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War College

War College

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A weekly look at the weapons systems and tactics that both endanger the world and keep it safe.

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How A Legendary Black Samurai Became an Anti-Imperialist Icon

34:11 | Apr 19th

It’s a story some of you may know, it’s been told over and over in different forms. A gaijin, an outsider, comes to Japan and ingratiates themselves with the local military power. From James Clavell’s Shogun, to a bad Tom Cruise movie, to William Ada...Show More

ICYMI: Inside the Occult Neo-Nazis Killing People in America

28:44 | Apr 12th

From the Silver Legion to the Aryan Nation, the U.S. has had its share of fascist organizations but its never had anything quite like Atomwaffen Division. Grown and organized online, the group has been linked to five murders and a bomb plot in the pa...Show More

The History of Preparing for Nuclear War

53:52 | Apr 5th

Civil Defense! From the dawn of World War II and throughout the 1960s, America had a plan to keep its civilians safe and fit to fight in case of invasion or, god forbid, nuclear armageddon. From duck and cover to the aesthetic of the Fallout video ga...Show More

The Era of Shitposting White Nationalist Terrorism

1:26:08 | Mar 30th

On March 15, a shooter entered two Mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. He killed fifty and injured 50 more. He left behind a bizarre and meme-laden manifesto. In February, authorities arrested a Coast Guard lieutenant who had been stockpiling weapo...Show More

The War In America's Backyard

44:43 | Mar 22nd

America is at war across the world, but it’s also at war at home. For decades, violent crime has been at record lows across the country—but that’s slowly changing as cities such as Baltimore, Chicago, and St. Louis see terrifying amounts of murders a...Show More

Everything You Know about Putin (and Russia) Is Wrong

51:49 | Mar 15th

We need to talk about Putin. Of all the leaders of state nobody is as maligned, studied, and over-analyzed as Russian President Vladimir Putin. He’s a KGB thug, he’s playing three dimensional chess while everyone else is playing checkers, and he’s tu...Show More

The Arms Business is Booming

32:28 | Mar 8th

War is a racket and damn, business is good. When it comes to the global arms trade, no one sells more weapons than the United States of America. The US controls about a third of the nearly 100 billion global arms trade. Its next closest competitor—Ru...Show More

Breaking Down Complex Conflict Between India and Pakistan

52:57 | Mar 1st

On February 14, a 20-year old man drove a car packed with explosives into a bus full of Indian Central Reserve Police Forces. 40 of the police officers died in the attack. This happened in an Indian controlled portion of Kashmir and India responded b...Show More

The Secret History of the Pentagon's Hollywood Studio

32:35 | Feb 22nd

At the end of World War II and deep into the Cold War, the American Military operated a strange building deep in the Hollywood Hills. It was the 1352nd Photographic Group of the United States Air Force, and for two decades it served as a nexus betwee...Show More

The Kurds are In a "Double Colonial Bind"

50:14 | Feb 15th

The Kurds are a people without a country. They occupy large swaths of land in Iraq, Syria, Turkey, and Iran but have no central government. Kurdish fighters have been constant allies in America’s fight against ISIS, and Peshmerga troops fighting on b...Show More

This Is (Not) Sparta!

46:32 | Feb 9th

When you hear the word Sparta, there’s an immediate association with war and the military. Of the Greek City States, it’s the one most associated with battle. Spartan men were expected to be warriors and their society was geared almost entirely towar...Show More

What Cigarettes Tell Us About the Military-Industrial Complex

39:10 | Feb 1st

Drugs and the battlefield go together like peanut butter and jelly. The Third Reich’s soldier ran on methamphetamine and American soldiers smoked like chimneys. The picture of the US GI with a burning cigarette pressed between their lips is so iconic...Show More

The Syrian Revolution Is Over, but the War Rages On

35:38 | Jan 25th

This week on War College, Syrian journalist Loubna Mrie walks us through life in the early days of the Syrian revolution, how it turned into a nightmarish Civil War, and the consequences of  US Withdrawal. You can listen to War College on iTunes, S...Show More

A Green Beret Cyber Ninja, The Avengers of Terrorism, and the Missile Defense Review

40:03 | Jan 19th

New voices and new topics. It’s War College 3.0. The music is staying the same, but some of the voices are changing. Former Green Beret and current cyber ninja, Derek Gannon comes on the show to co-host and journalist Kevin Knodell steps in to help p...Show More

The Unsung Heroes of the National Guard

30:15 | Jan 18th

The National Guard gets a bad rap, but they’re an important part of the military that’s little understood. This week on War College we try to change that. You can listen to War College on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play or follow our RSS directly. ...Show More

Goodbye to Jason Fields and Thanks for All the Podcasts

29:54 | Jan 10th

Jason Fields is leaving War College and War College is entering a new era. Tune into to get some behind the scenes anecdotes and hear a special treat from Jason.

ICYMI: Erik Prince's Terrible Plan for Afghanistan

50:31 | Jan 3rd

The United State's war in Afghanistan drags on with no end in sight. Worse, the current administration doesn’t have a clear vision of how it wants to proceed in the country. With all options on the table, private military contractor and entrepreneur ...Show More

The Sad and Dumb Reality of Russia’s Kerch Kerfuffle

35:18 | Dec 20th, 2018

On November 25, Russia seized three Ukranian gunboats in the Kerch strait—a strip of water connecting the Black Sea to Azov Sea. Ukraine claimed it was an act of aggression and, possibly, a prelude to war. Russia said it was just policing its territo...Show More

The Extraordinary Life and Death of War Correspondent Marie Colvin

28:57 | Dec 7th, 2018

War correspondents risk life and limb to report on conflict. Increasingly, it’s a leath profession. Marie Colvin was one of the best in the business. She was so good that Bashar al Assad’s regime ordered her execution. This week on War College, Lin...Show More

Why America Can't Quit Saudi Arabia

33:45 | Nov 29th, 2018

The alliance between the United States and Saudi Arabia helped define America’s role in the Middle East after World War II. Lately, Saudi Arabia has tested the limits of that relationship. This week on War College, Shadi Hamid walks us through the co...Show More

ICYMI: The Air Force's Frozen Chicken Gun

30:01 | Nov 21st, 2018

When the United States Air Force tests a new aircraft it needs to make sure it won't crash should a stray bird slam into the plane's side. Thankfully, the military has an artillery piece with a 60-foot barrel that hurls chicken more than 400 miles an...Show More

Dissecting Today’s Apocalyptic Nuclear Culture

38:20 | Nov 15th, 2018

From Roadside Picnic to Fallout, the stories a culture tells about can tell you a lot about the culture. On this bonus episode of War College, Matthew and Jake Hanrahan of the Popular Front podcast sit down to puzzle out what’s going on these days wi...Show More

When Political Violence Exploded in America

32:42 | Nov 14th, 2018

From 1971 to 1972, the FBI reported more than 2,500 bombings in America. That’s five explosions a day, and most were tied to radical underground political movements. Political violence is on the rise in the US but many of its perpetrators are disorga...Show More

