friedman. As a starting point of our discussion will be some of the perspective brought out in his 2014 book from Naval Institute Press, Fighting the Great War at Sea: Strategy, Tactics and Technology.  As described in the review at Amazon, “While the overriding image of the First World War is of the bloody stalemate on the Western Front, the overall shape of the war arose out of its maritime character. It was essentially a struggle about access to worldwide resources, most clearly seen in Germany's desperate attempts to counter the American industrial threat, which ultimately drew the United States into the war.” Dr. Friedman has had a long career in weapon and system analysis for the U.S. Navy, DOD, and industry.  He has authored numerous histories of naval weapons and platforms with a concentration on the connection between policy, strategy, and technology. With over 40 published books, he also has lectured extensively and served as an adviser at the highest levels of government and think tanks. His Fighting the Great War at Sea won the Lyman prize awarded by the North American Society of Oceanic Historians. He recently published a history of fleet air defense, Fighters Over The Fleet, and is about to publish a history of the British battle fleet during the Victorian era. He received a Ph.D. in solid-state theoretical physics from Columbia University. 
May 20, 2018
Episode 435: STEM and the Education of a Navy Leader
01:10:00
The majority of our officers come from two sources, NROTC and the United States Naval Academy. The Navy has a policy a bias towards STEM majors (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) to the point where 65 percent of USNA Midshipmen major in STEM. Is this in the best interest of educating future officers of our modern Navy and Marine Corps so they can effectively lead Sailors and Marines at war and peace? To discuss this and related issues for the full hour will be USNA Midshipman First Class Kirk Wolff. We will use his recent Proceedings Today article, Rethinking the Naval Academy Curriculum as a starting off point. Kirk is originally from Morristown, Tennessee. He majored in Political Science at USNA and will serve as a surface warfare officer upon commissioning on May 25, 2018.
May 06, 2018
Episode 433: Reform, Readiness and the Navy's Path Ahead, with Dr. James Holmes
01:12:00
How is our Navy making progress in adjusting how we man, train, and operate our forces following the series of lessons identified in the wake of 2017's series of mishaps that left ships damaged, reputations destroyed, and 17 Sailors dead? For the full hour to discuss where we are and the way forward will be returning guest Dr. James Holmes. We will use his recent comments from Asia Times and The National Interest as starting points for a broad ranging conversation. Dr. Holmes is a professor of strategy and former visiting professor of national security affairs at the Naval War College, where he is the inaugural holder of the J. C. Wylie Chair of Maritime Strategy. A former U.S. Navy surface-warfare officer and combat veteran of the first Gulf War, he served as a weapons and engineering officer in the battleship Wisconsin, engineering and firefighting instructor at the Surface Warfare Officers School Command, and military professor of strategy at the Naval War College. He was the last gunnery officer to fire a battleship’s big guns in anger.  The book he co-authored with Toshi Yoshihara, Red Star over the Pacific, is out in its second edition this fall.  
Apr 22, 2018
Episode 431: Turkey Moves in the Syrian Civil War in Afrin
01:10:00
As the Islamic State Caliphate's territory in Syria is shrinking to just a few isolated pockets, rebel force opposing Assad lose more an more ground, and Kurdish led forces solidify lines, another chapter in the Syrian civil war is about to begin.  Time will tell, but the Turkish move in to Afrin may have been the opening. What is Turkey trying to accomplish, and how does this complicate the interest of the Kurds and their American, French and other partners, Russians, Iranians, and the Syrians supporting Assad? For the full hour our guest to examine this question and related issues will be Michael Goodyear. Michael is a law student at the University of Michigan Law School and holds degrees in History and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicago. His research focuses on the history, culture, and politics of the Balkans and the northern Middle East. As a starting point for our conversation, we will reference his recent article in Small Wars Journal, Paradigm Shift in Syria After Afrin.
Apr 08, 2018
Episode 430: Captain Thomas J. Hudner, Jr. USN
01:07:00
Captain Thomas J. Hudner, Jr. USN will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery this week. In his honor we will again run an interview we did early in Midrats' run.  His is a holder of the Medal of Honor from the Korean War. With him is the author of Such Men as These: The Story of the Navy Pilots Who Flew the Deadly Skies over Korea, David Sears as they talk about the role of Naval Aviation in the Korean War. Stuck between the Greatest Generation's high-water mark of World War II and the Baby Boomer's Vietnam War - the Korean War often gets lost in the shuffle despite its critical role is setting the foundation for the Cold War and our ultimate victory with the fall of the Berlin Wall. When the average person thinks of the role of Navy Air in the Korean War, they think of James Mitchner's novel and movie The Bridges of Toki-Ri. As usual, the real story is better than fiction. We will talk to CAPT Hudner about his and his shipmates experiences - and will finish up with David Sears exploring what he discovered in researching his book on what happened in the skies over Korea in the early 1950's.  
Apr 01, 2018
Episode 429: Making Sense of Natsec's Madness with Phil Ewing
01:10:00
If you've lost lock during the news-cycle Imbroglio on what is important in the national security arena, then you need to take an hour out and spend an hour with us for a few from the eye of the storm. Our guest for the full hour will be Phil Ewing. Phil is NPR's national security editor. He helps direct coverage of the military, the intelligence community, counterterrorism, veterans and other topics for the radio and online. Ewing joined the network in 2015 from Politico, where he was a Pentagon correspondent and defense editor. Previously he served as managing editor of Military.com and before that he covered the U.S. Navy for the Military Times newspapers. From the budget battles on the Hill, the Navy's fight for its future fleet, to Russia's freezing of the cherry blossoms (hey, it could happen) - we'll cover it.
Mar 25, 2018
Episode 428: Battleflags, Korean Battles, and the Joys of Unexpected Archeology
01:09:00
Put yourself in the shoes of a museum curator. You have the funds to conduct some much needed preservation on battleflags captured by the US Navy from the War of 1812. To do that, you have to remove them from their home for almost a century. What happens when you all of a sudden find they are not alone? They are covering something else? No, this isn't another "National Treasure" sequel, but things that actually unfolded last year at the US Naval Academy. For naval history buffs, this was an exciting time and an opportunity to explore some relatively unknown chapters from our history. For almost all Americans, when you mention American forces coming ashore to do battle on the Korean peninsula, they think of Inchon and 1950. Well, we came ashore earlier and fought another battle, in 1871. When you hear about the American navy vs. pirates, you think about the waters off the Horn of Africa in this century. What about off China in the 1850s? Join us Sunday to discuss the history and the battleflags of pirates and forgotten kingdoms with returning guests, BJ Armstrong, CDR USN and Claude Berube, LCDR USNR. BJ Armstrong, PhD is an Assistant Professor of War Studies and Naval History with the History Department of the U.S. Naval Academy. He holds a PhD in War Studies from King's College, London. Claude Berube is the director of the Naval Academy Museum and recently completed his doctoral dissertation through the University of Leeds on Andrew Jackson’s Navy.
Mar 18, 2018
Episode 427: Midrats March Madness ... well, mostly Navy talk
01:09:00
Now that we're near the end of 2QFY18, it's time for another Midrats Frer-For-All! Just Sal from the blog CDR Salamander and Eagle1 of EagleSpeak covering the latest developments on the maritime and national security front. If you have topics you would like us to address, send them to us on twitter at @cdrsalamder or @lawofsea, join the chatroom while the show is live ... or even call in.
Mar 11, 2018
Episode 426: An Eye on the Fleet with Chris Cavas
01:10:00
With a new administration well over a year in and a clearer view of the direction our Navy is headed, now is a great opportunity to check in with one of the most knowledgeable observers on the maritime scene, Chris Cavas.  Join us this Sunday from 5-6pm Eastern for an hour-long broad-ranged discussion of national and international naval issues. Chris was the naval warfare correspondent for Defense News from 2004 to 2017 and is a former managing editor of Navy Times . He has reported on Navy issues across the globe, including aboard USSPonce in the Fifth Fleet and aboard National Security Cutters.
Mar 04, 2018
Episode 423: A long, irregular, and forever war; a discussion with Dan Green
01:07:00
As we enter our 17th of ongoing conflict in Afghanistan and the global struggle against terrorism, why is this war taking so long? Where are we making progress, where are we stalled, and where are we falling back? There are no easy answers to these questions, if there were they wouldn’t need to be asked. We will discuss these and related issues for the full hour with author Dr. Daniel R. Green, a Defense Fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy focusing on counter-terrorism, counter-insurgency, and stability operations in the Middle East and Central Asia. He is a reserve officer with the U.S. Navy with multiple deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan, along with holding several senior advisory positions dealing with the Middle East, Central Asia, and NATO/Europe in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the State Department. Dr. Green recently completed his third book, In the Warlords' Shadow: Special Operations Forces, the Afghans, and their Fight with the Taliban that we will use as a stepping off point for our conversation.
Feb 11, 2018
Episode 421: Sealift, Logistics, & MSC with Salvatore Mercogliano
01:07:00
It feeds, fuels, and makes everything a fleet does possible - we're talking logistics for the full hour with returning guest, Salvatore Mercogliano. Sal sailed with MSC from 1989 to 1992, and worked MSC HQ as Operations Officer for the Afloat Prepositioning Force 1992-1996. He has a BS Marine Transportation from SUNY Maritime College, a MA Maritime History and Nautical Archaeology from East Carolina University, and received his Ph.D. in Military and Naval History from University of Alabama. Moving to academia, he's taught at East Carolina University, Methodist University, UNC-Chapel Hill, & the U.S. Military Academy. Currently an adjunct professor at the US Merchant Marine Academy teaching a graduate course on Maritime Industry Policy and an Associate Professor of History at Campbell University in Buies Creek, NC teaching courses in World Maritime History, Maritime Security, and American Military Experience.  Recently published “We Built Her to Bring Them Over There: The Cruiser and Transport Force in the Great War,” in the Winter 2017-18 issue of Sea History; author of Fourth Arm of Defense: Sealift and Maritime Logistics in the Vietnam War, published by the Naval History and Heritage Command in 2017, and 2nd Prize winner in the 2015 US Naval Institute Naval History Contest with Semper Sealift: The U.S. Marine Corps, Merchant Marine, and Maritime Prepositioning.  He also serves as a Captain on the Northwest Harnett Volunteer Fire Department and currently working on a history of military sealift during the First World War. 
Jan 28, 2018
Episode 420: Surface Readiness; History, Causes, & Cures with Kevin Eyer
01:13:00
After the events of the last year in WESTPAC, there is general agreement that there is something wrong with our surface force. There have always been "incidents" involving warships - including tremendous loss of life. This time, things seem different - and we are still only in the beginning of a general reassessment of what needs to be done to make our surface navy better. Our guest this week to explore these and related issues will be Kevin Eyer, CAPT USN (Ret.). As a starting off point, we will review his JAN 2018 article in the US Naval Institute, Proceedings, What Happened To Our Surface Forces? Kevin is a retired Surface Warfare Captain and the son of a Surface Warfare Captain.   He graduated from Penn State, after which he served in seven cruisers, ultimately commanding three; Thomas S. Gates, Shiloh and Chancellorsville.  He has served on the Navy Staff, the Joint Staff, and he attained his masters degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, at Tufts University.  Captain Eyer is a frequent contributor to Proceedings Magazine, and a regular commentator on Navy issues.
Jan 21, 2018
Episode 416: The Carrier as Capital Ship with RADM Thomas Moore, USN - Best of
01:07:00
First aired in Sept. 2014 How are we keeping out legacy Aircraft Carrier's in shape for the regular demands for extended deployments while at the same time bringing the new FORD Class CVN online? What are some of the lessons we have learned in our decades of operating nuclear powered aircraft carriers that we are bring forward to serve the Fleet in the coming decades so we always have an answer to the question, "Where are the aircraft carriers?" To discuss this and more, our guest for the full hour will be Rear Admiral Thomas J. Moore, USN, Program Executive Officer for Aircraft Carriers and is responsible for life cycle management for In-Service Carriers as well as the design and construction of the Future Class Carriers. 
Dec 24, 2017
Episode 415: 2017 Review ... and 2018 Preview
01:17:00
Join CDR Salamander and EagleOne as they wrap up Year-7 of Midrats with an end of the year review. From WestPac to the former Caliphate; South China Sea to Sub-Saharan Africa; from LCS to our new SSN - we’re cover it. As always, our listeners are welcome to call in or ask us questions from the chatroom as look back at the year - and give a few ideas for what we see coming in 2018.
Dec 17, 2017
Episode 414: Best of Anti-Access Area-Denial (A2AD) with Sam Tangredi
01:17:00
Power projection, sea control, access denial, and the ability to impose your will on the enemy from the sea; or depending on your perspective, prevent them from doing the same. If the comparative advantage of American military power includes the use of the world's oceans as a basing area from projecting power and national will, how can other nations design systems and tactics to trump that advantage? What are in place now, and what can we expect to see in the near future? Our guest for the full hour will be Sam J. Tangredi, a defense strategist whose studies of future warfare prompted Defense Department officials to label him “the Navy’s futurist.” His thirty-year naval career included command at sea, service in key strategic planning positions in the Pentagon and overseas, earning a PhD in international relations, and research fellowships at two think tanks. His over one hundred publications—which include four books--have won awards, including the U.S. Naval Institute’s Arleigh Burke Prize and the U.S. Navy League’s Alfred Thayer Mahan Award. He is currently the director of San Diego operations for the planning/consulting firm Strategic Insight. First aired OCT 2014.
Dec 10, 2017
Episode 413: Global Naval Power at the End of the 2nd Decade of the 21st Century
01:10:00
Take a moment to get away from your shock that it is already December, and let it soak in that it will be 2018 in less than a month. That means that we are officially well in to the end of the second decade of the 21st Century. It is time to look at the latest global feet developments breaking this year, and to what should shape discussions next. From Argentina's missing submarine, submarine proliferation around the world, Asias growing naval powers, Russian naval capabilities, European naval trends, and US naval systems/vessels capabilities - we are going to touch on them all with returning guest Eric Wertheim. Eric is a defense consultant, columnist and author specializing in naval and aviation issues. He was named to the helm of the internationally acknowledged, one volume Naval Institute reference Combat Fleets of the World in 2002. He has served as an advisor or contributor on dozens of studies and reports conducted by the Department of Defense and North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and from 1994 through 2004 Mr. Wertheim wrote the bimonthly "Lest We Forget" column on historic U.S. warships for the Naval Institute's Proceedings magazine. He is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C. Since 2004, Eric Wertheim has written the monthly "Combat Fleets" column for Proceedings, and his annual review of world navies runs in the March issue of the magazine. He is the coauthor with Norman Polmar of the books,Chronology of the Cold War at Sea and Dictionary of Military Abbreviations, both published by the Naval Institute Press. 
Dec 03, 2017
Episode 411: Making a Better War College
01:11:00
What is the best way to hone the intellectual edge of the officers who will lead our Navy? How do we gather our best minds and ideas together to best prepare our Navy for the next war? How is our constellation of war colleges structured, how did it get to where it is today, and how do we modernize it to meet todays challenges? We've put together a small panel for today's show to address this and related issues with returning guests Dr. James Holmes, Dr. John Kuehn, and Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh. Dr. Holmes is a professor of strategy and former visiting professor of national security affairs at the Naval War College. A former U.S. Navy surface-warfare officer and combat veteran of the first Gulf War, he served as a weapons and engineering officer in the battleship Wisconsin, engineering and firefighting instructor at the Surface Warfare Officers School Command, and military professor of strategy at the Naval War College. He was the last gunnery officer to fire a battleship’s big guns in anger. Dr. Kuehn is the past General William Stofft Chair for Historical Research at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. He retired from the U.S. Navy 2004 at the rank of commander after 23 years of service as a naval flight officer in EP-3s and ES-3s. He authored Agents of Innovation (2008) and co-authored Eyewitness Pacific Theater (2008) with D.M. Giangreco, as well as numerous articles and editorials and was awarded a Moncado Prize from the Society for Military History in 2011. Dr. Beckenbaugh is an Associate Professor in the Department of Joint Warfare at Air University’s Air Command and Staff College (ACSC) at Maxwell Air Force Base.  He came to ACSC from the US Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where he taught for nine years in the Department of Military History. 
Nov 19, 2017
Episode 410: Encore Interview with Captain Thomas J. Hudner, Jr., USN (Ret)
01:07:00
In the early years of the show, we had the opportunity to inverview Captain Hudner, who just passed. His is a holder of the Medal of Honor from the Korean War. With him is the author of Such Men as These: The Story of the Navy Pilots Who Flew the Deadly Skies over Korea, David Sears as they talk about the role of Naval Aviation in the Korean War. Stuck between the Greatest Generation's high-water mark of World War II and the Baby Boomer's Vietnam War - the Korean War often gets lost in the shuffle despite its critical role is setting the foundation for the Cold War and our ultimate victory with the fall of the Berlin Wall. When the average person thinks of the role of Navy Air in the Korean War, they think of James Mitchner's novel and movie The Bridges of Toki-Ri. As usual, the real story is better than fiction. We will talk to CAPT Hudner about his and his shipmates experiences - and will finish up with David Sears exploring what he discovered in researching his book on what happened in the skies over Korea in the early 1950's.
Nov 12, 2017
Episode 409: USS FITZGERALD & MCCAIN Collisions; Observations with Bryan McGrath
01:12:00
This week saw the release of the reports on the collision reports and Comprehensive Review of the incidents this summer between merchant ships in WESTPAC and the destroyers USS FITZGERALD and USS MCCAIN. The totally avoidable collisions resulted in the death of 17 Sailors and removal from our most important theater two of our most critical assets. Our guest for the full hour will be Bryan McGrath, CDR, USN (Ret.). Bryan grew up in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, and graduated from the University of Virginia in 1987. He was commissioned upon graduation in the United States Navy, and served as a Surface Warfare Officer until his retirement in 2008. At sea, he served primarily in cruisers and destroyers, rising to command of the Destroyer USS BULKELEY (DDG 84). During his command tour, he won the Surface Navy Association’s Admiral Elmo Zumwalt Award for Inspirational Leadership, and the BULKELEY was awarded the USS ARIZONA Memorial Trophy signifying the fleet’s most combat ready unit. Ashore, Bryan enjoyed four tours in Washington DC, including his final tour in which he acted as Team Leader and primary author of our nation’s 2007 maritime strategy entitled “A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower.” Since retirement, Bryan has become active in presidential politics, serving first as the Navy Policy Team lead for the Romney Campaign in 2012, and then as the Navy and Marine Corps Policy lead for the Rubio Campaign in 2016. He is the Assistant Director of Hudson Institute’s Center for American Seapower, and he is the Managing Director of The FerryBridge Group LLC, a small defense consulting firm.
Nov 05, 2017
Episode 408: NavyCon: Science Fiction's Important Role in National Security
01:14:00
This Sunday we're going to convince you to make plans to be in Annapolis next month. Coming up Saturday, Nov. 18, from 12 - 5 p.m. Eastern, our friend Claude Berube is husbanding the Naval Academy Museum's latest effort in what promises to be a very original and entertaining conference, NavyCon. NavyCon has a great line up to discuss how fleet forces have been portrayed in science fiction, in comparison to our Navy today. It kicks off with former NASA astronaut and Naval Academy Class of 1981 graduate, Capt. Kay Hire, on “NASA Today and Tomorrow.” Other speakers include the current Director of the Defense Strategies and Assessments Program at the Center for a New American Security, Dr. Jerry Hendrix, the former Program Manager of the U.S. Navy’s DDG-51 program, Captain Mark Vandroff,  and “Service, Citizenship and ‘Starship Troopers,’” will be delivered by Congressman Mike Gallagher, who served as a Marine in Iraq.  The concluding address will be given by the author of the best-selling “Honor Harrington” science fiction series, David Weber. We will have Midrats regulars USNA Museum Director Claude Berube, LCDR USNR - Senior Fellow at CNAS Jerry Hendrix, CAPT USN (Ret) - and Mark Vandroff, CAPT USN, CO of NSWC Carderock and former DDG51 Program Manager to come on to discuss their part, do a little geek’n on Midrats time, and generally get you ready for NavyCon.  ...and not, that isn't too much Navy for you. You can never have too much Navy. We’ve got them for the full hour, don’t miss it!
Oct 29, 2017
Episode 406: America's First General Staff, with John Kuehn.
01:12:00
The General Board of the Navy existed for the first half of the 20th Century. In his latest book, America's First General Staff: A Short History of the Rise and Fall of the General Board of the U.S. Navy, 1900-1950, our guest Dr. John T. Kuehn describes how the Board, a creature of its time born from a defined need following the "last war," became the organization that drove the growth of a world class navy and brought together the best in naval thought and strategic thinking. For the full hour we'll examine its rise and fall, successes and failures, as well as the lessons it may teach us today. Dr. Kuehn is the General William Stofft Chair for Historical Research at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. He retired from the U.S. Navy 2004 at the rank of commander after 23 years of service as a naval flight officer in EP-3s and ES-3s. He authored Agents of Innovation (2008) and co-authored Eyewitness Pacific Theater (2008) with D.M. Giangreco, as well as numerous articles and editorials and was awarded a Moncado Prize from the Society for Military History in 2011. His previous books include Napoleonic Warfare: The Operational Art of the Great Campaigns & A military History of Japan: From the Age of the Samurai to the 21st Century as well as numerous articles and editorials. He was awarded a Moncado Prize from the Society for Military History in 2011.
Oct 15, 2017
Episode 405: Best of Then VADM Moran on Personnel Policy & Leadership
01:08:00
As now VCNO Moran might say, this week we return to datum to an interview from bit more than three years ago when Admiral Moran, USN was Chief of Naval Personnel. We looked at the question of how does policy shape, limit, or empower the effectiveness of command at the unit level? Which policies are a net positive, and which ones are counter productive? Are there things we can do to better balance larger Navy goals with the requirement to give leaders the room they need to be effective leaders?  In times of austere budgets, can you both reduce end-strength while at the same time retain your best personnel? Are we a learning institution that can adjust policy that answers the bell from DC in shaping tomorrow's Fleet, yet does not break trust with Shipmates?  To discuss this and more we will have as our returning guest, Vice Admiral Bill Moran, USN. Chief of Naval Personnel. A P-3 pilot by trade, he held commanded at the squadron, wing and group levels. As Chief of Naval Personnel, he oversees the recruiting, personnel management, training, and development of Navy personnel. Since taking over a year ago he has focused on improving communication between Navy leadership and Sailors in the Fleet.
Oct 08, 2017
Episode 404: Best of Clausewitz with Donald Stoker
01:07:00
He is quoted often, correctly and incorrectly, but few have actually read his works in full - and even fewer know much about the man himself, Major General Carl von Clausewitz, Kingdom of Prussia. Out guest for the full hour will be Donald Stoker, author of the new book, Clausewitz: His Life and Work. Stoker is a  Professor of Strategy and Policy for the U.S. Naval War College's program at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. His previous book, The Grand Design: Strategy and the U.S. Civil War, won the distinguished Fletcher Pratt award for the best non-fiction Civil War book of 2010. Past winners include Bruce Catton and Shelby Foote. Episode first broadcast in DEC14.
Oct 01, 2017
Episode 403: Hezbollah, Israel, Syria, Lebanon and What's Next
01:08:00
As the Syrian conflict enters what looks to be its end game, one old player on the scene is emerging stronger than it has ever been, a point of concern for all the nations in the area. How has the Syrian civil war changed Hezbollah and her allies, and what does it signal about the post-war order? To discuss this and related issues will be our guest for the full hour, Sulome Anderson. Sulome is journalist and author based between New York City and Beirut, Lebanon. An alumna of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. She writes regularly for publications including Newsweek, The Atlantic, New York, Harpers, Foreign Policy, VICE, Village Voice and Vox.com. Her first book, The Hostage’s Daughter was published in 2016.  We will use her latest article, Hezbollah’s New Strength Leaves Israeli Border Tense, as a starting off point for our conversation.
Sep 24, 2017
Episode 402: Mid-September Melee
01:11:00
From WESTPAC to the Caribbean to the Euphrates river valley to Arakan province, we’ll be covering the mostly maritime national security developments of the last few weeks for the full hour in a Midrats free-for-all format. This is also your chance to bring up the topics you want addressed. Join in the chat room live to share your questions, or call in to the show if there is something you like us to talk about.
Sep 17, 2017
Episode 401: Reporting on a Navy in Crisis, With David Larter
00:58:00
In an era of the 24-hr news cycle but in a subject area where accuracy and subject-knowledge is required - how does the navy-focused media report on the fast changing environment? For the professional journalist, the last few months have shown that even peacetime naval operations can create stories as professionally demanding as reporting on wartime developments. The stories coming from the deaths of 17 Sailors from the USS FITZGERALD and USS JOHN S. MCCAIN and the reaction from the SECNAV on down are just the latest example. Our guest for the full hour to discuss the interplay between media, political concerns, industry pressure, and personal agendas in reporting on our Navy will be David Larter, Naval Warfare Reporter for Defense News. He's a graduate of the University of Richmond and a former Operations Specialist Second Class, still DNQ in his ESWS qual.
Sep 10, 2017
Episode 400: Best of Red Flag and the Development of USAF Fighter Pilots
01:07:00
In parallel efforts that in the Navy which led to Top Gun, the US Air Force looked hard at the lessons of air to air combat in the Vietnam War and brought forward "Red Flag," Moving beyond the technical focus, they looked to training and fundamentals to bring back a primacy of combat skills. Our guest for the full hour to discuss this and his new book, The Air Force Way of War: U.S. Tactics and Training after Vietnam, will be Dr. Brian D. Laslie, Deputy Command Historian, North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM).  A historian of air power studies, Dr. Laslie received his Bachelor’s degree in history from The Citadel: The Military College of South Carolina, his Master’s from Auburn University Montgomery in 2006 and his Doctorate from Kansas State University in 2013. Dr. Laslie was Honorably Discharged from the United States Air Force in 2007 as a Captain after serving as a logistics officer, doctrine instructor, and Action Officer to the Commander of Air University. NB: this episode first aired in MAR15.
Sep 03, 2017
Episode 399: The Asiatic Fleet of 1941 and its Lessons of Today
01:11:00
Nothing is really new, unprecedented, or that unique. If you are willing to look with the right eye, though tools may have changed, the fundamentals often remain the same. In the opening months of WWII, there is a story we don't study enough - mostly because it is not a pleasant story. For today's episode, we're going to take some time to do look at the story of the Asiatic Fleet in 1941, and what her story might inform us about the challenges today. Our guest for the full hour will be Hunter Stires. From our guest's article from last August's Naval Institute's Proceedings, he sets the stage; Even in the missile age, we can gain much insight on naval strategy in Asia from the trials and travails of Admiral Thomas C. Hart and his castoff flotilla of all-gun cruisers, four-stacker destroyers, and diesel submarines manned by the weathered “old China hands” of the Asiatic Fleet. Hart and his 11,000 highly experienced officers and men, most with many more years in service than their counterparts elsewhere in the Navy and Marine Corps, faced the same challenges that our forward forces and strategic planners are grappling with today, including the use of submarines and surface ships to find and destroy high-value targets in denied areas at war’s opening, the indefensibility of forward bases, and the vital importance of mobile logistics assets to replace them. Hunter is a Fellow at the Hattendorf Center for Maritime Historical Research and provides support to staff at NWC. He is a regular contributor to The National Interest and is the author of 1941 Asiatic Fleet Offers Strategic Lessons, published in the USNI Proceedings in August 2016. He is a student at Columbia University.
Aug 27, 2017
Episode 398: No, I Won't Shut-up and Color - Best of
01:14:00
First broadcast in 2013, some details have changed, but the concepts are eternal. NB: ll ranks and discussions of future events are from 2013. Is there such a thing as Military Intellectual Entrepreneurialism? Large, sated, and complacent organization do not have a good track record of survival. Organizations of any size that nurture the mentality of small, hungry, and driven by creative destruction and friction based on competing ideas - that is the path to success. Always has been, always will be. How do we get that attitude to permeate the military? How do we harness the power of an entrepreneurial mindset to build a better national security and defense structure? As we just start to enter another period of resource limitation in the face of an ever changing international security landscape - do we take advantage of the need for change, or do we buckle under our own moss-covered and hide-bound habits? To discuss this concept for the full hour, as well as the upcoming Defense Entrepreneurs Forum 12-14 OCT will be our panel: - LT Ben Kohlmann, USN – Founder of Disruptive Thinkers, F/A-18 pilot and member of the CNO’s Rapid Innovation Cell, Co-Founder Defense Entrepreneurs Forum. - Capt Anthony Hatala, USMC – AV-8B Harrier Pilot, C-130 Harvest HAWK Operator, Founder Military Traveler,  Co-Founder Defense Entrepreneurs Forum. - MAJ Nathan Finney, USA – Armor Officer, US Army Harvard Strategy Fellow, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Foundation for Strategy Development - Capt Jeff Gilmore, USAF – C-17 Pilot, AMC eFlight Bag Program, co-founder MilitaryLounge  
Aug 20, 2017
Episode 397: Migrants, NGOs & the Mediterranean with Claude Berube, Chris Rawley
01:10:00
What role are Non-Governmental Organization (NGOs) playing in the ongoing crisis in the Mediterranean Sea as wave after of wave of people try to make the passage to Europe? Are they doing good? Are they filling a gap of lawlessness caused by government inaction, or increasing the problem? What are the motivations and goals of governments, international organizations, traditional NGOs, and new players on the scene? To discuss these question and related issues they raised in their two part series at War On the Rocks and CIMSEC will be returning guests Claude Berube and Chris Rawley. Claude is the director of the Naval Academy Museum and a Lieutenant Commander in the Naval Reserve. He is the author of the Connor Stark novels – THE ADEN EFFECT (Naval Institute Press, September 2012) and SYREN'S SONG (Naval Institute Press, November 2015.) He earned his B.A. in History and Soviet Studies, his M.A. in History from Northeastern University, and his M.A. in National Security Studies from the Naval War College.  He is currently writing his doctoral dissertation through the University of Leeds on Andrew Jackson’s Navy. Chris is a Captain in the Naval Reserve where he is the commanding officer of a reserve unit focusing on building partnerships to enhance maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea. He is also founder and CEO of the agriculture investing company, Harvest Returns, and serves on the board of directors of the Center for International Maritime Security.
Aug 13, 2017
Episode 396: Best of DD214, Unpacked Boxes & the road ahead
01:12:00
When a few years turns in to many. When all of a sudden you seem to be the oldest guy in the room. When you have but days of memories of your kids and in the blink of an eye they are a year older - eventually everyone on active duty reaches the point where it is time to pack the sea bag one more time and put it in the attic. It is time to retire or leave active duty. Better or worse - it is time to go. What are the paths someone follows to reach that point? What decisions and inputs lead to that point where you say, "It's someone else turn." What are the important things you learn in the process of leaving going out that you wish you knew earlier? What are the myths about transitioning to the civilian world - and what are the no-kidding hard truths? How do you interact differently with the civilian world? What must someone leave behind, and what are those things that if you want them or not, they will always be with you? To discuss this and more on the subject of "what's next" when you leave active duty will be out panel with returning guest Commander James H. Ware,  USN (Ret.)., and former active duty Sergeant Marcus Penn, USMC.   Episode first aired SEP 13. Join us next week with our guests Claude Berube and Chris Rawley to talk about NGOs and the migrant crisis in the Med.. 
Aug 06, 2017
Episode 395: Best of 21st Century Sims
01:11:00
Who was "The Gun Doctor," the officer who over a century ago led the revolution in naval gunnery, the development of torpedo boat and destroyer operations, and during WWI served as the senior US naval commander in Europe?  More than the man instrumental in the establishment of the convoy system that helped keep the United Kingdom from starvation in the conflict, following the war his leadership as president of the Naval War College he help to established the creative and innovative Navy that in the interwar period developed the operating concepts for the submarines and aircraft carriers that led the victory in World War II. What are the lessons of a century ago taught by Admiral William S. Sims, USN that are critically important for the serving officer today? Our guest for the full hour to discuss this latest book, 21st Century Sims, will be returning guest, CDR Benjamin Armstrong, USN. Benjamin "BJ" Armstrong is a naval aviator who has served as a helicopter pilot flying amphibious search and rescue and special warfare missions and as the Officer-in-Charge of a Navy helicopter gunship detachment deployed for counter-piracy and counter-terror operations. He recently completed his PhD from King's College, London. Episode first aired Feb 2015
Jul 30, 2017
Episode 394: A Midsummer's Thucydides with Kori Schake
01:09:00
For a man who last walked the Earth almost 2,500 years ago, 2017 has been a great year for Thucydides. The old Greek historian is having quite a renaissance. Of course, he's always been there, but the Whitehouse is interested in himm, so everyone else is as well, especially with regard to the often mentioned, "Thucydides’s Trap." For those not familiar with his work, The History Of The Peloponnesian War, in her article earlier this month in The Atlantic, our guest this week outlines where people should focus. Thucydides is often associated with hard-edged realism, as in the quote “the strong do what they will, the weak suffer what they must.” ... But it’s important to remember that those views are one thread in a tapestry—Thucydides recounts the views of the war's combatants, but he doesn’t endorse them. In fact, the states that profess those hard-edged sentiments are plunged into ruin by them. When and how they take the plunge has, at the crucial moments of decision, everything to do with rambunctious crowds or ambitious usurpers of their betters egging on policies that result in the destruction of their state’s power. For this and related topics, please join us this Sunday with our guest Kori Schake for the full hour. Kori is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution. She teaches Thinking About War at Stanford, and with Jim Mattis edited Warriors and Citizens: American Views on Our Military. Her book on the Anglo-American hegemonic transition comes out from Harvard in the fall.
Jul 23, 2017
Episode 393: Building the right carrier; heavy, medium, or light with Tal Manvel
01:15:00
As the USS FORD (CVN 78) delivered to the US Navy, the Royal Navy’s new HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH underway, and many nations either building or wanting built carriers of a variety of sized, the second decade of the 21st Century is an exciting time for those who are interested in carrier design. With the Senate recently dedicating $30 million to the study of a light carrier design, the discussion has begun again about what is the right size carrier for the requirements of our navy. We have the perfect guest for the entire hour to discuss, returning guest J. Talbot Manvel, Captain, USN (Ret). Tal teaches at the US Naval Academy. While on active duty he served as an engineering officer specializing in aircraft carriers. He served on three, assisted in building two, and ended his career developing the new FORD class of aircraft carriers. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1972, earned a masters in mechanical engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School in 1979, a masters in liberal arts from St John’s College in 2008. J. Talbot Manvel, Captain, USN (Ret) teaches at the US Naval Academy. Wile on active duty he served as an engineering officer specializing in aircraft carriers. He served on three, assisted in building two, and ended his career developing the new FORD class of aircraft carriers. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1972, earned a masters in mechanical engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School in 1979, a masters in liberal arts from St John’s College in 2008.
