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Neania Buehler argues for a comprehensive strategy for the military use of drones, robots, and other versions of semi or fully autonomous systems.

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On May 2, MAJ DJ Skelton spoke to cadets about his experience of being wounded, his post-traumatic growth, and his journey to becoming dubbed “the most wounded commander in U.S. military history.”

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In this War on the Rocks essay, MWI’s Lionel Beehner argues that installing a no-fly-zone in Syria would neither end the war nor alleviate the suffering of displaced Syrians.

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MWI Podcast: War and Recover with the Most Wounded Commander in U.S. Military History

MWI’s John Spencer sat down with Major DJ Skelton to discuss the second battle of Fallujah, how he was wounded, his recovery, and post-traumatic growth.

To Fight Zika, Send in National Guard

In this Foreign Policy essay, MAJ ML Cavanaugh argues that the United States has a unique capability to tackle epidemics like Zika virus: the National Guard.

Beyond Half-Measures: Influencing Syria’s Political Order through Non-State Proxies

Major Steve Ferenzi argues that proxy selection in Syria will have a profound impact on the post-war political order: who wins, who loses, and how they govern.

Gone, Baby, Gone:  Two Hacks to Stay Connected While Serving Overseas

ML Cavanaugh dispenses some helpful tips on how to stay more connected to loved ones back home during deployments.

The State of Military Leadership in the 21st Century

MWI non-resident fellow Nathan Finney led a team of authors and editors in the creation of a volume on Military Leadership in the 21st Century, published on The Bridge.

The Efficacy of Landpower: Landpower and American Credibility

In their award winning article, MWI Non-Resident Fellow Michael Hunzeker and Dartmouth College Post-Doctoral Fellow Alexander Lanoszka argue the important relationship between landpower and American credibility.

Strategic Irregular Warfare Options to Counter Russian Aggression

In this Small Wars Journal article, MAJ Steve Ferenzi describes how to utilize irregular warfare to counter Russian aggression in Ukraine.

The Importance of Distance in Modern Warfare

If battles are to be decided by soldiers operating a continent or ocean away from the killing zone, we must come to redefine what constitutes soldiery and warfare, argues CDT John Govern.

27 = 300K: The Calculus of European Strategic Deterrence

Major Matt Cavanaugh discusses the U.S. challenge of deterring Russia in Europe while being significantly outnumbered.

What the siege of Sarajevo can teach us about Aleppo

In this Washington Post oped, MAJ Mike Jackson and Lionel Beehner argue that the modern history of siege warfare, as evidenced in Sarajevo, suggests a long war of attrition in Aleppo, not an all-out provocative attack to end the war.

Function over Form: The Case for Keeping the ‘Warthog’ over the F-35

CDT Cole Bourland argues in that the US Air Force should not phase out the A-10 ‘Warthog’ with the F-35.

Preparing for the ‘Pure Risk’ of Tomorrow’s Smart Minefields

Max Brooks imagines the second and third order effects of the massive use of drones to inspire further study and debate on the real-world consequence of a post-drone-war world.

To Maintain Spheres of Influence, U.S. Must Engage

John Radcliffe argues that accepting China and Russia as partners will require the U.S. to relinquish its belief in a global American sphere-of-influence.

Most Wounded Commander Discusses His Road to Recovery

On May 2, MAJ DJ Skelton spoke to cadets about his experience of being wounded, his post-traumatic growth, and his journey to becoming dubbed “the most wounded commander in U.S. military history.”

USMA Cadets Debate ‘A Strategy to Combat ISIS’

On 04 April 2016, the USMA Cadet Debate Team debated whether the United States should deploy conventional ground forces to conduct combat operations against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

The Drone Debate We Are Not Having

Neania Buehler argues for a comprehensive strategy for the military use of drones, robots, and other versions of semi or fully autonomous systems.

The Coming Robot War – And It’s Not With Robots

MWI Non-Resident Fellow and author of World War Z, Max Brooks argues the economic, social, and other chain reactions that could lead to a robot war.

A Song of Ice and Fire…and Walls?

