Archive for the 'Midrats' Tag

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.



Join us Sunday 24 Mar 2013 at 5pm Eastern U.S. for Episode 168: “USCG and the Arctic” on Blog Talk Radio:

There is a fair bit of talk about the rush for the arctic for economic and strategic reasons – and where there is international interest on the seas, the nations involved need to think about what is the best way to secure their interests.

While the initial thought might be Navy – is the natural answer really the Coast Guard? If the USCG is the right answer, is it trained, manned and equipped for the job?
What does it need to do in order to fulfill its role – and why may it be the best answer to the question – who will show the flag up north?

Our guest this Sunday for the full hour from 5-6pm EST will be U.S. Naval War College Associate Professor James R. Holmes. As a starting point for our conversation, we will use his latest article in Foreign Policy: America Needs a Coast Guard That Can Fight: As the Arctic becomes an arena for conflict, the United States’ forgotten naval force will need to cowboy up.

Join us live or later by going to Midrats on BTR or picking up the show later from our iTunes page (lately there has been some delay in getting the show to iTunes, though, and the link may require iTunes).



Join us this Sunday at 5pm (Eastern U.S.) for a different sort of discussion about the process of academic freedom and the intellectual preparation of our officer corps during our

Episode 167: Intellectual Integrity, PME, and NWC

How do we advance the intellectual development of leaders through Professional Military Education, the Naval War College, and else where?

What is the purpose and how are we trying to achieve the goals to best serve our nation? Are we doing it right? What are the trends, and what could we do better?

Our guest for the full hour to discuss this and more will be Dr. Joan Johnson-Freese, Professor of National Security Affairs at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. Her publications include: Heavenly Ambitions: America’s Quest to Dominate Space; Space As A Strategic Asset, and over 80 journal articles. She is a member of the Space Studies Board of the National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the International Academy of Astronautics, and a member of the Editorial Board of China Security. She has testified before Congress on multiple occasions, and is regularly interviewed by the media, including CNN, CBS, ABC, The New York Times, Reuters and the BBC, on space issues. She also teaches courses on Globalization and US National Security, and Space and Security, at Harvard Summer and Extension Schools.

Join us live here (or listen later or download it later from that same location) or from our iTunes page (perhaps, someday iTunes will catch up with our episodes).



This Sunday March 10 at 5pm (don’t forget the time change “spring ahead”) Episode 166: ‘Expeditionary Fleet Balance” on Midrats at Blog Talk Radio:

Do we have the right balance between strike as embodied by carrier air and expeditionary forces based around amphibious ships?

What capability is most cost effective and gives the combatant commanders the most flexible assets in their area of responsibility?

What is driving our Fleet structure, and do we have the right mix? What is informing our decisions, and what should be informing it?

Our guest for the full hour will be Lieutenant Colonel James W. Hammond III, USMC (Ret), senior manager at WBB.

Prior to retirement in 2005, he was Director, Commandant’s Staff Group.

As a starting point for our discussion, we will review his points in the FEB13 Proceedings article, “A Fleet Out of Balance.” Previous published articles and letters in the Naval Institute Proceedings and the Marine Corps Gazette have dealt with Naval Surface Fire Support, Counterbattery support from the Sea, Electronic Attack, Revolution in Military Affairs, and Provisional Rifle Companies.

Listen live (or download later) here or on our iTunes page.



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