Author Archive

Join us for Midrats on 14 July 13 at 5pm Eastern for Episode 184: “The Big Man Theory”

9781612512433_0What is the impact of the right man at the right time with the right ideas? What is the impact of what seems to some as just a man, but to a son is all?

For the first half of the hour we will have LCDR BJ Armstrong to discuss his book, 21st Century Mahan: Sound Military Conclusions for the Modern Era.

For the second half of the hour our guest will be Stephen Roderick to discuss his book, The Magical Stranger: A Son’s Journey into His Father’s Life.

The Magical StrangerLCDR BJ Armstrong is a Naval Aviator and an occasional naval historian. His articles have appeared in numerous journals including USNI’s Proceedings and Naval History, Naval War College Review, and Infinity Journal to name a few. He is a research student with the Department of War Studies at King’s College, University of London. He was recently named the 2013-14 Morison Scholar by Naval History & Heritage Command and was awarded the 2013 Navy League Alfred Thayer Mahan Award.

Stephen Rodrick is a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine and a contributing editor for Men’s Journal. He has also written for New York, Rolling Stone, GQ, The New Republic, The New York Times Magazine, Men’s Journal, and others. The Magical Stranger is his first book.

Before becoming a journalist, Rodrick worked as a deputy press secretary for United States Senator Alan J. Dixon. He hold a bachelors and masters in political science from Loyola University of Chicago and a masters in journalism from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism.

Join us live or listen later by clicking here



Episode 181: Summer Solstice Melee 06/23 by Midrats | Blog Talk Radio:

Yakont system

Here is your chance; its the end of 2QCY13 and you haven’t heard the topic you wanted on Midrats yet?

There is a question you would like to hear the hosts grapple with about maritime and national security issues?

Or, are you just interested in discussing the latest developments in unmanned systems, pacific pivot, budget battles, Russian relations, China intentions, and more?

On, above, and under the sea – we’ll cover it today for a full hour free for all. The phone lines will be open and we’ll also take questions directly from the chat room.

Come join us.

Join us live at 5 pm or download the show later by clicking here

Image: Russian made “Bastion” mobile shore-based missile complex (MSMC) with “Yakhont” unified supersonic homing anti-ship missile (ASM) from here. Components of this system have reportedly been provided to Syria, along with other weapons.



Join us Sunday at 5pm for Midrats “Episode 179: CIMCEC and the Marketplace of Ideas”:

In the best Western tradition, it is generally accepted that more ideas, and more discussion is better in working towards the best solution to any challenge – especially national security challenges.

One of the newer additions to the discussion are the writers at the Center for International Maritime Security (CIMSEC)

Since they joined the conversation in force in 2012, what is their view of the state of vigorous debate in the maritime security arena? What do they see as the major issues no only on maintaining a healthy culture of “Creative Friction Without Confict” – and what do they see as the major subjects that naval thinkers need to concentrate on?

Our guest for the full hour will be Lieutenant Scott Cheney-Peters, USNR. Scott is a Surface Warfare Officer in the Navy Reserve and government civilian on the OPNAV staff at the Pentagon.

Scott is the former editor of Surface Warfare magazine and served aboard USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) and USS Oak Hill (LSD-51).

In 2012 Scott founded the CIMSEC, a non-profit think tank/website/group focused on maritime security issues.

Scott is a graduate of Georgetown University and the U.S. Naval War College.

Join us live or pick the show up later by clicking here



Join us for Midrats on Sunday, 2 June 13 at 5pm Eastern U.S.for Episode 178: USS SAMUEL B. ROBERTS: Operation PRAYING MANTIS:

Narrow seas, unseen mines, punitive expeditions, and “come as you are” ASUW on the sea and in the air.

Yes, it has been a quarter-century, but little has changed since the USS SAMUEL B. ROBERTS (FFG-58) struck a mine, and in retribution, the US Navy launched Operation PRAYING MANTIS.

The tactical and operational aspects of each, as well as combat leadership, remain constant even while the tools may have changed a bit.

To discuss this an more, our guest for the full hour will be BRAD PENIST0N, author of No Higher Honor: Saving the USS Samuel B. Roberts in the Persian Gulf, recently released by the Naval Institute Press in paperback and on Kindle.

Listen live or listen later by clicking here.



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Join us at Midrats on BlogTalkRadio, Sunday, May 19, 2013 for Episode 176: “Fallujah Awakens” with Bill Ardolino:

How did the US Marine Corps and local tribal leaders turn the corner in Fallujah? Who were the people on the ground, Iraqi and American, who were the catalyst for the change that brought about a sea change in the tactical, operational, and strategic direction in Iraq?

Our guest for the full hour to discuss that and more will be author Bill Ardolino. We will use as a base of our discussion his new book, Fallujah Awakens: Marines, Sheikhs, and the Battle Against al Qaeda.

