The Sosh Podcast
Ep. 22: Doug Livermore from No One Left Behind (NOLB) and Saving the Afghan Interpreters

Ep. 22: Doug Livermore from No One Left Behind (NOLB) and Saving the Afghan Interpreters

August 31, 2021

For this edition of the Sosh Podcast, MAJ Sam Wilkins and MAJ Kyle Atwell interview Doug Livermore from No One Left Behind (NOLB), a nonprofit dedicated to assisting wartime interpreters who have worked for the United States during the Global War on Terror. They talked about NOLB’s efforts in recent years to help these interpreters gain Special Immigrant Visas, the hurdles they’ve had to overcome, and the humanitarian crisis that has followed the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.

 

This interview was recorded on August 24th, 2021, two days prior to the terrorist attack that struck Hamid Karzai International Airport and killed over 170 people, to include 13 US Service Members. 

 

Doug Livermore is a board member of No One Left Behind (NOLB), the Director of Special Programs for the Department of the Navy, a Special Forces officer in the Maryland National Guard, and a fellow of West Point’s Modern War Institute. For more information on NOLB you can visit their website, https://nooneleft.org/.

 

MAJ Samuel Wilkins is an Instructor of International Affairs at the US Military Academy, West Point. His research interests include American foreign policy in Africa, limited military interventions, and the Cold War.

 

MAJ Kyle Atwell is an Instructor of International Affairs at the US Military Academy, West Point, and the founder and Co-Director of the Irregular Warfare Initiative where he also hosts the Irregular Warfare Podcast. His research interests include military strategy, irregular and partnered warfare, alliance dynamics, and military effectiveness.

 

The views expressed on this podcast belong to those of the speakers and should not be seen as reflective of the official positions of the US Military Academy, the United States Army, the Department of Defense, or any government entity.

Episode 21- Ali Wyne on the US-China Relationship: Competition, Collaboration, and Compartmentalization

Episode 21- Ali Wyne on the US-China Relationship: Competition, Collaboration, and Compartmentalization

August 26, 2021

For this edition of the Sosh Pod, CPT Tony Palocaren interviews Ali Wyne from the Eurasia Group’s Global Macro Project about the US-China Relationship – how the competition between the two nations has evolved over the past decade, the role that diplomacy and compartmentalization plays, and what the US can do to support Taiwan. 

 

Ali Wyne is a senior analyst with Eurasia Group’s Global Macro practice and a nonresident fellow at USMA’s Modern War Institute. His focus areas include US-China relations and great power competition. Ali co-authored “Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master’s Insights on China, the United States, and the World,” which was published in 2013. You can find him on Twitter @Ali_Wyne. 

 

CPT Tony Palocaren is an instructor of International Affairs at the US Military Academy, West Point. His research interests include great power competition. 

 

The views expressed on this podcast belong to those of the speakers, and should not be seen as reflective of the official positions of the US Military Academy, the United States Army, the Department of Defense, or any government entity.

 

Episode 20: Summer Reading with ADM (Ret) James Stavridis

Episode 20: Summer Reading with ADM (Ret) James Stavridis

July 29, 2021

For Episode 20 of the SOSH Podcast, we interview Retired ADM James Stavridis to talk about his recent book, 2034: A Novel of the Next World War. MAJ Tom Fox makes a return to the podcast to speak with ADM Stavridis about writing a fiction book as a military veteran, his thoughts on why there is no such thing as an end to history, and why a nonpartisan military is more important than ever.

 

Please email us at SOSHresearchlab@westpoint.edu with any comments, critiques, and questions. We are always looking to hear from our listeners, SOSH Faculty Alumni, and friends of the Department.

 

ADM (Ret.) James Stavridis is a retired US Navy Admiral who formerly served as the commander of US SOUTHCOM, US EUCOM, and was the NATO Supreme Allied Commander of Europe. He served as the dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and is the author of several bestselling books. 