Jul 16, 2017
Episode 392: So, You Want 355 Ships? The State of the Question with Will Beasley
01:07:00
Everyone seems to have a plan to get to 355 ships as the new President desires. Most plans include new construction, digging in the mothball fleet, extending service life of existing ships, and even some of the exotic options such as license building foreign designs. Most plans include a mix of some or all of them. The political and strategic foundations need to be put in place to support it - and a new SECNAV in place to push it - but that has not stopped the ideas from flowing. To review the options being discussed, we have a returning guest for the full hour, William M. Beasley, Jr. Will is an associate attorney with Phelps Dunbar, LLP in Mississippi. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Mississippi with a BA and MA in history where his research focused on naval history. Mr. Beasley earned his JD from the University of Mississippi School of Law, where he served on the editorial board of the Mississippi Law Journal. Prior to joining Phelps Dunbar, Mr. Beasley worked as a research consultant on legal and international security issues with the Potomac Institute in Arlington, Virginia. His work on naval history and maritime security has appeared in Proceedings, at The Strategy Bridge, and USNI Blog. Mr. Beasley's views do not reflect those of Phelps Dunbar or its clients and should not be construed as legal advice. Follow him on Twitter @MSNavalist.
Jul 09, 2017
Episode 391: Best of Claude Berube & Syren's Song
01:08:00
From our live show in November of 2015, the full hour with author Claude Berube to discuss his second Connor Stark novel, Syren's Song, from Naval Institute Press. From the Amazon page; "Syren's Song is the second novel featuring Connor Stark, and it promises to be just as engaging asThe Aden Effect. This geopolitical thriller begins when the Sri Lankan navy is unexpectedly attacked by a resurgent and separatist Tamil Tiger organization. The government issues a letter of marque to former U.S. Navy officer Connor Stark, now the head of the private security company Highland Maritime Defense. Stark and his eclectic compatriots accept the challenge only to learn that the Sea Tigers who crippled the Sri Lankan navy are no ordinary terrorists."  
Jul 02, 2017
Episode 390: Summer Solstice Free For All
01:13:00
The days are too long and hot to spend all your Sunday outside, to pour some iced tea and join us live for a free for all! We’re going to cover the maritime and national security breaking news from the USS FITZGERALD to Syria to any other topic that catches our fancy in a mostly random walk plan, so this is the time to ask us a question you’d like us to address via the chatroom, or even roll one of your questions our way by giving us a call.
Jun 25, 2017
Episode 389: Stephen Roderick, author of, The Magical Stranger: A Son's Journey
00:41:00
For our Father's Day Best of we will replay an interview with Stephen Roderick, author of, The Magical Stranger: A Son's Journey into His Father's Life. Rodrick is a contributing writer for The NYT Magazine and a contributing editor for Men's Journal. He has also written for New York, Rolling Stone, GQ, The New Republic, Men's Journal, and others.  Before becoming a journalist, Rodrick worked as a deputy press secretary for US Senator Alan J. Dixon. He hold a bachelors and masters in political science from Loyola University of Chicago and a masters in journalism from Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism.
Jun 18, 2017
Episode 388: On Tactics, with B.A. Friedman
01:06:00
In the Western concept of the military art, there is a food chain. The Political feeds Strategic; Strategic the Operational; Operational the Tactical. Among the military chatting classes, there is a lot of pondering and pontificating about strategy and operational concepts – but what about tactics? If the Tactical level requires, ultimately, a Strategy to help define its purpose – besides logistics, shouldn’t the professional also talk tactics? On this week’s show we’re going to explore that space with returning guest B.A. Friedman, Capt. USMCR, whose latest book from Naval Institute Press, On Tactics, examines the question in great detail. Simply because of its location in the hierarchy, tactics are not a simple thing. As the author states,   “While the sinews of war may be infinite funds, the sinew of tactical prowess is a common outlook, one that contextualizes and unifies doctrine, history, and experience across a military force.”
Jun 11, 2017
Episode 387: Looking at the Chinese Navy at 2030, with Patrick Cronin
01:10:00
2030 is as close to us today as 2004, only 13 years. As we look at various ways to maintain a Navy at t level at which we have become accustomed, the People’s Liberation Army Navy of China is building step by step as their economic power and global influence grows.  The world will see a dramatically different PLAN in 2030 relative to now, and as the present global naval superpower, our assumptions and plans need to be ready for it. Our guest this Sunday to discuss this and more will be Dr. Patrick Cronin, Senior Advisor and Senior Director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). Previously, he was the Senior Director of the Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS) at the National Defense University, where he simultaneously oversaw the Center for the Study of Chinese Military Affairs. As a starting point for the discussion, we will review the major points of CNAS recent publication, Beyond the San Hai:The Challenge of China’s Blue-Water Navy.
Jun 04, 2017
Episode 386: Best of SEALS in the Long War
01:07:00
In an arch that spans the immediate post-Cold War era through the Iraq War, what are the observations & lessons a front-line leader at the tactical level and, for those who are injured in service to their nation, through recovery. Our guest for the full hour will be Jason Redman, author of The Trident: The Forging and Reforging of a Navy SEAL Leader. Jason joined the Navy on September 11, 1992 and served as an enlisted SEAL until he entered Old Dominion University in August of 2001, graduating Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelors Degree in Business Management via Naval ROTC. He was commissioned in May of 2004 and returned as Naval SEAL Officer. He deployed to Fallujah, Iraq in 2007, and in September was severely wounded. While recovering at Bethesda Naval Medical Center, Jason underwent 37 surgeries. His experience led him to create Wounded Wear, a Non-Profit organization that provides clothing kits and clothing modifications to America’s wounded warriors. First aired NOV13.
May 28, 2017
Episode 385: Springtime for Russia?
01:10:00
To say that the profile of Russia since the American elections last fall has increased in the minds of Americans would be an understatement.  Outside the 24-hr news cycle, there have been significant developments in Russia internally and externally. From the Baltics, to nuclear weapons, to her growing influence in the Middle East following her involvement in the Syrian conflict. What should people be focused on with regards to Russia on the global stage this year? Returning as our resident Russian expert for the full hour to discuss this and more will be Dr. Dmirty Gorenburg, Senior Research Scientist at CNA, a non-profit think tank, and writer at the Russian Military Reform Blog. Dr. Gorenburg conducts research on security issues in the former Soviet Union, Russian military reform, Russian foreign policy, ethnic politics and identity, and Russian regional politics. He is also the editor of the journal Problems of Post-Communism and a Fellow of the Truman National Security Project. From 2005 through 2010, he was the Executive Director of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, and from 2009 to 2016, the editor of the journal Russian Politics and Law.
May 21, 2017
Episode 384: Best of WWI and the Birth of the Modern World
01:09:00
A hundred years on, in 2014 what insights can we gain from the war that started 100 years ago in August of 2014? What are some of the lessons we need to remember in all four levers of national power; diplomatic, informational, military, and economic - in order to help steer our future course as a nation, and to better understand developing events? Using his article in The National Interest, World War I: Five Ways Germany Could Have Won the First Battle of the Atlantic as a starting point for an hour long discussion, our guest will be James Holmes, PhD, professor of strategy at the Naval War College and senior fellow at the University of Georgia School of Public and International Affairs. Jim is former U.S. Navy surface warfare officer, graduating from Vanderbilt University (B.A., mathematics and German) and completed graduate work at Salve Regina University (M.A., international relations), Providence College (M.A., mathematics), and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University (M.A.L.D. and Ph.D., international affairs). His most recent books (with long-time coauthor Toshi Yoshihara) are Strategy in the Second Nuclear Age and Red Star over the Pacific. Jim has published over 25 book chapters and 150 scholarly essays, along with hundreds of opinion columns, think-tank analyses, and other works.  First aired August 2014.
May 14, 2017
Episode 383: The Downside of Being the Indispensable Nation
01:07:00
Whenever there is a global crisis, natural disaster or manmade, civilians or of a security related issue - the world turns their eyes to the United States of America. The indispensable nation. The only global super-power. You all know the drill. Is it an honor, or a burden? Is it a habit we should, or can sustain? Our guest for the full hour to discuss this and related issues will be Christopher Preble, vice president for defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute. As a starting point for our discussion, we will use the article he co-authored with William Ruger at War on the Rocks, No More of the Same: the Problem with Primacy.
May 07, 2017
Episode 382: The Road to Mosul to Raqqa, and What's Next for the Islamic State
01:10:00
Except for a few final holdouts and mopping up, the siege of Mosul is almost over and the wrecked city back in the hands of allied Iraqi factions. Soon the attention will turn west as the investment of Raqqa is setting up nicely. As they lose actual ground in Iraq and Syria, what will the next step be for the Islamic State? Where will they move to as their next safe haven, and what should be expect from the thousands of fighters trained by them who will return to their home nations? Our guest for the entire hour to discuss this and related issues will be Bill Roggio, Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and Editor of FDD’s Long War Journal.
Apr 30, 2017
Episode 381: Abolishing of the USAF, with Robert M. Farley, Best of
01:06:00
In concept, execution, and ability to effectively provide its part of the national defense infrastructure, has a separate Air Force served this nation well, and does it make sense to keep it a separate service. Our guest this week makes the case that the experiment in a separate US Air Force is over, and it has failed. Though we need airpower, we don't need a separate service to provide it. With us for the full hour will be Professor Robert M. Farley, PhD, author of the book being released 11 March, Grounded: The Case for Abolishing the United States Air Force. Rob teaches defense and security courses at the Patterson School of Diplomacy at the University of Kentucky. He blogs at InformationDissemination and LawyersGunsAndMoney. Episode first aired March 2014.
Apr 23, 2017
Episode 380: Commanding the Seas; the Surface Force with Bryan Clark - Best of
01:09:00
How do we build the future surface fleet to ensure our forces maintain the ability to access to all regions of the world's oceans that our vital to our national interests? Our guest to discuss this and the broader issues related to our surface forces will be Bryan Clark, Senior Fellow at Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA). A basis for our conversation will be his recent study for CSBA, Commanding the Seas: A Plan to reinvigorate U.S. Navy Surface Warfare, where he articulates the operational concept of “offensive sea control” as the new central idea to guide evolution of the U.S. surface force. This idea would refocus large and small surface combatant configuration, payloads and employment on sustaining the surface force’s ability to take and hold areas of ocean by destroying threats to access such as aircraft, ships and submarines rather than simply defending against their missiles and torpedoes. Prior to joining CSBA in 2013, Bryan Clark was Special Assistant to the Chief of Naval Operations and Director of his Commander’s Action Group. He served in the Navy headquarters staff from 2004 to 2011, leading studies in the Assessment Division and participating in the 2006 and 2010 Quadrennial Defense Reviews. His areas of emphasis were modeling and simulation, strategic planning and institutional reform and governance. Prior to retiring from the Navy in 2007, he was an enlisted and officer submariner, serving in afloat and ashore including tours as Chief Engineer and Operations Officer at the Navy’s nuclear power training unit. Mr. Clark holds a Master of Science in National Security Studies from the National War College and a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Philosophy from the University of Idaho. First aired November 2014
Apr 16, 2017
Episode 379: WWI Best Of with Chris Dougherty
01:12:00
When faced with the promise of a conflict with a limited mission and a strangely ill-defined Strategic and Operational design - what do we need to keep in mind not just from recent history, but the longer term record? History shows us that military and political leaders either over or under appreciate changing technology, outmoded doctrine, and the imperfect correlation between past experience and present requirements. From the national psyche to stockpiled war reserves - what happens when the short and splendid turns in to the long slog? Using his latest article in The National Interest, The Most Terrifying Lesson of World War I: War Is Not Always "Short and Sharp," as a starting point, but expanding to a much broader discussion, our guest for the full hour will be Chris Dougherty, research fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) .   Episode first aired Sept. 2014.
Apr 09, 2017
Episode 378: China & the Challenge in the Cyber Domain
01:11:00
You hear a bit on the edges about China's cyber forces' ongoing efforts to penetrate the cyber domain in order to get an edge against the USA and other nations she sees as either being in the way of her national goals, or in possession of something they need to keep their economy strong. This Sunday we are going to take a deeper dive in to the role of China in the cyber domain with our guest Dean Cheng. In addition to being the author of the book, Cyber Dragon, Dean Cheng has been studying Chinese political and security developments for over 25 years. He has worked at a variety of think-tanks, including the Center for Naval Analysis, the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis, and SAIC, as well as the Heritage Foundation. His research builds on a variety of Chinese materials, to bring to light how the Chinese talk about key issues such as space warfare and information warfare to their own military and civilian decision-makers.
Apr 02, 2017
Episode 377: Too Many SWOs at Sea?
01:09:00
When is there ever too much of a good thing? Is our officer manning policy in the Surface Warfare Community resulting in too many JOs chasing too few hours of experience actually performing one of their most important professional duties, the safe and effective maneuver of a ship at sea? Do we have our numbers, policies, and priorities right to ensure we are giving out Surface Warfare Officers the opportunity to master the fundamentals of any respected leader at sea? Building off his article in the March 2017 Proceedings, Too Many SWOs per Ship, our guest for the full hour will be Lieutenant Brendan Cordial, USN. We will not only discuss the issues he raises in his article, but will cover the experiences, responsibilities, and future of our surface forces from the Fleet LT perspective. LT Cordial is a native of Beaufort, South Carolina.  He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2011 and commissioned through the NROTC Program.  During his division officer tours, he served in USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) and USS San Jacinto (CG 56), both home-ported in Norfolk, VA.   He is currently assigned to the NROTC unit at The George Washington University."
Mar 26, 2017
Episode 376: WESTPAC's Progress with Toshi Yosihara
01:11:00
While a new American President, Russia, and ongoing operations against the Islamic State continue to absorb attention, the Western Pacific from Japan, Korea, China, to Australia continues forward. Our guest to discuss all the latest developments will be Toshi Yoshihara. A prior guest on Midrats, Dr. Yoshihara is a Senior Fellow at CSBA. Before joining CBSA he held the John A. van Beuren Chair of Asia-Pacific Studies at the U.S. Naval War College where he taught strategy for over a decade. He is co-author of Red Star over the Pacific: China's Rise and the Challenge to U.S. Maritime Strategy, which has been listed on the Chief of Naval Operation’s Professional Reading Program since 2012. Translations of Red Star over the Pacific have been published in China, Germany, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. He has also co-authored Indian Naval Strategy in the Twenty-first Century and Chinese Naval Strategy in the Twenty-first Century: The Turn to Mahan. He is co-editor of Strategy in the Second Nuclear Age: Power, Ambition, and the Ultimate Weapon and Asia Looks Seaward: Power and Maritime Strategy. His articles have appeared in Journal of Strategic Studies, Asian Security, Washington Quarterly, Orbis, World Affairs, Comparative Strategy, Strategic Analysis, Journal of the Indian Ocean Region, and Naval War College Review. The Naval War College Review awarded him the Hugh G. Nott Prize for best article of 2010. He holds a Ph.D. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, an M.A. from the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, and a B.S.F.S. from the School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University. 
Mar 19, 2017
Episode 375: Strategic Discipline & the Building of a New National Strategy
01:10:00
We are in the second month of a new President who is building a new national security team. He and his team come to their positions with a very different view of the world and America's place in it than their predecessors had.  What direction will they take our nation? What role should realism, alliances, and the requirement to anchor all to a strategic discipline focused on the long term interests of our nation have on the decisions they make? What do his initial steps and the people so far on his team tell us about where we are going? How may we may have to rethink the basic organizing concepts for America’s role in the world? Our guest for the full hour to discuss this an related issues will be Frank Hoffman. Frank is a Distinguished Research Fellow at the Institute for National Strategic Studies, National Defense University.   He formerly directed the NDU Press operations which includes the journals Joint Force Quarterly and PRISM. From August of 2009 to June 2011, he served in the Department of the Navy as a senior executive as the Senior Director, Naval Capabilities and Readiness. He started at National Defense University in 2011 and became a Distinguished Research Fellow in December 2016. He retired from the Marine Corps Reserve in the summer of 2001 at the grade of Lieutenant Colonel. He has authored one book (Decisive Force; The New American Way of War, Praeger, 1996), over 100 essays and articles, and frequently contributes to Orbis, Joint Force Quarterly, the Journal of Strategic Studies, Parameters, the Naval Institute Proceedings and Marine Corps Gazette.
Mar 12, 2017
Episode 374: The American Military in WWI, Best of
01:16:00
Well inside an officer's career arch, we saw the American Navy move from the Great White Fleet, The Spanish American War to the age of the Dreadnought. Our Army, from ad-hoc volunteer units to a professional army going head-to-head with the finest professional army on the planet. How did our military and our Navy build up to WWI, and how did that experience inform the evolution of our national defense infrastructure? Our guest for the full hour will be Dr. John T. Kuehn , the General William Stofft Chair for Historical Research at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College CGSC). He retired from the U.S. Navy 2004 at the rank of commander after 23 years of service as a naval flight officer flying both land-based and carrier-based aircraft. He has taught a variety of subjects, including military history, at CGSC since 2000. He authored Agents of Innovation (2008), A Military History of Japan: From the Age of the Samurai to the 21st Century (2014), and co-authored Eyewitness Pacific Theater (2008) with D.M. Giangreco as well as numerous articles and editorials and was awarded a Moncado Prize from the Society for Military History in 2011. His latest book isNapoleonic Warfare: The Operational Art of the Great Campaigns.
Mar 05, 2017
Episode 373: End of February Free For All
01:13:00
Is your head swimming in the 2nd month of the Trump Administration? While we are distracted with intramural politics, the world keeps moving and other nations move forward. How are the national security and international order reacting to the change in USA leadership? From NATO to China and Russia, what signals are coming from and going to the new American government? No guests this Sunday from 5-6pm Eastern, just our quarterly free-for-all with the show co-hosts, Sal from "CDR Salamander" and EagleOne from "Eagle Speak."  If you'd like to join the conversation, feel free to call the switchboard number at the top of the showpage, join the chatroom, or if you can't make the live show, you can send you questions via twitter to @cdrsalamander or @lawofsea.
Feb 26, 2017
Episode 372: Andrew Jackson’s Navy; Now More Than Ever?
01:09:00
Since his election in November, the administration and several articles have suggested Donald Trump is a new Andrew Jackson whose portrait now hangs in the Oval Office. What might that mean for the Navy? How did Andrew Jackson approach his Navy and what lessons can we draw from that? Our guest for the full hour for a discussion of an understudied part of our naval history and what it could mean for the current administration is returning guest Claude Berube. Claude is the Director of the Naval Academy Museum and has taught in both the Political Science and History Departments at the Naval Academy. He has worked in the U.S. Senate, as a maritime studies fellow at the Heritage Foundation, as the head of a terrorism analysis team for the Office of Naval Intelligence and as a defense contractor. An intelligence officer in the Navy Reserve, he deployed with Expeditionary Strike Group Five in 2004-05. His articles have been published in Orbis, Vietnam Magazine, Naval History, The Washington Times, Jane’s Intelligence Review, Naval Institute Proceedings and others. He’s also written or co-authored five books. He’s completing his doctoral dissertation through the University of Leeds.
Feb 19, 2017
Episode 371: Rice Bowls, Silos, & Firewalls - the National Security Bureaucracy
01:07:00
For the first time in eight years, we are watching a new team take over the national security infrastructure. Now is a good time to review, "Who is who in the zoo" and what exactly they do.  In the alphabet soup of organizations, how do the NSC, NSA, CIA, DOD, DIA, DHS and DNI all work together - and in competition - to enhance national security? Though everyone likes to bash bureaucracies, they are important and are only as good as those who populate and lead them. Our guest for the full hour to help us navigate the swamp the "blob" lives in will be Loren DeJonge Schulman. Lauren is the Deputy Director of Studies and the Leon E. Panetta Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security. She most recently served as the Senior Advisor to National Security Advisor Susan Rice. Before returning to the White House in 2013, she was Chief of Staff to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs. She served as Director for Defense Policy on the National Security Council staff from 2011­–2012 and prior to that as a special assistant to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. She is a Texan (the obnoxious kind), mom to the most awesome pizza loving two year old ever, and spends too much time on twitter.
Feb 12, 2017
Episode 370: The SECNAV's In Basket With James Holmes
01:11:00
There will be no rest for the next Secretary of the Navy. He will need to lead his Navy and Marine Corps as they continue to engage in the Long War against expansionist Islamic extremism, while at the same time come up with the best way to respond to the new direction and guidance coming from President Trump and Secretary of Defense Mattis. From China, to Russia, to Europe, the Islamic world to South America and India on one side of the house, to Congress, academia, and industry - what are those subjects that he needs to tackle first, which need to be put on a slow boil, and which ones need to be thrown over the transom? We have for the full hour to discuss this and more, returning guest James Holmes, PhD. Dr. Holmes is a professor of strategy and former visiting professor of national security affairs at the Naval War College. A former U.S. Navy surface-warfare officer and combat veteran of the first Gulf War, he served as a weapons and engineering officer in the battleship Wisconsin, engineering and firefighting instructor at the Surface Warfare Officers School Command, and military professor of strategy at the Naval War College. He was the last gunnery officer to fire a battleship’s big guns in anger. Jim is a Phi Beta Kappa received his BA from Vanderbilt University and completed graduate work at Salve Regina University , Providence College, and received his PhD at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. His most recent books (with long-time coauthor Toshi Yoshihara) are Strategy in the Second Nuclear Age and Red Star over the Pacific.  Jim has published over 25 book chapters and 200 scholarly essays, along with hundreds of opinion columns, think-tank analyses, and other works. 
Feb 05, 2017
Episode 369: The Future of America's Military at Risk, with Bob Scales
01:11:00
To meet the national security requirements of our republic in the years to come, what direction and emphasis do we need for our military? What are the false horizons we need to watch out for, and what important areas do we seem to be either ignoring or forgetting? For the full hour our guest to discuss this and more will be Bob Scales, Major General, US Army (Ret), discussing with him many of the issues he raises in his latest book from Naval Institute Press, Scales on War; The Future of America's Military at Risk. Described by the Naval Institute Press as,  Scales on War is a collection of ideas, concepts, and observations about contemporary war taken from over thirty years of research, writing, and personal experience by retired Major General Bob Scales. Scales’ unique style of writing utilizes contemporary military history, current events, and his philosophy of ground warfare to create a very personal and expansive view of the future direction of American defense policies. Each chapter in the book addresses a distinct topic facing the upcoming prospects of America’s military, including tactical ground warfare, future gazing, the draft, and the role of women in the infantry. Fusing all of these topics together is Scales’ belief that, throughout its history, the United States has favored a technological approach to fighting its wars and has neglected its ground forces. MAJ. GEN. Scales commanded units in Korea and the United States and two units in Vietnam, and he is the recipient of the Silver Star for action during the Battle of Hamburger Hill. He completed his service as commandant of the Army War College.
Jan 29, 2017
Episode 368: Best of Barney Rubel on Small Ships, Flotillas & Naval Supremacy
01:10:00
For a maritime power with global requirements, what is the role of the small ship in times of peace and war? What are the tradeoffs between quantity and capability, size and range, survivability and affordable? Does the US Navy need a high-low mix; or a Strike Group-Flotilla mix?    Where do our national requirements influence how we build our Fleet vs. the process other nations build theirs? Do we have a sustainable path towards a balanced Fleet, or are we sailing on based on outdated charts? To discuss this and more for the full hour will be returning guest U.S. Naval War College Center for Naval Warfare Studies Dean, Captain Robert C. Rubel, USN (Ret.) Podcast first aired in 2013.
Jan 21, 2017
Episode 367: Best of USMC Force RECON with Alexander Martin
01:07:00
From a show we did 5 years ago, time to bring it back. Much of the conversation about the USMC over the last decade has been about its "Second Land Army" status .... well .... Marines are still second to none at their core skill set. In case someone forgot that - our next guest and his Marines reminded everyone of not just that - but the power of the Navy-Marine Corp team. Over a 48 hour period, the 15th MEU/PELARG team conducted offensive air operations in Afghanistan resulting in the deaths of 5 confirmed enemy fighters, provided disaster relief in Pakistan to 120 victims who had been without aid since July, and seized a pirated vessel, rescuing a crew of 11 hostages and detaining 9 suspected pirates off the coast of Somalia. Our guest is then Captain Alexander Martin, USMC - the leader of the team that took back The Magellan Star.
Jan 15, 2017
Episode 366: Is it Time for a General Staff?
01:09:00
The 1980s might be getting some of its foreign policy back - but why is our entire defense framework in the second-half of the second decade of the 21st Century based around ideas forged when the Chrysler K-car was still a young platform? Is our present system creating the conditions for our uniformed senior leadership to forge the best path for our military to support national security requirements? Our guest for the full hour is returning to Midrats to discuss this and more; M.L. Cavanaugh.  Matt and is a US Army Strategist with global experience in assignments ranging from the Pentagon to Korea and Iraq to his current post at US Army Space and Missile Defense Command. He’s a Non Resident Fellow with the Modern War Institute (MWI) at West Point, where he provides regular commentary and analysis. He’s also a contributor to War on the Rocks, and Matt’s writing has appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, and at ForeignPolicy.com, among other publications. After graduating from West Point in 2002, he earned his Master’s degree at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand, and is currently at work on a PhD dissertation on supreme command under Professor Emeritus Colin Gray at the University of Reading (UK). You can find more on Matt at MLCavanaugh.com and he can be reached via Twitter @MLCavanaugh. 
Jan 08, 2017
Episode 365: Best of Sea Swap & Small Unit Leadership
01:09:00
While good ideas are often forgotten, bad ideas seem to pop up over an over again - especially the sexy ones that sound so good, but never seem to work well. The answer, of course, is to try again and hope for a better result. Some would argue that sea swap is one of those sexy ideas that just isn't that practical in actual operation. A good idea? One of the good ideas mostly forgotten is that of the Junior Officer in significant positions of authority. LTJG as XO? LT as Skipper? Sure... used to be common; now not so much outside the MIW and PC community. What are the different challenges for the officer on a smaller warship? As JO command opportunities shrink, what is our Navy losing? Our guest for the full hour to discuss this and anything else the squirrels deliver will be Lieutenant Matthew Hipple, USN. We'll start the conversation from his article in the July 2013 Proceedings, Sea Swap - Its a Trap - then we'll be off to the races from there. LT Hipple is a surface warfare officer who graduated from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service. He is the former president of CIMSEC, and hosts of the Sea Control podcast. While his opinions may not reflect those of the United States Navy, Department of Defense, or US Government, he wishes they did. First aired OCT 2013.
Jan 01, 2017
Episode 364: Best of Stephen Phillips and The Recipient's Son
00:35:00
Today, we return to a show from four years ago with author Stephen Phillips. Steve is a 1992 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. He began his naval career as a surface warfare officer on board USS Harlan County and USS San Jacinto. He then applied and was accepted into the Navy’s Special Operations community. He subsequently served as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Technician at EOD Mobile Units Six, Eight, and Ten. Steve is the author of the awarding-winning debut novel, Proximity, describes life as a Navy EOD Technician in the war on terrorism. His second novel, The Recipient’s Son, is a coming of age story that takes place at the U.S. Naval Academy in the late 80’s early 90’s.
Dec 25, 2016
Episode 363: The South African Border War and its Lessons, with LT Jack McCain
01:11:00
If you define the Cold War as lasting 44 years from 1947 to 1991, then for over half the Cold War there was a simmering proxy war in southern Africa that involved, to one extent or another, the present day nations of Angola, Namibia, Zambia, and South Africa. Over the course of time, it would involve nations from other hemispheres such as Cuba, and brought in to conflict two political philosophies of the 20th Century now held in disrepute in the 21st Century; Communism and Apartheid.  The last decade of the Cold War brought the conflict in fresh relief as part of the Reagan administration's push back against Communist aggression in South Africa, Central America, Afghanistan and elsewhere. Acronyms such as UNITA, and SWAPO were as well known then as AQAP and Boko Haram are now. What does that relatively unknown conflict have to teach us about the nature of war today?   Our guest for the full hour to explore that answer will be Lieutenant Jack McCain, USN. LT McCain is a helicopter pilot with operational experience in Guam, Japan, Brunei, the Persian Gulf, and the Western Pacific and is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. He is currently assigned as an instructor at the U.S. Naval Academy.  The opinions he expresses in this article are his own and represent no U.S. government or Department of Defense positions.
Dec 18, 2016
Episode 362: Towards a 350 Ship Navy, with Jerry Hendrix
01:11:00
Even before the election, President-elect Trump mentioned he wanted to get to a 350 ship Navy. The outgoing Secretary of the Navy has put us on a path to 308, and in his waning months is fighting a holding action on the shipbuilding budget giving as good of a turnover in this area to his relief. What are the viable paths to 350 we could see in the opening years of a Trump Presidency? How long could it realistically take? What would a fleet look like 5, 10 or 20 years down the road? What will this fleet be built to do? Will we need new designs to meet the evolving maritime requirements of an eventual national strategy? To discuss this and more Sunday from 5-6pm Eastern will be one of our favorite guests, Dr. Jerry Hendrix, CAPT USN (Ret.), Senior Fellow and the Director of the Defense Strategies and Assessments Program at the Center for a New American Security. His staff assignments include tours with the CNO’s Executive Panel, the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, and the OSD Office of Net Assessment.  His final active duty tour was the Director of Naval History.  He has a Bachelor Degree in Political Science from Purdue University, Masters Degrees from the Naval Postgraduate School (National Security Affairs) and Harvard University (History) and received his doctorate from King’s College, London (War Studies). He has twice been named the Samuel Eliot Morison Scholar by the Navy Historical Center in Washington, DC, and was also the Center’s 2005 Rear Admiral John D. Hays Fellow. He also held the Marine Corps’ General Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr. Fellowship. He authored the book Theodore Roosevelt’s Naval Diplomacy and received a number of awards, including the United States Naval Institute’s Author of the Year and the Navy League’s Alfred T. Mahan Award for Literary Achievement.
Dec 11, 2016
Episode 361: Where Youth and Laughter Go; With "The Cutting Edge" in Afghanistan
01:11:00
For the full hour this Sunday our guest will be Lieutenant Colonel Seth W. B. Folsom, USMC the author of Where Youth and Laughter Go. Described by USNI Books: It is the culminating chapter of a trilogy that began with The Highway War: A Marine Company Commander in Iraq in 2006 and continued with In the Gray Area: A Marine Advisor Team at War in 2010. Where Youth and Laughter Go completes LtCol Seth Folsom’s recounting of his personal experiences in command over a decade of war. It is the culminating chapter of a trilogy that began with The Highway War: A Marine Company Commander in Iraq in 2006 and continued with In the Gray Area: A Marine Advisor Team at War in 2010. We will discuss not just his latest book, but also larger issues related to command, the nature of the war in Afghanistan, and the Long War.
Dec 04, 2016
Episode 360: Best of IA, E-2, FEF, EDU & the 21C Career Path w/CAPT Herb Carmen
01:09:00
What does an officer do with the opportunistic "white space" the Navy can provide you in your career path? What does a curious intellect and an operational mindset need to look at doing to meet both? What are some of the demands and opportunities out there who want something a bit different in their career path? To discuss this for the full hour as well as a bit about the last props on the carrier deck, will be Captain Herb Carmen, USN (Retired). CAPT Carmen is Naval Aviator with over 4,000 flight hours in the E-2C Hawkeye and C-2A Greyhound, previously commanding the VAW-116 "Sun Kings." He is an Executive MBA student at Georgetown University McDonough School of Business, and he was previously a senior military fellow at the Center for a New American Security. His views are his own and do not represent the Department of Defense or the United States Navy. Episode first aired in SEP 13.
Nov 27, 2016
Episode 359: A Foreign Policy Short List for the New CINC, with Mackenzie Eaglen
01:09:00
Old foreign and defense challenges return, new ones emerge, and existing ones morph in to something slightly different. The only thing that is constant is that there is no opportunity for a learning curve for the Commander in Chief of the United States of America. From the first day in office to the last, a needy, grasping, and unstable world will look to or at our nation. What are those challenges that will test President-Elect Trump in his first few years in office, and what in the background is waiting for the opportunity to spring to the front. Our guest for the full hour will be Mackenzie Eaglen, Resident Fellow at the Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies at the American Enterprise Institute where she works on defense strategy, defense budgets, and military readiness. Eaglen has worked on defense issues in the House of Representatives and Senate and at the Pentagon in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and on the Joint Staff. In 2014, Eaglen served as a staff member of the congressionally mandated National Defense Panel, a bipartisan, blue-ribbon commission established to assess US defense interests and strategic objectives. This followed Eaglen’s previous work as a staff member for the 2010 congressionally mandated bipartisan Quadrennial Defense Review Independent Panel, also established to assess the Pentagon’s major defense strategy. Eaglen is included in Defense News “100 most influential people in US Defense” both years the publication compiled a list. A prolific writer on defense-related issues, she has also testified before Congress. Eaglen has an M.A. from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and a B.A. from Mercer University
Nov 20, 2016
Episode 358: Seapower as a National Imperative, with Bryan McGrath
01:09:00
Why a Navy? Why a strong Navy? Why is a strong Navy an essential requirement for the United States Navy? From its ability to project national will, to it hidden hand in the economics of every citizen's life, why is it so critical that we have a Navy second to none. To discuss this and more - especially in light of the election - will be returning guest, Bryan McGrath, Commander, US Navy (Retired). Bryan McGrath grew up in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, and graduated from the University of Virginia in 1987. He was commissioned upon graduation in the United States Navy, and served as a Surface Warfare Officer until his retirement in 2008. At sea, he served primarily in cruisers and destroyers, rising to command of the Destroyer USS BULKELEY (DDG 84). During his command tour, he won the Surface Navy Association’s Admiral Elmo Zumwalt Award for Inspirational Leadership, and the BULKELEY was awarded the USS ARIZONA Memorial Trophy signifying the fleet’s most combat ready unit. Ashore, Bryan enjoyed four tours in Washington DC, including his final tour in which he acted as Team Leader and primary author of our nation’s 2007 maritime strategy entitled “A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower.” Since retirement, Bryan has become active in presidential politics, serving first as the Navy Policy Team lead for the Romney Campaign in 2012, and then as the Navy and Marine Corps Policy lead for the Rubio Campaign in 2016. He is the Assistant Director of Hudson Institute’s Center for American Seapower, and he is the Managing Director of The FerryBridge Group LLC, a small defense consulting firm.