America’s Foreign Policy is Broken, Here’s How it Got That Way

31:54 | Nov 8th, 2018

America is at war all over the planet and the American public doesn’t seem to care. Since the end of the Cold War, Americans have largely checked out of foreign policy concerns. Today on War College, American foreign policy analyst Stephen M. Walt wa...Show More

The ‘Machete Squad’ Saved Lives in Afghanistan

35:21 | Oct 30th, 2018

The life of a combat medic is hard. When you’re a combat medic in Afghanistan, it’s hard and surreal. This week on War College former U.S. Army medic walks us through what it’s like to save lives in Afghanistan and how he, and his squad, avoided self...Show More

From Vikings to Zombies: A History of Drug Use in the Military

35:36 | Oct 22nd, 2018

Why do soldiers fight? Maybe it’s patriotism. Maybe it’s comradeship. Maybe it’s fear of their own side. Or maybe it’s the drugs. For as long as there have been people, there have been people trying to get high. It’s no different in warfare. Fighters...Show More

What 'War by Other Means' Means Now

32:29 | Oct 15th, 2018

Taylor Swift and Islamic State are in a battle for our hearts, minds and eyeballs. Russia wants your vote, or for you not to vote at all. And if you think the amount of false information out there online is dangerous now, just wait. Artificial intell...Show More

Why an Ancient Greek Historian Is Still Taught at West Point

29:26 | Oct 8th, 2018

More than 2,400 years ago, Thucydides of Athens wrote about his city's war with Sparta. Today, that book is still read at military academies all over the world. Why? That's what we asked Dr. Cliff Rogers of West Point.

ICYMI - How Modern China Got That Way

37:43 | Oct 3rd, 2018

Xi Jinping’s China tends to look at itself as a historical victim, an underdog fighting to roll back indignities of the past and prove its strength. Author and journalist Paul French has been chronicling China’s rise since the 1980s, but has also foc...Show More

Interviewing the Alleged Secret Master of the Qanon Conspiracy

48:18 | Sep 27th, 2018

Qanon is a conspiracy theory that supposes President Donald Trump is at war with an ancient pedophile cult. When Qanon believers began to show up at Trump rallies, the mainstream media took notice. In early August, BuzzFeed published an article that ...Show More

Erik Prince Wants a Private Air Force

33:54 | Sep 18th, 2018

The man behind defunct mercenary provider Blackwater sees private air power as the key to winning the war in Afghanistan. A new report links Erik Prince to efforts to buy or build private gunships - the kind of weapon only the United States and a few...Show More

Venezuela: A Riches to Rags Story

26:37 | Sep 10th, 2018

People in Venezuela are murdering each other at the highest rate in the world. Workers are fainting on the job because of hunger. Citizens have lost 20 pounds on average since the country’s economic crisis began. It’s a nation in collapse with no cle...Show More

ICYMI - Why Nuclear War Looks Inevitable

30:55 | Sep 8th, 2018

Several recent developments have the potential to move the hands of the nuclear doom clock closer to midnight. In this episode from a while back, we talked with the Washington Post's Dan Zak about his reporting on the potential for nuclear war. What ...Show More

From JFK to Qanon: Why Conspiracy Theories Won’t Go Away

30:40 | Sep 4th, 2018

Conspiracy theories are as old as the republic. Actually, they're a lot older than OUR republic. In every country, in every culture, people believe powerful forces are colluding in ways we know nothing about. Why is that? This week we talk with J...Show More

Insider Attack Leaves Wounded Marine, Lingering Questions

26:49 | Aug 27th, 2018

Sometimes called insider, or “green on blue” attacks, when U.S. forces are assaulted by their allies, it usually makes the news. That wasn’t the case in Syria when a member of the Syrian Defense Forces shot a Marine sergeant twice in the leg. Instead...Show More

Space Is Dangerous, but Is Space Force the Answer?

31:13 | Aug 20th, 2018

Humanity has never been farther from home than the moon (and that was nearly 50 years ago), but the United States may soon be getting its own Space Force. So, what are the dangers a Space Force is meant to grapple with? And what would it do that isn’...Show More

Different Perspectives on America’s Wars

27:18 | Aug 13th, 2018

Children born on Sept. 11 are old enough to fight in the war that began that day. When they go into battle, they will only know the video of the Twin Towers falling, of the Pentagon wounded and smoking, as historical footage, much like the Zapruder f...Show More

How the US May Have Lost a War It Didn't Fight

29:55 | Aug 6th, 2018

When Syria was pulled apart seven years ago, the United States opted to stay on the sidelines. It was clear that President Bashar Al-Assad was a bad guy, but it was far less clear who the good guys were. Unfortunately, inaction has also had its price...Show More

What We Learned From an Attack on Facebook

28:15 | Aug 3rd, 2018

Bonus Episode: Facebook recently revealed that trolls had been at it again: creating pages intended to drive Americans ever further apart, turning the volume of online political discourse up to 11. All signs point to Russia as the instigator. Graham ...Show More

Why Germany Isn’t Picking Up More of NATO’s Tab

30:58 | Jul 31st, 2018

One of the great strains on NATO is the question of who’s paying how much for what. But that’s not a new problem. Almost as long as the alliance has been around - 69 years - there’s been arguing over the bills. Germany has been a particular target of...Show More

The Taboo Against Chemical Weapons Is Eroding

42:56 | Jul 26th, 2018

Bashar Al Assad has gassed his own people. An assassin used VX to murder Kim Jong Un’s half-brother. Now, Russia has allegedly used an obscure Cold War era chemical weapon to assassinate an old spy on British soil. The taboo against chemical weapons ...Show More

Your Handy-Dandy Guide to the Russian Mafia

49:37 | Jul 16th, 2018

From blue-tattooed psychopaths to “businessmen” with a twist, Russia’s vory developed a code all their own - if you can call it that. Mark Galeotti takes us through the history of Russia’s mafia and how that history helped to shape Vladimir Putin’s s...Show More

Is the Land of the Free on the ‘Road to Unfreedom’?

21:59 | Jul 9th, 2018

This week we talk with the author of “Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin,” Timothy Snyder, about the current threat coming out of the East. He argues, in “The Road to Unfreedom,” that there’s more than greed behind Russian President Vladimi...Show More

Rumors of Peace While Embedded With Special Operations Forces in Afghanistan

29:47 | Jul 3rd, 2018

Afghanistan is America’s longest war and the cynical view is that it’ll never end. Marty Skovlund Jr. doesn’t think that’s true. He just returned from Afghanistan where he embedded with American Special Operations Forces on the ground and though he s...Show More

China’s Stealing Our AI, but May Not Have to for Long

26:25 | Jun 26th, 2018

Artificial intelligence poses a number of different threats. It can make existing weapons more sophisticated and dangerous, it can help develop new weapons entirely and it can easily be used to create the ultimate surveillance state. All of that is...Show More

Nazis in Syria, and What the Media Gets Wrong About Conflict

31:42 | Jun 22nd, 2018

Among the hundreds of groups fighting in Syria, one stands out. They’re the ones carrying the swastika flag. Independent journalist Jake Hanrahan joins the show to tell us about them and also why, more and more, people covering war are having to go i...Show More