MWI’s Lionel Beehner discusses border zones, walls, and those who patrol them through the lens of Game of Thrones and research on primatology.

For Memorial Day: How Kiwis Remember

Major Matt Cavanaugh provides reflections from his experience at an ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) Day Dawn Service at the Wellington (New Zealand) Cenotaph on April 24, 2011.

MWI Podcast: The Story of the Battle of Wanat

MWI sat down with Medal of Honor recipient SSG (ret) Ryan Pitts to discuss the lessons from the Battle of Wanat.

Medal of Honor Recipient Recalls Harrowing Firefight in Wanat, Afghanistan

Medal of Honor recipient SSG (ret) Ryan Pitts spoke to cadets about the lessons of the Battle of Wanat, Afghanistan.

Strategists: The Next Generation

MAJ Matt Cavanaugh discusses five key characteristics which will differentiate the next generation of strategist, each tied to tidal trends in the strategic environment that will drive the next 35 years.

The Challenges of Ranger School and How to Overcome Them

Major John Spencer provides details on the challenges of the U.S. Army’s Ranger School and recommendations on what Soldiers can do to prepare for them – or not.

How to Prevent the Army’s ‘Brain Drain’

West Point Cadet Bradley Baker argues that exit surveys for all officers leaving the Army with 8 or fewer years of service is a critical first step in understanding and eventually countering lower junior officer retention rates.

Horse Soldiers in Afghanistan and the Cost of War

On 6 April 2016, the Modern War Institute hosted LTC (R) Jason Amerine for a MWI Speaker Series event on his experiences in Afghanistan.

Kalyvas and Balcells Discuss ISIS and Typologies of Violence

On April 8, the Modern War Institute invited Dr. Stathis Kalyvas of Yale and Dr. Laia Balcells of Duke to discuss the question: Is ISIS a group of revolutionary insurgents or a band of terrorists?

How Smartphones will Reshape the Modern Battlefield

Armies of the future that leverage smartphone innovations will change the face of war and reshape the modern battlefield, argues LTC Ernest Wong of West Point’s Army Cyber Institute.

MWI Hosts Inaugural Sandhurst Conference

In addition to this week’s Sandhurst Competition at West Point, on Monday, April 4, the Department of Military Instruction (DMI) held its inaugural Sandhurst Conference, drawing hundreds of cadets and officers from across the globe.

MWI Podcast: Zombies and Global Security

The Modern War Institute talks to Max Brooks, author of World War Z, about how a zombie plague can help us understand current and future security issues.

Strategic Agility: Theory and Practice

Modern War Institute Distinguished Chair, General Charles H. Jacoby, Jr., USA (Ret.), presents the idea of strategic agility as a method to mitigate risk by finding better ways to use our available means.

On Growing Strategists: Beating Back the Credentialists and the Ageists

Major Matt Cavanaugh takes a critical look at proposed frameworks for developing military strategists.

‘Ironman’ or Not, Exoskeletons May Soon Have Military Benefits

West Point Cadet Ethan Millsap argues for patience and alternative uses for exoskeletons on the battlefield.

The ‘Inception’ Theory of Military Innovation

We have many choices if we want to define and think about military innovation. Major Dan Maurer proposes that we can think of it better by thinking of Leonardo DiCaprio.

Taking American Soldiers Hostage: Coming Soon to a Theater Near You

Major Matt Cavanaugh writes that it won’t be long until an American soldier is taken hostage on a battlefield by an enemy like North Korea.

MWI shows Documentary “Pech River Boys: Tales from Afghanistan”

The Modern War Institute (MWI) showed “Pech River Boys: Tales from Afghanistan” and hosted a panel discussion with members of the cast and crew on Friday, March 25.

MWI Scholar Interviewed in PBS Documentary on ISIS & War in the Middle East

MWI’s Lionel Beehner is interviewed in the new PBS “Great Decisions” series of documentaries on ISIS, the Kurds, and war in the Middle East.

MWI Podcast: The Evolving US Template to Global Security – Eric Schmitt

MWI talks with NYT reporter Eric Schmitt about the US use of military power and how effective its larger operational template is in handling global security threats.