Nov 13, 2016
Episode 357: Goldwater–Nichols; Problems and Solutions
00:41:00
The systems that trains, mans, and equips our military - and provides guidance and support to their civilian masters is broadly shaped by Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986. There is much discussion that in the middle of the second decade of the 21st Century, is there a better system to serve our national security requirements than one designed at the height of the 20th Century's Cold War? Using his article in War on the Rocks, Don't Rush to "Fix" Goldwater-Nichols as a starting point, our guest for the full hour to discuss this and other related issues will be Justin Johnson of The Heritage Foundation. Johnson spent over a decade working on defense and foreign policy issues on Capitol Hill before coming to the Heritage Foundation’s Center for National Defense were I am now a defense and foreign policy analyst at Allison Center for National Security and Foreign Policy. Johnson received a master’s degree from the Naval War College with a particular focus on terrorism and the maritime domain. He is also a member of the 2013-2014 Future Leaders Program at the Foreign Policy Initiative, the 2011-12 class of Next Generation National Security Leaders at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) and the 2012 class of the Heritage Foundation’s Marshall Fellows. Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Johnson grew up in Iowa before moving to Eastern Europe. After living in Germany, Belarus and the Czech Republic, Johnson attended Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Georgia where he studied philosophy and art. 
Nov 06, 2016
Episode 356: Fall Free For All Spooktacular!
01:19:00
Midrats is back live! With a week left to go till the election, I am sure you are about done with all the political talk, so join us at 5pm Eastern this Sunday, October 30th as we cover the the globe on the breaking national security and maritime issues that have come up over the last month. From FORD to KUZNETSOV; from The Baltic to Yemen we'll have it covered. As always with our Free For Alls; it is open mic an open mind. Call in with your issues and questions, or join us in the chat room. 
Oct 30, 2016
Episode 355: Best of Bryan McGrath on carriers, distributed lethality, & 2015
01:10:00
For those who have seen the Great Carrier Debate between Jerry Hendrix and Bryan McGrath, one thing was clear - both gentlemen had only scratched the surface of their thoughts on the topic. At about the same time, the concept of "distributed lethality" had seeped its way in to the conversation. To examine both topics and to review the national security issues you should expect to see in 2015 will be returning guest, Bryan McGrath. Bryan McGrath is the founding Managing Director of The FerryBridge Group LLC (FBG), a niche consultancy specializing in naval and national security issues, including national and military strategy, strategic planning, executive communications, strategic communications and emerging technologies. Prior to starting FBG, Bryan founded a national security consulting line of business for Delex Systems, where he directly supported a number of senior clients in the Navy and the Army.  Additionally, he provided critical insight on Navy policy and acquisition preferences to commercial clients, including major defense contractors and small technology firms negotiating the "post-earmarks" era.     A retired Naval Officer, Bryan spent 21 years on active duty including a tour in command of USS BULKELEY (DDG 84), a guided-missile destroyer homeported in Norfolk, Virginia.   In his spare time, Bryan is a well-published commentator in the fields of national and maritime strategy, with policy papers published at major think tanks, and articles placed in nationally marketed periodicals.  He is a frequent panelist at symposia that deal with naval issues and is frequently quoted by major press organizations.  
Oct 23, 2016
Episode 354: The Aden Effect, with Claude Berube - Best of
01:09:00
With all the news out of Yemen, I thought it would be timely to go back four years to our interview with Claude Berube about his first fiction, novel, The Aden Effect.  Last year he had a follow on, Syren's Song. Terror attacks on an American embassy. Piracy on the high seas. Political intrigue. Leadership at sea. Not just the news of the day, but some of the topics you'll find in Claude Berube's first non-fiction book. We'll have the author with us for the full hour to talk about the book, writing, and perhaps a few more thing as well. Claude's articles have appeared in Orbis, Naval History, Vietnam History, Jane’s Intelligence Review, Naval Institute Proceedings, and other periodicals.  He has worked on Capitol Hill and for the Office of Naval Intelligence.  A lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve, he has served twice overseas including a deployment to the Persian Gulf with Expeditionary Strike Group Five.  
Oct 16, 2016
Episode 353: Best of Disruption, Disfunction & Leadership with Peter Munson
01:07:00
What is a "crisis in leadership? In an organization that prizes the Type-A personality that takes risk combined with a strong intellect - yet at the same times asks from it silence and order - what happens when each end loses faith and trust in the other? Our guest for the full hour will be Peter Munson, Marine officer, KC-130 aircraft commander, Middle East specialist, author, and editor of Small Wars Journal. As a starting point, we will use his article in SWJ, Disruptive Thinkers: Defining the Problem. "Today’s military is facing a significant crisis.  ... The rank and file of the military who have made or witnessed the massive efforts and sacrifices of the past decade, and who have seen so very little in the way of satisfying results in return,  ... They are disappointed by the failures of leadership and imagination that have yielded toxic commands, a rash of firings in some services, and a breach of trust with our most vulnerable servicemembers.  They wonder about the future of the weapons systems that support and defend them as they read tales of acquisition woe.  They question the growing focus on bureaucratic minutiae.  They question how they can be trusted so completely in a combat environment, but are treated as children in garrison.  They wonder how a military system that prides itself on justice will reward the generals that have presided over failure, ...  while at the same time eroding the autonomy and discretion of junior commanders with a creeping campaign of bureaucratic centralization. These are symptoms of a malaise facing the military, of an ossified and decadent institutional culture and a bloated bureaucracy that has grown a profusion of power centers that jealously guard their territory and their budget." This show first aired in June 2012.
Oct 09, 2016
Episode 352: Building Resilience in the Face of Man Made & Natural Threats
01:09:00
At the height of hurricane season, people think of the impact such storms can have on the security, economy, and even the political direction of places if hit by such huge events such as Katrina. As we saw in the attacks in New York City in 2001, terrorists are trying to create those same effects, along with a few more. With a global economy, local events can have international impact. How do you best to prevent, prepare for, and recover from natural events - but on the high end, terrorist attacks that go beyond explosions, but reach the next level with chemical, biological, or even nuclear weapons? Our guest to discuss this and related concerns for the full hour will be J. Michael Barrett, Director of the Center for Homeland Security & Resilience (CHSR), and Diligent Innovations. Mike's previous experience includes serving as the Director of Strategy for the White House Homeland Security Council, Intelligence Officer for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and Senior Analyst for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. A former Fulbright Scholar to Turkey, Mike has served as a Homeland Security Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, an Olin Foundation Fellow at Johns Hopkins University, and a research analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.  Mike received an M.A. in Strategic Studies and International Economics from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, D.C., and an M.B.A. from the Australian School of Business in Sydney, Australia. He also was graduated cum laude with a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania and is an Occasional Guest Lecturer at National Defense University, Georgetown University, and Joint Special Operations University.
Oct 02, 2016
Episode 351: Best of J. Michael Barrett & a New Middle East Realism
01:09:00
Reaching back to a great show from four years ago this week. The "Arab Spring" has not turned out as well as many hoped, and in much of the Arab and Muslim world, the will of the people does not necessarily translate in to freedom and a pro-Western leadership. With many more years to go in the Long War struggle, how do we navigate through the rapidly changing world which is mostly beyond our control? While we cannot back away, we also cannot control. Is there a better way - and how do we more towards a more honest discussion of the world as it is, not how we wish it to be? Using his latest article in Defense News, Navigating Chaos, as a starting point for our discussion, our guest for the full hour will be returning guest J. Michael Barrett, CEO of Diligent Innovations and a former director of strategy for the White House Homeland Security Council.
Sep 25, 2016
Episode 350: 21st Century Patton, With J. Furman Daniel III
01:09:00
Put the popular, and mostly accurate, image of the flamboyant General Patton, USA given to us by popular culture to the side for a moment. Consider the other side of the man; the strategic thinker, student of military history, and innovator for decades. This week's episode will focus on that side of the man. For the full hour we will have as our guest J. Furman Daniel, III, the editor of the next book in the 21st Century Foundations series; 21st Century Patton. Furman is an assistant professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott, Arizona. He holds a BA (with honors) from the University of Chicago and a PhD from Georgetown University.
Sep 18, 2016
Episode 349: Best of Kirk Lippold & Steve Phillips
01:06:00
Let's go back to October of 2010 for a great pair of guests. First, since the end of US involvement The Vietnam War almost 40 years ago, there are just a few USN Commanding Officers who know what it is like for a warship under attack; one of the handful will be our first guest, CDR Kirk Lippold, USN (Ret.). He was the Commanding Officer of the USS Cole (DDG-67) when it was attacked while in port Aden, Yemen 12 October 2000 - the 16th anniversary will in a few weeks. We will discuss his experiences then as well as the work he has done since his retirement with senior military fellow with Military Families United, & any other topics that fold their way in to our conversation. (since his first guest on Midrats, he published his book, Front Burner) Our second guest will be from the shadows of the Navy EOD world, Steve Phillips. After graduating from Annapolis in '92, Steve found honest work as a SWO, but then transferred into EOD where he served as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician at EOD Mobile Units 6, 8, and 10. He is the author of Proximity: A Novel of the Navy's Elite Bomb Squad which received a Gold Medal from the Military Writers Society of America in 2008. Some of the proceeds from Proximity support the EOD Memorial Foundation which provides scholarship to the children of EOD Technicians who made the ultimate sacrifice. If you like his work, Steve is currently working on a non-fiction account of EOD Technicians in our current conflict with a working title of Improvised: EOD Techs in the War on Terrorism. The first two of the chapters for the non-fiction work are available at: "The Birth of the Combined Explosives Exploitation Cell" & "A Remembrance of 9/11"
Sep 11, 2016
Episode 348: Best of USS PONCE (AFSB(I)-15) Lessons with CAPT Jon P. Rogers, USN
01:09:00
As with most concepts and good ideas, you really don't know what you need and how you need to do it until you put Sailors to task and head to sea. The idea of an Afloat Forward Staging Base has, in a variety of forms, been a regular part of naval operations arguably for centuries under different names and with different equipment. What about the 21st Century?  More than just a story about the use and utility of the AFSB concept, the story of the USS PONCE is larger than that - it also has a lot to say about how one can quickly turn an old LPD around for a new mission, and how you can blend together the different but complementary cultures of the US Navy Sailors and the Military Sealift Command civilian mariners. Our guest for the full hour to discuss this and more will Captain Jon P. Rogers, USN, former Commanding Officer of the USS PONCE AFSB(I)-15.
Sep 04, 2016
Episode 347: Baltic Security with Bruce Acker and Dan Lynch
01:17:00
With a resurgent Russia, the security environment from former Soviet Republics to the traditionally neutral nations of Finland and Sweden has changed dramatically. What are those changes and how are they changing how these nations see their place in the larger Western security infrastructure? We’re going to look at how thing are changing in how they work and see each other, NATO, and what they need to do to provide for both their and collective defense. Our guests for the full hour will be Colonel Bruce Acker, USAF (ret) and Captain Dan Lynch, USN  (Ret). Bruce is currently a Defense Strategy Consultant in Stockholm Sweden. He spent 30 years on active duty starting as a Air Defense Weapons flight test engineer upon graduation from the Air Force Academy, and subsequently served in Space, Missile Warning, and Missile Launch operations culminating as a Minuteman ICBM squadron Commander. Following staff tours managing future Air Force and Defense Space systems programs, he broadened to political military assignments as the US Air Attaché to Malaysia and as the US Defense Attaché and Senior Defense Official in Stockholm. Col Acker has published articles on regional security issues in the Swedish Royal Academy of War Sciences journal as well as leading National daily newspapers. Dan is currently beginning his fifth year on the maritime faculty of the Swedish Defense University in Stockholm.  He spent over 35 years on active duty starting as an enlisted Marine and upon graduation from the Naval Academy selected Naval Aviation where he commanded a VP squadron and a patrol and reconnaissance wing. Following major command, he served on the staff of the US ambassador to NATO in Brussels and retired after his last tour as the Naval Attache to Stockholm.
Aug 28, 2016
Episode 346: The Farsi Island Incident – Is the Navy a Learning Institution?
01:10:00
The thankfully bloodless embarrassment that was the Farsi Island Incident is still making news after the January 12, 2016 seizure of 10 U.S. sailors by Iranian forces. Especially for our Surface Warfare community, there are a lot of hard, cold lessons here not just about the incident itself, leadership and professionalism – and institutional lessons about how conditions are set and organizations are sub-optimized to a degree that an incident  - in hindsight – was just a matter of “when” vice “if.” Using his recent article at CIMSEC on the topic, our guest for the full hour to discuss the background leading up to the Farsi Island incident, its aftermath, and the lessons we should be taking from it will be Alan Cummings, LT USN. Alan is a 2007 graduate of Jacksonville University. He served previously as a surface warfare officer aboard a destroyer, embedded with a USMC infantry battalion, and as a Riverine Detachment OIC. The views expressed in the article and on Midrats are his own and in no way reflect the official position of the U.S. Navy.
Aug 21, 2016
Episode 345: Fisheries as a Strategic Maritime Resource
01:11:00
We live in a crowded world with limited resources. What happens when this meets modern technology's ability to shorten the time/distance equation and increase the ability to know of what lies below the waves? What complications do we fine when the above two points meet up with the eternal search by growing nations to reach for the seas to support their homeland's growing needs?   As populations demand more protein in their diets as per capita incomes rise, many nations see the open seas as the best place to fill that demand. With more competing for shrinking resources, can fishing be seen as a security threat? How does it impact coastal states' economic, food, and environmental security? What are the roles of transnational organized crime and state power in this competition. Is international law being strengthened to meet this challenge, or is the challenge undermining the rule of law?  More than last century's quaint "Cod Wars," does this have the potential trigger to broader, more serious conflict? Our guest to discuss this and more will be Scott Cheney-Peters, LCDR, USNR. Scott serves as a civil servant at the State Department, and is the founder of the Center for International Maritime Security (CIMSEC). Scott's active duty service at sea included the USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) and USS Oak Hill (LSD 41).  His shore duty before leaving active service was in Washington, DC, where he served as the editor of Surface Warfare magazine.  Scott graduated from Georgetown University with a B.A. in English and Government and holds an M.A. in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College. Scott researches issues affecting Asian maritime security and national security applications of emerging technology. 
Aug 14, 2016
Episode 344: Fallujah Awakens with Bill Ardolino - Best of
01:08:00
How did the US Marine Corps and local tribal leaders turn the corner in Fallujah?  Who were the people on the ground, Iraqi and American, who were the catalyst for the change that brought about a sea change in the tactical, operational, and strategic direction in Iraq? Our guest for the full hour to discuss that and more will be author Bill Ardolino. We will use as a base of our discussion his new book, Fallujah Awakens: Marines, Sheikhs, and the Battle Against al Qaeda. Bill is the associate editor of The Long War Journal. He was embedded with the U.S. Marine Corps, the U.S. Army, the Iraqi Army, and the Iraqi Police in Fallujah, Habbaniyah, and Baghdad in 2006, 2007, and 2008, and later with U.S. and Afghan forces in Kabul, Helmand and Khost provinces in Afghanistan. His reports, columns, and photographs have received wide media exposure and have been cited in a number of academic publications. He lives in Washington, DC. This episode first aired in May of 2013.
Aug 07, 2016
Episode 343: Best of the Union and Confederate Navies, with James M. McPherson
01:09:00
The War Between the States, the American Civil War - whichever description you prefer - this crucible on which our nation was re-formed has legion of books, movies, and rhetoric dedicated to it.  Most of the history that people know involves the war on land, but what of the war at sea? What are details behind some of the major Naval leaders of both sides that are the least known, but are the most interesting? What challenges and accomplishments were made by the belligerents in their navies, and how do they inform and influence our Navy today? Our guest for the full hour to discuss this and more will be James M. McPherson, the George Henry Davis '86 Professor of History Emeritus at Princeton University. He has published numerous volumes on the Civil War, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Battle Cry of Freedom, Crossroads of Freedom (which was a New York Times bestseller), Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution, and For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War, which won the Lincoln Prize. As a starting off point for the show, we will be discussing his book, War on the Waters: The Union and Confederate Navies, 1861-1865.
Jul 31, 2016
Episode 342: Turkey ,Erdoğan & its Miltary - with Ryan Evans
01:08:00
The events of the last week in Turkey brought that critically important nation in to focus, and we are going to do the same thing for this week's episode of Midrats. Turkey has a history of military coups as a byproduct of an ongoing drive to be a modern secular nation against the current of a deeply Islamic people. This week we are going to look at how Turkey found itself at another coup attempt, the response, and the possible impact for Turkey and its relationship with NATO, Russia, Europe, and its neighbors. Our guest to discuss this and more for the full hour will be Ryan Evansthe Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the web magazine, War on the Rocks. Ryan Evans is a widely published commentator and recovering academic. He deployed to Helmand Province, Afghanistan from 2010 – 2011 as a Social Scientist on a U.S. Army Human Terrain Team that was OPCON/TACON to the British-led Task Force Helmand. He has worked as assistant director at the Center for the National Interest, a research fellow at the Center for National Policy, and for the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence in London. He is a Fellow of the Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society and received his MA from the King's College London War Studies Department.
Jul 24, 2016
Episode 341: Russia in 2016 with Dr. Dmitry Gorenburg
01:10:00
From the sacking of the Baltic Fleet leadership, fighting in Syria, to developments from Central Asia to the Pacific - Russia in 2016 is on the move. To discuss the who, what, where, and why of Russia in 2016, our guest for the full hour will be Dr. Dmitry Gorenburg, Senior Analyst, CNA Strategic Studies, an Associate at Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, an author, and host of the Russian Military Reform blog. Dr. Gorenburg focuses his research on security issues in the former Soviet Union, Russian military reform, Russian foreign policy, ethnic politics and identity, and Russian regional politics. He is also the editor of the journals Problems of Post-Communism and Russian Politics and Law and a Fellow of the Truman National Security Project. From 2005 through 2010, he was the Executive Director of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies.
Jul 17, 2016
Episode 340: China's Maritime Militia with Andrew Erickson
01:12:00
As China continues to slowly use a variety of tools to claim portions of her maritime near-abroad in the South China Sea and elsewhere, part of their effort includes what can almost be considered naval irregular forces - a Maritime Militia. What is China doing with these assets, why are they being used, and what could we expect going forward as she taps in to a variety of assets to attempt to establish her authority? Our guest for the full hour to discuss this and more will be Dr. Andrew S. Erickson. Dr. Erickson is Professor of Strategy at the U.S. Naval War College (NWC)’s China Maritime Studies Institute (CMSI). Since 2008 he has been an Associate in Research at Harvard University’s John King Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, and is an expert contributor to the Wall Street Journal’s China Real Time Report (?????), for which he has authored or coauthored thirty-seven articles. He received his Ph.D. and M.A. in international relations and comparative politics from Princeton University and graduated magna cum laude from Amherst College with a B.A. in history and political science. He has studied Mandarin in the Princeton in Beijing program at Beijing Normal University’s College of Chinese Language and Culture; and Japanese language, politics, and economics in the year-long Associated Kyoto Program at Doshisha University. Erickson previously worked for Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) as a Chinese translator and technical analyst. He gained early experience working briefly at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, the U.S. Consulate in Hong Kong, the U.S. Senate, and the White House. Proficient in Mandarin Chinese and conversant in Japanese, he has traveled extensively in Asia and has lived in China, Japan, and Korea.
Jul 10, 2016
Episode 339: Best of Milan Vego and the Littorals
01:10:00
If the requirement is to be able to operate, fight, and win in the Littorals - is the Littoral Combat Ship the answer? Other nations have the same requirement - yet have come up with different answers. Are we defining our requirements properly in face of larger Fleet needs and the threats we expect? What platforms and systems need to be looked at closer if we are to have the best mix of capabilities to meet our requirements? Using his article in Armed Forces Journal, Go smaller: Time for the Navy to get serious about the littorals, as a stepping off place, our guest for the full hour will be Milan Vego, PhD, Professor of Joint Military Operations at the US Naval War College. This episode first appeard in April 2013.
Jul 03, 2016
Episode 338: Trans-national terrorism and the Long War with Bill Roggio
01:10:00
When the BREXIT dust settles one thing will remain – the Long War against Islamic terrorists. In a wide arch along its bloody edge, Islamic extremism continues to look for new opportunities for expansion, and within the borders of Dar al-Islam seeks to impose a retrograde view of Islam by destroying religious minorities, secular governments, and Islamic modernizers. This Sunday returning guest Bill Roggio will be with us for the full hour to discuss this and more. Bill is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, President of Public Multimedia Inc, a non-profit news organization; and the founder and Editor of The Long War Journal, a news site devoted to covering the war on terror. He has embedded with the US and the Iraqi military six times from 2005-08, and with the Canadian Army in Afghanistan in 2006. Bill served in the US Army and New Jersey National Guard from 1991-97.  
Jun 26, 2016
Episode 337: Best of the Navy in the US Civil War
01:05:00
I still believe that The War Between the States is a more accurate term - but to keep with the last vestiges of Northern cultural imperialism - we'll call it the Civil War. Though mostly a land war - the war at sea was critical in keeping the agriculturally based South from getting the money and material it needed to fight the North.  The war also saw innovation and concepts that echoed in every naval war since - and teaches the lessons of innovation. This Sunday's show will focus on that part - the role of both the United States and Confederate States Navy in this great conflict.  Our guest for the first hour is author, lecturer, and Civil War expert William Connery.  For the second half of the show we will have Matthew Eng, an Educator, Hampton Roads Naval Museum. This episode first aired in 2011.
Jun 19, 2016
Episode 336: 21st Century Knox and The Historical Imperative
01:11:00
As part of our ongoing series of interviews with the editors of each addition to the 21st Century Foundations series, we will have David Kohnen the editor of the latest in the series, 21st Century Knox, on for the full hour. Kohnen described the focus of the book, Commodore Dudley Wright Knox, USN, as someone who, "... challended fellow naval professionals to recognize the inherent relevance of history in examining contemporary problems. In his writings, Knox cited historical examples when strategists foolishly anticipated the unknown future without first pursuing a detailed understanding of the past." David Kohen earned a PhD with the Laughton Chair of Naval History at the University of London, King's College. He is the author of Commanders Winn and Knowles: Winning the U-boat War with Intelligence as well as other works.
Jun 12, 2016
Episode 335: War of 1812 in the Chesapeake: A Schoolhouse at Sea
01:09:00
Last month started what we hope will be a regular occurrence in the education of our future leaders; the US Naval Academy took 10 Midshipmen along with a group of instructors onboard the topsail schooners Pride of Baltimore and Lynx as part of an elective history course titled “War of 1812 in the Chesapeake: A Schoolhouse at Sea.” We will have two of the instructors for the cruise with us for the full hour, returning guest LCDR Claude Berube, USNR, instructor at the USNA Department of History, Director of the US Naval Academy Museum and organizer of the program, along with USNA leadership instructor, LT Jack McCain, USN who focused instruction during the cruise on naval hero Stephen Decatur. We will discuss the genesis of the program, the areas of instruction, the experience, along with the general topic of the War of 1812 in the Chesapeake. 
Jun 05, 2016
Episode 334: CAPT Thomas J. Hudner, Jr and David Sears Best of
01:06:00
Join us this Memorial Day for one of our favorite shows from our first year with guests; holder of the Medal of Honor from the Korean War Captain Thomas J. Hudner, Jr., USN (Ret), and the author of Such Men as These: The Story of the Navy Pilots Who Flew the Deadly Skies over Korea, David Sears as they talk about the role of Naval Aviation in the Korean War. Stuck between the Greatest Generation's high-water mark of World War II and the Baby Boomer's Vietnam War - the Korean War often gets lost in the shuffle despite its critical role is setting the foundation for the Cold War and our ultimate victory with the fall of the Berlin Wall. When the average person thinks of the role of Navy Air in the Korean War, they think of James Mitchner's novel and movie The Bridges of Toki-Ri. As usual, the real story is better than fiction. We will talk to CAPT Hudner about his and his shipmates experiences - and will finish up with David Sears exploring what he discovered in researching his book on what happened in the skies over Korea in the early 1950's.
May 29, 2016
Episode 333: The Battle of Jutland & the Time of the Battleship with Rob Farley
01:10:00
We are coming up on the 100-year anniversary of the Battle of Jutland.  Stop for a moment, close your eyes, and then tell me what image comes to mind.   If your image is of a huge mass of steel coming at you out from the mist at 25-knots belching out sun-blocking clouds of coal-smoke and burned black powder and searing fingers of flame pushing tons of armor-piercing explosives, then this is the show for you. For the full hour this Sunday we will have as our guest a great friend of the show, Robert Farley. We will not only be discussing the Battle of Jutland, but battleships in general in the context of his most recent book titled for clarity, The Battleship Book. Rob teaches defense and security courses at the Patterson School of Diplomacy at the University of Kentucky. He blogs atInformationDissemination andLawyersGunsAndMoney. In addition to The Battleship Book, he is also the author of, Grounded: The Case for Abolishing the United States Air Force.
May 22, 2016
Episode 332: August Cole, Author of Ghost Fleet
01:11:00
The best fiction doesn't just entertain, it informs and causes the reader to think. Our guest for the full hour this Sunday from 5-6pm Eastern is August Cole, the co-author with P.W. Singer of one of the best received military fiction novels on the last year, Ghost Fleet: An Novel of the Next World War. August is an author and analyst specializing in national security issues. He is a nonresident senior fellow at the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security at the Atlantic Council where he directs The Art of the Future Project, which explores narrative fiction and visual media for insight into the future of conflict. He is a non-resident fellow at the Modern War Institute at the United States Military Academy (West Point). He is also writer-in-residence at Avascent, an independent strategy and management consulting firm focused on government-oriented industries. He also edited the Atlantic Council science fiction collection, War Stories From the Future, published in November 2015. The anthology featured his short story ANTFARM about the intersection of swarm-warfare, additive manufacturing and crowd-sourced intelligence. He is a former reporter for the Wall Street Journal in Washington and an editor and a reporter for MarketWatch.com.
May 15, 2016
Episode 331: Mother's Day Best Of
01:07:00
For the career minded Naval professional, to have a chance for the greatest advancement and promotion, you have to push and push hard. The reputation you build in your first 10 years sets the tone for the rest. Except for very rare exceptions, there are no second chances. There are no pauses - one iffy set of orders - one poorly timed FITREP, and you are on an off-ramp. You must work harder, you must sacrifice, and if you are to have a family young, you need a very strong support structure. For men - there is always the RADM Sestak, USN (Ret) option; wait until post O6, then start. For women though, there are some hard biological facts. The average American woman gets married at age 26. For college-educated women the average age at first birth is ~30. If you want to have more than 2 kids, you need to start earlier. You need to time it right - and Mother Nature has her own schedule that doesn't often match yours. With women making up more of the military than ever, what are the challenges out there biological, cultural, psychological, and relationship wise to "making it happen?" You can't have it all - but how do you get the best mix you can? We will have two guests on to discuss. For the first half hour we will have Major Jeannette Haynie, USMCR, a 1998 graduate from the US Naval Academy, AH-1W Cobra pilot, and  currently a Reservist flying a desk at the Pentagon and working through graduate school - and fellow blogger over at USNIBlog. The second half of the hour, our guest will be Robyn Roche-Paull, US Navy Veteran, wife of a Chief, ICBLC, and author of the book Breastfeeding in Combat Boots.
May 08, 2016
Episode 330: Terrorists on the Ocean with CAPT Bob Hein, USN
01:11:00
When does the Long War go feet wet?   Given the track record of the preceding couple of decades, it was expected shortly after the start of this phase of the war after 911, that terrorists would take the war to sea. There was an incident now and then, but the threat never really played out to the extent we thought early on. Recent events point to the possibility that this may be changing, in perhaps ways not originally thought.  What is the threat? Where is it coming from, and how do you deter and defeat it? Our guest for the full hour to discuss will be CAPT Bob Hein, USN. We will use his latest article with CIMSEC, Terrorists on the Ocean: Sea Monsters in the 21st Century, as a starting out point for discussion. Captain Hein is a career surface warfare officer. Over the last 28 years, he has served on seven ships around the globe and has had the privilege of commanding two of them: the USS Gettysburg (CG 64), and the USS Nitze (DDG 94), He completed two tours as a requirements officer on the Navy staff for combatant modernization and for future logistics capabilities. He also served as the current operations officer for U.S. Fleet Forces Command. Additional tours include as an action officer on the Joint Staff, Joint Operations Directorate, and as Chief of Staff to the NATO Mediterranean Fleet. He is currently the Branch Head for Strategy on the OPNAV Staff (N513)  Captain Hein graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with a bachelor's in physical science. He also holds a master's in national security affairs and strategic studies from the Naval War College, is a graduate of the Joint Forces Staff College, and a former Navy Fellow at the Brookings Institution. He is also the proud father of two Surface Warfare Officers; it's a family business..
May 01, 2016
Episode 329: Spring Time Free For All
01:09:00
Spring is here, and from the Baltic to the Beltway, there is a lot to catch up with. Join Sal from "CDR Salamander" and EagleOne from "EagleSpeak" for a national security catch-up. As with all free-for-alls - phones are open. Give us a call!
Apr 24, 2016
Episode 328: Best of Expeditionary Fleet Balance
01:08:00
Do we have the right balance between strike as embodied by carrier air and expeditionary forces based around amphibious ships. What capability is most cost effective and gives the combatant commanders the most flexible assets in their area of responsibility? What is driving our Fleet structure, and do we have the right mix? What is informing our decisions, and what should be informing it? Our guest for the full hour will be Lieutenant Colonel James W. Hammond III, USMC (Ret), senior manager at WBB. Prior to retirement in 2005, he was Director, Commandant’s Staff Group.  As a starting point for our discussion, we will review his points in the FEB13 Proceedings article, "A Fleet Out of Balance." Previous published articles and letters in the Naval Institute Proceedings and the Marine Corps Gazette have dealt with Naval Surface Fire Support, Counterbattery support from the Sea, Electronic Attack, Revolution in Military Affairs, and Provisional Rifle Companies. This Episode first aired in March of 2013.
Apr 17, 2016
Episode 327: Best of the Big Man Theory
01:07:00
What is the impact of the right man at the right time with the right ideas? What is the impact of what seems to some as just a man, but to a son is all? Our 1st Guest will be LCDR BJ Armstrong author of, 21st Century Mahan: Sound Military Conclusions for the Modern Era . For the second half of the hour we will have Stephen Roderick author of, The Magical Stranger: A Son's Journey into His Father's Life. Armstrong is a Naval Aviator and an occasional naval historian. His articles have appeared in numerous journals including USNI's Proceedings and Naval History, Naval War College Review, Infinity Journal and others. He is a research student with the Department of War Studies at King's College, University of London. He was recently named the 2013-14 Morison Scholar by Naval History & Heritage Command and was awarded the 2013 Navy League Alfred Thayer Mahan Award. Rodrick is a contributing writer for The NYT Magazine and a contributing editor for Men's Journal. He has also written for New York, Rolling Stone, GQ, The New Republic, Men's Journal, and others.  Before becoming a journalist, Rodrick worked as a deputy press secretary for US Senator Alan J. Dixon. He hold a bachelors and masters in political science from Loyola University of Chicago and a masters in journalism from Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism.
Apr 10, 2016
Episode 326: Undersea Lawfare with RADM Johnson, USN (Ret) and CAPT Palmer, USN
01:10:00
Since its ascendency to the premier maritime power, the US Navy - especially in the area of undersea warfare - has been at the leading edge of using technology to get a military edge.  During the Cold War, significant and steady progress in the first two steps of the kill chain against submarines, location and tracking, made the prospect of engaging superior numbers of Soviet submarine forces manageable. We continue that tradition today, but to keep ahead of growing challenges, we have test. Build a little, test a little, learn a lot will stop dead in its tracks without testing in the real world. Computer simulation is only so good.  When it comes to submarines especially, you have to get in the water with them. Knowing our technological track record an operating a generation or two ahead of some potential adversaries - are there ways they can negate our edge - or at least buy time while they catch up? Are we vulnerable to potential challengers using national and international law against us? Undersea Lawfare? Our guests for the full hour to discuss will be Rear Admiral J. Michael "Carlos" Johnson, USN (Ret.) and Captain Michael T. Palmer, USN. As a stepping off point, we will be using their article in the latest Naval War College Review; UNDERSEA LAWFARE - Can the US Navy Fall Victim to This Asymmetrical Warfare Threat? RADM Johnson retired after 33 years of service as a naval aviator that included combat in Vietnam, Libya, the Balkans, and the Persian Gulf. He commanded the John F. Kennedy Battle Group, CVW-8, and VFA-86. Ashore he served on the staffs of the CNO as Director of Aviation Plans and Requirements) and the J3 of EUCOM.  Captain Palmer is an active-duty JAG and an adjunct assistant professor at ODU. Her has served as environmental counsel to the CNO; U.S. Fleet Forces Command; and Commander, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic. 
Apr 03, 2016
Episode 325: Best of NORTHCOM and Disaster Response
01:08:00
Everyone knows CENTCOM, many know PACOM or EUCOM ... but what about NORTHCOM? What is their role in national defense, and what special role does it have inside the United States - specifically in disaster response? This Sunday, September 9th from 5-6pm EST, our guest for the full hour to discuss this and more will be Brigadier General Donald A. McGregor, the Deputy Director of Operations for Domestic Operations, Headquarters, United States Northern Command, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. Show first played in Sept. 2012.