The Occult Ideologies Powering Modern Politics

50:31 | Jun 15th, 2018

Things got weird in 2016. From meme magick to Alexander Dugin, from Kek to Chaos, occult ideas have become mainstream. Steve Bannon talked about occult fascist philosopher Julius Evola. U.S. President Donald Trump is an adherent of the Norman Vincent...Show More

Getting the Navy Back to Ready Will Cost Tens of Billions

25:19 | Jun 13th, 2018

With just over 270 ships doing the work intended to be done by more than 350, the U.S. Navy is stretched thin enough for the seams to show. In order to keep enough ships at sea, training is getting short shrift, and so is sleep. And that means accide...Show More

When German Housewives Stood Up To Hitler

30:01 | Jun 7th, 2018

Berlin in 1943. Hitler has all but conquered Europe and millions of Jews have already died in the Holocaust. In the midst of this, a group of women gathered on Rose Street to demand action. They had lost their brothers, fathers, and husbands and want...Show More

Confronting the Reality of War

24:34 | May 29th, 2018

Only 1 percent of all Americans serve in the military. Even fewer ever see combat. All of those who do are changed by the experience. This week Tony Russo shares some of the stories he’s gathered from combat veterans for the This Is War podcast. ...Show More

Catching Up With Killer Robots

37:10 | May 22nd, 2018

When the United States put a machine gun on top of what looked like a bomb-squad robot, it didn’t care much who it was aiming at. But on the whole, drones and other killer robots are pretty effective, and there’s more to come. This week we speak with...Show More

Everything We Know About Fifth Generation Fighters

36:45 | May 16th, 2018

Why did the United States stop building the F-22, a fifth generation fighter the Air Force loves? Especially if the F-35 program is very much up in the air - pun intended - with each batch of fighters rolling off the line at least slightly different ...Show More

North Korea’s Long Game

49:59 | May 8th, 2018

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in have met. The Trump administration is on its way to talk denuclearization and the formal end of a war that’s lasted 65 years. Is it peace in our time? Here to help us cut throug...Show More

What Star Wars Can Teach the American Military

32:12 | May 1st, 2018

Luke Skywalker is a household name. Carl von Clausewitz not so much. Learning about the military—especially about strategy and tactics—is a jargon filled slog. War has a language all its own and for decades, military minds have struggled to find an e...Show More

The Life of a Special Operations Physician Assistant

31:58 | Apr 24th, 2018

War is a bloody business and few people know this better than the medics, physician assistants, and assorted battlefield doctors. Since Vietnam, the U.S. has gotten a lot better at saving the lives of the fallen. This week on War College, we talk...Show More

Is NASA Lost in Space?

34:56 | Apr 17th, 2018

What does the United States get out of having a human spaceflight program? For that matter, what do Russia and China get out of having one? Especially if it’s not about getting the “ultimate high ground” in any fight here on Earth. NASA historian S...Show More

How Germany Kicked France’s Ass So Fast in World War II

29:08 | Apr 9th, 2018

When France fell less than two months after Germany invaded in the spring of 1940, conspiracy theories grew to explain the loss. One of the most common was the idea of a massive German spy network, a “Fifth Column.” Historian Marc Masurovsky takes ...Show More

ICYMI: How the West Has Aided Democracy’s Decline

30:36 | Apr 4th, 2018

According to Presidents John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, the United States is a shining “city upon a hill." It’s a beacon of democracy in a dark world full of cruel dictators and vicious despots. But history shows the United States has also been willi...Show More

The Return of Nuclear Anxiety

27:28 | Mar 26th, 2018

Everything old is new again, including living with the constant threat of nuclear annihilation. North Korea is a nuclear power. The President of the United States has said he’d meet any aggression with fire and fury. Russia is manufacturing tactical ...Show More

Surprise! It’s President Putin All Over Again

33:56 | Mar 17th, 2018

Mark Galeotti joins us for War College’s Russian election special. The winner, Vladimir Putin, was never in doubt, but what’s the sham election all about? And what comes next for Russia and its relations with the world. And by the way, is there a ...Show More

Inside the Occult Neo-Nazis Killing People in America

28:43 | Mar 12th, 2018

From the Silver Legion to the Aryan Nation, the U.S. has had its share of fascist organizations but its never had anything quite like Atomwaffen Division. Grown and organized online, the group has been linked to five murders and a bomb plot in the pa...Show More

The Double Agent Who Busted a Russian Spy at Hooters

30:53 | Mar 5th, 2018

In the minds of many Russians, the Cold War never ended. When the Soviet Union collapsed, many spies never came in from the cold and the intricate game of espionage and counter-espionage has continued to the present day. This week on War College, U...Show More

ICYMI: What's the Point of Nuclear Weapons?

40:49 | Feb 27th, 2018

This week we've got a blast from the past. Here's what we said back then: This week Thomas Nichols helps us understand America’s current nuclear strategy … or lack thereof. This August marked the 70th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and ...Show More

Iran’s Red State Revolt

36:10 | Feb 19th, 2018

Iran is at war beyond its borders in Syria, Afghanistan, and other places, too. It’s a bit weird to hear it, but our guest, Amir Handjani, explains that one reason they’re fighting is a very similar principle to what drives the United States: Fight t...Show More

On the Frontlines of Turkey’s Invasion of Syria

47:56 | Feb 12th, 2018

NATO’s second largest army has invaded Syria. Turkey is conducting military operations in Afrin—a Kurdish city on Syria’s north western border. Russia and the U.S. wait on the edges as the world’s most complicated war zone gets even more so. This w...Show More

The Most Important Middle Eastern Country You’ve Never Heard Of

36:17 | Feb 6th, 2018

Yemen. Saudi Arabia. Iran. Syria. These are the countries that cross most of our minds when we think of the Middle East, but there’s an important actor in the region that we almost never hear about--Oman. Next door to Yemen and Saudi Arabia and acr...Show More

How Modern China Got That Way

47:43 | Jan 29th, 2018

Xi Jinping’s China tends to look at itself as a historical victim, an underdog fighting to roll back indignities of the past and prove its strength. Author and journalist Paul French has been chronicling China’s rise since the 1980s, but has also foc...Show More

DARPA Is the Disney of the Defense Department

51:59 | Jan 22nd, 2018

Without America’s Defense Advanced Research Project Agency there would be no internet, no GPS, no M16, and no Agent Orange. The mysterious group of scientists and soldiers created much of today’s military and civilian technology, but the average citi...Show More

Prestige Weapons Systems are Busting the Pentagon’s Budget

48:52 | Jan 16th, 2018

The Pentagon always wants more money and it usually gets its way. Between sequestration and the War on Terror, America’s military often feels like it’s stretched thin. The Navy says it needs more sailors to prevent disaster, U.S. nukes need upkeep to...Show More

Will the B-21 Bomber Break the Mold, or the Budget?

39:31 | Jan 8th, 2018

Will the B-21 Bomber Break the Mold, or the Budget?

