Rank #1: Episode 500: The War in Yemen, with Katherine Zimmerman
The specific and larger implications of the war in Yemen will be our topic for the full hour with our guest Katherine Zimmerman.
Katherine Zimmerman is a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and the research manager for AEI’s Critical Threats Project. As AEI’s senior analyst studying terrorist groups, she focuses on the global al Qaeda network and covers the Salafi-jihadi movement and related trends in the Middle East and Africa. She also specializes in al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and Yemen, al Shabaab in Somalia, and al Qaeda in the Sahel.
Ms. Zimmerman has testified before Congress about the threats to US national security interests emanating from al Qaeda and its network. She has also briefed members of Congress, their staff, and US military, diplomatic, and intelligence community personnel. Her analyses have been widely published, including in CNN.com, Foreign Affairs, FoxNews.com, The Hill, The Huffington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. She is a term member with the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the ?RESOLVE Network Research Advisory Council.
Rank #2: Episode 409: USS FITZGERALD & MCCAIN Collisions; Observations with Bryan McGrath
The totally avoidable collisions resulted in the death of 17 Sailors and removal from our most important theater two of our most critical assets.
Our guest for the full hour will be Bryan McGrath, CDR, USN (Ret.).
Bryan grew up in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, and graduated from the University of Virginia in 1987. He was commissioned upon graduation in the United States Navy, and served as a Surface Warfare Officer until his retirement in 2008. At sea, he served primarily in cruisers and destroyers, rising to command of the Destroyer USS BULKELEY (DDG 84).
During his command tour, he won the Surface Navy Association’s Admiral Elmo Zumwalt Award for Inspirational Leadership, and the BULKELEY was awarded the USS ARIZONA Memorial Trophy signifying the fleet’s most combat ready unit. Ashore, Bryan enjoyed four tours in Washington DC, including his final tour in which he acted as Team Leader and primary author of our nation’s 2007 maritime strategy entitled “A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower.”
Since retirement, Bryan has become active in presidential politics, serving first as the Navy Policy Team lead for the Romney Campaign in 2012, and then as the Navy and Marine Corps Policy lead for the Rubio Campaign in 2016.
He is the Assistant Director of Hudson Institute’s Center for American Seapower, and he is the Managing Director of The FerryBridge Group LLC, a small defense consulting firm.
Rank #3: Episode 399: The Asiatic Fleet of 1941 and its Lessons of Today
In the opening months of WWII, there is a story we don't study enough - mostly because it is not a pleasant story.
For today's episode, we're going to take some time to do look at the story of the Asiatic Fleet in 1941, and what her story might inform us about the challenges today.
Our guest for the full hour will be Hunter Stires. From our guest's article from last August's Naval Institute's Proceedings, he sets the stage;
Even in the missile age, we can gain much insight on naval strategy in Asia from the trials and travails of Admiral Thomas C. Hart and his castoff flotilla of all-gun cruisers, four-stacker destroyers, and diesel submarines manned by the weathered “old China hands” of the Asiatic Fleet. Hart and his 11,000 highly experienced officers and men, most with many more years in service than their counterparts elsewhere in the Navy and Marine Corps, faced the same challenges that our forward forces and strategic planners are grappling with today, including the use of submarines and surface ships to find and destroy high-value targets in denied areas at war’s opening, the indefensibility of forward bases, and the vital importance of mobile logistics assets to replace them.
Hunter is a Fellow at the Hattendorf Center for Maritime Historical Research and provides support to staff at NWC. He is a regular contributor to The National Interest and is the author of 1941 Asiatic Fleet Offers Strategic Lessons, published in the USNI Proceedings in August 2016. He is a student at Columbia University.
Rank #4: Episode 159: Best of Counter Narcotics
Our guest will be CDR E. A. Westfall, CDR, USCG, then Commanding Officer of the USCGC ESCANABA (WMEC 907).
Rank #5: Episode 372: Andrew Jackson’s Navy; Now More Than Ever?
Our guest for the full hour for a discussion of an understudied part of our naval history and what it could mean for the current administration is returning guest Claude Berube.
Claude is the Director of the Naval Academy Museum and has taught in both the Political Science and History Departments at the Naval Academy. He has worked in the U.S. Senate, as a maritime studies fellow at the Heritage Foundation, as the head of a terrorism analysis team for the Office of Naval Intelligence and as a defense contractor. An intelligence officer in the Navy Reserve, he deployed with Expeditionary Strike Group Five in 2004-05. His articles have been published in Orbis, Vietnam Magazine, Naval History, The Washington Times, Jane’s Intelligence Review, Naval Institute Proceedings and others. He’s also written or co-authored five books. He’s completing his doctoral dissertation through the University of Leeds.