Mar 27, 2016
Episode 324: Best of Force Structure & Tipping Points
01:09:00
What happens when a global maritime power finds itself in a position where it can no longer sustain the global presence it once considered an essential requirement? The US Navy has been in a period of decline in both numbers and capability for awhile, and as budgetary reality sets in and burn out starts to hollow remaining capabilities - the decline is set to continue for at least another decade. How far the decline goes until stability sets in is unknown, but what is the best reaction to this reality? Are the lessons one can derive from history that can help policy makers shape direction and priority going forward? Our guest for the full hour to discuss will be Daniel J. Whiteneck, Ph.D. Dr. Whiteneck is a Senior Research Scientist at the Center for Naval Analyses. He has directed projects ranging from Tipping Point and the future of US maritime dominance, to the use of naval forces in deterrence and influence operations.  He also led studies on naval coalition operations and maritime security operations focusing on counter-piracy and counter-proliferation. Dr. Whiteneck deployed twice with Carrier Strike Groups for OEF and OIF.  His CNA field assignments included two tours on numbered fleet staffs, as well as field representative to the Commander of NATO Joint Command Lisbon in 2004-05.  He also did three tours in the Pentagon as CNA Scientific Analyst to N51, N31, and OPNAV DEEP BLUE. He held academic positions at the Seattle University, the University of Colorado, and the Air Force Academy, before joining CNA.  In addition to authoring a number of CNA studies over the past 14 years, he has published articles and book chapters on US and British global leadership and naval operations, NATO’s expansion and operations, and the role of conventional and strategic deterrence against terrorist networks and rogue states after 9/11. This episode first aired in July of 2013.
Mar 20, 2016
Episode 323: Building a Navy in Peace That Wins at War
01:12:00
The wartime record of the US Navy in under four years of combat from late 1941’s low point to the September 1945 anchoring in Tokyo Bay did not happen by chance. It did not happen through luck, or through quick thinking. It happened through a process of dedicated, deliberate, disciplined and driven effort over two decades in the intra-war period. What were the mindset, process, leadership, and framework of the 1920s and 1930s that was used to build the fleet and the concepts that brought it to victory in the 1940s? This week we are going to dive deep in this subject for the full hour with Captain C.C. Felker, USN, Professor of History at the US Naval Academy and author of, Testing American Sea Power: U.S. Navy Strategic Exercises, 1923–1940.
Mar 13, 2016
Episode 322: Radical Extremism, Visual Propaganda, and The Long War
01:10:00
In the mid-1930s, Leni Riefenstahl showed the power of the latest communication technology of her time to move opinion, bring support, and intimidate potential opponents. The last quarter century's work of Moore's Law in the ability to distribute visual data world wide in an instant has completely change the ability of even the smallest groups with the most threadbare budgets to create significant influence effects well inside traditional nation states' OODA loop. How are radical extremists using modern technology, especially in the visual arena, to advance their goals, who are their audiences, and how do you counter it? Using as a starting point the Strategic Studies Institute and U.S. Army War College Press's publication, Visual Propaganda and Extremism in the Online Environment, Jihadology's ISIS and the Hollywood Visual Style, and  Small Wars Journal's ISIS and the Family Man; our guests will be Dr. Cori E. Dauber, Professor of Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Mark Robinson, the Director of the Multimedia Laboratory at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Mar 06, 2016
Episode 321: The Year of the Monkey in the South China Sea w/Toshi Yoshihara
01:11:00
Claims hundreds of year old in the South China Sea are being acted on today. Ethnic tensions that date back to recorded time are returning to the surface with renewed importance. Regardless of what may be happening in the Middle East or Europe, China and the nations that border the South China Sea have their own set of priorities they will pursue this year. To discuss the present state of play in the area and the events to look for as the year unfolds will be returning guest of the show, Dr. Toshi Yoshihara from the Naval War College.   Professor Toshi Yoshihara holds the John A. van Beuren Chair of Asia-Pacific Studies and is an affiliate member of the China Maritime Studies Institute at the Naval War College. Before joining the College faculty, he was a visiting professor in the Strategy Department at the Air War College. Dr. Yoshihara has also served as an analyst at the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis, RAND, and the American Enterprise Institute. He holds a Ph.D. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, an M.A. from the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, and a B.S.F.S. from the School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University. He is co-author of Red Star over the Pacific: China’s Rise and the Challenge to U.S. Maritime Strategy and other books related to maritime concerns in national defense policy.  
Feb 28, 2016
Episode 320: Late Feb Free For All
01:08:00
We're back live after a mid-winter break! If there were some topics you'd like us to cover, or want to call in with a question for the hosts - now is your time. We have a full and open hour. Call in at the number above or join in the chatroom as we catch up on the developments in the national security arena this month. From the Med, to the South China Sea, to shipbuilding, to Syria, and whatever else strikes our fancy, we'll be there.
Feb 21, 2016
Episode 319: Best of STRAT
01:11:00
Looking for a "Best of" this Valentine's Day, I realized there is a guest we need to bring back on for an update. With Russia being Russia, you have to think Big Things that make Big Booms. From a bit more than three years ago, They're back; ICBM, IRBM, SRBM. Strategic forces. Long range strike and long range counter-air. Some real old ones are coming back in to the lexicon: ABM. Some new ones have joined the party as well - ASBM and super sonic ASCM. Of course, they never really left us. After the post-Soviet softness of the 1990s and the decade plus of COIN and small wars - the big toys are coming back. Old and new. From Russia, China, Iran, & India - technology is reaching back out and spreading out. Where does that leave the US military in 2012 (NB: original air date of this show)? Few leaders under the age of 45 even remember operating in the Cold War disciplines that peer technology required; range, EMCON, defense in depth. Global reach will require more and better AAW, deep strike, I&W - it will also require a renewed understanding that for a Fleet at sea - the enemy gets a vote, and a shot. Our guest for the full hour to discuss in detail will be Will Dossel, CAPT USN (Ret), a former E-2C NFO with over 3500 hours and 525 traps in the E-2C and other TACAIR. Retiring after 26 years, he held a number of Navy and Joint operational and staff positions afloat and ashore including VAW squadron command, CVN navigator, Deputy Director for Strategy and Policy, Navy Planner, and Reconnaissance Systems Officer. Currently employed as a senior analyst with a top 5 defense firm, he has been heavily involved in the policy and operational side of ballistic and cruise missile defense the past seven years.
Feb 14, 2016
Episode 318: Best of Bob Work on Global Maritime Power
01:11:00
From shortly after he was The Under and prior to moving on to DepSecDef, Bob Work came on to discuss the broad picture. When one hangs up the uniform after decades of service, but still wants to contribute to their nations national security needs, what paths can that take? How does one find a path forward, and what are the keys to success? In a budgetary challenge not seen by the US military in two decades, what are the important "must haves" that need to be kept at full strength, and what "nice to haves" may have to be put in to the side? What are the legacy ideas, concepts, and capabilities that the Navy and Marine Corps need to make sure they maintain mastery of, and what new things are either here or are soon on the way that we need to set conditions for success now? Our guest to discuss this and more will be Robert O. Work, Col. USMC (Ret), now Deputy Secretary of Defense, and former Undersecretary of the Navy from 2009-2013. After 27-years of active duty service in the Marine Corps, Work joined the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA), where he focused on defense strategy and programs, revolutions in war, Department of Defense transformation, and maritime affairs. He also contributed to Department of Defense studies on global basing and emerging military missions; and provided support for the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review.  During this time, Work was also an adjunct professor at George Washington University, where he taught defense analysis and roles and missions of the armed forces.  In late 2008, Work served on President Barack Obama’s Department of Defense Transition Team.   He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Illinois; and has Masters Degrees from the University of Southern California, the Naval Postgraduate School; and Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. 
Feb 07, 2016
Episode 317: Naval Presence and National Strategy, with Jerry Hendrix
01:07:00
From the same school as "If you want peace, prepare for war," a global maritime power must maintain a presence at sea. It must design a national strategy in line with its economic capability and political will, and make sure it mans, trains, and equips its navy in line with the design. If presence is a critical function of a navy, how is it best accomplished, what are the tradeoffs, and how does it impact friends, competitors, and those sitting on the fence? Our guest for the full hour to discuss this and more will be Dr. Henry J. Hendrix, Jr, CAPT USN (Ret). Jerry is a Senior Fellow and the Director of the Defense Strategies and Assessments Program at the Center for a New American Security. When on active duty, his staff assignments include tours with the Chief of Naval Operation’s Executive Panel (N00K), and the OSD Office of Net Assessment From 2011-2012 he served as the Director and Designated Federal Officer of the Secretary of the Navy’s Advisory Panel.  He also contributed to the 2012 Department Posture Statement to the Congress.  Following the fall, 2011 Navy Inspector General’s Report on the state of the Naval History and Heritage Command, he was verbally ordered by the Secretary to assume the position of Director of Naval History.  Hendrix previously served as the Navy Fellow to the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University. He has been awarded a Bachelor Degree in Political Science from Purdue University, Masters Degrees from the Naval Postgraduate School (National Security Affairs) and Harvard University (History) and received his doctorate from King’s College, London (War Studies).   
Jan 31, 2016
Episode 316: Getting Female Combat Integration Right With LtCol Kate Germano
01:07:00
How do we get combat integration of women right? The quest has moved well away from "if" and in to "how." With an apparent broad disconnect between biological realities, cultural norms, and political desires, what is the right way for military leaders to carry out their orders while ensuring that combat effectiveness is maintained. Our guest to discuss this and related issues for the full hour will be Lieutenant Colonel Kate Germano, USMC. Commissioned in August 1996, LtCol Germano has served for over 19 years on active duty in the United States Marine Corps.  A combat veteran, she additionally participated in numerous operational and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief deployments.  Ashore, her duties including a year as the Marine Aide to the Secretary of the Navy.  She was selected for command twice, most recently as the commanding officer of the Marine Corps’ only all-female unit, the 4th Recruit Training Battalion. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Goucher College, where she majored in History with a pre-law emphasis.  In 2011, she graduated with distinction from the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, earning her Masters of Military Science degree.  She is actively engaged in the struggle to end gender bias in the military, and is a vocal proponent for equal rights and the elimination of double standards and lowered expectations for female conduct and performance.
Jan 24, 2016
Episode 315: Where Next for our Ground Forces, with Paul Scharre
01:11:00
A decade and a half of ongoing ground combat under their belt, what are the hard-won lessons we need to keep, and what should be left behind? Looking forward, what are the challenges our ground forces need to make sure they are prepared to meet?  From growing conventional strength from nations who desire to challenge our nation's global position, to the unending requirements for Counter Insurgency excellence, what is the balance? Our guest to discuss this and more will be Paul Scharre, senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security and a former Army Ranger with service in Iraq and Afghanistan.  
Jan 17, 2016
Episode 314: 6th Anniversary Expanded Panel on One Question
01:12:00
Yes Shipmates ... we are now in our 6th year of Midrats! To mark the day, we are going to have a radically different format as a thank you gift to our listeners. The focus of the show today is one question; "Where do you see as the most critical thing to watch for Navy and Marine Corp issues in 2016." To get the answer, we are bringing on a series of prior guests one at a time in their own segment. To kick off we bring back our fellow Midrats plankowner co-host Raymond Pritchett, founder of Information Dissemination. Following Raymond will be Bill Roggio, managing editor of The Long War Journal; James R. Holmes, Professor of strategy and policy at the Naval War College; The Original Chapomatic CDR Chap Godbey, USN (terminal leave); author and former National Defense University Professor James S. Robbins; CTR1(IDW/SW) Lucien Gauthier, USN; and Lieutenant Matthew Hipple, USN. Live radio. One question. Seven men. Two drink minimum.
Jan 10, 2016
Episode 313: Fleet Architecture and Strategic Efficiency with Barney Rubel
01:08:00
How do you balance cost, risk, peacetime habits and wartime requirements in designing and using the world's largest Navy? How do we maximize the most the utility of our platforms now, and create a future fleet best suited for what is coming up? Our guest for the full hour to discuss will be Barney Rubel, CAPT, USN (Ret.). Robert C. “Barney” Rubel is a retired naval officer. From 2006 to 2014, he was Dean of the Center for Naval Warfare Studies at the US Naval War College. Prior to assuming this position, he was Chairman of the Wargaming Department. A thirty-year Navy veteran, he received his commission through the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps at the University of Illinois. He subsequently became a light attack naval aviator, flying the A-7 Corsair II and later the F/A-18 Hornet. He commanded Strike Fighter Squadron 131 and also served as the Inspector General at U.S. Southern Command.
Jan 03, 2016
Episode 312: Best of Sea Swap & Small Unit Leadership
01:08:00
While good ideas are often forgotten, bad ideas seem to pop up over an over again - especially the sexy ones that sound so good, but never seem to work well. The answer, of course, is to try again and hope for a better result. Some would argue that sea swap is one of those sexy ideas that just isn't that practical in actual operation. A good idea? One of the good ideas mostly forgotten is that of the Junior Officer in significant positions of authority. LTJG as XO? LT as Skipper? Sure... used to be common; now not so much outside the MIW and PC community. What are the different challenges for the officer on a smaller warship? As JO command opportunities shrink, what is our Navy losing? Our guest for the full hour to discuss this and anything else the squirrels deliver will be Lieutenant Matthew Hipple, USN. We'll start the conversation from his article in the July 2013 Proceedings, Sea Swap - Its a Trap - then we'll be off to the races from there. LT Hipple is a surface warfare officer who graduated from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service. He is president of CIMSEC, and hosts of the Sea Control podcast. While his opinions may not reflect those of the United States Navy, Department of Defense, or US Government, he wishes they did.
Dec 27, 2015
Episode 311: Best of NORTHCOM and Disaster Response
01:07:00
From a 2012 show; everyone knows CENTCOM, many know PACOM or EUCOM ... but what about NORTHCOM? What is their role in national defense, and what special role does it have inside the United States - specifically in disaster response? Our guest for the full hour to discuss this and more will be Brigadier General Donald A. McGregor, in 2012 the Deputy Director of Operations for Domestic Operations, Headquarters, United States Northern Command, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado.
Dec 20, 2015
Episode 310: Fleet Battle School
01:15:00
How do you design a game that has practical tactical application to the naval tactician?  Even more ambitious, how do you make one accessible and understandable with the goal of making it a mobile wargame for eventual use by sailors and warfare commands. For today's show we will discuss one of the projects of the CNO's Rapid Innovation Cell (CRIC), the game "Fleet Battle School." Our guests to discuss this game, gaming in general, and its practical application will be three individuals involved in the project; LT Matthew Hipple, Paul Vebber and Chris Kona. Chris Kona is a warfare analyst at Naval Undersea Warfare Center. A former submarine officer in the U.S. Navy, he was project lead for the CRIC’s Fleet Battle School wargame project. Paul works for the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Mission Area Director for Undersea Warfare and is lead game designer on the project. LT Matthew Hipple, USN In addition to his day job as your quasi-standard issue Surface Warfare Lieutenant, Matthew is President of the Center for international Maritime Security the host of the Sea Control Podcast, but today he primarily comes to us as a member of the CRIC.   
Dec 13, 2015
Episode 309: Law and the Long War
01:09:00
When a nation of laws goes to war, their laws go with them.  In a decade and a half of fighting terrorism, the laws that define our actions overseas and at home have morphed as the threat and strategy for dealing with it has. From fighting ISIS, operating with and in failed states, dealing with the expanding "refugee crisis," to keeping the balance between security and safety - what has the legal shop been up to? Our guest for the full hour is returning guest Charles J. Dunlap, Jr., Major General, USAF (Ret.), Professor of the Practice of Law, and Executive Director, Center on Law, Ethics and National Security at Duke University. General Dunlap’s teaching and scholarly writing focus on national security, international law, civil-military relations, cyberwar, airpower, counter-insurgency, military justice, and ethical issues related to the practice of national security law.
Dec 06, 2015
Episode 308: Best of EMP
01:06:00
With a lot of new listeners in the last year, I thought I would bring back a show from our first year, 2010. When you mention the possibility of an Electro Magnetic Pulse attack (EMP) - people have a reaction of, "What?" - either that or they get all fidgety or roll their eyes. Is the EMP threat trick or treat? Our guests will be Jason Sigger, defense policy analyst, opinion writer and blogg'r for the first half of the hour. For the second half of the hour, James Carafano, Ph.D., Deputy Director, The Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies and Director, Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation.
Nov 29, 2015
Episode 307: Our Own Private Petard - Procurement & Strategy with Robert Farley
01:10:00
This Sunday we are going to look at the big pixels that supports the entire national security infrastructure above it. Using his recent article in The National Interest, The Real Threat to America's Military (And It's Not China, Russia or Iran), we will tackle the greatest challenge of a world power - those things it has no one else to blame for. Procurement, strategy, and the choices we make. The run of the last 30 years of weapons development and strategic foresight has not been a very good one. Why?
Nov 22, 2015
Episode 306: Author Claude Berube on his next book; Syren's Song
01:08:00
This Sunday for the full hour our guest will be author Claude Berube to discuss his second Connor Stark novel, Syren's Song, from Naval Institute Press. From the Amazon page; "Syren's Song is the second novel featuring Connor Stark, and it promises to be just as engaging asThe Aden Effect. This geopolitical thriller begins when the Sri Lankan navy is unexpectedly attacked by a resurgent and separatist Tamil Tiger organization. The government issues a letter of marque to former U.S. Navy officer Connor Stark, now the head of the private security company Highland Maritime Defense. Stark and his eclectic compatriots accept the challenge only to learn that the Sea Tigers who crippled the Sri Lankan navy are no ordinary terrorists." We will also discuss the craft of writing, how emerging real world events can influence the writing of fiction, and as we usually do with Claude, perhaps some other interestiing topics that crop up in the course of our conversation.
Nov 15, 2015
Episode 305: Fall Free For All
01:11:00
It is that time of the year ... time for a Fall Free For All on Midrats. No guests, no agenda, open phones, open topics, open mic. Join Sal from "CDR Salamander" and EagleOne from "Eaglespeak" for a full hour as we dive in to the national security topics of the day with a maritime bent - or whatever topics break above the background noise. This is your chance by calling in or by throwing it out in the live chat room, to bring up the topic you wish we would cover, or to just play stump the chump.
Nov 08, 2015
Episode 304: Best of the Littoral with Milan Vego
01:10:00
If the requirement is to be able to operate, fight, and win in the Littorals - is the Littoral Combat Ship the answer? Other nations have the same requirement - yet have come up with different answers. Are we defining our requirements properly in face of larger Fleet needs and the threats we expect? What platforms and systems need to be looked at closer if we are to have the best mix of capabilities to meet our requirements? Using his article from 2013 in Armed Forces Journal, Go smaller: Time for the Navy to get serious about the littorals, as a stepping off place, our guest for the full hour will be Milan Vego, PhD, Professor of Joint Military Operations at the US Naval War College. NB: Show first aired APR13.
Nov 01, 2015
Episode 303: China, the Pivot, and the WESTPAC Challenge - With James Kraska
01:09:00
As 2015 starts its final act, where is China heading? From her Great Wall of Sand in the South China Sea, to economic stress, and her increasingly nervous neighbors, where does the USA and her allies need to adjust to China’s expanding footprint globally, and where do they need to stand firm? Our guest for the full hour to discuss this and more will be James Kraska. Dr. James Kraska is Professor in the Stockton Center for the Study of International Law, where he previously served as Howard S. Levie Chair in International Law from 2008-13. During 2013-14, he was a Mary Derrickson McCurdy Visiting Scholar at Duke University, where he taught international law of the sea. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Center for Oceans Law and Policy at the University of Virginia School of Law, Guest Investigator at the Marine Policy Center, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, and a Senior Associate at the Naval War College's Center on Irregular Warfare and Armed Groups.  He developed the first course on maritime security law at the Naval War College, which he also taught at The Hague Academy of International Law and University of Maine School of Law. Commander Kraska served as legal adviser to joint and naval task force commanders in the Asia-Pacific, two tours in Japan and in four Pentagon major staff assignments, including as oceans law and policy adviser as well as chief of international treaty negotiations, both on the Joint Staff.  Kraska earned a J.D. from Indiana University, Bloomington, Maurer School of Law and J.S.D. and LL.M. from University of Virginia School of Law; he also completed a master’s degree at the School of Politics and Economics, Claremont Graduate School. In 2010, Kraska was selected for the Alfred Thayer Mahan Award for Literary Achievement by the Navy League of the United States.
Oct 25, 2015
Episode 302: Best of Fallujah Awakens
01:08:00
How did the US Marine Corps and local tribal leaders turn the corner in Fallujah?  Who were the people on the ground, Iraqi and American, who were the catalyst for the change that brought about a sea change in the tactical, operational, and strategic direction in Iraq? Our guest for the full hour to discuss that and more will be author Bill Ardolino. We will use as a base of our discussion his new book, Fallujah Awakens: Marines, Sheikhs, and the Battle Against al Qaeda. Bill is the associate editor of The Long War Journal. He was embedded with the U.S. Marine Corps, the U.S. Army, the Iraqi Army, and the Iraqi Police in Fallujah, Habbaniyah, and Baghdad in 2006, 2007, and 2008, and later with U.S. and Afghan forces in Kabul, Helmand and Khost provinces in Afghanistan. His reports, columns, and photographs have received wide media exposure and have been cited in a number of academic publications. He lives in Washington, DC.
Oct 18, 2015
Episode 301: Confessions of a Major Program Manager, w/ CAPT Mark Vandroff, USN
01:10:00
One man's chore is another man's hobby. Another man's dread, is the other's fantasy. Such, in a fashion, is Program Management in the Navy. To be a good one, step one is to be self-aware. From his latest article in USNI's Proceedings, Confessions of a Major Program Manager, Captain Mark Vandroff, USN just lays it out; "Face it: Everyone hates MPMs. For the budget-conscious officials in the Pentagon, our products are never cheap enough. For technologists both inside and outside the Department of Defense who want military progress to be state of the art, our products are never fielded fast enough. For the fleet users and their advocates, products could always be more capable, usable, or maintainable. Industry gets upset when we treat the taxpayers’ money like it is worth saving rather than help Wall Street with its next earnings report. Our uniformed brothers and sisters, support scientists, contractors, and comptrollers all loathe us—and if you aren’t in one of those groups, you probably quit reading already." Coming back to Midrats, we will have the author on for the full hour to discuss the dark art of the program manager, what it takes to be one, and why at the end of the day someone would - really - come to love it all. Captain Vandroff is a 1989 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. With 10 years as a surface warfare officer and 16 years as an engineering duty officer, he is currently the major program manager for Arleigh Burke class destoyers.
Oct 11, 2015
Episode 300: USS Neosho (AO-23),USS Sims (DD-409) & the Battle of the Coral Sea
01:08:00
Wars are full of accidental battles, unexpected horror, and the valor of ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. Often lost in the sweeping stories of the Pacific in WWII, there is a story that - if not for one man's inability to properly recognize one ship from another - should have never have happened. Because of that one man's mistake, and a leader's stubborn enthusiasm to double down on that mistake, the lived of hundreds of men were lost - and possibly the course of a pivotal early battle changed. Our guest for the full hour will be author Don Keith to discuss the tale of the USS Neosho (AO-23) and USS Sims (DD-409) at the Battle of the Coral Sea in his latest book, The Ship That Wouldn't Die: The Saga of the USS Neosho- A World War II Story of Courage and Survival at Sea. Don is an award-winning and best-selling author of books on a wide range of topics. In addition to being a prolific writer, he also has a background in broadcast journalism from on-the-air personality to ownership. Don’s web site is www.donkeith.com
Oct 04, 2015
Episode 299: Best of USCG and the Arctic with James Holmes
01:07:00
There is a fair bit of talk about the rush for the arctic for economic and strategic reasons - and where there is international interest on the seas, the nations involved need to think about what is the best way to secure their interests. While the initial thought might be Navy - is the natural answer really the Coast Guard? If the USCG is the right answer, is it trained, manned and equipped for the job? What does it need to do in order to fulfill its role - and why may it be the best answer to the question - who will show the flag up north? Our guest this Sunday for the full hour from 5-6pm EST will be U.S. Naval War College Professor James R. Holmes. As a starting point for our conversation, we will use his latest article in Foreign Policy: America Needs a Coast Guard That Can Fight: As the Arctic becomes an arena for conflict, the United States’ forgotten naval force will need to cowboy up.
Sep 27, 2015
Episode 298: Warrior Writers Exhibit at the Naval Academy Museum
01:07:00
Last week, the Naval Academy Museum opened a new exhibit “Warrior Writers: The U.S. Naval Institute" that will run through Jan. 31, 2016. The exhibit features literary work primarily from junior officers during their active duty service since the 1870’s. The majority of the literature focuses on controversies, issues, and trends of the time and is accompanied by over 100 artifacts including writings, weapons and tools from the authors. The artifacts are from the combined collections of the U.S. Naval Academy Museum and the U.S. Naval Institute as well as some on loan from recent authors. Our guest to discuss the exhibit and what it has to offer will be the LCDR Claude Berube, USNR – author, regular Midrats guest, and more importantly in this context, the director of the museum.
Sep 20, 2015
Episode 297: The Outlaw Ocean with Ian Urbina
01:09:00
Stowaways, poaching, piracy, smuggling, and murder - the global commons of the open ocean is as wild of a place as it is vast. Using as a baseline his series on lawlessness on the high seas in the New York Times, The Outlaw Ocean, our guest for the full hour to discuss the anarchy of crime and violence on the high seas in the 21st Century will be Ian Ubina. Ian is a reporter for The New York Times, based in the paper’s Washington bureau. He has degrees in history from Georgetown University and the University of Chicago, and his writings, which range from domestic and foreign policy to commentary on everyday life, have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, Harper’s, and elsewhere. 
Sep 13, 2015
Episode 296: Best of Norman Friedman
01:10:00
We've had a lot of new listeners in the last three years, so it was time to bring back Norman. What makes a class of warship a success, a failure, or a missed opportunity? What fundamentals consistently result in a success, and what common threads need to be avoided in order to not repeat the mistakes of the past? What decision and results we have seen in previous classes of warships are we seeing repeated now, and what are some options for the Navy going forward? For warship classes from right before WWII to the present, to discuss this and more will be returning guest, Dr. Norman Friedman. In addition to numeral articles through the years, Dr. Friedman writes a monthly column, "World Naval Developments" in the US Naval Institute's magazine, Proceedings and is the author of many books including U.S. Destroyers: An Illustrated Design History; Unmanned Combat Air Systems; and Naval Weapons of World War One. As a starting point for our discussion we will be using Dr. Friedman's article in US Naval Institute's magazine, Naval History,Judging the Good from the Bad.
Sep 06, 2015
Episode 295: NATO Goes Back to Fundamentals - With Jorge Benitez
01:09:00
From the Balitic to the Black Sea, the last year has seen the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) return to its roots - the defense of Europe from Russian aggression. The names and players have changes significantly since a quarter century ago - but in many ways things look very familiar. To discuss NATO's challenge in the East in the second decade of the 21st Century for the full hour will be Dr. Jorge Benitez. Jorge is the Director of NATOSource and a Senior Fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security. He specializes in NATO, European politics, and US national security, and previously served as Assistant for Alliance Issues to the Director of NATO Affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He has also served as a specialist in international security for the Department of State and the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis. Dr. Benitez received his BA from the University of Florida, his MPP from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and his PhD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.
Aug 30, 2015
Episode 294: Best of Lessons from the Hanoi Hilton
00:55:00
Are there lessons one can learn from the most exceptional edges of the military experience that can be useful to the civilian world? Was there something from the experience of American prisoners of war imprisoned at the "Hanoi Hilton" during the Vietnam War that had to do with their success in their subsequent careers? Our guests to discuss for the full hour will be Peter Fretwell and Taylor Baldwin Kiland, authors of Lessons from the Hanoi Hilton: Six Characteristics of High-Performance Teams.
Aug 24, 2015
Episode 293: Russia and the Nuclear Shadow: 2015’s Revivals with Tom Nichols
01:11:00
They never really went away, but for almost 20 years the world had a holiday from an old challenge and a new one; Russia and the prospect of nuclear war. Some thought, and more hoped that with the end of the Cold War, a newer world order would emerge that would enable an era of stability and peace. In a way, it did – but only in spots and for short periods of time. While for the last 15 years most of the attention was focused on the expansion of radical Islam, two not unrelated events began to wax. From the ashes of the Soviet Union, fed by a charismatic leader and a resource extraction economy, Russian began to reassert itself in a manner consistent with the last 500 years of its history, and in parallel – the boogyman of the second half of the 20th Century began to grow as well; the proliferation and possible use nuclear weapons. To discuss this and more for the full hour will be Dr. Tom Nichols, Tom is a professor at the Naval War College and at the Harvard Extension School, as well as a Senior Associate of the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs in New York City and a Fellow of the International History Institute at Boston University. Previously he was a Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC. Before coming to the War College, he taught international relations and Russian affairs for many years at Dartmouth College and Georgetown University. In Washington, he was personal staff for defense and security affairs in the United States Senate to the late Senator John Heinz of Pennsylvania.  He received his PhD from Georgetown, an MA from Columbia University, and the Certificate of the Harriman Institute at Columbia.  He's also a five-time undefeated Jeopardy! champion. He played in the 1994 Tournament of Champions, is listed in the Jeopardy! Hall of Fame. He played his final match in the 2005 Ultimate Tournament of Champions.
Aug 16, 2015
Episode 292: The Force of the Future w/Acting Under SECDEF Brad R. Carson
01:08:00
If people are your most important asset, as the hardware people look to a future of F-35s, SSBN(X), and the FORD Class CVN, what are the steps being taken to set of the personnel structure to address future requirements? Our guest to discuss this and more for the full hour will be Brad R. Carson, Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. Mr. Carson was appointed by President Obama to serve as the Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness on April 2, 2015.  He currently serves as the 31st Under Secretary of the United States Army and Chief Management Officer of the Army.   He has previously served as General Counsel of the Department of the Army Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense, member of the U.S. Congress representing the 2nd Congressional District of Oklahoma, academia, and a lawyer in private practice. His military service includes a deployment in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM December 2008 until December 2009, as a United States Navy intelligence officer.  Mr. Carson holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Baylor University, Phi Beta Kappa. He received a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from the University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.  Mr. Carson also holds a J.D. from the University of Oklahoma.
Aug 09, 2015
Episode 291: Chattanooga, Omar, Nigeria & Kurdistan, Long War Hour w/Bill Roggio
01:10:00
This summer, the terrain shifted in the long war that we thought we needed to bring back one of our regular guests, Bill Roggio, to discuss in detail for the full hour. Bill is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Bill is also the President of Public Multimedia Inc, a non-profit news organization; and the founder and Editor of The Long War Journal, a news site devoted to covering the war on terror. He has embedded with the US and the Iraqi military six times from 2005-08, and with the Canadian Army in Afghanistan in 2006. Bill served in the US Army and New Jersey National Guard from 1991-97.
Aug 02, 2015
Episode 290: Best of USS COLE (DDG-67)
01:07:00
A reminder that this war predates 11 September 2001, we just didn't want to admit it. Our guest this Sunday for the full hour will be Kirk Lippold, CDR USN (Ret), Commanding Officer of the USS COLE (DDG-67) at the time of her attack 12 OCT 2000 in the port of Aden, Yemen - and author of the new book, a first hand account of the attack from the Commander's perspective, Front Burner: Al Qaeda's Attack on the USS Cole.
Jul 26, 2015
Episode 289: Best of Lawfare and the Long War
01:06:00
Never in our history have we fought a war where law, lawyers, and layers of legalese have impacted all levels of the war, Political, Strategic, Operational, and Tactical. Why do we find ourselves here and in what direction are we going?   From Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and even domestically, the legal definition of the use of military power is evolving. To discuss the impact of Lawfare for the full hour with Sal from the blog "CDR Salamander" and EagleOne from "EagleSpeak" will be David Glazier, CDR USN (Ret.).   David is a Professor of Law at Layola Law School in Los Angles.  Prior to Layola, he was a lecturer at the University of Virginia School of Law and a research fellow at the Center for National Security Law, where he conducted research on national security, military justice and the law of war. He also served as a pro bono consultant to Human Rights First. Before attending law school, Glazier served twenty-one years as a US Navy surface warfare officer. In that capacity, he commanded the USS George Philip (FFG-12), served as the Seventh Fleet staff officer responsible for the US Navy-Japan relationship, the Pacific Fleet officer responsible for the US Navy-PRC relationship, and participated in UN sanctions enforcement against Yugoslavia and Haiti. Glazier has a JD from the University of Virginia School of Law, an MA from Georgetown University in government/national security studies, and holds a BA in history from Amherst College.
Jul 19, 2015
Episode 288: The Between the Ears Challenge
01:08:00
Are the growing feelings of crisis, confusion and strategic drift in the national security arena not so much the result of external challenges, but the result of poor thinking and intellectual habits on our part? Using his article in The National Interest, “The Real Problem with the American Military” as a starting point, our guest for the full hour will be Dakota Wood, Senior Research Fellow on Defense Programs at The Heritage Foundation. Dakota L. Wood, LtCol USMC (Ret.), Senior Research Fellow for Defense Programs at The Heritage Foundation. Dakota served two decades in the U.S. Marine Corps. Following retirement, Mr. Wood served as a Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. Most recently, Mr. Wood served as the Strategist for the U.S. Marine Corps’ Special Operations Command. Mr. Wood holds a Bachelor of Science in Oceanography from the U.S. Naval Academy; a Master’s degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the College of Naval Command and Staff, U.S. Naval War College.
Jul 12, 2015
Episode 287: Best of NATO Looking Forward
01:06:00
So much has happened since we had this interview 2.5-yrs ago focused on NATO, but the points are still spot on. Well worth the revisit, especially if you missed it the first time. NATO continues to test what kind of alliance it is after the fall of the Soviet Union roughly a quarter-century ago. Where does the alliance stand, and what direction is it going? Are the roles of the member states changing? Where is the alliance strongest, and where does it need the most improvement? Our returning guest for the full hour to discuss this and more will be Dr. Daniel Goure, is Vice President with the Lexington Institute. Dr Goure has held senior positions in both the private sector and the U.S. Government, as a member of the 2001 Department of Defense Transition Team, two years as the director of the Office of Strategic Competitiveness in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, as a senior analyst on national security and defense issues with the Center for Naval Analyses, SAIC, SRS Technologies, R&D Associates, and System Planning Corporation. Prior to joining the Lexington Institute, Dr. Goure was the Deputy Director, International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He has consulted for the Departments of State, Defense and Energy. He has taught or lectured at the Johns Hopkins University, the Foreign Service Institute, the National War College, the Naval War College, the Air War College, and the Inter-American Defense College. Since 2001, Dr. Goure has been an adjunct professor in graduate programs at Georgetown University, and the National Defense University since 2002. Dr. Goure holds Masters and Ph.D. degrees in international relations and Russian Studies from Johns Hopkins University and a B.A. in Government and History from Pomona College.