 

MAJ Tom Fox is an Aviation officer in the United States Army, and recently was an Assistant Professor of International Relations at the US Military Academy, West Point.

 

The views expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers. They should not be seen as reflective of the official positions of the US Military Academy, the United States Army, the Department of Defense, or any other government entity.

Episode 19: LTG (Ret) Sean MacFarland on the Use of Mechanized Forces in Counterinsurgency

Episode 19: LTG (Ret) Sean MacFarland on the Use of Mechanized Forces in Counterinsurgency

June 17, 2021

For Episode 19 of the SOSH Podcast, we interview the former Commander of III Corps, LTG (Ret.) Sean MacFarland. In a conversation with the SOSH Department’s MAJ Ryan Van Wie, LTG MacFarland reflected on his time as Brigade Commander of the “Ready First” Brigade during the 2006 Battle of Ramadi and how that experience differed from his time leading the Counter-ISIL campaign of 2015-2016 in Syria and Iraq. He also shares his views on the decision to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan, why mechanized forces are essential for counterinsurgencies, and perhaps most controversially, why the US should get rid of its Airborne units. 

 

Please email us at SOSHresearchlab@westpoint.edu with any comments, critiques, and questions. We are always looking to hear from our listeners, SOSH Faculty Alumni, and friends of the Department. 

 

LTG (Ret.) Sean Macfarland is a non-resident Senior Fellow at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. He was the Commander of 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division in 2006 during the Battle of Ramadi, Iraq. In 2015, he commanded III Corps and assumed responsibility of all coalition forces under Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve. 

 

MAJ Ryan Van Wie is an instructor of International Relations at the US Military Academy, West Point. His research interests include counterinsurgency strategy and civil conflict dynamics.  

 

 

This episode was originally recorded on May 4th, 2021.

 

The views expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers. They should not be seen as reflective of the official positions of the US Military Academy, the United States Army, the Department of Defense, or any other government entity. 

Episode 18: Cadet Theses in American Politics

Episode 18: Cadet Theses in American Politics

June 1, 2021

For this episode of the Sosh Podcast, MAJ AJ Glubzinski interviews three (former) cadets from the Class of 2021 who completed senior thesis projects in American Politics. Their paper topics covered a broad range of topics, such as measuring the economic impacts of expanding the interstate highway system, analyzing the emergence of interstate compacts to combat COVID-19, and how Congress exercises its oversight powers over the military. If you are interested in receiving a copy of their papers or to learn more, please email us at SOSHResearchLab@westpoint.edu .

 

This episode was originally recorded on May 6th 2021, just a few weeks before the graduation of the Class of 2021.

 

Chris Weaver is a member of the USMA Class of 2021 and is originally from Selma, Alabama. His thesis is titled “Reversing the Radiator Springs Effect: The Developmental Impacts of Integrating Isolated Rural Communities into the Existing Interstate Highway Network.”

 

Pat Schlimm is a member of the USMA Class of 2021 and is originally from St. Mary’s, Pennsylvania. His thesis is titled “A Partisan Contagion? Interstate Compacts in Response to COVID-19.”

 

Ryan Johnson is a member of the USMA Class of 2021 and is originally from Tampa, Florida. His thesis is titled “Watchdogs or Wardogs? The Changing Patterns of Congressional Oversight in Military Affairs.”

 

MAJ AJ Glubzinski is an assistant professor of American Politics at the US Military Academy, West Point.

 

The views expressed on this podcast are those of the speakers, and should not be taken as the official positions of the US Military Academy, the United States Army, the Department of Defense, or any government entity.

Episode 17: Addressing the Challenge of Extremism and the Military

Episode 17: Addressing the Challenge of Extremism and the Military

May 10, 2021

On this episode, Sosh faculty members Audrey Alexander and Mike Robinson talk about the emerging concerns over extremism in the military, how the portrayal of this threat is sometimes distorted, and what the military, government, and the public should do to respond.