Bill is the associate editor of The Long War Journal. He was embedded with the U.S. Marine Corps, the U.S. Army, the Iraqi Army, and the Iraqi Police in Fallujah, Habbaniyah, and Baghdad in 2006, 2007, and 2008, and later with U.S. and Afghan forces in Kabul, Helmand and Khost provinces in Afghanistan. His reports, columns, and photographs have received wide media exposure and have been cited in a number of academic publications. He lives in Washington, DC.

Join us live at 5pm (Eastern U.S.) or listen later by clicking here.



Join us Sunday, May 5, 2013 at 5pm (Eastern U.S.) (yes, that’s 5/5 at 5) for Episode 174: “The New Shipbuilding Plan”:

Last month saw the U.S. Navy’s newest shipbuilding plan hit the streets.

Is this good news, more of the same, or are there some systemic issues that are being painted over?

What can the Navy expect over the next few years as the defense cuts bite deeper and the battle for wedges of the defense budget pie heats up.

Using their latest article in RealClearDefense as a starting point, our guests will be Mackenzie Eaglen, Resident Fellow at the Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies at the American Enterprise Institute and Bryan McGrath, Director, Delex Consulting, Studies and Analysis.

Listen live (that’s on 5/5 at 5) or pick the show up later by clicking here.



U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Jan Shultis/Released

Join us this Sunday, 28 April 2013 at 5pm Eastern U.S., for Midrats Episode 173: Back to the Littorals with Milan Vego :

If the requirement is to be able to operate, fight, and win in the Littorals – is the Littoral Combat Ship the answer?
Other nations have the same requirement – yet have come up with different answers.
Are we defining our requirements properly in face of larger Fleet needs and the threats we expect?
What platforms and systems need to be looked at closer if we are to have the best mix of capabilities to meet our requirements?
Using his article in Armed Forces Journal, Go smaller: Time for the Navy to get serious about the littorals, as a stepping off place, our guest for the full hour will be Milan Vego, PhD, Professor of Joint Military Operations at the US Naval War College.

Join us live (or, if you can’t listen live, listen later) by clicking here.



Join us at 5 pm (Eastern U.S.) on 21 April 2013 for our Episode 173: The War Returns to CONUS:

The events of the last week in Boston has brought back to the front of the national consciousness what, for the lack of a better description, is known as The Long War.

The threats we face are both domestic, foreign, and increasingly a mixture of both. Communication and transportation has created a breed of transnational threats that are not new, and whose causes, resources, and threat vectors are not as opaque as some may try to make them.

Starting out and working in, what are the lessons we should emphasize to mitigate the ongoing threat? As we continue in the second decade after 9/11/2013, what are we doing correctly, what still needs to be done – and what things are we wasting time and money on for little gain?

To discuss, our guest for the full hour will be Steven Bucci, Director, Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation.

Listen live at 5pm (or you can listen later) by clicking here.



Join us at 5pm (Eastern U.S.) Sunday, 14 April 2013 for Midrats Episode 171: The State of Naval Supremacy with Seth Cropsey:

It is all around us – from poor program decisions to significant budgetary stresses that are only recently starting to bite – the large US Navy Fleet straddling the globe is contracting.Cropsey,_Seth

What are the initial, second and third order effects of the decreasing presence of the US Navy.

Is it permanent, relative, or can fewer numbers be made up in other ways?

Join Sal from CDR Salamander and EagleOne of EagleSpeak in a wide ranging discussion along with their guest Seth Cropsey, Senior Fellow from The Hudson Institute and author of the new book, Mayday: The Decline of American Naval Supremacy.

You can listen live or listen later here.



They have been quiet recently – but you can’t count them out, so Somali pirates are discussed this week on Midrats in Episode 170: “Stolen Seas: Tales of Somali Piracy”:

We have heard from industry, military leaders, Marines, and private security providers, this Sunday we are going to look at piracy at a more personal level with director Thymaya Payne of the documentary, “Stolen Seas: Tales of Somali Piracy.”

He will be our guest for the full hour.

From the show promo:

The filmmakers have spent the past three years traveling to some of the world’s most violent locales in order to make this documentary on Somali piracy, Stolen Seas. Utilizing exclusive interviews and unparalleled access to real pirates, hostages, hostages’ relatives, ship-owners, pirate negotiators and experts on piracy and international policy, Stolen Seas presents a chilling exploration of the Somali pirate phenomenon.

The film throws the viewer, through audio recordings and found video, right into the middle of the real-life hostage negotiation of a Danish shipping vessel, the CEC Future. As the haggling between the ship’s stoic owner Per Gullestrup, and the pirate’s loquacious negotiator, Ishmael Ali, drags on for 70 days, these two adversaries’ relationship takes an unexpected turn and an unlikely friendship is born.
Stolen Seas is an eye opening refutation of preconceived ideas on how or why piracy has become the world’s most frightening multi-million dollar growth industry.

Join us live (or download later) here at 5pm Sunday, 7 Apr 13.



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