Jul 05, 2015
Episode 286: A Restless Russia and its Near Abroad with Dr. Dmitry Gorenburg
01:10:00
It is time to catch up with Putin's Russia, her domestic developments, involvement in Ukraine, and the changes she is forcing on border nations and the near abroad. To discuss this and more, for the full hour we will have returning guest Dr. Dmitry Gorenburg, Senior Analyst, CNA Strategic Studies, an Associate at Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, an author, and host of the Russian Military Reform blog. Dr. Gorenburg focuses his research on security issues in the former Soviet Union, Russian military reform, Russian foreign policy, ethnic politics and identity, and Russian regional politics. He is also the editor of the journals Problems of Post-Communism and Russian Politics and Law and a Fellow of the Truman National Security Project. From 2005 through 2010, he was the Executive Director of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies.
Jun 28, 2015
Episode 285: Best of Pacific Air in WWII
01:05:00
Join Sal from "CDR Salamander" & EagleOne from "EagleSpeak" with their returning guest, author David Sears for the full hour to discuss his latest book, Pacific Air: How Fearless Flyboys, Peerless Aircraft, and Fast Flattops Conquered the Skies in the War with Japan. For WWII and aviaition fans - this is a show you do not want to miss!
Jun 21, 2015
Episode 284: 200th Anniversary of Waterloo with John Kuehn
01:13:00
18 June will be the 200th Anniversary of the battle of Waterloo, fought in present-day Belgium.    Just in time, regular guest to Midrats, John Kuehn has his latest book out, Napoleonic Warfare: The Operational Art of the Great Campaigns where he covers the operational level analysis of European warfare from 1792 to 1815,  including the tactics, operations, and strategy of major conflicts of the time. More than just a description of set piece battle, there is a discussion of naval warfare, maneuver warfare, compound warfare, and counterinsurgency. We've got him for the full hour ... we should be able to get to most of it. Dr. John T. Kuehn is the General William Stofft Chair for Historical Research at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. He retired from the U.S. Navy 2004 at the rank of commander after 23 years of service as a naval flight officer in EP-3s and ES-3s. He authored Agents of Innovation (2008) and co-authored Eyewitness Pacific Theater (2008) with D.M. Giangreco, as well as numerous articles and editorials and was awarded a Moncado Prize from the Society for Military History in 2011. His previous book was, A military History of Japan: From the Age of the Samurai to the 21st Century.
Jun 14, 2015
Episode 283: The Foreign and Defense Policy Terrain for the '16 Election
01:12:00
As the world has set its own course as we have been planning other things, some believe that the 2016 election will be more focused on foreign policy and defense issues that any of the candidates thought would be the case at the end of last year. What will be the above-the-fold topics? The baseline was set by the '16 budget battle last year and the winding down and a post-mortum on the sequestration gambit of the last couple of years. As proxies in the emerging discussion, to join the old bulls on the Hill, are there emerging new leaders on defense issues elected in the '14 cycle? Where do declared or expected candidates for President for both parties  stand on policy and present operations? To discuss this and more in the foreign policy and defense arena will be returning guest, Mackenzie Eaglen, Mackenzie is a resident fellow in the Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies at the American Enterprise Institute, where she works on defense strategy, defense budgets, and military readiness. She  has worked on defense issues in the House of Representatives and Senate and at the Pentagon in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and on the Joint Staff. In 2014, Eaglen served as a staff member of the congressionally mandated National Defense Panel, a bipartisan, blue-ribbon commission established to assess US defense interests and strategic objectives. This followed Eaglen’s previous work as a staff member for the 2010 congressionally mandated bipartisan Quadrennial Defense Review Independent Panel, also established to assess the Pentagon’s major defense strategy. A prolific writer on defense-related issues, she has also testified before Congress. She has an M.A. from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and a B.A. from Mercer University.
Jun 07, 2015
Episode 282: Summer Kick-off Free For All
01:10:00
Midrats is back live this Sunday at 5-pm Eastern; tanned, rested and ready for the summer. Join EagleOne from EagleSpeak and Sal from CDR Salamander for the full hour as they cover the major national security and maritime issues that are set to dominate conversations as the kids get out of school and that moving trucks start to roll. From China's sand islands, the Islamic States expansion, the response to a revanchist Russia, to the usual goings on with the Potomac Flotilla - we'll cover it all.
May 31, 2015
Episode 281: Best of Sammy B,; No Higher Honor
01:07:00
On Friday, 22 May 2015 a great warship was decommissioned, the USS SAMUEL B. ROBERTS (FFG-58). In her honor, we will replay our show on the day that defined her. Little has changed since the USS SAMUEL B. ROBERTS (FFG-58) struck a mine, and in retribution, the US Navy launched Operation PRAYING MANTIS. The tactical and operational aspects of each, as well as combat leadership, remain constant even while the tools may have changed a bit. To discuss this an more, our guest for the full hour will be Brad Peniston, author of "No Higher Honor: Saving the USS Samuel B. Roberts in the Persian Gulf," released in 2013 by the Naval Institute Press in paperback and on Kindle.
May 24, 2015
Episode 280: Best of NATO in Afghanistan, With Stephen Saideman
01:06:00
Lost to many whose news sources in the USA consists of the major newspapers and the standard networks, for most of the last dozen+ years, the conflict in Afghanistan has not been a USA-Centric battle; it has been a NATO run operation. When the Commander of the International Security Assistance Force has been an American 4-star, the visuals can be misleading. For most of the last decade, American forces were dominate in only one region of Afghanistan, the east. Other NATO nations from Italy/Spain in the west, Germany in the North, and Commonwealth nations and the Dutch in the south. More important than the actual numbers involved, it was the Rules of Engagement, caveats, and the fickle nature of national politics that drove what effects those forces had on the ground. The good, the bad, and the ugly of modern coalition warfare was all in view for all in Afghanistan, but outside small circles, has yet to be fully discussed. Our guest for the full hour will be Stephen Saideman. Stephen holds the Paterson Chair in International Affairs at Carleton University’s Norman Paterson School of International Affairs.  He has written The Ties That Divide: Ethnic Politics, Foreign Policy and International Conflict and For Kin or Country: Xenophobia, Nationalism and War (with R. William Ayres) and NATO in Afghanistan: Fighting Together, Fighting Alone (with David Auerswald), and other work on nationalism, ethnic conflict, civil war, and civil-military relations.  Prof. Saideman spent 2001-02 on the U.S. Joint Staff working in the Strategic Planning and Policy Directorate as part of a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellowship.  He writes online at OpenCanada.org, Political Violence at a Glance, Duck of Minerva and his own site (saideman.blogspot.com).  He also tweets too much at @smsaideman.
May 17, 2015
Episode 279: Air Diplomacy, Air-Sea Battle, & the PAC Pivot Best of
01:06:00
Excuse the host's audio quality ... but the guest's audio is perfect. For America's natural position as a naval and aerospace power, are we thinking correctly on how to best leverage our resources and strenghts? How should we be using sea power and air power to create the right effects during peace, yet be poised to have the best utility at war? Are there concepts, habits, and systems that have had their time and should be moved aside for newer tools and ideas? Our guest for the full hour will be Dr. Adam Lowther, Senior Fellow at the Center for the National Interest in Washington, DC. He is the author of numerous books and articles on national security topics and previously served in the US Navy.
May 10, 2015
Episode 278: Betrayal, leadership, loyalty, and redemption: Task Force VIOLENT
01:09:00
Loyalty goes both ways, the old saying goes. One shows loyalty up the chain, because one expects the same in the other direction.  They system, however, is built upon the timbers of the imperfect human condition.  What happens when you have conflicting narratives, but the system that you thought was there to serve you as you served it decides to take the counter-narrative without question?  Is there a point where a leader accepts that there is no loyalty above, and as a result, has to redouble his loyalty to those under him? The story of Task Force VIOLENT is one of inspired unit level leadership, and nightmarishly twisted priorities up the chain; of brave men caught in a modern day, real time, Kafkaesque circle. Following up on his 5-part series, Task Force Violent: The Unforgiven - the Tragic Betrayal of and Elite Marine Corps Commando Unit, our guest for the full hour will be MilitaryTimes journalist Andrew deGrandpre.
May 03, 2015
Episode 277: Manpower, Modernization, and Motivation - an Hour with VADM Moran
01:10:00
For the Sailor, nothing is more immediate, more "now" and of more impact to their personal and professional lives than their next set of orders. For our Navy, nothing defines present operational performance, the development of future leaders, and ensuring success at war for the next few decades than personnel policy. Our guest for the full hour this Sunday from 5-6pm Eastern will be the Chief of Naval Personnel, Vice Admiral Bill Moran, USN. We will discuss the drive to man the Fleet to appropriate levels now, while looking at ways to modernize the personnel system to provide greater choice, flexibility and transparency for our Sailors and the commands they serve. We will also look at the ongoing discussion about how to best keep with one hand a firm hand on what has worked, while with a free hand, reach for those things that will ensure that today's officers and enlisted personnel have a Navy that not only is meeting its needs, but takes in to consideration the individual goals and priorities of its personnel.  
Apr 26, 2015
Episode 276: 21st Century Ellis - Edited by B.A. Friedman
01:10:00
The next book from USNI's 21st Century Foundations series is 21st Century Ellis, edited by Capt. B.A. Friedman, USMC. This book covers the work of Lt. Col. "Pete" Ellis, USMC who in 1921 predicted the coming war with Japan. Included in this collection are some o f his articles on counterinsurgency and conventional war based on his experiences in WWI and the Philippines. Capt. Friedman will be with us for the full hour to discuss this and more. Capt. B.A. Friedman is a field artillery officer in the United States Marine Corps currently stationed at Camp Lejeune, NC. He is pursuing a master's degree in national security and strategic studies through the Naval War College.
Apr 19, 2015
Episode 275: Best of John C. Harvey, Jr, ADM USN (Ret.)
01:07:00
We are frmly in the middle of the 2nd decade of the 21st Century. What path were we put on at the start 21st Century that got us here? How do we evaluate the right decisions, the neutral decisions, and the less than optimal calls of the last decade and a half? What lessons can we take away now in order to make decisions to best position the Navy on the approaches to 2030? Our guest for the full hour this Sunday to discuss this an much more will be Admiral John C. Harvey, Jr, USN (Ret).  Almost a year since he joined the retired ranks, when in uniform Admiral Harvey was one of the of the more engaged, visible, and accessible Flag Officers of his generation - and in retirement he continues to be an influential voice. Admiral Harvey was born and raised in Baltimore, MD and is a 1973 graduate of the U S Naval Academy. In his thirty-nine year Navy career, he specialized in naval nuclear propulsion, surface ship and carrier strike-group operations and Navy-wide manpower management/personnel policy development. He commanded the USS DAVID R RAY (DD 971), the USS CAPE ST GEORGE (CG 71), the THEODORE ROOSEVELT Strike Group/CCDG-8 and also served as the Navy’s 54th Chief of Naval Personnel and as the Director, Navy Staff.  Prior to his retirement from the Navy in November, 2012, Admiral Harvey served as Commander, US Fleet Forces Command. He now makes his home in Vienna, Virginia where he resides with his wife, Mary Ellen.  
Apr 12, 2015
Episode 274: Best of Kenya and East Africa
00:07:00
With Kenya back in the news, this Easter I thought it would be good to bring back one of our shows from last year. This Sunday we're going focus the full hour discussing the eastern part of Africa with a returning guest Alex Martin who will give us a first hand report from a personal and professional perspective. Alex graduated with distinction from the U.S. Naval Academy and went on to lead infantry, reconnaissance and special operations units in multiple combat deployments. Upon leaving active duty, Alex started a private maritime security company that served commercial shipping interests in the Indian Ocean. In July 2013 Alex joined Nuru International and currently serves as a Foundation Team Leader in Kenya.
Apr 06, 2015
Episode 273: Partnership, Influence, Presence and the role of the MSC
01:07:00
This week we will return to the “unsexy but important” topic, specifically that of “alternative naval platforms and missions.” In part, the concepts that underlay Jerry Hendrix’s “Influence Squadrons” are in practice on a smaller scale today. In most cases they are being conducted using Military Sealift Command assets and the Navy Reserve. To focus on this part of our maritime power, our guest for the full hour will be Commander Chris Rawley, USNR. President of Periplus Holdings in his day job, he is also Commanding Officer of the Military Sealift Command Afloat Mission Command and Control Units in the Navy Reserve, in addition to being Vice President of the Center for International Maritime Security.
Mar 29, 2015
Episode 272: Naval Professionalism; up, down, and back again - with Will Beasley
01:09:00
What are the intellectual responsibilities of the naval professional? What is the canon sound thought in the maritime realm is based? Historically, what has been done, what has worked, and what should we be doing? Should the naval professional just focus on his narrow area of expertise, or does he need to have a more interdisciplinary approach to his intellectual development? Our guest to discuss this and more for the full hour will be William M. Beasley, Jr.,  associate attorney with Phelps Dunbar, LLP in Mississippi. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Mississippi with a BA and MA in history where his graduate thesis examined the impact of popular culture, inter-service rivalry, civil-military relations, strategic planning, and defense unification on the "Revolt of the Admirals" of 1949. Mr. Beasley received his JD from the University of Mississippi School of Law, where he served on the editorial board of the Mississippi Law Journal. Prior to joining Phelps Dunbar, Mr. Beasley worked as a research consultant with the Potomac Institute in Arlington, Virginia. He is a member of the Center for International Maritime Security (CIMSEC) and his work on maritime history and security has appeared in Proceedings, The Strategy Bridge, and USNI Blog.  
Mar 22, 2015
Episode 271: Red Flag and the Development of USAF Fighter Pilots
01:08:00
In parallel efforts that in the Navy which led to Top Gun, the US Air Force looked hard at the lessons of air to air combat in the Vietnam War and brought forward "Red Flag," Moving beyond the technical focus, they looked to training and fundamentals to bring back a primacy of combat skills. Our guest for the full hour to discuss this and his new book, The Air Force Way of War: U.S. Tactics and Training after Vietnam, will be Dr. Brian D. Laslie, Deputy Command Historian, North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM).  A historian of air power studies, Dr. Laslie received his Bachelor’s degree in history from The Citadel: The Military College of South Carolina, his Master’s from Auburn University Montgomery in 2006 and his Doctorate from Kansas State University in 2013. Dr. Laslie was Honorably Discharged from the United States Air Force in 2007 as a Captain after serving as a logistics officer, doctrine instructor, and Action Officer to the Commander of Air University.
Mar 15, 2015
Episode 270: Best of Post Retirement Lessons
01:11:00
When a few years turns in to many. When all of a sudden you seem to be the oldest guy in the room. When you have but days of memories of your kids and in the blink of an eye they are a year older - eventually everyone on active duty reaches the point where it is time to pack the sea bag one more time and put it in the attic. It is time to retire or leave active duty. Better or worse - it is time to go. What are the paths someone follows to reach that point? What decisions and inputs lead to that point where you say, "It's someone else turn." What are the important things you learn in the process of leaving going out that you wish you knew earlier? What are the myths about transitioning to the civilian world - and what are the no-kidding hard truths? How do you interact differently with the civilian world? What must someone leave behind, and what are those things that if you want them or not, they will always be with you? To discuss this and more on the subject of "what's next" when you leave active duty will be out panel with returning guest Commander James H. Ware,  USN (Ret.)., and former active duty Sergeant Marcus Penn, USMC.
Mar 08, 2015
Episode 269: National Strategy and the Navy's Proper Role in it
01:11:00
The role of the Navy and Marine Corps should be to provide ready and capable forces to the joint commanders. Outside of that, what is the proper role of the sea services in designing a more national strategy? What is the state of a national and a maritime strategy, who are the different players in the discussion, and what is the proper way forward? Our guest to discuss this and more for the full hour will be Captain Robert C. "Barney" Rubel USN, (Ret.), Professor Emeritus, US Naval War College. Captain Rubel, now retired, was previously the Dean of the Center for Naval Warfare Studies at the US Naval War College from 2006 to 2014.  Prior to arriving at NWC, he was a thirty-year Navy veteran, with experience as e a light attack naval aviator, flying the A-7 Corsair II and later the F/A-18 Hornet, commanded VFA-131, and also served as the Inspector General at U.S. Southern Command.  He is a graduate of the Spanish Naval War College in Madrid and the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, RI., and has an undergraduate degree in liberal arts from the University of Illinois and a master’s degree in national security and strategic studies from the US Naval War College. Captain Rubel continues to serve as a member of the CNO Advisory Board and is active in local American Legion activities.
Mar 01, 2015
Episode 268: 21st Century Sims
01:12:00
Who was "The Gun Doctor," the officer who over a century ago led the revolution in naval gunnery, the development of torpedo boat and destroyer operations, and during WWI served as the senior US naval commander in Europe?  More than the man instrumental in the establishment of the convoy system that helped keep the United Kingdom from starvation in the conflict, following the war his leadership as president of the Naval War College he help to established the creative and innovative Navy that in the interwar period developed the operating concepts for the submarines and aircraft carriers that led the victory in World War II. What are the lessons of a century ago taught by Admiral William S. Sims, USN that are critically important for the serving officer today? Our guest for the full hour to discuss this latest book, 21st Century Sims, will be returning guest, LCDR Benjamin Armstrong, USN. Benjamin "BJ" Armstrong is a naval aviator who has served as a helicopter pilot flying amphibious search and rescue and special warfare missions and as the Officer-in-Charge of a Navy helicopter gunship detachment deployed for counter-piracy and counter-terror operations. He is a PhD Candidate in the Department of War Studies, King's College, London.
Feb 22, 2015
Episode 267: Samuel B. Roberts and Operation Praying Mantis, best of
01:17:00
Narrow seas, unseen mines, punitive expeditions, and "come as you are" ASUW on the sea and in the air. Yes, it has been a quarter-century, but little has changed since the USS SAMUEL B. ROBERTS (FFG-58) struck a mine, and in retribution, the US Navy launched Operation PRAYING MANTIS. The tactical and operational aspects of each, as well as combat leadership, remain constant even while the tools may have changed a bit. To discuss this an more, our guest for the full hour will be Brad Peniston, author of "No Higher Honor: Saving the USS Samuel B. Roberts in the Persian Gulf," recently released by the Naval Institute Press in paperback and on Kindle.
Feb 15, 2015
Episode 266: East Africa & CJTF-HOA with Major General Wayne W. Grigsby Jr., USA
00:39:00
Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) based out of Djibouti is playing the long game with the nations of east Africa, our allies, governmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, and other concerned parties to not only help build a better future for the nations in that corner of the continent, but to ensure the security of the American homeland. Our guest to discuss their role and more will be Major General Wayne W. Grigsby Jr., United States Army - Commander CJTF-HOA.
Feb 08, 2015
Episode 265: Bryan McGrath on carriers, distributed lethality, & 2015 overview
01:09:00
For those who have seen the Great Carrier Debate between Jerry Hendrix and Bryan McGrath, one thing was clear - both gentlemen had only scratched the surface of their thoughts on the topic. At about the same time, the concept of "distributed lethality" had seeped its way in to the conversation. To examine both topics and to review the national security issues you should expect to see in 2015 will be returning guest, Bryan McGrath. Bryan McGrath is the founding Managing Director of The FerryBridge Group LLC (FBG), a niche consultancy specializing in naval and national security issues, including national and military strategy, strategic planning, executive communications, strategic communications and emerging technologies. Prior to starting FBG, Bryan founded a national security consulting line of business for Delex Systems, where he directly supported a number of senior clients in the Navy and the Army.  Additionally, he provided critical insight on Navy policy and acquisition preferences to commercial clients, including major defense contractors and small technology firms negotiating the "post-earmarks" era.     A retired Naval Officer, Bryan spent 21 years on active duty including a tour in command of USS BULKELEY (DDG 84), a guided-missile destroyer homeported in Norfolk, Virginia.   In his spare time, Bryan is a well-published commentator in the fields of national and maritime strategy, with policy papers published at major think tanks, and articles placed in nationally marketed periodicals.  He is a frequent panelist at symposia that deal with naval issues and is frequently quoted by major press organizations. Bryan earned a BA in History from the University of Virginia in 1987, and an MA in Political Science (Congressional Studies) from The Catholic University of America. He is a graduate of the Naval War College.
Feb 01, 2015
Episode 264: The American Military in WWI
01:17:00
Well inside an officer's career arch, we saw the American Navy move from the Great White Fleet, The Spanish American War to the age of the Dreadnought. Our Army, from ad-hoc volunteer units to a professional army going head-to-head with the finest professional army on the planet. How did our military and our Navy build up to WWI, and how did that experience inform the evolution of our national defense infrastructure. Our guest for the full hour will be Dr. John T. Kuehn , the General William Stofft Chair for Historical Research at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College CGSC). He retired from the U.S. Navy 2004 at the rank of commander after 23 years of service as a naval flight officer flying both land-based and carrier-based aircraft. He has taught a variety of subjects, including military history, at CGSC since 2000. He authored Agents of Innovation (2008), A Military History of Japan: From the Age of the Samurai to the 21st Century (2014), and co-authored Eyewitness Pacific Theater (2008) with D.M. Giangreco as well as numerous articles and editorials and was awarded a Moncado Prize from the Society for Military History in 2011. His latest book, due out from Praeger just in time for the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo is Napoleonic Warfare: The Operational Art of the Great Campaigns.
Jan 25, 2015
Episode 263: Best of the Union and Confederate Navies
01:06:00
The War Between the States, the American Civil War - whichever description you prefer - this crucible on which our nation was re-formed has legion of books, movies, and rhetoric dedicated to it. Most of the history that people know involves the war on land, but what of the war at sea? What are details behind some of the major Naval leaders of both sides that are the least known, but are the most interesting? What challenges and accomplishments were made by the belligerents in their navies, and how do they inform and influence our Navy today? Our guest for the full hour to discuss this and more will be James M. McPherson, the George Henry Davis 86 Professor of History Emeritus at Princeton University. He has published numerous volumes on the Civil War, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Battle Cry of Freedom, and Crossroads of Freedom (which was a New York Times bestseller).  As a starting off point for the show, we will be discussing his book, War on the Waters: The Union and Confederate Navies, 1861-1865.
Jan 18, 2015
Episode 262: The fight against malaria with RADM Tim Ziemer, USN (Ret.)
01:11:00
Recently, when one hears of disease and Africa, if you only listened to the media, then what would come to mind would be Ebola. That is not the real challenge in Africa. There is a disease that not only kills, it impedes economic growth, interferes with good governance, and as a result is just another catalyst to conflict there and in South Asia. To give a better understanding of the ongoing impact of malaria and the fight against it, our guest will be Rear Admiral Tim Ziemer, USN (Ret.) Rear Admiral Tim Ziemer was appointed in June 2006 to lead the President's Malaria Initiative (PMI). The PMI strategy is targeted to achieve Africa-wide impact by halving the burden of malaria in 70 percent of at-risk populations in sub-Saharan Africa, approximately 450 million people, thereby removing malaria as a major public health problem and promoting economic growth and development throughout the region. PMI is a collaborative U.S. Government effort, led by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in conjunction with the Department of Health and Human Services (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), the Department of State, the White House, and others. As coordinator, Rear Admiral Ziemer reports to the USAID administrator and has direct authority over both PMI and USAID malaria programs.
Jan 11, 2015
Episode 261: Midrats 5th Anniversary Show Free For All
01:10:00
This Sunday join EagleOne and myself for our 5th Anniversary Show. No guests, no agendas - just us talking about what 2014 had to teach us, and looking towards what 2015 may have in store for everyone in the national security arena. This is a great time if you ever wanted to call in to ask either one of us a question on a topic you wish we would address ... or just to say "hi." Just be warned, we might ask you a question back. It's what we do.
Jan 04, 2015
Episode 260: Best of Offshore Balancing the Indian Ocean
01:06:00
What is real, and what is a mirage? Can something be a cost effective strategic option, or a fool's errand? As outlined by our guests U.S. Naval War College Associate Professors James R. Holmes and Toshi Yoshihara in their latest work in the periodical Asian Security: An Ocean Too Far: Offshore Balancing in the Indian Ocean; the United States is beset by war weariness after over a decade of war and a half century plus of global commitments. It is seductive to think of retiring from continental Eurasia, but if history calls us back - returning in times of systemic conflict would be problematic – even in the relatively accessible rimlands of Western Europe and East Asia. In a part of the world with the planet's largest democracy - offshore balancing is close to impossible in the Indian Ocean. As it turns out, offshore balancing in the Indian Ocean may be no balancing at all.
Dec 28, 2014
Episode 259: The Islamic State - rise & world view, with Craig Whiteside
01:13:00
The Islamic State, ISIL/ISIS/Daesh - whatever people may call them - are not a flash in the pan. Not quite insurgency, not quiet terrorist organization, not quite nation state - what they are is a presence that has resilience, trans-national support, and has a long range plan. What is their background, how have they evolved, and how do they view the world? Our guest for the full hour to discuss this and more will be Craig Whiteside, LTC USA (Ret.), Associate Professor of Theater Security Decision Making for the Naval War College Monterey at the Naval Postgraduate School. Craig came to the War College from Washington State University, where he was a PhD student in Political Science and taught American Government and National Security Affairs. Prior to returning to school, Professor Whiteside was a career infantry officer in the U.S. Army with service in the airborne infantry. He is an Iraq war veteran and served with the Geronimos of the 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry in Iskandariyah as the battalion executive officer during 2006-7. He finished his military service as the Professor of Military Science at Washington State. Professor Whiteside is currently working on his dissertation investigating the political worldview of the Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS). He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy and the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.
Dec 21, 2014
Episode 258: COIN, Cyber, and Lawfare: the continuity of war in to 2015
01:14:00
With the coming of the new year, some things have not changes and the old challenges are still with us; most waxing - only a few waning. This Sunday we have returning guest Charles J. Dunlap, Jr., Major General, USAF (Ret.),  Professor of the Practice of Law, and Executive Director, Center on Law, Ethics and National Security at Duke University.  We will cover the board spectrum of the evolution of Counter Insurgency, warfare in the cyber domain, and the ever-present impact of law on the conduct of war.   
Dec 14, 2014
Episode 257: Clausewitz - now more than ever, with Donald Stoker
01:08:00
He is quoted often, correctly and incorrectly, but few have actually read his works in full - and even fewer know much about the man himself, Major General Carl von Clausewitz, Kingdom of Prussia. Out guest for the full hour will be Donald Stoker, author of the new book, Clausewitz: His Life and Work. Stoker is a  Professor of Strategy and Policy for the U.S. Naval War College's program at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. His previous book, The Grand Design: Strategy and the U.S. Civil War, won the distinguished Fletcher Pratt award for the best non-fiction Civil War book of 2010. Past winners include Bruce Catton and Shelby Foote.
Dec 07, 2014
Episode 256: Best of the Navy in the US Civil War
01:07:00
The US Civil War saw innovation and concepts that echoed in every naval war since - and teaches the lessons of innovation. This Sunday's show will focus on that part - the role of both the United States and Confederate States Navy in this great conflict.  Our guest for the first hour is author, lecturer, and Civil War expert William Connery.  For the second half of the show we will have Matthew Eng, an Educator at the Hampton Roads Naval Museum.
Nov 30, 2014
Episode 255: Commanding the Seas; the Surface Force with Bryan Clark from CSBA
01:10:00
How do we build the future surface fleet to ensure our forces maintain the ability to access to all regions of the world's oceans that our vital to our national interests? Our guest to discuss this and the broader issues related to our surface forces will be Bryan Clark, Senior Fellow at Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA). A basis for our conversation will be his recent study for CSBA, Commanding the Seas: A Plan to reinvigorate U.S. Navy Surface Warfare, where he articulates the operational concept of “offensive sea control” as the new central idea to guide evolution of the U.S. surface force. This idea would refocus large and small surface combatant configuration, payloads and employment on sustaining the surface force’s ability to take and hold areas of ocean by destroying threats to access such as aircraft, ships and submarines rather than simply defending against their missiles and torpedoes. Prior to joining CSBA in 2013, Bryan Clark was Special Assistant to the Chief of Naval Operations and Director of his Commander’s Action Group. He served in the Navy headquarters staff from 2004 to 2011, leading studies in the Assessment Division and participating in the 2006 and 2010 Quadrennial Defense Reviews. His areas of emphasis were modeling and simulation, strategic planning and institutional reform and governance. Prior to retiring from the Navy in 2007, he was an enlisted and officer submariner, serving in afloat and ashore including tours as Chief Engineer and Operations Officer at the Navy’s nuclear power training unit. Mr. Clark holds a Master of Science in National Security Studies from the National War College and a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Philosophy from the University of Idaho.
Nov 23, 2014
Episode 254: John A. Nagl; 13 Years in to the War
01:10:00
13 years in to a the long war, what have re relearned, mastered, forgotten, and retained for future use? What have we learned about ourselves, the nature of our latest enemy, and the role of our nation? What have those who have served learned about their nation, their world, and themselves? Iraq, Afghanistan, the Islamic State, and the ever changing global national security ecosystem, how are we now, and where are we going? Our guest for the full hour to discuss this and more will be returning guest John Nagl, LTC US Army (Ret.) D.Phl, using he most recent book Knife Fights: A Memoir of Modern War in Theory and Practice as the starting point for our discussion.  Dr. Nagl is the Ninth Headmaster of The Haverford School. Prior to assuming responsibility for the School in July 2013, he was the inaugural Minerva Research Professor at the U.S. Naval Academy. He was previously the President of the Center for a New American Security. He graduated from the United States Military Academy Class  in 1988 and served as an armor officer for 20 years. Dr. Nagl taught at West Point and Georgetown University, and served as a Military Assistant to two Deputy Secretaries of Defense. He earned his Master of the Military Arts and Sciences Degree from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and his doctorate from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar.  Dr. Nagl is the author of Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife: Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam and was on the team that produced the U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual.   
Nov 16, 2014
Episode 253: The Fleet we Have, Want, and Need - with Jerry Hendrix
01:14:00
What is the proper fleet structure for the USN as we design our Navy that will serve its nation in mid-Century? Join us for a broad ranging discussion on this topic and more with returning guest, Henry J. Hendrix, Jr, CAPT USN (Ret.), PhD. Fresh off his recent retirement from active duty, Jerry is a Senior Fellow and the Director of the Defense Strategies and Assessments Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). A Naval Flight Officer by training, his staff assignments include tours with the Chief of Naval Operation’s Executive Panel (N00K), the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy (Force Development) and the OSD Office of Net Assessment.  His final position in uniform was the Director of Naval History.  Hendrix also served as the Navy Fellow to the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University.  He has  a Bachelor Degree in Political Science from Purdue University, Masters Degrees from the Naval Postgraduate School (National Security Affairs) and Harvard University (History) and received his doctorate from King’s College, London (War Studies).   He has twice been named the Samuel Eliot Morison Scholar by the Navy Historical Center in Washington, DC, and was also the Center’s 2005 Rear Admiral John D. Hays Fellow. He also held the Marine Corps’ General Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr. Fellowship. He authored the book Theodore Roosevelt’s Naval Diplomacy and received a number of awards, including the United States Naval Institute’s Author of the Year and the Navy League’s Alfred T. Mahan Award for Literary Achievement.
Nov 09, 2014
Episode 252: Officers walking the line and knowing their place
01:08:00
Where do senior uniformed leaders draw the line between acknowledging the primacy of civilian leadership to make policy, and maintaining enough distance from the politics to retain their independence of the politics and the politicians? Is there a point where someone can pass from being a "good soldier" to simply becoming a useful tool of ambitious politicians. Our guest this Sunday to discuss this and more will be J.D. Gordon, CDR USN (Ret.)  We will be using his latest article, "Obama's top military advisers: 'Useful idiots' or good military officers?" as a starting off point before broadening the discussion. J. D. Gordon was a career Navy public affairs officer with 20 years of active duty service, and is the former Defense Department spokesman for the Western Hemisphere in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, serving under both Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary Robert Gates from 2005 to 2009. Gordon also served as the Vice President, Communications and Chief Foreign Policy & National Security Adviser to former Republican Presidential Candidate Herman Cain's 2012 campaign.  During the 2010 Congressional campaign cycle, Gordon arranged speaking events for former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Recently, Gordon has also been a Senior Fellow and Communications Adviser to numerous think tanks and foundations, including Atlas Economic Research Foundation, Center for a Secure Free Society, Americas Forum, Atlantic Bridge, Center for Security Policy, Let Freedom Ring and the Liberty & Freedom Foundation. Gordon, a columnist to Fox News and The Washington Times since 2010, has regularly appeared as a national security and foreign policy commentator in television and radio outlets in English and Spanish languages.
Nov 02, 2014
Episode 251: DEF2014 wrapup, & the budding question of veteran entitlement
01:38:00
A special time and format this week with two different topics and guests. Moving for just this week to a 6:30pm Eastern start time, our guest for the first 30-minutes will be Lieutenant Ben Kohlmann, USN – Founder of Disruptive Thinkers, F/A-18 pilot, member of the CNO’s Rapid Innovation Cell, and Co-Founder Defense Entrepreneurs Forum. He will be on to give us an overview of DEF2014 that ends this weekend. For the following hour our, guest will be Major Carl "Skin" Forsling, USMC. He will be on to discuss some of the broader issues he raises in his article earlier this month, Unpacking The Veteran Entitlement Spectrum, and perhaps some more as well. Skin is a Marine MV-22B pilot and former CH-46E pilot. He has deployed with and been an instructor in both platforms. He has also served as a military advisor to an Afghan Border Police battalion. He is currently Executive Officer at Marine Medium Tiltrotor Training Squadron 204, training Osprey pilots and aircrew for the Marine Corps and Air Force. He earned his batchelor's degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and his master's from Boston University. His writing has appeared in the Marine Corps Gazette, USNI Proceedings, Small Wars Journal, and Approach, among others (available at carlforsling.tumblr.com). Follow him on Twitter @carlforsling.
Oct 26, 2014
Episode 250: Fall Free For All
01:38:00
Believe it or not, this week is our 250th Episode of Midrats.  In celebration, we're clearing the intellectual table, going to open the mic and see where it takes us.  From Kobane, to Coastal Defense, to Ebola and everything in between and sideways that's been in the national security news as of late, plus whatever else breaks above the ambient noise - we'll be covering it. As with all Midrats Free For Alls, we are also opening the phone lines for our regular listeners who want to throw a topic our way. Come join us Sunday as we try to figure out how we got to 250.
