Winamp Logo
The Ancient Art of Modern Warfare Cover
The Ancient Art of Modern Warfare Profile

The Ancient Art of Modern Warfare

English, National/National politics/National assembly, 1 season, 91 episodes, 20 hours, 50 minutes
About
Exploring how the practice of war changes while the fundamental nature and principles of war are unchanging. Host is COL Chris Mayer, USA RET, former member of the Advance Warfighting Working Group and the U.S. Government's expert on Private Military Companies. Includes Strategy, Revolution in Military Affairs, Hybrid Warfare, Cyber warfare, mercenaries, PMSC, Laws and Customs of War
Episode Artwork

E91 From War to Peace

My podcasts on The Ancient Art of Modern Warfare presented the elements of war that I think every citizen should know in holding our elected representatives responsible for decisions about going to and prosecuting war. The time has come in this series to move from war to peace. The most important consideration in going to and in prosecuting war is that it is the only way to correct a grave injustice and bring about a more just and lasting peace. Correcting this grave injustice must outweigh the death and destruction unavoidable in any war. Defending against the unjust attack of an aggressor and repelling the attacker’s forces from the territory captured in that attack is, perhaps the only clear justification, although there is debate about the use of military force to stop grave violations of international law, and particularly those which could be considered crimes against humanity. Again, this must be done with the clear end state in view of restoring peace.  Once the iron dice of war are rolled, however, Clausewitz’s trinity of passion, reason, and chance can lead us to places we did not intend to go.  These closing episodes of the Ancient Art of Modern Warfare we explore the transition from the violence of war to that more just peace.   Music: Copland, A. & United States Marine Band. (2000) Fanfare for the Common Man. unpublished, Washington, DC. [Audio] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, (Fair use for educational purposes.) Traditional, The Army Strings, Garryowen (Public Domain) Lennon, J, (1969) performed by COL C Mayer, USA RET; Maj. D. Mayer, CAP; 2d Lt M. Mayer, USAF; and PFC C. Mayer, USA (2024) Give Peace a Chance (Fair use for educational purposes.)
5/18/20246 minutes, 19 seconds
Episode Artwork

Thucydudes and the Ancient Art of Modern Warfare

“The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.” So begins L.P. Hartley’s book, The Go-Between. Although the way people do things changes over time, what they do remains largely the same. War and politics are human endeavors, and human nature is unchanging. It should be no surprise, therefore, that the nature of war and politics is also unchanging. That is the point of these podcasts. The first objective history of war, the war between Athens and Sparta in the 5th century BC was chronicled by the Greek general Thucydides. Although the way the armies and navies fought then are much different than today, the overall campaigns and reasons for those campaign are strikingly similar to modern strategy. Thucydides’ observations provide lessons for us, even today, if we are just willing to learn from them. This why his work is still studied in our war colleges.   Music: Rodgers and R.R. Bennett, Fire on the Water/Victory at Sea Suite (Public Domain/Fair use for educational purposes)   Traditional, The Army Strings, Garryowen (Public Domain)   Copland, A. & United States Marine Band. (2000) Fanfare for the Common Man. unpublished, Washington, DC. [Audio] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, (Fair use for educational purposes.)
3/21/20247 minutes, 46 seconds
Episode Artwork

E89 Sun Who?

“Sun Tzu said: The art of war is of vital importance to the State. It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected.” My purpose in my podcasts of the Ancient Art of Modern Warfare. But who is Sun Tzu, and how is what he said relevant to modern warfare? Music: Holst, G., The Planets: Mars, Bringer of War (Internet Archives) Kiilstofte, J., The Cavalry, Machinamasound (Licensed)
3/10/20248 minutes, 23 seconds
Episode Artwork

E88: Who is thes Clausewitz Guy?

Who is this Clausewitz guy?   The Army War College studies many different theories and theorists of war, from Thucydides of ancient Athens, Sun Tzu of Wu Dynasty in China, to Machiavelli, Mitchell, and present day theorists. One name stands out among the others, the early 19th century enlightenment era military philosopher, the Prussian Major General and War College Director, Carl von Clausewitz. It is not just the US Army War College. Russian and Chinese military teaching also centers on his ideas. Why? Who was he and why do I cite him so often in my podcasts (and in conversation, my papers, etc.) Working within my self-imposed limit of eight minutes, I try to explain this as best I can. These podcasts are not monetized or subsidized in any way. The opinions expressed in these podcasts are my own and do not necessarily reflect any organization I am or have ever been associated with – and fall far short of doing justice to Carl and Marie von Clausewitz. Reference: Clausewitz, C, On War, Edited and Translated by Michael Howard and Peter Paret ©1984 Music: Piefke, J.G. Preussens Gloria, Internet Archive, https://archive.org/details/PreussensGloria_201708 Traditional, The Army Strings, Garryowen (Public Domain)
2/15/20248 minutes, 14 seconds
Episode Artwork

E87: Identifying the End State

There are more than 110 armed conflicts in the world today.[1] Ending any one of them requires more than a simple cease fire, it requires knowing what each side intends to achieve by the conflict. This is even true when the participants may not fully understand the end state they are seeking. This includes the conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East. Without addressing those desired end states any ceasefire merely gives time for the warring parties to refit for the next battles. Whenever our country starts on the path to armed conflict, the citizens must demand that our government know and tell us, “How does this end?” These podcasts are not monetized or subsidized in any way, nor do they represent anyone’s opinion but my own. Music: Holst, G., The Planets: Mars, Bringer of War (Internet Archives) Traditional, The Army Strings, Garryowen (Public Domain) Kiilstofte, J., The Cavalry, Machinamasound (Licensed)
1/27/20248 minutes, 4 seconds
Episode Artwork

E86: Is an End State Important?

If I initiate a war, it seems logical that I would know why I am starting that war and what I expect to achieve by it. It might also be helpful if I let my opponent know that, too, as it may help limit the intensity duration, and long-term effects of that war. Why that is and how that does or doesn’t reflect reality is the subject of this and following episodes of the Ancient Art of Modern Warfare. These podcasts are not monetized or subsidized in any way, nor do they represent anyone’s opinion but my own. Reference: Carl von Clausewitz, On War, Book One, Chapter One Music: Holst, G., The Planets: Mars, Bringer of War (Internet Archives) Traditional, The Army Strings, Garryowen (Public Domain) Kiilstofte, J., The Cavalry, Machinamasound (Licensed)  
1/21/20247 minutes, 57 seconds
Episode Artwork

E85: Naming the Rose Part 5 -- Why don’t we take action?

