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Midrats

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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.

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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.

iTunes Ratings

46 Ratings
Average Ratings
37
5
3
1
0

The best place for in depth Naval analysis

By Flyingcyclone - Jan 22 2020
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Company grade officer in the Marine Corps- Midrats helps me stay up to date on what’s going on and what the thinking is on the blue team. First naval podcast I listened to, sal and eagle one got me on to cimsec and USNI, as well as getting this jarhead to read “Fleet Tactics”

Excellent analysis

By crankshaft333 - Oct 23 2018
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Excellent analysis and interesting guests. Enjoyable way to stay up to date on maritime news.

iTunes Ratings

46 Ratings
Average Ratings
37
5
3
1
0

The best place for in depth Naval analysis

By Flyingcyclone - Jan 22 2020
Read more
Company grade officer in the Marine Corps- Midrats helps me stay up to date on what’s going on and what the thinking is on the blue team. First naval podcast I listened to, sal and eagle one got me on to cimsec and USNI, as well as getting this jarhead to read “Fleet Tactics”

Excellent analysis

By crankshaft333 - Oct 23 2018
Read more
Excellent analysis and interesting guests. Enjoyable way to stay up to date on maritime news.
Cover image of Midrats

Midrats

Latest release on May 18, 2020

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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.

Rank #1: Episode 360: Best of IA, E-2, FEF, EDU & the 21C Career Path w/CAPT Herb Carmen

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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

1hr 2mins

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Rank #2: Episode 536: Andrew Jackson’s Navy; Now More Than Ever?

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This first aired in Feb. 2017.

Since his election in November 2016, 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 Dr. 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 received his PhD through the University of Leeds.

Apr 19 2020

1hr 2mins

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Rank #3: Episode 159: Best of Counter Narcotics

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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

58mins

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Rank #4: Episode 353: Best of Disruption, Disfunction & Leadership with Peter Munson

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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

1hr

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Rank #5: Episode 164: Best of With James D. Hornfischer

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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

59mins

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Rank #6: Episode 182: Marine Recon Best Of

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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

59mins

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Rank #7: Episode 476: August Cole & P.W. Singer's Ghost Fleet, Best of

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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.

Feb 24 2019

1hr 3mins

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Rank #8: Episode 170: Stolen Seas; Tales of Somali Piracy

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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

1hr 1min

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Rank #9: Episode 535: Jones Act: National Security Asset or Liability?

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The Jones Act is hailed by many in the maritime community as an essential lifeline to keep the domestic merchant marine viable. There is an equally vocal argument that it is not just unnecessary, but counterproductive.

Are the assumptions being make by the pro-Jones Act faction wrong?

To discuss the Jones Act from the skeptical school this Sunday from 5-6pm Eastern will be Colin Grabow, a policy analyst at the Cato Institute’s Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies.

Apr 07 2020

59mins

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Rank #10: Episode 488: Best of The Outlaw Ocean with Ian Urbina

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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.

May 20 2019

1hr 2mins

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Rank #11: Episode 467: Military Ethics and the Profession, with Pauline Shanks Kaurin

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Where are the lines between what is legal, what is ethical, and what is moral? Who writes these lines and how rigid are they?

For the individual and the military as an institution, why are these things important?

Are there universals? National? Institutional? Are they at the end of the day, personal?

Is there a hierarchy of ethics? Where do they come in to conflict with loyalty, duty, or mission?

Are there secular ones that come in conflict with religious? How do leaders manage these highly personal - and often high profile - foundational conflicts?

Our guest for the full hour will be Dr. Pauline Shanks Kaurin.

Pauline holds a PhD in Philosophy from Temple University, and is a specialist in military ethics, just war theory, philosophy of law and applied ethics. She is is a professor in the College of Leadership and Ethics at the US Naval War College. Prior to her arrival in Newport, she was Associate Professor and Chair of Philosophy at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA and teaches courses in military ethics, warfare, business ethics, social and political. 

You can follow her on twitter at @queenofthinair.