Same $h*t, Different War: The Curse of Combat Experience

Major Matt Cavanaugh warns of military leaders that try to solve the problems of new wars by pursuing solutions that have worked for them in past wars.

What is Army Doctrine?

Major John Spencer argues for an emphasis on the definition of Army Doctrine and the advantages it provides to the profession of arms.

Communicating ‘Success’ in the War on ISIS

Captain Curtis Kimbrell questions the measures of success in the war against the Islamic State and makes recommendations on U.S. strategic communication efforts.

MWI Podcast: The Once and Future Mission – Michael O’Hanlon

MWI and Michael O’Hanlon from the Brookings Institution discuss the current state of the Army, the future for the Army and US land forces, and how junior leaders and security professionals can prepare.

On Strategy: More Than Just a Bridge

Major Matt Cavanaugh challenges the common metaphor of strategy as a bridge.

Un-forgetting Afghanistan

MAJ Steve Ferenzi argues it is time to evaluate the post-9/11 Afghan state-building experiment and determine how best to influence its future trajectory in order to secure US national interests and achieve some measure of regional stability.

Stars and Stripes, Forever?: Why New Zealand’s Flag Choice Matters

MAJ Matt Cavanaugh investigates the relationship between a nation’s flag and it’s Soldiers through the lens of New Zealand’s current debate over adopting a new flag.

Mission Command: Addressing the cause and effect of leadership challenges

Major Paul Lushenko argues the need for integration of the mission command leadership philosophy by continuing to emphasize leader development.

Al-Qaeda Does Governance Too

Major Steve Ferenzi argues that the United States must seriously consider the implications of al-Qaeda’s rebel governance approach for US national security.

The Dark-Side of A Hate-Fueled World

ULCA Cadet James Moeller contemplates how Soldiers should respond to the visceral and tangible evil of the world through the lens of Star Wars.

Is PACOM Preparing for the Right Security Challenges?

Major Paul and Jon Lushenko argue that PACOM’s efforts to rebalance the security policy in Asia-Pacific has only fostered initiatives to help confront traditional threats despite the prevalence of human security challenges.

A Greater Challenge is Needed for Cyber Forces

Cadet Niccolo Iacovelli argues that cyber forces should have a greater role and a grand challenge should be setup to prove the need.

MWI Podcast: Are We Headed for Limited War? Jakub Grygiel Explains

MWI’s CPT Jake Miraldi sits down with Dr. Jakub Grygiel, from Johns Hopkins University, to talk about the concept of limited war is influencing the security situation in Europe and what NATO is doing to counter.

How to Win the War of Words

CPT Kimbrell argues that the United States isn’t fighting effectively in the information environment and current bureaucratic fixes are not enough, but there is hope if the Global Engagement Center can deliver on its stated implementation plan.

Call for Applications: MWI Adjunct Scholars and Non-Resident Fellows

The Modern War Institute (MWI) at West Point cordially invites all interested parties to submit applications for its Adjunct Scholars and Non-Resident Fellows program.

“Follow the Yellow Brick Wall: The Reasons Why Military Officers Do Not Write”

MAJ Matt Cavanaugh argues for military officers to contribute to the military profession through writing.

West Point Cadets Participate in Crisis Simulation Exercise at Columbia University

West Point Cadets traveled to Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) to participate in their 2016 Crisis Simulation Exercise.

Is the Powell Doctrine dead and gone?

Major Mike Jackson argues whether the Powell Doctrine is still a useful or even relevant learning objective for junior officers.

Book Review: The Psychology of Innovation in Organizations

Captain Brad DeWees reviews the book The Psychology of Innovation in Organizations.

Wanted: Bullet Stopping Breakthroughs

Major John Spencer challenges the science world with stopping a bullet in flight.

Row Well and Die

Major Matt Cavanaugh argues against the slogan “Row Well and Live” for members of the Army Profession.

The Exoskeleton Will Change Future Combat

West Point Cadet Jess Weece believes exoskeleton suits have the potential to change the battlefield.

