Episodes

February 9, 2021 30 min
On 5 February, 2021, newly confirmed Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin directed military leaders to lead a one-day stand-down within the next 60 days to address extremism within the nation's armed forces. That same afternoon our Editor-In Chief, Jacqueline Whitt sat down with Ty Seidule in the virtual studio to record this episode. Seidule, a prominent figure in the conversation about extremism, has long fought against the vene...
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February 2, 2021 32 min
A BETTER PEACE welcomes Ann Meredith to discuss her experience as a female officer in the U.S. Army. She joins WAR ROOM podcast editor Ron Granieri in the virtual studio to discuss what her career has looked like as a woman, a mother and a wife in the Military Police corps. Ann recounts long separations, supportive units, honest mentors and the biases and discriminations that many women must overcome in any branch of the military. 
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A BETTER PEACE welcomes back Tami Davis Biddle to our GREAT STRATEGISTS series. She joins WAR ROOM podcast editor Ron Granieri in the virtual studio to discuss the contributions of Thomas C. Schelling to the Cold War nuclear strategy realm.
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A BETTER PEACE welcomes authors General Sir Rupert Smith and Ilana Bet-El to the virtual studio to talk about the ultimate goal of being understood as authors. Smith and Bet-El are co-authors of The Utility of Force now available in a second edition. They join our own Michael Neiberg to discuss their collaborative process and the different strengths and attributes they each bring to the effort. He is a retired British Army officer ...
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UPDATED: 1450/15 Dec 2020 A BETTER PEACE welcomes Robert Payne to discuss the radicalization of U.S. military members, particularly in the Army. Payne joins podcast editor Ron Granieri in the virtual studio to examine how individual members of the Army are radicalized and what the service and law enforcement need to do to defeat the problem. Their conversation covers how extremism finds its way into the ranks and how this isn'...
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A BETTER PEACE welcomes Chris Dougherty and Becca Wasser from The Gaming Lab at the Center for New American Security (CNAS). Chris and Becca join host Ken Gilliam in our special series the WARGAMING ROOM to discuss the efforts and contributions of CNAS to the gaming world. The three discuss how strategic gaming is used to shape the choices of leaders in government policy, industry and academia. It's one thing to know a thing to...
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November 17, 2020 36 min
A BETTER PEACE welcomes Adam Seipp to discuss the world of Cold War literature. Adam's previous article in our DUSTY SHELVES series reviewed Sir John Hackett's 1978 best seller, The Third World War: August 1985. Hackett, deemed both the heir to Pat Frank and Neville Shute and also the ancestor of Tom Clancy and so many others, is at the center of this episode. Adam is joined by DUSTY SHELVES editor, Tom Bruscino, and podcas...
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A BETTER PEACE welcomes back Ken Gilliam for another installment of the WARGAMING ROOM. In this episode Ken sits down with Doug Winton, the chair of the Department of Military Strategy, Planning and Operations (DMSPO) at the U.S. Army War College. Ken and Doug discuss War College games like JOINT OVERMATCH and MDO 1943. They examine the history of the games and their incorporation into the DMSPO curriculum to include the benefits a...
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The United States has identified drug trafficking, drug use, and drug manufacturing as important issues -- domestically and internationally. In recent years, the opioid crisis has been at the center of many U.S. government efforts. Overdoses due to synthetic drugs have been on the rise for the past decade with fentanyl and its derivatives squarely at the heart of the issue. A BETTER PEACE welcomes Heidi Munro to the virtual studio ...
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When planning for interactions with foreign countries, whether in peace or in war, it can be easy for military planners to be lulled into the false security of the homogeneity of a culture or race or nationality. Many would argue that was exactly what happened in Afghanistan and Iraq in the last two decades. But long before the United States' most recent conflicts in the Middle East, there was a small island chain in the Pacifi...
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A BETTER PEACE welcomes Pulitzer nominated journalist and author Stephen Vogel to the virtual studio to talk about his path to authorship and his love of history. Steve joins our own Michael Neiberg to discuss the differences between his role as a journalist versus his style as a narrative historical author and how that differs even further from academic historical accounts. They both lament the future lack of written first hand ac...
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What do a hyper-competitive Monopoly player, an educational methodologist and a U.S. Army War College Faculty member have in common? Well for starters they're all the same person and that combination of skills and interests makes Megan Hennessey the perfect guest on this inaugural WARGAMING ROOM episode of A BETTER PEACE. Megan joins series editor Ken Gilliam in the virtual studio to discuss how wargames tick all the boxes the ...
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Facial recognition technology promises to help law enforcement identify and track suspicious individuals ideally revealing bad actors before they can commit acts of violence or other crimes. The more promising facial recognition becomes as a technology however, the louder grow the voices concerned about the potential invasion of privacy that such mass collection could or would entail. "Only the guilty need worry" may be the...
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September 29, 2020 31 min
On October 31st, 2000, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1325, which reaffirmed “the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts and in peace building, the importance of their equal participation and full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security, and the need to increase their role in decision-making with regard to conflict prevention and resolution.” Reso...
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It's a two-for-one on A BETTER PEACE this week. Kara Dixon Vuic and Jason Vuic join Michael Neiberg in the studio for our ongoing ON WRITING series. Kara and Jason share their varied approaches to writing and discuss what literary collaboration looks like in their house. Two very different authors that write on different topics discuss their takes on research, their writing styles and reading each other's drafts. Well, we a...
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It's an election year, and leaving all politics aside, the use of opinion polls is already in full swing by all parties involved. Polling performance in recent years has called the accuracy of polls into question. Was the sample size big enough? Did the questions lead to predictable answers? Who is actually willing to answer the polls, and how many are truthful? A BETTER PEACE welcomes Amanda Cronkhite to the studio to discuss ...
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September 8, 2020 33 min
"Be All You Can Be", "Army of One", "Army Strong" these are just a few of the most recent slogans used by the U.S. Army Recruiting Command in the last 40 years. The first remained in place for over 20 years. The last was 12 years running. But if the Army is going to meet its recruiting and retention goals it's going to need new and innovative strategies to find and keep, motivated, talented and qualified...
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Born of an idea first uttered in October 1960 at an impromptu speech by then Senator John F. Kennedy, the Peace Corps was officially established on 1 March 1961. In its first year Peace Corps volunteers served in just 5 countries. Six short years later 14,500 volunteers had served in 55 countries around the world. To date more than 240,000 volunteers have served in 142 host countries. Due to COVID-19, all of those volunteers have b...
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Imagine taking a graduate level program in a foreign country in a different language from your native tongue. Now imaging stepping it up and enrolling in the one class that does it completely differently from all the rest, and prides itself on significantly challenging its students to think and behave in a manner that forces them outside their comfort zone daily. A BETTER PEACE welcomes Khaled Al Khalifa, a Bahraini Army officer th...
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August 18, 2020 28 min
The citizen soldiers of the Army's National Guard component often lead different lives from their active duty counterparts. Geographically tied to their state units, they often live out their entire career in their home states spared of the constant moves the rest of the military endures. Guard units in years past have been overlooked for equipment modernization and training. But the wars that the United States has been involve...
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