The Military Reality Behind Star Wars

44:38 | Jan 2nd, 2018

It's a blast from the past this week and Jason and Matthew get ready for 2018. Here's what we said back then: From Star Wars to Battlestar Galactica, few battlefields are as fought over in pop-culture as space. Which makes sense. Since the end of W...Show More

ICYMI: This Is How Republic's Fall

36:36 | Dec 26th, 2017

ICYMI: This holiday week we're re-running the first episode of the new era! We'll be back after the new year. The Weimar Republic was doomed from the start. World War I left Germany in a precarious position. The Treaty of Versailles ended outright ...Show More

Optimism in America’s Forever War

41:12 | Dec 18th, 2017

Marty Skovlund Jr. first went to Afghanistan as an Army Ranger. This year he returned as a journalist. His reports offer a sharp contrast to the main narrative about a place that’s been at war for decades. He sees some hope in the form of Special Ope...Show More

Social Media Has Changed War Forever

44:27 | Dec 12th, 2017

War. War has changed. Anyone can keep up to date with the latest conflict on Twitter. Facebook is a great place to watch the propaganda game of entire countries unfold. YouTube amplifies previously marginalized conspiracy theories to millions. Ever...Show More

How a Medieval Battle Invented English Pride and Made the Longbow a Legend

54:30 | Dec 5th, 2017

On a Summer day in 1346, a small army of upstart British peasants cut the heart out of the French aristocracy. That’s the story anyway. The Battle of Crécy was one of the most important of the Hundred Years War. A British army led by Edward III fac...Show More

ICYMI: Talking About Russian Propaganda in 2015

42:45 | Nov 27th, 2017

As Jason and Matthew sleep off their holiday induced Turkey Comas, War College presents an episode from the early days of the show. Here’s what we said back then— The media in Russia is lively, often entertaining and largely state controlled. Still...Show More

America’s Secret Nuclear Upgrades

33:39 | Nov 20th, 2017

If you just look at the number of warheads, the U.S. nuclear arsenal is a small fraction of the size it was during the Cold War. But is that even the right measure anymore? This week on War College, Reuters’ Scott Paltrow discusses a special report t...Show More

A Deadly Warrior’s Peaceful Homecoming

40:19 | Nov 13th, 2017

War is hell and the people who fight often have a hard time coming home. Kevin Lacz didn’t. Lacz is a former U.S. Navy SEAL who served alongside Chris Kyle in the battle of Ramadi. He survived, came home, and thrived. He’s written books, spoken to cr...Show More

The Apocalyptic Religion of Stalin’s Russia

41:47 | Nov 6th, 2017

Joseph Stalin’s Bolsheviks were atheists. At least in the traditional sense. But that didn’t mean they didn’t believe in prophecy. In fact, it was prophecy that guided their nearly every action. If people would just obey the rules of communism, pe...Show More

Congress No Longer Sends America to War

45:57 | Oct 30th, 2017

An ambush killed four U.S. Special Operations soldiers in the North African country of Niger. Before the incident, few Americans had ever heard of Niger and fewer knew American soldiers were fighting and dying on the continent. What were the troop...Show More

How the Kurds Defeated ISIS and Lost a Nation In the Same Week

58:58 | Oct 23rd, 2017

The Kurds live in Syria, Turkey, Iran, and Iraq but have no country to call their own. When they decided to create one for themselves inside Iraq, it didn’t go well. After Iraq's Kurds held an independence referendum—which passed with more than 90...Show More

Death Math: Here’s How Many People Would Die in a Nuclear War

49:03 | Oct 16th, 2017

Tensions between North Korea and the United States are at a fever pitch. The DPRK’s nukes are scary, but once the first missile flies there’s no way to know who might join the fight and how it might end. That’s scarier. So just how bad could it get...Show More

How the Military Is (quietly) Defying Trump by Battling Climate Change

35:42 | Oct 9th, 2017

Barack Obama ordered the U.S. military to directly prepare for climate change. Donald Trump’s White House reversed that policy. So what’s a general to do? Tara Copp, Pentagon bureau chief for Military Times, takes us deep into the five-sided box ...Show More

The CIA’s Super-Secret Submarine Scooper

47:29 | Oct 2nd, 2017

Sometimes the only way a spy agency can hide a secret is under the brightest of spotlights. This week, we talk with author Josh Dean about how the CIA’s Directorate of Science and Technology works and about some of its most audacious projects, includ...Show More

Debunking Two Persistent Myths of the War in Afghanistan

35:29 | Sep 27th, 2017

On August 6, 2011, an American Chinook helicopter named Extortion 17 carried 38 people—including 15 members of SEAL Team Six—to an area 40 miles southwest of Kabul. As the helicopter made its final descent to land, a group of insurgents fired an RPG ...Show More

How Iran Outsourced Regional War to the Party of God

37:59 | Sep 18th, 2017

The Party of God, Hezbollah, is reaching out far beyond its Lebanese roots as they work with Iran to spread their joint vision of holy war. Working with money and equipment from Iran, the Shi’ite militia now operates in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. The pa...Show More

What Game of Thrones Teaches Us About Nuclear War

47:03 | Sep 11th, 2017

From The Day After to Threads, fiction has long reflected our nuclear fears. Today, Daenerys Targaryen’s flying dragons stand in for B-52 bombers armed with thermonuclear bombs and the ashen corpses of Lannister guards remind us of Hiroshima. This w...Show More

The Man Putin Hates For Shooting Down Fake News

45:17 | Sep 8th, 2017

The impunity of some of the world’s most frightening men is under threat from people stereotyped as geeks in basements around the world. In the 21st century, well-informed and observant social media addicts have extraordinary powers. Eliot Higgins st...Show More

ICYMI: How American Soldiers Became Lawyers With Guns

46:02 | Sep 1st, 2017

More than 11,000 U.S. soldiers are fighting in Afghanistan right now. U.S. President Donald Trump plans to send 4,000 more. Military advisers are overseeing the war against the Islamic State and American military equipment and expertise helped retake...Show More

This Is How Republics Fall

36:36 | Aug 25th, 2017

The Weimar Republic was doomed from the start. World War I left Germany in a precarious position. The Treaty of Versailles ended outright aggression but it also left the German economy crippled and saddled its people with a government they never quit...Show More

Erik Prince’s terrible plan for Afghanistan

1:01:06 | Aug 18th, 2017

The United State's war in Afghanistan drags on with no end in sight. Worse, the current administration doesn’t have a clear vision of how it wants to proceed in the country. With all options on the table, private military contractor and entrepreneur ...Show More

Why China won’t stop North Korea

45:46 | Aug 10th, 2017

As tensions grow between the U.S. and North Korea, onlookers have increasingly called on China to intervene. Which makes sense. Beijing is Pyongyang’s biggest trade partner and the two countries have a relationship that stretches back to World War II...Show More

ICYMI: The case for leaving Afghanistan

36:54 | Aug 3rd, 2017

After thousands of American lives, literally billions of dollars and more than 15 years, the U.S. can’t seem to quit its longest war in Afghanistan. With no end in sight, no word on strategy from the White House and the NATO-backed leader calling for...Show More