Oct 19, 2014
Episode 249: Best of Lawfare
01:07:00
A great episode from 2.5 years ago. The last decade has brought two aspects of the law and its interaction with the U.S. military in to sharp focus: first "Lawfare" in the application of force overseas, and second the proper constitutional role of the U.S. military internal to the United States and towards its civilian population. What has changed, where do we stand today, and where are are we headed? Our guest will be Charles J. Dunlap, Jr., Major General, USAF (Ret.), the Executive Director, Center on Law, Ethics and National Security and a Visiting Professor of the Practice at Duke University School of Law.
Oct 12, 2014
Episode 248: Anti-Access Area-Denial (A2AD) with Sam Tangredi
01:18:00
Power projection, sea control, access denial, and the ability to impose your will on the enemy from the sea; or depending on your perspective, prevent them from doing the same. If the comparative advantage of American military power includes the use of the world's oceans as a basing area from projecting power and national will, how can other nations design systems and tactics to trump that advantage? What are in place now, and what can we expect to see in the near future? Our guest for the full hour will be Sam J. Tangredi, a defense strategist whose studies of future warfare prompted Defense Department officials to label him “the Navy’s futurist.” His thirty-year naval career included command at sea, service in key strategic planning positions in the Pentagon and overseas, earning a PhD in international relations, and research fellowships at two think tanks. His over one hundred publications—which include four books--have won awards, including the U.S. Naval Institute’s Arleigh Burke Prize and the U.S. Navy League’s Alfred Thayer Mahan Award. He is currently the director of San Diego operations for the planning/consulting firm Strategic Insight.
Oct 05, 2014
Episode 247: Best of The Authors
01:21:00
A pre-recorded best of with three of the authors we interviewed James S. Robbins, Senior Editorial Writer for Foreign Affairs at the Washington Times on his book, "This Time We Win: Revisiting the Tet Offensive." David Sears' book on Navy Air in the Korean war with, "Such Men as These." United States Naval Academy Professor Bruce Fleming's new book on one part of the culture battle, "Bridging the Military-Civilian Divide: What Each Side Must Know About the Other - And About Itself."
Sep 28, 2014
Episode 246: When the short snappy war goes long, with Chris Dougherty
01:13:00
As we once again face the promise of a conflict with a limited mission and a strangely ill-defined Strategic and Operational design - what do we need to keep in mind not just from recent history, but the longer term record? History shows us that military and political leaders either over or under appreciate changing technology, outmoded doctrine, and the imperfect correlation between past experience and present requirements. From the national psyche to stockpiled war reserves - what happens when the short and splendid turns in to the long slog? Using his latest article in The National Interest, The Most Terrifying Lesson of World War I: War Is Not Always "Short and Sharp," as a starting point, but expanding to a much broader discussion, our guest for the full hour will be Chris Dougherty, research fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) .
Sep 21, 2014
Episode 245: The Carrier as Capital Ship with RADM Thomas Moore, USN, PEO CVN
01:09:00
In a time of budgetary pressure, a shrinking fleet, and an ongoing discussion of their relevance, how are we keeping out legacy Aircraft Carrier's in shape for the regular demands for extended deployments while at the same time bringing the new FORD Class CVN online? What are some of the lessons we have learned in our decades of operating nuclear powered aircraft carriers that we are bring forward to serve the Fleet in the coming decades so we always have an answer to the question, "Where are the aircraft carriers?" To discuss this and more, our guest for the full hour will be Rear Admiral Thomas J. Moore, USN, Program Executive Officer for Aircraft Carriers and is responsible for life cycle management for In-Service Carriers as well as the design and construction of the Future Class Carriers. 
Sep 14, 2014
Episode 244: Long War update with Bill Roggio
01:09:00
If you fell asleep on Memorial Day and woke up on Labor Day, your head is probably swimming. The situation in the Muslim world from Libya to the Iranian border has turned in to some strange chaos if you have not been paying attention - but when you look at the details and trendlines, the logic is a lot clearer. The long war has not gone anywhere, like a field untended, the weeds have returned and are prospering. To help us understand developments over the summer, coming back to Midrats for the full hour to discuss this and more will be Bill Roggio, senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Bill is also the President of Public Multimedia Inc, a non-profit news organization; and the founder and Editor of The Long War Journal, a news site devoted to covering the war on terror. He has embedded with the US and the Iraqi military six times from 2005-08, and with the Canadian Army in Afghanistan in 2006. Bill served in the US Army and New Jersey National Guard from 1991-97.
Sep 07, 2014
Episode 243: Best of Bob Work
01:07:00
A best of this weekend from last year when now Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work was between jobs. When one hangs up the uniform after decades of service, but still wants to contribute to their nations national security needs, what paths can that take and what are the keys to success? In a budgetary challenge not seen by the US military in two decades, what are the important "must haves" that need to be kept at full strength, and what "nice to haves" may have to be put in to the side? What are the legacy ideas, concepts, and capabilities that the Navy and Marine Corps need to make sure they maintain mastery of, and what new things are either here or are soon on the way that we need to set conditions for success now? Our guest for the full hour to discuss this and more will be Robert O. Work, Col. USMC (Ret), presently CEO of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), and former Undersecretary of the Navy from 2009-2013. After 27-years of active duty service in the Marine Corps, Work joined the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA), where he focused on defense strategy and programs, revolutions in war, Department of Defense transformation, and maritime affairs. He also contributed to Department of Defense studies on global basing and emerging military missions; and provided support for the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review.    During this time, Work was also an adjunct professor at George Washington University, where he taught defense analysis and roles and missions of the armed forces.  In late 2008, Work served on President Barack Obama’s Department of Defense Transition Team.   He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Illinois; and has Masters Degrees from the University of Southern California, the Naval Postgraduate School; and Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. 
Aug 31, 2014
Episode 242: Lost Opportunities: WWI and the Birth of the Modern World
01:10:00
A hundred years on, in 2014 what insights can we gain from the war that started 100 years ago in August of 2014? What are some of the lessons we need to remember in all four levers of national power; diplomatic, informational, military, and economic - in order to help steer our future course as a nation, and to better understand developing events? Using his article in The National Interest, World War I: Five Ways Germany Could Have Won the First Battle of the Atlantic as a starting point for an hour long discussion, our guest will be James Holmes, PhD, professor of strategy at the Naval War College and senior fellow at the University of Georgia School of Public and International Affairs. Jim is former U.S. Navy surface warfare officer, graduating from Vanderbilt University (B.A., mathematics and German) and completed graduate work at Salve Regina University (M.A., international relations), Providence College (M.A., mathematics), and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University (M.A.L.D. and Ph.D., international affairs). His most recent books (with long-time coauthor Toshi Yoshihara) are Strategy in the Second Nuclear Age and Red Star over the Pacific. Jim has published over 25 book chapters and 150 scholarly essays, along with hundreds of opinion columns, think-tank analyses, and other works. He blogs as the Naval Diplomat and is an occasional contributor to Foreign Policy, The National Interest, War on the Rocks, CNN, and the Naval Institute Proceedings.
Aug 24, 2014
Episode 241: Personnel Policy & Leadership, with VADM Bill Moran, USN
01:09:00
How does policy shape, limit, or empower the effectiveness of command at the unit level? Which policies are a net positive, and which ones are counter productive? Are there things we can do to better balance larger Navy goals with the requirement to give leaders the room they need to be effective leaders?  In times of austere budgets, can you both reduce end-strength while at the same time retain your best personnel? Are we a learning institution that can adjust policy that answers the bell from DC in shaping tomorrow's Fleet, yet does not break trust with Shipmates?  To discuss this and more we will have as our returning guest, Vice Admiral Bill Moran, USN. Chief of Naval Personnel. A P-3 pilot by trade, he held commanded at the squadron, wing and group levels. As Chief of Naval Personnel, he oversees the recruiting, personnel management, training, and development of Navy personnel. Since taking over a year ago he has focused on improving communication between Navy leadership and Sailors in the Fleet.
Aug 17, 2014
Episode 240: Best of a Return to a Constitutional Military
00:59:00
The large standing Army and active duty military we have known in our lifetime may seem the norm - but it isn't. Is there a way to maintain a strong military capability - available and scaleable if needed - without the structure we have become accustomed to? Is there a better way to balance our Reserve and National Guard forces that is better in line with our economic, national security, and yes - Constitutional requirements? Join us with our guest, General Ron Fogleman, USAF (Ret) for the full hour. Using his article in Defense News, Going Back to the Future: Militia Model Could Cut U.S. Expenditures as a starting point, we will discuss these ideas and more as we look for a way to maintain strength and options as the budget crunch starts. Originally aired 19 FEB 2012.
Aug 10, 2014
Episode 239: The best of the NGO in Africa with Alex Martin
01:02:00
I want to return to our first Midrats from this year to keep the focus one more week on the eastern part of Africa with a returning guest Alex Martin who will give us a first hand report from a personal and professional perspective. Alex graduated with distinction from the U.S. Naval Academy and went on to lead infantry, reconnaissance and special operations units in multiple combat deployments. Upon leaving active duty, Alex started a private maritime security company that served commercial shipping interests in the Indian Ocean. In July 2013 Alex joined Nuru International and currently serves as a Foundation Team Leader in Kenya.
Aug 03, 2014
Episode 238: The Horn of Africa - still the front lines, with RDML Krongard, USN
01:09:00
A special time this week, 2pm Eastern, in order to have a reasonable time for our guest on the other side of the world. This week we are going to visit an AOR that may have dropped of a lot of people's scan, but in the Long War - it is still the front lines; the Horn of Africa. Somalia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, and the waters around the Arabian Peninsular - from terrorism to piracy - America and her allies and partners are at work every day to keep the beast over there, and not here. Our guest for the full hour will be Rear Adm. Alexander L. Krongard, USN, Deputy Commander, Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, Africa. In this position, he supports the CJTF-HOA Commander to counter violent extremism in East Africa, foster regional security cooperation, strengthen partner nation security capability, and build and maintain U.S. strategic access in the region. Krongard is also responsible for developing relations with senior military leaders in African partner nations and directing CJTF staff and subordinate commanders’ support to deployed personnel and units of all Services across the Horn of Africa. DCJTF-HOA. A Navy SEAL by training, RDML Krongard is a graduate of Princeton University and the National War College.
Jul 27, 2014
Episode 237: Military Sealift Command; Past, Present & Future
01:12:00
When it comes to all things maritime, sometimes one Sal is not enough. Whatever confession of maritime strategy you adhere to, there is one linchpin that all will survive or fail on - the Military Sealift Command. Our guest for the full hour to discuss the entire spectrum of issues with the MSC will be Salvatore R. Mercogliano, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of History at Campbell University. Sal is a 1989 graduate of SUNY Maritime College, with a BS in Marine Transportation.  He sailed on the USNS Neosho (T-AO 143), Mohawk (T-ATF 170), Glover (T-AGFF 1), Comfort (T-AH 20) during the Persian Gulf War, and John Lenthall (T-AO 189).  Ashore, he was assigned to the N3 shop for the Afloat Prepositioning Force and focused initially on Marine Corps MPF vessels, but later working on the new Army program, including the construction and conversion of the LMSRs.   In 1996, he transitioned to his my academic career.  Receiving a MA in Maritime History and Nautical Archeology from East Carolina University, focused on the merchant marine in the Vietnam War.  He later then went to the University of Alabama and graduated with a Ph.D. in Military and Naval History with his dissertation on entitled Sealift: T He has taught at Methodist University, East Carolina, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and the U.S. Military Academy, prior to being an Assistant Professor of History with Campbell University since 2010,  In addition, since 2008, I have been an Adjunct Professor at the US Merchant Marine Academy teaching a graduate level on-line course on Maritime Industry Policy.   He has been published in the Northern Mariner, Sea History, Naval History, and Proceedings.  
Jul 20, 2014
Episode 236: Best of Where are the Carriers
00:56:00
"Where are the Carriers?" Whenever the expected unexpected happens on the globe, that is the question that is often asked first.  As our nation also faces one of its greatest budget crisis - it is also one that the budget cutters are asking as well. What is the status of our carrier force as we approach 2012 and what possible directions are we heading?  Is the carrier more important in supporting our national strategy than it used to be, or less?  Are we buying the right kind of systems to go on and in our carriers?  Are we buying enough? How are we assessing our technology risk as we bring in new tools? Our guest for the full hour will be J. Talbot Manvel, CAPT, USN (Ret.), presently teaching at the U.S. Naval Academy and is a frequent writer on issues of carrier issues and larger Navy policy issues.  In the course of his career he served on three carriers and led development o f the maintenance plan for the Nimitz class and design of the Ford class carriers.
Jul 13, 2014
Episode 235: Best of "Unbroken" and the Intrepid Project
01:08:00
Louis Zamperini passes away earlier this week, so I can see of no better best of show for the July 4th weekend. This nation has been served by those who come home, and those who never make it back. Some have had their stories preserved and celebrated within living memory, some are almost unknown. This weeks episode will cover both sides of our military experience. For the first half hour our guest will be best selling author Laura Hillenbrand to talk about her latest book Unbroken; an incredible story of survival of Louie Zamperini - olympic athlete, B-24 Liberator bombardier, survivor of being adrift at sea for months and the as a POW under the Japanese. Our guest for the second half of the hour will Michael R. Caputo of  The Intrepid Project. He is here to talk about 12 Sailors who have been abandoned in a mass grave in a mass grave in Libya. After dying at sea after a failed mission, when their bodies washed up on the shores of Tripoli on 04 SEP 1804, the bashaw had dogs to devour them as other American prisoners of war looked on. These 13 heroes are buried in two mass graves in Libya. One of those graves is unmarked and underfoot on the Tripoli plaza where Gaddafy held anti-America rallies for decades. They want to bring them home. 
Jul 06, 2014
Episode 234: Asking the right questions to build the right leaders
01:10:00
Is the profession of arms, as the Navy believes it is, primarily a technical job for officers - or is it something else? To create the cadre of leaders one needs, do you train them as empty vessels that one only needs to fill up with what you want or an empty checklist to complete - or do you train them by helping them bring out their ability to lead and make decisions through informed critical thinking? Our guest for the full hour to discuss this and more will be Major Matt Cavanaugh, USA. Matt is currently assigned as an Assistant Professor in military strategy at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.   Prior to this assignment, Matt was a Strategic Planner at the Pentagon, after service with the with Second Squadron, Third Armored Cavalry Regiment with multiple deployments to Iraq from Fallujah, Ramadi, and Tal’Afar. Matt earned his Master’s in Strategic Studies at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand and is currently at work on a PhD dissertation on generalship at the University of Reading (UK). He is a Fellow at the Center for the Study of Civil Military Operations, has been published with several peer-reviewed military and academic journals, and is the Editor at WarCouncil.org, a site dedicated to the study of the use of force. Matt has represented the United States in an official capacity in ten countries, including: Iraq, Kuwait, Norway, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Latvia, and Great Britain. 
Jun 29, 2014
Episode 233: Global Combat Fleets' Development With Eric Wertheim
01:13:00
From the USA, Europe, Russia, to the South China Sea, nations continue to signal where their priories are by what type of fleet they are building.  What capabilities are they expanding, and what capabilities are they letting drift away? To discuss this and more for the full hour will be returning guest Eric Wertheim. Eric is a defense consultant, columnist and author specializing in naval and maritime issues. He was named to the helm of the internationally acknowledged, one volume Naval Institute reference Combat Fleets of the World in 2002.
Jun 22, 2014
Episode 232: Father's Day Best of With Stephen Rodrick
00:40:00
In case you missed it the first time, especially for those whose fathers served in uniform, you owe it to yourself to listen to our interview with Stephen Rodrick about his book, The Magical Stranger: A Son's Journey into His Father's Life. You will really enjoy the interview, and I cannot recommend the book any greater. Buy it. Rodrick is a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine and a contributing editor for Men's Journal. He has also written for New York, Rolling Stone, GQ, The New Republic, and others.  Before becoming a journalist, Rodrick worked as a deputy press secretary for United States Senator Alan J. Dixon. He hold a bachelors and masters in political science from Loyola University of Chicago and a masters in journalism from Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism.
Jun 15, 2014
Episode 231: Best of Journalism at War
01:06:00
From November of 2011: They share the hazards, smell the smells; all that is needed so that those at home may understand what their countrymen are doing in the far reaches of the world on their behalf. The best know that to tell a story, you have to be in it. Sometimes, the story catches up with them. Our guest for the full hour will be Kimberly Dozier,  foreign correspondent for CBS News Radio specializing in the Middle East from the disputed territories of Israel to the war in Afghanistan and the hunt for Osama bin Laden. She reported on the war in Iraq from 2003 until she was injured by a car bomb in 2006. She recently returned to Afghanistan and Pakistan as an Intelligence/Counterterrorism correspondent for the Associated Press. She is also the author of Breathing the Fire, the story of her recovery from her injuries in 2006. 
Jun 08, 2014
Episode 230: Summer Kickoff Free For All
01:08:00
Now that Summer is on the way and that there are more national security issues being produced from the South China Sea to the Dardanelles than can be consumed locally - that sounds like the perfect time for Sal from CDR Salamander and EagleOne from EagleSpeak to hold a Midrats "open house." A little bit of a potpourri of what we find of interest from the latest news,to a chance for you to call in or ask via the live chat room the questions and issues you'd like to to discuss. Join us this Sunday from 5-6pm.
Jun 01, 2014
Episode 229: Memorial Day Weekend Best of With Zumwalt and Grant
01:06:00
This Memorial Day Weekend we are reaching back to a 2010 episode where we look back at the Vietnam War and then look forward to the next decade's Fleet options for our Navy. 50 years in 1 hour. Our guests will be retired Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel J.G. Zumwalt and journalist Greg Grant. Lt. Col. James Zumwalt is a retired Marine infantry officer who served in the Vietnam war, the 1989 intervention into Panama, and Desert Storm. He is an author, speaker and business executive, and currently heads a security consulting firm named after his father—Admiral Zumwalt & Consultants, Inc. His articles on Vietnam, North Korea, foreign policy and defense issues can be found in various newspapers and magazines, including USA Today, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Washington Times, The LA Times, The Chicago Tribune, The San Diego Union, Parade magazine and others. He is a member of the Committee on the Present Danger (CPD), and from 1991-92 was the Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs. Greg Grant is a national security and defense writer and edits the Defense Tech blog and is an associate editor with Military.com. His writing on military technology and international security have appeared in Foreign Policy, Slate, The Washington Post, The Los Angles Times, Defense Technology International, The Washington Quarterly, Survival, Government Executive Magazine and National Journal. He arrived in Baghdad in April 2003 with the Third Infantry Division and returned a number of times to cover the war there. He reported for Jane’s Defense Weekly and from Iraq, and Afghanistan for the Military Times newspapers. Before taking an interest in journalism, he worked as a military analyst the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC. He holds an M.A. in Strategic Studies from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.
May 25, 2014
Episode 228: A US Military Intellectually Geared for Defeat?
01:10:00
Since WWII, have we developed an officer corps that has not only developed a record of defeat, but has become comfortable with it? Is our military leadership structurally unsound? In his recent article, An Officer Corps That Can’t Score, author William S. Lind makes a scathing inditement of the officer corp of the United States in from the structure is works in, to its cultural and intellectual habits.  We will have the author with us for the full hour to discuss this and more about what problem he sees with our military's officers, and what recommendations he has to make it better. Mr Lind is Director of the Center for Cultural Conservatism at the Free Congress Foundation, with degrees from Dartmouth College in 1969 and Princeton University.  He worked as a legislative aide for armed services for Senator Robert Taft, Jr. and Senator Gary Hart until joining the Free Congress Foundation in 1987.  Mr. Lind is author of the Maneuver Warfare Handbook (Westview Press, 1985); co-author, with Gary Hart, of America Can Win: The Case for Military Reform (Adler & Adler, 1986); and co-author, with William H. Marshner, of Cultural Conservatism: Toward a New National Agenda (Free Congress Foundation, 1987).  Mr. Lind co-authored the prescient article, "The Changing Face of War: Into the Fourth Generation," which was published in The Marine Corps Gazette in October, 1989 and which first propounded the concept of "Fourth Generation War."
May 18, 2014
Episode 227: Mother's Day Best of with Jeannette Haynie and Robyn Roche-Paull
01:04:00
For the career minded Naval professional, to have a chance for the greatest advancement and promotion, you have to push and push hard. The reputation you build in your first 10 years sets the tone for the rest. Except for very rare exceptions, there are no second chances. There are no pauses, one iffy set of orders, one poorly timed FITREP, and you are on an off-ramp. You must work harder, you must sacrifice, and if you are to have a family young, you need a very strong support structure. For men - there is always the RADM Sestak, USN (Ret) option; wait until post O6, then start the family your peers did 20-yrs ago. For women though, there are some hard biological facts. The average American woman gets married at age 26. For college-educated women the average age at first birth is ~30. If you want to have more than 2 kids, you need to start earlier.  Mother Nature has her own schedule that doesn't often match yours. With women making up more of the military than ever, what are the challenges out there biological, cultural, psychological, and relationship wise to "making it happen?" You can't have it all - but how do you get the best mix you can? We will have two guests on to discuss. For the first half hour we will have Major Jeannette Haynie, USMCR, a 1998 graduate from the US Naval Academy, AH-1W Cobra pilot, and  currently a Reservist flying a desk at the Pentagon and working through graduate school - and fellow blogger over at USNIBlog. The second half of the hour, our guest will be Robyn Roche-Paull, US Navy Veteran, wife of a Chief, ICBLC, and author of the book Breastfeeding in Combat Boots.
May 11, 2014
Episode 226: Quo vadis Putin's Novorossiya, with Dr. Dmitry Gorenburg
01:11:00
So far in 2014, the big lesson is what people have known for centuries; in Eurasia you cannot ignore Russia. The cliché is accurate, Russia is never as weak or as strong as she seems. What do the developments so far mean not just for Ukraine, but for all the former Soviet Republics, slumbering Western Europe and Russia's near abroad? To discuss this and more, for the full hour we will have returning guest Dr. Dmitry Gorenburg, Senior Analyst, CNA Strategic Studies, an Associate at Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, an author, and host of the Russian Military Reform blog. Dr. Gorenburg focuses his research on security issues in the former Soviet Union, Russian military reform, Russian foreign policy, ethnic politics and identity, and Russian regional politics. He is also the editor of the journals Problems of Post-Communism and Russian Politics and Law and a Fellow of the Truman National Security Project. From 2005 through 2010, he was the Executive Director of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies.
May 04, 2014
Episode 225: The Long War Becomes a Teenager, with Bill Roggio
01:10:00
It hasn't gone anywhere, the Long War, that is. People may be suffering whiplash having to look back to Europe in the middle of a Pacific pivot, and the Arab spring wilted in to extremism and bloodshed - but the war against the West still goes on from lone wolf attacks at home, to drone strikes across the swath of southwest, south, and central Asia. Coming back to Midrats for the full hour to discuss this and more will be Bill Roggio, senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Bill is also the President of Public Multimedia Inc, a non-profit news organization; and the founder and Editor of The Long War Journal, a news site devoted to covering the war on terror. He has embedded with the US and the Iraqi military six times from 2005-08, and with the Canadian Army in Afghanistan in 2006. Bill served in the US Army and New Jersey National Guard from 1991-97.
Apr 27, 2014
Episode 224: Best of Russia
01:06:00
A lot of people were surprised when Russia came back on stage this year - but not Midrats listeners. This Easter, let's go back 100 episodes to our interview with Midrats resident Russia go-to-guy, Dmitry Gorenburg. Here were the questions we were trying to answer two years ago;  While the news seems to be all around Russia from the rise of China, the incredible success of the Baltic states, Afghanistan and Central Asian Republics, to the European edge of the "near abroad" - Russia continues to be a major player. Is it still feeding off the corpse of the USSR, or is there a new dynamism and potential? If not a democracy in the Western sense and not Communist either - what is it? Where does it see its role beyond a seller of weapons and energy? Is Putin just about Putin - or does he have a larger vision for Russia? Why has Russia taken the position it has from Syria to Iran in the face of world opinion? To discuss this and more, for the full hour we will have returning guest Dr. Dmitry Gorenburg, Senior Analyst, CNA Strategic Studies, an Associate at Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, author, and host of the Russian Military Reform blog.
Apr 20, 2014
Episode 223: 12 Carriers and 3 Hubs with Bryan McGrath
01:12:00
"Where are the carriers?" Regardless of the writing, talking, and pontificating about "Why the carriers?" - when there is a real world crisis - leaders still ask, "Where are the carriers."  Since we waived the requirement for a floor of 11, we have drifted to the new normal of 10 without dedicated additional funding. 10 isn't even an accurate number. With one undergoing nuclear refueling - you really have 9. Knowing what it takes to deploy, train, maintenance and preparing to train for deployment - in normal times, it takes 9 to make three if you are lucky. If you have an emergency that requires multiple carriers onstation - you run out of options very fast, and the calendar gets very small. Surge? If as Rear Admiral Thomas Moore, USN said last year, “We’re an 11-carrier Navy in a 15-carrier world.” - what risk are we taking with 9 that can get underway? Our guest for the full hour to discuss this and more will be Bryan McGrath, CDR, USN (Ret.), Managing Director of The FerryBridge Group. We will use as a basis for our discussion the article he co-authored with the American Enterprise Institute's Mackenzie Eaglen, America's Navy needs 12 carriers and 3 hubs.
Apr 13, 2014
Episode 222: USS PONCE (AFSB(I)-15) Lessons with CAPT Jon P. Rogers, USN
01:10:00
As with most concepts and good ideas, you really don't know what you need and how you need to do it until you put Sailors to task and head to sea. The idea of an Afloat Forward Staging Base has, in a variety of forms, been a regular part of naval operations arguably for centuries under different names and with different equipment. What about the 21st Century?  More than just a story about the use and utility of the AFSB concept, the story of the USS PONCE is larger than that - it also has a lot to say about how one can quickly turn an old LPD around for a new mission, and how you can blend together the different but complementary cultures of the US Navy Sailors and the Military Sealift Command civilian mariners. Our guest for the full hour to discuss this and more will Captain Jon P. Rogers, USN, former Commanding Officer of the USS PONCE AFSB(I)-15.
Apr 06, 2014
Episode 221: Officer Retention with VADM Bill Moran & CDR Guy Snodgrass
01:12:00
This Sunday, join our guests Vice Admiral Bill Moran, USN, Navy Chief of Naval Personnel, and Commander Guy Snodgrass, USN, Prospective Executive Officer of Strike Fighter Squadron ONE NINE FIVE, in a discussion of the challenges in officer retention that is facing our Navy. As over a decade of major combat operations ashore winds down, economic & budgetary stresses grow on defense spending, a strategic re-alignment combined with a generational change are coming together in a perfect storm of challenges to keep the intellectual and leadership capital our Navy needs. What are those challenges? What lessons can be drawn from past retention problems, and what is different this time? What steps can be made in the short term to address this, and what longer term policies may be put in place to mitigate the systemic problems that are being looked at? Are their opportunities to be found inside these challenges? Our guests will be with us for the full hour, and the foundation of our discussion will be CDR Snodgrass's  Navy officer retention study, Keep a Weather Eye on the Horizon.
Mar 30, 2014
Episode 220: CNO's Rapid Innovation Cell
01:10:00
The Chief of Naval Operation's Rapid Innovation Cell (CRIC) was established in 2012 in order to provide junior leaders with venue to identify and rapidly field emerging technologies that they see needed in the Fleet. Who is in the CRIC, how do they get there, and what are some of the projects they have been working on? Join us this Sunday for the full hour with Commander Ben Salazar, USN, Director of Innovation (N93) with CRIC, along with other members of his team.
Mar 23, 2014
Episode 219: The USMC Post-QDR with Dakota Wood
01:11:00
With the new defense budget out, new QDR out, the withdraw of maneuver forces from Afghanistan, rising interest in INDO-PAC operations, and a resurgent Russia: after over a decade of COIN and land wars in Southwest and Central Asia - what is the status of the United States Marine Corps?  Materially, intellectually, and culturally - is the USMC set up to move best towards the expected challenges and missions? Our guest for the full hour will be Dakota L. Wood, Lt Col, USMC (Ret.), Senior Research Fellow, Defense Programs at the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign and National Security Policy at The Heritage Foundation. Following retirement, Mr. Wood served as a Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. Most recently, Mr. Wood served as the Strategist for the U.S. Marine Corps’ Special Operations Command. Mr. Wood holds a Bachelor of Science in Oceanography from the U.S. Naval Academy; a Master’s degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the College of Naval Command and Staff, U.S. Naval War College.
Mar 16, 2014
Episode 218: Abolishing of the USAF, with Robert M. Farley
01:07:00
In concept, execution, and ability to effectively provide its part of the national defense infrastructure, has a separate Air Force served this nation well, and does it make sense to keep it a separate service. Our guest this week makes the case that the experiment in a separate US Air Force is over, and it has failed. Though we need airpower, we don't need a separate service to provide it. With us for the full hour will be Professor Robert M. Farley, PhD, author of the book being released 11 March, Grounded: The Case for Abolishing the United States Air Force. Rob teaches defense and security courses at the Patterson School of Diplomacy at the University of Kentucky. He blogs at InformationDissemination and LawyersGunsAndMoney.
Mar 09, 2014
Episode 217: Best of the Journalist at War
02:06:00
Revisiting a show from NOV 2011,  They share the hazards, smell the smells; all that is needed so that those at home may understand what their countrymen are doing in the far reaches of the world on their behalf. The best know that to tell a story, you have to be in it. Sometimes, the story catches up with them. Our guest for the full hour will be Kimberly Dozier,  foreign correspondent for CBS News Radio specializing in the Middle East from the disputed territories of Israel to the war in Afghanistan and the hunt for Osama bin Laden. She reported on the war in Iraq from 2003 until she was injured by a car bomb in 2006. She recently returned to Afghanistan and Pakistan as an Intelligence/Counterterrorism correspondent for the Associated Press. She is also the author of Breathing the Fire, the story of her recovery from her injuries in 2006. 
Mar 02, 2014
Episode 216: Maritime Strategy and Control of the Seas with Seth Cropsey
01:09:00
What direction do we need to go for our next maritime strategy? Using he recent article, Control of the Seas, as our starting point, our guest for the full hour will be Seth Cropsey, Senior Fellow and director of Hudson Institute's Center for American Seapower.   He served in government at the Defense Department as Assistant to the SECDEF Caspar Weinberger and then as Deputy Undersecretary of the Navy in the Reagan & Bush administrations, where he was responsible for the Navy’s position on efforts to reorganize DoD, development of the maritime strategy, the Navy’s academic institutions, naval special operations, and burden-sharing with NATO allies. In the Bush administration, Cropsey moved to OSD to become acting assistant secretary, and then principal deputy assistant SECDEF for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict. During the period that preceded the collapse of the USSR—from 1982 to 1984—Cropsey directed the editorial policy of the Voice of America on the Solidarity movement in Poland, Soviet treatment of dissidents, and other issues. Returning to public diplomacy in 2002 as director of the US government’s International Broadcasting Bureau, Cropsey supervised the agency as successful efforts were undertaken to increase radio and television broadcasting to the Muslim world. Cropsey’s work in the private sector includes reporting for Fortune magazine & as a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and as director of the Heritage Foundation’s Asia Studies Center from 1991-94. His articles have been published in the Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard, Foreign Affairs, Commentary magazine, RealClear World, & others.
Feb 23, 2014
Episode 215: February Free For All
01:13:00
Nothing like some time snowed in to focus the mind. Join us this Sunday from 5-6pm as we cover the maritime angle from China to shipbuilding to Cyber with a Midrats free for all. Have a topic you wished we would cover? Well, the phone lines are open.
Feb 16, 2014
Episode 214: Best of the Hill Staffer
01:07:00
When you send your elected representative to Washington DC, you are not just sending one person. For each Congressman and Senator - there is a cadre of staffers that makes it happen. Bills do not sprout out of the heads of politicians - no - they are carefully crafted, often over years, by the people you see in the background on C-Span. Politicians cannot and do not read source documentation all that much, they are too busy - others do that for them and give them the Executive Summary. Who are these people, how do they work, and how what role do they play in keeping the machinery of government and policy moving? Our guest for the full hour to discuss this, the influence of milblogging upon legislation, how HR 5729 was written partially because of blogger activism, the think tank community and the relationship between the Executive Branch and the Hill and how that prevents some great ideas becoming law. And how the 501(c)(3) status's ban on non-profit's lobbying activities hurts national security decision-making - and more will be Michael Clauser. Mike is an Adjunct Fellow at the National Strategy Information Center. He served as the National Security Legislative Assistant to a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in the previous Congress. He was recently identified as a "Next Generation National Security Leader" by the Center for a New American Security and as a "Nuclear Scholar" by the Project on Nuclear Issues at CSIS. Prior to working on the Hill, Mike served in the Presidential Administration of George W. Bush in the Pentagon in both OSD and on SecNav staff. He holds masters degrees from the University of Exeter in England and the Poznan University of Economics in Poland and is a graduate candidate at the U.S. Naval War College. He did his bachelors in philosophy and religion at Penn State and is a native of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Feb 09, 2014
Episode 213: Best of Skippy-San on Japan, and Bob Taylor's 13XX
01:06:00
For those who don't care about Football or get all grumpy if they don't get enough of their Midrats, we're heading back to early in our second year and visit our old friend.  In the small world of the Navy blogosphere, when you think of Japan, one name should immediately come to mind; Skippy-san of the blog FarEastCynic. Though most know Skippy by his "interesting" perspective on some of the "interesting" parts of life - what he also has is a good feel for the Japanese. Join EagleOne and Sal as they tap into the serious side of the Navy blogosphere's famously infamous Skippy-san to talk about the very Japenese reaction to their earthquake-tsunami-nuclear meltdown national nightmare, and how the Navy and its relationship with the Japanese people is working through this challenge. Staying in the 13XX side of the Navy, but with a slight pivot, for the second half of the hour we will be remembering the funnier side of Naval Aviation with Bob Taylor’s to talk about his new book, "Getting Our Wings — Tales from Naval Aviation Flight School," that looks at flight training in much the same way as his previous book did with Marine Corps boot camp with "A Few Good Memories."
