I had the pleasure of joining Break it Down Show host Pete Turner in interviewing Dr. Alexander Cooley and Dr. Daniel Nexon, authors of Exit From Hegemony: The Unraveling of the American Global Order. Cooley is Claire Tow Professor of Political Science at Barnard College and Director of Columbia University’s Harriman Institute of Russian, Eurasian and East European Studies while Nexon Associate Professor Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University (Dan also blogs at Lawyers, Guns and Money and was the founder of the well respected group blog, Duck of Minerva). The two IR scholars have written a tightly argued, scholarly book regarding the potentially seismic shifts underway in the American-led liberal order and the potential directions a “post-hegemonic” world may take.
Without spoiling the show that I hope you will tune into below, Exit From Hegemony blends theory with contemporary geopolitical trends, strategic threats to “exit” the status quo posed by illiberal great powers of rising China and a waning Russia, transnational far-right (and far-left) populism and the role of America since the end of the Cold War up to and including the Trump administration. It’s a fascinating read an illuminating conversation.
Mark Safranski joins Pete A Turner with author, think-tanker Dr Mike Mazarr. Mike’s book is called, Leap of Faith Hubris, Negligence, and America’s Greatest Foreign Policy Tragedy Why is the invasion of Iraq viewed as a tragedy? Mike explains to us and draws conclusions to help us better understand by comparing and contrasting past conflicts to Iraq. Mark, brings his experience understanding presidential security council dynamics to push the show to even great depth and uniqueness.
Without giving way any spoilers, Mazarr has penned our time’s version of The Best and the Brightest. It’s a step by step reconstruction using the best evidence available and extensive interviews of principal figures or their aides and colleagues to explain how the Bush administration decided to go down the road to war in Iraq. Like David Halberstam explaining the origins of Vietnam, Mazarr’s task was to explain how so experienced a national security team as the one that served George W. Bush could make so catastrophic a strategic error, the effects of which continue to unfold to this day.
” We were very unprepared…..There were gender gaps in Pashto [culture] that we only had a surface level understanding of….”
– Dr. Richard Ledet
Pete and Jon at The Break it Down Show discuss the theory, practice and ground truth of female engagement policy and tactics in conflict zones with Dr. Richard Ledet of Troy University. I had the pleasure of meeting and listening to Dr. Ledet speak at Quantico during a Boyd Conference on another subject some years ago.
Female Empowerment – Today we feature some of Pete and Dr. Rich’s work from their overseas time. Today they discuss their academic paper about the ethical pitfalls of female engagement in conflict zones. If you’re interested in the paper, here is an early draft they presented at a conference at Ft. Leavenworth, KS.
The peer-reviewed article will publish in the Journal of Military Ethics in 2018. These things take time, we’ll do our best to update the show notes when the article is officially published.In the meantime, enjoy Dr. Rich and Pete talking about the pitfalls of working to empower females in conflict zones.
In this episode, Jon and Pete interview “Jack Barsky“, a former Soviet deep cover KGB officer in Europe and the United States and author of Deep Undercover. From the Break it Down Showintro:
The American – Jack Barsky’s given name is Albrecht Dittrich. Jack’s tale is incredible. He was a German born KGB spy who assumed the identity of Jack Barsky, a deceased American boy. Jack,s cover established, he embedded into the US and lived as a US citizen all the while, reporting back to Russia. Jack’s life as a spy is captured in his book, Deep Under Cover. On this episode, our own in-house spy Pete breaks down different elements of the spy game with Jack. Where else is it possible for 2 seasoned spies from the opposite side to interact, talk shop and blow our collective minds? #BIDS #SpyvsSpy #Espionage #podcast #podcastfriday
An episode that will interest those who study all things Afghanistan, COIN, irregular warfare, cultural-linguistic competency, rural environments, HUMINT, insurgency, PME and similar topics, Jon and Pete interview Bill Mankins at the Break it Down Show:
“One of our most compelling guests to date. You’ve never heard Bill Mankins story and that’s about to change. Bill gets modern combat at a level that you cannot find anywhere else. Fox News, CNN, NPR have all had a chance to get Bill to sit with them and break down the most complex social, military, religious problems anyone can imagine, and they all passed. They didn’t know a great story when it was right in front of them. Nobody but the Break It Down Show has this level of depth and quality…NOBODY The show really breaks into 3 parts. If you want, skip ahead to Minute 51:30 and get to what Bill is working on…then go back and see why he’s the man for the job…AGAIN this level of clarity, this depth, you’re in for a treat. Bring a bucket for when your brain explodes.”
Zenpundit is a blog dedicated to exploring the intersections of foreign policy, history, military theory, national security,strategic thinking, futurism, cognition and a number of other esoteric pursuits.