Audrey Alexander is a researcher and instructor from the Combatting Terrorism Center at West Point. She holds a master’s degree in Terrorism, Security & Society from the War Studies Department at King’s College London, and was a senior research fellow at George Washington University’s Program on Extremism prior to coming to West Point.

MAJ Mike Robinson is an assistant professor of international affairs at West Point and is a repeat guest of the podcast. He received his PhD in political science from Stanford University, where his research focused on civil-military relations and partisan polarization.

 

Links

For more information about the Combating Terrorism Center, visit their website at https://ctc.usma.edu . The CTC also publishes a monthly newsletter called the CTC Sentinel which covers contemporary terrorism issues – it is accessible for free through their website.

MAJ Robinson and Dr. Kori Schake's Op-ed in the NY Times about Extremism and the Military: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/02/opinion/veterans-capitol-attack.html

 

The CTC's Dr. Daniel Milton's Report on Veteran Participation on January 6th, 2021: https://ctc.usma.edu/this-is-war-examining-military-experience-among-the-capitol-hill-siege-participants/

 

Episode 16: Ambassador Nicholas Burns on NATO, Democracies, and China

Episode 16: Ambassador Nicholas Burns on NATO, Democracies, and China

April 5, 2021

Following up on Episode 15 where we talked about NATO with LTC Seth Johnston, we continue our deep dive into NATO by sitting down for a conversation with Ambassador Nicholas Burns, Former US Ambassador to NATO. Ambassador Burns spoke with CPT Tony Palocaren about NATO’s expanding scope in the 21st Century, addressing democratic backsliding in Europe, what role NATO has in confronting a rising China, and the emerging challenge of climate change.

 

Bios

Ambassador Nicholas Burns is currently the Roy and Barbara Goodman Family Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Relations at the Harvard Kennedy School. He served as a career Foreign Service Officer for 27 years where he assumed a variety of prominent roles such as being the US Ambassador to Greece, the US Ambassador to NATO, and the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs under President George W. Bush.

 

CPT Antony Palocaren is an Instructor of International Affairs at West Point, and was a student of Ambassador Burns at the Harvard Kennedy School. His research interests include great power competition and the role of alliances.

 

Links

- https://www.belfercenter.org/publication/nato-seventy-alliance-crisis

A February 2019 report authored by AMB Nick Burns and AMB Douglas Lute (Robert F. McDermott Distinguished Chair of the Department of Social Sciences at USMA) discussing the 70th Anniversary of NATO. 

 

Notes

If you have any comments, suggestions, or critiques, please feel free to reach out to us by email at SOSHresearchlab@westpoint.edu. We are always excited to hear from our listeners, cadets, SOSH alumni, and friends of the Department.

 

The views expressed on this podcast are those of the speakers, and should not be seen as reflective of the official positions of the United States Military Academy, the US Army, the Department of Defense, or any government entity.

Episode 15: Why NATO Matters, featuring Dr. Seth Johnston

Episode 15: Why NATO Matters, featuring Dr. Seth Johnston

March 15, 2021

In this edition of the podcast, SOSH Faculty Alumni Dr. Seth Johnston sits down to talk with us about the history and future of NATO: How did an organization originally intended as a defense alliance against Germany and the Soviet Union morph into a major player in Afghanistan? How has it evolved over time to remain relevant and important in international affairs? In what ways must NATO continue to adapt in order to counteract emerging threats in new domains such as cyberspace? We ask these questions and more.

 

Dr. Seth Johnston is an adjunct assistant professor in the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army. His teaching and research focuses on European and international security and history. His book How NATO Adapts: Strategy and Organization in the Atlantic Alliance since 1950 was the 2017 volume of the Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science and became the #1 most requested book among practitioners at the NATO Library in Brussels. His full bio can be found at https://gu360.georgetown.edu/s/faculty/saj70 .

 

For more information on Dr. Johnston’s Research, check out the links below.