Feb 02, 2014
Episode 212: NATO in Afghanistan with Stephen M. Saideman
01:08:00
Lost to many whose news sources in the USA consists of the major newspapers and the standard networks, for most of the last dozen+ years, the conflict in Afghanistan has not been a USA-Centric battle; it has been a NATO run operation. When the Commander of the International Security Assistance Force has been an American 4-star, the visuals can be misleading. For most of the last decade, American forces were dominate in only one region of Afghanistan, the east. Other NATO nations from Italy/Spain in the west, Germany in the North, and Commonwealth nations and the Dutch in the south. More important than the actual numbers involved, it was the Rules of Engagement, caveats, and the fickle nature of national politics that drove what effects those forces had on the ground. The good, the bad, and the ugly of modern coalition warfare was all in view for all in Afghanistan, but outside small circles, has yet to be fully discussed. Our guest for the full hour will be Stephen Saideman. Stephen holds the Paterson Chair in International Affairs at Carleton University’s Norman Paterson School of International Affairs.  He has written The Ties That Divide: Ethnic Politics, Foreign Policy and International Conflict and For Kin or Country: Xenophobia, Nationalism and War (with R. William Ayres) and NATO in Afghanistan: Fighting Together, Fighting Alone (with David Auerswald), and other work on nationalism, ethnic conflict, civil war, and civil-military relations.  Prof. Saideman spent 2001-02 on the U.S. Joint Staff working in the Strategic Planning and Policy Directorate as part of a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellowship.  He writes online at OpenCanada.org, Political Violence at a Glance, Duck of Minerva and his own site (saideman.blogspot.com).  He also tweets too much at @smsaideman.
Jan 26, 2014
Episode 211: 4th Anniversary Free For All
01:08:00
That's right ... Midrats has been on the air four years. This week we aren't having guests, just the two hosts and any listeners who want to take the opportunity to call in or throw a question or topic to us in the chat room. Breaking news, regular topics, or whatever you pull out of your seabag - we're going to cove it Green range, as it were.
Jan 19, 2014
Episode 210: John Kuehn & Joint Operations from Cape Fear to the South China Sea
01:12:00
Though nations for thousands of years have been wrestling with the challenge of Joint operations,  we're still trying to get it right. As an island nation with significant global interests ashore, the USA has a rich history of doing Joint right, and blind parochialism as well.  Using this as a starting point, this Sunday for the full hour we will have returning guest, John Kheun. Dr. John T. Kuehn is the General William Stofft Chair for Historical Research at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. He retired from the U.S. Navy 2004 at the rank of commander after 23 years of service as a naval flight officer in EP-3s and ES-3s. He authored Agents of Innovation (2008) and co-authored Eyewitness Pacific Theater (2008) with D.M. Giangreco, as well as numerous articles and editorials and was awarded a Moncado Prize from the Society for Military History in 2011. We will also discuss his latest book, just released by Praeger, A military History of Japan: From the Age of the Samurai to the 21st Century.
Jan 12, 2014
Episode 209: Kenya and East Africa with Alexander Martin
01:09:00
Many continue to focus on the "Pacific Pivot" and/or IndoPac, but the news seems to keep finding its way back to Africa. This Sunday we're going to leave IndoPac and all that in order to focus the full hour discussing the eastern part of Africa with a returning guest Alex Martin who will give us a first hand report from a personal and professional perspective. Alex graduated with distinction from the U.S. Naval Academy and went on to lead infantry, reconnaissance and special operations units in multiple combat deployments. Upon leaving active duty, Alex started a private maritime security company that served commercial shipping interests in the Indian Ocean. In July 2013 Alex joined Nuru International and currently serves as a Foundation Team Leader in Kenya.
Jan 05, 2014
Episode 208: Best of the General Board
01:04:00
Though over three years old, this topic remains at the top of the list of importance and if you are a new listener to Midrats and haven't listened to it yet - this is required listening. If you caught it in a previous year, then it is well worth a relisten. Look at the performance of the US Navy in World War II - those ships came in the shipbuilding programs of the 1920s & 1930s. At a time with no computers or modern communication equipment - and working through the naval treaty limitations and the Great Depression - we saw incredible innovation & steadily improving ship designs. Why?  A lot of the credit is given to something the Navy had then, but does not have now; The General Board. What was The General Board, what did it do, and is the Navy today suffering for the lack of one? Our guest is John T. Kuehn, CDR USN (Ret) PhD. A former naval aviator, he completed cruises aboard four different aircraft carriers. He flew reconnaissance missions during the last decade of the Cold War, the First Gulf War and the Balkans.  Kuehn has served on the faculty of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College since July 2000. He earned a Ph.D. in History from Kansas State University in 2007. He is the author of the Agents of Innovation: The General Board and the Design of the Fleet that Defeated the Japanese Navy, and Eyewitness Pacific Theater with Dennis Giangreco.
Dec 29, 2013
Episode 206: Small Ships, Flotillas & the Requirements of Naval Supremacy
01:11:00
For a maritime power with global requirements, what is the role of the small ship in times of peace and war? What are the tradeoffs between quantity and capability, size and range, survivability and affordable? Does the US Navy need a high-low mix; or a Strike Group-Flotilla mix?   Where do our national requirements influence how we build our Fleet vs. the process other nations build theirs? Do we have a sustainable path towards a balanced Fleet, or are we sailing on based on outdated charts? To discuss this and more for the full hour will be returning guest U.S. Naval War College Center for Naval Warfare Studies Dean, Captain Robert C. Rubel, USN (Ret.)
Dec 15, 2013
Episode 205: A 21st Century Navy With John C. Harvey, Jr, ADM USN (Ret)
01:15:00
In less than a month we will be firmly in the middle of the 2nd decade of the 21st Century. What path were we put on at the start 21st Century that got us here? How do we evaluate the right decisions, the neutral decisions, and the less than optimal calls of the last decade and a half? What lessons can we take away now in order to make decisions to best position the Navy on the approaches to 2030? Our guest for the full hour this Sunday to discuss this an much more will be Admiral John C. Harvey, Jr, USN (Ret).  Almost a year since he joined the retired ranks, when in uniform Admiral Harvey was one of the of the more engaged, visible, and accessible Flag Officers of his generation - and in retirement he continues to be an influential voice. Admiral Harvey was born and raised in Baltimore, MD and is a 1973 graduate of the U S Naval Academy. In his thirty-nine year Navy career, he specialized in naval nuclear propulsion, surface ship and carrier strike-group operations and Navy-wide manpower management/personnel policy development. He commanded the USS DAVID R RAY (DD 971), the USS CAPE ST GEORGE (CG 71), the THEODORE ROOSEVELT Strike Group/CCDG-8 and also served as the Navy’s 54th Chief of Naval Personnel and as the Director, Navy Staff.  Prior to his retirement from the Navy in November, 2012, Admiral Harvey served as Commander, US Fleet Forces Command. He now makes his home in Vienna, Virginia where he resides with his wife, Mary Ellen.
Dec 08, 2013
Episode 204: A Day Without Seapower - Best of
01:06:00
Almost two and a half years ago we had a show that is a fitting ago now as it was then.   Almost a decade of involvement in two land wars in Asia combined with a series of costly and ill timed shipbuilding programs that have yet to produce ships anywhere near promised cost and performance has brought our Navy to the growing budget crisis in a delicate position.  The national security arena suffers from SeaBlindness about the critical requirements of seapower to the long term economic and security needs of a maritime, mercantile republic. Using their work at The Heritage Foundation, Thinking About a Day Without Sea Power:Implications for U.S. Defense Policy as a starting point, for the full hour we will returning guests Mackenzie Eaglen and Bryan McGrath to discuss the long view on the future direction of our Navy and Marine Corps team.
Dec 01, 2013
Episode 203: Bob Work and Global Maritime Power
01:12:00
When one hangs up the uniform after decades of service, but still wants to contribute to their nations national security needs, what paths can that take? How does one find a path forward, and what are the keys to success? In a budgetary challenge not seen by the US military in two decades, what are the important "must haves" that need to be kept at full strength, and what "nice to haves" may have to be put in to the side? What are the legacy ideas, concepts, and capabilities that the Navy and Marine Corps need to make sure they maintain mastery of, and what new things are either here or are soon on the way that we need to set conditions for success now? Our guest for the full hour to discuss this and more will be Robert O. Work, Col. USMC (Ret), presently CEO of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), and former Undersecretary of the Navy from 2009-2013. After 27-years of active duty service in the Marine Corps, Work joined the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA), where he focused on defense strategy and programs, revolutions in war, Department of Defense transformation, and maritime affairs. He also contributed to Department of Defense studies on global basing and emerging military missions; and provided support for the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review.  During this time, Work was also an adjunct professor at George Washington University, where he taught defense analysis and roles and missions of the armed forces.  In late 2008, Work served on President Barack Obama’s Department of Defense Transition Team.   He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Illinois; and has Masters Degrees from the University of Southern California, the Naval Postgraduate School; and Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. 
Nov 24, 2013
Episode 202: Lessons from the Hanoi Hilton
01:08:00
Are there lessons one can learn from the most exceptional edges of the military experience that can be useful to the civilian world? Was there something from the experience of American prisoners of war imprisoned at the "Hanoi Hilton" during the Vietnam War that had to do with their success in their subsequent careers? Our guests to discuss for the full hour will be Peter Fretwell and Taylor Baldwin Kiland, authors of Lessons from the Hanoi Hilton: Six Characteristics of High-Performance Teams.
Nov 17, 2013
Episode 201: The 911 Decade Best Of
01:37:00
Going back 14 months, this Veterans Day weekend, let's review the war we have been soaking in. There are certain points in a nation's history that define a transition from one era to another.  These moments are so clear that you don't realize it in retrospect - you know it the moment it happens.  No one argues the fact that everything has changed; from all sides, everyone sees it.  September 11th, 2001 was one of those times. 911 was not just a national moment, but a global moment. Our military has changed, our national strategy has changed, the way we perceive the tradeoff between liberty and freedom has changed - the international order has changed. Where was our nation and the world on September 10th 2001, and how did the events the following day bring us to where our nation is a decade later? To discuss this, our extened panel members will include: - J. Michael Barrett, Partner at Diligent Innovations, Intelligence Officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve, and former Director, Strategy & Resources at the White House Homeland Security Council. - L. Thomas Bortmes, CAPT USN (Ret), research staff member at IDA, and former Executive Director, Office of Intelligence, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security. - Claude Berube, LCDR USNR, instructor of Political Science at the United States Naval Academy, Intelligence Officer in the Navy Reserve, author, and former Senate Staff member. 
Nov 10, 2013
Episode 200: Navy SEALs in the Long War
01:09:00
In an arch that spans the immediate post-Cold War era through the Iraq War, what are the observations & lessons a front-line leader at the tactical level and, for those who are injured in service to their nation, through recovery. Our guest for the full hour will be Jason Redman, author of The Trident: The Forging and Reforging of a Navy SEAL Leader. Jason joined the Navy on September 11, 1992 and served as an enlisted SEAL until he entered Old Dominion University in August of 2001, graduating Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelors Degree in Business Management via Naval ROTC. He was commissioned in May of 2004 and returned as Naval SEAL Officer. He deployed to Fallujah, Iraq in 2007, and in September was severely wounded. While recovering at Bethesda Naval Medical Center, Jason underwent 37 surgeries. His experience led him to create Wounded Wear, a Non-Profit organization that provides clothing kits and clothing modifications to America’s wounded warriors.
Nov 03, 2013
Episode 199: Best of Budget Choices
01:07:00
If you have only started to think about the budget problems this year, you are late to the game Shipmate. We are years in to it, and almost 2-yrs ago, as many were sobering up to the fact that the military was about to face a budget challenge not seen in a generation. Especially those who have seen this movie before, they knew that this one has the potential to be the most challenging seen in over half a century. For the full hour, our guest will be Col. Robert Killebrew, USA (Ret.)., using his article in the DEC 2011 Armed Forces Journal, Cutbacks & Crisis, as a starting point. In addition to being a contributing editor at AFJ, among the many other things he had done at the time of the interview and since retirement, was writing and consulting on national defense issues as a Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security. Prior to his retirement from active duty he served for thirty years in a variety of Special Forces, infantry and staff duties.  His assignments ranged included duty in Vietnam with MACVSOG, the Vietnamese Airborne Division, command in mechanized, air assault and airborne units, and staff positions in the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force, as director of plans, XVIII Airborne Corps, special assistant to the Chief of Staff of the Army, command of a deployed joint task force and as an instructor in strategy and policy at the Army War College.
Oct 27, 2013
Episode 198: Best of the Darkhorse Battalion
01:07:00
This week, we'll go back to 2011 for an interview with one of the better reports from an embed this decade. For those who listened to All Things Considered on NPR in 2011, you caught an outstanding series on the 3rd Battalion 5th Marines – the  Darkhorse Battalion — the Marine unit that suffered the highest casualty rate of any Marine unit during the 10-year Afghan war. Our guest for the full hour is the journalist who brought the American people that story - Tom Bowman, NPR National Desk reporter covering the Pentagon. In his current role, Bowman has traveled to Iraq and Afghanistan often for month-long visits and embedded with U.S. Marines and soldiers. Before coming to NPR in April 2006, Bowman spent nine years as a Pentagon reporter at The Baltimore Sun. Altogether he was at The Sun for nearly two decades, covering the Maryland Statehouse, the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Naval Academy, and the National Security Agency (NSA).
Oct 20, 2013
Episode 197: Sea Swap & Small Unit Leadership
01:10:00
While good ideas are often forgotten, bad ideas seem to pop up over an over again - especially the sexy ones that sound so good, but never seem to work well. The answer, of course, is to try again and hope for a better result. Some would argue that sea swap is one of those sexy ideas that just isn't that practical in actual operation. A good idea? One of the good ideas mostly forgotten is that of the Junior Officer in significant positions of authority. LTJG as XO? LT as Skipper? Sure... used to be common; now not so much outside the MIW and PC community. What are the different challenges for the officer on a smaller warship? As JO command opportunities shrink, what is our Navy losing? Our guest for the full hour to discuss this and anything else the squirrels deliver will be Lieutenant Matthew Hipple, USN. We'll start the conversation from his article in the July 2013 Proceedings, Sea Swap - Its a Trap - then we'll be off to the races from there. LT Hipple is a surface warfare officer who graduated from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service. He is Director of the NEXTWAR blog and hosts of the Sea Control podcast. While his opinions may not reflect those of the United States Navy, Department of Defense, or US Government, he wishes they did.
Oct 13, 2013
Episode 196: RDML Kirby, USN, CHINFO
01:10:00
From long-term issues like sequester, the strategic review, the QDR, to bolt-from-the-blue incidents like the murders at the Navy yard - how does the Navy communicate to the public and the press in an information starved culture? When the race to being wrong first seems to be a standard, how do we maintain the standard of being a useful source of information, but in a timely manner? In some areas like the budget that wander in to the political arena - how do we stay inside the lines but still inform? Our guest for the full hour to discuss the process, method and substance of explaining the an often perplexed world our Navy and those things that impact it will be Rear Admiral John Kirby, USN, the Chief of Information.
Oct 06, 2013
Episode 195: The Pacific Pivot Ground Element
01:08:00
What is the role of ground forces as the conversation revolves around the Air Sea Battle Concept? Is an emphasis on air and sea power sending the right message, driving balanced thinking, and sending the right messages to our friends and competitors? Building off his article in the May 2013 Armed Forces Journal, Back To Reality, Why Land Power Trumps in the National Rebalance Towards Asia, our guest for the full hour will be Major Robert Chamberlain, USA. He has served two tours in Iraq (2003-4 and 2007-8), studied refugees at Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship, and is currently finishing his dissertation in Political Science at Columbia.  He teaches International Relations at the West Point and, of course, the views he is about to express are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of the United States Military Academy, the Army, or the Department of Defense.
Sep 29, 2013
Episode 194: DD214, Unpacked Boxes & the road ahead
01:13:00
When a few years turns in to many. When all of a sudden you seem to be the oldest guy in the room. When you have but days of memories of your kids and in the blink of an eye they are a year older - eventually everyone on active duty reaches the point where it is time to pack the sea bag one more time and put it in the attic. It is time to retire or leave active duty. Better or worse - it is time to go. What are the paths someone follows to reach that point? What decisions and inputs lead to that point where you say, "It's someone else turn." What are the important things you learn in the process of leaving going out that you wish you knew earlier? What are the myths about transitioning to the civilian world - and what are the no-kidding hard truths? How do you interact differently with the civilian world? What must someone leave behind, and what are those things that if you want them or not, they will always be with you? To discuss this and more on the subject of "what's next" when you leave active duty will be out panel with returning guest Commander James H. Ware,  USN (Ret.)., and former active duty Sergeant Marcus Penn, USMC.
Sep 22, 2013
Episode 193: Best of VADM Miller & Victor Davis Hanson
01:10:00
This episode from 2011 came up three times this week, so it is a natural for a Best of. How do you intellectually prepare combat leaders?  If you are given a young man or woman at 18, how do you best educate that person so they have the cultural, ethical, technical, and historical knowledge to make the right decisions for the right reasons, and lead others to do the same? What are unchanged, timeless fundamentals, and what new things are coming over the horizon that today's Ensigns and Second Lieutenants need to have inculcated in to their intelect so they have the best foundation to become this nation's Admirals and Generals for the mid-21st Century? Our guest for the first half of the hour will be Vice Admiral Michael H. Miller, USN, the 61st Superintendent of the United States Naval Academy. For the second half of the hour we will have Dr. Victor Davis Hanson, PhD, author, professor, nationally syndicated columnist, and the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.
Sep 15, 2013
Episode 192: No, I Won't Shut-up and Color
01:15:00
Is there such a thing as Military Intellectual Entrepreneurialism? Large, sated, and complacent organization do not have a good track record of survival. Organizations of any size that nurture the mentality of small, hungry, and driven by creative destruction and friction based on competing ideas - that is the path to success. Always has been, always will be. How do we get that attitude to permeate the military? How do we harness the power of an entrepreneurial mindset to build a better national security and defense structure? As we just start to enter another period of resource limitation in the face of an ever changing international security landscape - do we take advantage of the need for change, or do we buckle under our own moss-covered and hide-bound habits? To discuss this concept for the full hour, as well as the upcoming Defense Entrepreneurs Forum 12-14 OCT will be our panel: - LT Ben Kohlmann, USN – Founder of Disruptive Thinkers, F/A-18 pilot and member of the CNO’s Rapid Innovation Cell, Co-Founder Defense Entrepreneurs Forum. - Capt Anthony Hatala, USMC – AV-8B Harrier Pilot, C-130 Harvest HAWK Operator, Founder Military Traveler,  Co-Founder Defense Entrepreneurs Forum. - MAJ Nathan Finney, USA – Armor Officer, US Army Harvard Strategy Fellow, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Foundation for Strategy Development - Capt Jeff Gilmore, USAF – C-17 Pilot, AMC eFlight Bag Program, co-founder MilitaryLounge
Sep 08, 2013
Episode 191: Lawfare, Long War & Labor Day Best of
01:06:00
We're going to go back a couple of years this weekend to our Lawfare episode from 2011. We'll be back live next week. Never in our history have we fought a war where law, lawyers, and layers of legalese have impacted all levels of the war, Political, Strategic, Operational, and Tactical. Why do we find ourselves here and in what direction are we going?   From Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and even domestically, the legal definition of the use of military power is evolving. To discuss the impact of Lawfare for the full hour with Sal from the blog "CDR Salamander" and EagleOne from "EagleSpeak" will be David Glazier, CDR USN (Ret.).   David is a Professor of Law at Layola Law School in Los Angles.  Prior to Layola, he was a lecturer at the University of Virginia School of Law and a research fellow at the Center for National Security Law, where he conducted research on national security, military justice and the law of war. He also served as a pro bono consultant to Human Rights First. Before attending law school, Glazier served twenty-one years as a US Navy surface warfare officer. In that capacity, he commanded the USS George Philip (FFG-12), served as the Seventh Fleet staff officer responsible for the US Navy-Japan relationship, the Pacific Fleet officer responsible for the US Navy-PRC relationship, and participated in UN sanctions enforcement against Yugoslavia and Haiti. Glazier has a JD from the University of Virginia School of Law, an MA from Georgetown University in government/national security studies, and holds a BA in history from Amherst College.  
Sep 01, 2013
Episode 190: Crowdsourcing the Admin Overhead
01:19:00
If the CNO's #1 priority is warfighting, how do leaders focus on that priority inside a 24-hr day? In a complicated structure of Administrative and Operational Chains of Command and the unending hunger of a bureaucracy for metrics and the reports that feed them - when does a system itself become and "Administrative Burden." On person's administrative burden is another person's critical requirement - so how does an organization's leadership balance subordinate priorities so they do not interfere with #1? Our guest to discuss this and more will be Rear Admiral Herman Shelanski, USN, Director, Assessment Division, (OPNAV N81). Specifically, we will discuss the CNO's crowdsourcing initiative "RAD" (Reducing Administrative Distractions) specifically looking at removing those non-value added distractions in the Fleet keeping Sailors away from the Navy's top priorities.
Aug 25, 2013
Episode 189: The Union and Confederate Navies
01:09:00
The War Between the States, the American Civil War - whichever description you prefer - this crucible on which our nation was re-formed has legion of books, movies, and rhetoric dedicated to it.  Most of the history that people know involves the war on land, but what of the war at sea? What are details behind some of the major Naval leaders of both sides that are the least known, but are the most interesting? What challenges and accomplishments were made by the belligerents in their navies, and how do they inform and influence our Navy today? Our guest for the full hour to discuss this and more will be James M. McPherson, the George Henry Davis '86 Professor of History Emeritus at Princeton University. He has published numerous volumes on the Civil War, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Battle Cry of Freedom, Crossroads of Freedom (which was a New York Times bestseller), Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution, and For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War, which won the Lincoln Prize. As a starting off point for the show, we will be discussing his book, War on the Waters: The Union and Confederate Navies, 1861-1865.
Aug 18, 2013
Episode 188: Best of Offshore Balancing With TX Hammes
00:52:00
Interesting idea recycle, and in the last couple of weeks, the subject of our DEC 2012 show has been making the rounds again. What got it all started was his article almost a year ago in the United States Naval Institute’s Proceedings, Offshore Control is the Answer. Enjoy today's best of show with Colonel T.X. Hammes, USMC (Ret.) Col. Hammes served thirty years in the Marine Corps at all levels in the operating forces.  He participated in stabilization operations in Somalia and Iraq as well as training insurgents in various places. Hammes has a Masters in Historical Research & a Doctorate in Modern History from Oxford University, and is currently a Distinguished Research Fellow at the Institute for National Strategic Studies, National Defense University and an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University. He is the author of “The Sling and the Stone: On War in the Twenty-First Century” and “Forgotten Warriors:  The 1st Provisional Marine Brigade, the Corps Ethos, and the Korean War,” and many articles and opinion pieces. He has lectured at U.S. and International Staff and War Colleges. 
Aug 11, 2013
Episode 187: From I to C of the BRIC with Toshi Yoshihara
01:17:00
Remember when "Afghanistan" became "AFPAC" in the second half of the last decade? Concepts morph the more you study them. Just as you started to get used to the 'Pacific Pivot" - in case you missed it this summer, it is morphing in to the Indo-Pacific Pivot. Extending our view from WESTPAC in to the Indian Ocean, how are things changing that will shape the geo-strategic environment from Goa, Darwin, Yokohama, Hainan, to Vladivostok? Our guest to discuss this and more will be Dr. Toshi Yoshihara, Professor of Strategy and John A. van Beuren Chair of Asia-Pacific Studies at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, and author of Red Star over the Pacific, that was just translated into Chinese. A returning guest to Midrats, Dr. Yoshihara some of the last few months in China and India, bringing an up to date perspective on this growing center of power and influence.
Aug 04, 2013
Episode 186: Best of The Korean War
01:06:00
We ran this as a best of back in December, but with yesterday being the 60th anniversary of the Korean War armistice, there is no question this is the right episode. Also, with the last year's announcement of the naming of DDG-116 after Medal of Honor recipient CAPT Thomas Hudner, USN (Ret) - it is an easy decision on today's show. A replay of our Navy Air Korean War episode with CAPT Hudner in the first half hour, and then author David Sears to discuss his book Men Such as These: The Story of the Navy Pilots Who Flew the Deadly Skys Over Korea.  
Jul 28, 2013
Episode 185: Getting "Next" Right with John Nagl
01:09:00
So, which is it? Do we forget our history and are therefor doomed to repeat it, or are we always preparing to fight the next war? As we finish up the final chapter of our participation in Afghanistan after well over a decade, and reflect on the changes in the arch of the Muslim world from the Atlas mountains to Mindanao - what do we need to intellectually, retain for what is coming "next?" With one eye on historical patterns and another on developing economic, demographic, and political trends - what do we need to do to man, train, and equip the armed forces best positioned to address what we think we will face, but will be flexible enough to flex to what we don't know? Our guest for the full hour will be John Nagl, Lt Col USA (Ret.), PhD, presently the Minerva Research Professor at the US Naval Academy, previously the President of CNAS. Dr. Nagl was a Distinguished Graduate of the United States Military Academy Class of 1988 who served as an armor officer in the U.S. Army for 20 years.  His last military assignment was as commander of the 1st Battalion, 34th Armor.  He led a tank platoon in Operation Desert Storm and served as the operations officer of a tank battalion task force in Operation Iraqi Freedom.  Nagl taught national security studies at West Point and Georgetown University and served as a Military Assistant to two Deputy Secretaries of Defense.  He earned his Master of the Military Arts and Sciences Degree from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, and his doctorate from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. He is the author of Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife: Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam and was on the writing team that produced the U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual. His writings have also been published in The New York Times, Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, among others. 
Jul 21, 2013
Episode 184: The Big Man Theory
01:09:00
What is the impact of the right man at the right time with the right ideas? What is the impact of what seems to some as just a man, but to a son is all? For the first half of the hour we will have LCDR BJ Armstrong to discuss his book, 21st Century Mahan: Sound Military Conclusions for the Modern Era. For the second half of the hour our guest will be Stephen Roderick to discuss his book, The Magical Stranger: A Son's Journey into His Father's Life. LCDR BJ Armstrong is a Naval Aviator and an occasional naval historian. His articles have appeared in numerous journals including USNI's Proceedings and Naval History, Naval War College Review, and Infinity Journal to name a few. He is a research student with the Department of War Studies at King's College, University of London. He was recently named the 2013-14 Morison Scholar by Naval History & Heritage Command and was awarded the 2013 Navy League Alfred Thayer Mahan Award. Stephen Rodrick is a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine and a contributing editor for Men's Journal. He has also written for New York, Rolling Stone, GQ, The New Republic, The New York Times Magazine, Men's Journal, and others. The Magical Stranger is his first book. Before becoming a journalist, Rodrick worked as a deputy press secretary for United States Senator Alan J. Dixon. He hold a bachelors and masters in political science from Loyola University of Chicago and a masters in journalism from Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism.
Jul 14, 2013
Episode 183: Best of the Authors
01:21:00
Don't hate - but we're at the beach. We'll be back next week live, but until then - today's show is a pre-recorded best of with three of the authors we interviewed in 2010 about their books; James S. Robbins, Senior Editorial Writer for Foreign Affairs at the Washington Times on his book, "This Time We Win: Revisiting the Tet Offensive." David Sears' book on Navy Air in the Korean war with, "Such Men as These." United States Naval Academy Professor Bruce Fleming's new book on one part of the culture battle, "Bridging the Military-Civilian Divide: What Each Side Must Know About the Other - And About Itself." We will be back next week with a live 2-hour show, in addition to EagleOne and myself, we will have an expanded panel with Galrahn, Bryan McGrath, CAPT Henry J. Hendrix, Jr., USN, and LCDR Claude Berube, USNR.
Jul 07, 2013
Episode 182: Marine Recon Best Of
01:06:00
I cannot believe it has been almost 2.5 years since this show. Unquestionably time to have it again. Much of the conversation about the USMC over the last decade has been about its "Second Land Army" status .... well .... Marines are still second to none at their core skill set. In case someone forgot that - our next guest and his Marines reminded everyone of not just that - but the power of the Navy-Marine Corp team. Over a 48 hour period, the 15th MEU/PELARG team conducted offensive air operations in Afghanistan resulting in the deaths of 5 confirmed enemy fighters, provided disaster relief in Pakistan to 120 victims who had been without aid since July, and seized a pirated vessel, rescuing a crew of 11 hostages and detaining 9 suspected pirates off the coast of Somalia. Our guest will be Captain Alexander Martin, USMC - the leader of the team that took back The Magellan Star.
Jun 30, 2013
Episode 181: Summer Solstice Melee
01:10:00
Here is your chance; its the end of 2QCY13 and you haven't heard the topic you wanted on Midrats yet? There is a question you would like to hear the hosts grapple with about maritime and national security issues? Or, are you just interested in discussing the latest developments in unmanned systems, pacific pivot, budget battles, Russian relations, China intentions, and more? On, above, and under the sea - we'll cover it today for a full hour free for all.  The phone lines will be open and we'll also take questions directly from the chat room. Come join us.
Jun 23, 2013
Episode 180: Russia for Father's Day
01:08:00
Father's Day Best of from almost a year ago. Can't believe we have waited a year since we talked about Russia ... so with Syria in the news - it might be interesting to see what the view was a year ago. For the full hour we will have returning guest Dr. Dmitry Gorenburg, Senior Analyst, CNA Strategic Studies, an Associate at Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, and author and host of the Russian Military Reform blog.
Jun 16, 2013
Episode 179: CIMSEC and the Marketplace of Ideas
01:09:00
Policy is never set - it is never agreed. As the global maritime security situation changes, so must the ideas and plans of nations. In the best Western tradition, it is generally accepted that more ideas, and more discussion is better in working towards the best solution to any challenge - especially national security challenges. One of the newer additions to the discussion are the writers at the Center for International Maritime Security (CIMSEC) Since they joined the conversation in force in 2012, what is their view of the state of vigorous debate in the maritime security arena? What do they see as the major issues no only on maintaining a healthy culture of "Creative Friction Without Conflict" - and what do they see as the major subjects that naval thinkers need to concentrate on? Our guest for the full hour will be Lieutenant Scott Cheney-Peters, USNR.  Scott is a Surface Warfare Officer in the Navy Reserve and government civilian on the OPNAV staff at the Pentagon. Scott is the former editor of Surface Warfare magazine and served aboard USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) and USS Oak Hill (LSD-51). In 2012 Scott founded the CIMSEC, a non-profit think tank/website/group focused on maritime security issues. Scott is a graduate of Georgetown University and the U.S. Naval War College.
Jun 09, 2013
Episode 178: USS SAMUEL B. ROBERTS: Operation PRAYING MANTIS
01:19:00
Narrow seas, unseen mines, punitive expeditions, and "come as you are" ASUW on the sea and in the air. Yes, it has been a quarter-century, but little has changed since the USS SAMUEL B. ROBERTS (FFG-58) struck a mine, and in retribution, the US Navy launched Operation PRAYING MANTIS. The tactical and operational aspects of each, as well as combat leadership, remain constant even while the tools may have changed a bit. To discuss this an more, our guest for the full hour will be BRAD T0N, author of "No Higher Honor: Saving the USS Samuel B. Roberts in the Persian Gulf," recently released by the Naval Institute Press in paperback and on Kindle.
Jun 02, 2013
Episode 177: Memorial Day Best of
01:06:00
The show we had in July of 2011 was one of our better, as it showed two sides of "leave no one behind" from two very different wars. Especially the second half of the show, you'll shake your head a bit. History does echo, often in the same countries. This nation has been served by those who come home, and those who never make it back. Some have had their stories preserved and celebrated within living memory, some are almost unknown. This weeks episode will cover both sides of our military experience. For the first half hour our guest will be best selling author Laura Hillenbrand to talk about her latest book Unbroken; an incredible story of survival of Louie Zamperini - olympic athlete, B-24 Liberator bombardier, survivor of being adrift at sea for months and the as a POW under the Japanese. Unbroken at the time of the airing of this show was #9 on Amazon in general, and #2 in Military History.  Laura's previous works include Seabiscuit. Our guest for the second half of the hour will Michael R. Caputo of  The Intrepid Project - people doing all they can to bring some shipmates home.  He is here to talk about 12 Sailors who have been abandoned in a mass grave in a mass grave in Libya.
May 26, 2013
Episode 176: Fallujah Awakens with Bill Ardolino
01:09:00
How did the US Marine Corps and local tribal leaders turn the corner in Fallujah?  Who were the people on the ground, Iraqi and American, who were the catalyst for the change that brought about a sea change in the tactical, operational, and strategic direction in Iraq? Our guest for the full hour to discuss that and more will be author Bill Ardolino. We will use as a base of our discussion his new book, Fallujah Awakens: Marines, Sheikhs, and the Battle Against al Qaeda. Bill is the associate editor of The Long War Journal. He was embedded with the U.S. Marine Corps, the U.S. Army, the Iraqi Army, and the Iraqi Police in Fallujah, Habbaniyah, and Baghdad in 2006, 2007, and 2008, and later with U.S. and Afghan forces in Kabul, Helmand and Khost provinces in Afghanistan. His reports, columns, and photographs have received wide media exposure and have been cited in a number of academic publications. He lives in Washington, DC.
May 19, 2013
Episode 175: Mothers Day Best Of
01:07:00
There could be only one show from last year for this year's Mothers Day: For the career minded Naval professional, to have a chance for the greatest advancement and promotion, you have to push and push hard. The reputation you build in your first 10 years sets the tone for the rest. Except for very rare exceptions, there are no second chances. There are no pauses, one iffy set of orders, one poorly timed FITREP, and you are on an off-ramp. You must work harder, you must sacrifice, and if you are to have a family young, you need a very strong support structure. For men - there is always the RADM Sestak, USN (Ret) option; wait until post O6, then start. For women though, there are some hard biological facts. The average American woman gets married at age 26. For college-educated women the average age at first birth is ~30. If you want to have more than 2 kids, you need to start earlier. You need to time it right - and Mother Nature has her own schedule that doesn't often match yours. With women making up more of the military than ever, what are the challenges out there biological, cultural, psychological, and relationship wise to "making it happen?" You can't have it all - but how do you get the best mix you can? We will have two guests on to discuss. For the first half hour we will have Major Jeannette Haynie, USMCR, a 1998 graduate from the US Naval Academy, AH-1W Cobra pilot, and  currently a Reservist flying a desk at the Pentagon and working through graduate school - and fellow blogger over at USNIBlog. The second half of the hour, our guest will be Robyn Roche-Paull, US Navy Veteran, wife of a Chief, ICBLC, and author of the book Breastfeeding in Combat Boots.