Dec 16 2018

1hr 1min

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Rank #12: Episode 401: Reporting on a Navy in Crisis, With David Larter

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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

51mins

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Rank #13: Episode 173: Back to the Littorals with Milan Vego

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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

1hr 4mins

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Rank #14: Episode 204: A Day Without Seapower - Best of

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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

59mins

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Rank #15: Episode 201: The 911 Decade Best Of

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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

1hr 30mins

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Rank #16: Episode 433: Reform, Readiness and the Navy's Path Ahead, with Dr. James Holmes

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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

1hr 5mins

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Rank #17: Episode 198: Best of the Darkhorse Battalion

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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

1hr

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Rank #18: Episode 271: Red Flag and the Development of USAF Fighter Pilots

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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

1hr 1min

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Rank #19: Episode 518: Holding the Line with Guy Snodgrass

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How do you report history as you live it? When, why, and how do you write about it?

When even the most experienced DC watchers are having trouble tracking what is going on in the Trump Administration, what can people expect to learn from first hand accounts?

If you haven't already heard about our next guest and his book - and you count yourself as someone interested in national security - then welcome back on the grid.

Returning to Midrats, our guest for the full hour this Sunday from 5-6pm Eastern to discuss his new book, Holding the Line: Inside Trump's Pentagon with Secretary Mattis, will be Guy Snodgress, CDR USN (Ret.)

Guy is a retired American naval aviator, Topgun instructor, and former commanding officer who served as Jim Mattis's chief speechwriter and communications director during his time as Secretary of Defense. Snodgrass owns and manages a strategic advisory firm in Northern Virginia, serving government and tech industry clients.

Dec 08 2019

1hr 6mins

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Rank #20: Episode 444: The Slow March to FITZGERALD & MCCAIN, with J. C. Harvey, Jr,.

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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

1hr 3mins

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Episode 541: Post COVID-19 China, with Dean Cheng

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From international relations to trade to almost every aspect of modern society, the outbreak of COVID-19 has altered the global landscape in ways we are only now getting a grasp on.

As the world's largest nation and the source of the pandemic, how China responds and how it impacts her growth will be the top-line story of this change.

This Sunday we are going to look at China's response and reaction to COVID-19, in conjunction with cyber, human right abuses, Hong Kong unrest, military power, economic connections and more.

To join us for a wide ranging conversation centered on China in the post-COVID-19 world will be returning guest, Dean Cheng.

Dean is a Senior Research Fellow at the Asian Studies Center, Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy at The Heritage Foundation

May 18 2020

1hr 5mins

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Episode 540: Best of Anniversary of Waterloo with John Kuehn

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This first aired in June of 2015.

18 June 2015 was 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.

May 18 2020

1hr 5mins

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Episode 539: COVID-19 and the defense budget with Todd Harrison

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If it hasn't hit you yet, it will soon. Everyone's assumptions about what the defense budget will look like - what it will buy and who gets what part of the pie - are gone.

The larger impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is unknown, but we do know this; at no time has so much debt been piled so high on top of an incredible spike in unemployment and economic collapse - in so little time - in the lifetime of any living American.

What can we expect?

Our guest for the full hour this Sunday from 5-6pm Eastern to discuss this and more will be Todd Harrison, the director of Defense Budget Analysis and the director of the Aerospace Security Project at CSIS.

As a senior fellow in the International Security Program, he leads the Center’s efforts to provide in-depth, nonpartisan research and analysis of defense funding, space security, and air power issues. He has authored publications on trends in the overall defense budget, military space systems, civil space exploration, defense acquisitions, military compensation, military readiness, nuclear forces, and the cost of overseas military operations.

Mr. Harrison joined CSIS from the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, where he was a senior fellow for defense budget studies. He previously worked at Booz Allen Hamilton where he consulted for the U.S. Air Force on satellite communications systems and supported a variety of other clients evaluating the performance of acquisition programs. Prior to Booz Allen, he worked for a small startup (AeroAstro Inc.) developing advanced space technologies and as a management consultant at Diamond Cluster International. Mr. Harrison served as a captain in the U.S. Air Force Reserves. He is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with both a B.S. and an M.S. in aeronautics and astronautics.