The Wagner Group is only one of about two dozen Russian sponsored semi-private military companies conducting combat operations in Ukraine, Africa, and elsewhere. If the operations of the companies violate relevant national and international laws, why aren’t criminal charges being filed against Wagner, affiliated entities, and its operatives? I believe that the answer is more political than legal. I address what some of these political considerations may be in this episode of the Ancient Art of Modern Warfare. Disclaimer: These podcasts are not monetized or subsidized in any way, nor do they represent anyone’s opinion but my own. Music: Wagner, R. and the USMC Band, Siegfried’s Funeral (Public Domain) Traditional, The Army Strings, Garryowen (Public Domain) Kiilstofte, J., The Cavalry, Machinamasound (Licensed)
1/14/20248 minutes, 19 seconds
Episode Artwork

E84: Naming the Rose, Part 4 -- Tools for Accountability

If we can agree that Russian mercenary-like organizations do not meet the legal criteria of being mercenaries, nor are they legitimate members of the armed forces, then their participation in combat must be illegitimate and their actions criminal. The question remains how to hold those criminal combatants accountable under law. This episode explores the tools for such accountability. Disclaimer: The information in these podcasts do not represent the positions of any organization I am or ever have been associated with. They represent no one's opinions but my own.   References Geneva Convention Relative to The Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949 International Committee of the Red Cross, Interpretive Guidance on the Notion of Direct Participation in Hostilities Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Asset Control; Transnational Criminal Organizations Sanctions Program Music: Wagner, R. and the USMC Band, Siegfried’s Funeral (Public Domain) Traditional, The Army Strings, Garryowen (Public Domain) Kiilstofte, J., The Cavalry, Machinamasound (Licensed)  
1/6/20248 minutes
Episode Artwork

Naming the Rose Part 3

If the Wagner Group and two dozen or so similar Russian paramilitary forces are not mercenaries, not PMSCs, not militia or volunteer corps, then what are they? If the term terrorist to too vague and a criminal organization insufficient, then what can we call them that facilitates accountability for their criminal behavior? Maybe, jut calling them criminals is enough. In Part 3 I propose calling them for what they are, criminals. I will follow this in the next and final episode of this series by examining the means and methods to hold these criminals accountable and bring them to justice.   Disclaimer: The information in these podcasts is my own opinion and does not represent that of the Department of Defense or any other organization I am or have previously been affiliated with. Music: Wagner, R. and the USMC Band, Siegfried’s Funeral (Public Domain) Traditional, The Army Strings, Garryowen (Public Domain) Kiilstofte, P., Mercenaries, Machinamasound (Licensed) References: Dinstein, Y., Unlawful Combatancy, https://digital-commons.usnwc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1312&context=ils Hague Convention (IV) respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land and its annex: Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land. The Hague, 18, October 1907, Annex, Chapter 1, Article 1 Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment Of Prisoners of War of 12 August 1949, Article 4    
12/15/20237 minutes, 11 seconds
Episode Artwork

Naming the Rose, Part 2

If Wagner and similar Russian mercenary-like organizations do not meet the internationally accepted criteria for being mercenaries or Private Military and Security Companies, then what are they? This podcast explores the suitability of other terms, including militia, volunteer corps, terrorist, and criminal organizations. The challenge is to find a term that accurately describes what they are in a way that offers the possibility for accountability under the law. Disclaimer: The information in these podcasts is my own opinion and does not represent that of the Department of Defense or any other organization I am or have previously been affiliated with. (In response to comments received, I am trying to keep each podcast down to about 8 minutes.)   References: Hague Convention (IV) respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land and its annex: Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land. The Hague, 18, October 1907, Annex, Chapter 1, Article 1 Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment Of Prisoners of War of 12 August 1949, Article 4   Music: Wagner, R. and the USMC Band, Siegfrieds Funeral (Public Domain) Traditional, The Army Strings, Garryowen (Public Domain) Kiilstofte, J., The Cavalry, Machinamasound (Licensed)
12/9/20238 minutes, 6 seconds
Episode Artwork

E81: Naming the Rose

Whether the infamous Wagner continues to exist or not, the problem they created is only growing. There may be more than 30 Russian paramilitary organizations operating across the world, many of them fighting in Ukraine. At least one has a reputation from brutality and criminal conduct rivaling Wagner’s. But what do we call them? They do not fulfil the definition of mercenary in some international conventions, and they are not PMSCs as understood in internationally agreed frameworks or by the UN Working Group on Mercenaries. Holding them accountable under law requires proper definition of what they are and the legal regime to hold them accountable. This problem is the subject of this episode of the Ancient Art of Modern Warfare.   Disclaimer: The information in these podcasts is my own opinion and does not represent that of the Department of Defense or any other organization I am or have previously been affiliated with.   Music: Listzt, F. and the USMC Band, Les Preludes (Public Domain) Traditional, The Army Strings, Garryowen (Public Domain) Kiilstofte, P., Mercenaries, Machinamasound (Licensed) References: Article 47, Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), 8 June 1977. https://ihl-databases.icrc.org/en/ihl-treaties/api-1977/article-47#:~:text=Article%2047%20%2D%20Mercenaries,-1.&text=A%20mercenary%20shall%20not%20have,or%20a%20prisoner%20of%20war
11/30/202310 minutes
Episode Artwork

E80: Rules for the Use of Force for Private Security Companies

The presence of Private Security Companies, or PSCs, in conditions of armed conflict continues to be an item of concern to the international community. PSCs seem to blur the distinction between combatants and civilians. They use force, but are not members of the armed forces. Rules for the Use of Force, appropriate to PSC tasks and restrictions under international and local national law, issued by a competent authority and properly enforced, can clarify this murky condition. This episode describes procedures and considerations for developing Rules for the Use of Force relevant to PSCs operating in conditions of armed conflict, post-conflict, and complex emergencies.    Disclaimer: The information in these podcasts is my own opinion and does not represent that of the Department of Defense or any other organization I am or have previously been affiliated with. I am not a military lawyer. Everything I know about drafting RUF came from experience doing that, the wise counsel from experts in the US Department of Justice and the DoD Office of the General Counsel, along with some memorable debates in various international negotiations. Once again, special thanks to the memory of Col. Hays Parks, USMC Ret. Thanks also to Capt. Dennis Mandsager, JAGC USN (Ret.)   Music: Listzt, F. and the USMC Band, Les Preludes (Public Domain) Kiilstofte, P., Mercenaries, Machinamasound (Licensed)   References: The Montreux Document On pertinent international legal obligations and good practices for States related to operations of private military and security companies during armed conflict, available at https://www.eda.admin.ch/eda/en/fdfa/foreign-policy/international-law/international-humanitarian-law/private-military-security-companies/montreux-document.html  Newport Rules of Engagement Handbook, U.S. Naval War College, available at https://digital-commons.usnwc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2998&context=ils Sanremo Handbook on Rules of Engagement, the International Institute of Humanitarian Law, available at https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjdtL7pue-BAxUovokEHS03DrAQFnoECBAQAQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fiihl.org%2Fsanremo-handbook-rules-engagement%2F&usg=AOvVaw2Mfr7ljzl1-c6EEgmxJCZ2&opi=89978449 DODD 5210.56 w C1, Arming and the Use of Force, available at https://www.esd.whs.mil/Portals/54/Documents/DD/issuances/dodd/521056p.PDF?ver=PIvIb3eht0obgolnD0UCEw%3d%3d UN Office of Drugs and Crime, Handbook on the Use of Force by Private Security Companies available at https://www.unodc.org/documents/Maritime_crime/19-02086_Private_Security_Company_Handbook_Maritime_Crime_ebook.pdf
11/15/202311 minutes, 13 seconds
Episode Artwork