Growing up CIA

39:19 | Jul 26th, 2017

Despite some close calls, the United States and Russia never fought in a full-scale conflict during the Cold War. The fear of nuclear Armageddon loomed for decades but never occurred. The world avoided the devastation thanks to the efforts of politic...Show More

Here’s why China built that military base in Africa

42:13 | Jul 20th, 2017

China’s military made international news in early July when it announced the opening of its first overseas military base in Djibouti, a small country in the Horn of Africa. China says the base is simply a logistics building, poised to protect the cou...Show More

Sex and sensibility in the U.S. military

32:10 | Jul 13th, 2017

In 2013, the White House ordered the Pentagon to open combat roles to women and gave the military a three year deadline. As women take on more roles in the U.S. military, both on the frontlines and in leadership, the Pentagon must face an issue it’s ...Show More

We need to talk about the Special Forces

33:08 | Jul 6th, 2017

U.S. Special Operations forces worked and fought in more than 130 countries across the world in 2016 alone (hyperlink source). In 2017, America’s elite troops are doing even more (hyperlink source). From East Africa, to the Middle East and beyond, U....Show More

My enemy’s enemy - Turkey’s blind eye toward Islamic State

57:34 | Jun 29th, 2017

Turkey is a member of NATO, an American ally and a bulwark against the broiling chaos of the Middle East. That’s the story at least. The truth is far more complicated. Recently, U.S. President Donald Trump announced he would arm the Kurds -an ethnic ...Show More

The roots of political violence

35:40 | Jun 21st, 2017

Antifa and white nationalists clash in the streets. Students on college campuses patrol the sidewalks armed with bats. A man in Portland stabbed several people on a bus and another in Virginia opened fire on Republican legislators on a baseball field...Show More

In Qatar and Saudi Arabia’s fight, Iran’s the real winner

43:52 | Jun 15th, 2017

Thanks to a hack allegedly carried out by Russian intelligence, relations between Qatar and Saudi Arabia are tense to say the least. The Kingdom has blockaded Qatar ports and several Gulf states have removed envoys and ambassadors. Right now, the Mid...Show More

How the Pentagon’s wasteful budget hurts the military

35:36 | Jun 8th, 2017

The Pentagon lost track of equipment worth more than a billion dollars, according to a now declassified Department of Defense audit obtained by Amnesty International last month. The F-35 program has already cost $100 billion to develop, and may not ...Show More

Why a troop surge in Afghanistan is a terrible idea

40:34 | May 31st, 2017

How many soldiers does America need to turn the tide in Afghanistan? The Taliban controls half the country and continues to gain ground. The Pentagon and generals in the field want U.S. President Donald Trump to send an additional 3,000 to 5,000 sold...Show More

From loathed to loved – the deadly history of the submarine

41:48 | May 24th, 2017

Submarines are an accepted part of a strong navy and the cornerstone vessel of a superpower. But these stealth-killers of the ocean were once as derided and feared as the drone is now. This week on War College, former journalist and current naval hi...Show More

ICYMI: Russia's interests in the North Pole

35:58 | May 17th, 2017

Russia's aircraft carrier may be creaky, but its submarines are among the best in the business and they ply the currents beneath the Arctic at will - though not unchallenged. So, who's challenging Russia and what are the world's powers fighting over ...Show More

Stretching the special forces thin

40:46 | May 10th, 2017

America is at war with the Islamic State. Typically, citizens think this war comes in the form of drone strikes, signals intelligence and cooperation with regional partners. But that’s only part of the story. Even while popular opinion has shunned U...Show More

The psychics with top secret security clearance

39:37 | May 3rd, 2017

Even if you think a government program to fund research into extra sensory perception, remote viewing and mind reading is crazy, U.S. taxpayers have paid for it. This week on War College, Pulitzer-prize finalist Annie Jacobsen walks us through the ...Show More

What North Korea wants

41:45 | Apr 26th, 2017

Pyongyang launches missile test after missile test. A carrier strike group moves through the Pacific with its sights set on the peninsula. U.S. President Donald Trump has called the entirety of the U.S. Congress to attend a briefing on the North Kore...Show More

On the frontlines during the last days of Standing Rock

40:48 | Apr 19th, 2017

After a year of protests, Standing Rock began to clear out during the early days of February 2017. But to one observer, the standoff stood out for how much it resembled a war zone. Marty Skovlund Jr. is a U.S. Army veteran who served in the 1st Ran...Show More

One tank to rule them all

44:42 | Apr 4th, 2017

War nerds love tanks. The battlefield behemoths drove onto the scene in the early days of World War I, replaced the cavalry and became synonymous with war. But which one is the best? This week on the show, author Steven Zaloga walks us through the i...Show More

Islamic State’s drone fleet

33:17 | Mar 30th, 2017

For the past decade, unmanned aerial vehicles have been a cornerstone of America’s campaign against Islamic insurgents in the Greater Middle East. Predator and Reaper drones crisscross the globe firing hellfire missiles on U.S. enemies. Other countri...Show More

The growing rift between Trump and his intelligence agencies, and why it’s cause for concern

37:02 | Mar 22nd, 2017

Even before he took office, Donald Trump was denigrating the U.S. intelligence community – in large part because of its investigation into Russian influence on the presidential election, which challenged the integrity of his victory. That relationshi...Show More

How spreading democracy keeps dictators in power

38:12 | Mar 15th, 2017

For his views on democracies and dictatorships, he’s been called a cynic. But NYU professor Alastair Smith doesn’t think that makes him wrong. This week on War College, Smith debunks popular ideas about dictators and how they stay in power. Accord...Show More

The Case for Leaving Afghanistan

36:52 | Mar 9th, 2017

After thousands of American lives, literally billions of dollars and more than 15 years, the U.S. can’t seem to quit its longest war in Afghanistan. With no end in sight, no word on strategy from the White House and the NATO-backed leader calling for...Show More

Ethical behavior on the battlefield

42:54 | Feb 28th, 2017

Growing up, I was always told the military's job was to “kill people and break stuff.” It’s a maxim that gained popularity in the United States at the end of the Vietnam War. But total war with few rules, as World War One demonstrated, carries too hi...Show More

The Bannon effect and a brief history of the National Security Council

31:25 | Feb 22nd, 2017

U.S. President Donald Trump’s first month in office has ushered in a whirlwind of change. One bit of procedural change raised eyebrows among the national security crowd. At the end of January, Trump reshuffled the National Security Council by elevati...Show More

How the West has aided democracy’s decline

41:02 | Feb 15th, 2017

According to Presidents John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, the United States is a shining “city upon a hill." It’s a beacon of democracy in a dark world full of cruel dictators and vicious despots. But history shows the United States has also been willi...Show More

The security costs to barring refugees and creating civilian ‘safe zones’

35:05 | Feb 7th, 2017

President Donald Trump signed an executive order temporarily restricting travel from seven Muslim-majority countries and halting the U.S. refugee program. One week later, after several legal challenges and protests at America’s airports, a federal j...Show More

