SERIES 03

This means war

Conversations about contemporary wars, trends and technologies and what they might mean to the future of warfare.

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SEASON 1 / EP.Trailer
An introduction to the podcast
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has stimulated a considerable outpouring of emotion, passion and commentary – not to...

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Peter talks to Ewan Lawson, a Senior Associate Fellow at RUSI, about the context of wars and why this is important in...

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  • Ewan Lawson

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SEASON 1 / EP.2
A Turning Point in Ukraine?
Dr Jack Watling talks to Peter as he returns from his most recent trip to Ukraine. As both Ukrainian and Russian forces...

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  • Dr Jack Watling

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SEASON 1 / EP.3
Fighting in Urban Ukraine
Peter talks to Prof John Spencer, doyen of Urban Warfare at West Point, after his recent trip to Ukraine. They cover...

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  • Prof John Spencer

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SEASON 1 / EP.4
Facing A Callous Adversary
As the Iranian proxy in Yemen, the Houthi’s have evolved from a guerrilla organisation to one capable of facing down...

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  • Dr Michael Knights

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Even though Western militaries systemically underinvest in their own logistics and engineering capabilities, it is...

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  • Trent Telenko

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A now frozen but forgotten conflict in Georgia dating from 2008 was the result of a Russian invasion and occupation of...

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  • Natia Suskuria

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Between 2004 and 2014, NATO armies coerced the militaries and special forces of Georgia and Ukraine into a doctrine and...

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  • Dr Sandor Fabian

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If you look at Russian actions in different regions of the world, their strategies differ considerably. This covers...

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  • Katarzyna Zysk

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Supporting a war conducted by others shouldn’t be measured on financial aid committed. A better metric would actually...

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  • Lt Gen (rtd) Ben Hodges

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Nick Reynolds has just returned from Ukraine again and talks to Peter about his experiences and insights after 6 months...

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  • Nick Reynolds

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Professor Michael Clarke joins Peter to talk about the 10 day old Ukrainian counter offensives against Russia. In...

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  • Professor Michael Clarke

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Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) has matured considerably since the early 2000s. More data sources, better data bases,...

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  • James Byrne,

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Deciding to go to war, to support a war, or even which war to engage with should not be an easy decision. It should be...

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  • Rory Stewart

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It has only taken one year from the Western withdrawal out of Afghanistan for that country to descend once more into a...

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  • Anant Mishra

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Is China preparing to invade Taiwan? It is certainly a matter of CCP policy that Taiwan will be reintegrated into...

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  • Dr Peter Layton

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Ships being sunk by sea mines, undersea pipelines blown up, and a fragile maritime infrastructure are all underplayed...

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  • Rob Wilson

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Despite a shared ideology loosely based around communism, and perhaps a similarly hopeful interpretation of...

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  • Theresa Fallon

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Whilst the battles in Ukraine have evidenced the tenacity and stamina of Ukrainian forces, their success in defence and...

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  • Mick Ryan

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According to the report of a conference of great strategic brains during October 2022, the world will look pretty ugly...

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  • Julian Lindley French

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Peter talks to Professor Alessio Patalano about whether the naval aspects of the Russian invasion of Ukraine offer...

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  • Alessio Patalano

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Peter is joined by Dr John Hemmings, a Senior Director at the Pacific Forum in Hawaii, to talk about what might have...

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  • John Hemmings

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SEASON 1 / EP.22
Missile Wars with Tom Karako
The use of missiles – of every variety – around the world has been increasing over the past 5 years. Whether...

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  • Tom Karako

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When Svechen and Hamley were writing about the operational level of war, it is doubtful they envisaged the number of...

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  • Wilf Owen

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SEASON 1 / EP.24
War in a Fishbowl
A really capable combined arms force can have a disproportionate impact on a small war. It can have much less effect in...

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  • Amos Fox

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SEASON 1 / EP.25
The future of air power
Big contracts are being let for new aviation systems. From the B21 and FLAA in the US, to FCAS and Tempest in Europe,...

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  • Justin Bronk

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The Chinese military has come a long way since 2008. In size, professionalism, deployability, operational experience,...

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  • Sarah Kirchberger

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The shock and surprise expressed by Western politicians after Russia’s February 2022 invasion of Ukraine heralded...

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  • Ben Barry

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What did the Ukrainian forces learned from their experiences fighting the Russian military during 2022? Peter talks to...

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  • Dr Jack Watling

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Since 1991 space has become an intrinsic part of warfare: from the liberation of Kuwait to Allied experiences in Iraq...

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  • Juliana Suess

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SEASON 2 / EP.3
Turkey, Erdogan and 2023
This year Turkey celebrates its 100th anniversary; 2023 will also bring a summer with elections that could see...

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  • Ziya Meral

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SEASON 2 / EP.4
We Live in Radical Times
According to some we are living in both a Post Islamist Age, as well as a Post Liberalist one. And if you read the...