Rank #6: Episode 466: The USN's Labs, Research Facilities, and Ranges with Mark Vandroff
We are going to dive deep in to the commands, men and women who make that happen, NSWC Carderock and other NAVSEA warfare centers that form the core of the labs, research facilities, and ranges that makes the sexy possible.
Our guest for the full hour returning to the show will be Captain Mark Vandroff, USN, Commanding Officer Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division.
Rank #7: Episode 164: Best of With James D. Hornfischer
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.
Rank #8: Episode 393: Building the right carrier; heavy, medium, or light with Tal Manvel
With the Senate recently dedicating $30 million to the study of a light carrier design, the discussion has begun again about what is the right size carrier for the requirements of our navy.
We have the perfect guest for the entire hour to discuss, returning guest J. Talbot Manvel, Captain, USN (Ret).
Tal teaches at the US Naval Academy. While on active duty he served as an engineering officer specializing in aircraft carriers. He served on three, assisted in building two, and ended his career developing the new FORD class of aircraft carriers. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1972, earned a masters in mechanical engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School in 1979, a masters in liberal arts from St John’s College in 2008.
J. Talbot Manvel, Captain, USN (Ret) teaches at the US Naval Academy. Wile on active duty he served as an engineering officer specializing in aircraft carriers. He served on three, assisted in building two, and ended his career developing the new FORD class of aircraft carriers. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1972, earned a masters in mechanical engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School in 1979, a masters in liberal arts from St John’s College in 2008.
Rank #9: Episode 170: Stolen Seas; Tales of Somali Piracy
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.
Rank #10: Episode 414: Best of Anti-Access Area-Denial (A2AD) with Sam Tangredi
If the comparative advantage of American military power includes the use of the world's oceans as a basing area from projecting power and national will, how can other nations design systems and tactics to trump that advantage? What are in place now, and what can we expect to see in the near future?
Our guest for the full hour will be Sam J. Tangredi, a defense strategist whose studies of future warfare prompted Defense Department officials to label him “the Navy’s futurist.” His thirty-year naval career included command at sea, service in key strategic planning positions in the Pentagon and overseas, earning a PhD in international relations, and research fellowships at two think tanks.
His over one hundred publications—which include four books--have won awards, including the U.S. Naval Institute’s Arleigh Burke Prize and the U.S. Navy League’s Alfred Thayer Mahan Award. He is currently the director of San Diego operations for the planning/consulting firm Strategic Insight.
First aired OCT 2014.
Rank #11: Episode 477: Afghanistan & the Long War with Bill Roggio
In a far-reaching discussion, we will touch on the rather unpleasant reality of where we have put ourselves through our own action, and what people should expect going forward.
Bill is a senior fellow at FDD and editor of FDD’s Long War Journal, which provides original reporting and analysis of the Global War on Terror from Afghanistan and Pakistan to Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, North Africa, Iran, and beyond. He is also president of the nonprofit media company Public Multimedia Inc.
Bill was embedded with the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army, and Iraqi forces in Iraq between 2005 and 2008, and with the Canadian Army in Afghanistan in 2006. From 1991 to 1997, Bill served as a signalman and infantryman in the U.S. Army and New Jersey National Guard. His articles have been published in The New York Times, The Weekly Standard, The Daily Beast, National Review, and The New York Post, and his work has been in outlets including The New Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, CNN, Foreign Policy, and Bloomberg.
Rank #12: Episode 492: Making a Better Army Staff Officer, with COL Kirk Dorr, USA
It doesn't happen by accident.
To address these questions and related topics, our guest this Sunday will be Colonel Kirk Dorr, USA the Director of the U.S. Army’s School of Advanced Military Studies (commonly known as “SAMS”) at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
COL Dorr is a career Armor Officer, has commanded formations from the company to brigade-levels, and served in staff officer assignments up to the Army Staff and Joint Staff-levels.
COL Dorr’s military education includes attendance at both Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a resident Fellow studying international affairs and security studies. He is also a graduate of the School of Advanced Military Studies, Joint and Combined Warfighting School, and the Army Command and General Staff College.