Russia's hybrid war against the West

45:11 | Jan 31st, 2017

War has changed in the 21st century and combat is not always kinetic. Russia’s battlefields are the internet, financial markets and television airwaves. The goal is not necessarily to take and hold territory but to expand Russia’s sphere of influence...Show More

Magick as strategy in World War Two

42:49 | Jan 24th, 2017

Adolf Hitler’s deputy, Rudolf Hess, was obsessed with the occult. He attempted to read minds and used astrological star charts to inform his battle plans. On the allied side, English magician Aleister Crowley kept in contact with German occultists, f...Show More

No, the Trump transition isn’t endangering U.S. nukes. Here’s what to really worry about

38:40 | Jan 18th, 2017

On Jan. 9, 2017, Gizmodo ran a story titled “Trump Just Dismissed the People in Charge of Maintaining Our Nuclear Arsenal.” The article published claims from unnamed members of the National Nuclear Security Administration who said the incoming presid...Show More

Tracking America’s ‘shadow wars’

45:59 | Jan 10th, 2017

Right now, America is fighting a war in Afghanistan – the longest in its history – a war against the Islamic State in the Middle East, a war against Islamic radicals in Pakistan, several different operations in and around the Horn of Africa and – if ...Show More

Churchill – the ‘glowworm’ who changed the fate of modern Europe

49:45 | Jan 4th, 2017

At the end of World War II, Winston Churchill lost his reelection bid for Prime Minister of England. The British Bulldog was down, but not out. He worried of a coming conflict with Stalin and the growing Soviet Empire, and he wanted the world to list...Show More

ICYMI: The drone that almost killed bin Laden

43:55 | Dec 29th, 2016

Months before 9/11, U.S. Air Force captain Scott Swanson patrolled the skies over Afghanistan with a Predator drone. Swanson and his team were hunting Osama bin Laden. And they found him. But this was months before the new drones could fire missile...Show More

ICYMI: In Russia, 'fake news' is the norm

39:09 | Dec 12th, 2016

America’s 2016 election was plagued by fake news. Online, it’s easy to fake authority, and millions of Americans fall for the stories. It may seem new to Americans, but Russians have lived with a strange, conspiracy-driven media for years.

The next Great Game may be played for the North Pole

35:58 | Dec 5th, 2016

Russia's aircraft carrier may be creaky, but its submarines are among the best in the business and they ply the currents beneath the Arctic at will - though not unchallenged. So, who's challenging Russia and what are the world's powers fighting over ...Show More

Going where Obama feared to tread in Syria – the Albright-Hadley plan

44:13 | Nov 29th, 2016

Guest host and Reuters Diplomatic Correspondent Arshad Mohammed sits down with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, to discuss a report that amounts to a bipartisan rejection of President B...Show More

ICYMI: The men who burned down the world: A conversation with Dan Carlin

37:08 | Nov 21st, 2016

RE-RELEASE: Dan Carlin, who hosts the Common Sense and Hardcore History podcasts, joined us last year to discuss men and women who fundamentally change the worlds they are born into. Good may eventually come from what these "historical arsonists" do,...Show More

The Kremlin had a plan - Donald Trump winning wasn't part of it

42:39 | Nov 16th, 2016

While Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump had some good things to say about each other during the 2016 U.S. election cycle, Russia expert Mark Galeotti tells War College a victory for Trump wasn't part of the Kremlin's plan. So what was the real motivati...Show More

The road to Ward 17

44:34 | Nov 14th, 2016

Dean Yates' view into war and suffering left changed. That he knew. But just how profoundly didn't become clear until he retreated to a quieter life to the place where his wife grew up, in Tasmania.

ICYMI: Can NATO still put up a fight against Russia?

42:38 | Nov 10th, 2016

THIS IS A REPEAT A SHOW FROM MARCH 3. With Vladimir Putin and the United States staring at each other like the gunfighters in the final scene in the "Good, the Bad and the Ugly," War College takes a fresh look at NATO. We wanted to know what kind of ...Show More

The security threats both candidates are ignoring

55:55 | Nov 1st, 2016

With Russia a wildcard, Islamic State on the run, budgets out of control and several Forever Wars, the next U.S. president will have their plate full.

Is the U.S. at war? Sorry, that's classified.

44:10 | Oct 24th, 2016

If you don't know whether or not the U.S. is at war, you're not alone. Soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines are engaged all over the world. In many places they're involved in "kinetic warfare," military jargon that means that bullets are flying. So,...Show More

Will the recapture of Mosul lead to peace or a bloodbath?

41:50 | Oct 18th, 2016

Mosul is as the Iraqi capital of the militant group Islamic State. Out of a population of between 1.5 million and 2 million, 4,000 to 8,000 are armed extremists. They now face a combined military force in the tens of thousands, backed up by some of t...Show More

What the hell happened to Britain's Royal Navy?

41:51 | Oct 11th, 2016

To say the Britain's Royal Navy is legendary is probably to undersell it. There have been thousands of books - fiction and non-fiction - written about its victories during the Napoleonic wars. Its a bit much to expect any organization to keep up that...Show More

Inside America’s armed militias and the new civil war

43:29 | Oct 5th, 2016

Depending on where you live, this story will either be shocking or old hat. But even if you have an armed "militia" operating near you, you probably don't realize just how developed these states within a state have become - and how far they've drifte...Show More

When the 'War on Drugs' got literal, and how it could end

37:10 | Sep 28th, 2016

Drug cartel weaponry has gotten deadlier. In 2015, a Mexican army helicopter was shot down in the state of Jalisco. The local cartel used a rocket-propelled grenade to do it. And for years, drug gangs have worked on their navies, moving from cigarett...Show More

An Islamic Reformation may be beside the point

49:35 | Sep 21st, 2016

The separation of church and state is one of the fundamental tenets of the modern Western world, but that doesn't make it inevitable for all cultures. But does that mean that the Islamic world and the Western one are in an existential struggle? Or is...Show More

Why nuclear war looks inevitable

40:55 | Sep 13th, 2016

Several developments have the potential to move the hands of the nuclear doom clock closer to midnight.

One reason the U.S. isn't winning the 'War on Terror'

49:14 | Sep 8th, 2016

In the 15 years since America first went to war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Pentagon has reduced the number of troops on the ground and increased the number of unmanned robots picking off high value targets.

How the Pentagon became the world's weapon system superstore

46:53 | Aug 31st, 2016

The United States is the world's largest arms merchant. It's not even close. So, who decides what gets sold, and to whom? And how closely does anyone follow the rules? This week on War College we look at the upsides, and the downsides, of having such...Show More

The age of the aircraft carrier may be over

46:41 | Aug 22nd, 2016

The United States has more aircraft carriers than any other country. Depending on what you call an aircraft carrier, it's 10 times as many. So why don't more countries have more carriers? Maybe they aren't such a great idea, anymore.