May 04 2020

1hr 2mins

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Episode 538: End of April Free For All

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Last week, we could have gone another hour, so we thought the easy thing would be to bring it forward to this Sunday.

We will cover the waterfront as the Navy continues to struggle to get past COVID-19's dominating Navy news, not just with the TR, but now the USS Kidd and everything from boot camp to the Naval Academy.

Throw in a pick up game presence missions in the South China Sea, and the Russians ditching their future surface fleet ... and there is more than enough to make a fast hour.

Open topic and open mic.

Apr 27 2020

1hr 6mins

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Episode 537: Midrats in the Time of COVID-19 Melee

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Take a break from trying to find a way to socially distance yourself from the people you are non-self-isolating with this week by joining us LIVE for a free for all Midrats.

We have a lot in the maritime domain to discuss from the response to the outbreaks on the carries Theodore Roosevelt and Charles de Gaulle, PCS, the budget, upcoming FFG(X) selection, Iran, China and more.

As we always do, we will keep the phone and chat room open if you have questions or a topic you would like us to discuss.

Open mind; open topic.

Come join us!

Apr 20 2020

1hr 4mins

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Episode 536: Andrew Jackson’s Navy; Now More Than Ever?

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This first aired in Feb. 2017.

Since his election in November 2016, 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 Dr. 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 received his PhD through the University of Leeds.

Apr 19 2020

1hr 2mins

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Episode 535: Jones Act: National Security Asset or Liability?

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The Jones Act is hailed by many in the maritime community as an essential lifeline to keep the domestic merchant marine viable. There is an equally vocal argument that it is not just unnecessary, but counterproductive.

Are the assumptions being make by the pro-Jones Act faction wrong?

To discuss the Jones Act from the skeptical school this Sunday from 5-6pm Eastern will be Colin Grabow, a policy analyst at the Cato Institute’s Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies.

Apr 07 2020

59mins

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Episode 534: Best of Seapower as a National Imperative, with Bryan McGrath

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First aired in November 2016, in this episode we have returning guest Bryan McGrath, CDR USN (Ret.) discuss, 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.

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.

Apr 07 2020

1hr 1min

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Episode 533: Obedience, with Dr. Pauline Shanks Kaurin

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What is the nature of obedience for those in the the profession or arms and the civilian political community?

With a review of classical studies, philosophy, history, international relations, literature and military studies, can you get a firm grounding on what it is, what it means, and how it should shape decisions and behavior?

Returning to Midrats to talk about this and more based around her new book, On Obedience: Contrasting Philosophies for the Military, Citizenry, and Community, will be Dr. Pauline Shanks Kaurin.

Pauline holds a PhD in Philosophy from Temple University, and is a specialist in military ethics, just war theory, philosophy of law and applied ethics. She is is a professor in the College of Leadership and Ethics at the US Naval War College. Prior to her arrival in Newport, she was Associate Professor and Chair of Philosophy at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA and teaches courses in military ethics, warfare, business ethics, social and political.

Mar 23 2020

1hr 5mins

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Episode 532: Unmanned and Unafraid - the Present & Future at Sea

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Where will unmanned technology take us in the maritime security arena?

We already have more than a toe in the water, and with each year unmanned systems at sea are taking a larger role.

Our guests Sunday, March 15th from 5-6pm Eastern to discuss these and related topics will be Dr. William Burnett and Dr. Todd Holland.

We will use their recent article, Unmanned and Unafraid: The Transformation of Naval Oceanography, as our starting off point.

Dr. William Burnett is the Technical Director to the Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command/ Task Group 80.7. In this role, he provides technical responsibility and oversight for a fleet of six survey ships, 2,000 civilian and military personnel and a budget over $300 Million.

Dr. Todd Holland is Chief Scientist for Littoral Oceanography Sensing at Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division. He is presently detailed to Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command to support the alignment of strategic priorities & collaborative initiatives between the two commands. He serves as senior technical representative on multiple efforts involving Unmanned Systems throughout the Naval Research & Development Establishment.

Mar 16 2020

1hr 2mins

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Episode 531: Best of Radical Extremism, Visual Propaganda, and The Long War

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First aired in March, 2016.