E79: Rules for the Use of Force

The mission of the US Army is to fight and win our nation’s wars. That, however, is not the only task we ask the Army to perform in potentially hostile environments. Missions such as military support to civil authority, humanitarian assistance missions, and disaster relief are not governed by the law of war, but by human rights law. In this context, military use of force is regulated by Rules for the Use of Force (RUF), rather than the combat-oriented Rules of Engagement (ROE). This episode describes the difference between ROE and RUF, the challenges in drafting RUF that can accomplish peacetime missions and protect our troops, while complying with applicable civilian law regarding use of force and firearms. Disclaimer: The information in these podcasts is my own opinion and does not represent that of the Department of Defense or any other organization I am or have previously been affiliated with. I am not a military lawyer. Everything I know about drafting RUF came from experience doing that, the wise counsel from experts in the US Department of Justice and the DoD Office of the General Counsel, along with some memorable debates in various international negotiations. Once again, special thanks to the memory of Col. Hays Parks, USMC Ret. Thanks also to Capt. Dennis Mandsager, JAGC USN (Ret.) Music: Bagley, E. and The US Army Ceremonial Band, National Emblem, Public Domain Kiilstofte, P., Mercenaries, Machinamasound (Licensed) References: Newport Rules of Engagement Handbook, U.S. Naval War College https://digital-commons.usnwc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2998&context=ils Sanremo Handbook on Rules of Engagement, the International Institute of Humanitarian Law https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjdtL7pue-BAxUovokEHS03DrAQFnoECBAQAQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fiihl.org%2Fsanremo-handbook-rules-engagement%2F&usg=AOvVaw2Mfr7ljzl1-c6EEgmxJCZ2&opi=89978449 CJCSI 33121.01B Standing Rules of Engagement/Standing Rules for the Use of Force, declassified version available at: https://www.esd.whs.mil/Portals/54/Documents/FOID/Reading%20Room/Joint_Staff/20-F-1436_FINAL_RELEASE.pdf DODD 5210.56 w C1, Arming and the Use of Force, available at https://www.esd.whs.mil/Portals/54/Documents/DD/issuances/dodd/521056p.PDF?ver=PIvIb3eht0obgolnD0UCEw%3d%3d
11/3/202315 minutes, 13 seconds
Episode Artwork

E78: ROE and the Law of War

How do rules of engagement promote compliance with the laws of war when those fighting war seem to do so without any basic consideration of humanity? I think that to answer this question, we must revisit the laws and customs of war, sometimes called International Humanitarian Law. This includes understanding that not every act of violence in war is a war crime. Effective ROE is a control to manage the risk that the violence inherent to war does not become an excuse for war crimes. Disclaimer: The information in these podcasts is my own opinion and does not represent that of the Department of Defense or any other organization I am or have previously been affiliated with. I am not a military lawyer. Everything I know about law of war came from staff judge advocates telling me what I couldn’t do or how to do the things I wanted to do without going to jail. Special thanks to the memory of Col. Hays Parks, USMC Ret. Music: Holst, G: The Planets, Mars, the Bringer of War (Internet Archive: https://archive.org/details/GustavHolstThePlanetsMarsTheBringerOfWar_201709) Kiilstofte, J., The Cavalry, Machinimasound (Licensed) References: The ICRC Casebook, glossary: https://casebook.icrc.org/a_to_z/glossary/war-crimes 18 U.S. Code § 2441 - War crimes Geneva Conventions of 1949: https://ihl-databases.icrc.org/en/ihl-treaties/geneva-conventions-1949additional-protocols-and-their-commentaries Operational Law Handbook, The Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School Charlottesville, Virginia, Chapter 5 (2022)
10/27/202310 minutes, 53 seconds
Episode Artwork

E77: Rules of Engagement

Rules of engagement, or ROE, often get a bad reputation. But what are rules of engagement and why do we need them?  If well constructed, ROE focus military action, manage risk of unintended consequences, such as escalation of the conflict and violations of the law of war, and as an economy of force, by minimizing unproductive action. On the other hand, poorly constructed, complex, or difficult to understand ROE, can result in the death of persons who pose no military threat or can surrender tactical advantages leading to unnecessary loss of friendly lives and mission failure. This episode describes what Rules of Engagement are, how they are constructed, and the important role they serve in modern armed conflict.   Disclaimer: The information in these podcasts is my own opinion and does not represent that of the Department of Defense or any other organization I am or have previously been affiliated with. Music: Holst, G: The Planets, Mars, the Bringer of War (Internet Archive: https://archive.org/details/GustavHolstThePlanetsMarsTheBringerOfWar_201709) Kiilstofte, J., The Cavalry, Machinimasound (Licensed) References: Newport Rules of Engagement Handbook, U.S. Naval War College https://digital-commons.usnwc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2998&context=ils Sanremo Handbook on Rules of Engagement, the International Institute of Humanitarian Law https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjdtL7pue-BAxUovokEHS03DrAQFnoECBAQAQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fiihl.org%2Fsanremo-handbook-rules-engagement%2F&usg=AOvVaw2Mfr7ljzl1-c6EEgmxJCZ2&opi=89978449
10/15/202314 minutes, 54 seconds
Episode Artwork

E76: Limited War with China

It is probable that Russia’s lack of success in Ukraine gives the People’s Republic of China cause for reconsidering any existing plans for an invasion of the Republic of China on Taiwan. Perhaps, using the PRC’s unrestricted war model, they might instead resort to pursuing limited aims that will set conditions for later strategic victory. In other words, limited war. But what is limited war and is limited war even possible in the 21st Century?   Disclaimer: The information in these podcasts is my own opinion and does not represent that of the US Army War College, the Department of Defense, or any other organization I am or have been affiliated with. Music: List: Les Preludes; Abergavenny Symphony Orchestra (Public Domain) Kiilstofte, J., The Cavalry, Machinimasound (Licensed)  
9/8/202315 minutes, 22 seconds
Episode Artwork

Wagner Decapitated?