How the U.S. got caught between two nuclear neighbors

43:15 | Aug 11th, 2016

It's a situation where the United States has interesting choices to make. India and Pakistan are often at each other's throats. Both want U.S. support. Both are allies of necessity for the United States. Both have nuclear weapons. This week on War Co...Show More

The Kremlin may be more involved in U.S. politics than you realize

55:35 | Jul 30th, 2016

Hackers released a treasure trove of unpleasant internecine emails on the eve of the Democratic National Convention. The Democratic Party chairwoman was out of a job and tensions between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders supporters were reignited ju...Show More

How a 'chicken gun' keeps U.S. warbirds aloft and other strange tales

39:15 | Jul 28th, 2016

When the United States Air Force tests a new aircraft it needs to make sure it won't crash should a stray bird slam into the plane's side. Thankfully, the military has an artillery piece with a 60-foot barrel that hurls chicken more than 400 miles an...Show More

Wars in the Middle East will cost the U.S. trillions more

44:26 | Jul 21st, 2016

The United States is at war and has been for more than a decade. Although major combat operations in Iraq in Afghanistan have ended, America still maintains a presence in both and will for years to come. It also funds Syrian rebels, bombs Islamic Sta...Show More

The simple reasons Russians love Putin

41:12 | Jul 14th, 2016

In the West, people tend to think of Russian President Vladimir Putin as a strongman dictator – a former KGB man who oppresses his people, censors the media and antagonizes Russia’s neighbors. From the outside, it’s hard for anyone to understand how ...Show More

Why do people blow themselves up? Not for the reasons you think

44:25 | Jun 29th, 2016

Suicide attacks in Paris, Brussels, Orlando, Istanbul. And where to begin in Syria, Libya, Iraq, Nigeria, Israel? Further back, attacks in the United States, Mumbai. Nearly commonplace in Afghanistan and Yemen. Why? What are these young men and women...Show More

Is it time to get rid of the Air Force?

42:06 | Jun 16th, 2016

Until 1947, the Air Force was part of the U.S. Army. Of course, even then, the Navy had its own airplanes launching from aircraft carriers, protecting the fleets and attacking the enemy largely at sea. Nowadays, the Army has helicopters and transpor...Show More

Why is it so hard to come home from modern war?

40:16 | Jun 10th, 2016

There’s an argument to be made that humans evolved to fight each other – and to be good at it. But as the United States approaches its 15th straight year at war, rates of post-traumatic stress disorder are high. Many soldiers come home uncertain as t...Show More

The AC-130 gunship and a tragedy in Afghanistan

42:22 | Jun 2nd, 2016

The United States keeps some very old, very strange-looking planes in its arsenal. But each serves a purpose. The A-10 Warthog provides close-air support to ground troops. The B-52 drops bombs, but is so large and easy to spot that it also sends a me...Show More

DARPA brought us the internet - mind control could be next

40:06 | May 27th, 2016

For a group of scientists working on weapons — some of which could end the world — DARPA has a surprisingly good reputation. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is credited with creating the Internet and runs public contests for human-looki...Show More

Will there be war in the South China Sea?

37:53 | May 20th, 2016

If you’re looking for a place on the globe likely to spark a world war, you could do worse than the South China Sea. The United States, China, Vietnam, Taiwan, the Philippines and Japan all have claims there. China is building artificial islands and ...Show More

Meet the women who went in with the Navy SEALs in Afghanistan

36:57 | May 12th, 2016

It was just this year that U.S. women were officially allowed in combat roles. That’s officially. But in Afghanistan, American women were on the front lines on night raids with commandos, including the Navy SEALs, six years ago. This week on War Coll...Show More

What does it mean to be a modern spy?

39:21 | May 6th, 2016

The days of spy vs. spy in the Cold War are long gone. Not only have enemies changed, but their methods and how they can be monitored have also developed. So what is the role of a human spy in today’s conflicts? In this week’s episode of War College,...Show More

What makes Vladimir Putin so special?

40:20 | Apr 29th, 2016

An economy in deep trouble. A scandal involving billions in off-shore bank accounts and shell companies. Seemingly endless military entanglements. Sounds like a recipe to bring down any world leader. This week, War College looks at what makes Russian...Show More

Like video games? You may be playing with government propaganda.

34:38 | Apr 21st, 2016

Video games are an industry worth tens of billions of dollars. Games make more money than Hollywood and the music industry combined. Video games can be great fun and even great art, but they can also be great propaganda. A new game called IS Defense ...Show More

Who was pulling the strings when Ukraine unraveled?

34:38 | Apr 14th, 2016

When Ukraine pulled itself apart in 2014, the world was confused over who was doing the pulling. Was the takeover of Luhansk, Donetsk and other regional capitals all part of a Russian plan, or a local movement? This week on War College, we speak with...Show More

Why the F-35 may not stink

40:50 | Apr 7th, 2016

This week on War College we're diving into the weeds on how weapons systems come into existence. Andrea Shalal, Reuters’ longtime aerospace correspondent, takes us through the steps. She also gives a counterpoint to the show’s very first episode, whi...Show More

He had bin Laden in his sights, but no trigger to pull

44:34 | Mar 29th, 2016

Just months before the Sept. 11 attacks, Scott Swanson was piloting an early version of the Predator drone over Afghanistan. Swanson and his team were looking for Osama bin Laden and it looked like they found him. The predator, though, was unarmed. T...Show More

Caught in a draft: Where military service can last forever

43:24 | Mar 17th, 2016

This week on War College, we’re talking about a secretive nation where everyone serves in the military – and not just for a year or two. In fact, once you get pulled into service in Eritrea, you could be serving for a decade or more. And no one knows...Show More

The sniper’s evolution from villain to hero

37:26 | Mar 10th, 2016

Snipers play a key role in the world’s armies. They target commanders on the opposing side and other targets with an outsize impact. Working by themselves, they can pin down a group, creating fear and confusion. This week on War College we look at th...Show More

Can NATO still put up a fight against Russia?

42:30 | Mar 3rd, 2016

With Vladimir Putin and the United States staring at each other like the gunfighters in the final scene in the "Good, the Bad and the Ugly," War College takes a fresh look at NATO. We wanted to know what kind of shape the nearly 70-year-old alliance ...Show More

Why closing Gitmo isn't an open-and-shut case

38:27 | Feb 25th, 2016

President Barack Obama laid out a plan to close the notorious Guantanamo Bay prison this week. Even if it were to close by the time Obama leaves office, it will have been open for 15 years. So, why is the prison still open, and what would it take to ...Show More

Is the Syrian war partly an ad for Russian arms sales?