May 12, 2013
Episode 174: The New Shipbuilding Plan
01:09:00
Last month saw the newest shipbuilding plan hit the streets. Is this good news, more of the same, or are there some systemic issues that are being painted over? What can the Navy expect over the next few years as the defense cuts bite deeper and the battle for wedges of the defense budget pie heats up. Using their latest article in RealClearDefense as a starting point, our guests will be Mackenzie Eaglen, Resident Fellow at the Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies at the American Enterprise Institute and Bryan McGrath, Director, Delex Consulting, Studies and Analysis.
May 05, 2013
Episode 173: Back to the Littorals with Milan Vego
01:11:00
If the requirement is to be able to operate, fight, and win in the Littorals - is the Littoral Combat Ship the answer? Other nations have the same requirement - yet have come up with different answers. Are we defining our requirements properly in face of larger Fleet needs and the threats we expect? What platforms and systems need to be looked at closer if we are to have the best mix of capabilities to meet our requirements? Using his article in Armed Forces Journal, Go smaller: Time for the Navy to get serious about the littorals, as a stepping off place, our guest for the full hour will be Milan Vego, PhD, Professor of Joint Military Operations at the US Naval War College.
Apr 28, 2013
Episode 172: The War Returns to CONUS
01:09:00
The events of the last week in Boston has brought back to the front of the national conscience what, for the lack of a better description, is known as The Long War. The threats we face are both domestic, foreign, and increasingly a mixture of both. Communication and transportation has created a breed of transnational threats that are not new, and whose causes, resources, and threat vectors are not as opaque as some may try to make them. Starting out and working in, what are the lessons we should emphasize to mitigate the ongoing threat? As we continue in the second decade after 9/11/2013, what are we doing correctly, what still needs to be done - and what things are we wasting time and money on for little gain? To discuss, our guest for the full hour will be Steven Bucci, Director, Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation.
Apr 21, 2013
Episode 171: The State of Naval Supremacy with Seth Crospey
01:08:00
It is all around us; from poor program decisions to significant budgetary stresses that are only recently starting to bite - the large US Navy Fleet straddling the globe is contracting. What are the initial, second & third order effects of the decreasing presence of the US Navy. Is it permanent, relative, or can fewer numbers be made up in other ways? Join Sal from CDR Salamander and EagleOne of EagleSpeak in a wide ranging discussion along with their guest Seth Cropsey, Senior Fellow from The Hudson Institute and author of the new book, Mayday: The Decline of American Naval Supremacy..
Apr 14, 2013
Episode 170: Stolen Seas; Tales of Somali Piracy
01:08:00
We have heard from industry, military leaders, Marines, and private security providers, this Sunday we are going to look at piracy at a more personal level with director Thymaya Payne of the documentary, Stolen Seas; Tales of Somali Piracy. He will be our guest for the full hour. From the show promo: The filmmakers have spent the past three years traveling to some of the world's most violent locales in order to make this documentary on Somali piracy, Stolen Seas. Utilizing exclusive interviews and unparalleled access to real pirates, hostages, hostages' relatives, ship-owners, pirate negotiators and experts on piracy and international policy, Stolen Seas presents a chilling exploration of the Somali pirate phenomenon. The film throws the viewer, through audio recordings and found video, right into the middle of the real-life hostage negotiation of a Danish shipping vessel, the CEC Future. As the haggling between the ship's stoic owner Per Gullestrup, and the pirate's loquacious negotiator, Ishmael Ali, drags on for 70 days, these two adversaries' relationship takes an unexpected turn and an unlikely friendship is born. Stolen Seas is an eye opening refutation of preconceived ideas on how or why piracy has become the world's most frightening multi-million dollar growth industry.
Apr 07, 2013
Episode 169: Best of Kirk Lippold & Steve Phillips
01:06:00
This Easter, let's go back to October of 2010 for a great duo of guests. First, since the end of US involvement The Vietnam War almost 40 years ago, there are just a few USN Commanding Officers who know what it is like for a warship under attack; one of the handful will be our first guest, CDR Kirk Lippold, USN (Ret.). He was the Commanding Officer of the USS Cole (DDG-67) when it was attacked while in port Aden, Yemen 12 October 2000 - the 10th anniversary will be this Tuesday. We will discuss his experiences then as well as the work he has done since his retirement with senior military fellow with Military Families United, and any other topics that fold their way in to our conversation. (since his first guest on Midrats, he published his book, Front Burner) Our second guest will be from the shadows of the Navy EOD world, Steve Phillips. After graduating from Annapolis in '92, Steve found honest work as a SWO, but then transferred into EOD where he served as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician at EOD Mobile Units Six, Eight, and Ten. He is the author of Proximity: A Novel of the Navy's Elite Bomb Squad which received a Gold Medal from the Military Writers Society of America in 2008. Some of the proceeds from Proximity support the EOD Memorial Foundation which provides scholarship to the children of EOD Technicians who made the ultimate sacrifice. If you like his work, Steve is currently working on a non-fiction account of EOD Technicians in our current conflict with a working title of Improvised: EOD Techs in the War on Terrorism. The first two of the chapters for the non-fiction work are available at: "The Birth of the Combined Explosives Exploitation Cell" and "A Remembrance of 9/11"
Mar 31, 2013
Episode 168: USCG and the Arctic
01:08:00
There is a fair bit of talk about the rush for the arctic for economic and strategic reasons - and where there is international interest on the seas, the nations involved need to think about what is the best way to secure their interests. While the initial thought might be Navy - is the natural answer really the Coast Guard? If the USCG is the right answer, is it trained, manned and equipped for the job? What does it need to do in order to fulfill its role - and why may it be the best answer to the question - who will show the flag up north? Our guest this Sunday for the full hour from 5-6pm EST will be U.S. Naval War College Professor James R. Holmes. As a starting point for our conversation, we will use his latest article in Foreign Policy: America Needs a Coast Guard That Can Fight: As the Arctic becomes an arena for conflict, the United States’ forgotten naval force will need to cowboy up.
Mar 24, 2013
Episode 167: Intellectual Integrity, PME, & NWC
01:09:00
How do we advance the intellectual development of leaders through Professional Military Education, the Naval War College, and else where? What is the purpose and how are we trying to achieve the goals to best serve our nation? Are we doing it right? What are the trends, and what could we do better? Our guest for the full hour to discuss this and more will be Dr. Joan Johnson-Freese, Professor of National Security Affairs at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. Her publications include: Heavenly Ambitions: America’s Quest to Dominate Space; Space As A Strategic Asset, and over 80 journal articles. She is a member of the Space Studies Board of the National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the International Academy of Astronautics, and a member of the Editorial Board of China Security. She has testified before Congress on multiple occasions, and is regularly interviewed by the media, including CNN, CBS, ABC, The New York Times, Reuters and the BBC, on space issues. She also teaches courses on Globalization & US National Security, and Space & Security, at Harvard Summer and Extension Schools.
Mar 17, 2013
Episode 166: Expeditionary Fleet Balance
01:09:00
Do we have the right balance between strike as embodied by carrier air and expeditionary forces based around amphibious ships. What capability is most cost effective and gives the combatant commanders the most flexible assets in their area of responsibility? What is driving our Fleet structure, and do we have the right mix? What is informing our decisions, and what should be informing it? Our guest for the full hour will be Lieutenant Colonel James W. Hammond III, USMC (Ret), senior manager at WBB. Prior to retirement in 2005, he was Director, Commandant’s Staff Group.  As a starting point for our discussion, we will review his points in the FEB13 Proceedings article, "A Fleet Out of Balance." Previous published articles and letters in the Naval Institute Proceedings and the Marine Corps Gazette have dealt with Naval Surface Fire Support, Counterbattery support from the Sea, Electronic Attack, Revolution in Military Affairs, and Provisional Rifle Companies.
Mar 10, 2013
Episode 165: USNI's VADM Daly & Naval History in 100 Objects
01:07:00
Institutions do not exist and excel simply because they "are." They must be nurtured by dedicated individuals that find the right combination of stewardship and intellectual curiosity to ensure they continue to carry out their mission and leave a more viable entity for those who follow. It must be informed by the past, though not shackled to it. It must be true to its nature, but not ossified in its operation. It must be ready for the future, but clearheaded on how to get there. For the maritime professional in the United States, there is a rather unique institution that really has no counterpart here or in other nations; the United States Naval Institute. Our guest for the first half of the hour will be USNI's CEO, Vice Admiral Peter Daly, USN (Ret). He will be with us to discuss USNI's place in the maritime security arena and how ideas and concepts today inform and influence the direction of our Navy. For the second half of the hour, we will shift focus back with Ensign Chris O’Keefe, USN who is the producer of the United States Naval Academy podcast series, A History of the Navy in 100 Objects, that uses objects from the Naval Academy's museum to help tell the story of our Navy and the nation it serves.
Mar 03, 2013
Episode 164: Best of With James D. Hornfischer
01:06:00
You're in for a good treat this Best Of. When you mention books on naval history, there are but a few authors whose work immediately come to mind, and our guest is one of them. Unquestionably one of the finest writers of naval history of the last half-century; James D. Hornfischer. We have talked about his books on a regular basis both on Midrats and over at our homeblogs; The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors &  Ship of Ghosts.  He has a new book out, one that will be required reading for his fans - Neptune's Inferno: The U.S. Navy at Guadalcanal. We will have him for the full hour, so don't miss the discussion of the U.S. Navy in the opening of WWII, the lessons we should take from history, and the importance of the study of naval history for both the professional and amateur.  
Feb 24, 2013
Episode 163: February Free For All
01:11:00
Change is in the air as we look at sequester, a new SecDef, France in North Africa, preparing for the last fighting season in Afghanistan, and what looks like a long decade of budget stress. Is this a pivot-point of opportunity, or just a winter of our naval discontent? No guests, no set agenda - open floor and open phones. No one but Sal from "CDR Salamander" and EagleOne from "EagleSpeak" for the full hour. If there is a topic you want discussed, call in or roll it in to the chat room.
Feb 17, 2013
Episode 162: Air Diplomacy, Air-Sea Battle, & the PAC Pivot
01:09:00
As we shift from ground combat in Asia and reset to a more natural position of a naval and aerospace power, are we thinking correctly on how to best leverage our resources and strenghts? How should we be using sea power and air power to create the right effects during peace, yet be poised to have the best utility at war? Are there concepts, habits, and systems that have had their time and should be moved aside for newer tools and ideas? Our guest for the full hour will be Dr. Adam Lowther, Senior Fellow at the Center for the National Interest in Washington, DC. He is the author of numerous books and articles on national security topics and previously served in the US Navy.
Feb 10, 2013
Episode 161: Best of Defense Against Piracy
01:06:00
Not much has changes since we first played this interview two years ago.  We've brought on a lot of new listeners since then, so if you missed it or want a refresh; here you go! For the full hour we will discuss the tactical and operational steps mariners can take to defend themselves and their ships from pirates - and if their ship is taken - what they can do to best enable coalition forces to re-take the ship. Our guest will be Kevin Doherty, former Marine and owner of Nexus Consulting Group of Alexandria.
Feb 03, 2013
Episode 160: CHINFO & Peter J. Munson
01:09:00
In an information driven society wrapped in a 24-hr news cycle, what is the mission, responsibility, and the primary responsibilities of the Navy's Chief of Information? Well, you couldn't ask for a better guest to help flesh out the answer to that question. Our guest for the first half-hour will CHINFO-actual, Rear Admiral John Kirby, USN. For the second half of the hour we will have returning guest, Major Peter J. Munson, USMC - author of War, Welfare & Democracy: Rethinking America's Quest for the End of History - a sobering view of how we got where we are, and the underlying trends that will impact the global system, and America's place in it, for the next half century.
Jan 27, 2013
Episode 159: Best of Counter Narcotics
01:05:00
This week's 3-day weekend "Best of" will reach back to Episode 39 where we talk about the U.S. Coast Guard's role in defending the USA from the flow of illegal drugs. Our guest will be CDR E. A. Westfall, CDR, USCG, then Commanding Officer of the USCGC ESCANABA (WMEC 907).
Jan 20, 2013
Episode 158: 3rd Anniversary Show
01:28:00
Join us this Sunday to celebrate Midrat's 3rd Anniversary with a free-ranging panel discussion with some of your favorite guests from the past three seasons. Join your hosts Sal from "CDR Salamander" and EagleOne from "EagleSpeak" with regular guests on the panel; Captain Henry J. Hendrix, Jr. USN; Captain Will Dossel, USN (Ret); LCDR Claude Berube, USNR; and YN2 H. Lucien Gauthier, III (SW) USN. We will be asking each other questions on the above-the-fold subjects of the last year and what we see in the next.  Join in the chat room for to suggest your own questions as well.
Jan 13, 2013
Episode 157: Force Structure & Tipping Points
01:10:00
What happens when a global maritime power finds itself in a position where it can no longer sustain the global presence it once considered an essential requirement? The US Navy has been in a period of decline in both numbers and capability for awhile, and as budgetary reality sets in and burn out starts to hollow remaining capabilities - the decline is set to continue for at least another decade. How far the decline goes until stability sets in is unknown, but what is the best reaction to this reality? Are the lessons one can derive from history that can help policy makers shape direction and priority going forward? Our guest for the full hour to discuss will be Daniel J. Whiteneck, Ph.D. Dr. Whiteneck is a Senior Research Scientist at the Center for Naval Analyses. He has directed projects ranging from Tipping Point and the future of US maritime dominance, to the use of naval forces in deterrence and influence operations.  He also led studies on naval coalition operations and maritime security operations focusing on counter-piracy and counter-proliferation. Dr. Whiteneck deployed twice with Carrier Strike Groups for OEF and OIF.  His CNA field assignments included two tours on numbered fleet staffs, as well as field representative to the Commander of NATO Joint Command Lisbon in 2004-05.  He also did three tours in the Pentagon as CNA Scientific Analyst to N51, N31, and OPNAV DEEP BLUE. He held academic positions at the Seattle University, the University of Colorado, and the Air Force Academy, before joining CNA.  In addition to authoring a number of CNA studies over the past 14 years, he has published articles and book chapters on US and British global leadership and naval operations, NATO’s expansion and operations, and the role of conventional and strategic deterrence against terrorist networks and rogue states after 9/11.
Jan 06, 2013
Episode 156: New Years Best Of COIN and Surface Navy Media
01:05:00
Today's show is a best of, reaching back to the summer of 2010 as we look forward to winter of 2013. We have two guests, first U.S. Naval War College Professor Marc Genest for the first half hour. For the second half of the hour we will have returning guest Phil Ewing from Navy Times to discuss 2010's view on Aegis, Annapolis, SAN ANTONIO, and everything in between. With 2.5 years hindsight, what did we get right, what did we get wrong - and what has remained unchanged?
Dec 30, 2012
Episode 155: Best of China & its Neighborhood
01:08:00
As you are taking time to open all your stuff with the "Made in China" label, I thought the Sunday before Christmas it would be good to think about what all the money and debt is doing to shape the geopolitical landscape. Today from 5-6pm EST, step back with us to SEP11 with our guest Mark Stokes, the Executive Director of the Project 2049 Institute. As a stepping off point for our discussion we will be using the institute's latest report, Asian Alliances in the 21st Century. Previous to his present position with 2049, Mark was the founder and president of Quantum Pacific Enterprises, an international consulting firm, and vice president and Taiwan country manager for Raytheon International. He has served as executive vice president of Laifu Trading Company, a subsidiary of the Rehfeldt Group; a senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies; and member of the Board of Governors of the American Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan. A 20-year U.S. Air Force veteran, Stokes also served as team chief and senior country director for the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan and Mongolia in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs. He holds a B.A. from Texas A&M University, and graduate degrees in International Relations and Asian Studies from Boston University and the Naval Postgraduate School. He is a fluent Mandarin speaker.
Dec 23, 2012
Episode 154: Offshore Control & Asia/Pacific with TX Hammes
01:09:00
With significant budget cuts already underway and expected for years, how do we adjust through the Pacific Pivot as these cuts take place, yet still remain postured to influence the region in peacetime and defend our national interests in war? What is the best way to match required capabilities inside an economically sustainable military budget? While many are familiar with the concept of “Offshore Balancing” – what is “Offshore Control?” Our guest for the full hour to discuss the concept he raises in his latest article in the United States Naval Institute’s Proceedings, Offshore Control is the Answer, will be Colonel T.X. Hammes, USMC (Ret.) Col. Hammes served thirty years in the Marine Corps at all levels in the operating forces.  He participated in stabilization operations in Somalia and Iraq as well as training insurgents in various places.  Hammes has a Masters in Historical Research and a Doctorate in Modern History from Oxford University, and is currently a Distinguished Research Fellow at the Institute for National Strategic Studies, National Defense University and an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University.  He is the author of “The Sling and the Stone: On War in the Twenty-First Century” and “Forgotten Warriors:  The 1st Provisional Marine Brigade, the Corps Ethos, and the Korean War,” and many articles and opinion pieces. He has lectured at U.S. and International Staff and War Colleges. 
Dec 16, 2012
Episode 153: NATO and the Challenge of Relevance
01:09:00
From the conflicts that came following the break-up of Yugoslavia, a decade in Afghanistan, land and sea-based ballistic missile defense, Libya, and now Patriot missiles deployed to the Turkish-Syrian border, NATO continues to test what kind of alliance it is after the fall of the Soviet Union roughly a quarter-century ago. Where does the alliance stand, and what direction is it going? Are the roles of the member states changing? Where is the alliance strongest, and where does it need the most improvement? Our returning guest for the full hour to discuss this and more will be Dr. Daniel Goure, is Vice President with the Lexington Institute. Dr Goure has held senior positions in both the private sector and the U.S. Government, as a member of the 2001 Department of Defense Transition Team, two years as the director of the Office of Strategic Competitiveness in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, as a senior analyst on national security and defense issues with the Center for Naval Analyses, SAIC, SRS Technologies, R&D Associates, and System Planning Corporation. Prior to joining the Lexington Institute, Dr. Goure was the Deputy Director, International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He has consulted for the Departments of State, Defense and Energy. He has taught or lectured at the Johns Hopkins University, the Foreign Service Institute, the National War College, the Naval War College, the Air War College, and the Inter-American Defense College. Since 2001, Dr. Goure has been an adjunct professor in graduate programs at Georgetown University, and the National Defense University since 2002. Dr. Goure holds Masters and Ph.D. degrees in international relations and Russian Studies from Johns Hopkins University and a B.A. in Government and History from Pomona College.
Dec 09, 2012
Episode 152: Navy Next, Interrupted
01:09:00
Elections have consequences. There are paths not taken, and paths that remain. In the last election, national security was very much kept in the background, but once you peeled away a layer or two and looked carefully, there was a lot of "there there" - and a lot of it involved what to do with the direction of the US Navy. The erstwhile nautical corner of Team Romney had a direction they wanted to take the Navy. What was that direction? What informed it, and what were the guiding requirements that shaped their concepts? For the full hour we will have a Midrats regular, Bryan McGrath on to discuss this and more. Bryan McGrath is a retired Surface Warfare Officer. He commanded USS BULKELEY (DDG 84) from 2004-2006, and finished his career by leading the team that wrote the nation's current maritime strategy. He retired in 2008 and is currently a Washington DC based defense consultant at Delex Systems. From August 2011 to November 2012, he served on the Mitt Romney for President Defense Policy Working Group.
Dec 02, 2012
Episode 151: Best of Junior NCO Leadership
01:05:00
We hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving this week. Today's show is a best of, going back to 2010. We all know about the ground services "Strategic Corporal (E4)," but in the sea services - what is the role of the Junior NCO (1st, 2nd, and 3rd Class Petty Officers, E4-6)? Join milbloggers Sal from "CDR Salamander" and EagleOne from "EagleSpeak" with their guests Yeoman Second Class Lucien Gauthier, USN - Aviation Electronics Technician First Class Charles H. Berlemann Jr, USN - and Machinery Technician First Class Tony Turner, USCG.
Nov 25, 2012
Episode 150: Policy, Fleet Size, and the Navy Next
01:10:00
"If we cannot have the navy estimates of our policy, then let's have the policy of our navy estimates." ---- Lieutenant Ambroise Baudry, French Navy As our guest this week noted in his book Fleet Tactics: Theory and Practice, "These are the watchwords for the twenty-first-century American navy." As we leave our land wars in Asia and look forward to the future maritime challenges of our nation, what size and kind of Fleet should the US Navy have? How will budgets impact the size and nature of our Fleet, and how will that impact the ability of the Navy to meet what it will be asked to do? What are the major schools of thought on what should drive our Fleet design, and what does history have to tell us about where we should head, and what we should be cautious of? Our guest for the full hour to discuss this and a lot more will be Wayne P. Hughes, Jr., Captain, USN (Ret), who in addition to being the author of innumerable books and articles, is a Professor, Department of Operations Research at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. Captain Hughes received an MS in Operations Research from NPS in 1964, and returned in 1979 and continued as a civilian instructor for thirty-two years, including 5 years as Dean of the Graduate School of Operational and Information Sciences, he is a Distinguished Alumnus of NPS. On active duty he commanded a minesweeper, a destroyer, and directed a large training command.  Ashore, he was Deputy Director of the CNO’s Systems Analysis (OP-96), and Aide to Under Secretary of the Navy R. James Woolsey.
Nov 18, 2012
Episode 149: Veterans Day Best Of
01:06:00
Let's revisit a show from JAN 2011.  Much of the conversation about the USMC over the last decade has been about its "Second Land Army" status .... well .... Marines are still second to none at their core skill set. In case someone forgot that - our next guest and his Marines reminded everyone of not just that - but the power of the Navy-Marine Corp team. Over a 48 hour period , the 15th MEU/PELARG team conducted offensive air operations in Afghanistan resulting in the deaths of 5 confirmed enemy fighters, provided disaster relief in Pakistan to 120 victims who had been without aid since July, and seized a pirated vessel, rescuing a crew of 11 hostages and detaining 9 suspected pirates off the coast of Somalia. Our guest will be Captain Alexander Martin, USMC - the leader of the team that took back The Magellan Star.
Nov 11, 2012
Episode 148: Pre-Election Pontifications
01:07:00
Tired of the robo-calls? Tired of the same-old-same-old election babble on the TV and radio? Well, take a break from it all and join Sal from "CDR Salamander" and EagleOne from "EagleSpeak" this Sunday from 5-6pm as they cover the maritime and national security board from stem to stern in a Midrats free-for-all. Now is the time to call in and ask questions of the hosts on the topics you want addressed, or jump in the chat room and steer the conversation the direction you want covered. Open mic at Midrats ... join in!
Nov 04, 2012
Episode 147: The Recipient's Son & Navy PAOs
01:09:00
Our show today will have guests that have seamingly unrelated topics - but both are connected to one thing; getting the story of our Navy, its people, and its culture out to the larger population. For the first half of the hour, we will have returning guest Stephen Phillips. Steve is a 1992 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. He began his naval career as a surface warfare officer on board USS Harlan County and USS San Jacinto. He then applied and was accepted into the Navy’s Special Operations community. He subsequently served as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Technician at EOD Mobile Units Six, Eight, and Ten. Steve is the author of the awarding-winning debut novel, Proximity, describes life as a Navy EOD Technician in the war on terrorism. His second novel, The Recipient’s Son, is a coming of age story that takes place at the U.S. Naval Academy in the late 80’s early 90’s. Our guest for the second half of the hour will be LCDR Chris Servello, USN, director, Navy Newsdesk (OI-31) & Public Affairs Assistant to the Vice Chief of Naval Operations. Chris will be here on his own behalf to dicuss the role of the PAO in today's media environment. We'll also discuss how someone becomes a PAO along with some of the misconceptions and surprising aspects of what a PAO does.
Oct 28, 2012
Episode 146: Best of Piracy with RADM Terry McKnight
01:06:00
On 15 OCT, Rear Admiral Terry McKnight, USN (Ret) book Pirate Alley: Commanding Task Force 151 Off Somalia hit the street. Could we pick a better show for this week's best of than from February? We have him for the full hour to discuss the fact that the problem with piracy is not going anywhere. Each year in places like Somalia it is becoming part of the local economy. In areas near poorly governed areas, it threatens the free flow of goods at market prices through the world's sea lines of communication. Is it an economic problem, a global security problem, a political problem, or a mixture of that and more? What is the impact of international aid, military action, and the paying of ransom? What are the best solutions, and what is working and what is not working to slow the impact of piracy?
Oct 21, 2012
Episode 145: The Aden Effect with Claude Berube
01:10:00
Terror attacks on an American embassy. Piracy on the high seas. Political intrigue. Leadership at sea. Not just the news of the day, but some of the topics you'll find in Claude Berube's new non-fiction book, The Aden Effect. We'll have the author with us for the full hour to talk about the book, writing, and perhaps a few more thing as well. Claude's articles have appeared in Orbis, Naval History, Vietnam History, Jane’s Intelligence Review, Naval Institute Proceedings, the Christian Science Monitor and other periodicals.  He has worked on Capitol Hill and for the Office of Naval Intelligence.  A lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve, he has served twice overseas including a deployment to the Persian Gulf with Expeditionary Strike Group Five.  He currently teaches at the United States Naval Academy. From the description on of his new book on Amazon; "Murder, politics, seapower, Middle East instability, and intrigue in the White House are all part of this action thriller. Set against a background of modern piracy in the Gulf of Aden, the story begins as the new Ambassador to Yemen, C.J. Sumner, is assigned to negotiate access to the oil fields off the island of Socotra and enlist help countering pirates who are capturing ships at will off the Horn of Africa. Meeting with resistance to her diplomatic overtures, Sumner recruits Connor Stark, a former naval officer turned mercenary who knows the region, as her defense attache. When Stark sets up a meeting with the owner of a Yemeni shipping company and the ruling family, the challenges begin."
Oct 14, 2012
Episode 144: Columbus Day Best Of
01:05:00
This was recorded two and a half years ago, a time prior to our remote switchboard upgrade and to be frank, we had a run of bad audio luck.  As such, have patience with my audio being a bit weak and echoish  - the guests are fine, and this early show deserved another listen if you have patience. Back in APR 2010, we did a live show from the Navy Memorial in Washington DC as it got ready for the annual Blessing of the Fleets. The 2010 Blessing of the Fleets debuted the Navy Memorial's exhibit, Supporting the Force: Navy Supply in Action—Ready for Sea, Ready Ashore, and will kick off the Year of Navy Supply. Following on popular exhibits in previous years that have honored the Seabees, Navy Medicine and Navy Special Warfare, 2010 was set aside to honor the Navy’s logistics, culinary and business specialists. We had three scheduled guests; - Rear Admiral Edward K. Walker, Jr., Supply Corps USN (Ret.); President and Chief Executive Officer, United States Navy Memorial Foundation. - Rear Admiral Michael J. Lyden, USN; Commander, Naval Supply Systems Command and the 45th Chief of Supply Corps. - Documentarian Brian J. Kelly who will be screening their new work, Discovery Channel's film about Navy operations today "At Sea." Make sure and join us for the show, or better yet - if you are in DC this weekend, come by and see the exhibit.
Oct 07, 2012
Episode 143: J. Michael Barrett & a New Middle East Realism
01:10:00
The "Arab Spring" has not turned out as well as many hoped, and in much of the Arab and Muslim world, the will of the people does not necessarily translate in to freedom and a pro-Western leadership. With many more years to go in the Long War struggle, how do we navigate through the rapidly changing world which is mostly beyond our control? While we cannot back away, we also cannot control. Is there a better way - and how do we more towards a more honest discussion of the world as it is, not how we wish it to be? Using his latest article in Defense News, Navigating Chaos, as a starting point for our discussion, our guest for the full hour will be returning guest J. Michael Barrett, CEO of Diligent Innovations and a former director of strategy for the White House Homeland Security Council.
Sep 30, 2012
Episode 142 - IA, E-2, FEF, EDU & the 21C Career Path
01:10:00
What does an officer do with the opportunistic "white space" the Navy can provide you in your career path? What does a curious intellect and an operational mindset need to look at doing to meet both? What are some of the demands and opportunities out there who want something a bit different in their career path? To discuss this for the full hour as well as a bit about the last props on the carrier deck, will be Captain Herb Carmen, USN. CAPT Carmen is Naval Aviator with over 4,000 flight hours in the E-2C Hawkeye and C-2A Greyhound, previously commanding the VAW-116 "Sun Kings." He is an Executive MBA student at Georgetown University McDonough School of Business, and he was previously a senior military fellow at the Center for a New American Security. His views are his own and do not represent the Department of Defense or the United States Navy.
Sep 23, 2012
Episode 141: In the Shadow of Greatness
01:08:00
In their formative years from 10 to18 – they rose in a different world; the post-Cold War world.  No 30-minutes from nuclear annihilation, no existential threat to their existence. As they approached adulthood, they made the decision to join the military of the world’s only superpower; a superpower at peace, economically strong, culturally vibrant. They were admitted to the United States Naval Academy in 1998; the class of 2002. Roughly nine months prior to graduation and commissioning, it all changed. Our guest for the full hour to discus the journey, acts, and experiences of the United States Naval Academy Class of 2002 will be Graham Plaster, a member of the class of 2002 and one of the editors of the book - In the Shadow of Greatness: Voices of Leadership, Sacrifice, and Service from America's Longest War.  
Sep 16, 2012
Episode 140: NORTHCOM and Disaster Response
01:09:00
Everyone knows CENTCOM, many know PACOM or EUCOM ... but what about NORTHCOM? What is their role in national defense, and what special role does it have inside the United States - specifically in disaster response? This Sunday, September 9th from 5-6pm EST, our guest for the full hour to discuss this and more will be Brigadier General Donald A. McGregor, the Deputy Director of Operations for Domestic Operations, Headquarters, United States Northern Command, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado.
Sep 09, 2012
Episode 139: Best of Multilateralism
01:07:00
As our listenership in the last year is up four-fold (!), I decided to roll back this weekend to the 14th episode. For the full hour, we will look at what are the plusses and minuses of working with other nations at sea. Are we leveraging the capabilities of other nations enough - or are we in danger of relying on them too much? How does the American Navy see working with other naval forces - and how do they look at working with us? What special capabilities do other nations have that we don't, and what could we learn from them? What do the lessons from multilateralism in ground combat in Afghanistan, and multilateralism against pirates tell us? Our guests will be Hans de Vreij and James S. Robbins. Hans de Vreij is the Netherlands correspondent at Jane's Defence Weekly, and the Security and Defence specialist at Radio Netherlands Worldwide. He received his education at the University of Amsterdam. Previously, he was Economics, web editor, and EU & NATO correspondent for Radio Netherlands World. Also, James S. Robbins; Senior Editorial Writer for Foreign Affairs at the Washington Times. He is also author of the book, Last in Their Class: Custer, Pickett and the Goats of West Point, and a political commentator and contributing editor for National Review Online. Dr. Robbins holds a Ph.D. and Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Medford, Massachusetts. He also has Masters and Bachelors degrees in Political Science from the University of Cincinnati. In addition to contributing to a wide variety of publications, h served in government for ten years, and in 2007 was awarded the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joint Meritorious Civilian Service Award.
Sep 02, 2012
Episode 138: Your Mother Wears Combat Boots
01:08:00
For the career minded Naval professional, to have a chance for the greatest advancement and promotion, you have to push and push hard. The reputation you build in your first 10 years sets the tone for the rest. Except for very rare exceptions, there are no second chances. There are no pauses - one iffy set of orders - one poorly timed FITREP, and you are on an off-ramp. You must work harder, you must sacrifice, and if you are to have a family young, you need a very strong support structure. For men - there is always the RADM Sestak, USN (Ret) option; wait until post O6, then start. For women though, there are some hard biological facts. The average American woman gets married at age 26. For college-educated women the average age at first birth is ~30. If you want to have more than 2 kids, you need to start earlier. You need to time it right - and Mother Nature has her own schedule that doesn't often match yours. With women making up more of the military than ever, what are the challenges out there biological, cultural, psychological, and relationship wise to "making it happen?" You can't have it all - but how do you get the best mix you can? We will have two guests on to discuss. For the first half hour we will have Major Jeannette Haynie, USMCR, a 1998 graduate from the US Naval Academy, AH-1W Cobra pilot, and  currently a Reservist flying a desk at the Pentagon and working through graduate school - and fellow blogger over at USNIBlog. The second half of the hour, our guest will be Robyn Roche-Paull, US Navy Veteran, wife of a Chief, ICBLC, and author of the book Breastfeeding in Combat Boots.
Aug 26, 2012
Episode 137: Strategy & Diplomacy in the Broad View
01:08:00
Ships, aircraft, personnel numbers, and programs are interesting - but without context they are just expenditures. The foundation question should always be; what are our national security requirements, and what is our strategy to meet them? From Political to Strategic to Operational to Tactical - today's Midrats will focus on the top two. The Pacific Pivot, Air-Sea Battle, AFPAK, the "Arab Spring" and in an election year, various squabbles on the Potomac - the large pixels are moving. Our guest for the full hour will be Dr. Robert Farley,  assistant professor at the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce at the University of Kentucky.  He blogs about security and maritime issues at Information Dissemination and Lawyers, Guns and Money.
Aug 19, 2012
Episode 136: Watching the Potomac Flotilla with Chris Cavas
01:22:00
When it comes to appreciating the importance of our Founders emphasis on a free press - in few areas is that as apparent than in national security. A free people in a Representative Republic need the best information in order to be an informed people - and it is the media who is at the point in that struggle for facts, knowledge, and keeping the powerful in check. If you've been focused on the Navy - what a fertile ground to invest your talents if you are a media professional. Our guest for the full hour will be one of the regular names in defense reporting for a long time, Chris Cavas, Naval Affairs Correspondent & Journalist at Defense News. From the politicians, think tanks, senior uniformed leadership, civilian policy makers, media, and the general busy bodies that keep the pot stirred, we'll discuss it all and how it impacts present and future programs and strategy.
Aug 12, 2012