Wagner is dead, or apparently so. At least the senior leadership of PMC Wagner, along with Wagner himself, Dmitri Utkin. What does this mean? Anyone who says they know is either deluding you or deluding themselves. Although the specifics may be in doubt, I believe that Wagner will continue in some form if not in that name. Prigozhin’s statement from Mali last week is correct. The services Wagner type operations provide to Russian strategic interests are too valuable to set aside. Disclaimer: The information in these podcasts is my own opinion and does not represent that of the US Army War College, the Department of Defense, or any other organization I am or have been affiliated with. Music: Wagner, R. and USMC Band, Siegfried’s Funeral March, Public Domain. Kiilstofte, P., Mercenaries, Machinimasound (Licensed)
8/27/202310 minutes, 18 seconds
Episode Artwork

E74: Niger -- Military Coup as Hybrid Warfare?

Does the recent coup in Niger affect US security interests, or is it just one more coup on a coup plagued continent? Or is it something more than that? Could it be the next campaign in a Hybrid War? If so, who are the contestants? Disclaimer: The information in these podcasts is my own opinion and does not represent that of the US Army War College, the Department of Defense, or any other organization I am or have been affiliated with Music: Liszt, F. and the USMC Band, Les Preludes, Public Domain Kiilstofte, J., Mercenaries, Machinimasound (Licensed)
8/19/202314 minutes, 59 seconds
Episode Artwork

E73 Triumph of the Will

Clausewitz wrote that war is an act of violence to force the enemy to do our will. But what is that “will?” A 2019 Rand Study found that there is no official or agreed definition of “will” in the context of warfighting. In this episode, I tackle the question of what will means, why it is important, and the dangers going to war without a national will for victory.   (Note: I am full aware of the title. It just sounded more catchy than "The Will to Fight.")   Disclaimer: The information in these podcasts is my own opinion and does not represent that of the US Army War College, the Department of Defense, or any other organization I am or have been affiliated with   Music: Holst, G. The Planets: Mars, Bringer of War, Internet Archives, https://archive.org/details/GustavHolstThePlanetsMarsTheBringerOfWar_201709 Kiilstofte, J., The Cavalry, Machinimasound (Licensed)  
8/12/202314 minutes, 51 seconds
Episode Artwork

E72: Warfighting Capabilities

Strategy is the application of ways and means to achieve an end. But what are means? This podcast describes the need to look beyond the weapons and other warfighting platforms to, instead, identify the capabilities needed to fight wars. Weapons systems and other elements of national power are resources to enable those capabilities.   Disclaimer: The information in these podcasts is my own opinion and does not represent that of the US Army War College, the Department of Defense, or any other organization I am or have been affiliated with Music: Liszt, F. and the USMC Band, Les Preludes (Public Domian) Kiilstofte, J., The Cavalry, Machinimasound (Licensed)
8/6/202313 minutes
Episode Artwork

E71: War College for Civilians

What if I told you that civilians can attend the US Army War College? Not US Government employees, but civilians from all walks of life and professions? Two times each year, the Army War College offers that opportunity through its National Security Seminar and Commandant's National Security Program. In this podcast, I describe that program and interview faculty and guests during  Battlefield Staff Ride.   Disclaimer: The information in this podcast is purely my own and does not represent the official position of the US Army War College or the Department of Defense. In keeping with the non-attribution policy of the War College (Chatham House Rules) the names of persons interviewed are withheld. For official information about these programs, visit: https://ssl.armywarcollege.edu/dde/cnsp/index.cfm https://usawc.org/commandants-national-security-program-cnsp/ https://www.csl.army.mil/nss/ https://usawc.org/national-security-seminar-nss/   Music: Copland, A. & United States Marine Band. (2000) Fanfare for the Common Man. unpublished, Washington, DC. [Audio] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, (Fair use for educational purposes.) Sousa, J.P., & The US Amy Ceremonial Band. National Emblem (Public Domain)  
7/30/202312 minutes, 57 seconds
Episode Artwork

E70: Why We Shouldn’t Help Ukraine

The decision whether to help Ukraine is not as black and white as it may appear. Episode 69 described reasons the United States and other nations should help Ukraine. In this episode, I address the other side, reasons why helping Ukraine is either wrong or dangerous. Choosing the right path forward requires us to understand both sides of the argument. As is the case with all of these podcasts, the views expressed are solely my own and do not represent the Department of Defense, the US Army War College, or any other organization I am associated with. Music: Wagner, Siegfried Funeral March, recorded by the USMC Band (Public Domain.)
7/22/202313 minutes, 49 seconds
Episode Artwork

E69: Ukraine -- Why Should We Care?

Why does Russia’s invasion of Ukraine affect us, or other nations? Isn’t that a matter between Russia and Ukraine? Isn’t our involvement only risking escalation and perhaps a global war? In short, why should we care? This episode of the Ancient Art of Modern Warfare address the first part, why we should care. The next episode will describe and evaluate reasons for staying out of it.
7/18/202312 minutes, 17 seconds
Episode Artwork

E68: Whither Wagner?

What is going on in Russia? Has Prigozhin lost his mind? Or is Wagner merely chess pieces being manipulated by a political chess master? I offer this special podcast in the Ancient Art of Modern Warfare to review points from previous podcasts on Wagner and military coups in light of breaking events in Russia. Even if this is all over by the time you see this, it may be worthwhile to look and see where Prigozhin did what was needed for success or where he missed the mark. Again, the views presented in these podcasts are my own and do not represent any organization I am currently or previously affiliated with. Music: List: Les Preludes; Abergavenny Symphony Orchestra (Public Domain)
6/24/20236 minutes, 17 seconds
Episode Artwork

E67: Is Russia at War?

On February 23, 2022, the Russian Federation violated the territorial integrity of Ukraine – for the second time in a decade – calling it a “special military operation.” It certainly looks more like a war, but is it really a war? This podcast looks at the current Russian invasion in light of the definitions of war in Episode 7, which include war in theory, practice, and in international law.   These podcasts do not necessarily represent the views of the Department of Defense, the Army War College, or any other organization I am associated with (but they should!)   Music: Holst, “The Planets: Mars Bringer of War,” downloaded from the Internet Archive https://archive.org/details/lp_holst-the-planets_gustav-holst-leopold-stokowski-los-angeles   (Once again, my move conflicts with proper recording equipment.)  
6/17/202314 minutes, 1 second
Episode Artwork

E66: The Role of Citizens in Going to War

The United States of America is a republic founded on democratic principles. Not a democracy, but a republic. That means that, except in rare circumstances, the citizens do not vote on issues at the national level. Instead, we elect representatives of the people and of the component states of the United States to make those decisions. That does not, however, absolve those citizens for decisions about war, peace, what goes before, and what comes after. This episode addresses the role of the citizenry in national military strategy and how to properly exercise that role.   Music: Traditional folksong, “Garryowen,” recorded by the U.S. Army Strings Copland, "Fanfare for the Common Man" Holst, “The Planets: Mars Bringer of War,” downloaded from the Internet Archive https://archive.org/details/lp_holst-the-planets_gustav-holst-leopold-stokowski-los-angeles Richard Wagner, “Siegfried Fantasie,” recorded by the USMC Band
6/8/20239 minutes, 51 seconds
Episode Artwork