38:30 | Feb 18th, 2016

Russia is pulling out all the stops in showing off new weaponry — especially in Syria. Nick de Larrinaga, an expert at Jane’s Defense Weekly, joins the show and explains that the display of force is about more than winning a war. It also functions a ...Show More

How Garry Kasparov sees the chess match between Russia and the West

26:12 | Feb 9th, 2016

Garry Kasparov, a Russian opposition leader who was ranked as the world's best chess player for most of 20 years, has a problem with the West’s response to Vladimir Putin’s Russia and warns of the dangers of the nation's global influence. The title o...Show More

Surprising changes underway for Israel’s army

40:16 | Feb 4th, 2016

Israel’s defense forces are among the world’s elite. Their training methods are widely copied, actions taken by their soldiers and pilots are legendary. The Raid on Entebbe, the Six Day War, the 1981 air strike that took out a nuclear reactor under c...Show More

Why the Saudi-Iran showdown is a gift to ISIS

35:14 | Jan 28th, 2016

Saudi Arabia executes a cleric who is a member of the Saudi Shi’ite minority. Iran’s government, which sees itself as the leader of the Shi’ite world, doesn’t work very hard to stop an attack on the Saudi Embassy in Tehran that follows the execution....Show More

Oil's long good-bye and what comes next

36:26 | Jan 20th, 2016

Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russia has used natural gas as a weapon against Ukraine and Europe as a whole. Threatening to turn shut off the pipes as the weather turns cold is a pretty effective way to influence foreign policy. But now it l...Show More

Why in the world is the 60-year-old B-52 bomber still flying?

37:00 | Jan 12th, 2016

North Korea sets off a nuclear bomb and how does the U.S. respond? The Pentagon sends a 65-year-old airplane to buzz Korean airspace. It wouldn’t make a lot of sense if the warplane wasn’t the B-52 bomber. Designed in the aftermath of World War Two, ...Show More

In North Korea, kids learn to love the bomb - and Minnie Mouse

40:48 | Jan 8th, 2016

North Korea is the most mysterious and oppressive regime on earth. Few journalists penetrate Pyongyang and fewer still stay long enough to understand the country and its people. Jean Lee is one of those determined few. And she’s seen some strange stu...Show More

The women warriors giving ISIS nightmares

38:36 | Dec 17th, 2015

Islamic State has many enemies, both around the world and in the Middle East. But there’s one group of fighters that the men of Islamic State fear more than others because, rumors say, to be killed by them doesn’t lead to martyrdom, but to an eternit...Show More

What will cause the next Holocaust?

42:28 | Dec 9th, 2015

The conditions necessary to allow genocide – to provide one group the psychological “permission” to kill another en masse – come together all too often, in Europe during World War II, in Rwanda, in Bosnia, in Cambodia. This week on War College, we tr...Show More

'Nothing is real, anything is possible': How Putin's propaganda machine works

39:45 | Dec 1st, 2015

The media in Russia is lively, often entertaining and largely state controlled. Still, an illusion of freedom remains key for the Kremlin to maintain its grasp over a country that spans 11 time zones. In this episode of War College, we look at how Vl...Show More

Why the U.S. sticks with an ineffective strategy against Islamic militants

37:53 | Nov 24th, 2015

Predator and Reaper drones hang in the sky above Pakistan, Yemen, Iraq and Syria. Mostly they observe, search for targets – and occasionally they unleash Hellfire missiles. Targets may be large gatherings of suspicious figures, convoys or training ca...Show More

One phrase from Saudi clerics could begin the end of Islamic State

55:05 | Nov 19th, 2015

The recent terror attacks in Paris shook the world and put the focus back on Islamic State. This week on War College, we talk with American Special Operations intelligence veteran Malcolm Nance. Nance literally wrote the textbook on Iraq’s terrorists...Show More

The true horrors of living under Islamic State

41:41 | Nov 11th, 2015

Many in the West think of the Islamic State as a loose collection of fighters -- rabble who kill, loot and burn. But the truth is more complex, though no less terrifying. Islamic State actually governs the territory it takes and it’s not terrible at ...Show More

What makes a historical arsonist?

37:09 | Nov 3rd, 2015

The host of the Hardcore History podcast joins War College to discuss some of the most powerful figures in history - men and women who burned down the world they were born into and -- many generations later -- are sometimes credited with laying the f...Show More

Get a look inside the secretive world of U.S. Special Ops

38:22 | Oct 28th, 2015

America’s Special Operations Forces have become instrumental in the war against radical Islam. But few in America know their story or how they operate. Sean Naylor wants to change that. His new book, Relentless Strike: The Secret History of Joint Spe...Show More

Most of Russia's military still 'rubbish' despite Ukraine, Syria deployments

43:17 | Oct 20th, 2015

The annexation of Crimea, the war in eastern Ukraine and the military operation in Syria present the image of a confident Russian President Vladimir Putin willing to expend military power for political gain. The truth, according to Dr. Mark Galeotti ...Show More

How the machine gun brought modern war to the world

40:15 | Oct 14th, 2015

None of the world’s great powers were ready for the carnage World War I. The armies of 1914 looked a lot like the armies of 1814 … but they didn’t go to war with 19th century weapons. The modern world was born in blood on the battlefields of Europe d...Show More

Coming soon, a pizza that stays fresh for three years - courtesy of the U.S. Army

41:38 | Sep 30th, 2015

The need for armies, both ancient and modern, to travel long distances to thwart enemies and take territory has made militaries one of the driving factors behind food science.

The AK-47, a weapon so simple, even a child can use it - and they do

38:21 | Sep 23rd, 2015

It’s the world’s most famous weapon, popular with soldiers, insurgents and video gamers alike. As many as 100 million of the world's guns are descended from Mikhail Kalashnikov's original Avtomat Kalashnikova, first prototyped in 1947. How many lives...Show More

Who are Europe’s migrants, and do they pose a threat?

40:59 | Sep 15th, 2015

War College talks to author and journalist Robert Young Pelton talks about the waves of immigrants washing up on the shores of Europe and why things have gotten worse in the last few months.

Just how strong is Iran’s military?

40:04 | Sep 9th, 2015

This week’s War College examines the state of Iran’s conventional military, as well as its guiding strategies. Jason Fields, Matthew Gault and Robert Beckhusen also discuss the likely impact of the nuclear treaty on its regular forces.

What a real war in space might look like

43:12 | Sep 2nd, 2015

There are approximately 1,000 satellites currently in orbit, but how many of them are really weapons in disguise?

What nuclear strategy? World powers play dangerous game by ear

39:46 | Aug 25th, 2015

This week’s War College looks at nuclear threats around the world and whether U.S. strategy has kept up. Thomas Nichols, a professor at the U.S. Naval War College, says it hasn’t and explains why that makes the world a more dangerous place.

Weird weapons of Vietnam: Combat tree houses, a nuclear rifle and more

43:13 | Aug 18th, 2015

This week War College looks at some of the weirdest weapons that the U.S. military came up with for use during the Vietnam War. While the nuclear rifle didn’t go anywhere, another invention can be found at raves around the world.

How China’s military might matches up with the United States

36:49 | Aug 12th, 2015

To understand just how strong China’s military really is, it’s important to understand its true mission and objectives. And those are very different from what the United States is trying to accomplish around the globe.

Will drones get too smart for humanity's own good?

43:24 | Aug 4th, 2015

Drones linger over battlefields all over the world, and over places that don’t realize that they’re battlefields until the Hellfire missiles strike.

America’s Joint Strike Fighter flies into a world of trouble

49:11 | Jul 28th, 2015

The United States plans to replace all of its fighter jets with the F-35 in the next decade or so, at a cost estimated to be at least $1 trillion. But the plane’s development hasn’t been smooth. So, is the Pentagon’s plan the smart way to go?