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  • Dr Adil Rasheed

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Peter talks to Ankit Panda from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace about all things North Korea, but...

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  • Ankit Panda

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Meeting the challenges of both conventional and irregular warfare requires mutually exclusive forces specialised in...

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  • Dr Jack Watling

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SEASON 2 / EP.7
Cyber battles in Ukraine
How have cyber conflicts played out between Russia and Ukraine? Over the last decade the idea of cyber war had been...

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  • Rob Black

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SEASON 2 / EP.8
Info Ops in Ukraine
Peter talks to the inimitable Whit Mason, a strategic communications guru, about why the Ukrainian information...

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  • Whit Mason

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Peter talks to Professor Katarzyna Zysk from IFS in Oslo about Russian military AI development, from the core reasons...

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  • Katarzyna Zysk

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SEASON 2 / EP.10
How to Fight A War
Why is winning a war so hard? According to Dr Mike Martin, realism seems to be missing in the formation of strategy to...

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  • Mike Martin

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SEASON 2 / EP.11
The strategy of attrition
All wars have elements of attrition in them – like it or not. Battles of attrition are not linear either, they depend...

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  • Dr Jack Watling

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Special Forces in contemporary warfare will be expected to conduct operations ‘By, with and through’: enabling...

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  • Michael Knights

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SEASON 2 / EP.12
The 51%
Western political and military leaders seem to be doing a lot of hard talking about military capability these days, yet...

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  • Tess Butler

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SEASON 2 / EP.14
The lifeblood of warfare
When you read the words ‘inventory management’ most military people turn the page. Don’t. This conversation about...

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  • Joann Robertson

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China’s agreements on strip mining and rare earth mineral extraction opened the door to significant engagement...

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  • Anant Mishra

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Even planning a non-combatant evacuation operation is politically and diplomatically fraught – the signals it sends...

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  • Ewan Lawson

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Even as Russia rebuilds its way of fighting and combat power over the next 3-5 years, those forces should be easily...

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  • Justin Bronk

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One year on from starting the podcast, the production team persuaded me to answer some of the most popular questions...

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Poland is an outlier in Europe: a state that has been willing to resource the national security statements of political...

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  • Jakob Knopp

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For decades, politics, security and economics in the Middle East has been inextricably linked to the USA. Today,...

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  • Mike Stephens

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SEASON 2 / EP.24
Japan’s Security Dilemmas
Surrounded by three potential adversaries, hampered by a history that prevents deep alliances with neighbours, and a...

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  • Dr John Hemmings

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Going into the NATO summit at Vilnius, NATO had a three tier membership structure and lacked the political leadership...

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  • Professor Julian Lindley-French

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SEASON 3 / EP.1
Is Manoeuvre a Myth?
There is a disturbing undercurrent in Western PME – demonising anything not termed ‘manoeuvre’ or...

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  • Amos Fox

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SEASON 3 / EP.2
Manoeuvre Is In A Coma
The opportunities to use manoeuvrist theory on contemporary battlefields are scarce, if they exist at all.  Professor...

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  • Professor Tony King

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The modern interpretation of manoeuvre theory for warfare holds the deep battle as a central avenue to success. Indeed,...

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  • Franz-Stefan Gady

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SEASON 3 / EP.4
Ending Wars – a primer
Bringing conflict to a conclusion usually comes about because of annihilation of one party or the exhaustion of both....

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  • Professor Beatrice Heuser

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SEASON 3 / EP.5
Investing in a War Zone
How do companies, businesses, and industry make investment decisions in a war zone? There is no shortage of...

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  • Michael Longstaff OBE

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Beijing seems to have an insatiable appetite for increasing the scale and pace of military operations around Taiwan:...

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  • Ralph Cossa

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Most people will not have missed the visit North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, to Russia last month. What went without...

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  • Ankit Panda

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States face complex calculations in balancing their reactions to wars. Many (perhaps most?) governments of the day are...

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  • Burcu Ozcelik

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In October 2023, an expert group of national security experts from around the world came together at Wilton Park in...

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  • Professor Julian Lindley-French

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SEASON 3 / EP.11
AUKUS – a reality check
Peter is joined by John Hemmings from the US and Malcolm Davies from Australia to talk about AUKUS. Since the security...

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  • Dr John Hemmings

  • Dr Malcolm Davies

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SEASON 3 / EP.12
Norms and Forms of Warfare
It seems useful to frame some of the discussion about warfare around norms and forms rather than the character and...

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  • Dr Paddy Walker

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SEASON 3 / EP.13
A Cautionary Tale from 1973
Intelligence failures, strategic surprise, heavy attrition, mass casualties, reversals, internal rivalries, personality...

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  • Lt Col Nate Jennings, US Army

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