E65: The Battlefield Staff Ride

Why do we study old battles? Historic examples of strategy help us to understand enduring lessons about why nations win or don’t win wars. But historic battles and campaigns were fought using weapons, tactics, and other technology that have little relevance to modern warfare. What is the value in studying them and if we should, then how should we go about it? This episode describes one technique: the Battlefield Staff Ride.   The views in these podcasts are my own and do not necessarily represent the views of the Department of Defense or any other organization I have been associated with.   Music: Liszt, Les Preludes, perfomed by the USMC Band. Public Domain
5/21/202310 minutes, 55 seconds
Episode Artwork

E64 Military Coup d’États

In Episode 64, Why Wagner, I said one possible risk associated the Wagner Group is the potential that, like previous elite and ostensibly politically reliable mercenary forces, Wagner could be a threat to the Russian government. But what is the likelihood of that happening? This episode explores how military or paramilitary forces might turn on their own governments in a coup d’état.   Disclaimer: The views in these podcasts are my own and do not represent the official position of any organization I might be affiliated with.   Music: Liszt: Les Preludes, recorded by the USMC Band. Public Domain
3/12/202322 minutes, 51 seconds
Episode Artwork

E63: Why Wagner?

In the past few months, Moscow has used the Wagner Group as the centerpiece in recent military operations in Ukraine.  This is very different from how Wagner has been used in Africa. Why is Putin giving a quasi-mercenary organization such a central and visible role in its war with Ukraine? There could be different reasons, each of which present advantages and significant risks: risks for Putin, for Russia, for Ukraine, and for future conflict and conflict resolution.   Music: Liszt, Les Preludes; recorded by the USMC Band. Music and recording in Public Domain.  
1/24/202316 minutes, 11 seconds
Episode Artwork

E62: Mercenaries, Terrorism, and War Crimes

The difference between war and terrorism is that war is, in theory, governed by international law, whereas terrorism is criminal in nature and execution. So where does that leave the use of mercenaries in modern warfare, and particularly the infamous Wagner Group? Are they terrorists? Are they legitimate combatants? Are they both or something else? Can official designation as a Foreign Terrorist Organization close an accountability gap? These episodes are not monetized or sponsored, so if you would like these episodes to continue, if you think these are worthwhile, then hit the like button and share the podcast. For more information see: The Department of Defense Law of War Manual, 2015 The Lawfare Blog: It’s Time to Designate the Wagner as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, June 30, 2022, https://www.lawfareblog.com/its-time-designate-wagner-group-foreign-terrorist-organization   Music: Les Preludes: Liszt; Recorded by USMC Band (Public Domain) Mecenaries: Per Killstofte/Machinasound (Licensed)
1/10/202314 minutes, 11 seconds
Episode Artwork

E61: War and Terrorism

If there is one thing that pacifists and generals agree on, it is that war is terrible. The dictionary definition of terrible is “causing terror.” If war, by its very nature, causes terror, then what is the difference between war and terrorism? I explore that in this episode, leading up to the next episode, where I will apply this information to the war in Ukraine. That is the subject of the next few episodes of the Ancient Art of Modern Warfare. If you think these podcasts are worth listening to, please hit like.   Disclaimer: The information in these podcasts is my own analysis and opinion and does not represent the views of the Department of Defense or any organization I am or have been affiliated with.
1/3/202311 minutes, 55 seconds
Episode Artwork

E60: The Myth of Limited War

What if I told you that neither Total War or Limited War reflect reality? Further that the West's concept of limited war only limits the ability of states to achieve the only acceptable goal of any war?   For further reading: Stoker, Donald, Why America Loses Wars: Limited War and US Strategy from the Korean War to the present, ISBN978-1-009-22086-6 Summers, Harry, , On Strategy ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0891415637
12/22/202215 minutes, 34 seconds
Episode Artwork

E59: Conventional Warfare is NOT Dead

With the current war in Ukraine, it may seem obvious that conventional war is still important. But less than a year ago, many prominent military experts said otherwise. Some writers and opinion leaders still maintain that the current conflict is an exception, an aberration, and focusing on conventional war, or traditional warfare does not prepare us for future conflict. They are wrong.
11/21/202217 minutes, 18 seconds
Episode Artwork

E58: Is Combat Aviation Still Relevant?

Twitter and You Tube can present an inaccurate picture of modern warfare. In the previous Podcast, I described how the tank continues to be relevant on the modern battlefield, despite social media images. This same social media depicts Combat aviation of all varieties falling from the sky on a daily basis, without apparent battlefield effect. Col. Jayson Altieri, US Army Retired, and instructor at the US Air War College joins me for an open discussion on the use and misuse of combat aviation in modern warfare.
10/24/202225 minutes, 29 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Tank is NOT Dead, Long Live the Tank!

Video clips show Russian tanks in Ukraine blowing up after being hit by various anti-tank guided missiles. Moscow has lost so many tanks that some reports say they are forced to pull obsolete models from reserve stocks or even museums. The conclusion in popular media is that the tank is dead, obsolete as a weapon of modern combat. I think that the tank is as important today as any time in history. Like all previous times in history, it is a matter of how it is used -- or misused.   Also please check out "No the Tank is Not Dead" by "The Chieftan: at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lI7T650RTT8
9/3/202214 minutes, 14 seconds
Episode Artwork

E56: The Law of War; I’m not dead yet!

Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine disproves many recent predictions about the future of war. This includes the predictions about the death of the law of war. The perception of the legitimacy of war depends in large part on seemingly ancient notions of Jus Ad Bellum and Jus in Bello. The war in Ukraine shows that legitimacy, or loss of legitimacy, has serious consequences.   For more information on the material in this podcast see:   “The End of History”: https://www.c-span.org/video/?24282-1/the-end-history-man   “The Laws of War on Land”: https://ihl-databases.icrc.org/applic/ihl/ihl.nsf/Article.xsp?action=openDocument&documentId=B06FB334DC14CBD1C12563CD00515767   “Should the Laws of War Apply to Terrorists?” https://www.jstor.org/stable/25658249   “On the Nature of War”: Helmuth von Moltke: http://www.gwpda.org/1914m/moltke.html   Defense Department Law of War Manual: https://dod.defense.gov/Portals/1/Documents/pubs/DoD Law of War Manual - June 2015 Updated Dec 2016.pdf?ver=2016-12-13-172036-190   "Russia’s military is incompetent. That makes it more dangerous." https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2022/03/17/russia-military-failing-dangerous/   Col. Christopher T. Mayer, US Army Retired, is a former instructor of the US Army Command and General Staff College and the Naval War College, guest lecturer on national security at academic institutions in the United States and Europe, and developed operational and organizational concepts for future warfare. He is a veteran of combat operations in Iraq and peacekeeping operations in Africa and the Balkans.  
6/12/202210 minutes, 21 seconds
Episode Artwork