Rank #13: Episode 394: A Midsummer's Thucydides with Kori Schake
The old Greek historian is having quite a renaissance. Of course, he's always been there, but the Whitehouse is interested in himm, so everyone else is as well, especially with regard to the often mentioned, "Thucydides’s Trap."
For those not familiar with his work, The History Of The Peloponnesian War, in her article earlier this month in The Atlantic, our guest this week outlines where people should focus.
Thucydides is often associated with hard-edged realism, as in the quote “the strong do what they will, the weak suffer what they must.” ... But it’s important to remember that those views are one thread in a tapestry—Thucydides recounts the views of the war's combatants, but he doesn’t endorse them. In fact, the states that profess those hard-edged sentiments are plunged into ruin by them.
When and how they take the plunge has, at the crucial moments of decision, everything to do with rambunctious crowds or ambitious usurpers of their betters egging on policies that result in the destruction of their state’s power.
For this and related topics, please join us this Sunday with our guest Kori Schake for the full hour.
Kori is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution. She teaches Thinking About War at Stanford, and with Jim Mattis edited Warriors and Citizens: American Views on Our Military. Her book on the Anglo-American hegemonic transition comes out from Harvard in the fall.
Rank #14: Episode 486: Waiting on a National Strategy with Dr. David Gioe
What is the grand strategy?
To discuss these and related questions this Sunday will be Dr. David Gioe. We will use his recent article in The National Interest, Make America Strategic Again, as the starting point for our talk.
Dr. David Gioe is Assistant Professor of History at the US Military Academy at West Point, where he also serves as History Fellow for the Army Cyber Institute. He earned a BA in History and Social Science from Wheaton College, an MA from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, and a PhD in Politics and International Studies from the University of Cambridge.
He retains his commission as a senior officer in the Navy Reserve and is assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency’s Defense Attaché Service.
Rank #15: Episode 173: Back to the Littorals with Milan Vego
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.
Rank #16: Episode 429: Making Sense of Natsec's Madness with Phil Ewing
Our guest for the full hour will be Phil Ewing.
Phil is NPR's national security editor. He helps direct coverage of the military, the intelligence community, counterterrorism, veterans and other topics for the radio and online. Ewing joined the network in 2015 from Politico, where he was a Pentagon correspondent and defense editor. Previously he served as managing editor of Military.com and before that he covered the U.S. Navy for the Military Times newspapers.
From the budget battles on the Hill, the Navy's fight for its future fleet, to Russia's freezing of the cherry blossoms (hey, it could happen) - we'll cover it.
Rank #17: Episode 444: The Slow March to FITZGERALD & MCCAIN, with J. C. Harvey, Jr,.
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.
Rank #18: Episode 404: Best of Clausewitz with Donald Stoker
Out guest for the full hour will be Donald Stoker, author of the new book, Clausewitz: His Life and Work. Stoker is a Professor of Strategy and Policy for the U.S. Naval War College's program at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.
His previous book, The Grand Design: Strategy and the U.S. Civil War, won the distinguished Fletcher Pratt award for the best non-fiction Civil War book of 2010. Past winners include Bruce Catton and Shelby Foote.
Episode first broadcast in DEC14.
Rank #19: Episode 420: Surface Readiness; History, Causes, & Cures with Kevin Eyer
Our guest this week to explore these and related issues will be Kevin Eyer, CAPT USN (Ret.). As a starting off point, we will review his JAN 2018 article in the US Naval Institute, Proceedings, What Happened To Our Surface Forces?
Kevin is a retired Surface Warfare Captain and the son of a Surface Warfare Captain. He graduated from Penn State, after which he served in seven cruisers, ultimately commanding three; Thomas S. Gates, Shiloh and Chancellorsville. He has served on the Navy Staff, the Joint Staff, and he attained his masters degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, at Tufts University. Captain Eyer is a frequent contributor to Proceedings Magazine, and a regular commentator on Navy issues.
Rank #20: Episode 435: STEM and the Education of a Navy Leader
Is this in the best interest of educating future officers of our modern Navy and Marine Corps so they can effectively lead Sailors and Marines at war and peace?
To discuss this and related issues for the full hour will be USNA Midshipman First Class Kirk Wolff. We will use his recent Proceedings Today article, Rethinking the Naval Academy Curriculum as a starting off point.
Kirk is originally from Morristown, Tennessee. He majored in Political Science at USNA and will serve as a surface warfare officer upon commissioning on May 25, 2018.