Category Archives: Defense

Midrats Episode 613: The Afghanistan Papers with Craig Whitlock

Five presidents from both political parties oversaw the two decade debacle in Afghanistan that ended in the national humiliation at the end of August 2021 at the airport in Kabul where we retreated under fire following a negotiated surrender – leaving up to a thousand Americans behind and untold thousands of Afghan nationals who fought with us to their fate as the Taliban returned to the power we took from them in 2001.

People in the executive branch, Department of Defense, Department of State, Congress, media, and the well credentialed chatterati said they were “shocked,” “surprised,” and otherwise unprepared for what unfolded. Should they have been, or was this the inevitable outcome warned of in official government lessons learned and historical interviews dating from the beginning of the conflict?

Source: Episode 613: The Afghanistan Papers, with Craig Whitlock 01/16 by Sal and EagleOne | Military

The Gathering Typhoon – The American Mind

At that point, what options would Washington have? After a non-nuclear attack that did not touch the homeland, nuclear retaliation would not even be considered. But we would have little else left with which to fight in the Pacific, and security challenges will continue elsewhere. At a time when shelves are already bare, our tower of debt is tottering, and most of our manufacturing base has been lost, America would be unlikely to undertake such rearmament and mobilization as we carried out in the Second World War. If, after wiping out our Pacific bases, China announced a pause and offered a peace agreement (some of whose clauses would not be made public), Washington would take the deal.

It is necessary, though painful, to ponder what would be the domestic consequences of American disengagement, after losing thousands of service members to a sneak attack. The armed forces would either explode with disaffection or sink into despondency. An already unpopular administration would suffer a crisis of authority so acute that it might get resolved by extra-constitutional means. Or perhaps—if those Americans who deplore our nation as racist and hegemonic should manifest their satisfaction at its discomfiture—the U.S. could fracture with chaotic violence along fault lines that are already visible.

Source: The Gathering Typhoon – The American Mind

Midrats Episode 621: Russian Military SITREP with Dr. Dmitry Gorenburg

For over 11-years, once a year or so today’s guest has joined us on Midrats to discuss the latest military and national security developments with Russia. With the war waging in Ukraine and in the process of transitioning to a new phase, there couldn’t be a better time to hear from Dr. Dmitry Gorenburg who will be with us for the full hour in a wide ranging discussion about the buildup to war, and the important takeaways so far.

Dmitry is an expert on security issues in the former Soviet Union, Russian military reform, Russian foreign policy, and ethnic politics and identity. His recent research topics include decision-making processes in the senior Russian leadership, Russian naval strategy in the Pacific and the Black Sea, and Russian maritime defense doctrine. He is author of “Nationalism for the Masses: Minority Ethnic Mobilization in the Russian Federation” (Cambridge University Press, 2003), and has been published in journals such as World Politics and Post-Soviet Affairs. In addition to his role at CNA, he currently serves as editor of Problems of Post-Communism and is an Associate of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University. From 2009 to 2016, he edited the journal Russian Politics and Law.

He previously served as Executive Director of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES). He received a B.A. in international relations from Princeton University and a Ph.D. in political science from Harvard University. He blogs on issues related to the Russian military at Russian Military Reform. He is a native Russian speaker.

Source: Episode 621: Russian Military SITREP with Dr. Dmitry Gorenburg 04/10 by Sal and EagleOne | Military

Midrats Episode 618: China’s 2022 with Dean Cheng

While the world’s eyes are focused on Russia and Ukraine – and probably will for the foreseeable future – the People’s Republic of China is not standing still. How can China use this moment to her advantage? What possible lessons can China take away from the Ukraine conflict so far, and perhaps more importantly, how should it impact how we and our allies look at China?

Returning to Midrats to discuss these and related questions this Sunday will be our guest Dean Cheng. Dean is the Senior Research Fellow for Chinese political and security affairs at the Asia Studies Center of The Heritage Foundation. He specializes in Chinese military and foreign policy, and has written extensively on Chinese military doctrine, technological implications of its space program, and “dual use” issues associated with China’s industrial and scientific infrastructure. He is the author of “Cyber Dragon: Inside China’s Information Warfare and Cyber Operations.”

Before joining The Heritage Foundation, he was a senior analyst with the Center for Naval Analyses, a federally funded research and development center, and a senior analyst with Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC, now Leidos), the Fortune 500 specialist in defense and homeland security. He has testified before Congress, spoken at the (American) National Defense University, US Air Force Academy, and the National Space Symposium, and been published in the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post.

Source: Episode 618: China’s 2022 with Dean Cheng 03/06 by Sal and EagleOne | Military

Quillette Episode 85: Shmuel Bar on the War in Ukraine, and the Failure of Western Deterrence

Quillette podcast host Jonathan Kay talks to intelligence expert Shmuel Bar about why Putin bungled the war in Ukraine, why NATO didn’t do enough to deter the Russians, and what happens next. Read our guest’s recent Quillette article, Deterrence After Ukraine—A Critical Analysis.

Source: Quillette Podcast #185: Shmuel Bar on the War in Ukraine, and the Failure of Western Deterrence

The Lawfare Podcast: Countering Extremism Within the Military

Last week on Lawfare Live, Jacob Schulz sat down with Andrew Mines, a research fellow at George Washington University’s Program on Extremism. Mines helps lead the Program on Extremism’s efforts to keep track of criminal charges resulting from the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill siege. They talked about the U.S military’s efforts to counter extremism within its ranks. Mines is the recent author of a Lawfare piece on the subject, and they talked through the history of the problem, the history of Defense Department efforts to fix it and where the department is still coming up short.

Source: The Lawfare Podcast: Countering Extremism Within the Military – Lawfare

Hidden Forces Episode 241: Preparing the U.S. for Russian Cyber Attacks w/Chris Painter

In Episode 241 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Chris Painter, a globally recognized leader and expert on cyber security who has been at the vanguard of U.S. and international cyber issues for over thirty years—first as a prosecutor of some of the most high-profile cybercrime cases in the country and then as a senior official at the Department of Justice, FBI, the National Security Council, and the State Department. He’s responsible for having established the Office of the Coordinator for Cyber Issues and served as Senior Director for Cyber Policy in the National Security Council.

With the Biden administration reiterating prior warnings that the Russian Government is exploring options for conducting cyber attacks against the United States in response to sanctions levied against the Russian economy, we wanted to help bring all of you up to speed on exactly what those warnings are, what steps are being taken to minimize the damage they may cause, and what the range of possible responses by the U.S. government will be depending on the nature and targets of those attacks.

Source: Preparing the U.S. for Russian Cyber Attacks | Chris Painter