E55 Other Roles for the Military Instrument of National Power

The primary purpose of any nation’s military force is to fight and win its wars. However, the military instrument of national power does much more than that. Most of those things keep the nation from having to fight wars. US and NATO support to Ukraine provides examples of the non-conflict roles of the military instrument.   If you think this material is worthwhile, please hit the like button, leave a comment, or share it with someone. For more information about the role of Mercenaries in war and non-conflict situations please listen to these podcasts in the Ancient Art of Modern Warfare: Episode 2: Who are these Russian quasi-mercenaries? https://mayhemxpc.podbean.com/e/who-are-these-russian-quasi-mercenaries/ Episode 3: The role of mercenaries in hybrid warfare https://mayhemxpc.podbean.com/e/the-role-of-mercenaries-in-hybrid-warfare/ Episode 4: Why are Russian PMCs different from Western PMSCs? https://mayhemxpc.podbean.com/e/why-are-russian-pmcs-different-from-western-pmscs-with-dr-jovana-ranito/ Episode 6: Meeting the Challenge of Russian Private Military Companies https://mayhemxpc.podbean.com/e/meeting-the-challenge-of-russian-private-military-companies/ Episode 12: Mercenary: What is in a name? https://mayhemxpc.podbean.com/e/e12-mercenary-whats-in-a-name/ Episode 19: The rise of Quasi-Mercenary Organizations https://mayhemxpc.podbean.com/e/e19-the-rise-of-quasi-mercenary-organizations/  
5/18/202211 minutes, 37 seconds
Episode Artwork

E54: The Military Element of National Power, Part 3 -- Mercenaries

Since 2014, Moscow has used mercenaries in Ukraine, Syria, Africa, and other places to exert military power without accountability. Although these mercenaries, commonly referred to as the Wagner Group, never left Eastern Ukraine, they are now active again with the Russian invasion. Why? What is their value in a conventional war? What dangers do they present? That is the subject of this episode. If you find this information useful, please his LIKE or send a comment! For more information about the role of Mercenaries in war and non-conflict situations please listen to these podcasts in the Ancient Art of Modern Warfare. Episode 2: Who are these Russian quasi-mercenaries? https://mayhemxpc.podbean.com/e/who-are-these-russian-quasi-mercenaries/   Episode 3: The role of mercenaries in hybrid warfare https://mayhemxpc.podbean.com/e/the-role-of-mercenaries-in-hybrid-warfare/   Episode 4: Why are Russian PMCs different from Western PMSCs? https://mayhemxpc.podbean.com/e/why-are-russian-pmcs-different-from-western-pmscs-with-dr-jovana-ranito/   Episode 6: Meeting the Challenge of Russian Private Military Companies https://mayhemxpc.podbean.com/e/meeting-the-challenge-of-russian-private-military-companies/   Episode 12: Mercenary: What is in a name? https://mayhemxpc.podbean.com/e/e12-mercenary-whats-in-a-name/   Episode 19: The rise of Quasi-Mercenary Organizations https://mayhemxpc.podbean.com/e/e19-the-rise-of-quasi-mercenary-organizations/  
5/11/202215 minutes
Episode Artwork

E53 The Military Elelemt of Power Part 2 Russian Militias

Russia's use of Militias in the ongoing war has been very different than Ukraine's. The way these militias and auxiliaries act as an element of a nation’s military power will reflect the goals, objectives, and strategic vision of the nation that is using them. The danger is that forces that do not fulfill the criteria of a legitimate belligerent under the law of war undermines disciplined and efficient use of military force and threaten the restoration of a just and lasting peace.
4/29/202217 minutes, 13 seconds
Episode Artwork

E52 The Military Element of Power, Part 1 Militias

The military element of national power is not just regular armed forces fighting on the battlefield. This episode begins to look at the varied means and methods of using military power, once again drawing observations from the current war in Ukraine. I  begin with the use of militias and mercenaries.
4/21/202221 minutes, 54 seconds
Episode Artwork

E51: Information Warfare

We live in an information age. How can the use of information, in all its forms, be a decisive tool in warfare? I look at the war in Ukraine to describe how the West is being influenced by Information as a tool of national power.
4/15/202216 minutes, 17 seconds
Episode Artwork

E50: Economic Warfare

If war is a continuation of political intercourse with the addition of other means, what are those other means? How do we apply them for success in war and operations short of war? What does that mean for Ukraine?  This podcast begins to answer those questions by looking at Economic Warfare.
3/3/202215 minutes, 12 seconds
Episode Artwork

E49: Do we learn from history?

In 1938 the Western powers allowed Nazi Germany to annex the border regions of Czechoslovakia and, a few months later, dismember the rest of that country. Some people say that this model is replaying itself today. Have we learned from history? Have others learned lessons we have not?
2/24/202213 minutes, 18 seconds
Episode Artwork

E48 The American Way of War w Col Jayson Altieri

Initiative, Imagination, Independence. These principles seem more important than ever in today’s vague, ambiguous, complex, and uncertain strategic environment. But, has the United States gone in another direction? COL Jayson Altieri of the USAF Air War College joins me to discuss this.
2/15/202220 minutes, 33 seconds
Episode Artwork

E47:Great Commander Pt 3 - von Moltke and the General Staff

What does a Prussian general, a product of the enlightenment, have in common with a Greek commander who studied under Aristotle? More important, how does that continue to affect warfare in the 21st century?
1/19/202215 minutes, 8 seconds
Episode Artwork

E46 Great Commanders Part 2: Alexander

Can one man change warfare, or history? I asked colleagues for their recommendations. Everyone's list included the same name. Alexander of Macedon. His vision changed warfare and the world, with effects that continue to this day.
1/5/202218 minutes
Episode Artwork

E45: Commanders Part 1

If war is a human endeavor, can the actions of one person, against all odds, change the course of a battle or a war? Times may bring out the man, but sometimes one person can change history.
11/20/202114 minutes, 56 seconds
Episode Artwork

E44: Cultural Warfare

War is a human endeavor and, by its nature, a social activity. Success in war depends on understanding the enemy's cultures to identify strategic weakness and red-lines that must not be crossed.
11/1/202111 minutes, 41 seconds
Episode Artwork

E43: How to Lose a War

In the previous episode I proposed that Tolstoy’s statement that all happy families are alike and that all unhappy families are unhappy in their own way, might also apply to success and failure in war. In that podcast, I asserted that that all successful wars are alike. Now I will explore the idea that every unsuccessful war is unsuccessful in its own way.
10/9/202118 minutes, 33 seconds
Episode Artwork