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 07 2020

1hr 2mins

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Episode 530: Best of Towards a 350 Ship Navy, with Jerry Hendrix

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This podcast first aired in December of 2016.

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 will be one of our favorite guests, Dr. Jerry Hendrix, CAPT USN (Ret.).

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.

Mar 06 2020

57mins

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Episode 529: Russia's 2020, with Dr. Dmitry Gorenburg

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As Russia's navy starts to transition away from the last of her legacy ships, to her approaching endgame in Syria, join us for the full hour to investigate the latest developments with Russia's national security posture, including the domestic power politics and relationships with its near abroad that influences the same.

Our guest returning again to Midrats will be Dr. Dmitry Gorenburg.

Dmitry Gorenburg 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.

Gorenburg 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.

Gorenburg 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.

Feb 24 2020

1hr 4mins

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Episode 528: Kido Butai at Pearl Harbor

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A lot has been written about what went wrong at Pearl Harbor - a very American perspective.

If you look at it from a neutral tactical view, or look at things from a Japanese perspective - there was a lot that went right at Pearl Harbor at the Tactical and Operational Level.

Join Sal from CDR Salamander and EagleOne of EagleSpeak as they discuss for the full hour many of the less understood aspects fo the attack on Pearl Harbor and the development in the Imperial Japanese Navy's tactical innovations with one of the co-authors of the article in December's Naval History magazine, Pearl Harbor's Overlooked Answer - Jonathan Parshall.
First aired DEC 2011.

Feb 24 2020

1hr 1min

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Episode 526: Best of Undersea Lawfare with RADM Johnson, USN (Ret) and CAPT Palmer, USN

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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.

First broadcast, April 2016

Feb 19 2020

1hr 2mins

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Episode 527: Pre-Valentine's Day Melee

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Come join EagleOne and CDR Salamander for an hour of all the things maritime and national security that broke above the ambient noise the last couple of weeks.

From the national security implications of the latest disease out break in China to our Navy's ongoing challenge of finding out what she wants to be, and how she wants to get there.

Open topic, open phones - so if there is a topic you would like us to address, join the chatroom, give us a call, or drop us an email or DM on twitter.

Feb 10 2020

1hr 8mins

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Episode 525: Watching the Surface Force with David Larter

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Put on your black leather jacket, get your SM-6 plush toy, pour a glass of your finest Chianti in honor of the epic Fincantieri after party, and join us this Sunday to discuss the latest news about the USN surface force.

Using his reporting earlier this month from the Surface Navy Association Symposium as a starting off point, our guest for the full hour 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.

From new uniform items to future unmanned system, we will be talking about it.

Jan 27 2020

1hr 5mins

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Episode 524: Mid-January Melee

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Open mic and open topic for this week's Midrats as we cover the maritime spectrum from Chinese fisherman and their "strange" catches, to new carriers, to 1,001 things you can do with a DDG-1000.

We'll be live as always and are taking questions and topic requests ... so come join us!

Jan 20 2020

1hr 9mins

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Episode 523: Stress Tested a Sealift Surge? How'd it go?

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We just stress tested our Strategic Sealift. We'll discuss what we can learn from it this Sunday 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.

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 and an Associate Professor of History at Campbell University in Buies Creek, NC.

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.

Jan 13 2020

1hr 7mins

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Episode 522: 10th Anniversary Show: Decade Review and Looking Forward

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Happy New Year to everyone and you know what 2020 means? It means that Midrats is having its 10th Anniversary.

Come join us this Sunday as we look back at the previous decade and do our best to see what is coming over the horizon for the next.

Who knows, we might have a surprise guest or two.

Jan 06 2020

1hr 15mins

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The best place for in depth Naval analysis

By Flyingcyclone - Jan 22 2020
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Company grade officer in the Marine Corps- Midrats helps me stay up to date on what’s going on and what the thinking is on the blue team. First naval podcast I listened to, sal and eagle one got me on to cimsec and USNI, as well as getting this jarhead to read “Fleet Tactics”

Excellent analysis

By crankshaft333 - Oct 23 2018
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Excellent analysis and interesting guests. Enjoyable way to stay up to date on maritime news.