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The Irregular Warfare Podcast explores an important component of war throughout history. Small wars, drone strikes, special operations forces, counterterrorism, proxies—this podcast covers the full range of topics related to irregular war and features in-depth conversations with guests from the military, academia, and the policy community. The podcast is a collaboration between the Modern War Institute at West Point and Princeton's Empirical Studies of Conflict Project.
 
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The Spear

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The Spear

Modern War Institute at West Point

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The Spear is a podcast from the Modern War Institute at West Point. It aims to explore the combat experience, with each episode featuring a guest who tells a detailed and personal story, describing the events and exploring topics like decision-making under stress and what it feels like to be in combat.
 
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What is the role of security force assistance in achieving national security objectives? Where did security force assistance work well in the post-9/11 era, and where was it unsuccessful? How did policy considerations differ from tactical implementation? And most importantly, how can research and experience from the past twenty years of war inform …
 
In this episode we are joined by Dr. Scott Goldman, Ph.D., sport psychologist for the Golden State Warriors and owner of Athletic Intelligence Measures. Listen as Dr. Goldman shares his insights from working with top athletes in a range of sports around the world. Dr. Goldman also discusses athletic performance and intelligence evaluation and how h…
 
From 2016 to 2018, Colonel Liam Collins played a key role in US efforts to assist the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense with a series of substantial reforms—ranging from organization and command and control to military training, medicine, and logistics. That experience gives him a unique perspective from which to assess the capabilities of Ukraine's mi…
 
Why is it important to combine physical and cognitive training to prevent and recover from sports injury? In this episode, we are joined by Nicole Pederson, a kinesiologist and BEARS cognitive facilitator at Sea to Sky Sports Physio in Squamish, BC. Listen as Nicole discusses how mental fatigue can increase the likelihood of injury with extreme spo…
 
On November 26, 2008, ten Pakistan-based terrorists simultaneously attacked and sieged multiple sites across the megacity of Mumbai, India. The world watched in horror as the attacks terrified the city for almost three days. Often referred to as India’s 9/11, the attacks were planned and orchestrated seemingly with the precision of a military speci…
 
We have a bonus episode for you this week! In this episode, Doug Nelson, President of The Discovery Group, sits down with host Mark Watson to discuss his work with social profit organizations. Listen to hear Doug’s take about sharing your mistakes to connect with others and learn together. Brain Mastery is hosted by the CEO of ABI Wellness, Mark Wa…
 
This week we are joined on the podcast by John Shamoon, a rehabilitation support worker at Stride Rehabilitation Services who works with people after brain injury or spinal cord injury as well as those with developmental disabilities, addiction, and mental health struggles. In this episode, John shares how he takes a compassionate, person-first app…
 
Irregular warfare is executed across all domains. In the air, the responsibility for IW falls to Air Force Special Operations Command. Today, the command stands at an inflection point in which it must prepare to compete against great powers while continuing the fight against violent extremist organizations. How must AFSOC change in order to meet di…
 
This episode of the MWI Podcast features a conversation with August Cole, coauthor of a new book called Burn-In: A Novel of the Real Robotic Revolution. It’s a techno-thriller and a work of fiction, but it is also based on deep research and allows readers to examine the types of technologies that will increasingly characterize the future—from every…
 
This week we are switching it up to give you better insight into ABI Wellness and how we are changing the field of brain healthcare! Scott Rintoul, professional sports broadcaster, takes over hosting to interview Mark Watson, our very own CEO and regular host of Brain Mastery. Listen to Mark share his insights into brain injury and concussion recov…
 
"What can you do everyday as a brain injury survivor, or anyone else, to improve cognition? This week, René Mills shares practical advice for increasing your cognitive reserves and taking care of your brain health. René is a speech pathologist and program director at Learning Services, specializing in post-acute rehabilitation services in brain inj…
 
On August 11, 2004, Staff Sgt. John Borman’s platoon ventured out on what was supposed to be a short counter-mortar observation mission. Except that day, instead of targeting Camp War Eagle, the Mahdi Army targeted John’s observation post with accurate indirect fire. To top it off, John wasn’t even supposed to be in Iraq that day. He was supposed t…
 
In counterinsurgency warfare, how can powerful states reform corrupt or repressive governments into legitimate ones? Our guests on this episode, Jacqueline L. Hazelton and Anne-Marie Slaughter, discuss this fundamental challenge and explain two competing models of counterinsurgency that take different approaches to it. The first is the good governa…
 
What did we learn about modern war in 2021? What issues defined the most important conversations in defense circles? In this special year-end episode of the MWI Podcast, John Amble speaks to the directors of MWI's four themed projects, each aimed at advancing our understanding of a particular aspect of modern war—the Urban Warfare Project, the Irre…
 
How can virtual reality technology impact healthcare? This week, we are joined by Veena Somareddy, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Neuro Rehab VR, which provides a virtual reality therapy solution to enhance physical therapy treatments and outcomes for patients. In this episode, Veena describes how her company developed their innovative …
 