E42 All Successful Wars Are Alike

Tolstoy's novel Anna Karenina begins: "All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." Could this line from the author of “War and Peace” also apply to war? That is the topic of this episode of the Ancient Art of Modern Warfare.
9/6/202119 minutes, 37 seconds
Episode Artwork

E41: Mercenary Risk Management

Prior episodes described what Quasi-mercenary forces are, what they do, how they get their support, and who controls them. The big question is what – if anything -- we can do about them? I am joined by Dr. Deborah Avant of the University of Denver, Dr. Sorcha McLeod of the UN Working Group on Mercenaries, and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Mr. Gary Motsek
8/26/202154 minutes, 14 seconds
Episode Artwork

E40: Interlude

Why does the United States seem to ignore the basic tenets of strategy in our military interventions? What does our abandoning Afghanistan mean for international security? I am interrupting the discussion on mercenaries to address this issue.
8/16/202111 minutes, 23 seconds
Episode Artwork

E39: On Mercenary Warfare Paragraph 5 -- Command and Control

Who commands or controls modern mercenary activity? Who really calls the shots for the Wagner Group or other mercenary organizations? Accountability depends not just on knowing who, but being able to prove it.
7/21/202120 minutes, 42 seconds
Episode Artwork

E38: On Mercenary Warfare, Paragraph 4: Logistics

It is said, "Tactics wins battles, logistics wins wars." This is just as true for mercenaries and regular armies. Studying mercenary logistics can identify potential areas where we can bring pressure on them.
7/9/202128 minutes, 40 seconds
Episode Artwork

E37: On Mercenary Warfare, Paragraph 3: Execution

Moving from what mercenary-like organization are and where they operate, we need to know how today’s mercenary-like activities threaten peace and security in Africa, the Middle East, and even Europe? How do they threaten the vital interests of the United States, in particular, and Western interests in general? In other words, why should we care?
6/17/202120 minutes, 52 seconds
Episode Artwork

E36 On Mecernary Warfare Paragraph 2, The Mission

Why do governments choose to use mercenaries rather than their own armed forces or those of partner national armies or international organizations? More important, why do some governments invite mercenaries into their countries? The answers may surprise you.
6/6/202117 minutes, 48 seconds
Episode Artwork

E35: On Mercenary Warfare, Paragraph 1 - The Situation

In Africa, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East, new reports emerge of mercenary-like activity. Why do governments seek help from mercenaries? How can some governments and even media consider them a force for good? This episode begins a series on that subject.
6/1/202115 minutes, 58 seconds
Episode Artwork

E34: War in the East?

The Chinese idea of unrestricted warfare orchestrates all elements of national power, with military power as the bass line, but only dominating as a last resort. If a shooting war happens, why, how, and where will it start?
5/16/202112 minutes, 54 seconds
Episode Artwork

E33: Cancelling History

Current movements to cancel certain historical persons risks cancelling our history, leaving us without a map of our past and guidance for our future. We should not ignore the importance of historical persons' thoughts and achievements, nor the faults which made them human.
4/26/20218 minutes, 25 seconds
Episode Artwork

E32: Unrestricted Warfare

Sun Tzu said: “If one party is at war with another, and the other party does not realize it is at war, the party who knows it is at war almost always has the advantage and usually wins.” Is the United States already at war with China, and we just don’t know it? Chinese military doctrine indicates that we are.
2/23/20218 minutes, 59 seconds
Episode Artwork

Holding PMSCs Accountable

A lot has happened since the Nisour Square Tragedy to hold PMSCs accountable under the law. Doug Brooks and I discuss some of the initiatives of the past dozen years and what still needs to be done.
1/20/202120 minutes, 5 seconds
Episode Artwork

E30: Lupus Auribus Tenere

The recent presidential pardon of four former Blackwater operatives is a true case of holding a wolf by the ears. The deaths resulting from the Nisour Square incident demand justice. The problem is using unjust means to do that.
1/4/202120 minutes, 34 seconds
Episode Artwork

E29: Napoleon's Corporal

Armed forces may be designed and built from the top down, but combat effectiveness is a bottoms-up process. In this podcast, I interviewed four junior non-commissioned officers of different services and combat specialties, asking them what they think are the most serious challenges our armed forces face today. After all, they are the ones who will have to lead, fight and, win our nation’s battles.
12/28/202013 minutes, 6 seconds
Episode Artwork

Spacepower: the Theory

The conclusion of the series on a theory for Spacepower. Col Altieri and Col Waring join me to apply lessons from other warfighting theories to the space domain.
10/15/202014 minutes, 57 seconds
Episode Artwork

E27 From AERO to SPACE

What we can learn from Airpower Theory for a Spacepower Theory. A discussion with Col Jayson Altieri or the US Air War College
8/31/202011 minutes, 58 seconds
Episode Artwork

E26: From the Sea to the Stars

The enduring attributes for Seapower dominance can provide insights for the Spacepower Domain. COL Jayson Altieri, US Army Retired and Instructor at the Air War College joins me to examine the distinct and essential characteristics of seapower and what lessons we can draw from that for understanding spacepower the Ancient Art of Modern Warfare.
5/31/202013 minutes, 19 seconds
Episode Artwork

E25: Spacepower P3 From Landpower Dominance to Spacepower Theory

This podcast steps down from high level military theory to practical application of what Landpower dominance looks like, and why it has been and will continue to be essential for military success. This provides a basis for thinking about the unique and essential role of Spacepower dominance.
5/20/20209 minutes, 44 seconds
Episode Artwork

E24 Spacepower Theory P2: The Theory of War

To develop a theory of warfare for the spacepower domain we need to look at military theory as it already exists. Understanding the overall framework of war lets us understand how the Space domain is both distinct from land, sea, and air power domains and how the space domain is essential to achieving the ends of military theory.
5/4/202011 minutes, 56 seconds
Episode Artwork

E23: Towards a Theory of Spacepower

The US Space Force is organized and new Spacewar doctrine will soon be published, but what is the overarching theory for the Space Domain of warfare? How might this differ from long-standing land, air and space power theory? This is an introduction to a multi-part discussion with some of the best people I know to discuss military theory.
4/18/20209 minutes, 48 seconds
Episode Artwork

E22: The Ancient Art of Modern Biological Warfare

How long has biological warfare been with us? How effective has it been? What are its real dangers and how can we manage the risks? Reflecting the current challenge civilization faces right now, this podcast addresses the history and impact of biological warfare.
4/8/202013 minutes, 49 seconds
Episode Artwork

E21 Privatizing Peace Part 2

In this podcast continues the discussion with Doug Brooks, founder of the International Peace Operations Association, discussing the challenges that standards compliant companies face in post-conflict and fragile state markets and how to meet those challenges.
3/31/202012 minutes, 11 seconds
Episode Artwork