The Harvard Report on European Defense: https://www.belfercenter.org/sites/default/files/files/publication/EuroDefense_0.pdf

_How NATO Adapts_ book & remarks at NATO Headquarters: https://www.natolibguides.info/library/booktalk_hownatoadapts

 

 

CPT Antony Palocaren is an instructor of International Affairs in the Social Sciences Department at the US Military Academy, West Point. His research interests include great power competition and the role of alliances.

 

Send us your comments and suggestions to SOSHresearchlab@westpoint.edu .

 

The views expressed on this podcast belong to the speakers and should not be seen as the official positions of the US Military Academy, the US Army, the Department of Defense, or any government entity.

Episode 14: Restoring Thucydides and the Classics, featuring Dr. Jay Parker

Episode 14: Restoring Thucydides and the Classics, featuring Dr. Jay Parker

February 25, 2021

On this episode of the SOSH Podcast, COL (Ret.) Jay Parker and Dr. Scott Silverstone sit down to talk about Dr. Parker’s latest book, “Restoring Thucydides: Testing Familiar Lessons and Deriving New Ones.” The two discussed topics such as why Thucydides is so frequently misunderstood, whether the Melian Dialogue really was a validation of Realism as is commonly believed, and what the real lessons are that we should be drawing from classical scholars like Thucydides, Machiavelli, and Sun Tzu.

 

COL (Ret.) Jay Parker is an alumni of the USMA Social Sciences Department, having served as a Professor and the Director of International Relations and National Security Studies programs. He is currently the Major General Fox Conner Chair of International Security Studies in the College of International Security Affairs at the National Defense University. 

 

Dr. Scott Silverstone is a Professor of International Affairs at the United States Military Academy, and has been on the faculty at West Point since 2001.

 

If you have any comments, suggestions, or critiques, you can email us at SOSHresearchlab@westpoint.edu.

 

The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers, and should not be seen as reflective of the official positions of the US Military Academy, the United States Army, the Department of Defense, or any other government entity.

Episode 13: The Foreign Policy Toolkit

Episode 13: The Foreign Policy Toolkit

February 11, 2021

In this episode, we sit down with Dr. Anne Bennett and MAJ Thomas Dyrenforth to discuss the dynamics of civil-military cooperation and implementing foreign policy at U.S. diplomatic missions around the world. Dr. Bennett talks about her experience as a State Department Foreign Service Officer in the Middle East, Asia, and Europe. Additionally, MAJ Dyrenforth discusses his service as an Army Foreign Area Officer and military attaché in Africa.

 

Dr. Anne Bennett is a Foreign Service Officer from the Department of State and is a Visiting Faculty member in International Relations at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York. Dr. Bennett holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Michigan and a B. A. in Economics and Political Science from Bucknell University.

 

Major Thomas Dyrenforth is a U.S. Army Foreign Area Officer currently serving in AFRICOM. He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy and holds a Masters in International Policy and Practice from the Elliott School at George Washington University. Major Dyrenforth served as an instructor of military science at West Point and was the Assistant Army Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

 

Links:

More information on becoming a U.S. Foreign Service Officer: https://careers.state.gov/work/foreign-service/officer/ 

More information on becoming an Army Foreign Area Officer: https://www.army.mil/standto/archive/2019/07/12/index.html 

 

MAJ Dyrenforth’s recent publications on building cooperation abroad:

Building Enduring Partnerships in Africa: How The IMET Program Helps The United States Counter China In Africa,” Small Wars Journal, July 2020.

Do We Need to Work with Despots? The Question of Nondemocratic Leaders and Us Foreign Policy,” Modern War Institute, May 2020.

Strengthening U.S. Strategic Influence: How to Make IMET the Most Powerful Tool in the Security Cooperation Toolkit,” FAO Journal of International Affairs, January 2020.”

 

Reach out to us by emailing SOSHresearchlab@westpoint.edu.

The views expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers, and should not be seen as reflective of the official positions of the US Military Academy, the United States Army, the Department of Defense, the Department of State, or any other government entity. 

 

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App