What do urban warfare experts have on their Christmas lists? In this episode, Colonel (CA) John Spencer is joined by Major Jayson Geroux and Mr. Stuart Lyle for a holiday-themed conversation about the tools and capabilities they really hope Santa brings. Maj. Geroux is a member of the directing staff of the Tactics School at the Canadian Army’s Com…
 
In this week's episode, we are joined by neuropsychologist Dr. Jennifer Sumner from the Kaizen Brain Center. Join us to hear Dr. Sumner's perspective on interdisciplinary care, and how better communication can support a patient's health journey. Listen as Dr. Sumner also shares her insight into the importance of seeing patients as individuals first…
 
In this episode, retired US Air Force Col. Kim Campbell joins to share a story from 2003. A career A-10 pilot, her squadron was deployed to the Middle East at the beginning of the war in Iraq. During a mission, she and her flight lead in another A-10 responded to a call for air support from a US unit engaged with Iraqi troops. On her last rocket pa…
 
In the aftermath of the military withdrawal from Afghanistan and the country's chaotic collapse, it is easy to forget the prominent role that the United States played in building, leading, and sustaining a forty-nation coalition for the war effort—a task that required some determined diplomacy and a sophisticated understanding of what each country …
 
In this edited special edition, as Stu interviewed Jimmy live on stage during his “Terribly Funny” tour shows in Manchester, Birmingham and Cardiff, Stu navigates deftly between celebrity anecdotes to push Jimmy into territory which he’s a little less familiar with sharing. We talk about how parenthood may or may not change the way Jimmy works; dis…
 
After twenty years of America’s post-9/11 wars and the US military’s struggle to build capable and effective security forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, there is an important discussion taking place about what role security force assistance should play for the United States in the very different strategic environment that is taking shape. Will it be a…
 
In this week’s episode, we are joined by Marc Saab, founder and managing director of BML Technology, a company that helps organizations develop digital health solutions to improve patient outcomes, and one of ABI Wellness’ scientific advisors. Tune in to hear Marc discuss the progression of medical technologies to give patients more understanding a…
 
He’s back, he’s bad, and he’s pulled off one of the most surprising pivots of the pandemic: writing an incredibly useful and heartfelt self-help book, masquerading as an autobiography! In this edited special edition, as Stu interviewed Jimmy live on stage during his “Terribly Funny” tour shows in Manchester, Birmingham and Cardiff, Stu navigates de…
 
On the morning of March 7, 1988, three members of the Palestine Liberation Organization hijacked a bus full of Israeli women traveling to work near the town of Dimona, Israel, in what has become known as the “Mothers’ Bus attack.” Maj. Gen. Avshalom Peled was at the time a platoon commander in the Yamam, an elite Israeli counterterrorist organizati…
 
Why do healthcare providers need to be more proactive in helping patients take care of their brain health? In this week’s episode, we hear from Dr. Teona Amble, clinical psychologist, about the importance of taking the time to listen to a patient’s stories, empowering people to advocate for their health, and taking a preventative approach to brain …
 
hroughout history, IW organizations have undergone dramatic changes at all levels to meet the demands of new operating environments and threats. The book The Changing of the Guard: The British Army since 9/11 explores the difficulties the British Army faced trying to reorganize for irregular warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan. Simon Akam, the book's a…
 
Back on tour after a period of self-reflection, comedy powerhouse Omid Djalili is admirably candid as he shares his concerns about the material that made him famous. Taking to heart some stinging criticism from his son, he explores the tension between his phenomenal commitment to live performance and his craving for validation We talk about the ten…
 
Recently, large numbers of Russian military forces have been moved to areas near Russia's border with Ukraine. This has set off a wave of reporting and analysis about what it likely means. But there’s a considerable degree of nuance and substantial context that both need to be accounted for to best understand what the troop movements indicate, to p…
 
This week, we are joined by Peter Wicher, who discusses his thoughts on neuroplasticity-based cognitive therapies and how he has seen them help people with both developmental and acquired cognitive deficits. After enrolling his daughter in the Eaton Arrowsmith School, Peter was able to see firsthand how learning disabilities can be addressed throug…
 
In this episode, John Spencer is joined by Dr. Richard Norton, aprofessor of national security affairs at the US Naval War College and a retired US Navy commander. Dr. Norton discusses his research on what he calls "feral cities"—those in which the state has lost the ability to maintain the rule of law yet remain a functioning actor in the greater …
 
With a dedicated crowd of 650K YouTube subscribers, Foil Arms & Hog are a live sketch act who also do internet videos, and not “YouTubers” like you thought... We explore how these lovely men have spent a decade at the Edinburgh Fringe entirely on their own terms, and why they aspire to “Moneyball” but don’t know their arse from their SEO. We uncove…
 
How can TBI survivors find greater social support in their recovery? In this episode we hear from Lindsey Black, the Executive Director of Jodi House, a brain injury support center in southern California. Join us as Lindsey discusses the organization’s mission to ensure that brain injury survivors thrive as part of a community and have the social s…
 
Teetering on the brink of the “elder statesman” phase of his career, masterful comic Tom Stade reflects on surviving the pandemic due to his strong family unit and his natural impish inclination not to take anything too seriously. We talk about the relationship between political correctness and deliberately being inappropriate, hitting critical mas…
 
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