E20 Privatizing Peace Pt1 with Doug Brooks

Along with Proxy Warfare, we also see the rise of proxy peace-fare. Contractors perform roles that many people see as proper to governments. Doug Books, founder of the International Peace Operations Association, discusses the role contractors perform in post-conflict and fragile States.
3/23/202011 minutes, 16 seconds
Episode Artwork

E19: The Rise of Quasi-Mercenary Organizations

The emergence of Quasi-Mercenary Organizations challenges the concept of State monopoly of violence and the legitimacy of PMCS. Governments and other stakeholders need to work together to meet this threat. Originally intended for presentation to the UN Working Group on Mercenaries.
3/16/202013 minutes, 4 seconds
Episode Artwork

E18 Just War with Iran? with CH(BG) Pat Dolan

With the proliferation of proxy wars, anti-terrorism operations, and mercenaries, can we still fulfill the criteria for justice in going to war and justice in the conduct of war? COL Mayer and BG Dolan discuss this question using the example of recent actions between the United States and Iran.
2/7/202026 minutes, 25 seconds
Episode Artwork

E17 Perpetual Peace

The idea of Democratic Peace depends on two things, a republican democracy and an educated and active citizenry. This ideal drove US policy in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and again a century later
1/19/202010 minutes, 39 seconds
Episode Artwork

E16: Can there be honor in War?

The third principle of Jus in Bello, after Military Necessity and Humanity, is Honor. Is honor relevant in modern combat, or an archaic concept that died in the trenches of WW1? Col. Jayson Altieri, USA RET of the US Air War College joins Col. Mayer for the discussion.
1/11/202011 minutes, 37 seconds
Episode Artwork

E15: Military Necessity AND Humanity?

Moving from justice in the act of going to war to just conduct in war. The need to balance Military Necessity and Humanity.
12/24/201911 minutes, 54 seconds
Episode Artwork

E14 Is Just War Possible with Brig Gen (Chap) Patrick Dolan

Is Just War even possible in modern conflict? Big. Gen. (Chaplain) Patrick Dolan, retired Army Assistant Chief of Chaplains, discusses the possibilities.
12/13/201912 minutes, 8 seconds
Episode Artwork

E13: The Ancient Concept of Just War in Modern Conflict

Can a war ever be "Just"? Is the ancient concept of Just War still important in contemporary conflicts? What the citizens of the republic should know when the nation decides to use military force.
12/7/201910 minutes, 21 seconds
Episode Artwork

E12 Mercenary: What's in a Name?

Mercenary, PMSC, PSC, PMC? Is there a difference? Does it matter? The Russians, along with some academics and media sources say no. Those of us trying to promote responsibility and accountability in the use of force disagree.
11/21/201911 minutes, 42 seconds
Episode Artwork

Questions from Listeners with Dr. Deborah Avant and Doug Brooks

Answers to questions from podcast listeners from Dr. Deborah Avant, University of Denver and author of "The Market for Force" and Mr. Doug Brooks, President Emeritus of the International Stability Operations Association. They respond to questions about PMSCs, their status in international law, and interaction with military forces. In short, they answer, "Why follow the rules?"
11/13/20199 minutes, 15 seconds
Episode Artwork

E10 The Berlin Wall, the Cold War, and Sun Tzu

Thoughts on the 30th Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall, the Cold War and Sun Tzu, and concerns that the lessons are forgotten
11/9/201910 minutes, 9 seconds
Episode Artwork

Clausewitz and the Kurds

The recent decision of the U.S. President regarding U.S. military forces in Syria offers an opportunity look at how the enduring substance of war continues to apply to modern conflict. I am not questioning the policy decision. Military force is the servant of policy and policy should always drive the use of military force. The question whether the enduring nature of war was addressed in developing that policy, including the deployment and redeployment of U.S. military force in Syria. So far, it looks hopeful that it was considered. As citizens of the republic, we must be watchful to see that actions follow words.
10/28/20198 minutes, 1 second
Episode Artwork

The Natural Laws of War

Only by understanding the nature of war can we learn the natural laws of war. Like other natural law, these are precepts or rules we can derive from observation and the use of reason. These natural laws of war may vary in application, but are applicable everywhere, at all times. The first rule is that, "Young men die."  It is not a matter of choosing to follow them. They describe war as it is and always has been. History demonstrates that any success gained while ignoring any of these rules will be difficult and any victory will be temporary. Citizens of a republic should understand these fundamental natural laws of war and be on alert when anyone proposes to use military force.
10/20/201910 minutes, 45 seconds
Episode Artwork

Episode 7: What is War?

This podcast introduces a discussion on the concept of war. What war is, rather than its appearances and forms. War is not just about fighting and killing. There is an unchanging nature and substance of war, beyond its appearances. Understanding the nature of war is the responsibility of all citizens so that they can make informed decisions about the use of force in their country's name. This really should have been episode 1 or 2, but current events kept getting in the way. For more information see my blog at blog.ctmayer.net
10/11/201911 minutes, 42 seconds
Episode Artwork

Meeting the Challenge of Russian Private Military Companies

Russian quasi-mercenary organizations present risks to stability and security to developing states and some developed countries. These threats can be managed, sidelining Russian options while maintaining our own freedom of action. Col. Mayer introduces some ideas for this to stimulate thought and perhaps guide future action. Includes countering supply and demand, containment, and leveraging international initiatives.
10/5/201910 minutes, 12 seconds
Episode Artwork

Regulating Private Military and Security Companies

Western Private Military and Security Companies do not operate in a legal vacuum. Since 2008 governments have recognized international law obligations regarding these entities and have developed frameworks, regulations, and standards covering them. These provide a benchmark for strategies to contain Russian mercenary-like organizations.
9/28/201912 minutes, 24 seconds
Episode Artwork

Why are Russian PMCs different from Western PMSCs with Dr. Jovana Ranito

What is the Difference between Russian quasi-mercenary organizations and U.S. and other Western PMSCs? A conversation with Dr. Jovana J. Ranito of the University of Porto.
9/22/201911 minutes, 11 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Role of Mercenaries in Hybrid Warfare

What is Hybrid Warfare and how do Russian PMCs support Russian interests? Includes an interview with Army War College instructor Col (Ret) Robert Waring. Hybrid Warfare fits neatly within traditional strategic thought, but seeks to exploit capabilities of emerging capabilities. Clausewitz and Sun Tzu would not be surprised by this model, and, as former mercenaries themselves, they would have understood the role of Russian quasi-mercenary forces.
9/11/201910 minutes, 3 seconds
Episode Artwork

Who are these Russian Quasi-Mercenaries?

Who are these Russian private military contractors? What are they doing? Whom do they work for? What effect are they having on the conduct of modern warfare?
9/6/201911 minutes, 22 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Ancient Art of War: Getting Started

These podcasts explore technical and tactical developments are changing the practice of war while the fundamental nature and principles of war are unchanging. This series begins with the return of mercenaries.
9/2/20198 minutes, 56 seconds