An Army of Sound Mind and Body

The Modern War Institute’s Major John Spencer argues for action to prevent future...

On Killing for Peace

MWI Fellow Matt Cavanaugh argues the premise of killing for peace.

Storm Surge?  The Tides of War Roll Back In

Guest MWI contributor Dr. Frank Hoffman argues the levels of conflict are increasing and that a more contested era of geopolitics is gathering.

Soldier-Driven Bullet Innovation, Lighter and More Punch

West Point Cadet Ross Downum details advancements and innovations in bullets for Army Soldiers.

West Point and Other International Teams Wage War Against ISIS Online

University teams from across the globe, including West Point, competed in an inter-agency contest to find innovative ways to combat online extremism.

A Portuguese Rationale for Why We Fight

Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori (“It is sweet and fitting to die for one’s...

Designing a Digital Crystal Ball

MAJ Mike Jackson discusses how using digital models known as synthetic prototyping can help improve the Army’s scenario-based futurist planning.

No, We Have Not Lost the War in Iraq

If our own revolutionary history is any judge, we still have not lost the war in Iraq, argues CDT LT Jack Schaaf.

Combating Bystanders to Radicalization

CPT Jolene Ayres writes that the passive observer of the radicalization process has to transition from bystander to active participant in order to contribute to the counter-radicalization narrative.

The Enemy-Informed After Action Review

MAJ Matt Cavanaugh says we should look more at our enemy’s performance and capabilities when the Army does its After Action Reviews – something straight from the pages of Harvard Business Review.

It’s About Readiness, Not Societal Issues

Major Nolan Lasiter argues the Army should focus on its lack of readiness, not all the hoopla about women in combat, sexual harassment, transgender rights, gay rights and all of the other societal issues we face today in the military.

Why Percentages Matter—And Why We Should Ignore Them

Major Dan Maurer writes that the “one-percent” rhetoric, intended as a tribute and note of appreciation, is a subtle call-to-dissatisfaction and undermines the profession of arms.

Real Strategists Don’t Use Smartphones

Major Matt Cavanaugh writes that military strategists should not cling to digital devices like smartphones in order to stay focused and more aware of one’s terrain.

Can Silicon Valley Push the Pentagon to Innovate?

The Modern War Institute (MWI) and Center for the Study of Civil-Military Operations (CSCMO) hosted a panel on Thursday, January 21, to discuss recent moves by the Pentagon and the secretary of defense, Ashton Carter, to reach out to Silicon Valley to find ways to spur greater military innovation.

Eric Maddox Discusses the Hunt for Saddam

Eric Maddox spoke to about 700 cadets and relayed his experience as an Army interrogator in Iraq. He carried out countless interrogations over a span of three months in 2003 when Saddam was on the run and the insurgency was in its infancy.

Right Question, Right Tools

I assumed my position as the platoon leader of an airborne infantry platoon in late...

Was Machiavelli Right About Innovation?

What was Machiavelli’s insight for military innovation? Humans are keenly aware of loss, according to Air Force’s CPT Brad DeWees, while only vaguely aware of gain. Negative consequences associated with changing the status quo are magnified, while the benefits of change are ignored.

The Questions of War: Mobilizing the Arsenal of Ideas

Why do bad things happen to good people? Everyone asks this question at some point....

MWI Podcast Transcript: Zombies and Global Security

CPT Jake Miraldi:      Welcome everyone to The Modern War Institute Podcast. This week...

MWI Podcast Transcript: Are We Headed for Limited War?

CPT Jake Miraldi:      This is the podcast of the Modern War Institute at West Point, an...

MWI Podcast Transcript: The Once and Future Mission

CPT Jake Miraldi:      This is the podcast of The Modern War Institute at West Point, an...

MWI Podcast Transcript: The Story of the Battle of Wanat

CPT J. Miraldi:           Everyone, this is Jake Miraldi. On this week’s edition...

MWI Podcast Transcript: The Evolving US Template to Global Security – Eric Schmitt

CPT Jake Miraldi:      This is the podcast of Modern War Institute at West Point, an...

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